Traveling and the COVID-19 pandemic – entry restrictions mostly lifted
Travellers in front of a corona Test-center at an Airport., © dpa / Sven Simon
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions for entry into Germany from areas of variant of concern apply. Persons entering these areas are required to provide a negative test result and quarantine. Restrictions from other areas have been lifted.
Since June 11, 2022, all COVID-19 entry restrictions to Germany have been provisionally lifted. Since this date, entries to Germany will again be permitted for all travel purposes (including tourism and visiting trips). For entry into Germany, proof of vaccination, proof of convalescence or proof of testing is no longer required. However, persons residing in the People's Republic of China still need an important reason to enter Germany (due to reciprocity) - this does not apply to German citizens residing in the People's Republic of China.
For areas of variant of concern (currently no states are designated as virus variant areas) further entry restrictions would apply.
The German government classifies countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern as so-called areas of variant of concern. The list of areas of variant of concern is available on the website of the Robert Koch-Institute.
Travellers that have stayed in an area of variant of concern within ten days prior to their entry to Germany must observe special regulations. A travel ban applies for these areas. Transport companies may not transport any persons from these countries to Germany unless exceptions apply. Travellers are required to register before entry, provide a negative PCR-test result and quarantine for 14 days. Detailed requirements are specified below.
For travellers entering from other countries (no prior stay in an area of variant of concern) no special requirements apply on entry. In particular, neither registration nor a negative test result are necessary.
Travel bans from countries affected by coronavirus variants
A travel ban is in place for countries with widespread occurrence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants of concern (referred to as areas of variant of concern). Transport companies, e.g. air carriers and railway companies, may not transport any persons from these countries to Germany. There are only a few, strictly defined exceptions to this travel ban, namely for:
- German citizens and persons who are resident in Germany with a current right to reside in the country, as well as their spouses, partners (if entering Germany from outside the EU or the United Kingdom / Northern Ireland: only partners living in the same household) and minor children
- persons catching a connecting flight who do not leave the transit zone of a passenger airport and
- few other special cases.
Persons qualifying for these exceptions must nevertheless complete a digital entry registration before entering the country, undergo mandatory testing or provide proof of immunity, and comply with the applicable quarantine regulations for travellers entering the country. Further information is provided below.
Travellers can find more information about the travel ban on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community (BMI),the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and this information leaftlet. The list of areas of variant of concern is published on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.
Mandatory testing for areas of variant of concern
Persons over the age of 12 who have stayed in an area of variant of concern in the ten days prior to their entry to Germany, are obliged to carry proof of their COVID‑19 status when entering Germany. They must present a negative PCR test result: a rapid antigen test or proof of recovery or vaccination is not sufficient. As a rule, COVID‑19 test results must not be more than 48 hours old at the time of the (planned) entry. However, if entering Germany with a carrier (e.g. an airline), PCR tests may be taken a maximum of 48 hours before the (scheduled) start of the journey (e.g. departure time).
Travellers who are only transferring at an airport in Germany are also required to present proof of their COVID‑19 status. This applies both to non-Schengen transit from or to third countries outside the EU and to transit from or to Schengen states.
The negative test result, proof of recovery or proof of vaccination must be shown to the carrier for examination prior to departure. Only in the case of cross-border rail travel or cross-border short sea transport may the relevant documentation be presented during transit. Proof must also be shown to the German border authorities upon entry if requested.
More detailed information is available on the website of the Federal Minsitry of Health.
Quarantine regulations for entries from areas of variant of concern
A requirement to self-isolate is in place in Germany pursuant to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations.
Under the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations, persons entering Germany following a stay in an area of variant of concern in the last ten days must
- proceed directly to their destination following entry and
- self-isolate there for 14 days (quarantine).
During this quarantine, travellers may not leave the house or flat or receive guests.
Quarantine ends automatically if the relevant country is no longer classified as an area of variant of concern.
Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine:
Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine apply to persons who:
have merely passed through an area of variant of concern without a stopover,
are only passing through Germany and leaving the country via the fastest route available,
in the case of border traffic from areas of variant of concern: persons who have spent less than 24 hours in a risk area or are only entering Germany for a period of up to 24 hours,
are cross-border commuters and border crossers as specified on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health with the proviso that the work they carry out is urgently required and critical to maintaining operational procedures.
More information is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and this Information leaflet.
How to conduct yourself when in Germany?
Extensive information in English and other languages on current regulations is available here.
A overview on what to do to help protect yourself and others is available here:
Coronavirus – Informationen and practical advice.
Watch out for local regulations
Measures for fighting the spread of COVID-19 are subject to local regulation.
The international advice on reducing the spread of COVID-19 should be followed. This includes washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap for 20-30 seconds, sneezing into the elbow or the quick disposal of handkerchieves or tissues, keeping a distance from other people and avoiding shaking hands. Further information and details can be found on the World Health Organization’s Website.
Where possible, travel should be reduced and public transport avoided to further reduce the risk of infection.
Where to find more information
More information is available from the following institutions:
Information on coronavirus and regulations in English and other languages