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Information on entry restrictions, testing and quarantine regulations in Germany

Travellers in front of a corona Test-center at an airport.

Free corona tests at German airports., © dpa / Sven Simon

06.08.2021 - Article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions for entry into Germany from many countries apply. Persons entering must complete a digital entry registration. Depending on the place departure, they also have to provide a negative test result or proof of immunity, and comply with quarantine regulations.

Entry restrictions

General entry restrictions

EU-wide entry restrictions remain in force. For Germany, these restrictions are issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (BMI). Please check with the BMI prior to your trip to find out what regulations apply specifically with regard to the country from which you plan to enter Germany.

In principle, entry is possible from:

  • EU member states
  • states associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
  • other countries from which entry is possible in light of the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from any other country for any purposse (including visits and tourism)  is only possible for fully vaccinated People. The traveller must have received the last vaccination dose that is necessary for full vaccination at least 14 days before the date of travel, and the vaccine the person has received must be among those listed on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute. More Information is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

For people not yet vaccinated entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent need.

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 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.

Exceptions apply for transit within an airport’s international transit area when travelling from and to outside Schengen. Please find more information below.

Travellers can find more information about the travel ban on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building 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.

Digital entry registration

Travellers who have visited a high-risk area or area of variant of concern in the last ten days must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry. Exemptions to this registration requirement apply in particular to persons who

  • have only passed through a high-risk area or area of variant of concern without a stopover,
  • are only passing through Germany, or
  • in the case of border traffic: persons who have spent less than 24 hours in a high-risk area oder area of variant of concern or are only entering Germany for a period of up to 24 hours.

Additionally, persons entering Germany following a stay in a high-risk area (but not an area of variant of concern) are exempt from this requirement for stays of less than 72 hours to visit close relatives (parents, children), spouses and partners who do not belong to the same household, or for the purpose of shared custody.

If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to complete a digital entry registration, travellers must instead fill out a substitute registration on paper.

Travellers can find more information in the following fact sheet (also available in other languages) as well as on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Mandatory testing or proof of immunity for persons who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 

Upon entering Germany, travellers aged twelve years or older must hold proof of the following:

  • Entry from an area of variant of concern: negative COVID-19 test result.Pproof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of recovery from an infection is not sufficient.
  • Entry from any other Country or area: a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or proof of recovery from an infection.

This proof must be held prior to entering the country, and must be presented to the airline before departure where applicable.

Exemptions from requirement of testing or providing proof of immunity

Exemptions apply for

  • persons, who are only passing through Germany without a stopover, and
  • Transport personnel
  • In the case of border traffic the following persons who have spent less than 24 hours
  • in a high-risk area oder area of variant of concern

In the case of border traffic for stays of up 24 hours, the requirement only applies for entries from high-risk areas of areas of variant of concern or who enter Germany via air travel. In these cases a negative test result only needs to be presented twice per week.

The proof must be presented to the relevant authorities upon request up to ten days after entry. More information on mandatory testing and proof of immunity is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and this information leaflet.

Requirements for tests and proof of vaccination or recovery

Information on proof of immunity is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

In principle, the following forms of proof are accepted:

  • Proof of a negative test result:

A negative test result obtained using nucleic acid amplification technology (e.g. PCR, PoC- PCR) in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish. The test must have been carried out no more than 72 hours prior to entry (time of swabbing).

Alternatively, a negative antigen rapid test result in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish. Following a stay in a high-risk area, the test must have been carried out no more than 48 hours prior to entry. Following a stay in an area of variant of concern, the test must have been carried out no more than 24 hours prior to entry.

Details on the recognition of tests are provided on the website of the Robert Koch Institute. 

  • Proof of vaccination:

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in digital or paper form (e.g. WHO vaccination booklet). The vaccine used must be one of those listed on the website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. A period of at least 14 days must have elapsed since receiving the last vaccine dose.

  • Proof of recovery:

A positive PCR test result carried out at least 28 days but no more than six months previously.

Quarantine regulations

A requirement to self-isolate is in place in Germany pursuant to the Federal Ministry of Health’s Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations of 30 July 2021.

Under the new Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations, persons entering Germany following a stay in a high-risk area or area of variant of concern in the last ten days must

  • proceed directly to their destination following entry and
  • self-isolate there (quarantine). After a stay in a high-risk area travellers must self-isolate for 10 days, after a stay in an area of variant of concern for 14 days.

During this quarantine, travellers may not leave the house or flat or receive guests.

Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine:

Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine apply to persons who:

  • have merely passed through a high-risk area (not an area of variant of concern) without a stopover,
  • are only passing through Germany and leaving the country via the fastest route available, or
  • in the case of border traffic from high-risk areas (but not 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.

In addition, for high-risk areas (but not areas of variant of concern) the following applies:

The requirement to quarantine applies to arrivals from high-risk areas until proof of full vaccination, recovery from an infection or a negative test result is submitted via the entry portal of the Federal Republic of Germany (www.einreiseanmeldung.de).

The quarantine period may be ended on the basis of a negative test carried out no earlier than five days after entry. For persons who have been vaccinated or recovered from an infection and arrive from a high-risk area, mandatory quarantine ends immediately after submitting proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.

For children under the age of twelve quarantine ends automatically after 5 instead of 10 days.

For areas of variant of concern the following applies:

Quarantine period cannot be shortened. However, if the area of departure is reclassified as a high-Risk area during the quarantine, the regulations for high-risk areas apply. In this case the quarantin may end early as explained above.

More information is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and this Information leaflet.

How to conduct yourself when in Germany?

Mouth and nose must be covered aboard any public transport, in stores and busy outdoor places, where the minimum distance to others cannot be kept at all times. Masks must fulfill the requirements of FFP2 or KN95/N95.

If travellers develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 (coughing, a runny nose, sore throat or fever) they should get in touch by phone with a doctor or contact the hotline 116 117. Often travel guides or hotels can also help in such cases. Travellers should keep the contact details of their home country’s embassy or consulate in Germany in case they need to contact them.

Information by the Federal Ministry of Health in english can be found here.

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. This may include quarantine measures in the case of a confirmed infection.

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

Ministry of the Interior

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Transport

The World Health Organization

Robert Koch Institute

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