Latest News: German authorities bans U.K. travelers from entering country because of COVID-19 variants; other restrictions reported (SVI, 24.05.2021). More COVID-19 restrictions lifted; Chancellor Merkel urges caution (AP, 21.05.2021). German government reportedly bans flights from Nepal (Khabarhub, 17.05.2021). Germany eases entry restrictions for travelers who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from COVID-19 to enter the country without quarantine (Xinhua, 13.05.2021).
*From within the EU:
Germany is implementing travel restrictions on the basis of the information underpinning the EU "traffic lights" approach, which applies to EU and EEA countries.
Risk areas are defined as "virus variant", "high incidence", or "risk" area. The website of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) shows which country falls into which category.
The entry rule is based on the country from which the traveller is coming from, and not on nationality.
Children aged 5 and under are exempted from COVID-19 test requirements. Details on the recognition of tests are provided by the Robert Koch Institute.
Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 can be provided in digital or paper form. The vaccine 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 from COVID-19 is provided by a positive PCR test result carried out at least 28 days but no more than 6 months before.
Documentation must be provided in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.
Travel from "areas of variant of concern"
Travellers who have stayed in the last 10 days in an area of variant of concern are subject to a pre-departure negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (for antigen rapid test: within 24 hours prior to arrival).
Travel from "high-incidence areas"
Travellers who have stayed in the last 10 days in a high incidence area are subject to a pre-departure negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (for antigen rapid test: within 24 hours prior to arrival) or, alternatively, to submission of proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or recovery from COVID-19.
Exemptions apply, in particular to persons who have passed through a high incidence area without a stopover, or those passing through Germany via the fastest route available.
Travel from other risk areas (without prior stays in "high-incidence areas" or "areas of variant of concern")
Travellers from risk areas are subject to a pre-departure negative PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to arrival (for antigen rapid test: within 24 hours prior to arrival) or, alternatively, to submission of proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. This proof must be presented to the airline before departure (for arrivals by air) or no later than 48 hours after entry (for arrivals by land or sea).
Is a quarantine required?
A quarantine applies to travellers until proof of full vaccination, recovery from an infection or a negative test result is submitted via the portal www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
Travellers who have stayed in a risk area, high incidence area or area of variant of concern in the last 10 days must self-isolate for 10 days (14 days in case of area of variant of concern).
For arrivals from high incidence areas, the quarantine period may be ended with a negative test carried out no earlier than 5 days after entry.
For arrivals from areas of variant of concern, a reduction of the quarantine period is not possible.
Mandatory travel documentation
Travellers entering Germany, who have been in a risk area at any time within the last 10 days before entry, are obliged to digitally register. If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to complete a digital entry registration, travellers must fill out a registration on paper.
Documents you need to travel in Europe
Health cover for temporary stays *Transit:
Transit by land or sea
Transit travellers who are entering Germany and then immediately traveling onward to another country do not have to register their entry online.
In the case of border traffic, 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 exempted from the quarantine requirement.
Travellers older than 6 years in transit, coming from a virus variant area, are required to present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry. Transit travellers from a high incidence area or any other area are not subject to the COVID-19 test requirement.
Transit by air
Changing flights without leaving the international transit area of an airport does not constitute an entry into Germany for the purposes of the relevant regulation. In these cases the digital entry registration, requirements for mandatory testing or providing proof of vaccination, quarantine regulations and travel bans from countries affected by coronavirus variants do not apply. This only affects travels from a destination outside the Schengen area and with a destination outside Schengen area – for example from Moscow (outside Schengen) via Frankfurt (transit) to Buenos Aires (outside Schengen).
When travelling from or to the Schengen area you will need to leave the international transit area of an airport – for example when travelling from Moscow (outside Schengen) via Frankfurt (transit) to Madrid (Schengen area) or the other way. Therefore these travels do constitute an entry to Germany and the requirements detailed below must be observed.
Travellers aged 6 years or older must hold proof of the following:
- Following a stay in an area of variant of concern in the last 10 days: a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 48 hours before arrival. This proof must be held prior to entering the country, and must be presented to the airline before departure;
- Following a stay in a high incidence area in the last 10 days: a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 48 hours before arrival, 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;
- For arrivals by air without prior stays in high incidence areas or areas of variant of concern: a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 48 hours before arrival, 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;
- Following a stay in a risk area (not an area of variant of concern or a high incidence area): a negative COVID-19 test result taken no more than 48 hours before arrival or proof of vaccination or recovery from an infection. This proof must be presented no later than 48 hours after entry.
- A digital entry registration
The testing obligations also apply to passengers with a connecting flight in Frankfurt or Munich. There are no exceptions to the testing obligation for transit passengers - even if they do not leave the transit area in Frankfurt or Munich.
Residents of the following third countries can enter Germany without restrictions: Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand.
Upon confirmation of mutual entry possibilities, the list will also include: China, Hong Kong and Macao.
For all persons residing in a third country that is not mentioned above, restrictions on travel continue to apply and these persons may enter Germany only for urgent reasons.
Such restrictions do not apply to German citizens. Citizens of EU Member States or Schengen Associated countries, and their family members, are also exempted from travel restrictions. The same applies to third-country nationals who already have a long-term right of residence in an EU member state or a Schengen country (residence permit or long-term visa), and to members of their family.
Unmarried partners may enter Germany from third countries that are not included in the above list, for short-term visits to the partner living in Germany when the general entry requirements (passport and visa, if applicable) are met, under the condition that the couple is in a long-term relationship/partnership and both partners have met in person in Germany at least once, or the couple had a previously shared residence in another country until recently.
See declaration of the existence of the relationship.
Provided that the general entry requirements are met, unmarried couples travelling together may enter Germany for short-term visits for urgent reasons from third countries that are not included in the above list:
- their relationship is a long-term relationship between a third-country national and a German, or EU+ citizen or national and
- the couple has a shared residence abroad and there is an important reason for both partners to enter Germany. This is generally the case for births, weddings, bereavements/funerals or other exceptional cases in which there is an urgent family reason (e.g. serious illness of a first- or second-degree relative who therefore urgently needs help).
The urgent reason for the joint entry of both partners is to be submitted in writing on entering Germany, together with a declaration of the existence of the relationship. Additional documentation such as photos, social media posts, postal/email correspondence may also be provided.
The decision whether to allow entry at the border is at the discretion of the border officials. All travellers must additionally follow the quarantine rules of the relevant federal state of Germany.
*COVID-19 restrictions: Restrictions on social contact aimed at reducing the spread of COVID-19 are in place in Germany, though gradually being reduced:
• Private gatherings are restricted to one household plus another household up to a maximum of five people. Children under the age of 14 do not count towards the maximum of five. Tighter restrictions are in place in areas of high infection rates. Looser restrictions are in place where the incidence rate is below 35 in some states
• The fully vaccinated and those who have recovered are exempt from the above restrictions on contact, as well as limits on contactless sport (these vary in the states). The fully vaccinated can demonstrate their status by using yellow vaccination booklets ‘Impfpass’ which contain a doctor’s signature and stamp. The recovered must show a positive PCR test no older than six months and no younger than 28 days. Germany is working on a C-19 certification app.
• Employers are legally obliged to allow employees to work from home, where their work activities allow, with employees required to justify why they cannot work from home.
• Depending on local incidence rates, there are restrictions on non-essential retail, gastronomy, barbers and hairdressers, museums, art galleries, and other cultural and leisure activities. These establishments might be closed completely, or you might need to register for an appointment in advance, or show C-19 certification, such as a test or vaccination status.
• Medical grade masks are compulsory in shops and public transport, replacing a previous requirement for simple mouth-nose coverings. This may be an FFP-2 mask, rather than a simple surgical mask. You should follow local guidance.
These restrictions are implemented by Germany’s 16 states. Where the seven–day incidence rate exceeds 100, restrictions may be tighter or be re-imposed with limited notice.