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Entry restrictions 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

28.08.2020 - Article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from a large number of countries. Moreover, persons arriving from many countries are obliged to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. More details are available here.

Entry restrictions

For Germany, travel restrictions apply for entry from a large number of countries. These regulations are issued by the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). Please check with the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (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
  • the United Kingdom
  • Other countries, from which entry is possible due to the epidemiological situation assessment by the EU.

Entry from other countries is only possible in exceptional casesand is conditional on there being an urgent Need.

Quarantine regulations and COVID‑19 tests

In Germany, the individual Länder are responsible for quarantine regulations. After coordination with the Länder and the Federal Government, the BMI has issued a specimen agreement, the regulations of which the Länder have largely incorporated into their own agreements.

Upon entry into Germany following a stay in a risk area within the last 14 days

  • you must proceed directly to your destination following entry into Germany,
  • self-isolate at home until a negative test result is available (for more details on this see Exception: proven negative test result), provide proof of the negative test result to the competent authorities, as a rule the health office, upon request, and
  • email or phone your competent authority, as a rule the health office in your place of residence/accommodation.

When entering from a risk area, it is mandatory to absolve a corona test. Travellers can find more information on the mandatory tests here.

Exception: transit

The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, you are obliged to leave Germany immediately.

Exception: proven negative test result

If you can prove that you are not infected with COVID‑19, no quarantine is necessary in most Länder. However, some Länder require you to take another test after a few days.

This proof must take the form of a medical certificate. The molecular test to detect an infection must have been conducted no more than 48 hours prior to entry. The test must have been carried out in a European Union member state or a state with comparable quality standards.

Alternatively, the test may be carried out upon entry

  • at the border crossing point or
  • at the place where you are staying.

The test is free for travellers from risk areas up to 72 hours after entry and can be conducted at airports, for example. For travellers from regions not considered risk areas tests will be free until 14 September 2020.

The test result must be retained for at least 14 days after entry – regardless of whether the test was conducted prior to or following entry. It must be submitted to the health office upon request.

How to conduct yourself when in Germany?

Mouth and nose must be covered aboard any public Transport and in stores.

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 short overview on what to do to help protect yourself and others is available here:

Leaflet on coronavirus: Protect - Recognise - Act

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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