The current travel situation due to the Corona Cvirus/COVID-19 pandemic means that borders are still mostly closed to touristic travel. This overview was last updated on June 6th, 2020. I hope you will find it useful, but please keep in mind that this is a very dynamic situation, so please check the offical resources listed below frequently. I will also try to update this page as often as possible.
Quarantine Upon Entry
Persons entering Germany from outside the EU are required by law to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Quarantine is no longer mandatory if you are travelling from EU-States or Schengen-States including the UK in most federal states. The final decision here is taken by the federal states, so please check out local regulations. This patchwork is rather unfortunate so please feel free to contact me, if you should have specific questions.
The situation on Germany’s land borders is growing equally complex, as federal states and neighboring countries start relaxing their checks and closures. A word of warning though: While a lot of media coverage is phrased along the lines of ‚Reopening‘, ‚Opening barriers‘, and ‚Dismanteling Fences‘, you still have to either
- Provide a valid reason for entering Germany such as visting your partner or family, important family events or intended medical treatment (more details here).
- Plan to transit throgh Germany or fly out of a German airport,
- Enter as a professional in certain fields (see the offical EU-list)
Your claim should be supported by extensive documentation!
While checkpoints on the border may close and controls may be eased, random checks both on the border and in the hinterland are far from rare. This situation will likely continue until June 15th, 2020.
Border to Current Status Outlook Denmark Sporadic Border Controls Poland Travel Restricted by Poland due to reopen on June 15th Czech Republic No More Border Controls Austria No More Border Controls Switzerland Sporadic Border Controls at least until June 15th France Sporadic Border Controls at least until June15th Luxembourg No More Border Controls Belgium Sporadic Border Controls at least until June 15th The Netherlands No More Border Controls
Entering Germany is currently only possible at designated border crossings (see the official list published by the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community).
- For the border to the Czech Republic consult this official list by the Czech Ministry of the Interior. Information regarding Poland can be found on this website of the German Embassy in Poland (scroll down to the first underlined headline; PKW=cars, LKW=trucks, Fußgänger=pedestrians, bicycles).All border crossings between Germany and Austria, Switzerland, and France can be used since May 16th, 2020.
Air and Sea Borders
Entry will be possible for German citizens only. Additionally, Citizens of EU member states and their families, citizens of the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland and their families may transit through Germany on their way home, if no other travel connection is possible. These travellers may also enter to reach their legal residence in Germany.
Restrictions and a de-facto entry-ban are in effect for Non-German nationals arriving from Italy and Spain until June 15th, 2020.
Non-EU citizens holding a permanent residency permit/long term visa in/by the EU may enter he country if returning to their place of permanent residence.
Leisure travel to Germany for EU citizens is still discouraged.
Leisure travel to Germany for non-EU citizens is not permitted. This will remain in effect until June 15th, 2020 at least.
Domestic Travel Situation
Long-distance trains run as usual while some local train and bus services may operate on reduced schedules. Interstate, state and local roads are open.
As Germany is a federal state, rules and regulations will differ from state to state. Each state had it under its own authority to „unfreeze“ after the general lockdown – but also the responsibility to re-introduce strict quarantine meassures, if the rate of COVID-19 cases should start to rise again. A threshold of no more than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period per district/ municipality has been set for this.
Thus, it will become increasingly difficult to give a general overview here. As of early June these Points apply more or less nationwide, however:
- Social Distancing is key: Keep a 1.5-2M distance, avoid meeting people from more than one other household, do not gather in large groups.
- Wear a simple face mask on public transport, in trains, planes, and enclosed public spaces, especially shops, malls, and supermarkets.
- Hotels and other accomodations accept private/leisure reservations now albeit at reduced capacity in a number of states. Spa areas, swimming pools or night clubs are closed. Many hotels are fully booked for the summer.
- Restaurants, cafés, and beer-gardens have re-opened with reduced seating capacity and strict hygiene protocols
- The operation of bars and clubs remains restricted.
- Large events are cancelled including all summer open air festivals as well as the Munich Oktoberfest.
- Museums, zoos, theatres start to re-open.
- Recrational facilities such as golf or tennis courses, bike and boat hire, hiking trails, and beaches are reopening.
- Mountain huts have opened for the summer season but can only take few overnight guests.
- Popular destinations such as the North and Baltic Sea coast or the Bavarian Alps are v e r y crowded at the moment.
The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pommerania is off limits for day tourists until further notice. Travellers have to provide proof of an overnight booking or risk fines of up to 2,000 Euros.Time Frame
Domestic handling of the corona-crisis has moved back from federal to the state level of governance. On the federal level the global travel warning issued by the German Foreign Office has been extended until June 14th, 2020 – by the same token it is very unlikely that travelling to Germany will be possible before mid-June.
Spring in Leipzig has been fantasic and in April and early May bushes almost exploded in colours. The sun was up for weeks so the yellow „carpets“ of rapeseed fields were out early.
The weather then took a cold turn in line with the Eisheiligen, a stable weather phenomenon in early to mid-May bringing winter’s last instalment of snow in the mountains and frosty nights to the lowlands.
After that Saxony enjoyed bright spring weather interspersed with cloudy days that bring much needed precipitation.
The end of May brought bright days. Temperatures slowly rose above 20 degrees (centigrade) in early June only to be taken down again by the next cold weaher phenomeneon called Schafskälte (sheep shiver).
Take care everyone!
This post is meant as a quick reference for non-german speakers. The information given is of a general nature and can not substitute careful research of up to date official resources. While every care was taken, the author assumes no responsibility for topicality, correctness or completeness.
Any feedback, updates or corrections are highly appreciated.