THIS POST IS NO LONGER UP TO DATE:
COVID has taken a firm hold again all over europe and Germany is badly affected. For the time being #stayathome and wait for vaccinations is the best we can do. I will post again, once the situation improves.
STAY SAFE AND HEALTY EVERYONE!
Yes, if you come from an EU or Schengen-Country. No, but – if you hail from the rest of the world. But let’s take a closer look which I hope you will find useful.
Please keep in mind that the worldwide COVID-19 situation is volatile and travel restrictions may change at short notice, so please do check the official resources linked frequently.
Since June 15th, 2020 travellers from EU-Countries as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK can enter Germany again.
However, as case numbers in several EU-counrtries are on the rise again, the exeptions apply and the following countries/Areas have been declared Risk Areas:
- Belgium: Antwerp Region
- Bulgaria: Blagievgrad, Dobrich Regions
- Croatia: Sibenik-Knin, Split-Dalmatia, Zadar
- France: Ile de France, Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur Regions; French-Guayana, Guadeloupe, St. Martin Overseas Territories
- Netherlands: Aruba, St. Maarten
- Romania: 14 counties (list)
- Spain: whole country, inclusing the Balearic and Canary Islands
- UK: Gibraltar Overseas Territory
If you enter/return from one of these areas, expect a mandatory quarantine as well as testing.
Travel from outside the EU is limited to countries that meet certain criteria agreed by the European Council such as an average of COVID-19 cases similar to the EU average and stable or sinking case numbers over the past 14 days.
Travellers from the following countries will be allowed to enter Germany from August 8th, 2020
- New Zealand
- South Korea
China could be added to the list soon, provided its gouvernment will allow EU citizens entry in return.
A current list is available here.
Quarantine Upon Entry
June 15th, 2020 has also marked a turning point regarding quarantine, which is no longer mandatory if you are travelling from EU-States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK in most federal states. The final decision is with each state government, however, so please check out individual regulations. Germany Travel has a helpful list with links to all 16 state governments‘ websites.
The COVID-19 situation in each country is also plays an important role in reaching quarantine decisions. The Robert Koch-Institut, the federal authority for disease prevention, continuously updates a map of affected countries on its website.
An official list of all International Risk Areas issued by the RKI current of July 17th can be found here.
All German land borders are open. Currently there are no checkpoints and all border crossings can be used.
Air and Sea Borders
Open internal EU-borders were reinstated on July 15th, 2020.
As mentioned above, entry from outside the EU continues to be restricted for man countries. German nationals will be allowed to return from thoese countries as well as travellers holding a German permanent residency permit or long term visa. All other travel is restricted to a narrow band of exceptions such as
- Professional Reasons
Health care workers, Transportation workers, seamen, active diplomatic or military personel
- Family-Related Reasons
Travelling with a German spouse, or as a custodian of a German child; moving back to your German spouse
- Medical Reasons
Urgent medical treatment
- Education-related Reasons
Continuing your vocational or academic Training, also commencing a training in healthcare
- Professional Reasons
According to the Federal Border Police the following reasons are not acceptable:
- Visiting friends and relatives
- Au-pair stays
- School exchanges or trips
- Entry with intent to marry
- Touristic or shopping trips
Your claim to have a legitimate reason to enter should be supported by plenty of documentation. The final decision is taken at the border by Border Police officers.
Long-distance and regional trains and buses run as usual. All interstate, state and local roads are open.
As of September 2020 these points still apply more or less nationwide:
- Social Distancing is key: Keep a 1.5-2M distance, 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 accommodations accept private/leisure reservations. 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 calles off until December including the Munich Oktoberfest and the popular alpine cattle drives.
- Museums, zoos, cinemas, theatres are open.
- Recreational facilities such as golf or tennis courses, bike and boat hire, hiking trails, and beaches are open.
- Mountain huts open for the fall hiking season, but most can only take few overnight guests due to space restrictions.
- The opening parties of the Carnival Season on November 11th are likely to be cancelled.
- As things stand, Christmas Markets are unlikely to be hosted as usual; Cologne has already cancelled large parts of ist market.
+++Summer School Holidays in all states have ended+++Expect lesser crowds, unless on weekends with fair weather+++The state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania allowes back day tourists since August 25th, 2020+++ [updated September 6th, 2020]
Information in English is available from the Federal Foreign Office and the Ministry of the Interior.
Daily updated Reports on the COVID-19 Situation can be found on the English eebsite of the Robert Koch-Institut.
Domestic COVID-19 Situation in Germany
As Germany is a federal state, rules and regulations will differ from state to state. Each state has the responsibility to re-introduce measures if the rate of COVID-19 cases start to rise again, which they currently do.
A threshold of no more than 50 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants over a seven-day period per county/municipality has been set. If the numbers exceeds 50 local measures will be implemented. Currently this is the case in the city of Landshut,
An early warning alert is issued, once a city or county exceeds there are 35 new cases. Such numbers are beening reported in the Bavarian counties of Landshut, Munich Surroundings, Unterallgäu, Weiden i. d. Opf. and in Heilbronn, Baden-Wuerttemberg
This post is meant as a quick reference for non-German speakers. The information given is of a general nature and cannot 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.
Save travels everyone!