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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

18.06.2021 - Article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place for entry into Germany from many countries. Persons entering Germany from risk areas or by air must complete a digital entry registration, undergo mandatory testing or provide 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 is currently only possible in exceptional cases and is conditional on there being an urgent need. From 25 June 2021, fully vaccinated persons from such countries will, subject to certain conditions, also be able to enter Germany again for other purposes such as visits and as tourists. 

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 risk area, high incidence 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 risk area without a stopover,
  • are only passing through Germany and leaving the country via the fastest route available, or
  • 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.

Additionally, persons entering Germany following a stay in a risk area or high incidence 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.

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

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 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 six 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. This proof must be held prior to entering the country, and must be presented to the airline before departure where applicable.
  • Following a stay in a high incidence area in the last 10 days: 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 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.
  • For arrivals by air without prior stays in high incidence areas or areas of variant of concern: 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.
  • Following a stay in a risk area (not an area of variant of concern or a high incidence area) and entry by land or sea (e.g. by car or ship): a negative COVID-19 test result or proof of vaccination or recovery from an infection. This proof must be presented no later than 48 hours after entry.
    The same exemptions apply as for digital entry registration; i.e., in particular for persons who merely passed through a risk area without a stopover, are only passing through Germany and leaving the country via the fastest route available, or in the case of border traffic for 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.

Information on the requirements for acceptable proof can be found below.

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

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 risk area or high incidence 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 12 May 2021.

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

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

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

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

Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine:

Exemptions from the requirement to quarantine apply in particular to persons – except those travelling from areas of variant of concern – who:

  • have merely passed through a risk area or high incidence 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: 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.

For arrivals from areas of variant of concern no exceptions are possible.
Further information is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Reduction of the quarantine period for persons who have been vaccinated, recovered from an infection, or have tested negative

The requirement to quarantine applies to arrivals from risk areas and high incidence 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).

For arrivals from high incidence areas, 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 incidence area, mandatory quarantine ends immediately after submitting proof of vaccination or proof of recovery.

For arrivals from areas of variant of concern, a reduction of the quarantine period is not possible. In such cases, the quarantine period is always 14 days.

Further information on acceptable proof can be found on this page in the section “Requirements for tests and proof of vaccination or recovery”.

Tranist through Germany

Airport transit (non-Schengen travels)

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 (Einreiseverordnung). 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 on requirements for mandatory testing or providing proof of vaccination as well as travel bans from countries affected by coronavirus variants​​​​​​​ must be observed.

Transit within, from or to Schengen

On travels from, to or within Schengen passing through Germany and when leaving Germany via the fastest route available the following applies:

This applies to travels within Schengen– for example from Poland (Schengen) through Germany to France (Schengen) – and for travels from outside Schengen to a Schengen country or the other way – for example from Moscow (not Schengen) via Frankfurt to Spain (Schengen) or the other way.

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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