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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

04.08.2020 - Article
Coronavirus
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Travel restrictions due to the corona pandemic

On 30 June 2020, the Council of the EU made a recommendation to further extend the temporary travel restrictions, in place since 16 March 2020, except for travelers from a limited number of countries (“positive list”). Germany has adopted this recommendation.

As a result, the restrictions remain in force for the USA, among others, until further notice. The “positive list”, however, will be reviewed and updated regularly. Depending on the developments of the epidemiological situation, changes in the list may occur.

Despite the continuing entry restrictions, existing exceptions for entering Germany will be significantly expanded.

IMPORTANT: Holders of a valid German passport may enter the Federal Republic of Germany at any time - even if entry restrictions continue to apply.

Exemptions from travel restrictions:

  1. EU citizens and citizens of Schengen Associated States (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), Great Britain, and their respective family members*, regardless of whether they return to their place of residence or not. However, entry for family members for visiting purposes or for tourist reasons is still not possible, only on grounds of family reunion or for imperative family reasons, such as travel to funerals, weddings, visits by under-age children to their parents and similar cases.
  2. Third-country nationals with a long-term right of residence in an EU State and/or in the aforementioned State (residence permit or long-term visa, e.g. for studies or starting a job) as well as their respective family members*, irrespective of whether they return to their place of residence or not. However, entry for family members for visiting purposes or for tourist reasons is still not possible, only on grounds of family reunion or for imperative family reasons, such as travel to funerals, weddings, visits by under-age children to their parents and similar cases.
  3. Third-country nationals with so-called “essential functions or needs”, which include  (among others):
  • health care professionals, health researchers, and elderly care professionals
  • frontier workers, transport personnel engaged in haulage of goods and other transport staff to the extent necessar
  • diplomats, staff of international organizations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions
  • passengers in transit
  • seafarers
  • passengers travelling for imperative family reasons
  • persons in need of international protection or for other humanitarian reasons respecting the principle of ‘non-refoulement’
  • students, under the condition that the studies cannot be carried out from abroad (please see our visa website for further information)
  • skilled workers (please see our visa website for further information)

* Family members within the meaning of the exception include spouses and minor children.

Please note that at border control, appropriate proof of the existence of one of the above exceptions must be presented.

U.S. citizens may still enter Germany without a visa, if they can show proof of one of the afore-mentioned exceptions to the airline and border authorities. Entry for the sole purpose of a visit or for tourist reasons is therefore still not possible.

Quarantine regulations for entry to Germany

In principle, travellers entering Germany from the United States must spend 14 days in home quarantine immediately upon Arrival. Upon entry into Germany following a stay in a risk area within the last 14 days

  • you must, under these agreements, proceed directly to your destination following entry into Germany,
  • self-isolate at home and
  • email or phone your competent authority, as a rule the health office in your place of residence/accommodation.

A stay in a risk area at any point within the 14 days prior to entry is regarded as a stay in a risk area. What counts is whether the area was classified as a risk area at the time of entry (i.e. not necessarily at the time of the stay).

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 the SARS CoV-2 virus, these quarantine regulations do not apply.

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 (i.e. the swab must have been taken 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 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.

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