These are the countries banning or restricting travel from Germany

The quick spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19) has led some countries to take strict measures at the borders. Here's what you need to know.

These are the countries banning or restricting travel from Germany
A plane flies over Frankfurt's airport. Photo: DPA

As Germany grapples with over 5,500 coronavirus cases, more countries are increasing their entry controls – including body temperature checks, quarantine measures for suspected cases and individual entry bans.

As of Sunday, March 15th, Germany is also closing its borders with five countries: Switzerland, Austria, France, Luxemburg and Denmark staring on Monday.

The following is a list of countries which have already imposed travel bans or restrictions on travellers from Germany.

Italy: A strict restriction on free movement has been in place in the region of Lombardy and other northern Italian provinces since Sunday, initially until April 3rd. 

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: Should you cancel your trip to (or from) Germany?

From Tuesday, around 60 million Italian citizens throughout the whole country must stay at home as far as possible and internal trips are permitted only in a limited number of cases. 

However, Germans are still able to travel in and out of the country and in Rome, for example, German passengers are given “exit cards” to fill out with their address, phone number and flight number so that they can be easily tracked down in the case of an emergency – for example if another passenger tests positive for coronavirus. 

United States: Starting on Friday, March 13th, foreign nationals from the Schengen Area will not be allowed to travel to Germany for 30 days. Permanent residents of the US are not affected by the ban as are certain family members such as their children.

READ ALSO: Coronavirus: What you need to know about Trump's US travel ban?

Israel: From Thursday evening (March 12th), tourists are no longer allowed to enter the country, unless they can prove that they can stay in quarantine conditions for 14 days. This measure will initially be in place for two weeks. The procedure, which already applies to Germans and some other foreigners, now affects all travellers.

Australia and New Zealand: Both has ordered all new arrivals, including citizens and permanent residents, to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry starting on midnight, March 15th.

READ ALSO: Israel latest destination hit by coronavirus flight cancellations

Turkey: On March 14th, Turkey said it was banning travellers from nine European countries, including Germany, France and Spain. Travellers from other countries who had been in one of these places in the last 14 days, would also not be allowed in through the ban, which is currently in place until April 17th.

Czech Republic: The Czech government said Thursday, March 12th, that it had declared a 30-day state of emergency, closing the borders for people from 15 “risk countries”, including neighbouring Germany, to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

READ ALSO: Czech Republic bans travellers from 15 countries including France and Germany

China: For travellers from Germany there are no general quarantine requirements so far. However, the country’s Federal Foreign Office advises that such measures should be expected for those entering China. 

Decisions on isolation measures are taken by different authorities at different levels and can also vary within a city. In the special administrative zone of Macao, for example, travellers who have been in Germany for the past 14 days must be under medical observation for two weeks. 

Denmark: The Danish border will close at midday on Saturday March 14th and remain closed until April 13th, the government said. All passenger traffic to and from Denmark will be stopped, and people will be turned away at the border if they don't have a legitimate reason to be there, ie. if they are not citizens or residents.

READ ALSO: Denmark to close borders to stem coronavirus spread 

Germany airline Lufthansa has already temporarily stopped flights to some countries, including China and Israel. Photo: DPA 

India: India has declared all tourist visas invalid for one month due to the coronavirus. Only travellers who are already in the country are allowed to stay, the Indian Ministry of Health said late Wednesday evening. For the time being, the entry ban is to last from March 13th until April 15th.
The day before, India had already imposed an even stricter entry ban on German citizens and declared all visas invalid. The ban also affects business travellers and Germans residents in India who are currently not in the country. Only visas of Germans who have already entered India remain valid.
Poland: Starting on Sunday, March 15th, the country said it would ban foreigners from entering and require its returning citizens to undergo a 14-day quarantine. 
Cyprus: Anyone travelling from Germany to Cyprus should expect to spend 14 days in quarantine because of the coronavirus. The measures also apply to travellers from Greece, France, Japan, Spain, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom and some regions of China.
A 14-day quarantine under medical supervision has even been ordered for travellers from Italy, South Korea and Iran. So far, three people on the tourist island have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
Russia: Anyone travelling from Germany to Moscow must self-quarantine for two weeks. After arriving in the Russian capital, travellers must contact a special hotline. The measures thus far only apply to Moscow.

Bhutan: The kingdom in the eastern Himalayas has initially banned all foreign tourists from entering the country, after an American tourist tested positive for Covid-19. He was the first confirmed case in Bhutan. 

Nepal: As of Tuesday, the Asian country will no longer be issuing visas for Germans arriving in the country. German travellers must apply beforehand via the Nepalese embassy and submit a negative Covid-19 test along with the application.

Kazakhstan: From Thursday, March 12th, onwards, foreigners from Germany, Spain and France are prohibited from entering the ex-Soviet Republic in Central Asia. Kazakh citizens entering the country from these countries will have to undergo a two-week quarantine.
Maldives: Entry or exit to two resort islands and one island inhabited by locals is temporarily forbidden, due to some suspected cases.

El Salvador: All travellers who have been in Germany 30 days prior to arrival will not be allowed into the Central American country.

Uganda: Travellers from Germany to the East African Country must quarantine themselves for two weeks on arrival. Those who don’t comply, are forcibly taken to an institutional quarantine.

Jordan: Starting on March 16th, travellers from Germany, France and Spain will no longer be allowed to travel to the Middle Eastern country – and Jordanians will not be allowed to visit these countries for the time being.

Liberia: A 14-day quarantine in a state observation centre in the West African country is compulsory for those arriving from Germany.

Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Samoa: The Pacific island states have imposed an entry ban on travellers from Germany.

Translated by Sarah Magill

Member comments

  1. This was a typo-United States: Starting on Friday, March 13th, foreign nationals from the Schengen Area will not be allowed to travel to Germany for 30 days. Permanent residents of the US are not affected by the ban as are certain family members such as their children. It should read “ travel to the US for 30 days”

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Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

High profile German virologist Christian Drosten believes Germany will see a severe spike in Covid infections after summer, and that the pandemic will not become endemic this year.

Pandemic in Germany unlikely to end this year, says top virologist

Drosten previously said that Germany would probably be able to declare the end of the pandemic this year.

But in an interview with Spiegel, Drosten said he had reevaluated his opinion. 

“When the Alpha variant came, it was very surprising for me. When Delta appeared I was sceptical at first, then with Omicron we had to reorient ourselves again. And since January there have already been new Omicron subtypes.

“So I would actually like to correct myself: I no longer believe that by the end of the year we will have the impression that the pandemic is over.”

READ ALSO: End is in sight for pandemic in Germany, says virologist 

Drosten also said that Germany will not see a largely Covid-free summer, which has been the case in previous years, and a further increase in infections in autumn. 

“We are actually already seeing an exponential increase in case numbers again,” Drosten said.

“The BA.5 variant (of Omicron) is simply very transmissible, and people are losing their transmission protection from the last vaccination at the same time.”

In other countries, he said, when the number of cases become high, hospitalisation and death rates also rise again. “Unfortunately, that will also be the case here,” said Drosten, but added: “Overall, however, far fewer people will become seriously ill and die than in 2021.”

Drosten said he expected many more infections from September.

“I hope that the school holidays will dampen the increase in cases somewhat. But from September, I fear we will have very high case numbers,” the head of the virology department at Berlin’s Charité hospital told Spiegel.

READ ALSO: German Health Minister lays out autumn Covid plan

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021.

Virologist Christian Drosten at a Covid press conference in 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Kay Nietfeld

If the government does not take any action, he predicted there would be a lot of sick leave across all industries. “That will become a real problem,” he said.

Drosten said he did not expect overcrowded intensive care units in Germany.

But the new BA.5 sub-variant, which is becoming dominant in Germany, may affect people more strongly. 

“The wheel is turning more towards disease again,” said Drosten. It is not true that a virus automatically becomes more and more harmless in the course of evolution. “That makes me even more worried about the autumn,” he said.

Drosten recommends wearing masks indoors during the colder months, saying it is “the least painful” measure.

If, in addition, “up to 40 million people could be immunised or given a booster vaccination” before winter, for example by urgently calling for company vaccinations, that would “really make a difference”, Drosten said.

In the long term, he said it’s inevitable that people will become infected with coronavirus.

He said the population immunity due to vaccinations and infections will at some point be so strong that the virus will become less important. “Then we will be in an endemic state,” said Drosten. In the worst case, however, this could take “several more winters”.

However, Drosten warned against people trying to deliberately infect themselves with Covid, saying getting the infection in summer doesn’t mean people will be protected in winter. 

Drosten himself said he has not yet contracted Covid-19.

“So far, I guess I’ve just been lucky,” he said. “I rarely put myself in risky situations, but I’m not overly cautious either.”

‘Pandemic depends on behaviour’

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)’s latest weekly report, more outbreaks are occurring in care homes, and the number of patients in intensive care units is slightly rising as infections go up. 

The institute said there had been a 23 percent increase in the 7-day incidence compared to the previous week. On Friday the 7-day incidence stood at 618.2 infections per 100,000 people. There were 108,190 infections within the latest 24 hour period and 90 deaths. 

“The further course of the pandemic depends not only on the occurrence of new virus variants and the uptake of vaccinations on offer, it also depends to a large extent on the behaviour of the population,” said the RKI.

According to the DIVI intensive care register, the number of Covid-19 patients in ICUs had increased to 810 on Thursday this week, from about 600 at the beginning of the month.

However, that number is still low compared to previous Covid peaks when thousands of people were in intensive care in Germany.