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‘I come from a coronavirus risk area. How can I visit my partner in Germany?’

Unmarried partners are now allowed to reunite in Germany if one lives outside the EU - but under strict rules. Here are the documents you need if you plan to visit your significant other.

'I come from a coronavirus risk area. How can I visit my partner in Germany?'
A couple enjoying a sunset on a bench in Moritzburg, Saxony. Photo: DPA

Following Germany’s coronavirus lockdown in March, unmarried non-EU partners of German residents were no longer able to pay a visit to their significant other.

But in August, Germany bowed down to pressure from an EU-wide #LoveisnotTourism campaign. 

Unmarried partners may now enter Germany for short-term visits to see their sweethearts – as long as they show documented proof of the relationship.

READ ALSO: 'Love is not tourism': How Germany wants to bring lovers separated by pandemic together

Who is affected?

Any non-EU national or travellers from a coronavirus risk area such as the US, India or South Africa who wishes to visit their partner in Germany.

In some cases, couples may jointly visit Germany together if one partner has German or EU citizenship and the other partner does not. 

Here are the documents you will need:

The visiting partner will need to produce a few documents when entering Germany to visit their significant other – although only when arriving at the airport and not in advance.

READ ALSO: Here are the countries and regions on Germany's high risk coronavirus list

  • The visiting partner, along with their partner in Germany, will have to sign a form on the “Declaration of the existence of the relationship
  • An invitation from the person who holds residency in Germany, as well as copies of their identity documents, such as passports or ID cards.
  • Other items demonstrating “proof” from the relationship, such as passport stamps from a prior visit to Germany, or proof of a current or former shared residence in another country. You can also submit other evidence of the relationship, such as email exchanges or social media posts. 

Can a couple enter Germany together if one partner is from Germany/the EU and the other is from a coronavirus risk zone?

Two pieces of criteria have to be fulfilled in order for both partners to visit Germany at the same time.

  • The relationship is long-term and between a a third-country national and a German, an EU citizen or national of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland or the United Kingdom.
  • The couple has an “important reason” for a short term visit to Germany. This can include a wedding, birth, funeral, or an exceptional case such as an ill relative who needs urgent help.

To prove the relationship, both partners will need to fill out the “declaration of the existence of the relationship” form. They will also need to show that they share a residence abroad, and can also submit supporting documents such as email exchanges. 

But even these documents don’t guarantee entry into Germany, as “the decision on whether to permit entry is at the discretion of the officers conducting border checks,” wrote Germany’s Ministry of the Interior.

Quarantine rules still apply

Those arriving to Germany from a risk area will still need to comply with a 14-day quarantine requirement, or show a negative coronavirus test, which they can also receive at the airport.

However, while waiting for the results, it is still necessary to go into quarantine.

Each of Germany’s 16 states will have their own rules, so the arriving partner or couple should check which local rules apply.

 

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COVID-19

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. 

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