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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

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Since the start of Germany’s Oktoberfest, the incidence of Covid infections in Munich has risen sharply. Though a connection with the festival can’t yet be proven, it seems likely.

Munich sees sharp rise in Covid cases after Oktoberfest

Two weeks after the start of Oktoberfest, the Covid numbers in Munich have more than tripled.

On Sunday, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) reported an incidence of 768.7 for the city of Munich, though updated figures for the end of the festival are not expected until later in the week. Usually, on weekends and public holidays, there is a delay in reports.

In the entire state of Bavaria, the incidence value on Sunday was 692.5.

According to Munich’s public health officer, Beatrix Zurek, bed occupancy in Munich hospitals has also increased. Two weeks ago, 200 beds in Munich were occupied by Covid patients, whereas there are now around 350.

Though a relationship between the sharp rise in infections with Oktoberfest, which ended on Monday, can’t be proven at the moment, it seems very likely, according to experts. A significant increase in Covid incidences has also been shown at other public festivals – about one and a half weeks after the start. 

READ ALSO: Germany’s famed Oktoberfest opens after two-year pandemic hiatus

After a two-year break due to the pandemic, around 5.7 million visitors came to this year’s Wiesn according to the festival management – around 600,000 fewer than at the last Oktoberfest before the pandemic in 2019, when there were 6.3 million.

Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach (SPD) took to Twitter to comment on the rise in incidence in Munich during the Oktoberfest. “This would not have been necessary if self-tests had been taken before admission,” he said.

“Compared to the price of a measure of beer, €2-3 (for tests) wouldn’t have mattered,” he said.

Even before the start of the Wiesn, he had spoken out in favour of people taking voluntary self-tests. Lauterbach stressed that now is the time for special measures against Covid.

“The development shows what will happen if the states wait too long with the mask obligation in indoor areas,” he added.

READ ALSO: KEY POINTS: Germany’s new Covid-19 rules from October

In neighbouring counties, where many Oktoberfest visitors came from, the number of Covid cases has also risen noticeably.  Beatrix Zurek said that it is unclear, however, how much of a role Oktoberfest played in these figures, as people are currently much more active socially overall, with concerts and other events also taking place throughout the state.

Christoph Spinner, an infections specialist at Munich’s Klinikum, has urged people not to be alarmed by the rising numbers.

“We had expected rising incidences here. We knew that there could be a doubling, tripling, even quadrupling,” he said.

He said that this is no cause for concern, as many people have been vaccinated or have also recovered from previous Covid infections, so any new infections are therefore usually mild.

The virologist advises people over 60 or with pre-existing conditions to get a second booster vaccination, but otherwise said people shouldn’t be alarmed by the rising incidences.

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