State by state: What are Germany’s current domestic quarantine rules and hotel bans?

With coronavirus infections in Germany reaching over 4,000 a day as of Tuesday, several states have called for bans on overnight stays in hotels for tourists from domestic risk areas. Here are the current rules state by state.

State by state: What are Germany's current domestic quarantine rules and hotel bans?
A hotel in Cologne in July. Photo: DPA

A risk area, which now includes Berlin, Munich and over 30 cities and districts in Germany, is defined by over 50 infections per 100,000 residents in the past seven days.

We take a look at the travel rules which each of Germany's 16 states have imposed for travellers coming from these areas.

READ ALSO: 'No evidence that hotels are hotspots': Should Germany lift its accommodation ban?

Baden-Württemberg: The southwestern state does not have any ban on entry or quarantine requirement for travellers coming from a risk area within Germany. If they would like to stay at a hotel or pension, however, they have to present a coronavirus test which is no more than 48 hours old, as determined by the stamp on the certificate they receive.

Bavaria: Germany’s largest state also does not ban travellers coming from inner-Germany risk areas. The Bavarian Health Ministry, however, regularly publishes a list of high-risk German cities and districts in which citizens are not allowed to stay at hotels and pensions. An exception is made if the traveller can present a coronavirus test that’s older than 48 hours.

Berlin: The German capital does not have any sort of ban on entry for travellers coming from within Germany. 

Brandenburg: Berlin’s neighbouring state does not have any sort of entry ban or quarantine requirement. However, anyone who wants to stay overnight at a hotel or pension is required to present a coronavirus test that’s at least 48 hours old. There is an exception made for those travelling for urgent work or medical purposes. 

READ ALSO: Around Germany: What you need to know about current Covid-19 travel restrictions

Bremen: As with Berlin, there is no ban or quarantine requirement for travellers visiting the harbour city from elsewhere in Germany. 

Hamburg: The Harbour City does not have any sort of entry ban. However travellers must give a written confirmation that they have not stayed in a risk area in the last 14 days. If so, they need to present a coronavirus test that’s less than 48 hours old. 

Hesse: There is no ban on entry, but there is a ban on accommodation for travellers from risk areas. Anyone who can prove with a medical certificate that there is no evidence of corona infection may stay overnight.

A sign directs visitors in Villingen-Schwenningen, Baden-Württemberg to several hotels. Photo: DPA

Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania: In addition to a current negative coronavirus test, the northeastern state requires a 14-day quarantine immediately after entry. The test must not be taken 48 hours before entry. 

North Rhine-Westphalia: Germany's most populous state has not placed any restrictions on travellers coming from risk areas within Germany. 

Lower Saxony: Travel from within Germany is not limited and there’s no quarantine requirement for those coming from inner-German risk areas. However travellers coming from such areas are banned from overnight stays, unless they show a negative coronavirus test from the last 24 hours. 

Saxony: Entry is permitted for everyone, with those who come from a risk area abroad required to go into a 14-day quarantine. 

Saxony-Anhalt: Day trips are permitted to the eastern state, but those coming from a risk area in Germany are not allowed to stay at hotels for tourism purposes. 

Saarland: The state has imposed an accommodation ban on travellers coming from risk areas, whether or not they are in Germany, since the end of June. 

Rhineland-Palatinate: The state is not imposing a hotel ban. However, those coming from a risk area within or outside of Germany are required to go into domestic quarantine. 

Thuringia: The eastern state does not impose any sort of travel restrictions on accommodation.

Schleswig-Holstein: Germany’s most northern state also isn’t imposing any restrictions on inner-Germany travellers. 

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Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany’s spending in pandemic

The German Constitutional Court rejected challenges Tuesday to Berlin's participation in the European Union's coronavirus recovery fund, but expressed some reservations about the massive package.

Court turns down AfD-led challenge to Germany's spending in pandemic

Germany last year ratified the €750-billion ($790-billion) fund, which offers loans and grants to EU countries hit hardest by the pandemic.

The court in Karlsruhe ruled on two challenges, one submitted by a former founder of the far-right AfD party, and the other by a businessman.

They argued the fund could ultimately lead to Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, having to take on the debts of other EU member states on a permanent basis.

But the Constitutional Court judges ruled the EU measure does not violate Germany’s Basic Law, which forbids the government from sharing other countries’ debts.

READ ALSO: Germany plans return to debt-limit rules in 2023

The judgement noted the government had stressed that the plan was “intended to be a one-time instrument in reaction to an unprecedented crisis”.

It also noted that the German parliament retains “sufficient influence in the decision-making process as to how the funds provided will be used”.

The judges, who ruled six to one against the challenges, did however express some reservations.

They questioned whether paying out such a large amount over the planned period – until 2026 – could really be considered “an exceptional measure” to fight the pandemic.

At least 37 percent of the funds are aimed at achieving climate targets, the judges said, noting it was hard to see a link between combating global warming and the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Germany to fast-track disputed €200 billion energy fund

They also warned against any permanent mechanism that could lead to EU members taking on joint liability over the long term.

Berenberg Bank economist Holger Schmieding said the ruling had “raised serious doubts whether the joint issuance to finance the fund is in line with” EU treaties.

“The German court — once again — emphasised German limits for EU fiscal integration,” he said.

The court had already thrown out a legal challenge, in April 2021, that had initially stopped Berlin from ratifying the financial package.

Along with French President Emmanuel Macron, then chancellor Angela Merkel sketched out the fund in 2020, which eventually was agreed by the EU’s 27 members in December.

The first funds were disbursed in summer 2021, with the most given to Italy and Spain, both hit hard by the pandemic.