What are Germany’s new quarantine rules after travel?

If you are returning or travelling to Germany, you should keep in mind new rules coming into force.

What are Germany's new quarantine rules after travel?
People in Düsseldorf airport in June. Photo: DPA

What are current quarantine rules?

In Germany, individual states are responsible for quarantine regulations. Although the rules are largely the same, there can be some small differences between states.

At the moment, upon entry to Germany from a risk area, whatever the mode of transport, the general rules are:

  • You must go directly to your destination following entry into Germany (this can be done after a test – see below)
  • You have to self-isolate at home until a negative test result is available
  • Provide proof of the negative test result to the authorities (the health office or Gesundheitsamt).
  • Notify the health office by email or phone in your place of residence/accommodation.

You do not have to self-isolate at home if you are travelling through Germany. However, that means you do of course have to leave the country immediately (to get to your destination).

A stay in a risk area means that you stayed in the area concerned at any point within the 14 days prior to entry to Germany.

If you can prove that you are not infected with Covid‑19, no quarantine is necessary in most states, However, some states require you to take another test after a few days.

This proof must take the form of a medical certificate. The test must have been carried out more than 48 hours prior to entry, and carried out in an EU member state or a state with comparable quality standards.


Test on arrival

The Covid-19 test can also be taken on arrival into Germany.

So you can do it at the airport, for example, or in the area you are staying.

The test is free for travellers from risk areas up to 72 hours after entry

What's new then?

The states now have to issue new quarantine regulations which must be in force by November 8th. Some states have already introduced this regulation. Initially it was to be a nationwide rule in October but the date was pushed back.

So from November 8th these are the new general rules:

  • A stay in a 'risk zone 'means you stayed in the area concerned at any point within 10 days prior to entry to Germany
  • After arriving at your destination in Germany, you must self-isolate at home for 10 days (this is mandatory)
  • If no other grounds for exception apply (such as if you are an essential worker) you may only be released from the obligation to quarantine at home – no earlier than five days after entering Germany– if you provide proof of a negative test result. So a test can be taken five days into the quarantine at the earliest.

The regulations will be implemented by the states so you should check with the area you're going to before travelling.

READ ALSO: What you need to know about changes to travel and quarantine rules in Germany

When is an area in classed as a ‘high-risk zone' by Germany?

Countries or regions are declared risk regions when there have been more than 50 new cases per 100,000 citizens in the past seven days.

The decision is made by the Federal Foreign Office, the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry and the RKI.

Other factors are taken into account such as which measures are being taken to halt the spread of Covid-19, if it's a local or widespread outbreak plus testing strategies and rules in place such as hygiene or contact tracing.

A list of the regions considered risk areas can be found on the RKI website, which is updated regularly.

Helpful websites for each state:

Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice. If you found this helpful or you have any questions we can try and answer, email us: [email protected]

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Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

The UK is set to scrap all Covid-19 travel restrictions in what the government described as a "landmark moment".

Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Testing is no longer required for vaccinated travellers, but the UK government has announced that it will scrap all Covid-19 travel rules on Friday, March 18th.

“As one of the first major economies to remove all its remaining Covid-19 travel restrictions, this is a landmark moment for passengers and the travel and aviation sector,” said the Government in a press release. 

From 4am on March 18th:

  • Passengers going to the UK will no longer be required to fill out a Passenger Locator Form before travel;
  • Passengers who are not vaccinated will not be required to take a pre-departure Covid test, or a Day 2 test following arrival. Fully vaccinated travellers are already exempt from having to do this;
  • Hotel quarantine for travellers coming from ‘red list’ countries, of which there are currently none, will also be scrapped by the end of the month. 

“We will continue monitoring and tracking potential new variants, and keep a reserve of measures which can be rapidly deployed if needed to keep us safe,” said UK Health Minister Sajid Javid. 

The UK has lifted all Covid-related rules including mask rules and mandatory self-isolation if you test positive for Covid.

Some European countries still have Covid restrictions in place for unvaccinated people coming from the UK. 

Until March 18th

Until the new rules come into effect, all travellers are required to fill out a passenger locator form. 

Unvaccinated travellers are also required to take pre-departure test and a test on or before Day 2 following their arrival. 

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided with an EU Covid Certificate.

For the UK “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

However people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in some European countries – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.