Germany to 'scrap free coronavirus tests after travel'
In future if you travel into Germany from a risk area outside the country, you'll have to pay for the Covid-19 test, reported news agency DPA on Tuesday.
At the moment when people come from a high risk area abroad they have the option of being tested for coronavirus free of charge at the earliest five days into the required 10-day mandatory quarantine.
However, this offer will expire soon: from December 16th onward tests will no longer be free of charge for those arriving in Germany from risk zones, DPA learned from Health Ministry circles.
Additionally, people who make an "avoidable trip" to risk areas will no longer receive compensation for loss of earnings during the quarantine period.
However, in "extraordinary circumstances", such as the birth of your child or the death of close relatives, this rule will not apply.
The Robert Koch Institute publishes a list of countries considered risk areas.
What should I know before entering Germany?
On November 8th, Germany officially introduced new quarantine and testing rules for people coming from risk areas.
The rules were decided on by the federal government but each state implements them – that's why there may be regional variations across the 16 states.
If you have stayed within a non-German risk zone within the last 10 days prior to entering Germany (check the updated list of risk areas here), you have to register online prior to entry by filling in information on this site: www.einreiseanmeldung.de.
Once you have provided all the necessary information, you will receive a PDF file as confirmation. Your carrier will check whether you can present a confirmation before you can travel.
If it is not possible to make a digital entry, you will have to fill in a replacement declaration on paper instead.
What about quarantine and testing?
Previously, you had to quarantine for 14 days when arriving in Germany from a risk area. However you were able to get a test on arrival, and you'd be released from the quarantine if the test came back negative. If it was positive, you'd continue the quarantine on the orders of health officials.
Now you have to complete a mandatory 10-day quarantine. That can be ended by a coronavirus test no earlier than five days after entering Germany.
You must also report your arrival to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt).
You can find out where you can take a test near your home in Germany by calling 116 117 or online at www.116117.de. If you would like to be tested by your family doctor, you should call and ask if they are doing the tests beforehand.
It is important to note that you must remain in quarantine until the test result is available. If the test is positive you should continue the quarantine and follow the orders of health officials.
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.