Germany requires negative Covid test for travellers from the Netherlands after Easter

From Tuesday, travellers from the Netherlands will need to show a negative Covid test and quarantine on arrival in Germany, after Berlin declared the Netherlands an area of "particularly high risk'.

Germany requires negative Covid test for travellers from the Netherlands after Easter
Ramon van Flymen / ANP / AFP

The whole of the Netherlands, including its constituent countries and the overseas territories of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, is now deemed “at particularly high risk of infection due to a particularly high number of cases,” Germany’s public health body the Robert Koch Institute said.

This becomes effective from Tuesday, meaning that anyone who wants to enter Germany from the Netherlands after that time will need to show a negative Covid test that has been carried out 48 hours before entry at the earliest.

For commuters, a negative test is valid for 72 hours. 

Anyone entering Germany from the Netherlands will also need to register on this website before they arrive. Those who are travelling through the country or who are staying for less than 24 hours don’t need to do this.

Those arriving from the Netherlands will also need to comply with Germany’s quarantine requirements: this includes a compulsory ten-day quarantine with the option to take a Covid test after five days and end the quarantine period early if this test is negative.  

The Netherlands is the fourth country to border Germany – after Czech Republic, Poland and France – that Germany has qualified as an area of particularly high risk.

READ ALSO: UPDATE: Germany requires negative Covid test for travellers from France

According to the RKI, a country is designated as particularly high risk when it has more than 200 new infections per 100,000 residents within the last seven-day period.

The seven-day incidence rate in the Netherlands stands at just under 300 new infections per 100,000 residents, according to Statista.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the Netherlands registered 8,139 new infections on Saturday, 492 more than the previous day. 

The Netherlands recently extended its lockdown and evening curfew until April 20th.

The country has been in lockdown since mid-December, while the curfew was put in place at the end of January.

Despite these restrictions, case numbers are continuing to increase as can be seen in the below chart from Our World in Data, which compares daily new case numbers in Germany and the Netherlands per million people.

Germany’s existing travel and safety advisories can be seen here.

The RKI did not make any other changes to the countries it classifies as areas of risk, high-incidence or virus variant of concern.


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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.