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TRAVEL NEWS

What you need to know if you’re travelling from Germany to the UK

The UK government's travel rules for arrivals from the EU were relaxed on October 4th - but be aware that there are still restrictions and testing requirements in place.

Travellers at Hanover airport on October 2nd.
Travellers at Hanover airport on October 2nd. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Matthey

New travel regulations have come into force in the UK affecting travellers from Germany. 

The announced rule change is for England. If you are travelling to ScotlandWales or Northern Ireland, click on the relevant country link.

The UK government has got rid of the amber list and now classes countries as only green or red – all European countries are on the green list.

For those countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Austria – which were on the green list under the old system – the rules remain the same for fully vaccinated arrivals but have become more strict for those who are not vaccinated.

READ ALSO: How travel to England from Germany has become stricter

Here’s what the new rules say:

Vaccinated

Fully vaccinated arrivals will no longer need to take a test in Germany and show it before boarding a flight to England.

Crucially, however, you will still need to book and pay for the Day 2 test, and this must be done before leaving Germany. 

At the border you will need to show the Passenger Locator Form, and this cannot be completed without a booking reference number for a Day 2 test.

These tests have a byzantine booking system and are frequently infuriatingly expensive – find the full breakdown on booking HERE.

The Day 2 test is required even if you are spending less than two days in England.

The UK government has said that in the future Day 2 tests could be the cheaper antigen (lateral flow) tests rather than PCR tests, but there is no firm start date for this policy.

READ ALSO: What it was like navigating Covid travel rules to get home to the UK from Germany

Unvaccinated arrivals 

People who are not vaccinated (or who do not meet the UK government definition of vaccinated) will have to quarantine for 10 days on arrival, this can be done at a private home and you do not need to go to a hotel.

In addition, they will have to book and pay for both a Day 2 test and a Day 8 test before leaving.

There is an option to pay extra for a Day 5 test and end quarantine early in England, but be warned that quarantine does not end on Day 5, it only ends when the test results arrive. Many readers have reported long delays in getting test results leaving them spending 9 or 10 days in quarantine anyway, but having paid more for an extra test.

Who is vaccinated?

The UK government accepts people as ‘fully vaccinated’ if they have received either Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines and received their final dose at least 14 days ago.

The EU vaccine certificate that you can get in Germany is accepted as proof at the border.

After a confusing period, the UK government now accepts as fully vaccinated people who had a ‘mixed dose’ eg one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer.

However people who only received a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – as is standard practice in Germany and other European countries – do not count as vaccinated.

READ ALSO:

From the UK to Germany

The travel rules for people coming from the UK into Germany remain unchanged. Fully vaccinated people need to upload proof of their vaccination to the digital register, while unvaccinated people can only enter if they can prove they have an urgent need to do so.

However, there are some exceptions such as for German citizens or residents and members of their immediate family. These people are allowed to enter the country even if they are not vaccinated. 

People travelling into Germany from anywhere in the world also need to show proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative Covid test before being allowed entry. The airline carrier will usually check this, and spot checks around borders may be carried out on drivers. 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about Germany’s Covid testing rules

Note that all travellers need to fill in the online form before travel from the UK to Germany. 

Member comments

  1. A warning to all travellers from Germany to the UK to turn off your Smartphone “Location” function when you arrive. Double vaccination in Germany is now accepted for entry into the country. However, the information on your Passenger Locator form will be used to automatically enrol you in the UK Test and Trace system. I was “pinged” 2 days before due to return to Germany and discovered that only people who have been double vaccinated by the NHS are exempt from 10 days legally mandatory self isolation. Double vaccination with the very same vaccine e.g BionTech/Pfizer in Germany is not recognised. I therefore had to break the law (on risk of a minimum £1000 fine and being pulled off the flight) to get back home (and did 2 extra Antigen self tests as proof of negative status). This is a shameless act of UK Government political spite over healthcare safety, and not appreciated by someone who has already been stripped of their precious European citizenship by a small majority of ignorant, xenophobic English voters.

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TRAVEL NEWS

Traffic warnings issued in Germany ahead of public holiday

People travelling in Germany this week have been warned to expect heavy traffic and busy airports.

Traffic warnings issued in Germany ahead of public holiday

Germany has a nationwide public holiday on May 26th to mark the Christian holiday Ascension Day (Christi Himmelfahrt), which is also known as Father’s Day or Men’s Day.

Many people also book the Friday off work – known as a Brückentag (bridge day) – to make their annual leave go further. 

It comes after a disappointing start to the year when some public holidays fell on the weekend, meaning that most people didn’t get the day off in Germany. 

READ ALSO: German politicians call for ‘lost’ public holidays to be replaced

Meanwhile, with Covid restrictions being eased in most countries around the world, people in Germany are now desperate to make the most of their time off. 

It means that roads and airports are likely to be much busier – from Wednesday afternoon onwards. 

Germany’s biggest car club, the ADAC, warned that traffic jams were expected. 

Where are the worst traffic jams expected?

The ADAC expects the first peak of congestion on Wednesday from around 1pm to 7pm. It will also be very busy on Saturday and Sunday, while experts believe Friday will be fairly quiet on the roads. 

Roadworks might also pose a problem – the ADAC says more than 1,000 construction work sites are in place across Germany right now. 

The ADAC said the biggest traffic jams were expected around Hamburg, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart and Munich, as well as on the following motorways:

A1 Cologne – Bremen – Hamburg – Lübeck

A2 Berlin – Hanover – Dortmund

A3 Cologne – Frankfurt – Würzburg – Nuremberg

A4 Kirchheimer Dreieck – Erfurt – Chemnitz – Dresden

A5 Hattenbacher Dreieck – Darmstadt – Karlsruhe

A6 Heilbronn – Nuremberg

A7 Hamburg – Hanover and A7 Würzburg – Füssen/Reutte

A7 Hamburg – Flensburg

A8 Stuttgart – Munich – Salzburg

A9 Munich – Nuremberg

A10 Berlin Ring

A61 Mönchengladbach – Koblenz – Ludwigshafen

A81 Stuttgart – Singen

A93 Inntaldreieck – Kufstein

A95/B2 Munich – Garmisch-Partenkirchen

A99 Munich Autobahnring

Ascension Day is also a public holiday in Austria and Switzerland. 

Road experts say there could similarly be some busy roads in these countries which could affect Germans crossing the borders. 

“This will be particularly noticeable on the access roads to the leisure regions in the lower road network of the Alpine countries – for example, in Austria the Carinthian lakes, the Salzkammergut, Lake Neusiedl and the recreational areas of the Swiss cantons of Ticino and Valais,” said the ADAC.

“Slightly longer driving times should also be planned for the Tauern, Fernpass, Brenner, Rhine Valley and Gotthard routes.”

READ ALSO: Why Germans are being warned not to cycle drunk on Father’s Day

What about airports?

German airports are also expecting a rush of passengers this week. 

From Wednesday until Sunday this week, around 77,000 passengers per day are expected at Berlin’s BER airport. On regular weekdays, between 55,000 and 65,000 passengers is the norm, while around 70,000 travellers pass through BER on the peak days of Friday and Sunday.

Passengers are urged to be at the airport at least two hours before check-in, and to keep an eye for any updates or changes to their trip from their airline. 

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