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EXPLAINED: Germany's latest Covid travel rules for children

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EXPLAINED: Germany's latest Covid travel rules for children
Travellers pass through Berlin-Brandenburg airport with their luggage. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Jens Kalaene

Under changes to Germany's Covid entry regulations penned before Christmas, children over the age of six must now carry proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test in order to enter the country from a 'high risk' area. Here's what you need to know.


What's going on?

Germany has been in the process of tightening up some of its travel rules. 

Previously, all children under the age of 12 were exempt from the requirement to give proof of immunity or a negative test when entering the country. 

But a recent change to the rules means that 6-12 year olds now have to provide proof of vaccination and recovery of a negative test when arriving in Germany from a country on the Robert Koch Institute's high-risk list

Under Germany's entry rules, vaccinated and recovered people are exempt from having to quarantine after arriving from a high risk area as soon as they upload proof of their immunity on the Digital Entry Form. 

Unvaccinated people, meanwhile, must present a negative test and also quarantine for up to 10 days, with the option to end the quarantine after five days with a further test.

If arriving from a high risk area, children under the age of six - who are still exempt from the testing requirement - must quarantine for a standard five days and do not need a test to end the quarantine.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are the rules for entering Germany this Christmas and New Year?

The change follows the introduction of vaccinations for children aged 5-12 with a reduced dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

The new lower dosed vaccine, which is currently being rolled out in Germany after receiving EU approval, means that young children can be inoculated against Covid for the first time in the pandemic.

Are there any other changes I should know about?

The government has also introduced tougher testing requirements just before Christmas for people arriving from a virus variant area.

Anyone who's stayed in a virus variant region in the last 10 days must now present a negative PCR test taken within the last 48 hours before travelling back to Germany.


How do I know if I'm 'vaccinated' or 'recovered'?

Following updated guidance from the Paul Ehrlich Institute, the definition of 'fully vaccinated' was changed on January 15th to exclude people who have had one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

This group of people now need a second jab in order to count as fully vaccinated. 

That means that, as a rule, if you've had at least two doses of any EU-approved Covid vaccine more than two weeks ago, you are fully vaccinated in the eyes of the German government.

READ ALSO: What people who’ve had the J&J jab need to know for travel to Germany

Meanwhile, people who fall into the recovered category are also facing rule changes.


While previously people could present evidence of an infection up to six months ago, the Covid infection now has to have occurred no more than three months ago.

To prove your recovery, you therefore need a positive PCR test taken more than 28 days and less than 90 days ago. 

How many countries are on the high risk and virus variant list?

On Friday, the Robert Koch Institute placed 19 more countries on its 'high risk' list, including Japan, India, Brazil and Romania. 

There are now 155 high-risk areas in total. 

With Omicron taking over as the dominant variant in Germany, there are currently no virus variant areas on the list. 


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