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UPDATE: Everything you need to know about travel between Germany and the UK

With the UK poised to remove all entry requirements, here's what you need to know about travel between Britain and Germany.

UPDATE: Everything you need to know about travel between Germany and the UK
Travellers at Berlin's airport. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

What happens for traveling from Germany to the UK?

On Friday, March 18th, the UK will end all of its Covid-related travel restrictions.

That means that people will no longer have to fill in a Passenger Locator Form or upload a negative test or proof of full vaccination before travel. 

The new rules apply for anyone entering the country after 4am on March 18th, regardless of whether they are vaccinated or unvaccinated. 

The so-called ‘Day 2’ tests, which vaccinated people were already exempt from, will also no longer be required for unvaccinated people from this date. 

In other words, people won’t have to take any Covid tests before or after travel. 

Technically, anyone arriving from a ‘red list’ country is still subject to hotel quarantine. However, there are currently no ‘red list’ countries listed by the UK and this rule is also set to be axed by the end of the month. 

READ ALSO: Travel in Europe: UK to scrap all Covid travel rules

Other things to be aware of:

While the removal of travel restrictions is set to apply UK-wide, you may encounter slightly different Covid rules across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so be sure to do your research beforehand.

England, for instance, has recently scrapped all Covid restrictions, including the requirement to self-isolate after a Covid infection and mandatory masks on public transport and in other indoor areas. 

However, in Wales and Scotland, some restrictions remain in place – though these could be removed later in the month. Read more about the respective rules and upcoming changes in each country HERE

READ ALSO: Are you classed as fully vaccinated in the UK after having Covid and one jab?

You can also find more information on UK travel rules HERE. Click the following links to read more about travelling to EnglandWalesScotland and Northern Ireland.

What about travel from the UK to Germany?

The travel rules for people coming from the UK into Germany remain largely unchanged – though the status of the UK has been recently downgraded.

Fully vaccinated or recovered people coming from the UK to Germany need to carry proof of full vaccination with them when entering the country. 

Unvaccinated people travelling from most non-EU countries like the UK can only enter Germany if they can prove they have an urgent need to do so.

There are some exceptions, such as for German citizens or residents and members of their immediate family.

Due to the fact that Omicron is widely considered a lot milder than previous Covid variants, Germany’s Robert Koch Institute (RKI) has recently changed its definition of a ‘high-risk’ area to only include countries with variants that are more severe. 

The upshot of this is that all countries, including the UK, have been removed from the high-risk list for the time being. In practice, this means that you will no longer have to fill in a digital entry form before entering the country. 

However, you will still need to show show proof of vaccination, proof of recovery or a negative Covid test before being allowed entry. That means if you can’t prove you are vaccinated or recovered you will need to have a negative Covid-19 test result handy. 

The airline carrier will usually check this, and spot checks around borders may be carried out on drivers.

READ ALSO: The new rules for entering Germany with an EU pass

Other things to be aware of:

Germany recently changed the length of time that people have ‘recovery status’: it is now three months after a Covid-19 infection, not six. That means that your positive PCR test to prove your recovery should have been taken at least 28 – but no more than 90 – days ago to be accepted for entry into Germany. 

The changes to recovery status occurred around the same time as a recategorisation of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The J&J vaccine had previously been marketed as a single-shot vaccine, but the Health Ministry now insists that an additional shot – making two in total – is required in order to count as a fully vaccinated. As of March 3rd, this change has been incorporated into Germany’s travel rules. 

Read our latest on the changes for more details: 

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

From 1st October, 2022, the length of time people count as fully vaccinated will have expiry date on it in line with EU-wide rules. That means that if you had your second dose of vaccine more than 270 days ago and didn’t get a booster shot, you will no longer count as fully vaccinated for the purposes of travel. 

There will be no expiry date for people who have had their booster jab. 

Tests, meanwhile, should be taken no longer than 48 before the time of entry into Germany. For PCR tests, this can be brought forward to the time of departure to Germany (i.e. the time of your flight). 

The rules for children have also been amended recently. Currently, only children over the age of 12 have to carry proof of their Covid-19 status when entering Germany (whether that’s vaccination, recovery or a Covid-19 test). 

Previously, this applied to everyone aged six and over.

EXPLAINED: The Covid travel rules for children 

Note that, if the UK is once again added to the risk list, passengers will have to fill in the online form before travelling to Germany and unvaccinated people will be required to quarantine. But pending another dodgy Covid variant, this doesn’t seem likely at present. 

Nevertheless, it’s always worth keeping up to date with Germany’s risk countries by checking the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) list, which is updated regularly.

There are some exceptions to having to fill out the entry form, testing and quarantine. This German government page has detailed information on the exemptions in English. 

READ ALSO: What you should know about travel to Germany during the Omicron wave

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Germany considers ‘Klimaticket’ to replace €9 public transport offer

Germany could well be heading for more affordable public transport after the success of the €9 ticket.

Germany considers 'Klimaticket' to replace €9 public transport offer

More than 20 million people bought the €9 monthly travel ticket in June aimed at helping people during the energy crisis. 

And now the German government is thinking about introducing a ‘climate ticket’ as a replacement to the cheap transport offer that runs until the end of August. 

According to a draft of the emergency climate protection programme (Klimaschutzsofortprogramm), the government – made up of a coalition between the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and the Free Democrats (FDP), could offer a “Klimaticket” for use on local public transport. 

The draft plans, which were made available to business daily the Handelsblatt, state that “tariff measures are to be used to permanently increase the attractiveness of local public transport”.

According to the government proposals, “a discounted ‘climate ticket’ as a standardised state local transport monthly or annual ticket for regional rail passenger transport and local public transport” would ensure low-cost rail travel in the future.

Germany’s states are responsible for local public transport. However, the federal government is prepared to “financially support” a “climate ticket”. Details are still being examined, however. For instance, the draft does not indicate how much a ‘climate ticket’ could cost consumers.

A similar ticket exists in Austria.

READ ALSO: Less traffic, more ticket sales: How the €9 offer has impacted Germany

Social rights groups and politicians have been calling on the government to extend the €9 offer, or consider another cheap transport deal, such as the €365 yearly ticket.

Since June 1st, people in Germany have been able to use the €9 ticket to travel on all public transport buses, trains and trams throughout the country. The ticket is not valid on long-distance trains. 

But Transport Minister Volker Wissing and Finance Minister Christian Lindner said that the offer would not be extended due to the tough economic situation. 

According to German media, the Federal Environment Agency is in favour of a successor model after the €9 ticket expires, which could be financed by abolishing climate-damaging subsidies in the transport sector.

Germany is trying to think of ways to reduce CO2 emissions by 2030 in order to achieve climate goals. 

All ministries have to submit proposals to Economy and Climate Minister Robert Habeck (Greens). The federal cabinet is expected to approve the climate protection programme in mid-July.

How does the ticket work in Austria?

The Klimaticket in Austria is billed as being a “valuable contribution to the climate of our planet”, according to its website.

It allows people to “use all scheduled services (public and private rail, city and public transport) in a specific area for a year: regional, cross-regional and nationwide”.

The national ticket – the Klimaticket Ö – includes all public transport throughout the whole of Austria, but at €1,095 for a year, it isn’t cheap. However, it is valid on both regional and long-distance transport. 

There are also region-specific Klimatickets which are much more affordable. The Salzburg ticket, for example, costs around €270 per year