SHARE
COPY LINK

TRAVEL NEWS

Germany extends Covid travel restrictions

The German government has extended the Covid travel regulations until the end of May.

Travellers in Hanover airport in April.
Travellers in Hanover airport in April. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Moritz Frankenberg

It means that anyone who wants to enter Germany from abroad still has to stick to the coronavirus entry rules. 

Before coming to Germany, people over the age of 12 are asked to upload or show their Covid documents (proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test) while checking in or before boarding. This is known as the 3G rule in Germany. 

Travellers who are transferring at an airport in Germany also have to present proof of their Covid status before arriving in the country. This applies both to non-Schengen transit from or to third countries outside the EU and to transit from or to Schengen states.

People driving or travelling into Germany on other transport also have to carry this proof. Random checks near borders can be carried out, however, in reality this doesn’t happen often.

The government extended the regulation, which would have expired on Thursday, until May 31st. It is unclear if it will be extended again or dropped after this date.

READ ALSO: How Germany’s travel rule changes may affect your holiday plans

Are there any quarantine rules?

At the beginning of March, Germany changed its Covid travel regulations, removing all countries from its high-risk list.

Authorities said the move was because the Omicron variant of coronavirus was found to cause less severe illness than previous Covid variants. 

They said that countries will be classed as ‘high risk’ in future “where there is a high incidence in terms of the spread of variants with higher virulence, compared to the Omicron variant”.

Since no countries are currently on the risk list, people don’t have have to fill in a digital entry form before travelling to Germany. The proof of vaccination, recovery or test is enough. 

People should, however, keep track of any risk-level changes to countries they are travelling to Germany from on the Robert Koch Institute’s risk list.

And if a country is classed as high-risk, those who are not vaccinated will have to quarantine. If a region is classed as a ‘virus variant area’, tough quarantine and testing rules come into force for all arrivals to Germany – even those who are vaccinated.

What else should I know about Germany’s restrictions?

In general, you have to be fully vaccinated (with an EMA-approved vaccine) to enter Germany if you are coming from most non-EU countries. Unvaccinated people are not allowed to enter unless they have an essential reason.

Germany does, however, allow unrestricted entry for people coming from a small group of ‘safe list’ countries.

The ban on entry does not apply to German citizens or members of their immediate family and to citizens of EU and associated states and members of their immediate family. 

People can generally enter Germany from other countries in the EU even if unvaccinated (but they still have to take a test before travel).

The Health Ministry confirmed to The Local that the “extension of the Coronavirus Entry Ordinance was approved by the cabinet” on Wednesday.

“It will apply until the end of May 2022,” the spokesman said.

Information SMS on entry to Germany shelved

From Friday onwards the information text message on Covid regulations in Germany, which network operators had to send to the phones of people entering the country, will be dropped.

Sending the SMS caused high monthly costs for operators – for instance it cost about €400,000 to send texts to travellers with foreign mobile phone operators.

Member comments

  1. “In general, you have to be fully vaccinated (with an EMA-approved vaccine) to enter Germany if you are coming from most non-EU countries. Unvaccinated people are not allowed to enter unless they have an essential reason.”

    This is no longer the policy.

    What are the rules to enter this country from outside an EU Member State or Schengen Associated country?

    Document checklist

    Travellers over the age of 12 must carry with them proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result (PCR or antigen). Documents equivalent to the ‘EU Digital COVID Certificate’ (EUDCC) are accepted if they meet the same requirements:

    Proof of vaccination after receiving full vaccination. Vaccine certificates are valid for 270 days. Vaccines authorized by the European Union (EU) or vaccines which are licensed in a third country and identical in formulation to a vaccine in the EU are accepted.
    Or

    Proof of recovery showing a positive PCR test result carried out at least 28 days but no more than 90 days prior.
    Or

    Negative result to a test taken no earlier than 48 hours before the actual time or scheduled time of entry. Where entry takes place using a carrier, the scheduled time of departure is decisive.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

READER INSIGHTS

‘Fantastic’: Your verdict on Germany’s €9 transport ticket

Germany is set to bring in a heavily reduced public transport ticket for three months this summer. Here's what our readers think about it.

'Fantastic': Your verdict on Germany's €9 transport ticket

We released a survey asking how many of you would use the €9 monthly ticket, being brought in by the German government for the months of June, July and August. The ticket will be valid on all local and regional transport across Germany – but not on long-distance services.

Respondents came from all over the country in almost all of Germany’s 16 states. 

And nearly all of our readers – 95.4 percent – said they planned to get the ticket. 

Just 1.1 percent of respondents said they would not use the offer, while 3.4 percent answered ‘maybe’.

Source: The Local

We also asked how many of you already have a subscription ticket with your local transport provider. Just over half – 52.6 percent – said they don’t have an Abo, while 34.9 percent are already subscribers.  

People with a subscription receive the discount as part of the €9 ticket offer. 

READ ALSO: How many people will use the €9 ticket?

Source: The Local

The ticket is part of the German government’s energy relief package aimed at easing the financial burden on people. Politicians also see it as a trial for the future as the country tries to move towards climate-friendly policies. 

READ ALSO: When will Germany’s fuel tax cut come into force?

When we asked whether you think reduced price public transport this summer is a good idea, the vast majority of respondents – 86.9 percent – said ‘yes’. Just over 7.4 percent said they weren’t sure if it was a good idea, and just 1.1 percent said it wasn’t a good policy. 

Source: The Local

A snap poll on our Twitter page earlier this week also found that most people – 86.5 percent – planned to use the ticket. 

‘Why would anyone not use it?’

We also asked readers to share their views on what they thought about the ticket.

On The Local Germany’s Facebook page, Scott Widenhouse said it was “absolutely” a good idea. “A day pass from Munich airport is €13 approx, (in) Berlin – one ride is €3.”

Kat Thomas said: “I am so excited to get one for me and each of my kids. We rely super heavily on public transportation. This will be fantastic!”

READ ALSO: How to get a hold of the €9 ticket in Berlin

Sue Guinane said: “Why would anyone not use it? It is cheaper than two regular daily tickets in Munich, so great savings.”

Others were not completely on board.

Of the comments on our survey, one respondent suggested that the ticket should be pricier in order to make it more sustainable. Another reader said it was going to be a “disaster” because travel providers would likely hike up prices after three months. 

On Facebook, Annmarie Wagner Schultz said: “It doesn’t help my son who uses the train and his bike to get to work.”

Tina Wetzel said she didn’t want to take advantage of the offer because transport will be “overcrowded”, and in the summer months, passengers will also have to deal with no air conditioning on trains and buses. 

 

“My nose prefers not to smell any of that,” she said on Facebook.

Others said it might come in handy.

Jeffrey Carson, in Neukirchen in Hesse, said: “Sounds a good idea but I use my car for local journeys and the new ticket does not include long distance trains which are the only trains I use. I suppose if I visit Munich it will be good to get the €9 ticket for day trips from there.”

READ ALSO: How to explore Germany by train with the €9 ticket

SHOW COMMENTS