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GERMANY AND THE UK

IN PICTURES: Germany pays tribute to the Queen

German politicians, media outlets, and the public are pouring out their respects to the UK’s longest-serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II after her death. We share the tributes, as well as photos of the Queen's many fond visits to Germany.

IN PICTURES: Germany pays tribute to the Queen
Queen Elizabeth II greets crowds gathered near Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on her final state visit to Germany in 2015. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AFP pool | John Macdougall

In Germany, Queen Elizabeth II was a figure who invoked both respect and admiration from the general public, in German media, and from the country’s politicians.

Even in German, newspapers generally referred to her as “Die Queen” instead of the German language “Die Königin.”

Public broadcaster ARD prepared a nearly 30-minute documentary about the Queen ahead of her Platinum Jubilee earlier this year.

READ ALSO: Germany hails Queen Elizabeth as ‘symbol of reconciliation’ after two world wars

The morning after the Queen’s passing, the high-circulating Bild put out a full front-page tribute, saying “the world weeps for the Queen.”

German newspapers on 9 September 2022 following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Thomas Banneyer

German Parliament observed a minute of silence while Berliners left flowers at the nearby British Embassy, to pay tribute to a British monarch considered a close friend of Germany.

Mourners left candles and flowers at the British Embassy in Berlin shortly after news of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Christophe Gateau

Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted that the Queen was an inspiration to millions, including people in Germany, noting both her commitment to British-German reconciliation after WWII and her “wonderful sense of humour”.

The German Bundestag observes a minute of silence in honour of Queen Elizabeth II on 9 September 2022. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Bernd von Jutrczenka

During her 70-year reign, the Queen made five state visits to Germany – one of the highest totals of any non-Commonwealth country. Her first visit in 1965 included 18 German cities in 10 days, during a trip widely seen as a major step in reconciliation between the UK and Germany only 20 years after WWII.

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit West Berlin in 1965 on their first state visit to Germany. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Konrad Giehr

Berlin newspapers in particular, noted the special significance of the Queen’s trip to West Berlin in 1965, seeing the Wall for herself. Der Tagesspiegel wrote of her “special relationship” to the city. Berliner Morgenpost called her “a great friend to the city” and wrote “Berlin loves the Queen.”

Queen Elizabeth II signs West Berlin’s golden book at Rathaus Schöneberg in 1965. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | dpa

Queen Elizabeth II greets crowds gathered near Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on her final state visit to Germany in 2015. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AFP pool | John Macdougall

Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip visit Kiel Harbour in 1978. Photo: picture alliance / Georg Spring/dpa | Georg Spring

Queen Elizabeth II listens to a choir at a Düsseldorf children’s hospital in 2004, before visiting a few patients without the cameras. Photo: picture-alliance / dpa/dpaweb | Martin_Meissner

In London too, the Queen has received several German dignitaries over the course of her reign. Most recently, long-serving former Chancellor Angela Merkel visited the Queen at Windsor Castle in 2021.

Then German Chancellor Angela Merkel visits Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle during a state visit to the UK in 2021. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/PA Wire | Steve Parsons
 

Queen Elizabeth II greets the German Football team before the 1996 Euro final at Wembley Stadium in London. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Bernd Weissbrod

In Germany, flags remain at half-mast around the country.

Queen Elizabeth II walks Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate on her final state visit to Germany in 2015. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/REUTERS POOL/EPA | Fabrizio Bensch
 
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UPDATE: The new rules for travel between Germany and the UK

The UK government has again tightened its testing rules on international arrivals. Here's what it means for people travelling between Germany and the UK.

People arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on November 26th.
People arrive at Heathrow Airport in London on November 26th. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/AP | Alberto Pezzali

Due to concerns over the emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19, the UK has changed its travel rules for arrivals from abroad. 

What happens if you’re travelling from Germany to the UK?

On Saturday, December 4th, the British government announced yet more new testing rules for arrivals, demanding pre-departure tests for all arrivals from Tuesday December 7th onwards.

The requirement applies for those arriving in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. People travelling to the UK have to take either an antigen test or PCR test in the two days before travel. Self-administered tests are not accepted. 

Previously, on Tuesday, November 30th, the UK government had brought in other new restrictions affecting travel from abroad to the UK.

The existing rules remain in place around the Passenger Locator Form (more on that below), and if you are unvaccinated, you will need to quarantine for 10 days and take another test on the eighth day.

But a new requirement was introduced that applies to all vaccinated arrivals (including UK citizens and residents). They must do a PCR test for their Day 2 test (antigen tests are no longer accepted) and they must self-isolate until a negative result from the test arrives.

The self-isolation can be done at home or at the address of family/friends. The British government says people who are travelling to the UK for less than two days still have to book and pay for a test and then isolate until they receive a result – or until they leave if that comes first. 

Only arrivals from red list countries including South Africa face hotel quarantine. You cannot leave self-isolation until the test result arrivals.

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

You are permitted to travel by public transport to get from the airport/port/station to you quarantine address.

Most recently, vaccinated travellers did not have to quarantine when arriving while waiting for the results of their antigen test.

The changes have brought up lots of worries, especially ahead of the holidays. 

Since summer, numerous readers of The Local have flagged up the slow and unreliable nature of many UK test providers – tests can only be booked from the list of ‘government approved’ suppliers from this list and NHS tests cannot be used for this purpose.

The Day 2 test must be ordered ahead of travel – without a booking reference you cannot complete the Passenger Locator Form which is required to board all transport to the UK.

The test can be taken “on or before day 2”, so you can take it as soon as you arrive in the UK.

You can find the Passenger Locator Form HERE. But beware of technical glitches with the form in recent weeks.

There are three options for tests:

  • Home tests – these test packs are sent out to the address where you will be staying. You do the test at home and then post the sample to the lab, who email you the results when ready. There have been problems with test kits for some providers not arriving at the address given, while others take up to 10 days to email out the results – even for people who have paid extra for a quick-results service.
  • Test centre tests – this involves booking in advance at a test centre near where you will be staying – people self-isolating are permitted to leave the address and go to a test centre. It can be hard to find a test centre near you, especially if you are outside London. The test centre then posts off the sample to the lab and you wait for the results by email, again this can take several days to arrive.
  • Airport tests – it is compulsory to have booked the Day 2 test in advance, but if you want to avoid long waits for results, some airports now offer PCR tests with rapid results, in around three hours in some cases. However these are expensive and likely to get more expensive in the coming days as the UK government does not have any kind of price cap on testing. This option is again most likely to be found in large cities like London so if you live somewhere else they are much harder to find.

What else should I be thinking about?

The UK border officers will recognise proof of vaccination provided by the EU Covid Certificate given out in Germany. 

For the UK, “fully vaccinated” means 14 days after your final dose of a EMA/FDA or Swiss approved vaccine (Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson). 

After a period of confusion, the UK government says that it will accept mixed doses administered in the EU (eg, one dose of AstraZeneca and one of Pfizer).

READ ALSO:

However, people who have only had a single dose after previously recovering from Covid – which is standard practice in Germany – are not accepted as vaccinated by the UK.

You are only permitted to use a test provider from the list of government-approved firms – find that HERE and find our guide to the world of Day 2 tests HERE.

Anyone over the age of four needs to take a test on day two of arrival in the UK.

If you are staying less than two days in the UK, you still need to book the Day 2 test, but are allowed to leave quarantine in order to travel out of the country.

Click the following links to read more about travelling to EnglandWalesScotland and Northern Ireland.

And a word of warning – once you are in the UK, if you are pinged as a contact case, you may have to self-isolate for 10 days as the NHS Test and Trace programme refuses to recognise vaccinations administered outside the UK.

What about if you are travelling from the UK to Germany?

The travel rules for people coming from the UK into Germany remain unchanged. 

Fully vaccinated people coming from the UK need to upload proof of their vaccination to the digital register. 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. If you fall into one of these categories you are allowed to enter the country even if unvaccinated – but will need to complete a quarantine for 10 days because the UK is classed as a ‘high risk’ country. 

This period can be ended earlier for those who can present a negative Covid test taken at least five days into the quarantine.

People travelling into Germany from anywhere in the world will 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. 

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

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