Germany Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

Germany Travel Restrictions: What to Know Before Visiting

Here's all the info you need about visiting Germany

At the time of writing, Germany has partially reopened its borders to travellers and has even established quarantine-free travel with several countries, such as Singapore, under specific conditions.

Here’s what you need to know before you start planning your trip to Germany:

Germany travel overview

germany travel

Image credit: Roman Kraft

Vaccination status 

As of 13 September 2021, approximately 62.5% of the population in Germany has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. This makes Germany one of the countries in Europe with the highest vaccination rates. 

Citizens and nationals allowed entry without quarantine

Vaccinated German nationals and vaccinated foreign travellers from these countries are allowed to enter Germany without quarantine.

  1. Albania
  2. Armenia
  3. Australia    
  4. Austria
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Belgium
  7. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  8. Brunei
  9. Bulgaria
  10. Canada
  11. China (in discussion)
  12. Croatia
  13. Czech Republic
  14. Denmark
  15. Estonia
  16. Finland
  17. France
  18. Greece
  19. Hong Kong
  20. Hungary
  21. Iceland
  22. Ireland
  23. Israel
  24. Italy
  25. Japan
  26. Jordan
  27. Kosovo
  28. Latvia
  29. Lebanon
  30. Liechtenstein
  31. Lithuania
  32. Luxembourg
  33. Macao
  34. Malta
  35. Moldova
  36. Montenegro
  37. Netherlands
  38. New Zealand
  39. North Macedonia
  40. Norway
  41. Poland
  42. Portugal
  43. Qatar
  44. Republic of Cyprus
  45. Romania
  46. Saudi Arabia
  47. Serbia
  48. Singapore
  49. Slovakia
  50. Slovenia
  51. South Korea
  52. Spain
  53. Sweden
  54. Switzerland
  55. Taiwan
  56. Thailand
  57. Ukraine
  58. United States
  59. Uruguay

Unvaccinated children aged 12 years old and below are allowed, as long as they are travelling with vaccinated parents.

Travellers with quarantine requirements

The following are those who are required to undergo a mandatory quarantine in Germany:

  • Travellers arriving from countries listed as high-risk areas have to undergo a quarantine period of 10 days (five days for children under the age of twelve). However, if they are able to furbish either proof of vaccination, a negative test result, or proof of recovery from a previous infection within the last six months, they may be exempted from quarantine or have the quarantine period cut short. 
  • Travellers arriving from “areas of variant of concern” will have to undergo a quarantine period of 14 days. This period may not be shortened under any circumstances unless the country is re-listed as a “high-risk area” during the quarantine period. However, at the time of writing, there are no countries/regions currently listed as “areas of variant of concern”.

Click here for the full list of countries/regions listed under “high-risk areas/areas of variant of concern”. However, take note that this list does not correspond to the list of countries/areas from which travel to Germany is allowed.  

Pre-arrival required documents for travel to Germany

Image credit: Maheshkumar Painam

Before arriving in Germany, foreign travellers need to take note of certain entry requirements: 

  • Digital Entry Registration
    • Any traveller that has spent time in a “high-risk” area or an “area of variant of concern” at least 10 days prior to arrival in Germany must complete an online registration form and carry proof of registration upon entry into the country.
    • This does not apply to travellers who:
  1. Have only passed through a “high-risk” or “variant of concern” area without a stopover
  2. Are only passing through Germany
  3. Have spent less than 24 hours in said areas and will also only be spending less than 24 hours in Germany
  4. Will be spending less than 72 hours in Germany for the purpose of visiting close relatives and partners
  • Proof of vaccination or negative test result
    • Travellers entering Germany who are 12 or older will need to submit the following: 
    • For those arriving from a “high-risk/variant of concern area”: 
  1. Proof of full COVID vaccination (at least 14 days after the final dose) or recovery from a previous infection AND
  2. A negative PCR-COVID test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival OR an antigen rapid test taken 24-48 hours prior to travel depending on the place of origin
    • For those arriving from any other country or area: 
  1. Proof of full COVID vaccination (at least 14 days after the final dose) or recovery from a previous infection OR
  2. A negative PCR-COVID test result taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival OR an antigen rapid test taken 24-48 hours prior to travel depending on the place of origin
  • Vaccine brands approved: BioNTech/Pfizer, AstraZeneca/Oxford, Johnson, and Johnson/Janssen, Moderna
  • Approved visa
    • If this is applicable to your country
  • Passport with at least six months validity

Arrival

Immigration

Upon arrival in Germany, all travellers are subject to immigration procedures that inspect the required documents. However, travellers do not need to undergo a health screening upon arrival.

For arrivals who are required to undergo mandatory quarantine, they will need to proceed directly to their accommodation and self-isolate for 10 – 14 days depending on their original area of departure. They are not allowed to leave the premises during the quarantine period or receive guests.

During the stay

Image credit: Claudio Schwartz

Unlike some other travel bubble destinations, there are no specific restrictions on how travellers plan to use their time in Germany. 

That being said, there are certain rules and regulations to take note of: 

  • Facemasks MUST be worn at all times on public transport, in stores, and in public spaces, including busy outdoor locations
  • The facemasks must be of the KN95/N95 or FFP2 (3-ply surgical mask, for example) variety
  • Travellers are also advised to practise social distancing and to keep a high level of personal hygiene
  • It is also the responsibility of travellers to take note of any regional rules and regulations during their stay

In addition, travellers will also need to comply with regulations that are imposed by the respective airlines that ferry them to Germany. 

Local travel restrictions

Image credit: Bharat Patil

In Germany, a number of travel attractions have reopened. These include museums, architectural sites, galleries, outdoor attractions (like parks and zoos), and more. 

Dining-in is also allowed, as arekowtow small-scale social gatherings, recreational sports and activities, and personal hygiene establishments (such as barbers, and spas). 

However, to gain access to the above places and to utilise them, travellers must be able to provide either:

  • Proof of vaccination
  • A negative COVID test 
  • Proof of recovery from a previous infection that is less than six months old

Currently, there is no national curfew in place. However, local authorities have the right to impose such curfews depending on the current situation in their respective states or regions. 

COVID-19 testing while in Germany

What if someone tests positive for COVID-19?

Under current regulations in Germany, if a traveller tests positive for COVID-19 via an antigen test, a follow-up PCR test is required. During this time, the traveller and close contacts must self-isolate.

The traveller must then notify the local health office. They will assist in monitoring self-isolation and provide individual guidance on what to do next. 

Because Germany does not have a system of managed quarantine in government facilities, travellers will likely have to quarantine themselves in their place of residence for 14 days or until a negative test result is returned and release is confirmed by local health authorities. 

What if someone feels unwell, or shows possible COVID-19 symptoms?

If travellers develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 during their stay in Germany,  they should contact the hotline 116 117 for assistance or get in touch by phone with a medical practitioner. 

Usually, travel guides or hotels can also help in these scenarios. Travellers should also note down the contact details of their home country’s embassy or consulate in Germany. This is in case there is a  need to contact them.

COVID Travel outside Germany

This covers cross-border travel to other destinations from Germany

Currently, there are no specific restrictions that prevent travellers from travelling out of Germany to other countries. However, take note that each country has its own set of regulations in terms of immigration and travel restrictions. 

In addition, you may need to quarantine upon returning to Germany (if that is part of your travel plans). What’s more, travellers who arrive in Germany as part of a travel bubble arrangement, such as the Vaccinated Travel Lane between Singapore and Germany, should avoid cross-border travel for the time being. 

Return travel

Apart from these travel restrictions in Germany, it’s also important to know the entry requirements for when you return to your country of origin. It is your responsibility to check with your respective airline and official tourism office for what documents you’ll need to bring during the return trip to your country of destination.

About Author

Darren Yeoh
Darren Yeoh

Darren enjoys the finer things in life and loves exploring unfamiliar places on foot, guided with nothing but instinct and a good-old fashioned map. He enjoys cultural experiences and exciting adventures and is not a stranger to travelling alone. When he's not putting his travel experiences into words, he's probably sitting behind his laptop, planning his upcoming adventure.

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