Travelling from (or returning to) Germany
Rules and Exceptions
A country or an area is defined as "high-risk" when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.
Information on the designation of international risk areas
Current at: 16 September 2020
Changes since last amendment:
France: the Hauts-de-France region and the overseas territory of La Réunion are now also considered as risk areas.
Croatia: the counties of Brodsko-Posavska and Viroviticko-Podravska are now also considered as risk areas.
The Netherlands: the provinces of North Holland and South Holland are now considered as risk areas.
Austria: the province of Vienna is considered a risk area.
Romania: the counties of Neamt and Caras Severin are considered as additional risk areas.
Switzerland: Canton Fribourg is considered as a further risk area.
Czech Republic: the region Středočeský is considered as a further risk area.
Hungary: the city of Budapest is considered a risk area.
The counties of Arges and Dambovita in Romania are no longer considered as risk areas.
The countries listed below are designated as currently presenting an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. In parentheses is indicated since when an area is classified as a risk area. At the end of the page, there is a summary of countries, which have been classified as risk areas at any time during the last 14 days, but are currently NOT classified as risk areas.
Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany, who have spent time in a risk area at any specific period within 14 days prior to entry, are subject to a mandatory Covid-19 test (from 8 August 2020) and may be subject to quarantine under the specific quarantine ordinances issued by the competent federal state (Land).
Please note: The Federal Government examines, on an ongoing basis, the extent to which areas are to be classified as risk areas. As a result, this list can be modified at short notice and, above all, may be extended. Directly before embarking on your journey, please check whether you have spent time in one of these areas in the last 14 days before entering Germany. Should this be the case, you must expect to be subject to mandatory testing and quarantine.
The existing travel and safety advisories by the Federal Foreign Office as well as the Federal Government’s information for travellers and commuters (https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-regelungen-1735032) still apply.
o Splitsko-Dalmatinska (since 20 August)
o Zadar (since 2 September)
o Dubrovačko-neretvanska (since 9 September)
o Požega-Slavonia (since 9 September)
o Brodsko-Posavska (since 16 September)
o Viroviticko-Podravska (since 16 September)
o Středočeský (since 16 September)
o Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur (since 24 August)
o Occitanie (since 9 September)
o Nouvelle-Aquitaine (since 9 September)
o Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes (since 9 September)
o Corse (since 9 September)
o Hauts-de-France (since 16 September)
o French Overseas Territory: French Guiana (since 21 August)
o French Overseas Territory: Guadeloupe (since 26 August)
o French Overseas Territory: St. Martin (since 26 August)
o French Overseas Territory: La Réunion (since 16 September)
o South Holland (Zuid-Holland) (since 16 September)
o Aruba (since 26 August)
o Sint Maarten (since 26 August)
o Bihor (since 7 August)
o Brăila (since 12 August)
o Brașov (since 12 August)
o București (since 12 August)
o Caras Severin (since 16 September)
o Neamt (since 16 September)
o Iasi (since 9 September)
o Ilfov (since 12 August)
o Prahova (since 12 August)
o Vâlcea (since 20 August)
o Vaslui (since 12 August)
o Vaud (since 9 September)
o Fribourg (since 16 September)
Classification as a risk area is the result of a joint analysis and decision-making process by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. This classification as a risk area is based on a two-step assessment. Initially, it is determined in which countries/regions there were more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. In a second step, qualitative criteria are used to determine whether or not countries/regions that might nominally fall below this
threshold could nonetheless still present an increased risk of infection. As part of the second step, particularly the Federal Foreign Office and, where relevant, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, provide qualitative reports based on reporting by the local German diplomatic representations, which also covers measures taken to halt the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Key factors in this assessment are above all the numbers of infection and the type of outbreak (local or wide-spread), testing capacities and the number of tests carried out per capita as well as the measures taken to contain the spread of infection (hygiene regulations, contact tracing, etc.). Similarly, this also takes into account individual countries where reliable information may not be readily available.
Areas that have been risk areas at any time during the past 14 days but are currently no risk areas anymore:
Travelling to Germany
Currently, the following countries or areas are classified as "high-risk":
Travelling from Germany or returning to Germany
According to the Federal Ministry of Health's Testing Obligation Ordinance, anyone having spent time in a risk area up to 14 days before their entry into Germany, if requested by the competent health office or a different authority designated, must either provide proof of having tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 or get tested within 14 days of their entry into Germany.
The test must be carried out in a Member State of the European Union or a country that is listed by the Robert Koch Institute. If, when entering Germany, you already carry with you a test result, to be valid the test may not have been conducted more than 48 hours prior to entry. The test certificate must be written in German or English.
Rules and Exceptions
A country or an area is defined as "high-risk" when there are more than 50 new infections per 100,000 people over the last period of seven days.
Mandatory Travel Documentation
Travelling to and from Australia, Georgia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay is allowed without restrictions.
Travel from third countries
Germany has implemented the Council of the European Union's recommendation on the phase out temporary restrictions on 2 July 2020.
Since 17 March 2020 entry restrictions have applied throughout the EU for non-essential travel from third countries. These restrictions also specifically apply to travel to Germany.
On 30 June 2020, in view of the improved global epidemiological situation in some regions, the Council of the European Union adopted a recommendation on relaxing the entry restrictions on the basis of a draft drawn up by the Commission. Germany will implement this recommendation from 2 July 2020 as follows:
Third countries without travel restrictions
From 2 July 2020, unrestricted travel to Germany is once again possible from the following third countries with low rates of infection:
For China, Japan and South Korea a lifting of entry restrictions is subject to confirmation of reciprocity.
This list of countries is to be regularly updated. The question of whether travel to Germany is permitted depends on where the person travelling has previously been staying, not on their nationality.
Options for travellers to Germany from all third countries
Travel to Germany is also possible from third countries not included in the above list if there are important grounds for doing so. On this basis, travel to Germany is possible for the following groups or travel purposes:
Travel within the EU or the Schengen area
The temporary entry restrictions for travellers from other EU countries, states associated with Schengen (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland) and the United Kingdom have been removed entirely since 21 June 2020. Travel to Germany from other EU states, the Schengen area and the United Kingdom has been possible without restriction since then.
Further information: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/-/2320738
Measures for Protection and Self-protection of frontline Customs Officers:
Measures regarding fumigation of containers and parcel consignments:
Measures to fight illicit trade with counterfeited or stolen medical supply goods:
Despite its efforts to facilitate the smooth movement of goods, the customs administration
Other COVID related best practice:
* Just like the Federal Chemicals Agency at the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and
Temporary border checks at the land borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark (15.03.2020)
The checks will come into force on Monday, 16 March 2020 at 08:00. The cross-border flow of goods will continue to be permitted. Cross-border commuters will also continue to be allowed to enter and leave the country. People travelling for other reasons should expect restrictions on travel both into and out of Germany. Travellers with symptoms that may indicate a coronavirus infection will not be permitted to enter/leave Germany, in coordination with the authorities in the relevant neighbouring country.
Start date: 16.03.2020
End date: not available
Further information: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/pressemitteilungen/DE/2020/03/grenzsc...
Temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers of vehicles transporting essential goods
Germany has notified a temporary and limited relaxation of the enforcement of driving and rest times for the drivers of vehicles transporting essential goods such as food, medicine, medical protective equipment and fuels. This relaxation is granted pursuant to Article 14(2) of Regulation (EC) No 561/2006.
Start date: 18.03.2020
End date: 17.04.2020
Further information: https://ec.europa.eu/transport/sites/transport/files/temporary-relaxatio...
Following changes in Schleswig-Holstein, the requirements for bus travel in the individual federal states have been updated (see attached, in German only). Masks must be worn when seated if the distance of 1.5 m from another group of people in the bus cannot be maintained.
You can find detailed information on the individual federal states and the latest overview in the BDO's Coronavirus database.
Source : Bundesverband Deutscher Omnibusunternehmer (bdo) e.V.
All driving bans on Sundays and public holidays in all German states are once again in place as of 1 September.
Links (in German):
Compulsory testing for persons entering Germany from areas of heightened risk and exemptions for drivers.
On 8 August 2020, Germany introduced compulsory testing for the COVID-19 virus for persons entering the country from “areas of heightened risk”. At land border crossings, authorities will perform spot checks for the relevant certificates.
However, § 4 of the relevant ordinance (see attachment in German and English) establishes an exemption from compulsory testing for persons who are exempted from the 14 days’ quarantine under regional COVID-19 regulations. The quarantine regulations in all regions of Germany establish such exemptions for persons who are professionally transporting passengers or goods by road, rail, ship or plane. As a result, drivers of international goods transport or passenger vehicles are not subject to compulsory COVID-19 testing.
Lists of heightened risk of COVID-19 infection are being posted and regularly updated by the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) and may be found at the following link: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Transport/BMG_Merkblatt_Reisende_Tab.html
(click the link named “Informationen zur Ausweisung internationaler Risikogebiete durch das Auswärtige Amt, BMG und BMI”)
As of 16 June, temporary border controls, introduced in March 2020 at the German borders with Austria, France, Switzerland and Denmark, will be abandoned. Entry into Germany of travellers from EU member states and EU associated states, will no longer be subject to show proof and justification of the urgent need to travel. Restrictions may still be reintroduced again subject to the pandemic’s further development.
On 10 June, the state of Schleswig-Holstein informed that a general exemption from the ban on driving on Sundays and public holidays pursuant to § 30 (3) and (4) StVO continues to apply until 31 August 2020 in accordance with § 46 (2) StVO. This also applies to empty runs.
In addition, the state of Schleswig-Holstein grants a general exemption from the driving ban in accordance with § 1 paragraph 1 of the holiday travel regulation on Saturdays in the period from 1 July to 31 August 2020.
In addition to the news shared last week, the German Bus and Coach Operators’ Association BDO prepared the following clarification on quarantine measures in Germany:
The federal and state governments have agreed that all persons entering Germany from third countries (countries outside EU) are required to self-quarantine for two weeks. Persons travelling from Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom are exempt from this requirement, as are persons travelling from EU countries. Please note that persons travelling from these countries could be instructed to quarantine if, over the last seven days, the number of new infections in the respective country has amounted to more than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants (detailed numbers can be found on the Robert-Koch-Institut website).
The quarantine requirement does not apply to persons entering Germany from a third country with an infection rate already determined as low. A list of these countries will be published on the Robert-Koch-Institut website.
Please consult the website of the specific German federal state to which you are travelling, either in which you have your residence or in which you intend to stay, for more details as rules may vary from state to state. More information here.
On 3 June, the German Federal Foreign Minister announced the lifting of the global travel warning from 15 June, which will be replaced by country-specific travel information. The lifting applies to EU Member States (except Spain, whose warning will be lifted at a later stage), Great Britain, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein; Norway’s travel warning will be also lifted at a later stage. Travel warning will be reinstated in case infections rise over 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.
For what concerns domestic passenger transport in Germany, BDO has provided an overview table and map (in German, last update: 08/06) on the current state of bus travel bans as well as preventive measures to be applied on board.
On 28 May, the German government informed that, in the absence of compelling reasons that justify further prorogations, relaxations of driving and rest time rules will not be renewed after 31 May. Therefore, Regulation (EC) 561/2006 will fully apply from 00:00 on 1 June.
On 26 May, the German region of Niedersachsen decided to prolong the suspension of weekend and holiday driving bans for trucks until 31 August 2020. Niedersachsen has also decided to suspend the additional summer restriction (special sections of motorways on Saturdays between 1 July and 31 August from 07:00 to 20:00).
The German region of Baden-Wurttemberg has also decided to suspend the additional summer restriction (special sections of motorways on Saturdays between 1 July and 31 August from 07:00 to 20:00). This decision has already been reflected in the BAG publication. However, Baden-Wurttemberg has not yet decided to prolong the suspension of the weekend and holiday driving ban, which is valid until 30 June 2020.
On 19 May, the German Federal Ministry of Transport recommended that regional governments suspend the additional German summer restrictions concerning special sections of motorways on Saturdays between 1 July and 31 August from 07:00 to 20:00. However, for the time being, implementation of this recommendation is still pending implementation by the regional governments. The states of North Rhine-Westphalia and Saxony-Anhalt have already granted such an exemption.
Detailed information on the progress of the implementation is expected to be published in the BAG information (in German only) in due course.
Source: BGL and DSLV
On 13 May, the German Minister of the Interior announced the following measures, which come into effect from 16 May:
· all border crossings at the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg and Denmark will be operative again.
· controls at the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France and Denmark will be reduced to sample checks.
· controls at the border with Luxembourg will be completely abandoned.
Companies should be aware that controls at the border with Denmark will be abandoned as soon as possible, however, the relevant date is still to be agreed. Controls at the borders with Austria, Switzerland and France are scheduled to cease on 16 June, subject to the COVID-19 pandemic’s further development.
On 4 May, the German Ministry of the Interior extended controls at the borders with Denmark, Luxembourg, France, Switzerland and Austria until 15 May.
Following requests for clarification on the suspension of weekend and holidays traffic bans in Germany, BGL has confirmed that dates of expiration should be read as “until and including”, therefore, the date mentioned on the document is the last day when operators can take advantage of the suspension.
The following German Federal States have announced extensions of exemptions to the Sunday and holiday driving ban for vehicles of more than 7.5 t MPW:
- Schleswig-Holstein: extended until 30.06.2020
- Brandenburg: extended until 30.09.2020.
The German control authority BAG keeps a record of the overview of the situation in the different regions and it can be found here.
All German Federal States have introduced legislation making the use of facial masks mandatory in order to prevent further spreading of the COVID-19 virus.
However, due to the federal structure of Germany, there is no unique nationwide provision defining the exact circumstances in which a mask must be worn.
Therefore, to ensure that legal requirements are definitively fulfilled, BGL recommends that drivers wear a facial mask whenever leaving the vehicle’s cabin.
On 22 April, the German Federal State of Bavaria has prolonged the general exemption from Sunday and holiday driving bans until 1 June 2020.
The German control authority BAG has provided an overview of the situation in the different regions. Please see here.
By the decree of 21 April 2020, the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate has extended the general exemption on the ban on driving on Sundays and public holidays for trucks until 10:00 on 30 August 2020.
The overview of the country-specific regulations (in German only) has been updated accordingly on the BAG's homepage.
The German region of Thuringia/Thüringen has made a decision to prolong the current exemption (expired 19 April 2020) from the Sunday and holiday driving ban until 1 June 2020. New list of exemptions can be found here.
The German Federal Administration has temporarily relaxed driving and rest times rules (EU Regulation 561⁄2006) with a prolongation until 17 May. The measure applies to road transport of goods of daily necessities, including food, medical equipment and fuel. Measures lifted are as follows:
- Possibility to extend driving time to 10 hours five times per week;
- Possibility to take two consecutive reduced weekly rests within a period of four weeks.
These measures apply to professional and privately owned transportation companies. More information here.
On 16 April, the German region of Hamburg decided to prolong the application of Sunday and holiday traffic ban exemptions for goods vehicles. Exemptions are applicable up until 24 June.
The most up-to-date list of exemptions, currently in force in Germany, can be consulted here.
On 15 April, the Federal Minister of the Interior has decided to extend border controls at the internal borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy and Spain by a further 20 days until 4 May.
Further details can be found here.
On 8 April, the German Federal Ministry of Health issued a regulation banning travellers from entering Germany without a valid reason. The following content replaces the Orders issued by the same Ministry of 2 April.
- Provide travellers with a barrier-free version of the information on the risks posed by COVID-19 infection and the possibilities for preventing and combating it.
- Keep the data available for up to 30 days after arrival in Germany. This applies in particular to electronically stored data which enable passengers to be identified and located, as well as to passenger lists and seating plans.
There are no restrictions on the cross-border movement of goods, regardless of the nationality of the drivers.
German Federal states’ exemptions on driving bans concern both Sunday and Public Holidays driving bans. The relevant exemptions granted in the Federal States are available here.
The State of Bavaria has extended the relieve of the driving ban on Sundays and public holidays for all goods vehicles until 19 April 2020.
The State of Hesse has extended the relieve of the driving ban on Sundays and public holidays to all goods vehicles. The relieve applies in Hesse until 30 June 2020.
A constantly updated overview of the state regulations can be found here.
Exemptions from Sunday / holiday driving bans have been updated. The most up to date list can be found here (changes highlighted in italics and in colour).