Germany's borders remain open and business trips from EU states, selected third states and within the country are generally possible.
Entry Regulations, Border Controls, Travel Restrictions
Germany’s Federal Foreign Office has prepared important information relating to entry and travel restrictions, behavior when in Germany, and transit through other countries.
In order to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus, Germany has implemented general travel restrictions for entry from outside the Schengen area. However, in line with the recommendations of the European Council, unrestricted entry to Germany is allowed from specific third countries with low infection rates. For up-to-date information and a list of all relevant countries, please refer to the dedicated website of the German Federal Ministry of Interior.
Travel to Germany from other third countries is also permitted in specific cases including for example:
- nationals from EU countries and associated Schengen countries and the UK,
- third country nationals with a valid residence permit for Germany,
- foreign experts and highly qualified personnel whose work is necessary from an economic point of view and which cannot be postponed or carried out abroad,
- third country nationals with specific essentials functions or needs.
The possibility to enter Germany depends on the place of departure and not the person’s nationality.
Regardless of the possibility to enter the country, Germany has has a quarantine requirement in place for those returning to and entering Germany from regions designated by the Robert Koch Institute as being international risk areas within the last 10 days prior to entry. From November 8, 2020, all travelers to Germany from international risk areas must register online prior to their entry. Travelers must present proof of the registration when entering Germany.
- After arriving at their destination in Germany, the respective individuals must self-isolate at home for 10 days.
- If no other grounds for exception apply, these individuals may only be released from the obligation to self-isolate at home – no earlier than 5 days after entering Germany – if they provide proof of a negative test result.
For details about the quarantine requirements please refer to the dedicated website of the Federal Ministry of Health.
The EU web platform ”Re-open EU” provides up-to date information on borders, practical information on travel restrictions, and public health and safety measures for the EU member states.
National Guidelines to Slow the Spread of Coronavirus
To protect individuals from infection, a minimum distance requirement of 1.5 meters and the use of masks in public spaces - especially in shops and on public transport - will remain in place until further notice.
In reponse to still high infection rates in Germany, the German federal government and the 16 federal states have decided to extend the restrictions in place from November 2, 2020 through to December 20, 2020.
Social distancing and reducing contact to the absolute minimum necessary remain the most important measures. Schools and kindergartens remain open, as do wholesale and retail businesses. Urgent business travel is permitted and Germany's borders remain open.
Non-essential travel is prohibited and hotels forbidden from accommodating tourists. Restaurants, cafés and bars are restricted to take-away service only. Recreational facilites like theatres, cinemas, and gyms are closed.
The federal states will implement additional measures valid from December 1, 2020. For instance, contact in public areas will be limited to two households encompassing a maximum of five people (children under 14 years of age are exempted). Masks will be mandatory in more places including outside shops and in car parks. The number of customers allowed inside shops at any one time will also be limited.
The federal government assumes that due to the high infection rates, comprehensive restrictions will be necessary until early January.
For details of the extended and newly imposed restrictions, please refer to the dedicated website of the German federal government.
For additional information on local restrictions, please check the rules that apply in the different federal states. For an overview of links to the federal states, please refer to the website of the federal government (only available in German language). Additionally, the special information website for the Corona virus provided by the Federal Ministry of Health offers useful information.
National Corona Warning App and European Platform
The official Corona “Warning” App of the federal government has been available since June 16. The free app has been designed to enable contact tracing of infected persons in order to shorten the potential chain of infection. Use of the app is entirely voluntary, with the government promoting its broad use and promising a high level of data protection. Starting October 2020, European Union (EU) member states have launched a cross-border coronavirus tracing network using a shared platform that links different member state tracking apps.