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9 July 2021 at 3:10 am #1070AnonymousInactive
Who is allowed to visit Germany? Do they need to quarantine or is a negative coronavirus test sufficient? Entry regulations to Germany remain complicated. We provide answers to the most important questions.
A plane landing at night at Frankfurt airport, Germany
Germany is carefully reopening to some tourists
After long lockdown months, the desire to travel is returning in large parts of Europe. As COVID-19 infections have declined, strict entry restrictions have also been eased in recent weeks. This applies above all to the European Union and the Schengen area. Travelers here can look forward to a vacation in a neighboring country, for example, without any major hurdles.
If you want toenter Germany, though, you still have to take a few things into account. First, you should make sure whether the country you are entering from is classified by Germany as a risk area, If this is the case, a digital entry declaration has to be filled out. In addition, travelers must present a negative coronavirus test if they have not yet been vaccinated against Covid-19 or have not recovered from an infection in the past six months. Holidaymakers do not then have to undergo quarantine.
On July 1, the EU-wide digital vaccination passport was introduced. It makes it easier to enter Germany and gain access to events, for example. This makes retrieving information on the status of vaccinations, tests, and past infections quick and easy.
A plane boarding ticket, a German passport and a mobile phone displaying the EU digital vaccination passport
As of July 1, the digital vaccination certificate is making travel in Europe easier
Changes to the travel warning
Travelers from the UK to Germany will face softer quarantine restrictions, after altered recommendations from the German public health agency, the Robert Koch Institute published on Monday, July 5. Portugal, Russia, India, and Nepal have also been downgraded.
The change will means simpler requirements for people visiting those countries. People who have had either both vaccination doses or who can demonstrate they have recovered from COVID, will not need to isolate on their return or arrival.
People who have not been vaccinated will be required to self-isolate, but only for up to 10 days. They will also have the option to leave quarantine early with a negative coronavirus test on the fifth day.
Under the countries’ previous classification, all people reaching Germany were required to self-isolate for 14 days, no matter what their personal COVID status. And only German citizens or residents were permitted to travel from the affected countries, not visitors from places like the UK.
The plan will kick in on Wednesday.
There are no longer any high-incidence areas in Europe.
This measure has very practical consequences for vacationers: During the pandemic, the travel warning primarily enabled vacationers to cancel bookings free of charge. This option is now no longer available. The situation is different for travel insurers. They did not have to pay any compensation because the travel warning generally advised against tourist vacations. Now, however, because only ” extra caution” is advised, insurance companies must compensate holidaymakers who fall ill with COVID-19 abroad or are stranded there due to quarantine protection measures.
Most EU countries are currently no longer subject to entry restrictions, as they no longer fall into the group of risk areas due to low infection rates. Anyone entering Germany from these countries by land does not need to be vaccinated, recovered or tested.
However, anyone who wants to enter Germany by air must provide proof before departure that they have been vaccinated, have fully recovered from an infection or have tested negative — regardless of the country they come from and the incidence level there. The regulation also applies to travelers returning home.
Arrivals with suitcases at Berlin-Brandenburg (BER) airport, Germany
Tourists are coming to Germany again, but there are still many rules to consider
German tourism sector caught between relief and concern
The fact that far-reaching entry restrictions have now been eased for EU countries and also for third countries is good news for the German tourism industry. In recent months, it has been one of the sectors hardest hit by the lockdown.
The German tourism sector was missing US tourists in particular. After guests from the Netherlands and Switzerland, they represented the third-largest group of visitors to Germany before the coronavirus pandemic. The western university city of Heidelberg was especially popular with Americans. Here, they accounted for the largest share of foreign tourists.
People sitting at outdoor tables at a cafe in Heidelberg, Germany
It’s still very quiet in Heidelberg:There is a lack of international tourists in the city
However, Mathias Schiemer, managing director of Heidelberg Marketing, says that the easing of entry for third-country nationals is not yet noticeable. “This primarily affects hotels that specialize in international guests,” Schirmer said in an interview with DW. However, he added, the city had been focusing more on domestic tourism for some years. “This is now paying off. It’s nice to see that the city is alive and vibrant again,” Schiemer said.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, many Germans are again preferring to travel within their own country this summer. In many places, hotels and holiday homes are already fully booked, especially in the coastal regions and in southern Germany.
Crowded beach on the Baltic Sea, Germany
Tourists at the Baltic Sea: The pandemic has caused many Germans to spend their vacations at home
But the spread of the delta variant is dampening hopes — especially for those returning from their travels. Many Portugal vacationers have cut short their trip or canceled it early due to the classification of their destination as a virus variant area. Big travel companies such as Tui and DER Touristik have suspended their Portugal trips at short notice. Many politicians are now calling for stricter entry restrictions, such as mandatory testing, especially for returning travelers. The German government rejected stricter measures on June 28, 2021. The German Travel Association (DRV) is also warning against new restrictions, as they could unsettle vacationers. Nevertheless, there will probably not be the carefree summer of travel that many were hoping for just a few weeks ago.
This article has been translated from German and has been updated since it was first published on July 1.
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