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New COVID Entry Rules for Travelers to Germany

Recently, there have been updates made to the COVID entry rules for travelers to Germany. Individuals planning to travel to the country any time soon should prepare for these requirements so that they can have a hassle-free trip.

The COVID-19 Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance and the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations have long been implemented by government officials in order to promote the safety of its citizens and residents. They have been amended time and again to make them more suitable for the current COVID-19 situation in the country. 

The Most Recent Changes in COVID Entry Rules for Travelers to Germany

COVID-19 Proof of Recovery

The validity of the COVID-19 proof of recovery has been shortened. Previously, it was valid for a period of 180 days. However, it is now only valid for 90 days. Other requirements that must be met to consider a COVID-19 proof of recovery valid include the type of test taken to detect infection with the coronavirus and when it was taken. 

Specifically, the COVID-19 test must have been administered by laboratory diagnostics and the type of test used must be one that uses nucleic acid detection, such as PCR or Point of Care (PoC) PCR. At the same time, the test must have been taken at least 28 days in the past.  

These changes are relevant for individuals who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 yet, as they are the ones who would need to present a COVID-19 proof of recovery in lieu of vaccination records upon entry to Germany. 

According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), scientific evidence shows that individuals who are unvaccinated and have a medical history of infection with the delta variant or any of the earlier variants do not have much protection against the omicron variant. The dominant variant across the world can bypass the protection that prior infection gives. As such, individuals are not protected long enough against severe diseases.  

Proof of Vaccination

EU citizens, their family members, and certain non-EU citizens can get an EU Digital COVID certificate. It comes at no cost and is valid in any EU country. The EU Digital COVID certificate serves as proof that the individual is vaccinated against COVID-19, has recovered from infection with the coronavirus, or has obtained a negative test result.

Similarly, the validity of vaccination certificates has also been shortened. The European Union’s Commission recommended late last year that all of its member countries adopt the same regulation for the EU Vaccination Certificate. This was done to coordinate COVID-19 travel measures across the countries and streamline the travel process.

In line with scientific data, the EU Vaccination Certificate is now only valid for 270 days, or 9 months. Levels of antibodies wane over time, and citizens would need a booster shot for continued protection against severe disease. According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine are needed 6 months, at most, after the primary immunization is completed. However, the European Union Commission gave a 3-month grace period so that countries can make the necessary adjustments to comply with this regulation and citizens won’t be left scrambling for a booster dose.

Germany followed suit earlier in the month. However, more details on booster vaccinations and the interval between primary immunization have yet to be released by German authorities.

COVID Entry Rules for Travelers to Germany: Before Arrival

Apart from the recent changes made to the COVID entry rules for travelers to Germany, other regulations are still in place.

Before entering the country, travelers who are coming from a country identified as a risk area, either a high-risk area or an area of variants of concern, 10 days before their arrival in Germany should fill out the Digital Registration on Entry. 

After providing all the necessary information on the Digital Registration on Entry, a PDF file will be sent as confirmation. This confirmation file will be checked by the carrier as a requirement for boarding. 

There are exemptions to the aforementioned rule, though. The following individuals do not need to fill out the Digital Registration on Entry:

  • Travelers who passed through a risk area with no stopovers
  • Travelers who are only laying over in Germany
  • Travelers who stayed in a risk area for less than 24 hours
  • Travelers entering Germany for only 24 hours
  • Cross-border commuters or border crossers who have urgent and critical work in the operations of their company 
  • Individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and are brought to Germany for the purpose of medical treatment
  • Individuals entering Germany in the capacity of transport personnel
  • Members of an official delegation, police officers, and customs officers returning to Germany 
  • Members of the German Federal Armed Forces or foreign armed forces

COVID Entry Rules For Travelers to Germany: Upon Arrival

All individuals entering Germany need to present either a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery. This is applicable even to travelers who do not come from a high-risk area or an area of variants of concern. 

Children who are less than six years old do not need to present the aforementioned documents. 

COVID Entry Rules for Travelers to Germany from an Area of Variants of Concern
Stricter regulations apply to travelers from an area of variants of concern. They must undergo COVID-19 PCR testing and quarantine, with no exemptions.

Travelers who previously stayed in an area with variants of concern need to undergo a COVID-19 test and present a negative result regardless of vaccination or recovery status. 

COVID Entry Rules For Travelers to Germany: Undergoing Quarantine

Travelers who do not come from a risk area are exempt from quarantine upon entry. They only need to present proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19. 

On the other hand, travelers coming from a high-risk area or an area of variants of concern need to undergo quarantine even if they are fully vaccinated or have recovered. Quarantine can be done at home or in any place of accommodation. They must head directly to their place of quarantine as soon as they land in Germany and should not pass by anywhere else. When in quarantine, individuals can not leave the place or accommodate any guests. 

A 10-day quarantine period is required for travelers six years of age or older who are coming from high-risk areas. Those coming from an area with variants of concern should undergo a 14-day quarantine period. 

Children less than 6 years of age only need to undergo a 5-day quarantine period.

COVID Entry Rules For Travelers to Germany: Ending Quarantine

Travelers who come from high-risk areas can end their quarantine earlier when they submit a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of vaccination, or proof of recovery. The relevant document should be uploaded to the portal of the Digital Registration on Entry. 

The quarantine period cannot end earlier than the 14-day regulation if an individual comes from an area of variants of concern. Considerations may be given if the area with variants of concern is downgraded while the individual is undergoing self-isolation. However, it is still subject to approval by the authorities. 

These COVID entry rules for travelers to Germany are currently in effect and will be applicable until March 3, 2022.

Upon compliance, travelers can go around the country and explore what it has to offer.

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