Since August 1, 2021, anyone over 12 years of age must present a negative test result, proof of vaccination or prove that they have recovered from an illness with COVID-19 less than 6 months ago when entering Germany. Compulsory testing applies no matter how and from which country you enter Germany. That means it also includes those who enter by train, ship or car. If you arrive by plane, you will be checked as soon as you board. For people arriving by train, ship, car or bicycle there will be random spot checks.
Attention: If you enter Germany from a virus variant area, all persons aged 12 and over need to present negative COVID test results. That also includes people who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from illness with COVID-19 less than 6 months ago. You can find a list of the current "virus variant areas" on the Website of Robert-Koch-Instituts.
Please note: The test must not be older than 48 hours. You have to pay for the test yourself. If your test is positive, you are not allowed to travel. If the country in which you are staying has a quarantine requirement, you must be quarantined there. You have to cover the costs yourself.
There are additional rules for people entering Germany from a high risk area (“Hochrisikogebiet”) or an area where a virus variant is common (“Virusvariantengebiet ”):
For people traveling to Germany from an area with a so-called “high risk area” must, in addition to taking a COVID test, also register online at einreiseanmeldung.de before entry. You must also upload your negative test result and - if you have one - your vaccination certificate or proof of recovery on the website. For people who do not have proof of vaccination or recovery, the following applies: After entering the country, you must immediately go into quarantine for 10 days. After 5 days you can go and take a COVID test. If the test result is negative, you can end your quarantine early. You can call the hotline 116117 or check www.116117.de to find a testing facility nearby. To learn more about “home quarantine” check out our chapter "Coronavirus". You can find a list of current “high risk areas” (“Hochrisikogebiet”) at the Website of Robert-Koch-Institute.
People who enter from a “virus variant area” (“Virusvariantengebiet ”): In principle, travelling to Germany from areas where new variants of the virus are widespread is currently not allowed. There is an entry ban and a transport ban for people from these areas, i.e. they are not allowed to enter the country by car, nor are they allowed to be transported by an airline, bus company, etc. A list of the current "new variant areas" can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute. However, the entry ban and transport ban do not apply to:
- People with German citizenship
- Spouses and children of German citizens if they enter the country together
- People who hold residence rights and reside in Germany
- Certain professions such as health workers or freight transport staff
- People with urgent humanitarian reasons such as a death, childbirth or urgent medical treatment
If you are allowed to enter from a country where a new virus variant is common, the following rules apply to you: YIn addition to taking a COVID test, you must also register online at einreiseanmeldung.de before entering. You need to upload your negative test results, your vaccination certificate or proof of recovery - if you have one - on the website. After entering the country, you must immediately go into quarantine for 14 days. It is not possible to end the quarantine early. This applies to everyone, including those who are already fully vaccinated against COVID and those who have recovered from a COVID infection less than 6 months ago.
If you have only traveled through a „high risk area“ or “virus variant area” and did not stop there (transit flight), the same rules apply to you as to those who enter (directly) from a non-risk area. Those who spend less than 24 hours in a high-risk area or virus variant area do not have to go into a quarantine either.
The exemption from quarantine also applies to people who have a reasonable ground to visit close family members (spouse, parents, children) in a high risk area for less than 72 hours. This way, for instance, one would be able to visit an ill family. But the exceptions form quarantine only apply if you don't show any typical symptoms. If you have visited close family members in a high risk area for more than 72 hours for an urgent reason, you can exempt yourself from the quarantine obligation by presenting a negative corona test. The test must not be older than 48 hours when you enter Germany. In addition, the test must meet the criteria listed by the Robert Koch Institute. You can find out which countries meet these criteria on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.
Please note: In the individual federal states there may be further rules or exceptions to the quarantine obligation. For instance, for certain professional groups such as medical staff. For more information ask with your employer. Or read the quarantine regulation of your state online. You can find the regulation which currently apply in your federal state (in German) at bundesregierung.de. You can find out more detailed version of rules in your specific federal state (in German) at dihk.de by clicking on the name of your federal state. To learn more about “home quarantine” check out our chapter "Coronavirus".