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Information for travellers

24.09.2020 - Artikel

Short English summary of the most important points for travellers to Germany

General information for travellers

Which rules apply to persons returning to or entering Germany?

Flugzeug in der Luft
Flugzeug © Colourbox

Anyone entering Germany from a risk area must self-isolate and inform their local health authorities. Since August 8, every person entering from a risk area has to present a negative SARS-Cov-2 test that is not older than 48 hours, or has to be tested for a SARS-Cov-2 infection within 72 hours of arrival. If the test result is negative, the quarantine could be lifted. As per decision of the federal and state governments from August 27, the quarantine for a negative test result could be lifted after five days at the earliest from 1 October onwards Federal and state governments also emphasize, wherever possible, to refrain from travelling to designated risk Areas.

For travellers returning from a country that is not a risk area, the opportunity to be tested free of charge after entering Germany ended on September 15, 2020. You can find more questions and answers for those returning here.

Please find the current travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office here. The RKI regularly updates a list of states with an increased risk of SARS-Cov-2 infection. From October 1, a travel warning will automatically apply to SARS-Cov-2 risk areas.

Travellers by air or ship are obliged to pass on their identity, travel route and contact details. The respective carriers must collect this information and forward it to the responsible authorities. This is achieved by using a Public Health Passenger Locator Form for contact Tracing.

What should I consider when travelling abroad?

The federal government lifted the worldwide travel warning for many European countries on June 3. Since June 15, individual travel advice has been in effect for the member states of the EU, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. Please note that travel warnings apply to some areas – including other European countries. Travelers should look up their holiday destinations on the website of the Federal Foreign Office and observe the current travel warnings. The RKI also lists states in which is an increased risk of infection with SARS-Cov-2 in a regularly updated list.

For travels to other countries, the travel warning continues to apply until and including September 30, 2020. From October 1, a travel warning will automatically apply to areas that are identified as SARS-Cov-2 risk areas.

Due to local outbreaks in Germany, some regions may have new restrictions in. For example, it could become necessary to present a medical certificate of a negative SARS-Cov-2 test upon entering an area with a local outbreak in certain states. Before planning your trip, please check whether special regulations apply to your travel destination.

Which regulations apply to cross-border traffic?

The internal border controls at the borders with Austria, Switzerland, France, Italy and Denmark which were temporarily reintroduced as a result of the pandemic, have been lifted since June 15, 2020. Border controls for air travel from Spain ended on June 21, 2020. With the cessation of internal border controls, entry restrictions and pandemic-related tracing and control measures also end.

Following the recommendation of the Council of the European Union, the Federal Government has decided to gradually allow entry from third countries to Germany again. Citizens from Australia, Georgia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay are allowed to enter. For three other countries (China, Japan, and South Korea), the entry restrictions will be lifted under the provision that these countries in turn expand the possibility of entry for German citizens. Travellers from third countries can enter Germany if there is an “important reason for travel”. Such a reason for travel exists, for example, if the traveller can show an existing right of residence in Germany, is active in the field of health, care for the elderly, goods transport, or the entry takes place in the context of family reunification.

Regardless of the possibility of entry, a quarantine is obligatory on the basis of infection control legislation in all federal states for people entering and returning from risk areas defined by the RKI. With the exception of passengers in transit, this also applies to travellers with an important reason for travel. An exception from quarantine is also applicable with a valid negative test result.

What is the current situation for commuters to and from work in Germany?

Cross-border commuter traffic as well as cross-border movement of goods is ensured.

What should you consider when using public transport?

It is mandatory in all federal states to wear mouth and nose covers on public transport and in shops. You can find an overview of the regional regulations in the respective federal states. You can find more information about wearing masks here.

It is most important to keep your distance. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters between citizens in public is still a valid guideline, and basic hygiene rules still apply: Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm or a paper tissue. Avoid touching your mouth, eyes, or nose with your hands.

Road freight transport

Is the supply network for truck drivers secured?

The Federal Ministry of Transport is in constant contact with the operators of serviced rest stops and truck stops. This resulted in the following measures:

  • Petrol stations of the Tank & Rast network are open 24 hours a day
  • Increased range of hot dishes “to go”
  • Free sanitary facilities and driver showers
  • Control and expansion of sanitary facilities
  • Truck hotline: 0800 9 555 777

Rail freight transport

What is the state of rail freight transport?

Domestic and cross-border freight traffic is largely stable. DB Cargo can currently deploy further transports at short notice, also in the international network, in order to guarantee the supply chain of goods.

Further information via the hotline +49 203 9851 9000 or by e-mail to

DB Cargo is in constant contact with all relevant federal and state authorities and follows all the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute.

Air freight transport

Is air freight traffic restricted?

The Federal Government is making every reasonable effort to continuously guarantee the secure supply chain for air freight to and from Germany.

The Federal Aviation Office is in close contact with German aviation companies to support the practical application of duty and rest times.

Please find further information on the website of the Federal Aviation Office.

All Information is provided at the best of our current knowledge and without liabilty.

Original version in German

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