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Information on entry restrictions, testing and quarantine regulations in Germany

Travellers in front of a corona Test-center at an airport.

Free corona tests at German airports., © dpa / Sven Simon

30.09.2021 - Article

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions for entry into Germany from many countries apply.

Entry restrictions

General entry restrictions

With effect from 19 September, 2021, the Federal Republic of Germany no longer lists Zimbabwe as a Country with a significantly elevated risk of infection (high risk area).

However, EU-wide travel restrictions remain in place when entering Germany from Zimbabwe. 

Who is exempted from the entry restrictions?

  • German citizens or members of their immediate family (spouses, children under 18, parents of children under 18)
  •  EU citizens and citizens of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland and the members of their immediate family (spouses, children under 18, parents of children under 18)
  •  citizens of non-EU countries who have a current long-term residence permit from an EU or Schengen country and their immediate family members, as long as they comply with passport and visa regulations
  •  fully vaccinated people (please see “What rules apply for fully vaccinated people?”) as long as they comply with passport and visa regulations
  • people with important reasons to travel -as long as they comply with passport and visa regulations-, such as:
  •  residents of a country who are allowed unrestricted entry into Germany (please see the list of countries here)

Digital entry registration for Germany

The obligation to register digitally before departure for Germany at www.einreiseanmeldung.de and to carry the proof with them only exists for travellers who have stayed in the last 10 days in a country that is classified as a high-risk area or virus variant area at the time of the planned entry to Germany.

Since 19.09.2021, Zimbabwe is no longer considered a high-risk area. This means that from 19.09.2021, the obligation to submit a digital entry declaration when entering Germany from these countries no longer applies.

Mandatory testing or proof of immunity for persons who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19 

Upon entering Germany, travellers aged twelve years or older must hold proof of the following:

  • A negative COVID-19 test result or 
  • Proof of a full COVID-19 vaccination or
  • Proof of recovery from an infection.

This proof must be held prior to entering the country, and must be presented to the airline before departure where applicable.

Exemptions from requirement of testing or providing proof of immunity

Exemptions apply for

  • persons, who only change flights at an airport
  • Transport personnel
  • In the case of border traffic the following persons who have spent less than 24 hours
  • in a high-risk area oder area of variant of concern

In the case of border traffic for stays of up 24 hours, the requirement only applies for entries from high-risk areas of areas of variant of concern or who enter Germany via air travel. In these cases a negative test result only needs to be presented twice per week.

The proof must be presented to the relevant authorities upon request up to ten days after entry. More information on mandatory testing and proof of immunity is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and this information leaflet.

Requirements for tests and proof of vaccination or recovery

Detailed information on the requirements for tests and proof of immunity is available on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

In principle, the following forms of proof are accepted:

  • Proof of a negative test result:

A negative test result obtained using nucleic acid amplification technology (e.g. PCR, PoC- PCR) in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish. The test must have been carried out no more than 72 hours prior to entry (time of swabbing).

Alternatively, a negative antigen rapid test result in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish. Following a stay in a high-risk area, the test must have been carried out no more than 48 hours prior to entry. Following a stay in an area of variant of concern, the test must have been carried out no more than 24 hours prior to entry.

Details on the recognition of tests are provided on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

  • Proof of vaccination:

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in digital or paper form (e.g. EU Digital COVID certificate; WHO vaccination booklet). Note that a photo of a proof in paper form is not sufficient.

The vaccine used must be one of those listed on the website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut. A period of at least 14 days must have elapsed since receiving the last vaccine dose. For persons who recovered from an infection (see below) one dose of the vaccine is sufficient and the 14-day waiting period does not apply.

The proof of vaccination must contain:

- personal data of the person vaccinated (at leat surname, first name(s) and birth date or number of passport / ID

- date and number of vaccinations

- name of the vaccine used.,

- name of the illness against which the person was vaccinated.

- characteristics that allow to identify the person of institution that was responsible for the vaccination or the issuance of the certificate, such as an official seal Symbol or name.

  • Proof of recovery:

A positive PCR test result carried out at least 28 days but no more than six months previously.

Quarantine regulations

The obligation to quarantine only applies to travellers who have stayed in the last 10 days in a country that is classified as a high-risk area or virus variant area at the time of the planned entry to Germany.

Since 19.09.2021, Zimbabwe is no longer considered high-risk area. This means that from 19.09.2021 the obligation to quarantine on entry from these countries no longer applies.


Transit through Germany


Airport transit (non-Schengen travels)

Changing flights without leaving the international transit area of an airport does not constitute an entry into Germany for the purposes of the relevant regulation (Corona-Einreiseverordnung). In these cases the digital entry registration, requirements for mandatory testing or providing proof of vaccination, quarantine regulations and travel bans from countries affected by coronavirus variants​​​​​​​ do not apply.


Transit within, from or to Schengen

When travelling from or to the Schengen area by air you will need to leave the international transit area of an airport. Under the new Corona Entry Ordinance which came into force on 01.08.2021 and for Covid-related purposes only, changing of planes on the same airport are now also not qualified as an entry to Germany and the same as for non-Schengen travels applies (see above).


However, please make sure of what the airlines you are travelling with require in complying with their own health protocols or with requirements imposed on them by the countries of origin or final destination to allow you to board. Most airlines insist on negative tests or proofs of vaccination in order to be able to transport passengers.

How to conduct yourself when in Germany?

Mouth and nose must be covered aboard any public transport, in stores and busy outdoor places, where the minimum distance to others cannot be kept at all times. Masks must fulfill the requirements of FFP2 or KN95/N95.

If travellers develop symptoms associated with COVID-19 (coughing, a runny nose, sore throat or fever) they should get in touch by phone with a doctor or contact the hotline 116 117. Often travel guides or hotels can also help in such cases. Travellers should keep the contact details of their home country’s embassy or consulate in Germany in case they need to contact them.

Information by the Federal Ministry of Health in english can be found here.

Extensive information in English and other languages on current regulations is available here.

A overview on what to do to help protect yourself and others is available here:

Coronavirus – Informationen and practical advice.

Watch out for local regulations

Measures for fighting the spread of COVID-19 are subject to local regulation. This may include quarantine measures in the case of a confirmed infection.

The international advice on reducing the spread of COVID-19 should be followed. This includes washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap for 20-30 seconds, sneezing into the elbow or the quick disposal of handkerchieves or tissues, keeping a distance from other people and avoiding shaking hands. Further information and details can be found on the World Health Organization’s Website.

Where possible, travel should be reduced and public transport avoided to further reduce the risk of infection.

Where to find more information

More information is available from the following institutions:

Information on coronavirus and regulations in English and other languages

Ministry of the Interior

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Transport

The World Health Organization

Robert Koch Institute

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