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Germany relaxes quarantine and testing rules for arrivals

Until now, people arriving in Germany from Robert Koch Institut (RKI) classified ‘risk areas’ had to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival and take a coronavirus test which, if negative, would bring an end to their quarantine.

In light of falling Covid-19 infection numbers and a significantly ramped up vaccination campaign in Germany, the government has eased the quarantine requirements for ‘risk areas’, thus removing a major obstacle for people travelling to Germany or abroad this summer.

Under the new regulations, which came into force on 13th May, people who are fully vaccinated, those who have recovered from Covid-19, or those who can present a recent negative test, will be exempt from self-isolation rules upon arrival from a covid ‘risk area.’

For unvaccinated travellers arriving from countries listed in the ‘high-incidence areas’ or ‘areas of variant concern’ categories, quarantine regulations will still apply.

Health Minister Jens Spahn believes the third Covid wave “appears to have broken” and that relaxing the rules is reasonable, as Germany has a similar infection situation to countries classified as ‘risk areas.’

Travellers returning from more than 100 countries, including popular German holiday destinations such as Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, and Greece, will no longer have to quarantine on return to Germany.

Nonetheless, passengers from regions designated as ‘virus variant areas’, such as India, South Africa, Nepal, and Brazil, will still need to follow mandatory entry regulations and self-isolate upon arrival. Unvaccinated arrivals from Germany’s neighbour, France, will also have to quarantine upon entry to Germany, as it is considered a ‘high-incidence area.’

Additionally, on Friday, barely a month after being taken off Germany’s risk list, the RKI re-classified the UK as a covid ‘risk area’ “due, despite a low incidence rate, to the […] occurrence of the B.1.617.2 variant in the United Kingdom”, which originated in India.

Since the UK is categorised as a ‘risk area’, passengers from the UK will still be able to travel to Germany without quarantining if they are fully immunised, have recovered from the virus, or can show a negative test before boarding.


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