Travel update: Entering Germany from the UK
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the spread of new coronavirus strains, Germany’s travel rules and entry restrictions have become significantly tighter, to reduce further infections and deaths.
All travellers entering Germany, especially those from risk areas, such as the UK, Ireland and South Africa, must complete an online entry registration form before their trip. Additionally, people travelling into Germany must take a compulsory coronavirus test no more than 48 hours before departure, receive a negative result and self-isolate on arrival for 10 days. Self-isolation can only be ended after obtaining another negative test result from the 5th day of quarantine.
These steps are essential, as travel from areas with high coronavirus rates is a large contributor to the spread of the virus in Germany. By following these measures, infection rates can be reduced, as the German health authorities are provided with the data needed to check that passengers entering Germany are not carrying the virus. This will limit traveller’s contribution to further infections and help to ensure they are sticking to their 10-day quarantine in their home or hotel.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) stated that people must refrain from non-essential travel, especially in light of the new variants. Germany has reported 16 cases of the new coronavirus strain, all of which were related to travel. Thus, strict rules are to apply until at least the end of March.
Germany’s Health Minister, Jens Spahn, wants to impose even stricter entry restrictions on people travelling from risk areas, where infection rates are high and the Covid-19 variants are spreading rapidly. This is to halt the importation of the two new Covid-19 mutations. All travellers coming into Germany from countries where the two Covid-19 mutations are present must undertake compulsory testing before departure.
In draft plans created by the Health Ministry, it states that a “nationwide uniform entry test obligation” is necessary, so that “information on the infectiousness of the entering persons is already available upon entry”, and that “uncontrolled entries from abroad” must be stopped.
The Health Ministry also wants to involve phone companies in helping to spread awareness to people entering Germany, through SMS messages containing information on Covid-19 regulations.
Currently, there is still a travel ban on travellers from the UK and South Africa until at least 20th January. Residents travelling from these risk areas are only permitted to travel into Germany if they provide a negative test and quarantine on arrival.
Lothar Wieler, President of the RKI, urged people to follow the current coronavirus regulations and receive the Covid-19 vaccine, as he believes this will allow Germany to have Covid-19 under control by the end of 2021.