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Travel updates: Travelling to and within Germany during lockdown

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Germany to enter a partial lockdown

Over the past weeks, the German government has imposed several new curbs to slow the spread of Covid-19. However, due to a sharp rise in daily infections amongst the German population, from Monday 2nd November, Germany will enter a nationwide ‘lockdown light’. German Chancellor Angela Merkel acknowledged “the measures are tough”, but emphasised that “we must act now to avoid a national emergency".

This partial lockdown is to last at least until the end of November, in the hopes that, if infection rates drop, public life can resume in December and families will be able to celebrate Christmas together. Borders will remain open, but daily life and travel will be largely restricted. Citizens are advised to only leave their homes for essential purposes such as work, exercise and shopping.

Living in Germany during the ‘light lockdown’

Regardless of whether you are in a city, town or village in Germany, the new restrictions on public life apply to you. You have to wear a mask covering your mouth and nose in buildings, on public transport and certain busy streets. You are only allowed to meet in public, open and private spaces in groups of up to ten people from two households. Catering and beauty establishments, as well as entertainment and fitness facilities, are to close their doors throughout November.

Restaurants, bars and cafés will only be allowed to offer takeaway and delivery services. Individual sports, such as running, are still permitted. Shops, such as supermarkets, pharmacies and hairdressers, are to remain open, but with strict hygiene and distancing measures. Overnight stays in hotels for tourism purposes are banned. Schools and nurseries are being prioritised and will be kept open with hygiene and distancing measures.

Photo: Quevens via pexels

Travelling to Germany

Germany will effectively be closed to tourists but open to those needing to enter the country for essential purposes such as to return home or work. Currently, only citizens from the EU and Schengen Area are permitted to enter Germany without restriction. However, an increasing number of countries, such as Belgium and Iceland, have recently been added to the Robert Koch Institute Risk Area List. Anyone wanting to enter Germany from a third country must present a valid reason. Only Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Thailand and Uruguay are exempt from this requirement.

It is still possible to enter Germany to visit family, but all potential travellers are strongly advised to consider the necessity of their trip. If you are travelling to Germany from a risk area, a region with more than 50 infections per 100,000 inhabitants, you will be required to be tested on entry, proceed to your destination and self-isolate until the test results are known. If you test positive, you are required to quarantine for 10 days.

Photo: Anna Shvets via pexels

As regulations are often changing, new countries are being added to the RKI Risk Area List and each German Bundesland has some individual local regulations, it is advised to keep yourself informed and regularly check for updates.

For more information on regulations, visit the websites below:


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