Just like dominoes, one by one it seems that countries around the world are beginning to ease their entry requirements, doing so with one eye cast firmly on a long-overdue summer of travel. Following in the footsteps of the likes of fellow European nations Greece and Iceland, Germany is set to be the next country welcoming tourists across their borders after the country relaxed its travel rules yesterday. Here’s everything you need to know about Germany’s updated requirements, plus a look at which travelers may be able to enter the country this summer.
Germany Relaxes Entrance Rules – Information for Travelers
Like much of the rest of the continent, the earlier months of the pandemic saw Germany move to enact an almost total shutdown of its borders, allowing access to only citizens, residents and those traveling for essential purposes to enter. Yesterday’s announcement that the country is set to ease its restrictions is set to be a welcome change of tact by the country, and a sign of how far they have come in their fight against Covid-19.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved a series of changes yesterday that will allow certain travelers to enter without the need to quarantine. The key changes included:
- Travelers who have been vaccinated against Covid-19, or recovered from an infection, will no longer need to test on arrival or quarantine, unless coming from an area where variants of concern are prevalent
- Unvaccinated travelers may end their quarantine early if they test negative
These new rules are bound to make Germany a more attractive proposition for both vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers alike, with quarantine off the cards completely for many. According to German media, the change to the rules follows growing pressure placed on doctors by those who aren’t yet vaccinated but wish to go on holiday, and so the change is designed to make travel easier for families with children.
Which Travelers Can Visit Germany?
Access to Germany is still restricted at present, as is the case for many EU countries. In principle, entering Germany is possible from the following:
- EU member states
- States associated with Schengen: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
- New Zealand
- South Korea
Whilst the list may be shorter than many would have liked, it looks as though it is set to increase soon. A press release by the European Commission last week read:
“The Commission proposes to allow entry to the EU for non-essential reasons not only for all persons coming from countries with a good epidemiological situation but also all people who have received the last recommended dose of an EU-authorised vaccine.”
The EU currently accepts the two-dose Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca jabs, and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson. However, Germany’s Health Minister Jens Spahn didn’t rule out the possibility of accepted other vaccines for people hoping to travel to Germany – providing they reduced the risk of infecting others.
Speaking about travelers arriving with a vaccine other than the EU’s approved doses, Spahn said:
“The vaccines approved outside of Europe need to prove that they can reduce the infection risk to a similar extent. If that’s the case then I have no problem with equating them (with EMA-approved shots), but I want to have proof.”
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories