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Germany Eases Entry Requirements For Tourists

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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 Eases Travel Rules With Summer On The Horizon

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.

brandenburg gate berlin

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
frankfurt germany

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
  • Australia
  • Israel
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
germany pretzel

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.”  

germany closes restaurants

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


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Daniel

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Please note that hotels in Germany are not allowed to offer services to tourists. Only business travel is allowed, and this needs to be proved.

Elisabeth

Friday 14th of May 2021

@Daniel, thanks. Same here in the Netherlands. However there loads of tourists walking the streets in Amsterdam that are definitely not business people. I guess the dutch hotels are accepting them anyway...

Elisabeth

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Great news!

mike

Thursday 13th of May 2021

How will they verify the vaccine certificate ? There's no standard yet. If someone shows that CDC card , will that be enough ? It's not specified.

mike

Friday 14th of May 2021

@Kashlee Kucheran,

Thanks Kashlee! Do you know if any Canadian receipt is accepted or will be eventually ?

Currently our govt isn't doing anything to issue a federal certificate. Unlike in the US (at the cdc level) , we only have receipts here on the provincial level (i have one from Ontario).

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 13th of May 2021

The EU commission president said that UK's NHS cards and USA's CDC cards 'should' be accepted by EU state members until the Digital Green Pass is available and ready.

Robert

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Is this effective immediately? I am scheduled to fly DFW-FRA-DBV on June 10th and wonder if I still have to have an antigen test for my transfer. I am fully vaccinated.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 13th of May 2021

This came into effect a few days ago. I would double-check with your airline on your test requirement, as they would be the ones checking to see if you had one before boarding, if in fact you needed one.

JMC

Thursday 13th of May 2021

Maybe a silly question, but this does apply to transiting correct? Looking to go to Croatia next month and layover is in Germany.

Kashlee Kucheran

Thursday 13th of May 2021

There are some exceptions for transiting as well, but it is a little confusing to try and digest! ;) It seems if you are coming from a 'safe' or a 'high incidence country, you can use your proof of vaccination when transiting instead of a test. However, if you are coming from an 'area of variants of concern', proof of vaccination will not suffice. Here is a link to the Lufthansa site that was just updated: (Click HERE to read)