COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions on visa issues related to COVID-19

COVID-19 Information
Last updated:  02/11/2021

***  Effective January 26, all airline passengers to the United States ages two years and older must provide a negative COVID-19 viral test taken within three calendar days of travel. Alternatively, travelers to the U.S. may provide documentation from a licensed health care provider of having recovered from COVID-19 in the 90 days preceding travel.   Waivers to the testing requirement may be granted by the CDC on an extremely limited basis when extraordinary emergency travel (like an emergency medical evacuation) must occur to preserve someone’s health and safety, and testing cannot be completed before travel.  There are no waivers available for individuals who test positive for COVID-19.  Individuals – or air carriers seeking to allow boarding by potentially qualifying individuals – who believe they meet the criteria for a waiver should contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate at Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions. 

Country-Specific Information:

  • The Department of State has issued a Level 3 – Reconsider Travel Advisory advising U.S. citizens to reconsider travel to Germany due to COVID-19. 
  • The German CDC-equivalent, the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), provides daily updates in German and English on the number reported cases, fatalities, and recoveries. 
  • The German authorities have extended the full lockdown through March 7, 2021.  Each federal state may have additional restrictions; please see individual state websites (in German) for specific details. At a minimum:
    • Travel within Germany should be restricted to essential travel only, and overnight hotel stays for tourists are not allowed.
      • In areas with over 200 cases/100,000 inhabitants, residents must stay within 15 kms of their residence, except for “sound reasons”. “Sound reasons” include work and medical care, but not shopping, sport activities, or day trips.
    • Gatherings are restricted to one household and one additional person from another household. This includes children under the age of 14 years.
    • Medical grade masks (surgical masks, or masks meeting the N95, KN95, or FFP-2 standards) are required in all public transportation and stores. It is also recommended to wear medical grade masks whenever there is extended or close contact indoors. 
    • All retail except for essential goods such as groceries are closed.
    • Restaurants and bars are closed except for take-out. Alcohol consumption in public spaces is forbidden.
    • Recreation and sports facilities (including gyms and swimming pools), cultural/entertainment venues (including theaters and concerts halls), and personal care services (such as hair salons, massages, nail salons, etc.) are closed.
    • Religious services are allowed with restrictions

COVID-19 Testing: 

  • Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in GermanyYes 
  • If so, are test results reliably available within 72 hours? Yes 
    • You can find the most up-to-date information on COVID testing in Germany through the German Ministry of Health. 
    • U.S. citizens in Germany can obtain a COVID-19 test by visiting this website (in German) to book an appointment, or by calling 116 117 to be connected to the local health authorities who will explain testing options.
    • Travelers may incur charges for COVID-19 tests, although these vary by location. Residents may have access to free COVID-19 testing 

COVID-19 Vaccines: 

  • Has the government of Germany approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use?  Yes.  
  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow host country developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. 
    • The German government has prioritized three groups for the initial rollout of the vaccine: Group 1 consists of people over the age of 80, care workers in nursing homes, and health care workers with extremely high exposure to COVID-19; Group 2 consists of those between the ages of 70 and 80, those with underlying conditions that increase chances of death from COVID-19, health care workers with high exposure, and certain other contact persons; Group 3 consists of those above the age of 60, those with underlying medical conditions that increase chances of severe disease, police and fire department workers, teachers, and other essential workers. For more information, see this webpage (in German). 
    • Those who fall into the priority groups can register for a vaccine appointment with their states. See this link for a list of all state vaccination websites. 
    • Information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination. 

Entry and Exit Requirements: 

  • Are U.S. citizens permitted to enter? No (with a few exceptions, see below) 
    • Germany will currently only allow EU citizens, EU residents, and residents of certain other specific countries to enter. The United States is not one of those countries. U.S. citizens traveling to Germany from the United States will not be permitted to enter unless they meet one of only a few narrow exceptions. If you do not meet one of these exceptions but believe your circumstances merit entry to Germany, or if you need clarification, you should contact the German Embassy in Washington D.C. regarding entry permission.  The U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Germany cannot give you permission to enter Germany. 
  • Persons entering Germany who have spent time in an RKI-designated risk area in the 10 days prior to entry are required to submit a digital registration on entry. 
  • Is a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) required for entry? YES. Starting January 14, mandatory COVID-19 testing is required to enter or transit through Germany, with specific conditions depending on the type of risk area the traveler has visited prior to entering Germany. The list of risk areas can be found on the RKI website and the tests must meet the criteria laid out by the RKI.
    • Travelers who have stayed in an RKI-designated risk area” in the 10 days prior to entry must show a negative test that is no more than 48 hours old or must take a test no later than 48 hours after arrival. 
    • Travelers who have stayed in an RKI-designated high incidence area in the 10 days prior to entry must show a negative test that is no more than 48 hours old, and must produce the test results when requested by airlines or competent authorities. Note that as of January 24, 2021, the United States is a designated “high incidence area, and passengers traveling from the United States must show a negative test result in order to board an airplane destined for Germany.
    • Travelers who have stayed in an RKI-designated high-risk virus variant area in the 10 days prior to entry must show a negative test that is no more than 48 hours old, and must produce the test results when requested by airlines or competent authorities. This negative test result will be required in order to board an airplane destined for Germany.
  • Are health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry? YES, potentially including mandatory COVID-19 testing at the airport for certain travelers.

Movement Restrictions: 

  • Is a curfew in place? YES, in certain states. Please see individual state websites (in German) for specific details. 
  • Are there restrictions on intercity or interstate travel? No. However, travel within Germany is strongly discouraged, and no overnight hotel stay for tourists are allowed. Some districts are not allowing outside visitors to enter. 

Quarantine Information: 

  • Are U.S. citizens required to quarantine? YES 
  • Each federal state within Germany sets its own quarantine regulations. Travelers should check the specific quarantine requirements and possible exemptions for their intended destination within Germany. In general, a person arriving from another country who has spent time in the last 10 days in a country the RKI defines as a risk area or who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 must self-quarantine for 10 days. See this link for the most current information. 
  • In most states, quarantine can be ended by a negative molecular biological (also called a genetic, RNA, or PCR) COVID-19 test conducted, at the earliest, 5 days after arrival. Some states will exempt arriving travelers from the self-quarantine if they can show a negative molecular biological COVID-19 test from an accredited lab conducted in the 48 hours prior to their entry Please note that antibody tests are NOT accepted by German authorities at this time to evidence a traveler is negative for COVID-19.  
  • If you are subject to a quarantine requirement and have not submitted the digital registration on entry, you must register with the local health authority for the place you will be staying. You can look up the local health authority by German zip code (Postleitzahl or PLZ) here. 

Transportation Options: 

  • Are commercial flights operating? YES.  However, as of December 22, 2020, flights from certain countries such as the United Kingdom, South Africa, and potentially others, are being suspended due to a new corona virus variant. Please check with your airline or arrival airport for more information before boarding.
  • Is public transportation operating? YES 
    • Medical grade masks (surgical masks, or masks meeting the N95, KN95, or FFP-2 standards) are required on all public transportation. No passengers may sit in the front seat of taxis. 

Fines for Non-Compliance: 

  • According to the Ministry of Health, violations of quarantine may be prosecuted as an administrative offense, punishable with a fine of up to 25,000 Euros. 

Consular Operations: 

  • The U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Consulates in Frankfurt and Munich are offering emergency appointments only for passport and citizenship services. Please be aware that emergency appointment availability is extremely limited. See this website for more information. 
  • The U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Consulates in Frankfurt and Munich are currently providing only emergency visa services. See this website for more information. 

Local Resources: 

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