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Last updated: 04/16/2021
*** 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 GermanyACS@state.gov. Check the CDC website for additional information and Frequently Asked Questions.
- 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.
- Germany has extended its lockdown until May 9, 2021, with restrictions based on regional COVID-19 rates, specifically the 7-day-incidence as reported by RKI. Each federal state may have additional restrictions; please see individual state websites (in German) for details. Note that “emergency brake” restrictions will automatically be reimposed if the regional 7-day-incidence as reported by the RKI rises above 100 for 3 days in a row. As the situation will vary across regions, please check the regulations for your locality. In general:
- Travel within Germany should be restricted to essential travel only, and overnight hotel stays for tourists are not allowed.
- 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.
- Gatherings are allowed between two households, not to exceed five people. Children under the age of 14 are not included in this count. In areas with a 7-day-incidence of more than 100, gatherings will be limited to one household plus one additional person, including children. Contact restrictions apply both indoors and outdoors.
- Schools and Kitas (daycare) are partially open.
- Depending on the local COVID-19 7-day-incidence, some retail may be open, with restrictions on the number of shoppers allowed in stores.
- Depending on the local COVID-19 7-day-incidence, cultural/entertainment venues (including monuments, zoos, theaters and concerts halls) and personal care services (such as hair salons, massages, nail salons, etc.) may be open.
- Depending on the local COVID-19 7-day-incidence, some recreation and sports facilities (including gyms and swimming pools) may be open.
- Depending on the local COVID-19 7-day-incidence, outdoor dining may be open.
- Are PCR and/or antigen tests available for U.S. citizens in Germany? Yes
- 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 are entitled to one free COVID-19 rapid test per week and may have access to free COVID-19 PCR testing.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
- Has the government of Germany approved a COVID-19 vaccine for use? Yes.
- Are vaccines in Germany available for U.S. citizens to receive? Yes, if resident in Germany.
- Which vaccines are available in Germany?
- The German government has authorized the Pfizer/BioNTech, Moderna, Astra Zeneca, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The Astra Zeneca vaccine is currently recommended only for people above the age of 60 years.
- 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.
- Visit the FDA’s website to learn more about FDA-approved vaccines in the United States, and click here for information from the CDC regarding COVID-19 vaccination.
- 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.
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. From March 30, 2021 to May 12, 2021 a negative COVID-19 test is required to enter or transit through Germany. The test must have been taken within 48 hours of arrival, must meet the criteria laid out by RKI, and travelers will not be allowed to board their flights without a negative result.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 high-incidence area or who has been exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 must self-quarantine for 10 days. A person arriving from virus variant area must self-quarantine for 14 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. Travelers entering Germany from a virus variant area will not be able to end quarantine early by testing negative. Please note that antibody tests are NOT accepted by German authorities at this time as proof that 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.
- Are commercial flights operating? Yes.
- 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.
- The U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Consulates in Frankfurt and Munich are offering a limited number of passport and citizenship services appointments. See this website for more information.
- The U.S. Embassy in Berlin and the Consulates in Frankfurt and Munich offering a limited number of visa services. See this website for more information.
- The German Health Ministry posts up-to-date information in English about COVID-19 in Germany at: https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/ (“Together Against Corona”)
- Additional information in German can be found at Robert Koch Institute.
- COVID-19 crisis page on travel.state.gov
- CDC page on COVID-19
- Country Information – Germany
- Re-open EU – Country-Specific EU Travel Information
- U.S. State Department Office of Overseas Citizen Services: 888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444