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:  01/15/2021
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 January 31, 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 will not be 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, and day trips.
    • Gatherings are restricted to one household and one additional person from another household. This includes children under the age of 14 years.
    • All retail except for essential goods such as groceries will be closed.
    • Restaurants and bars will be 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.) will be closed.
    • Religious services are allowed with restrictions

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 will be allowed.  

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 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. 
    • Travelers who have stayed in an RKI-designated risk area” in the 10 days prior to entry must show a negative PCR 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 PCR test that is no more than 48 hours old, and must produce the test results when requested by airlines or competent authorities. 
    • Travelers who have stayed in an RKI-designated high-risk virus variant area in the 10 days prior to entry must show a negative PCR test that is no more than 48 hours old, and must produce the test results when requested by airlines or competent authorities. 
  • 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.

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. 

COVID-19 Testing: 

  • 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. 

COVID-19 Vaccines: 

  • The United States Government does not plan to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to private U.S. citizens overseas.  Please follow German developments and guidelines for COVID-19 vaccination. 

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 
  • Masks are required on all public transportation and 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: 

Other links: