Travelling and testing

Where am I allowed to travel to and what does the current travel warning mean?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:10 p.m.)

All citizens are urgently requested to avoid all kinds of unnecessary private travelling and visits – this includes also visiting family members. This applies also for national travelling and for supra-regional touristic trips. National overnight accomodation can only be provided in urgent cases and explicitely not for touristic purposes.

The Federal Foreign Office advises to avoid unnecessary touristic travelling to foreign countries, because drastic restrictions in international air travelling and tourism, restricted entries to many countries worldwide, quarantine measures and restrictions of the public life, like e.g. lockdowns still occur due to the spread of coronavirus.

A travel warning is an urgent appeal issued by the Federal Foreign Office - it is not a travel ban. Travelers assume the responsibility for their journeys individually and decide whether they wish to travel or not.

Here you can find a list of all countries for which there is currently a travel warning according to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI): Information about the declaration of international risk areas.

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I am returning from a foreign country. What do I have to do?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 3:00 p.m.)

Persons having been to a risk area at any given time within the 10 days before arriving in Hamburg must stay in quarantine and contact the responsible Health Authority immediately. This applies for all citizens of Hamburg, whether they arrive by plane, by train or by car. It is possible to contact the Health Authority via a digital registration form "Registration after returning from a risk area" which is also available via your mobile device. This online service also allows to upload your negative test result or a picture of your negative test result (if you already have one) and to transmit it to the responsible Health Authority. A so-called „passenger locator card“ is also considered as a documentation of your entry.

Risk areas are areas in foreign countries representing an increased risk of an infection with the coronavirus. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) updates its list of risk areas every day. The list of risk areas is updated regularly based on the current epidemiological situation.  What is essential is the situation at the moment when you actually return to Germany. Areas in Germany that represent a high number of corona cases (so-called high incidence regions) are no risk areas according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute.

A short-time stay in a risk area, e.g. when having a break during your transit, is not considered as a stay and does hence not lead to an obligation for quarantine.

Under special conditions, exceptions from quarantine apply for persons returning from risk areas and disposing of a negative test result. The medical certificate must be based on a PCR test having been carried out not more than 48 hours before the arrival in Germany. This medical certificate must be conserved until at least 14 days after the arrival.

The following list of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) shows the countries with assured test quality which are acknowledged in Germany. If the country that you are returning from is not listed here, you can only do the test in Germany.

Please note: The exception from quarantine only applies if you do not show any symptoms indicating an infection with COVID-19. If you experience any symptoms within the first 14 days after your arrival in Germany, you must contact the responsible Health Authority immediately, which will inform you about the next steps to take. You can find out which Health Authority is responsible for you by entering your postal code here:

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Are there any accepted self-tests / quick tests?

(as of July 23rd, 2020, 12:00 p.m.)

There are various offers for quick tests or self-tests available on the Internet. Nevertheless, it is currently not reliably proven that these tests are meaningful enough, so that it is generally advised not to use self-tests or quick tests at home. Furthermore, a self-test / quick test cannot be used in order to raise the obligation of staying in quarantine, since for this purpose, the sampling must be supervised by a doctor and examinated in an accredited laboratory, where the test result is evaluated.

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Which hygiene rules apply during trips?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:10 p.m.)

The general hygiene rules apply also at airports and train stations, in trains, buses and planes. It is for example mandatory to wear a mask covering your nose and mouth, to keep a minimum distance of 1,5 meters from other persons and to avoid groups/crowds.

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Who can help me if I have a problem with the cancellation of a trip?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:10 p.m.)

You can find information about travelling and cancellations on the website of the consumer advice center in Hamburg (VZHH): Booking holidays despite corona? .The consumer advice center also provides consultation on site or by phone.

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Am I entitled to compensation of a loss of earnings due to quarantine (isolation) after travelling to a risk area?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:15 p.m.)

According to the infection protection law, you are not entitled to any compensation or indemnity payments for lost earnings during the time that you are staying in quarantine at home.

Employers should notify their staff to get informed about the current quarantine rules and risk areas in due time before travelling to a foreign country and before returning to Germany, in order to avoid any interruptions of their work. In this context, employers should also point out the employment law situation.

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Which rules apply for hotels, holiday homes and campsites?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 12:00 a.m.)

Overnight accommodation in tourist accommodation facilities and holiday homes, on campsites and in similar facilities in Hamburg is only permitted in urgent cases and explicitely not for touristic purposes.

This means that tourists are not allowed to stay in Hamburg overnight anymore.

  • The general hygiene rules must be adhered to. This includes among others the adherence to the distance rules.
  • Guests must submit their contact information to the operator in order to retrace infection chains.
  • It is prohibited to use saunas and jacuzzi tubs.
  • Dormitories for more than 4 persons are prohibited.
  • For travelers from foreign countries, the stipulations of §§ 35 and 36 of the legal decree apply.
  • Persons present indoor (except for the accommodation room) must adhere to the obligation to wear a mask according to § 8. It is only admitted to take off the mask when remaining permanently at ones seat.
  • Guests are allowed to take off their mask in the hotel room.

Please note: Tourists who are already staying in a hotel or in other accomodation facilities before November 2nd must leave the facility and stop their stay as soon as their departure is assured.

For more information about the measures, see §16 of the legal decree of June 30th, 2020

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As a citizen of Hamburg, do I have to stay in quarantine when I return from a region in Germany with a high number of infections (incidence rate over 50)?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:20 p.m.) 

No. Nevertheless you are asked to adhere to all rules applying for your travel destination while staying there.

For persons returning from a foreign country, please see the question: I am returning from a foreign country. What do I have to do?

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What do I have to do until I receive my test result?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 2:50 p.m.)

You are asked to isolate yourself at home (voluntary quarantine) until you receive your test result. This means to stay at home and to avoid all kinds of contacts. This includes also all the members of your family with whom you live together – in case you cannot isolate yourself inside your appartment or house.

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As a citizen of Hamburg, am I still allowed to visit family members and friends in other Federal States?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 12:00 a.m.)

There is no general prohibition to enter or leave a Federal State. However, the citizens are urgently requested to avoid all kinds of unnecessary private travelling and visits – this includes also visiting family members.

Please note that touristic overnight stays are not permitted. In general, the rules of the Federal State that you are staying in apply.

Please see also § 16 of the legal decree.

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Does the prohibition of accomodation in Hamburg also apply for business travellers and non-touristic travellers from risk areas?

(as of November 2nd, 2020, 4:30 p.m.)

No. Persons travelling for non-touristic purposes (e.g. business travelling, regulation of family-related matters, care for persons requiring assistance, execution of guardianships, medical treatment and company by family members) are exempt from the prohibition of accomodation.

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