Travelling

Reisen Englisch

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


(Stand:  2. August 2021 13:00  Uhr)

All persons who are more than 12 years old and who return to Germany must present a negative coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 test result or a proof of their vaccination or of their recovery when entering the country. This applies for all persons arriving in Germany, whether they are travelling by bus, by plane, by car or by train.

1. The obligation to register

When you return from a high risk area or a virus variant area, the following rules apply: All persons travelling or returning to Germany, whether they arrive by plane, by train or by car, must register via a digital registration form on the following website: www.einreiseanmeldung.de, which is also possible via a mobile device. In addition, persons returning or travelling to Germany must provide certain proof and might also have to stay in quarantine. It is mandatory to send test results, proof for vaccinations or recovery to the Health Authority via www.hamburg.de/corona-kontakt.

Since August 1st, 2021, a new Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations applies (Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung (CoronaEinreiseV) (www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de)).

Risk areas are classified in two categories. The further regulations are stipulated by the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/fileadmin/Dateien/3_Downloads/C/Coronavirus/Verordnungen/CoronaEinreiseV_konsolidiert_BAnz_AT_10.06.2021.pdf) which applies nationwide everywhere in Germany. The regulations depend on whether a person enters from a high risk area or a virus variant area. 

The Robert Koch Institute publishes a list of international risk areas here: Information about the classification of international risk areas (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html)

2. The obligation to provide proof

All persons returning to Germany who are older than 12 years must be able to present 

  • a negative coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 test result,
  • a proof of their vaccination or 
  • a proof of their recovery 

when entering the Federal Republic of Germany. 

Children under the age of 12 years are exempt from the obligation to provide any proof.
In case of a test, the proof must be based on a test which is not older than 48 hours (for antigen tests) or 72 hours (for PCR tests). The calculation of these time frames (48 or 72 hours) is based on the moment of entry. When you return from a virus variant area, the limit for antigen tests is reduced to 24 hours.

When returning from a high risk area, a proof for vaccination or recovery can replace a negative test result and exempt you from staying in quarantine after entering the country. This rule is currently not applying for persons having been to a virus variant area!

3. Quarantine

If you have been to a high risk area or a virus variant area, it is generally mandatory to isolate yourself and to go to your home – or to any other accomodation facility at your destination – immediately after your arrival, where you have to stay for 10 days (when returning from a high risk area) or for 14 days (when returning from a virus variant area) („quarantine at home“).

During the period of quarantine it is prohibited to leave the house or the flat and to receive any visitors. Do not forget: This measure is supposed to protect your family, your neighbours and all others persons in your environment. Infringements of the quarantine rules can be punished with fines!

Raising quarantine when returning from high risk areas: It is possible to raise the quarantine at home prematurely if you upload a proof for your recovery, a proof for your vaccination or a proof for your negative test result via the Digital Registration on Entry portal of the Federal Republic of Germany: https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de. The quarantine is raised as from the moment when you upload your proof. If you upload your proof already before returning to Germany, you do not need to stay in quarantine. If you upload a proof for testing, the test that this proof is based can take place at the earliest 5 days after entering the Federal Republic of Germany. Children under the age of 12 years who return from a high risk area only need to stay in quarantine for 5 days after their entry.

It is possible to do cost-free antigen quick tests (after entering from a risk area or in order to reduce the time of quarantine after returning from a high incidence area) in the test centers operated by the city of Hamburg: Test centers - hamburg.de (https://www.hamburg.de/corona-schnelltest/).

You can also do a test in doctors‘ practices. Please make an appointment via

https://eterminservice.de/terminservice. You are allowed to leave your home briefly and exclusively in order to do a test.

Raising quarantine when returning from a virus variant area: After having been to a virus variant area, the period of quarantine is generally 14 days long.

If the respective virus variant area is downgraded during your period of quarantine in Germany, quarantine ends or can be raised according to the rules applying for this kind of area.

Special case: End of quarantine due to deletion from the list: The quarantine at home ends automatically when the concerned area is not listed here anymore: www.rki.de/risikogebiete (so-called deletion from the list).

If you experience any symptoms of an infection with coronavirus within the first 10 days after your arrival in Germany, please contact the responsible Health Authority, 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: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool.

The obligation to stay in quarantine is currently valid until September 30th, 2021.

Exceptions e.g. for certain professional groups or commuters can be consulted in the coronavirus entry regulations; in several cases, it is necessary to apply for these exceptions at the responsible Health Authority beforehand.

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


(Stand:  26. Juli 2021 15:00  Uhr)

In many countries, the number of infections is decreasing – however, it is still recommended to avoid unnecessary touristic travelling to countries that are classified as risk areas. In addition, the occurrence of virus variants can lead to significant restrictions. If you decide to travel, you must include testing obligations and maybe quarantine in your planning. You can find a list of the current classification of the different foreign countries issued by the Robert Koch Institute here: Information about the declaration of international risk areas.

Persons wishing or having to travel must obtain information about the applying rules themselves before starting their trip. These rules may change spontaneously and be different at your arrival and when you leave. The current rules stipulated in the corona entry regulations remain valid until September 10th.

Travelling in Germany – There are currently no legal restrictions for travelling in Germany. Overnight stays for tourist purposes are admitted and shops, restaurants etc. are open under certain conditions. When the incidence value is over 100, the federal emergeny break applies. When the incidence value is under 100, the rules of the respective federal states apply. Please consult the rules for testing and the proves accepted in the federal state that you travel to before starting your trip.

Travelling to a foreign country It is generally possible for the citizens of Hamburg to travel to member states of the EU and other European countries. Travelling to countries outside the European Union is generally more problematic. Please note the Federal Foreign Office‘s travelling guidelines and safety information applying for the different countries (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise).

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


(Stand:  2. November 2020 16:10  Uhr)

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.

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


(Stand:  2. November 2020 16:15  Uhr)

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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