Stricter immigration rules from Sunday
For those returning from summer holidays, stricter testing obligations to protect against a Corona spread will take effect from Sunday. The new requirements mean extra effort especially for people who do not have a full vaccination, which also affects most older children.
The BER Tower photographed through a window of an aircraft
Directive, general rules of conduct and more: Measures against the corona virus.
"All unvaccinated people entering Germany will have to be tested in future - regardless of whether they come by plane, car or train," said Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU). "This way we reduce the risk of additional infections being brought in." The Federal Cabinet passed the ordinance, which also regulates a new classification for worldwide risk areas, this Friday - shortly before the end of the major holidays in the first federal states.
A general obligation to provide proof will be introduced. From 1 August 2021, everyone aged 12 and over must be able to prove that their risk of transmission is reduced when entering the country: with proof of vaccination, proof that they have recovered or a negative test result. Such a requirement already exists for all air passengers.
In view of the now weaker demand for vaccinations in Germany, Spahn once again promoted the practical benefits. Travelling is generally easier with a vaccination. Vaccinated people saved themselves tests and did not have to go into quarantine. "The vaccination offer to everyone in the summer stands. We have enough vaccine." However, testing is mandatory for anyone coming from areas with new virus variants of concern, with no exemptions. "Proof of recovery or proof of vaccination is not sufficient in this case," the regulation states.
In general, you have to have the respective proof with you when entering the country and present it during "random" checks by the authorities. Air travellers must show the proof to the airline before take-off, in cross-border trains it should also be possible during the journey. Direct border controls of all entering cars are not planned - but one should at least expect checks.
Overview of further concrete rules for entries:
Tests and costs
In order to obtain proof of testing abroad, rapid tests by specialised personnel or PCR laboratory tests are possible - to be paid out of one's own pocket. These can be double-digit amounts per person. Rapid tests may be carried out no more than 48 hours before entering Germany, more accurate PCR tests no more than 72 hours. In virus-variant areas, the time limit for rapid tests is reduced to 24 hours. The proof must be in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish - digitally or on paper. Paper proofs photographed by mobile phone should not be accepted during controls because of the risk of misuse.
In future, there will be only two categories for higher-risk regions worldwide instead of three: High-risk areas and virus variant areas. High-risk areas are regions with particularly high case numbers. One indication: a seven-day incidence of "significantly more than 100". However, other factors such as test rates and hospital cases should also be considered. The level of the "simple" risk area with more than 50 reported new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in seven days is no longer applicable. Previously, there was also the intermediate level of "high incidence areas" with seven-day incidence above 200.
For high-risk areas, it is planned that those who have not been vaccinated and those who have not recovered will have to spend ten days in quarantine after their return, which can be ended with a negative test on the fifth day at the earliest. An initially planned requirement for PCR tests was dropped. For children under twelve, quarantine should generally end after the fifth day after entry. When returning from virus-variant areas, 14 days of quarantine at home are still planned.
The ordinance provides for special regulations, among others, for professional border commuters and short trips in border traffic with a stay of less than 24 hours. For them, the obligation to provide proof should only apply when re-entering from risk areas. For those who have not been vaccinated and those who have not recovered, proof of testing should only be required twice a week, not for every entry. Those who only travel through a high-risk or virus-variant area without a stopover do not have to go into quarantine when entering Germany.
Holidaymakers from risk areas must continue to register with the official digital entry portal. Test, vaccination or convalescence certificates must also be uploaded there as soon as they are available.
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According to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), corona infections that probably occurred during travel are playing an increasing role in the incidence of infection in Germany. Spain, Turkey and the Netherlands were most frequently named as probable countries of infection in the weeks under consideration from 28 June to 25 July, ahead of Croatia and Greece. The majority of Corona transmissions, however, occur domestically - at least 81 percent.
Last edited: Friday, 30. July 2021 20:06 Uhr