Sunday, December 6

Returning to Germany from Abroad? Quarantine is now Mandatory for return from Risk areas!

Many countries have now opened international borders, making it possible to plan quick getaways. Moreover, with the number of flights flying out of India, many people have been able to return to Germany, thereby getting back to normal life. To safeguard people and curb the spread of COVID, Germany has a mandatory quarantine in place for people entering the country.

If you have stayed in any of the specified risk areas within a period of 14 days, prior to your entry in Germany, you will be subjected to mandatory quarantine. What matters is, if the area was classified as a risk area at the time of entry to Germany (i.e. not necessarily at the time of the stay). So, before starting your journey back to Germany, please check whether you have spent time in one of these areas in the last 14 days.

What are these risk areas?

Risk areas are those countries that currently present an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. This is a dynamic list defined as a result of a joint analysis and decision-making process by the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community. It depends on which countries/regions had more than 50 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days. Other factors also include the numbers of infection and the type of outbreak (local or wide-spread), testing capacities and the number of tests carried out per capita as well as the measures taken to contain the spread of infection (hygiene regulations, contact tracing, etc.).

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Currently India, Nepal, Turkey, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, Bosnia are among others that are classified as risk areas. UAE, Greece, France are exempted. Access the complete list here.

I am traveling from a risk area, What should I do ?

  • proceed directly to your destination following entry into Germany,
  • self-isolate at home for 14 days and
  • email or phone their competent authority, as a rule the health office in your place of residence/accommodation.

The rules governing self-isolation and quarantine are based on the respective Federal States. Failure to comply with these provisions can result in fines or imprisonment. The existing travel and safety advisories by the Government still apply. Go through them, and contact the relevant local authorities for further details before entering Germany.

Exceptions

The need to self-isolate may be exempted in the below cases:

  1. Transit: In this case, travelers cannot stay and must leave Germany immediately
  2. Recognized negative test result: Proof must be in the form of a medical certificate and the test must not be done more than 48 hours prior to entry into Germany. In addition, the test must have been carried out in a European Union member state or a state with comparable quality Standards.

Alternatively, the test may be carried out upon entry at the border crossing point or at the place where you are staying. The result must be retained for at least 14 days after entry, regardless of whether the test was conducted prior to or following entry. It must be submitted to the health office upon request.

Mandatory testing in near future

In the near future anyone arriving in Germany from a risk area needs to undergo a COVID test. Depending on the rules of the concerned Federal State, a negative test result may result in an exemption for the quarantine. Travelers are required to fill in Disembarkation cards. Those arriving from countries that are not listed as risk areas have the option to get tested within 72 hours after Arrival. Tests in both cases will be free of charge.

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Source: German Federal Foreign Office, updated as on 30th July 2020.