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German Embassy London and Consulate General Edinburgh

Travel advice for German travellers in the UK and information on coronavirus (COVID-19)

as of 30 March 2020

The Embassy in London and the Consulate General in Edinburgh have a hotline for Germans in the United Kingdom: +44 (0)20 7824 1377 (open daily from 8am to 8pm)

Before calling, please read the below information and FAQs (in German only).

You can also email the Embassy in London or the Consulate General in Edinburgh.

General guidance from the Federal Foreign Office on coronavirus can be found here.

Information for German travellers in the UK

German travellers without a permanent residence in the UK should aim to swiftly return to Germany due to potential flight cancellations.

Situation in the UK

On 23 March 2020, the British government introduced restrictions on movement. People are allowed to leave their homes to shop for food and medication, for medical needs, and to do exercise once a day. Click here for more information

The Embassy does not have concrete knowledge of how the British government will enforce the latest restrictions in regards to travel to airports or train stations (and also in regard to travelling to the Embassy to obtain travel documents). Based on current knowledge, we expect the government to permit such journeys upon proof of relevant supporting documents (tickets, booking confirmation, appointment confirmation from the Embassy for a passport application).

Travel restrictions to Germany

EU member states have introduced 30-day travel restrictions for all non-essential travels to the EU from third countries.

Travelling to Germany from the United Kingdom:

German citizens have a fundamental right to enter Germany.

Based on current information, non-German spouses travelling with their German spouse will be permitted entry, even if the non-German spouse does not have/did not have a permanent residence in Germany. This also applies to non-German spouses who enter Germany with their underage German children but without their German spouse. Nationals who require a visa, will need to have a long-term national visa. The visa section, which is currently offering limited services, can be reached via email.

Registered (same sex) partners are treated the same as married partners.

Under the above conditions (travelling with a German spouse, or with joint German children), British citizens and other EU and EEA citizens are able to enter Germany without a visa.

EU citizens and their family members, as well as citizens from the UK, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland can enter Germany for the purpose of returning to their usual residence in Germany, or pass through to get to their home country, if no other travel connection is possible.

Also exempt from the travel restrictions are:  

  • citizens of a third country with long-term residency (including long-term national Visa), who wish to return to their usual residence in the EU
  • EU citizens, British nationals and nationals from Schengen associated countries, as well as citizens of a third country with essential functions

More information from the German Ministry of Interior

Returning to Germany

There are still daily flights, trains and ferries from the UK to Germany and Calais respectively.

Here you can find non-binding Information on flights still operating (no guarantee). Please make sure that you contact the airlines directly to check if your chosen flight is operating on the day of travel.

Please note that the Embassy cannot help you with flight cancellations or changing your tickets.

Please contact the airline or your travel agency directly to clarify the conditions of your return trips.

Air passenger rights

The rights of air passengers are established under the EU's air passenger rights regulation ((EC) No 261/2004) which comes into effect in the event of a passenger being denied boarding, the cancellation or long delay of flights. 

European Consumer Centre (ECC) Germany provides a detailed overview of when a passenger is entitled to compensation and how to make a claim on their website. Additionally, the website offers case studies and step-by-step instructions. 

The website of the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection offers information on rights of travellers (in German).

Travelling through France

Please note that there is a curfew in place in France. Travelling through to return home is possible.

Please make sure you have on you an “attestation” or declaration certifying your reason for travel, hand written, if necessary. Details on how to complete the “attestation” here (in German).

Entry to Germany

Please note that not all border crossings to Germany are open.

A list of the crossings that are open can be found here.

Information for any trips abroad

Travellers are presently advised not to make any non-essential trips abroad. The risk of return travel being cancelled from numerous destinations is high.

Please check whether your travel is essential, or if it can be postponed.

This goes for all travel worldwide. This is valid not just for travellers to the United Kingdom, but also for Germans, who have their permanent residence in the UK, and for whom a trip to Germany would be “a trip abroad”.

We would ask anyone travelling to the United Kingdom to follow the travel and safety advice of the Federal Foreign Office.

If you are feeling ill or suffering from any of the coronavirus (COVID-19) related symptoms

We would ask German nationals in the United Kingdom to follow NHS advice.

Anyone with a cough or high temperature should self-isolate themselves and anyone living in the same household for 14 days.

If the illness is severe enough to potentially require medical treatment, we would ask you to call the NHS hotline on 111.

The hotline can be called from anywhere in the United Kingdom by landline or mobile phone.

The hotline is free of charge and can be used whether or not you are registered with the NHS and/or live in the United Kingdom.

If you suspect you may be infected with coronavirus, please do not visit the doctor’s surgery without telephoning in advance.

In the event of an acute or life-threatening condition, please always call the emergency number 999.

German Missions in the UK

Please note that the legal and consular sections of the German Embassy London and the Consulate General Edinburgh can at present only offer limited services due to the ongoing situation regarding coronavirus/Covid-19.

We advise those applicants with routine matters that can be postponed, to stay at home in the interest of their own health.

Thank you for your understanding.

For more information please see: Appointment Booking, Visa information, General information on procedures and appointments, Legalisation, Appointment Booking

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