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

as of: 22 October 2020

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

Questions and Answers

Regional restrictions can be imposed on short notice due to dynamic developments.

Face coverings must be worn on public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have implemented their own restrictions. You can find an overview of the current measures in place here for England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

Click here for travel advice in German

The Embassy is not aware of travel restrictions for German citizens travelling to the United Kingdom.

Passengers entering the United Kingdom are required to fill in a passenger locator online form before or upon arrival. This enables British authorities to track and trace coronavirus infections. This is why passengers are asked to provide information on a number of things, such as mode of transport or the address they will be staying at. The form must be completed online 48 hours before arrival in the UK at the earliest. Passengers need to show the completed form when arriving at the UK border.

On 10 July the British government announced that passengers from certain countries, among them Germany, do not have to undergo quarantine when entering England, as long as they have only been visiting countries that are covered by the travel corridor exemption in the 14 days before arriving in England. The same applies to arrivals in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. Quarantine regulations can be subject to changes on short notice depending on how infection rates develop.

Passengers who are travelling from Ireland, the Channels Islands or the Isle of Man and were there for 14 days or more, are exempt from quarantine and do not need to submit the online form.

For any further enquiries, you cancall the hotline of the British Government Monday-Friday: +44 800 678 1767.

Those violating the requirements may be fined.

Entering the United Kingdom from a country that is not covered by the travel corridor exemption: 

Please check the website of the British government for any updates to the travel corridor list.

Passengers in transit arriving from a country covered by the travel corridor exemption who have not been in any contact with anyone during their transit through a country that is not covered by the travel corridor exemption, do not have to undergo quarantine upon arrival.

This means that only those passengers in transit are exempt from undergoing quarantine, who either have not stopped at all, or who did not have any contact with anyone while stopping. This applies to passengers in transit on public transport (coach, ferry, train, airplane), as well as private cars.

This means that only those passengers in transit would be exempt from undergoing quarantine, who

  • either have travelled through and not stopped at all while in transit, and when crossing the Channel, have used the Eurotunnel, where at present you are not allowed to get out of your vehicle,
  • or if you have stopped, you have not been in contact with anyone, no new passengers have got on board during a transit stop, and you have used the Eurotunnel for crossing the Channel.

Passengers in transit who travel on the ferry to cross the Channel, will have to undergo quarantine.

For more information on transit, please visit the website of the British government.

Transit stops

Transit through the United Kingdom, as well as travelling from Northern Ireland to Ireland is possible.

Passengers in transit must also submit the online form, even if they stay in the transit area of an airport.

The Embassy cannot provide any individual information on quarantine requirement in the United Kingdom.

At present, travelling within the EU (and other countries, including the United Kingdom) and travellling from outside the EU are differentiated between in terms of border regulations.

Travelling from the United Kingdom to Germany without restrictions (except possible quarantine regulations) is possible again, a valid reason for entry is no longer required.

Travelling within the EU

The restrictions on travel from EU countries, as well as the Schengen associate countries Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and the United Kingdom have been lifted since 21 June 2020. This means that entering Germany without restrictions from these countries is possible again.

Travelling from outside the EU

Since 17 March 2020 temporary travel restrictions have been put into place across the EU for all non-essential travel from countries outside the EU. These restrictions are valid for entry into Germany.

Find out more on the website of the Federal Ministry of the Interior

Due to the partial improvement of the global epidemiological situation, the Council of the EU adopted the Council Recommendation on the possible easing of travel restrictions on 30 June 2020. Germany has implemented this recommendation as follows as of 2 July:

Third countries without travel restrictions

Entering Germany without restrictions is possible from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Georgia
  • Canada
  • New Zealand
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay

The list of countries is reviewed regularly. Whether or not entry to Germany will be granted, depends on the passengers' place of residence, not their nationality.

Travelling from all other third countries

Entering Germany from those countries not listed above is possible with a valid reason only. The following persons/ reasons are exempt from travel restrictions:

  • German nationals and nationals of EU countries, Schengen associate countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), the United Kingdom
  • Third-country nationals with a long-term right of residence in Germany
  • Third-country family members travelling for purposes of family reunion or visiting for an imperative family reason
  • Healthcare workers, health researchers and care professionals
  • Skilled and highly qualified workers whose work is necessary from an economic perspective and the work cannot be postponed or performed abroad
  • cross-border workers, transport personnel employed in the movement of goods and other essential sectors
  • Freight transport and other transport personnel
  • Seasonal workers in agriculture
  • Seafarers
  • Foreign students whose course of study is not fully possible from abroad
  • Persons in need of international protection or protection for other humanitarian reasons
  • Diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers in the exercise of their functions
  • Ethnic German resettlers
  • Passengers in transit

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

Please make your own enquiries regarding travel arrangements.

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.

More information on the website of the German Border Police (in German only).

Those entering Germany from a coronavirus high-risk area can expect to be required to undergo quarantine!

The United Kingdom has been badly affected by COVID-19. From 24 October, Germany classified the United Kingdom as a Covid high-risk area, with the exception of the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey.

Anyone travelling from these high risk areas must therefore undergo a 14-day quarantine upon entering Germany, unless they can provide a COVID-19 test that is not more than 48 hours old, or get a test done upon arrival and it is negative. Those who get a test done upon arrival must go into quarantine until the result has arrived.

Please be advised that quarantine rules will change starting on 8th November. Anyone arriving on or after 8th November will have to quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine ends earlier if a test is taken no earlier than 5 days after arrival and the result is negative. Additional exemptions are possible depending on legislation that will be passed by the respective federal states.  

A ‘previous stay’ in a high-risk area is classed as a stay during a 14 day period prior to entering Germany.

High-risk areas are monitored and tracked by the Robert-Koch-Institut (RKI).

Click here for more information on the requirement to undergo quarantine and testing (in German).

Further information

Robert Koch-Institut

Leaflet/poster for travellers outlining requirement to undergo quarantine and QR codes to further Information in German, English and Turkish (as of 15 June).

Flyer on self-isolating in German, English, Bulgarian, French, Russian, Turkish, Hungarian, Arabic, Persian, Polish, Slovak and Czech (as of 4 June).

A list of the relevant websites of the federal states can be found here:

Germany's Corona Warn-App is available for download in the UK. Before travelling to Germany, please download the app here.

The rights of air passengers are established under the EU's air passenger rights regulation, setting out the rules of compensation and assistance to passengers (eg. hotel accomodation or meals) by airlines in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights.

The EU Commission has published the so-called Interpretative Guidelines to clarify how certain provisions of the EU passenger rights legislation apply.

In order to assert your claim, the European Consumer Centre (ECC) recommends following these steps:

  • contact your airline
  • keep a track record of your spending: keep your receipts covering the costs of hotels, taxi, meals that have occurred as a consequence of your flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding
  • get written confirmation: get the ground crew of your airline to give you written confirmation of the flight delay, cancellation or denied boarding, preferably with specific details of the circumstances. If the ground crew refuses to draft the relevant piece in writing, get a fellow passenger to do so.
  • screenshot of an online complaint: if you have filled in the online complaint form of the airline, take a screenshot just in case.
  • extrajudicial settlement: if the airline refuses to fulfil the (legitimate) claims within 2 months, we recommend seeking extrajudicial settlement to begin with.

Unfortunately there is no general solution for stranded passengers. Those who need support in their individual cases, should contact the European Consumer Centre.

The German Embassy London has appealed to airlines to name contact persons especially for stranded minor passengers

More information on the website of the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection here.
Case studies on the website of the European Consumer Centre are available here

From 4 July certain businesses and venues in England will re-open. More information can be found on the British government's website.

Checks at internal borders ended on 15 June. More Information on the current situation in France can be found on the German Missions in France's website.

Checks at internal borders ended on 15 June.

More information can be found on the website of the German Ministry of Interior.

People who display coronavirus symptoms must undergo a test and undergo quarantine for 14 day. A positive test result must be immediately registered with the relevant local health authority. Quarantine can be ended should the test results come back negative.

We advise against all but essential international travel. There is a high risk in many destinations that return travel might not be possible.

Critically consider if your planned trip is absolutely necessary.

This applies to all international travel. This applies to travellers to the United Kingdom as well as Germans who have permanent residence in the United KIngdom, and for whom travelling to German would constitute ‘international travel’.

Travellers to the United Kingdom should read the German Foreign Office’s travel and safety advice

As things currently stand, there are no additional restrictions due to the pandemic, as pets are not known to pose a risk of infection.

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.

Registering on the German Foreign Office’s crisis prevention list serves the purpose of receiving information of essential importance, such as the current situation in your host country, travel restrictions, natural catastrophes or (relevant for developing countries or tourist destinations in which flight operations have ceased), notice of planned repatriation efforts.

The Embassy’s communications do not replace regular reading of the press or information from news programmes. They do not take individual cases into account (such as flight cancellations). Affected persons should, in particular during times of crisis, stay abreast of current developments via the media, travel company/airline, airports and so on.

Please note that the legal and consular sections of the German Embassy London and the Consulate General Edinburgh resumed consular services on 15 June.

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

Information for passport applicants

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