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

as of: 23 November 2020

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

Federal Ministry of Health (in German)

Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community (in German)

Federal Police (in German)

Questions and Answers

National and 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.

Th United Kingdom has been strongly affected by COVID-19. The United Kingdom, Gibraltar and Jersey with the exception of Guernsey and Alderney, the Isle of Man and British Overseas Territories have been classified as high-risk area.

At present a travel warning for non-essential travel to the United Kingdom., Gibraltar and Jersey is in place due to the high rate of infections.

Passengers from Germany are advised against non-essential travel to the Isle af Man, Guernsey and Alderney and British Overseas Territories due to quarantine regulations.

Click here for travel advice in German

Travel for tourism to England is not allowed since 5 November till provisionally 2 December. Even after this date travelling to and in England is only allowed if there is a valid reason. For further travel restrictions and exceptions due to regional differences please visit the websites of the devolved governments in England, Scotland, Northern-Ireland and Wales.

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.

The British government announced that passengers from certain countries, 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.

On 7 November Germany was removed from the UK's travel corridor list, which means that passengers arriving from Germany to the United Kingdom must immediately undergo quarantine for 14 days. You can find information on possible exemptions on the websites of the devolved governments in England, Scotland, Northern-Ireland and Wales.

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. As of 4.00am 7 November this no longer applies to passengers from Germany.

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 for UK residents, a valid reason for entry is no longer required. Travel for tourism is not allowed until further notice. Hotels are closed for tourists until further notice.

Important: According to British government guidance, if there is no proof of a valid reason for travel, travel can be prohibited at border control, eg at the Eurotunnel in Folkestone or the ferry port in Dover, or travellers can be fined by the British Police of up to GBP200. It is up to the British authorities to decide what is accepted as a valid reason. For more information you can contact the Covid-19 hotline of the British Government: +44  800 67811767.

Since 8 November every passenger travelling to Germany from a high-risk area has to register digitally:

https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de

The following persons are exempt:

  • Persons who have only travelled through a high-risk area without a stopover,
  • Persons in transit who are only passing through Germany,
  • Persons who have crossed into a neighbouring country and spent less than 24 hours in a high-risk area, or are entering Germany from a neighbouring country for up to 24 hours only,
  • Persons entering Germany for work purposes for the cross-border transportation of persons or goods by road, rail, ship or plane.

Travellers in transit are required to leave Germany again (or the Federal State in question) by the fastest means, i.e. without delay. Brief visits or overnight stays are not permitted. If the circumstances are such that this is not possible, for example if there is no connecting flight until the next day, then the traveller in transit must contact the local health authority or the Health Ministry of the Federal State to enquire whether an exemption applies or obtain special permission. If, for example, you wish to stay overnight in Munich, then the health authority in Munich is responsible. Find the competent health authority here.

Travelling within the EU

Entering Germany without restrictions from EU countries, as well as the Schengen associate countries Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and the United Kingdom is possible again. This does not affect any quarantine regulations.

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

Third countries without travel restrictions

Entering Germany without restrictions is possible from the following countries:

  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • Thailand
  • 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. The reduction of the exisitng travel routes is expected due to increasing travel restrictions and obligatory quarantine requirements.

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 are required to undergo quarantine.

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

Exemption from quarantine requirement for persons in certain categories (Section 2 paras. 1, 2 and 4 Model Ordinance)

  • Persons in transit without a stopover; they must leave the area by the fastest means to complete their transit. However, they are required to leave Germany again (or the Federal State in question) by the fastest means, i.e. without delay. Brief visits or overnight stays are not permitted. If the circumstances are such that this is not possible, for example if there is no connecting flight until the next day, then the traveller in transit must contact the local health authority or the Health Ministry of the Federal State to enquire whether an exemption applies or obtain special permission. If, for example, you wish to stay overnight in Munich, then the health authority in Munich is responsible. Find the competent health authority here: https://tools.rki.de/plztool
  • Persons who have crossed into a neighbouring country and spent less than 24 hours in a high-risk area
  • Stays of 72 hours in a high-risk area, in the case of:
    • persons entering Germany to visit family (first-degree relatives)
    • senior diplomats and government officials (provided they comply with the protection and hygiene rules)
    • persons whose work involves the cross-border transportation of goods (provided they comply with the protection and hygiene rules)
    • persons needed to perform essential work in the healthcare sector (provided they comply with the protection and hygiene rules)
  • Cross-border commuters who are obliged to travel to a high-risk area to do their job or for vocational training purposes (evidence required) and who return to their place of residence at least once a week (provided they comply with the protection and hygiene rules)
  • Cross-border workers whose place of residence is in a high-risk area and who are obliged to travel to Germany to do their job/for vocational training purposes (evidence required) and who return to their place of residence at least once a week (provided they comply with the protection and hygiene rules)
  • Soldiers and foreign armed forces personnel as defined by the NATO Status of Armed Forces Agreement
  • Persons entering Germany for the purpose of taking up employment for a period of at least three weeks, provided they take precautions to avoid contact for the first ten days after entry.

Exemption from quarantine requirement for other categories of persons if they have received a negative test result (Section 2 para. 3 Model Ordinance)

  • Persons working in the healthcare sector, in the field of public safety/order, diplomats and government officials, judicial officers, employees of EU institutions
  • Persons visiting relatives (longer than 72 hours or second-degree relatives)
  • Care visits, medical treatment abroad
  • Police officers
  • Stays of up to 5 days for training/study purposes
  • Persons participating in international sporting events (athletes/officials)
  • Holidaymakers returning from high-risk areas if there is a bilateral exemption agreement in place between Germany and the country concerned covering the actual holiday destinaton and the German Foreign Office has not issued a travel warning for the actual holiday destination (this currently only applies to four provinces in Turkey).

Exemption only applies if the person is symptom-free (Section 2 para. 6 Model Ordinance)

The exemptions are only applicable if the persons concerned do not display any symptoms typical of Covid-19 (cough, raised temperature, cold symptoms, loss of sense of taste/smell).

Please be advised that quarantine rules will change starting on 8 November. Anyone arriving in Germany from a high-risk area, or anyone who has been to a high-risk area in the 10 days before entering Germany on or after 8 November must register digitally prior to arrival (here) and 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 and complementary regulations are possible depending on legislation that will be passed by the respective federal states. It is therefore very important to enquire about all up-to-date regulations at the health authority and the Ministry for Health of the federal state of your destination.

A ‘previous stay’ in a high-risk area is classed as a stay during a 10 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

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:

From 2 November until provisionally 30 November at least, the following measures are in place:

  • To stem the pandemic, it is imperative to reduce the contacts with people other than those living in the same household to the absolute minimum necessary.
  • With immediate effect, people may only go out with members of their own household and of one further household, up to a maximum of ten people in either case (contact restrictions).
  • People are asked to generally refrain from non-essential travel for personal reasons and from visiting people, including relatives. Accommodation in Germany will now only be provided for necessary and explicitly non-tourism purposes.
  • Institutions and facilities classified as recreational will be closed. These include theatres, operas, concert halls, cinemas, amusement parks, amusement arcades, gyms, swimming pools, saunas, spas and similar facilities, as well as restaurants and cafés, as well as bars, clubs, discotheques, pubs and similar establishments will be closed until the end of November to start with.

Click here to read more

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 5 November till provisinally 2 December the vast majority of hotels in the United Kingdom are closed. 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 days and therefore not travel.. 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 and/or high temperature, and/or loss of smell and taste, and/or other sympotoms, 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.

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