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

as of: 16 January 2021

Latest updates:

Throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Gibraltar and the overseas territory of Bermuda, the incidence is more than 50 cases per 100,000 population over seven days, meaning that they have been classified as high-risk areas. Because of the new variant, the United Kingdom has been classified as an area with a particularly high infection risk (virus variant area).

Under the Coronavirus Entry Regulations of 13 January 2021, anyone entering Germany from the United Kingdom is required, in addition to the existing registration requirement and quarantine requirement, to also carry evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, in German or English (at check-in/boarding when travelling by air). The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry and must meet the criteria set by the Robert Koch Institute. (PCR, LAMP, TMA and antigen tests are all accepted. Antigen tests must meet certain quality standards.)

However, the following are permitted to enter Germany:

  • Germans and nationals of other EU member states or Schengen-associated countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein)
  • Third-country nationals who are resident and have a long-term right of residence in one of these countries, including British citizens eligible under Part Two of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union (2019/C 384 I/01) and their family members with a right of residence in an EU member state or Schengen-associated country (this refers to British nationals who were resident in an EU member state or Schengen-associated country prior to 31 December 2020 and living there permanently)

But

  • Upon entry into Germany, travellers from the UK including Northern Ireland must register online and provide proof (in either English or German) of a negative Covid-19 test (this does not apply to children under the age of 6). The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours before arrival in Germany. PCR, LAMP, TMA and antigen tests are all accepted. Antigen tests must meet certain quality standards. More details can be found here. The German Federal Government has asked transportation companies only to transport travellers who can present proof of registration and of a negative test at the start of their journey. This also applies to travellers in transit.
  • The British government has announced that from 04:00 on 18 January 2021, travellers entering England from all countries with the exception of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey must present a negative Covid-19 test, which must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in England. PCR, RT-LAMP and antigen tests will be accepted. The negative test result must be shown before the start of your journey (before boarding the plane, ferry or train). Children under 11 are exempt from the test requirement. Further information can be found here. Anyone entering England without a negative Covid-19 test can expect a fine of at least £500.
  • The Scottish government has announced that it will be introducing similar entry restrictions for all travellers arriving in Scotland (except those arriving from the Common Travel Area) from 05:00 on 18 January 2021.
  • Similar entry restrictions are expected to be introduced for travel to Wales and Northern Ireland as well shortly.
  • Details of these latest developments and more can be found in the following FAQs.
  • Please refer to the information on our website and on Twitter (@GermanEmbassy). We will publish any new information here as we receive it.

Questions and Answers

The United Kingdom has been badly affected by COVID-19. Recently a new variant of COVID-19 has also been found in the south of England, apparently even more transmissible.

Germany’s Robert Koch Institute has classified the whole of the United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales), Bermuda, Gibraltar and the Channel Island of Jersey as areas with a high infection risk (virus variant areas).

A warning against non-essential travel to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is in place.

National and regional restrictions may be imposed on short notice due to dynamic developments.

The devolved governments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have implemented their own different pandemic restrictions with different regional alert levels (“lockdown” or “tiers” or “protection levels” or “alert levels”).

These alert levels entail different restrictions on public life. You can find detailed information here: England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey, Alderney, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

A lockdown has been in place in England and Scotland since 5 January 2021. In both countries travel including foreign travel is only permitted for essential exceptional reasons. Before travelling abroad, please check whether the trip is permitted under the British coronavirus restrictions where you are and at any places on your route. You can find detailed Information on the website of the British government.

Hotels and other accommodations in the UK are open to travellers who are unable to continue their journey. Tourist stays are not permitted. National long-distance trains and local public transport are in Operation.

There are currently entry bans (no tourist travel) and entry restrictions (Covid-19 test, quarantine) in place in the United Kingdom. National and regional restrictions can be imposed at short notice due to ongoing developments. Further information can be found here.

Travellers entering the United Kingdom are required to fill in a passenger locator form online no earlier than 48 hours before entry. Registration must be proven upon entry. For more information and access to the online form, please visit the British government website.

The British government has announced that from 04:00 on 18 January 2021, travellers entering England from all countries with the exception of Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey must present a negative Covid-19 test, which must have been taken no more than 72 hours prior to arrival in England. PCR, RT-LAMP and antigen tests will be accepted. The negative test result must be shown before the start of your journey (before boarding the plane, ferry or train). Children under 11 are exempt from the test requirement. Further information can be found here:. Anyone entering England without a negative Covid-19 test can expect a fine of at least £500.

The Scottish government has announced that it will be introducing similar entry restrictions for all travellers arriving in Scotland (except those arriving from the Common Travel Area) from 05:00 on 18 January 2021.

Similar entry restrictions are expected to be introduced for travel to Wales and Northern Ireland as well shortly.

Additionally, the British government has announced that from 18 January 2021, 5am, the list of “travel corridors” will be temporarily suspended. For travelers from Germany, nothing will change in this regard. There is still a requirement upon entry to undergo a ten-day domestic quarantine.

Until then:

All travellers arriving from a country/ area outside the “travel corridors” must undergo a ten-day domestic quarantine in addition to providing a negative test result. This also applies to travellers from a country within the respective travel corridor who have only visited a country/ area outside the respective travel corridor in the last 14 days. The quarantine obligation applies throughout the UK, including for travellers coming from Germany. Information on the countries of the travel corridors can be found on the websites of the devolved governments: England, Scotland, Northern-Ireland and Wales.

Travellers in quarantine in England have the opportunity to voluntarily undergo a chargeable PCR test (test to release) at a licensed testing facility five full calendar days after entry (e.g. entry on Sunday, test on Friday at the earliest) and, if the test result is negative, they can end quarantine early. This regulation only applies to England and not to the other parts of the country.

Anyone violating the registration and quarantine requirements may be fined.

Travellers from the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are generally exempt from quarantine and do not need to submit the online form.

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

For any further enquiries, you can call the hotline of the British Government Monday-Friday: 0044 800 678 1767 (from Germany) or 0800 678 1767 (from the United Kingdom).

Transit through the United Kingdom and onward travel from Northern Ireland to Ireland is only permitted in a few exceptional cases, and not for tourist purposes. All transit travellers, including those in transit at the airport who only stay in the transit area, must submit the electronic passenger locator form online before entering the country and show a negative Covid-19 test.

Throughout the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, in Gibraltar and the overseas territory of Bermuda, the incidence is more than 50 cases per 100,000 population over seven days, meaning that they have been classified as high-risk areas. Because of the new variant, the United Kingdom has been classified as an area with a particularly high infection risk (virus variant area).

Under the Coronavirus Entry Regulations of 13 January 2021, anyone entering Germany from the United Kingdom is required, in addition to the existing registration requirement and quarantine requirement, to also carry evidence of a negative Covid-19 test, in German or English (at check-in/boarding when travelling by air). The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours prior to entry and must meet the criteria set by the Robert Koch Institute. (PCR, LAMP, TMA and antigen tests are all accepted. Antigen tests must meet certain quality standards.)

However, the following are permitted to enter Germany:

  • Germans and nationals of other EU member states or Schengen-associated countries (Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein)
  • Third-country nationals who are resident and have a long-term right of residence in once of these countries, including British citizens eligible under Part Two of the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union (2019/C 384 I/01) and their family members with a right of residence in an EU member state or Schengen-associated country (this refers to British nationals who were resident in an EU member state or Schengen-associated country prior to 31 December 2020 and living there permanently)

But

  • Upon entry into Germany, travellers from the UK including Northern Ireland must register online and provide proof (in either English or German) of a negative Covid-19 test (this does not apply to children under the age of 6). The test must have been taken no more than 48 hours before arrival in Germany. PCR, LAMP, TMA and antigen tests are all accepted. Antigen tests must meet certain quality standards. More details can be found here. The German Federal Government has asked transportation companies only to transport travellers who can present proof of registration and of a negative test at the start of their journey. This also applies to travellers in transit.

The decision as to who is allowed to enter Germany is taken solely by the Federal Border Police. Should you have questions regarding your entry into Germany or should your transportation company refuse to acknowledge proof of your place of residency, then you can contact the Federal Border Police at your destination airport in Germany. Please use the below email addresses when possible. In spite of the very high volume of enquiries, the Federal Border Police endeavour to reply to enquiries within twelve hours. You should carry a printout of the reply from the Federal Border Police or ensure it is displayable on your mobile device.

Federal Border Police Hamburg Airport
Tel: +49 40 50027-0
E-Mail: bpolifh.ham@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Bremen Airport
Tel: +49 421 53616-6
E-Mail: bpolrfh.bre@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Hannover Airport
Tel: 0511 7281-1111
E-Mail: bpolifh.haj@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Berlin Brandenburg
Tel: +49 30 856211-0
E-Mail: bpoli.ber@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Düsseldorf Airport
Tel: +49 211 9518-0
E-Mail: bpolifh.dus@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Köln/Bonn Airport
Tel: +49 2203 9522-0
E-Mail: bpolifh.cgn@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Erfurt-Weimar Airport
Tel: +49 361 22008-0
E-Mail bpoli.erfurt@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Leipzig/Halle Airport
Tel: +49 34204 736-0
E-Mail: bpoli.leipzig@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Dresden Airport
Tel: +49 351 881-1600
E-Mail: bpoli.dresden.fh-leitstelle@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Frankfurt am Main Airport
Tel: +49 69 3400-4999
E-Mail: bpold.frankfurt@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Saarbrücken Airport
Tel: +49 6893 9493-0
E-Mail: bpolr.scn@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Stuttgart Airport
Tel: +49 711 78781-0
E-Mail: bpolifh.str@polizei.bund.de

Federal Border Police Munich Airport
Tel: +49 89 97307-0
E-Mail: bpol.muc@polizei.bund.de

German and other nationals of the EU/ EEA and associated countries have been allowed to enter France or travel through France again since that date. This also applies to third-country nationals residing in the EU or the EEA and the associated countries. The prerequisite for this are that the trip is essential and that a Covid test (from 18.01. only PCR Tests will be accepted) submitted a maximum of 72 hours beforehand was negative. Until then antigen tests (VUI-2020-12-01) from the following providers are accepted. For lorry drivers, antigen tests will continue to be accepted beyond 17.01., as is currently the case. Please note that if you intend to travel through France, a certificate (“attestation de déplacement vers la France depuis le Royaume-Uni”) stating the purpose and destination of the trip is required. You can find detailed information on the French regulations here.

Travel from the United Kingdom to the Netherlands has been possible again since 23 December 2020 if a negative PCR test that is not more than 72 hours old is presented. Reports according to which truck drivers in freight transport can enter the Netherlands and travel from there to Germany without a test cannot be confirmed. For this group of people there is a risk of getting stuck in the Netherlands. In addition to the existing requirements, those travelling by plane from the 15.01.2021 and by ferry from 19.01.2021, must present a negative rapid test immediately prior to boarding or departure. Please also take note of the travel and safety information for the Netherlands.

Travel through Belgium to other EU and Schengen countries is possible again. Please refer to the travel and safety information for Belgium (in German only) and the information from the Belgian Embassy in London. All travellers must also register online prior to entry. If transit does not exceed 48 hours, proof of a negative covid test and online registration are not required.

German citizens can enter Germany at any time and without restriction.

Entry into Germany from the member states of the European Union, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland is possible without restriction and without needing a legally specified reason.

The European Union’s general pandemic-related entry bans/restrictions apply with respect to travellers arriving from the United Kingdom and other non-EU countries.

General information from the EU Commission on resuming travel in times of Coronavirus can be found here.

In other words, as of 1 January 2021, arrivals from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland are subject to the same rules as other third countries. Travellers are now only allowed to enter Germany if they are returning to their place of residence, if they serve in an important role or if they have an urgent need to travel.

As of 1 January  2021, Germany allows unrestricted entry for residents of the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

In addition, the list is to be expanded to include China and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau as soon as the possibility of mutual entry is confirmed.

For all persons residing in a third country that is not included in the above list, the current restrictions on travel continue to apply, i.e. these persons may enter Germany only if they serve in an important role or if there is an urgent need for their travel. A person is considered to reside in a country if they have their domicile or habitual residence there. A person is specifically considered to have their domicile in a country if they have spent the past six months there.

The restrictions do not apply to German citizens.

EU citizens and nationals of Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland and the members of their immediate family (spouse, unmarried minor children, parents of minors) are exempted from the travel restrictions.

The same applies to third-country nationals who already have a longer-term right of residence in an EU member state or a Schengen country and the members of their immediate family, provided the relevant passport and visa requirements are met.

Initial entry by third-country nationals, however, is only permitted if they demonstrate that one of the exemptions from the entry restrictions applies to them, that is, if they have either their domicile or their habitual residence in a third country on the German positive list or if there is an urgent need for the entry. Special conditions apply to entry into Germany by family members who are nationals of a third country that is not on the positive list.

Detailed information on

  • what constitutes an urgent need for travel, and
  • what special conditions apply to entry into Germany by family members who are nationals of a third country that is not on the “safe” list

and other useful information can be found on the website of the Federal Police.

Before you travel, you must submit a digital registration form, if you have stayed in a risk area specified by the Robert Koch Institute in the previous ten days (even for a short time).

The United Kingdom, the Channel Island of Jersey and the British overseas territories Bermuda and Gibraltar are among the risk areas. The other British overseas territories and the Isle of Man and Guernsey are not risk areas. You can find a complete list of all risk areas at the Robert Koch Institute.

This is how the digital registration works:

On the website www.einreiseanmeldung.de you provide the information about your stays of the last ten days. After you have given all the necessary information in full, you will receive a PDF document as confirmation. Your airline, train or ferry company will check if you can present this document. If you cannot show it on request, you will not be allowed to travel. If, in exceptional cases, it is not possible to submit a digital registration form, you must fill out a replacement registration form instead.

The following groups of people would be exempt from the obligation to Register, however this does not apply to the United Kingdom at present::

  • Those who have only travelled through a risk area and did not have a stopover there,
  • Those who only enter the Federal Republic of Germany for transit purposes,
  • Those who have stayed in a risk area for less than 24 hours as part of border traffic with neighboring countries or who enter the Federal Republic of Germany for up to 24 hours,
  • Those who travel to the Federal Republic of Germany for professional reasons in order to transport people, goods or goods across borders by road, rail, ship or plane.

If you are entering Germany and have stayed in the UK (even briefly) in the ten days prior to entry, then you have to

  • carry proof of a negative COVID-19 test in German or English with you on entry and

  • go home immediately after arrival - or to some other accommodation at the destination - and self isolate for ten days (quarantine at home: according to the regulations of the relevant federal state).

Tests must have been taken no more than 48 hours before arrival in Germany.

For entry into Germany, PCR, LAMP, TMA and antigen tests are all accepted. Antigen tests must meet certain quality standards. More details can be found here

It has come to our attention that airlines do not recognise negative test results from the NHS on the grounds that the NHS does not specifically test for international travel.

The test can no longer be taken upon or immediately after entry into Germany. Transportation companies have been requested by the German Federal Government to only transport those travellers, who can present proof of the test at the start of their journey.

Travellers entering Germany from Ireland also have to present a negative Covid-19 test as of now. Information can be found here.

The quarantine can be ended with a negative test result no earlier than five days after entry. Please check the quarantine regulations of the relevant federal state. Whether you need a second test after arrival, depends on the responsible health authority for your place of stay. You can find the responsible health department here.

You can find a complete list of all international risk areas on the website of the Robert Koch Institute.

During your quarantine, you are not allowed to leave the house or flat, or receive visitors. Don't forget: This measure is to protect your family, neighbours and everyone else around you. Violations of the quarantine rules can be punished with fines.

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

Public life is Germany is subject to considerable, constantly changing restrictions. You can find the latest regulations here (in German).

Changes to the situation at short notice, as well as new and/ or tightened restrictions can be expected.


The rights of air passengers are established under the EU's air passenger rights regulation, which sets 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 delays.

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.

More information on the website of the German Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection here.

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

There are no additional pandemic-related restrictions.

Click here for Travelling with pets on travelling with pets.


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 10 days.
  • If you require advice or medical treatment, we would ask you to contact the NHS 111 Online Coronavirus Service or call the NHS hotline on 111. The hotline is usually experiencing a high volume of calls. Please expect longer waiting time. 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 pharmacy or any other facility without telephoning in advance.

Registering on the German Foreign Office’s crisis prevention list enables you to receive important information, 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.

Regardless of the Embassy’s communications, it is important to keep up-to-date through regular reading of the press or information from news programmes. Embassy communications 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.

Information for passport applicants

In the light of the increasing severity of the current pandemic, the national lockdown in England and similar restrictions in Northern Ireland and Wales, we are unfortunately compelled to limit the Embassy’s passport services as of 11/01//2021 and until further notice.

Information for passport & ID Card applications at the Embassy London

In the light of the increasing severity of the current pandemic, the national lockdown in Scotland, we are unfortunately compelled to limit passport services until further notice.

Information for passport and ID card applications at the Consulate General Edinburgh

Information for visa applicants

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