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

as of: 6 July 2020

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

Questions and Answers

The British government is gradually easing some restrictions that were previously in place in England. 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 and Northern Ireland.

As far as the Embassy is aware, travel to airports or train stations (and also in regard to travelling to the Embassy to obtain travel documents) is not subject to restrictions upon proof of relevant supporting documents (tickets, booking confirmation, appointment confirmation from the Embassy for a passport application).

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

On 3 July, the British government announced that passengers from certain countries, among them Germany, will not be required to quarantine when entering England, from 10 July. For more information please visit gov.uk 

Passengers to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have to undergo quarantine upon arrival, until further notice.

Passengers entering the United Kingdom are required to fill in an online form before or upon arrival.

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

The Embassy is not aware of restrictions for German citizens entering the United Kingdom. More information can be found on the German Foreign Office's travel and safety advice page (in German).

Travelling within the EU

On 10 June 2020 the Federal Government decided to lift its COVID-19-related internal border controls for travellers from all EU countries, the Schengen associate countries Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland, and the United Kingdom from the end of 15 June 2020 (from the end of 21 June 2020 for Spain).

This means that, from 16 June 2020 or (in the case of Spain) 22 June 2020, a valid reason for entry is no longer required for entry into Germany from the above-mentioned countries.

Travelling from outside the EU

To prevent the further spread of COVID-19, the EU Commission has recommended extending the existing travel restrictions for all non-essential travel from third countries into the EU initially until 30 June 2020. Germany will implement this recommendation.

The following persons shall remain exempt from these travel restrictions:

  1. Nationals of EU countries, Schengen associate countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland), the United Kingdom and their respective family members returning to their place of residence
  2. Third-country nationals with a long-term right of residence in an EU member state and/or the countries mentioned above (residence permit or long-term visa, e.g. for study or work purposes), provided they are returning to their place of habitual residence
  3. Third-country nationals with “essential functions or needs”, including:
  • healthcare workers, health researchers and care professionals
  • cross-border workers, transport personnel employed in the movement of goods and other essential sectors
  • diplomats, staff of international organisations, military personnel and humanitarian aid workers if travelling for work purposes
  • passengers in transit
  • passengers travelling for imperative family reasons
  • persons in need of international protection or seeking entry for other humanitarian reasons.

From 1 July 2020, the exceptions to the EU entry restrictions are to be extended as follows:

  • EU citizens, citizens of Schengen associate countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland), citizens of the UK and third-country nationals entitled to reside in the EU and their respective family members shall be allowed to enter the country regardless of whether they are returning to their place of residence.
  • The categories for third-country nationals with “essential functions or needs” are to be extended to include:
    • third-country nationals entering for study purposes
    • qualified professionals from third countries, provided that their employment is necessary from an economic point of view and their work cannot be postponed or carried out from abroad. 

The decision on permitting entry will be made by the German border police in situ.

If there are indications of an infection with coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2), the necessary measures in accordance with the health authorities will be introduced.

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).

From the 15 June, those entering Germany from a corona high-risk area can expect to be required to undergo quarantine!

The United Kingdom is not currently conisdered a high-risk area.

From 15 June, new quarantine framework is in place in Germany. This stipulates that travellers entering Germany who have previously stayed in a high-risk area must immediately head to the final destination of their journey, self-isolate and contact the relevant local health authority via email or telephone in order to register (the responsible authorities are, alongside the local health authority, the local regulatory authorities, in the event that the local health authorities can not be connected in time or are be unable to take action).

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).

The main factor responsible for the isolation measures is whether the area was classed as a high-risk area upon entering Germany.

The requirement to self-isolate does not apply in the event of the affected person being able to prove they have not become infected with SARS CoV-2 virus by means of a medical certificate (in German or English). A molecular biological test for presence of an infection is required a maximum of 48 hours prior to entering Germany. The test must be carried out in a member state of the European Union or a country with comparable standards of quality. Countries with comparable standards of quality are released via the Robert Koch-Institut.

It is possible to carry out a test following entry to Germany at the point of entry, or at the place of accommodation (also via the employer at the place of accommodation, provided a doctor or company doctor is able to issue a medical certificate). The test result must be kept for at least 14 days following entry and presented to the health authority upon request. Should the person begin suffering from COVID-19 related symptoms within 14 days of entering, they must immediately contact the health authority.

The requirement to self-isolate does not apply to those who enter Germany in order to travel through Germany. They are however required to leave the Federal Republic as quickly as possible.

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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