Frequently asked questions for persons returning from risk areas

Here you can find the most important frequently asked questions on the following topics

Quarantine

Anyone who enters the Federal Republic of Germany having spent time in a risk area up to 10 days before their arrival is obliged to proceed directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation and self-isolate there for 10 days. The competent public health office monitors the quarantine obligation.

Note: The Federal Government and the federal states (Länder) have decided to where possible draw up standardised nationwide regulations in the future. A sample quarantine ordinance will serve as a technical aid for each Land to implement under its own responsibility. Ultimately, the law of the federal state (Land) you are entering, and/or where you are staying, is binding. Please observe possible special regulations on the quarantine obligations that apply under the law of your federal state (Land) (especially persons in transit and cross-border commuters). Should you meet the conditions for an exception in your federal state (Land), please be sure to check whether additional requirements need to be met (for example: submitting a negative test result and any deadlines regarding taking a test).

A risk area is any country or region outside of the Federal Republic of Germany for which, at the time of entry into the Federal Republic of Germany, an increased risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus exists. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) publishes a continuously updated list of risk areas.

If you conducted a digital registration on entry, you do not have to report voluntarily to the competent public health authority.

Testing obligation

Within 10 days after entry, the public health office may require that you submit a negative test result or, if you do not possess such a result, that you have yourself tested. The obligation to submit evidence or accept testing arises only upon being requested to do so by the public health office.

The test must be carried out in in keeping with the criteria stipulated by the Robert Koch Institute at www.rki.de/covid-19-tests.

If you are in possession of a test result when entering the country, the test may not have been taken more than 48 hours prior to entry.

In certain exceptional cases, federal state (Land) regulations allow exemptions from the quarantine obligation. Some of these exceptions are linked to the submission of a negative test result.

A positive test result means that the person concerned must self-isolate for 10 days.

In most federal states (Länder), testing negative, at the earliest after five days, means home quarantine is no longer required.

Furthermore, in some federal state (Land) regulations, exemptions from the quarantine obligation require the submission of a negative test result. For more information, please refer to the provisions of the federal state (Land) you are entering.

It is important that you inform your competent health office right away if typical COVID-19 symptoms (difficulties breathing, newly developed cough, fever or loss of smell or taste) emerge within 10 days of entry from a risk area. Ambiguous symptoms – even following a negative test result – should be clarified by a doctor without delay.

You can call 116 117 or check www.116117.de to find out where in your vicinity you can get tested. If you wish to be tested by your family doctor, please be sure to call the office in advance.

When entering the country by air or sea, you can also find testing stations at airports and ports.

Travellers from risk areas are under obligation to report to their competent health office
immediately upon returning and also provide it with details regarding potential symptoms and on whether a test was carried out. The obligation does not exist if the traveller conducted a digital entry registration prior to entering the Federal Republic of Germany. The public health office will be able to access the stored data digitally and thereby monitor the observance of home quarantine and/or require the submission of a test result or submission to a test.

No compulsory testing is planned. People not consenting to testing within 10 days of entering the country from a risk area after having been requested to do so must expect to pay a fine.

Tests performed in Germany are subject to what is known as a laboratory reporting requirement. This means laboratories must report positive test results to the competent public health office.

Negative test results are not reported to public health offices by the laboratories. People travelling from a risk area must themselves therefore, if requested, prove to their local public health office or a different authority designated by the federal state (Land) that they tested negative by producing a test certificate issued to them by their doctor.

Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany, who spent time in a risk area within the 10 days prior to entry, are required to conduct a digital entry registration. This proof will be checked by the carrier; this also applies to entry by train.

Travellers entering by car may be subjected to random checks by the competent authorities to determine whether a digital entry registration was conducted.

The public health office will be able to digitally access the data stored in the digital entry registration and thereby monitor the observance of home quarantine and/or require the submission of a test result or submission to a test.

International travellers are informed of their obligations by their carriers (for instance on the train or plane). In addition, the Federal Centre for Health Education provides information on the testing obligation and signs will be posted along roads close to borders and at ports, airports and train stations. When conducting the digital entry registration, travellers will be informed of the obligation to self-quarantine for 10 days and of any exceptions to this rule.

Violation of the obligations stated above regarding reporting, consent to testing or home quarantine can result in heavy fines by local authorities.

Free testing

Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany, who spent time in an international risk area within the previous 14 days, are entitled up to 1 December to free testing for a period of ten days after entry.

Regulations for persons entering Germany in connection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and the digital registration on entry for persons entering from risk areas in several languages.

Contact