FAQs on entry into Germany in the context of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2

Here you can find the most important frequently asked questions.

General Questions

What does the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations regulate?

Together with the Federal Länder’s quarantine regulations, the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations provides for consistent obligations concerning registration, testing and proof. This involves a general obligation concerning testing and proof for travellers entering the country by plane as well as special obligations for entry into the Federal Republic of Germany following a stay abroad in a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern.

It also lays down obligations for transport companies and mobile network operators.

Please note: In order to prevent the spread of variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the Federal Republic of Germany, the Federal Government has issued an ordinance banning the transport of persons from „areas of variant of concern“ until April 28 2021 - strictly limited exemptions reserved.

Persons who are covered by any of the narrowly defined exemptions set out in the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance (Coronavirus-Schutzverordnung) are still required to observe the obligations concerning registration and proof of testing specified in the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung) as well as the quarantine regulations that apply in their Federal Land.

Types of risk area

What is a risk area?

A risk area is any region outside of the Federal Republic of Germany, where the Federal Ministry of Health, in agreement with the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, has identified an increased risk of infection with a specific dangerous infectious disease, e.g. an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. The Robert Koch Institute maintains a continually updated list of risk areas at the following address: www.rki.de/risikogebiete.

An area outside of the Federal Republic of Germany is deemed particularly high-risk if it has a particularly high incidence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread (high-incidence area) or because certain variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have occurred widely in this risk area (area of variants of concern).

High-incidence areas can be regions with especially high numbers of cases, e.g. a multiple factor of the average seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, but at least a seven-day incidence rate of 200.

Areas of variants of concern can be areas with widespread occurrence of a virus variant (mutant strain) of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that is not widespread within Germany and that can reasonably be believed to pose a particular risk. Such particular risks can result, among other things, from the virus variant

  • being presumed or proven to be more transmissible,
  • possessing some other property that accelerates the infection transmission,
  • causes more severe symptoms
  • or that persons who have already been vaccinated or recovered from a COVID infection at best only have a limited immunity against the new virus variant.

The Federal Ministry of Health, in agreement with the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, specifies in which countries there is currently a particularly high risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Areas that are currently classified as areas of variants of concern or high-incidence areas are listed on the following page: www.rki.de/risikogebiete.

The Robert Koch Institute maintains a continually updated list of risk areas, high-incidence areas and areas of variants of concern at the following address: www.rki.de/risikogebiete.

The classification as a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern only comes into effect the day following publication of this classification on the website indicated above. The Robert Koch Institute’s list, sorted by country name and, where relevant, with country region in brackets, indicates as of what date the region was classed a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern. At the bottom of the page you will find a summary of regions that had at one point in the previous 10 days been classified as risk areas, but are now no longer classified as risk areas.

The Federal Government examines on an ongoing basis the extent to which areas are to be classed as risk areas. This can also lead to changes at very short notice, especially with regard to additions to the list of risk areas. Note that the classification as a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern only comes into effect the day following publication of this classification on the website indicated above.

Areas with an increased risk (risk areas) should be differentiated from areas with a particularly high risk of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection. An area outside of the Federal Republic of Germany is deemed particularly high risk if it has a particularly high incidence of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus spread (high-incidence area) or because certain variants of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus have occurred widely in this risk area (area of variants of concern).

The reason for such a distinction is that the particularly high risk of an infection in those areas can be addressed with tighter entry regulations. The tighter regulations are aimed at further limiting the introduction of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and preventing the rapid spread of new virus variants.

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.

Testing obligation

What is the new general test obligation for passengers entering the Federal Republic of Germany by air?

From 30 March 2021, in principle all persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany by plane are required to present their carrier with a negative test result before departure.

This obligation to undergo testing and provide proof applies irrespective of whether or not the carriage took place from a risk area.

Please note: The predeparture test obligation applies even to passengers who are simply in transit at a German airport.

The swab specimen indicated in the test result must have been taken within 48 hours prior to entry into the Federal Republic of Germany.

The new obligation to undergo testing and provide proof initially applies until 12/05/2021 (inclusive).

 

Additional information is available at: Frequently Asked Questions on the new testing obligation

The two-test strategy provides for a testing obligation in connection with entry into the country and, in almost every Federal Land, allows for premature lifting of the quarantine through a voluntary test taken at the earliest on the fifth day following entry.

Please note that following a stay in an area of variants of concern, a premature lifting of the quarantine may, under Federal Land law, be excluded.

If you spent time within the 10 days prior to entering Germany in a risk area (not a high-incidence area, nor area of variants of concern), you must be able to furnish proof of a negative test result within 48 hours of entry. The swab specimen must have been taken at the earliest 48 hours before entry (to determine the precise time of entry, see below: “At what point in time am I entering Germany?”). Airline passengers entering the country by plane are to observe the basic obligation to furnish proof of testing before departure, irrespective of whether or not they have spent time in a risk area.

Within 10 days after entry, the public health office (Gesundheitsamt) may require that you submit the negative test result.

Note: The decisive aspect is not (only) where you departed from, but all the locations you visited over the previous 10 days.

Persons entering Germany from areas associated with particularly high risk of infection (high-incidence areas or areas of variants of concern) are subject to derogations. Persons entering Germany who spent time within the 10 days prior to entry in such an area are obligated to already get tested before departing on their journey to Germany. Before setting off, they must present their carrier (e.g. the airline) with a negative test result or appropriate medical certificate.
A negative test result can also be demanded by the Federal Police in the context of checking duties (entry control at the airport or controls performed close to borders when crossing internal borders by land). The swab specimen must have been taken at the earliest up to 48 hours before entry (to determine the precise time of entry, see below: “At what point in time will I be entering Germany?”). The test carried out must meet all the requirements specified at https://www.rki.de/tests  (for further details, see below: “What tests are recognised?”).

Depending on Land regulations, persons entering the county from risk areas and high-incidence areas, may also be able to prematurely lift their ten-day quarantine obligation with a second negative test.

In the case of risk areas and high-incidence areas, the second test may, as a rule, be taken at the earliest on the fifth day following entry into the country. The quarantine can then be ended with the receipt of a negative test result. The competent authority is entitled to verify the second negative test result up to the end of the general quarantine period, in other words up until the end of the tenth day following entry.

In accordance with Federal Land law, the quarantine period for areas of variants of concern is 14 days. As a rule, the possibility of lifting the quarantine period prematurely through testing is excluded.

Since the Federal Länder implement these regulations under their own responsibility, please inform yourself regarding the provisions in place in the Federal Land that you are entering and/or staying in.

Entry into Germany within the meaning of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations means spending time on the sovereign territory of the Federal Republic of Germany.

When entering by plane, this point in time can be specified as the point of landing at the German airport.

When entering Germany by other means (by land or sea), entry occurs upon crossing the German border.

Yes, airline passengers who are simply changing flights in the Federal Republic of Germany must comply with the provisions of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations. This applies to all flight-changing procedures and therefore to all airline passengers who spend time in international transit zones at German airports for the purpose of continuing their journey. 

Persons under the age of six years are exempt from the testing obligation.

Only a few exemptions from the general testing obligation exist for airline passengers (see below).

In the case of entry by land or sea, the exemptions depend on the type of risk area you had been to in the 10 days prior to entering the Federal Republic of Germany (risk area, high-incidence area ). The decisive aspect is not solely where you departed from, but all the locations you visited over the previous 10 days. Exemptions for high-incidence areas are stricter, since these pose an even greater risk of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus compared with risk areas.

Note: There are no exemptions from the testing obligation for areas of variants of concern. This means that all persons entering the country aged six years or over, who spent time in one such area within the previous 10 days, must be able to present a medical certificate or a negative test result for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

These exemptions do not apply if you show symptoms typical of an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, such as coughing, fever, a runny nose, or loss of sense of smell or taste. 

The following airline passengers are not obliged to take a test before departure:

  1. Persons whose profession it is to transport people, goods or commodities across borders by road, rail, ship or plane, while adhering to appropriate safety and hygiene practices,
  2. Persons who, as a member of an official delegation, are returning to Germany via the government terminal at Berlin Brandenburg Airport or Cologne/Bonn Airport and have spent less than 72 hours in a risk area.

The pre-departure test obligation also applies to passengers who are simply changing flights at a German airport.

When entering the country by land or sea after spending time in a risk area (not a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern), the following persons do not require testing:

  1. Persons solely travelling through a risk area without stopping over,
  2. Persons who are only in transit through and leaving the Federal Republic of Germany as quickly as possible to finish their transit journey,
  3. Persons who, in the context of border traffic, spent less than 24 hours in a risk area or who will be spending a maximum of 24 hours in the Federal Republic of Germany,
  4. Persons who travel to the Federal Republic of Germany for work in order to transport people, goods or commodities across borders by road, rail, ship or plane while adhering to appropriate safety and hygiene concepts.
  5. Persons who, as a member of an official delegation, are returning to Germany via the government terminal at Berlin Brandenburg Airport or Cologne/Bonn Airport and have spent less than 72 hours in a risk area.
  6. In the case of stays of less than 72 hours,
    a) Persons who are entering the country to visit first-degree relatives or spouses or life partners who do not form part of the same household, or on account of shared custody or a right of access,
    b) Persons complying with appropriate safety and hygiene concepts whose services are urgently required and critical to maintaining the healthcare system, and this is certified by their service employer, employer or contracting entity,
    c) High-ranking members of the diplomatic and consular service, of parliaments and governments complying with appropriate safety and hygiene concepts,
    d) On-duty police officers from Schengen states,
  7. Cross-border commuters and border crossers, if they adhere to appropriate safety and hygiene practices;
    Cross-border commuters are persons,
    • whose place of residence is in the Federal Republic of Germany and
    • who are compelled by necessity to travel to the respective location within a risk area to practise their profession, study or engage in vocational training and
    • regularly – at least once a week – return to their place of residence.
    Border crossers are persons,
    • whose place of residence is in a risk area and
    • who are compelled by necessity to travel to the Federal Republic of Germany to practise their profession, study or engage in vocational training and
    • regularly – at least once a week – return to their place of residence.
  8. Members and employees of German or foreign armed forces, insofar as these fall under section 54a of the Protection Against Infection Act,
  9. Members of foreign armed forces within the meaning of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, the NATO Partnership for Peace Status of Forces Agreement (PfP SOFA) and the European Union Status of Forces Agreement (EU SOFA) who are entering or returning to the Federal Republic of Germany for operational reasons.

In justified individual cases, the competent Land authority may, upon application, grant further exemptions where there is valid reason to do so or it may limit the exemptions.

The following persons do not require testing when entering the country by land or sea, after spending time in a high-incidence area:

  1. Persons who only passed through a high-incidence area without a stopover,
  2. Persons who are only in transit through and leaving the Federal Republic of Germany as quickly as possible to finish their transit journey,
  3. In the case of stays of less than 72 hours: Persons who, for the purpose of business, transport people, goods or commodities across borders by road, rail, ship or plane while adhering to appropriate safety and hygiene practices,
  4. Persons who, as a member of an official delegation, are returning to Germany via the government terminal at Berlin Brandenburg Airport or Cologne/Bonn Airport and have spent less than 72 hours in a high-incidence area,
  5. Persons whom the competent authority within the meaning of the Protection Against Infection Act has, in justified individual cases, granted further exemptions where there is valid reason to do so.

When entering the country from an area of variants of concern (in other words: after having spent time in such an area within the 10 days prior to entry), all travellers six years or older are obligated to undergo testing. The testing obligation must be completed before entering the country. There are no exemptions. This ensures that people entering Germany undergo testing for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus before their arrival. This helps to ideally avoid bringing dangerous novel virus variants into the country. 

In principle, nucleic acid amplification techniques (PCR, LAMP, TMA) and antigen tests for the direct detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus are recognised.

Antibody tests are not recognised.

Rapid antigen tests are recognised if they fulfil the minimum criteria recommended by WHO. These include tests that, as compared with PCR tests, meet ≥80% sensitivity and ≥97% specificity. The performance indicators of rapid antigen tests are always compared relative to a PCR test and vary from manufacturer to manufacturer (see package leaflet of antigen test).

The tests must be performed or supervised (also possible via video) by a third party that is legally authorised to perform or supervise such tests in that country. The third party must also verify and confirm the identity of the tested person with official photo identification. The certificate/test result must indicate what date the test was taken as well as the type of test carried out.

The proof of testing is to be provided in paper or electronic form in either English, French or German. In order for the competent public health offices to quickly ascertain whether the minimum criteria have been met, the (rapid) antigen test’s manufacturer details must be provided.

Detailed information can be found on the Robert Koch Institute’s website under http://www.rki.de/tests.

The swab specimen must have been taken at the earliest 48 hours before entry. If the testing of persons entering the country from an area of variants of concern is performed by the carrier, then the swab may be taken no more than 12 hours before departure (to determine the precise time of entry, see above: “At what point in time am I entering Germany?”).

The test must be carried out in in line with the criteria stipulated by the Robert Koch Institute at www.rki.de/covid-19-tests (for further details, see above: “What tests are recognised?”).

The proof is to be provided in paper or electronic form in either English, French or German.

Yes, the following applies to risk areas (not high-incidence areas or areas of variants of concern): In the case of persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany for the purpose of taking up employment, their employer or another third party on behalf of the employer may also present the competent authority with proof of the absence of a coronavirus infection on request. This represents an additional option for employers or other third parties (e.g. employer associations or agencies) and is not connected with any sort of obligation. Above all with respect to seasonal work, the aspect of communal work (and, where relevant, communal living) is given special consideration by allowing for group registration.

If you are entering Germany for the purpose of taking up (non-freelance) employment, please contact your employer.

The tests may also be supervised (also possible via video) by a third party who is legally authorised to perform or supervise such tests in the country in which the test is conducted. The third party must also verify and confirm the identity of the tested person with official photo identification. The certificate/test result must indicate the date on which the test was taken, as well as the type of test carried out.

If persons entering the country are unable to obtain a medical certificate or proof of a negative test for infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus before departure, the carrier may perform the test or have the test performed before departure and can, if the result is negative, transport the passenger. The test used must satisfy the requirements of the Robert Koch Institute, which are published on its website www.rki.de/covid-19-tests (for further details, see above: “What tests are recognised?”).

With respect to areas of variants of concern, the swab may not have been taken more than 12 hours before the departure.

In that case, please turn to your carrier for more information.

If you are travelling from a risk area by land or sea, you must be able to present a negative test result within less than 48 hours.

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.

A positive test result before departing means you must comply with the local regulations concerning SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Where unsure, you must self-isolate and contact the local competent authorities. If in doubt, you may no longer use that mode of transportation (car, plane, etc.).

If you have entered Germany from a risk area (not a high-incidence area or an area of variants of concern), by land or sea, and only got tested once you arrived in Germany, then you are required (subject to exemptions from quarantine under Land law) to proceed directly to your own home, or other suitable accommodation, and self-isolate at this location for a period of at least ten days. If you then receive a positive test result, you are required to follow the competent public health office’s further instructions.

Persons entering Germany by air or from an area associated with particularly high risk (high-incidence area or area of variants of concern) cannot be transported without presentation of a negative test result.

A negative test result before or, where relevant, upon entry (see above) does generally not entail further consequences. Some Federal Länder provide for exemptions from the quarantine obligation subject to presentation of a negative test result. For more information, please refer to the provisions of the Federal Land you are entering and/or where you are staying. Testing negative in a second test (taken at the earliest five days after entry), generally means home quarantine is no longer required. Please also note that following a stay in an area of variants of concern, according to Federal Land law tighter regulations may apply and that there might not be a possibility of prematurely lifting the quarantine through testing.

It is imperative that you inform your competent authority without delay if symptoms typical of an infection with COVID-19 (cough, fever or loss of smell or taste) emerge within 10 days of entry from a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern. Ambiguous symptoms – even if the first and/or second test was negative – should be clarified by a doctor without delay.

Persons entering Germany following a stay in a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern cover the testing costs themselves. This applies both to the mandatory test in connection with entry, as well as the voluntary test to prematurely end the quarantine.

Quarantine

Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany who spent time, at any point in the ten days leading up to their arrival, in a region classified as a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern are obliged to proceed directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation and self-isolate there. In accordance with Federal Land law, the quarantine period following a stay in a risk area or a high-incidence area is 10 days and, following a stay in an area of variants of concern, 14 days. During this period, it is forbidden to receive visits from anyone outside your own household. The competent authority (usually the public health office monitors the quarantine obligation.

Note: The Federal Länder implement the quarantine regulations under their own responsibility. The Federal Government and the Federal Länder have agreed to draw up standardised nationwide regulations where possible.The sample quarantine ordinance serves as a guidance. It is updated on an ongoing basis and implemented by the Federal Länder under their own responsibility. Ultimately, the law of the Federal Land you are entering, and/or where you are staying, is binding. Each Federal Land has therefore prepared relevant information on its website.

Yes, with the appropriate proof, particular groups of individuals are exempt from the obligation to quarantine, including persons in transit without a stop-over in Germany or persons transporting goods or merchandise across borders for the purpose of business or whose services in the health sector are urgently required.

Please also heed the provisions in place in the Federal Land that you are entering and/or staying in and call up the information above.

Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany following a stay in a risk area are obligated before entry to complete a Digital Registration on Entry (DEA) if no exemption from the obligation to register applies.

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 presentation of a test result or submission to a test.

In the rare case that persons entering the country (for want of the necessary technical equipment or due to a technical malfunction on the website) are unable to complete a Digital Registration on Entry, they will be required to fill out a paper-based substitute registration. Please refer to the substitute registration (PDF-Datei - nicht barrierefrei, 223 KB) for information on where to submit it (e.g. to the carrier or to Deutsche Post E-POST Solutions GmbH, D-69990 Mannheim). The substitute registration is then forwarded to the locally competent public health office.

Questions on commuting

Does the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations also apply to commuters?

Yes. The Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations differentiates between border crossers, cross-border commuters and daily commuters:

Daily commuters are persons who, in the context of border traffic, spent less than 24 hours in abroad or who will be spending a maximum of 24 hours in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Cross-border commuters are persons whose place of residence is in the Federal Republic of Germany and who are compelled to travel to the place where they practise their profession, study or engage in vocational training abroad in order to practise their profession, to study or engage in vocational training and who regularly – at least once a week – return to their place of residence.

Border crossers are persons whose place of residence is abroad and who are compelled to travel to the Federal Republic of Germany to practise their profession, study or engage in vocational training and who regularly – at least once a week – return to their place of residence.

The exemptions from the testing obligation described in this section only apply if the persons described therein show none of the symptoms typical of an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, such as coughing, fever, a runny nose, or loss of sense of smell or taste

These are only exempt from the obligation to register when entering Germany if they only spent time in a risk area or a high-incidence area, but not in an area of variants of concern. Any daily commuters who are not exempted from the obligation to register, because they are travelling from an area of variants of concern, must only complete the Digital Registration on Entry once per week. In this case, the address of the workplace, of the place of training or of a different location that would be of relevance in that specific situation, should be indicated. In addition, please use the application to select an exemption provision. If required, further details can be entered using a free text field.

They are solely exempt from the testing obligation after a stay in a risk area. After having spent time in a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern, you must, as a rule, get tested before departing to Germany (see potential exemptions below: “What exemptions can Land authorities make for commuters?”)

Border crossers and cross-border commuters are subject to the obligation to register (for entries into or departures from Germany for less than 24 hours, see provisions on daily commuting).

Cross-border commuters and border crossers, who do not commute on a daily basis, must only complete the Digital Registration on Entry once per week. In this case, the address of the workplace, of the place of training or of a different location that would be of relevance in that specific situation, should be indicated. In addition, please use the application to select an exemption provision. If required, further details can be entered using a free text field.

They are solely exempt from the testing obligation after a stay in a risk area. By contrast, after spending time in a high-incidence area or an area of variants of concern, besides the obligation to register, they also have a testing obligation (see potential exemptions below: “What exemptions can Land authorities make for commuters?”)

Where there is valid reason, the competent authority within the meaning of the Protection Against Infection Act can grant further exemptions from the testing obligation for entry by land or sea from a high-incidence area (section 4 (2) No. 5 of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations). A valid reason could be considered, for instance, with diplomats, commuters or assembly teams with urgent assignments.

The competent authority can also grant an exemption by way of general ruling. With a valid reason, these exemptions can, for instance, be granted generally for a given group of people, for a particular travel purpose and/or for a certain length of time.

According to section 54 of the Protection Against Infection Act, the competent authority is determined by individual Land law.

Questions on transport businesses

The exemptions from the testing obligation described in this section only apply if the persons described therein show none of the symptoms typical of an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, such as coughing, fever, a runny nose, or loss of sense of smell or taste.

The following obligations apply to persons who transport people, goods or commodities across borders by road, rail, ship or plane for business reasons:

Following a stay in a risk area, which is neither classified as a high-incident area nor an area of variants of concern, the transportation staff is exempt from the testing obligation and the obligation to register independent of the time spent in the risk area or in Germany.

Following a stay in a high-incidence area, the transportation staff is subject to the obligation to register. If, for the purpose of border traffic, the persons spent less than 24 hours in a high-incidence area or are only entering the Federal Republic of Germany for up to 24 hours, then transportation staff may cite this exemption provision for exemption from the obligation to register. The transportation staff is exempt from the testing obligation, as long as the staff only spent 72 hours in the high-incidence area or will only be spending 72 hours in Germany.  

Following a stay in an area of variants of concern, the transportation staff is subject to the testing obligation and the obligation to register.

All exemptions are tied to adherence to appropriate safety and hygiene concepts.

The group of persons transporting goods or merchandise across borders for the purpose of business also includes any crew members. 

Every person who falls under the obligation to register, must provide an address in Germany, since this is the only way to determine your competent authority. This is also required for persons who are exempt from the obligation to quarantine according to Federal Land law, since the competent authority must be able to monitor whether the conditions for exemption have indeed been met.

In the case of transportation staff, the most practical location should be provided. In the case of motorists, this might be the registered place of business in Germany, the unloading location or another location to which there is a relation in that specific situation.

Checks and monitoring

Persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany following a stay in a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern are obligated before entry to complete a Digital Registration on Entry (DEA). The competent authority (usually 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 presentation of a test result or submission to a test.

If this entry into Germany by air or from a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern was through a carrier, then the carrier, too, must be presented with proof of testing before departure. Irrespective of whether or not a carrier is used, the authority responsible for policing cross-border traffic (usually the Federal Police) may, in the exercise of their border police duties, demand that proof of testing be presented and also check whether a Digital Registration on Entry has been completed.

When entering the country by rail from a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern, the carriers check whether their travellers possess a negative test result. If no such proof is presented, then the carrier refuses passage. In the case of cross-border rail transportation or cross-border short sea shipping, these checks can also take place en route. These regulations do not apply to local public transport.

When entering Germany by car, random checks may be carried out close to borders by the competent authorities to check that persons entering from an area with a particularly high risk have tested negative.

Irrespective of whether or not a carrier is used, proof of testing must be presented to the authority responsible for policing cross-border traffic in the exercise of its border police duties if demanded.

Persons entering Germany after having spent time in a risk area who are unable to present a negative test result within 48 hours must expect a fine (see below: “Are there penalties? What form might these take?”) and acquiesce to a medical examination to exclude an infection with SARS-CoV-2. 

PCR tests performed in Germany are subject to a laboratory reporting requirement. This means laboratories must report positive test results to the competent public health office. In case of a positive antigen test, a PCR test is carried out to confirm the result. 

Negative test results are not reported to public health offices by the laboratories. Persons entering the country, who spent time in a risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern, must therefore, if requested, present a negative test result or medical certificate to indicate the absence of infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus to their competent public health office or other authority as designated by the Federal Land.

Violations of the obligations stated above regarding registering, testing or home quarantine constitute administrative offences. Here the competent local authorities may impose regulatory fines of up to 25,000 euros.

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