Frequently asked questions on Digital Registration on Entry, the obligation to furnish proof and quarantine on entry

General Questions

What does the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations regulate?

The Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations of 12 May 2021 (PDF-Datei - nicht barrierefrei, 518 KB) brings together the regulations of the original Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations, the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance and the model quarantine ordinance. It thereby regulates a uniform, nation-wide obligation to register, quarantine and furnish proof as well as a ban on carriage from areas of variants of concern.

The Ordinance includes a general obligation for travellers entering the country by plane to furnish proof. These travellers must – irrespective of whether or not they spent time in a risk area – present a negative test result or proof of vaccination or recovery to their carrier prior to departure. In addition, when entering the Federal Republic of Germany following a stay in a risk area outside of Germany (basic risk area, high-incidence area or area of variants of concern), special obligations exist regarding proof and an obligation to quarantine. For travellers entering Germany from an area of virus variants of concern, a ban on carriage – subject to a very limited set of exceptions – has been imposed on travel from these areas via rail, bus, ship or plane.

What rules apply to people who have been vaccinated or who have recovered?

Proof of vaccination or recovery is deemed equivalent to a negative test result within the context of the obligation to furnish proof. Additionally, it can exempt you from the obligation to quarantine on entry. This does not apply if you spent time in an area of variants of concern. In this case, travellers are always required to present a negative test result and the aforementioned proof does not provide exemption from quarantine on entry.

Are the regulations limited in time?

This Ordinance ceases to be effective upon revocation of the determination of an epidemic situation of national significance by the German Bundestag. The regulations on the obligation to quarantine will initially be in force until 28 July 2021.

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 https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html.

What is a high-incidence area?

High-incidence areas are risk areas with special characteristics. These can be areas with especially high numbers of cases, e.g. a multiple factor of the average seven-day incidence rate per 100,000 inhabitants in Germany, a regular indicator is having a seven-day incidence rate of over 200 or one that is assumed to be of similar proportions on account of qualitative assessments, such as a low test rate concurrent with a high positivity rate.

What is an area of variants of concern?

Areas of variants of concern are risk areas with specific characteristics. They 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 characteristic that accelerates infection transmission,
  • causes more severe symptoms
  • or which might weaken the effect of the immunity conferred by vaccination or recovery from a COVID-19 infection.

What is a basic risk area?

Risk areas that are not classed as high-incidence areas or areas of variants of concern are commonly referred to as “basic risk areas”.

How can I tell whether I am travelling from a risk area (basic risk area, high-incidence area or an area of variants of concern)?

Areas that are currently classified as risk areas, areas of variants of concern or high-incidence areas are listed on the following page: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html

Obligation to register

Where do people entering the country need to register?

Even before entering Germany, you must carry out a digital registration on entry if you spent time in a risk area within the ten days prior to your entry. Please enter information on the places you stayed over the previous 10 days on the www.einreiseanmeldung.de travel portal. After filling in all of the necessary information, you will receive a PDF file as confirmation. Before transporting you to your destination, your carrier, as a rule, will check whether you are in possession of a confirmation. Otherwise, the carrier will not be allowed to take you.

What should I do if I have no access to a computer or smartphone, or if the Digital Registration on Entry’s travel portal is not available?

If you are unable to carry out a digital registration on entry for want of the necessary technical equipment or because of a technical malfunction, alternatively you must fill out a substitute registration on paper (PDF-Datei - nicht barrierefrei, 223 KB).

Where no request to present the substitute registration is made (by your carrier or the authority responsible for policing cross-border traffic), you are required, within 24 hours of entry, to either complete the Digital Registration on Entry or forward the completed substitute registration to the following address:

Deutsche Post E-POST Solutions GmbH, 69990 Mannheim

Obligation to furnish proof

Who is required to furnish proof?

All persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany by plane are required to present their carrier with a negative test result or proof of vaccination or recovery before departure. This obligation to furnish proof applies irrespective of whether or not you have spent time in a risk area. In addition, when entering the Federal Republic of Germany following a stay in a risk area outside of Germany, special obligations exist regarding proof and the obligation to quarantine . 

When do I need to present proof?

Airline passengers (irrespective of whether or not they stayed in a risk area before entry) as well as travellers who stayed in a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern must, as a rule, already carry with them a negative test result on entry and, if demanded by the carrier, present the proof for the purpose of carriage. Airline passengers as well as travellers who stayed in a high-incidence area can also present proof of vaccination or recovery. Without proof, carriage is excluded.

If entering Germany following a stay in a risk area that is not classed as a high-incidence area or area of variants of concern, you must be able to provide a negative test result or proof of vaccination or recovery within 48 hours of entry. You must forward the proof to the competent authority via the travel portal immediately upon receiving it.

How recent must the test be?

The test result must pertain to a test taken no earlier than 48 hours (for antigen tests) or 72 hours (for PCR tests) beforehand. Relevant when calculating these time frames is the time of entry into Germany. When entering from areas of variants of concern, this time frame is reduced to 24 hours with antigen tests.

At what point in time am I entering Germany?

In general, when entering the Federal Republic of Germany by land, sea or air, entry represents when the border is crossed. If entry into Germany is through a carrier, entry is determined to be the first scheduled disembarkation point in the Federal Republic of Germany.

However, staying in the international transit area of an airport to transfer from one non-EU member state to another non-EU member state does not constitute entry.

Do airline passengers who are simply changing flights in the Federal Republic of Germany have to comply with the provisions of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations? Does this also apply to airline passengers spending time in the international transit zones of German airports?

Yes, airline passengers who are simply changing flights in the Federal Republic of Germany must, as a rule, comply with the provisions of the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations. However, this does not apply if the passengers solely stay within an airport’s international transit area to transfer from one non-EU member state to another non-EU member state.

What tests are recognised?

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).

Testing must have been conducted or supervised in the Federal Republic of Germany or abroad by a service provider pursuant to section 6 (1) of the Coronavirus Testing Ordinance (in German) (Coronavirus-Testverordnung) or in the context of company-based testing for the purpose of occupational health and safety by staff who have the required training, knowledge and experience or must have been conducted or supervised abroad by an entity authorised to do so under the law of the country concerned. The third party must also verify and confirm the identity of the tested person with official photo identification. The proof of testing must indicate what date the test was taken as well as the type of test carried out.

Proof of testing can be provided in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in written or digital form. Detailed information can be found on the Robert Koch Institute’s website.

What do I do if the test is positive? Does this mean that I cannot return to Germany?

Carriers are only allowed to transport passengers with a negative test certificate. You must isolate yourself on your own responsibility according to local regulations.

Quarantine on entry

Who needs to quarantine after entry?

If you have spent time in a risk area, you must make your way directly to your home – or other place of accommodation at your destination – upon arrival and remain isolated there for a period of ten days (home quarantine). If you spent time in an area of variants of concern prior to entry, you will need to quarantine for 14 days.

Does the quarantine obligation also apply to people who have recovered from illness or who have been vaccinated?

Home quarantine can be ended prematurely by submitting proof of vaccination or of recovery via the Federal Republic’s travel portal at https://einreiseanmeldung.de. This applies to all persons entering Germany following a stay in a high-incidence area or basic risk area. Quarantine can be ended after you have submitted proof.

Who can get tested to be exempted from quarantine?

Following a stay in a basic risk area, home quarantine can be ended prematurely by submitting a negative test result via the Federal Republic’s travel portal at https://einreiseanmeldung.de. Quarantine can be ended after you have submitted your negative test result. If this proof is already submitted before entry, no quarantine is necessary.

If you spent time in a high-incidence area prior to entry, testing may at the earliest be conducted five days after entry. If you spent time in an area of variants of concern, quarantine lasts for a period of 14 days and cannot be ended prematurely.

What constitutes proof of recovery?

Proof of a previous infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus issued in written or digital form in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish, if the test involved laboratory diagnostics comprising a nucleic acid test (PCR, PoC-PCR or other nucleic acid amplification test methods) and it was performed no less than 28 days and no more than six months previously.

What constitutes proof of vaccination?

Proof of full vaccination against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus issued in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in form of a vaccination booklet or in written or digital form, if the vaccination on which it is based comprised one or more of the vaccines listed online by the Paul Ehrlich Institute at https://www.pei.de/impfstoffe/covid-19, and

  • either comprises the number of vaccine doses necessary to provide full protection as published online by the Paul Ehrlich Institute at https://www.pei.de/impfstoffe/covid-19 and no less than 14 days have elapsed since the last required single vaccination
  • or, in the case of recovered persons, this constitutes one vaccine dose administered.

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