germany reopening borders

Germany is open for tourism but with one of the strictest requirements in EU

Germany is open to visitors from the EU, Schengen and a few third-party countries. Different entry restrictions apply to “different areas of concern.” (See details on Countries, areas and territories of concern section).

Travelers arriving in Germany who have spent time in a risk area within 10 days prior to entry are subjected to a mandatory COVID-19 test and might need to quarantine.

Germany reopening – Latest updates

Germany airport

June 12 – Germany started rolling out a digital vaccine passport this week.

Germany enforces some of the strictest domestic COVID-19 restrictions across Europe. Before going out for lunch, staying at a hotel, or working out at a gym, Germans must take a COVID-19 test and produce a negative result.

This week the country started rolling out a new digital vaccine passport named CovPass that will let users download proof of their coronavirus vaccination certificate onto the app. 

After receiving a QR code, visitors and locals will be allowed easy access to restaurants, museums or other tourist venues that require proof of immunization.

Health Minister Jens Spahn said that this digital vaccination pass is “an important step for the revival of international tourist travel.”


May 29 – Germany imposed new travel restrictions to U.K. travelers since May 23 

The E.U. is finishing up a plan to ease travel within the bloc for those who have been vaccinated, recovered or can produce a negative COVID-19 test. Effective July 1, all EU countries will be required to accept these certificates.

Some EU tourist-dependent countries have moved ahead and reopened their doors to international travelers. But Germany is not one of them. Instead, it has recently imposed a new travel ban to visitors from the U.K., Northern Ireland, and some other countries.

“…There are local outbreaks occurring again, including cases of more infectious variants such as the Indian variant at present. Therefore, to prevent the further spread of the virus, the United Kingdom has been classified as an area of variant of concern with effect from May 23, 2021,” reads the government statement.

So far, Germany has just started to lift some local restrictions. But the date of a broader international reopening has not been announced. 

(Source: SchengenVisaInfo News)

May 21 – Schleswig-Holstein is the first German State fully reopening for tourism

After experimenting with small groups of tourists, Germany has fully reopened its northernmost state of Schleswig-Holstein for tourism. Bars and restaurants are reopened for both indoor and outdoor dining, and boat trips and other tourist attractions are open for business again. 

Rules are still tough. All visitors must bring a COVID-19 negative test, proof of having received two doses of an approved vaccine against COVID-19, and agree to get retested every 3 days.   

Also, last Monday the country reopened bars and restaurants nationwide. Again, customers must bring the same certificates or they will be denied service. 

May 6 – Germany has been quietly experimenting with tourism in one of its most-visited coastal regions. 

After more than 6 months of an almost total lockdown and an impressive vaccination campaign with more than a million vaccines administered in only one day last week, the country seems to be getting ready for a bigger reopening. 

In order to be permitted to visit the region, visitors must agree in writing to a long list of requirements and restrictions before going and during their stay.

These include: bringing a negative rapid antigen COVID-19 test to be presented at the check in, consent the government to collect, record and use travelers’ personal data for epidemiology purposes, and also agree to take and produce a negative COVID-19 every 48 hours.

All these restrictions give some insights on how the national reopening would be, but still say nothing about when it will happen. 

April 20 – Germany to unify local and national restrictions to fight the third wave of COVID-19

Germany, as usual, is taking very seriously the third wave of COVID-19 cases they have started to see over the last couple of weeks. 

A few days ago, the Cabinet members approved legal changes to grant the federal government enough power to enforce consistent COVID-19 related restrictions over all German states. This means that all regions no matter how big or small they are will need to comply with the new federal laws, now called the “federal emergency brake.”

“We must not ignore the cries for help from the medical profession. They need us,” […] “Our fight against the pandemic needs to be stricter and more resolute,” […] “The nationwide emergency brake is long overdue,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel, while emphasizing that Germany is “approaching the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Countries, areas and territories of “concern”

Germany has changed its color-code classification to new “areas of variant of concern”, “high incidence areas”, “risk areas” and 2 regions that are no longer considered as risk areas.” This list will be effective from June 13 at 00:00. 

1. New virus variant areas – areas with a particularly high risk of infection due to the widespread occurrence of certain SARS-CoV-2 virus variants:

2. New high incidence areas – areas with a particularly high risk of infection due to particularly high incidences for the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus:

  • Malaysia is now considered a high incidence area.
  • Mongolia is now considered a high incidence area.
  • Namibia is now considered a high incidence area.
  • Sri Lanka is now considered a high incidence area.

3. New simple risk areas – areas with increased SARS-CoV-2 infection risk:

  • Georgia is now considered a simple risk area (previously high incidence area).
  • Qatar is now a simple risk area (previously high incidence area).
  • Mexico is now considered a simple risk area (previously high incidence area).
  • Portugal – the region (metropolitan area) Lisbon is now considered a simple risk area.
  • Spain – the autonomous city of Ceuta is now considered a simple risk area.

4. Areas that are no longer considered risk areas:

  • Armenia is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Azerbaijan is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina is no longer a risk area.
  • Greece – the regions of Mount Athos, the North Aegean, East Macedonia and Thrace as well as the Peloponnese are no longer considered risk areas.
  • Canada is no longer a risk area.
  • Kosovo is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Croatia – all of Croatia – with the exception of Medimurje and Varazdin counties – is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Lebanon is no longer a risk area.
  • Moldova, Republic is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Montenegro is no longer considered a risk area.
  • North Macedonia is no longer a risk area.
  • Norway – the provinces of Innlandet and Viken are no longer considered risk areas.
  • Austria – all of Austria – now also the federal states of Tyrol and Vorarlberg – is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Portugal – the autonomous region of Madeira is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Switzerland – the cantons of Bern and Thurgau are no longer considered risk areas.
  • Serbia is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Ukraine is no longer considered a risk area.
  • USA – The United States of America is no longer considered a risk area.
  • Cyprus is no longer considered a risk area.


Can Americans visit Germany?

US citizens are not allowed to visit Germany at the moment unless they can prove a truly compelling and urgent reason to do so.

What are the restrictions in Germany for travelers visiting from a risk area?

Visitors coming from a risk area -even if it is in an unrestricted country- have to, 

  • Submit proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken within the 48 hours prior to arrival to avoid quarantine.
  • Take an additional test if the one the visitor brings does not meet the German standards.
  • Quarantine.

Current COVID-19 situation in Germany

Although Germany has had 3,720,811 confirmed positive cases and 90,398 deaths since the pandemic struck, the country has been widely praised by its initial outbreak response being considered today as an example to be followed by neighboring nations.

Its rapid containment efforts, massive testing, and extensive public communication and transparency has allowed Germany to keep a consistent low death toll since the end of May.

With 83,149,300 million inhabitants, the country is reporting an average of 180 deaths per day.

What activities are banned during national lockdown?


Tourist and social activities 

From 6 April, the Federal State of Saarland reopened tourist venues such as bars, restaurants, cinemas, and sport facilities, with the condition that a negative rapid test result for COVID-19 infection is presented upon entry.

Reopening Schedule? 


Retail, museums, galleries, zoos and botanical gardens can reopen with appointments.

Outdoor dining, theatres, concert halls, opera houses, cinemas, and sport events. Attendants may need to provide a rapid test depending on the epidemiological numbers of the region.

For further information click here.

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