New COVID-19 Entry Restrictions in Germany

For persons entering Germany from countries considered a risk area in the COVID-19 context, the new federal regulation “Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung” (dated 13 January 2021, in force as of today) imposes requirements for electronic pre-registration and mandatory testing. These new provisions are valid on the federal level. They are replacing previous provisions that were issued on a regional level. However, please note that provisions on mandatory self-isolation will continue to be governed at the regional level.

Please note that there are special provisions/partial exemptions for “persons that are performing, in a professional context, border-crossing transports of persons or goods by road, rail, ship or air while applying adequate safety and hygiene concepts”, which are described below.

Categorisation of risk areas

The new regulation outlines three different levels of risk areas:

  • Risk areas (areas with an increased risk of infection with COVID-19).
  • High incidence areas (“Hochinzidenzgebiete” = areas with a particularly high incidence rate compared to Germany).
  • Areas of variant of concern (“Virusvarianten-Gebiete” = areas with widespread occurrence of virus variants/mutations that are not yet common in Germany and which potentially pose a higher risk, e.g. higher likelihood of transmission).

Up-to date information on the classification of countries as “risk areas”, “high incidence areas” or “areas of variant of concern” may be found here (with a link to an English language copy).

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Special provisions for transport staff

For transport staff subject to the above-mentioned special provisions, including truck drivers, train drivers, flight personnel as well as inland waterway operators and seafarers, the rules are as follows:

Persons that have been in a “risk area” during the last 10 days prior to entry into Germany:

  • Pre-registration: none, subject to the adherence of appropriate protection and hygiene concepts.
  • Negative COVID-19 test: none.

Persons that have been in a “high incidence area” during the last 10 days prior to entry into Germany:

  • Pre-registration: mandatory – please register here before entry. The digital form is available in various languages. Please note that it is also mandatory to carry a proof thereof.
  • Negative COVID-19 test: no mandatory test for stays up to 72h, subject to the adherence of appropriate protection and hygiene concepts. For stays of more than 72h, a mandatory COVID-19 test must be performed prior to entry, to be shown upon request of a responsible authority. The test may be max. 48h old upon entry.

Persons that have been in an “area of variant of concern” during the last 10 days prior to entry into Germany:

  • Pre-registration: mandatory – please register here before entry. Please note that it is also mandatory to carry a proof thereof.
  • Negative COVID-19 test: mandatory, no exemptions. The COVID-19 test must be performed prior to entry, to be shown upon request of a responsible authority. Test may be max. 48h old upon entry.
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Persons travelling in transit through Germany:

  • Persons travelling in transit through Germany are exempted from pre-registration in case they come from risk areas or high incidence areas, under the condition that they must leave Germany again ASAP. They must however pre-register if they come from an area of variant of concern.
  • They are exempted from testing in all three cases.

Persons that have transited a risk area without stopping:

  • Persons that have only transited a relevant area without any stops or sojourns are exempted from pre-registration in case they come from risk areas or high incidence areas. They must however pre-register if they come from an area of variant of concern.
  • They are exempted from testing is all three cases.


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