Germany to relax international travel rules from March 4

Germany to relax international travel rules from March 4

With the Easter holidays approaching, the German federal government wants to make travelling in and out of the country easier, especially for families. While almost 40 countries were recently removed from the country’s COVID high-risk list, entry rules and risk criteria are also being relaxed.

Nearly 40 countries removed from Germany’s high risk travel list

On Sunday, the German government announced that it was removing almost 40 countries from its list of high-risk areas, meaning travellers from these countries face far less stringent entry requirements when travelling to Germany. This includes Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Luxembourg, Poland, Sweden, and many overseas territories of France and the Netherlands. 

Outside the EU, a number of countries have also been removed from the high-risk list, including, among other places, Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Montenegro, Peru, Serbia and Ukraine. You can see the latest updates on the Robert Koch Institute's website.

COVID travel rules to be relaxed this week

The travel risk list will be shaken up even further this week, as the government implements a set of planned changes designed to make travel in and out of German airports and travel hubs easier. From March 4, according to a draft ordinance, changes will be made to the criteria by which a country is designated “high risk”. 

In future, only countries where variants of COVID-19 with “stronger pathogenic properties” than the Omicron variant - for instance the Delta variant - are circulating widely will be considered high risk. This change in criteria will see most countries removed from the list. 

A further change will mean that children under the age of 12 will be able to take a free test immediately upon returning from a high-risk area abroad, and release themselves from the obligation to quarantine with a negative result. Up until now, the earliest someone could do a “test to release” was on day five of isolation. 

In general, anyone returning to Germany will be asked to present proof that they are either vaccinated, recently recovered, or have tested negative for the virus. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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