Germany removes all countries from COVID high risk travel list
As of midnight on Thursday, March 3, Germany has removed all countries from its COVID high-risk list, making it easier to travel to the country.
All 62 countries removed from Germany’s high risk travel list
The Robert Koch Institute announced on Tuesday evening that, as part of sweeping changes to relax international travel rules, it would change the criteria by which a country is designated “high risk”, meaning that all of the 62 countries currently on the list could be removed. You can see the full list on the RKI website.
“With the widespread occurrence of the Omicron variant, the probability of this variant to have a severe impact is shown to be less compared to the previous prevalent variants,” the RKI said. “Therefore, as of Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 0.00am, no states / regions will be considered as high-risk areas with the Third Amendment of the Coronavirus Entry Regulation coming into force.”
In the future, the RKI said that the high-risk category would only be applied to countries where other variants of COVID-19 are circulating widely that have a “higher virulence compared to the Omicron variant.”
Travelling to and from Germany now much easier
The move will make travel to and from Germany significantly easier. Currently, unvaccinated people coming from high risk areas to German airports or other travel hubs have been required to quarantine for up to 10 days, or take a test on day five to release themselves from self-isolation. All travellers have also been required to register themselves via a digital portal before entering Germany.
These rules - along with the tougher restrictions for countries classed as “virus variant areas” that essentially bans travel - will remain in place, but since no countries are now classed as either high risk or virus variant areas, they are not relevant for the time being. However, the RKI did warn that the situation could “change in the short term” and countries may be added to the list again.
The RKI also pointed out that in general the 3G rule still applies to travel to Germany: meaning that all arrivals must be able to present proof that they are either vaccinated, recently recovered, or have tested negative for the virus.
Rules relaxed for children under the age of 12
Other changes are also coming into effect to make travel easier in the run-up to the Easter holidays. A further revision of the rules means that from now on this so-called “general obligation to furnish proof” only applies to people above the age of 12. Previously, even children above the age of six were included in the requirement.
Children aged between six and 12 will still be required to quarantine for up to five days, but they now have the option to take a “test to release” immediately after arriving in Germany. As soon as they get a negative result, they can end their quarantine. Children under the age of six will be exempted from testing and quarantine rules.