What are Germany's new quarantine rules for travellers from risk areas?

What are Germany's new quarantine rules for travellers from risk areas?

What are Germany's new quarantine rules for travellers from risk areas?

Faced with an increasingly complex patchwork quilt of coronavirus travel regulations, the German government and federal states have finally agreed upon a set of base guidelines for the testing and quarantining of people returning from risk countries abroad - but there’s still plenty of room for confusion. Here’s what you need to know. 

Germany lays out base guidelines for coronavirus quarantine

In principle, from November 8 onwards, travellers who have spent time in one of the RKI-designated risk areas in the 10 days prior to coming to Germany will be obliged to go into quarantine. The mandatory quarantine period will be reduced from 14 to 10 days. All arrivals will also be obliged to contact their local competent authority (usually the health office) to register their presence, either by email or phone.

quarantine rules germany

Image source: Bundesregierung

However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule. For instance, it does not apply to key workers, commuters or those who have passed through a risk country for less than 24 hours. The requirement will also be waived for those who have been visiting family for a period of less than three days. 

Coronavirus test only after five days

As previously was the case, you will be able to release yourself from the 10-day quarantine if you are able to produce a negative test result. However, the change is that this test may only be carried out on the fifth day after entry, at the earliest. You must also keep your negative result for at least 14 days after the test and present it to the competent authority if requested to do so. 

quarantine exceptions

Even with a negative test result, if you experience typical COVID-19 symptoms within 10 days of entry, you are still obliged to inform the competent authority immediately and to go to a doctor or a test centre to get yourself tested once again. 

If you are returning from a risk country, the coronavirus test should be free and can be conducted at a number of locations, including airports. Since September 14, 2020, the test has not been free for travellers returning from regions not considered to be risk areas.   

States free to implement ordinance differently

While most of the federal states are expected to largely incorporate the key points of this ordinance into their own regulations, they are in theory free to implement it as they see fit. Discrepancies are therefore bound to open up between the different states as they fine-tune their own quarantine rulebooks over the coming days and weeks.

It’s not ideal, but the best advice is to check with the competent authority in your federal state before travelling to see if their regulations differ from those laid out above. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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jasonrobertson2 19:33 | 20 October 2020

Do you have a link to this on the RKI website?

jasonrobertson2 19:33 | 20 October 2020