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Travel to Germany in 2021

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Last updated November 27, 2021

Yes, Germany is opening to American tourists

On Sunday 20th June Germany reopened to non-essential (tourist) travel from the US, ending a period of over a year during which American travelers were unable to visit the country.

Most German Christmas Markets Cancelled

All Christmas Markets in Bavaria (Munich, Nuremberg) and Saxony (Dresden) have been cancelled for the 2021 season.

Entry Requirements 

All travellers must register electronically before travelling to Germany, using the digital registration system.

Anyone who has full vaccination protection or has recovered from COVID-19 must present the relevant evidence to the responsible authorities. They will not be required to quarantine. Unvaccinated travelers entering Germany from a High Risk Area who do not have proof of recovery from Covid-19 in the last 6 months will be required to quarantine at their own expense for 10 days. The US is no longer considered high risk as of 14 November 2021 (but a negative PCR test taken in the last 72 hours is required). However many European countries are on the High Risk list, so any unvaccinated travelers that visit other countries before reaching Germany may need to quarantine. Such travelers can end their quarantine after the fifth day at the earliest by taking a test and obtaining a negative result.

  • Travelers who received all the required doses of a COVID-19 vaccine cited on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (includes all vaccines authorized for use in the US) are considered fully vaccinated. It must be at least 14 days since the last vaccine dose was administered. On entry, travelers must have proof of vaccination in written (e.g. CDC card) or digital form (a cellphone photo is not sufficient). Vaccinated travelers must additionally show no relevant symptoms.
  • Travelers who can prove they were previously infected with COVID through a positive PCR test, taken at least 28 days but no more than six months prior, and who show no relevant symptoms are considered to be fully recovered.

Transit travelers with a destination outside the Schengen area who do not leave the international transit area of the airport do not need to present a negative test prior to departure.

Antigen or PCR Testing for Returning Home

If you need to get tested for your journey home, whether it is required by the airline or for re-entry into the U.S. we will help you schedule that at the most convenient location possible, at the appropriate time. For re-entry to the US you need to have a negative result from a Covid-19 viral test up to 3 days before departure (not counting the day of departure, so for a flight at 1pm on a Friday, you could board with a negative test that was taken any time on the prior Tuesday or after.) Since May 12 2021, the CDC have approved Antigen tests for travel. Antigen tests are quicker (results in 30 minutes, not 24 hours) and cheaper (around 1/3 the price or less) than PCR tests and often more readily available. If you are flying direct back to the US, the only test you’ll need is an Antigen test. If you are transferring in another country on the way back to the US other requirements may apply. We advise to check with the airline in this case.

General COVID-19 measures to be aware of

  • maintain physical distance (1.5 meters)
  • maintain hand hygiene and disinfection (we will provide a personal bottle of hand sanitiser to you upon arrival)
  • FFP2 grade masks are compulsory in shops and public transport, replacing a previous requirement for simple mouth-nose coverings. We will provide a disposable mask of the required type for each day of your trip.

Curfews and Movement Restrictions

Curfew is in place in certain states, and depending on vaccination status.

3G Rule

To enter almost any type of establishment other than a shop or supermarket it is required to show proof of vaccination, recovery from covid-19 or a recent negative test (48 hrs for PCR, 24 for Antigen).

Restaurants

Restaurants and cafes may open both indoor and outdoor areas between the hours of 6 am and 9 pm if the local coronavirus incidence rate is stable below 100 for five days in a row. Restaurants, bars, and beer gardens require contact tracing – you should check in with an app, or on a web page by scanning a QR code.

Please note walk-ins are possible but we advise making reservations due to limited capacities. We are happy to make recommendations and help with reservations.

Sightseeing

Depending on local incidence rates, there are restrictions on non-essential retail, gastronomy, barbers and hairdressers, museums, art galleries, and other cultural and leisure activities. These establishments might be closed completely, or you might need to register for an appointment in advance, or show C-19 certification, such as a test or vaccination status.

Shops and Beauty Services

All shops and beauty services are open with regular working hours. Shops have limitations on number of visitors depending on their size. As for beauty services (hairdressers, nail appointments, etc.) appointments must be made.

Updates from JayWay’s Locals

From Petra in Berlin
The city is alive again! Biergartens (beer gardens) are bursting at the seams, restaurants are open again and dancing is allowed again. Testing is free and widely avaiable (no, seriously, it’s EVERYWHERE) and contact tracing is easier than ever. While everyone still follows the FFP-mask wearing rules and the famous “Bitte Abstand” (meaning people keep distance while standing in lines etc.) life feels colorful again. I have moved here in March of last year so I can’t wait to see what the city has to offer now that it’s back to its true form!

Estimate for next change in measures

As regulations are made on a state and federal level, changes are frequent.

Useful Links

US Embassy in Germany’s Covid-19 Info Page (not frequently updated)
German Gov’t Covid-19 Info Page including entry requirements

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