Information as of March 15, 2020
1. Entry: some borders closed, more checks but no general bans
Borders between Germany and France, Austria, Switzerland, Luxemburg and Denmark are closed from Monday, March 16th, 8:00 a.m.. Only deliveries of goods and commuters are allowed to cross these borders.
Also the railway company (Deutsche Bahn) has announced to reduce regional train connetions. Long-distance traffic is not affected by this.
Currently no other travel restrictions are in place. However, all travelers should take the information and instructions of the following leaflet into consideration. Leaflets will be handed out by carriers to passengers on trips to Germany:
Passengers, arriving from Iran, Italy, Japan or South Korea by plane or ship, must provide information on their flight/trip. They will be handed a disembarkation card for this purpose. Disembarkation cards will also be mandatory on trains, if a suspected case on the train arises.
Travelers should also expect more scrutiny during checks, as more comprehensive questions may be posed and health checks performed in dubious cases. Measures may also be adjusted when necessary.
More detailed information on entry requirements and procedures are available here:
2. How to behave when in Germany?
In case travelers develop symptoms associated with Covid-19 (coughing, a runny nose, sore throat and fever) they should get in touch by phone with a doctor or contact the hotline 116 117. Often travel guides or hotels can also help in this case. Travelers should keep the contact details of their home country’s embassy or consulate in Germany in case they need to contact these.
A short overview on what to do to help protect yourself and others is available here:
In Germany the Robert Koch Institute identifies risk areas. Currently, the county of Heinsberg (Northern Rhina-Westphalia) is the only area considered a risk area in Germany. The up-to-date list is available on the website of the Robert Koch Institute (German only).
Watch out for local regulations
Measures for fighting the spread of the coronavirus are subject to local regulation. This may include quarantine measures in case of a confirmed infection with Covid-19. As of now there are no special nationwide restrictions in place. But it is recommended to avoid public event with more than 1.000 attendees. A number of these events have already been cancelled. Berlin has banned gatherings with more than 50 people, leading to the closure of clubs, theatres and cinemas. Hamburg has also banned gatherings without regard for the number of attendees.
Generally, the international advice for reducing the spread of the coronavirus should be followed. These include washing the hands regularly and thoroughly with soap for 20-30 seconds, sneezing into the elbow or a quickly to be disposed of handkerchief or tissue, keeping distance to other people and avoid shaking hands. Further Information and details can be found on the World Health Organization’s website.
Where possible the number of trips should be reduced and public transport avoided, to further reduce the risk of an infection.
3. Transits through other countries and returning home
Due to many recent travel restrictions Germany has advised its citizens against non-essential travels to other countries.
A number of countries have imposed travel restrictions in connection with the outbreak of the coronavirus. Some of these may also ban entry or impose quarantine for travelers coming from Germany. These may change very quickly.
Travelers are therefore advised to contact the embassy or consulate of their transit or destination country to receive information on possible entry restrictions. Travelers should also keep themselves informed about any changes during their stay abroad. In many cases also the health ministry or competent authorities provide information for travelers on their websites.
4. Where to find more information
More information is available at the following institutions:
Risk areas by Robert Koch Institute (German only)