The COVID-19 immigration regulations bring together the various elements relating to immigration in one comprehensive, nationwide measure. They regulate registration, testing and evidence requirements, which were part of the previous COVID-19 immigration regulations, as well as the quarantine obligations on entering Germany, which have previously been the responsibility of the Länder. The transport ban from “areas of variant of concern” has also been incorporated in the latest version of the regulations.
The regulations aim to reduce as far as possible the risk of infections being brought into Germany from other countries. The situation remains dynamic worldwide. Increasingly, new variants are emerging that are more infectious and whose risk potential cannot yet be conclusively determined.
Exemptions and easing of restrictions following vaccination and recovery
On the basis of the latest scientific findings, the regulations also contain new provisions – exemptions and easing of restrictions set out in the immigration rules:
People who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection and those who have been vaccinated are essentially considered to be equivalent to people who have received a negative test result. People who can provide evidence that they belong to either category will no longer be required to present a negative test result. The only exception will be on entering Germany from an area of variant of concern. Negative test results will continue to be required in this case.
People entering Germany from a simple risk area will not be required to quarantine if they can provide evidence of a negative test, vaccination or recovery.
Individuals coming from a high incidence area can end their quarantine early by taking a test five days after entering Germany, provided the result is negative. That is not, however, possible if the traveller was in an area of variant of concern during the ten days prior to entering Germany.
The COVID-19 immigration regulations will come into effect on 13 May. The website of the Robert Koch Institute lists risk areas, high incidence areas and areas of variant of concern. This list is regularly updated.