It is not easy for people who want to go to Germany to get information. There is no single app or website where all information is bundled. Different authorities and institutions offer different information. Here is an overview of the most important regulations and websites.
Travel to Germany is once again possible. After the coronavirus crisis brought global tourism to a standstill for about three months, many EU countries have now reopened their borders. In concrete terms, this means that anyone from the European Union, Britain or countries in the Schengen Area no longer need a valid reason for traveling to Germany and do not have to go into quarantine upon arrival. Travelers can move freely throughout Germany. Until Sunday, people arriving by air from Spain will be monitored and must justify their entry.
Restrictions also apply to people entering from Sweden. Because of the relatively high number of new infections in the Scandinavian country, in several German states travelers must quarantine at home for 14 days after their arrival. This also applies to Germans returning from a holiday in Sweden. Quarantine is mandatory for travelers from Sweden in Bavaria, Saxony, Lower Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and Schleswig-Holstein.
Third-country restrictions apply
Strict entry restrictions still apply to arrivals from so-called third countries. Until June 30, people from these countries may only enter Germany, other EU countries and Schengen members with good reason. After entry, they must go into a two-week quarantine. From July 1, the European Commission intends to gradually relax the entry restrictions for arrivals from third countries. Therefore, people from countries with low infection rates will be able to enter the European Union, the Schengen Area and Germany. Travelers can find up-to-date information on entry regulations on the EU website Re-open EU. This website provides information in 24 languages about the coronavirus pandemic rules of the individual EU countries and is continuously updated.
What does Germany have to offer tourists?
Be it castles, museums, memorials or amusement parks, most of Germany’s sights and tourist attractions have been reopened — albeit with some significant restrictions. Decreased contact, distancing rules and hygiene requirements continue to apply throughout Germany. However, states decide individually how these are implemented. Travelers can find up-to-date information on the regulations of the individual federal states here.
There are new restrictions for guided tours. For example, Neuschwanstein Castle — one of the most popular German tourist destinations — has limited its number of visitors to 10% of its pre-pandemic capacity. Many museums currently do not offer guided tours. At the National Museums in Berlin, visitors can book a time slot to visit. In most museums in Germany, it is compulsory to wear a facemask that covers the mouth and nose. This also applies to most city tours and public transportation.
Whether traveling by bus or boat, social distancing rules and hygiene measures must be followed. Masks are mandatory, as they are on public transport. Large events and parties are not permitted until further notice. Concert halls and clubs will remain closed. Massive events, such as Munich’s Oktoberfest have been canceled. Cinemas, theaters and opera houses are still closed in many places or allow only a small number of visitors.
Fewer outdoor restrictions
People looking to deal with fewer restrictions should stay in the open air. Germany offers plenty of options for this, from the beaches in the north to the Alps in the south. But, people who want to hike, cycle or simply take a trip to the countryside should also be aware of some limitations. The social distancing rule of 1.5 meters (5 feet) also applies outdoors. And, even away from the big cities, restaurants and cafes must comply with strict hygiene regulations. In many places, therefore, service can still be restricted, especially indoors. In some federal states, guests must leave their contact details in order to enable chains of infection to be traced.
Although they are open again, similar restrictions also apply at hotels, guesthouses, holiday homes and campsites. However, swimming pools and wellness areas remain closed in some states. And in many places travelers still have to face breakfast without a self-service buffet.