Entry requirements for returning travellers

Entry requirements for returning travellers

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Coronavirus – Fragen und Antworten

Entry requirements for returning travellers

The English version is for information only. For a legally binding version, please refer to the German text.

What are the current regulations for returning travellers?

The following topics should generally be considered when entering Hesse from abroad:
1. Quarantine
2. Notification to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt)
3. Testing for SARS-CoV-2

Persons entering the Federal State of Hesse from a coronavirus risk area are obliged to conduct a test for coronavirus immediately and to self-quarantine directly upon arrival until the test results are available.

Important:

Travellers from a coronavirus risk area who have filled in and submitted a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (Aussteigerkarte) do not have to report their entry to the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt).

Travellers from coronavirus risk areas who have not filled out a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (Aussteigerkarte) must immediately report their entry to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) responsible for their place of residence.


For Frankfurt: 
Dial 069 212-77400 or send an e-mail to the mailbox corona@stadt-frankfurt.deInternal Link
You must provide the following data: 
Surname, first name, date of birth, address, telephone number or e-mail address, date of entry, country of travel

During the period of isolation, the registered persons are subject to observation by the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt).


A current list of the countries of risk as determined by the Robert Koch Institute can be accessed here: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html External Link

Quarantine means that the apartment may not be left, not even for grocery shopping or running errands. Also, no visitors are allowed. If it is a household with several persons, isola-tion in a separate area or room is necessary.

If symptoms occur or other health complaints are present that make a visit to the doctor necessary, the general practitioner (Hausärzt_in) or emergency doctor must be contacted and informed of the existing quarantine. The further procedure must then be discussed with the general practitioner (Hausärzt_in).

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

Do all returning travellers from coronavirus risk areas have to undergo quarantine for two weeks?

Exempted from this rule are travellers from coronavirus risk areas who can present a me-dical certificate in German or English confirming that there is no evidence of infection with the virus SARS-CoV-2. The certificate must be based on a negative PCR test conducted no more than 48 hours prior to or directly after entry.

(Important to know: Only tests based on a so-called PCR and that detect virus genes are accepted!) This certificate will then waive the obligation to quarantine and the notification to the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) is no longer necessary. However, quarantine must be maintained until the test results are available.


Further exceptions are defined in § 2 of the regulation. (The English version is for information only. For a legally binding version, please refer to the German text.)

The obligation to quarantine does not apply for persons,

1. who professionally transport persons, goods and merchandise across borders by road, rail, sea or air and have spent less than 72 hours in a risk area for this purpose or have spent less than 48 hours in the state of Hesse for this purpose

2. who have spent less than 72 hours in a country in the course of their work as employees of air, ship, rail or long-distance bus transport companies or as crewmembers of aircraft, ships, trains and buses or who have spent less than 48 hours in the state of Hesse for this purpose, pursuant to § 1 section 4,

3. whose activity is absolutely necessary for maintaining diplomatic relations or the functioning of the representation of the people, the government and administration of the Federal Republic, the States and the municipalities as well as the European Union and international organizations. The compelling necessity must be examined and certified by the employer,

4. who as members of the German Federal Armed Forces and allied forces within the meaning of the NATO Force Statute and as police officers return from a mission and from similar obligations in a risk area or are ordered to serve in a mission within the scope of this regulation.

5. who enter Germany daily or for up to 72 hours for professional, educational or medical reasons or who return to Germany after a corresponding stay from an area pursuant to § 1 section 4.

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

Do I have to report to the public health office (Gesundheitsamt) after entering the country from abroad?

Everyone entering Hesse from a coronavirus risk area are obliged to conduct a test for coronavirus upon arrival and immediately self-quarantine until the test results are available.

Important:

Travellers from a coronavirus risk area who have filled in and submitted a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (Aussteigerkarte) do not have to report their entry to the responsible public health office (Gesundheitsamt).

Travellers from coronavirus risk areas who have not filled out a Public Health Passenger Locator Form (Aussteigerkarte) must immediately report their entry to the public health office (Gesundheitsamt) responsible for their place of residence.

For Frankfurt:

Dial 069 212-77400 or send an e-mail to the mailbox corona@stadt-frankfurt.deInternal Link

You must provide the following data:

Surname, first name, date of birth, address, telephone number or e-mail address, date of entry, country of travel

During the period of isolation, the registered persons are subject to observation by the responsible public health office (Gesundheitsamt).

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

Where can travellers returning from abroad to the state of Hesse be tested?

Travellers arriving from high-risk areas are obliged to have themselves tested immediately as of August 8, 2020. This can be done free of charge when entering Germany via Frankfurt Airport at the DRK test centre at the airport by presenting the boarding pass.

https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/transfer-at-frankfurt-airport/covid-19/fly-safely.htmlExternal Link

https://www.frankfurt-airport.com/en/transfer-at-frankfurt-airport/covid-19/coronavirus-testing-at-the-airport.htmlExternal Link

All other travellers from abroad (non-risk areas) can get tested at their own expense at the Centogene test centre.  

For other tests, please contact the physicians in private practice (i.e. KV Hessen: Tel. 116 117).

Further information regarding the test offers can also be found on the pages of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Hessen (German only)External Link

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

Is the test free of charge?

The test is free of charge only for returning travellers from high-risk areas within 10 days after arriving in Germany.

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

When I take the voluntary quick test at the airport, I have to wait 3 to 8 hours for a result. Can I go home in the meantime?

Yes, it is allowed to travel to your final destination by public or private transport, as long as the general rules of hygiene are followed. Travellers awaiting their test results are required to self-quarantine at home.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

Does the PCR test replace the quarantine?

A negative test will exempt you from quarantine, but this test is only a temporary snapshot and does not completely eliminate the possibility of later illness up to 14 days after infection. Therefore, returning travellers should follow the general rules of hygiene and repeat the test immediately in case of newly developed symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, fever, or scent and taste disturbances.

 

Last update: 19.08.2020

Are all negative tests accepted to avoid quarantine on return, or do they have to be tests from specific companies/laboratories?

Only tests based on a so-called PCR and that detect virus genes are accepted. To ensure a good quality of the tests, the RKI regularly publishes a list of countries from which the PCR tests are accepted:

https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Tests.htmlExternal Link

 

Antibody tests or other serological blood tests are not suitable for this purpose and will therefore not be accepted.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

If I have done the PCR test as offered at Frankfurt airport and it turns out positive, what do I have to do then?

The positive result is forwarded by the laboratory to the responsible public health office (Gesundheitsamt), which then contacts the person affected. The person tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 is required to self-quarantine for at least 10 days. This is regardless of whether the person shows symptoms or not.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

How do I get my negative test result if I conduct the voluntary quick test at the airport and do not wait for the result there?

The test result is always sent electronically by the test centre. Please contact the test centre for details.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

If I am tested positive, who checks my isolation? What about family members? Is there an obligation to report the test result to the employer?

The local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) will contact persons tested positive by telephone and will remain in contact with them until the isolation is completed. If the impression emerges that someone is not following the rules of isolation, the public order office (Ordnungsamt) can check whether the isolation is being maintained on-site.

People who have been tested positive or who are ill must separate themselves from the rest of the family, sleep in a separate room and should avoid contact in the shared living spaces as much as possible.

If the employee is unable to work due to the infection, then the employer must be informed in a sick note – as usual without mentioning the diagnosis. If, however, the person tested positive is not ill in the sense of being unable to work, i.e. without symptoms, then the administrative directive "Anordnung der Absonderung” (Order of Isolation) must be submitted to the employer. This is particularly important in connection with the possibility to claim compensation for loss of earnings. The authority responsible for this is the Darmstadt Regional Council:

https://rp-darmstadt.hessen.de/External Link „Infektionsschutzgesetz (IFSG) Entschädigungen“.

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

Can my employer impose a test?

The legislature has not yet created a legal basis to define the exact conditions for such mandatory tests.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020

How does the city of Frankfurt control the compliance with self-isolation of returning travellers from coronavirus risk areas?

Spot checks are currently carried out on returning travellers. In addition to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt), the public order office (Ordnungsamt) is responsible for the enforcement of this regulation. An offence against the regulation is an administrative offence on the basis of § 73 par. 1a No. 24 of the Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz) and may be punished by a fine of up to 25.000 €.

 

Last update: 24.09.2020

Are there specific regulations for medical personnel?

For medical staff in doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions, the regulation states that these persons are allowed to work, but must observe the following requirements:

 

  1. For their work and until the 14th day after their entry into the country, they are generally ordered to wear personal protective equipment in accordance with the respective guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute to prevent the further spread of SARS-CoV-2 infections. The protective equipment may only be removed if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres to other people is maintained.

     

  2. The first day of work after entry must be reported to the responsible public health office (Gesundheitsamt) by the facility management.

 

Last update: 07.08.2020