Entry requirements for returning travellers

Entry requirements for returning travellers

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Öffentlicher Verkehr & Reisen

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:

- Digital registration at www.einreiseanmeldung.deExternal Link
- Quarantine
- Notification to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt)
- Testing for SARS-CoV-2

All those who enter Hesse from a risk area or initially from another federal state and who have stayed there in the last ten days before entering are obliged to proceed directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation and self-isolate there for ten days (home quarantine). This also applies to persons who have first entered another federal state.

Important:
1. Travellers intending to enter Germany from a risk area must register electronically at www.einreiseanmeldung.deExternal Link up to 10 days prior to their entry to Germany. This means that it is no longer necessary to notify the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) and to fill out the previously required passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte) in paper form. You must carry the saved and/or printed confirmation of your entry registration with you to present it to the carrier or the border authorities.
2. Travellers from risk areas who have not been able to register electronically must fill out a substitute registration (Aussteigekarte) on paper and hand it over to the carrier or the border authority.

3. If, in an exceptional case, it was not possible to report in accordance to No. 1 and No. 2, travellers from risk areas must fill in a passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte) and send it immediately and independently to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) responsible for their place of residence. The registration can be done directly on the website of many health authorities.

Travellers from risk areas are required to inform their local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) immediately should symptoms typical of an infection with COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, scent and taste disturbances) occur within 10 days of entry into the country. 

It is possible to end the quarantine at the earliest after the fifth day of entry by a negative PCR test result. The test result must be kept for at least ten days after entry. If an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is proven by a positive test result (by a PCR test, or, new as of 1 December 2020, also by an antigen test), those affected and their household members must also independently enter a 14-day quarantine. You are required to inform the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) immediately upon receipt of a positive test result.

Effective as of 1 December 2020: 
If an antigen test detects an infection with SARS-CoV-2, a negative test result based on a PCR test is necessary to end the quarantine. However, if the PCR test confirms the infection, this does not extend the duration of the quarantine.

Home quarantine means your own home or another suitable accommodation. 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, isolation in a separate area or room is necessary.


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, travel type and travel information

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.htmlExternal Link 

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

Last updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit:
Hessen.de Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 December 2020External Link (German only)
Hessen.de: Quarantine regulations and corona tests for entering travellers External Link(German only)
Bundesgesundheitsministerium.de: passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte)External Link (German only)
Frankfurt-airport.comExternal Link

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

Yes, returning travellers from risk areas must always observe a ten-day quarantine. The quarantine may end after 5 days if a test for SARS-CoV-2 (preferably PCR) carried out not earlier than on the fifth day after entering Germany is negative. The quarantine obligation is suspended for the trip to the doctor or test facility and back. Persons with a shortened quarantine period must inform the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) immediately if typical COVID-19 symptoms occur within ten days of entry. For exceptions to the quarantine obligation, please see the next question.

Last updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit: 

Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 DecemberExternal Link (German only); 
Hessen.de: Quarantine regulations and corona tests for entering travellersExternal Link (German only)

Are there groups of people who are exempt from the quarantine obligation?

A: Exemptions from quarantine obligation, PCR testing & digital registration upon entry 

Exempt from the obligation to quarantine, to conduct a PCR test and to fill out an entry registration form are:
1. Persons who enter the state of Hesse only for the purpose of transit (e.g. immediate transfer at the airport, no overnight stays and visits, short breaks for eating and drinking are permitted)
2. Persons who have stayed in a risk area for less than 24 hours within the context of border traffic with neighbouring countries, i.e. who have merely passed through or have entered the state of Hesse for up to 24 hours
3. Persons who enter the state of Hesse to visit first-degree relatives, spouses or life partners who do not belong to the same household or to exercise a shared right of custody or access and who stay in Hesse for less than 72 hours 

4. The following groups of persons, in compliance with appropriate protection and hygiene concepts, who stay in a risk area for less than 72 hours

a) …whose professional activities are urgently required for the maintenance of the health care system (certificate by the employer or client required)
b) … who professionally transport persons, goods and merchandise across borders by road, rail, sea or air 
c) …whose high-level activity as members of the diplomatic and consular services, the representation of the people and the government are absolutely necessary
d) who enter or return to Germany daily in the course of their occupation, education/studies after an absolutely necessary and non-postponable stay in a risk area (certificate by employer or principal required),

5. The following groups of persons, in compliance with appropriate protection and hygiene concepts,
a) …who are residents of the state of Hesse and travel to a risk area as an absolute necessity for their profession, studies or education and return to their place of residence at least once a week (border commuters),
b) …who have their place of residence in a risk region and who travel to Hesse as an absolute necessity for their profession, studies or education and return to their place of residence at least once a week (cross-border commuters),

B: PCR test obligation no longer than 48 hours prior to entry or immediately upon entry to Hesse
The following groups of persons are subject to this rule because of their professional activities:

1. …whose professional activities are urgently required for the maintenance of the health care system, such as doctors, nurses, medical staff and 24-hour care workers (only with a negative test result)
2. ...whose activity is absolutely necessary for maintaining public safety and order (only with a negative test result)
3. …whose activity is absolutely necessary for maintaining diplomatic and consular relations (only with a negative test result)
4. ...whose activity is absolutely necessary for the functioning of the administration of justice (only with a negative test result)
5. ...whose activity is absolutely necessary for 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 institutions of the European Union and international organisations (only with a negative test result)

Please note: 
The stringent necessity must be certified by the employer or client.

The following groups of persons are subject to this rule when entering Hesse for additional reasons:
1. who enter the state of Hesse to visit first-degree relatives, spouses or life partners who do not belong to the same household or to exercise a shared right of custody or access (only with a negative test result)
2. who enter the state of Hesse for the purpose of urgent medical treatment (only with a negative test result)
3. who enter the state of Hesse in order to fulfil the tasks of assistance or to care for persons in need of protection or help (only with a negative test result)
4. who enter the state of Hesse as police officers, or who return from deployment abroad, or foreign police officers or prison officers who enter Hesse to perform official duties (only with a negative test result)
5. who have spent up to five days in a high-risk area for absolutely necessary and non-postponable professional reasons, or on account of their education or studies, or have entered the state of Hesse for this purpose (the stringent necessity must be certified by the employer, client or educational institution.)
6. who are accredited for the organisation of international sports events by an organising committee or invited by a federal sports association to participate in training and seminars (only with a negative test result)

From 1 December 2020, the following group of persons is also subject to this rule: 
7. Persons who professionally transport persons, goods and merchandise across borders by road, rail, sea or air (only with a negative test result). Crews of inland vessels are not subject to the obligation of a negative PCR test, if basic precautions are taken to avoid contact. This refers in particular to the avoidance of shore leaves that are not absolutely necessary.

The negative test result must be kept for at least ten days after entry for enquiries by the health authorities and must be presented immediately. However, it is not necessary to send it by mail.

C: Hygiene measures & contact restriction apply for persons entering from abroad for professional purposes in groups of more than five persons
1. who as members of the German Federal Armed Forces and allied forces within the meaning of the NATO Status of Forces Agreement, the PfP or EU forces agreements, enter or return to Germany for official purposes
2. who enter for collective professional purposes with more than five persons and for more than 72 hours, on the condition that within the first ten days after entry, the employer or principal has taken adequate hygiene measures and arrangements within the communal accomodation and in the pursue of the activity to avoid contact outside the workgroup, equivalent to a quarantine situation. Leaving the accommodation is only permitted for the purpose of carrying out the work. 
The employer or principal is obligated to notify the commencement of work before his employees enter the country. To do so, the employer must send a substitute registration to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) responsible for the place of employment, using the printed form (for more information see the annex to the regulation on combating coronavirus (German onlyExternal Link)
.
In individual cases, the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) may grant further exemptions on application if there is a valid reason.

However, the above-mentioned groups of people are only exempt from the quarantine obligation for the reasons listed above if no typical COVID-19 symptoms occur within 10 days of entry. Should symptoms occur, they must immediately inform the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt).

The above-mentioned persons, who work in medical facilities (e.g. hospitals, rehabilitation centres, medical or dental practices, public health services) or in communal facilities (e.g. shelters for the homeless, prisons, or facilities for the care and accommodation of elderly, disabled or care-dependent persons) must wear personal protective equipment during their work until the tenth day after their entry, unless a minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be ensured. 
The first day of work after entry must be reported to the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) by the facility management.

Last updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit:
Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 December 2020External Link External Link(German only)
Hessen.de: Quarantine regulations and corona tests for entering travellersExternal Link (German only)

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

No, you do not need to contact your local health authority if you have registered electronically at www.einreiseanmeldung.deExternal Link or filled out a passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte).

All those who enter Hesse from a risk area or initially from another federal state and who have stayed there in the last ten days before entering are obliged to proceed directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation and self-isolate there for ten days (home quarantine). This also applies to persons who have first entered another federal state.

Important:
1. Travellers intending to enter Germany from a risk area must register electronically at www.einreiseanmeldung.deExternal Link up to 10 days prior to their entry to Germany. This means that it is no longer necessary to notify the responsible local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) and to fill out the previously required passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte) in paper form. You must carry the saved and/or printed confirmation of your entry registration with you to present it to the carrier or the border authorities.
2. Travellers from risk areas who have not been able to register electronically must fill out a substitute registration (Aussteigekarte) on paper and hand it over to the carrier or the border authority.

Here you can find a template: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/fileadmin/Dateien/3_Downloads/C/Coronavirus/Aussteigekarte_08-20.pdfExternal Link

3. If, in an exceptional case, it was not possible to report in accordance to No. 1 and No. 2, travellers from risk areas must fill in a passenger locator card (Aussteigekarte) and send it immediately and independently to the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) responsible for their place of residence. The registration can be done directly on the website of many health authorities.

Travellers from risk areas are required to inform their local health authority immediately should symptoms typical of an infection with COVID-19 (fever, dry cough, scent and taste disturbances) occur within 10 days of entry into the country. 

It is possible to end the quarantine at the earliest after the fifth day of entry by a negative PCR test result.
Effective as of 1 December 2020:
This also applies to an already detected infection with SARS-CoV-2 by the new antigen test (rapid test). If a PCR test confirms the already detected infection, the duration of the quarantine will not be extended. 
The test result must be kept for at least ten days after entry. If an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is proven by a positive test result, those affected and their household members must also independently enter a 14-day quarantine. A quarantine obligation does not apply to persons who have tested positive for the coronavirus by a PCR test within the last three months. 

You are required to inform the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) immediately upon receipt of a positive test result.
Home quarantine means your own home or another suitable accommodation.

For Frankfurt: 
Dial 069 212-77400 or send an e-mail to the mailbox corona@stadt-frankfurt.de

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, travel type and travel information

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.htmlExternal Link 

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


Last updated on 01.12.2020


For more information, please visit:
Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 DecemberExternal Link (German only)
Hessen.de: Quarantine regulations and corona tests for entering travellers External Link(German only)
Bundesgesundheitsministerium.de: passenger locator card (AussteigekarteExternal Link) (German only)
Frankfurt-airport.comExternal Link

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 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 HessenExternal Link (German only)


Last updated on 1 December 2020

Is the test free of charge?

No. As of 1 December 2020, returning travellers have to pay for the test at their own expense, just as returning travellers from non-risk areas have to pay for the test at their own expense.

Last updated on 1 December 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 directly and immediately 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 updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit: 
Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 December 2020External Link (German only)

Does the PCR test replace the quarantine?

A negative PCR-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 updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit: 
Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 December 2020External Link (German only)

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.
If an antigen test detects an infection with SARS-CoV-2, the quarantine ends if the quarantined person can provide a negative test result based on a PCR test.
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 updated on 1 December 2020

For more information, please visit: 
Hessen.de: Regulation to combat coronavirus as of 1 December 2020External Link (German only)

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 14 days. This is regardless of whether the person shows symptoms or not.

 

Last updated on 12.11.2020

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 updated on 12.11.2020

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“ (German only).

 

Last updated on 13.11.2020

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 updated on 12.11.2020

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 updated on 12.11.2020

Are there specific regulations for medical personnel?

For medical staff in doctor’s offices, hospitals, nursing homes and similar institutions and in communal facilities (e.g. shelters for the homeless, prisons, or facilities for the care and accommodation of elderly, disabled or care-dependent persons), the regulation states that these persons are allowed to work, but must observe the following requirements:

1. For their work and until the 10th 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 local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) by the facility management.


Last updated on 12.11.2020