Germany – Covid-19 – Immigration update

To check the real time evolutions concerning international mobility all over of the world, discover the GoWork – COVID-19 Digital Card.

Update: November 16th, 2020

COVID-19: New entry requirements aimed at slowing coronavirus

What is the change?

As part of a new COVID-19 national strategy, most travelers entering Germany will need to quarantine upon their arrival. A digital health form generally must be completed as well.

Key Points:

  • As of Nov. 9, most travellers entering from a high-risk area must quarantine for 10 days after making entry. The quarantine can end after five days if the traveller tests negative for COVID-19.
  • Exemptions are only available in specific circumstances, e.g., if the traveller’s stay in Germany is less than 24 hours (or in some cases 72 hours). Commuters can also be exempt.
  • Travelers returning from a high-risk area where they have been in the last 10 days will need to submit a digital health form, called “Einreiseanmeldung.”
  • Travelers must submit their contact information as well as where they will be staying during their quarantine.

The latest details on COVID-19 entry restrictions for Germany can be found here.

Update: October 5th, 2020

COVID-19: General travel warning to end, shift to country-by-country warnings

What is the change?

Germany lifted its general travel warning replacing it with country-by-country or regional travel warnings.

Key Points:

  • A blanket travel warning, which covered roughly 160 countries, ended Sept. 30.
  • New travel warnings based on an individual country or regional COVID-19 infection rates took effect today, Oct. 1. A classification as a high-risk area will automatically trigger a travel warning.
  • Under the new system:
    • A travel warning against non-essential tourist travel will remain in place for countries designated high-risk areas (all countries aside from European Union member states, Schengen Area nations and the United Kingdom).
    • Countries designated low-risk (Australia, Canada, Georgia, New Zealand, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay) will also have a warning against non-essential tourist travel. The overall situation for the country in question will be taken into account.
    • A mandatory quarantine for individuals coming from an EU or EU-associated country was waived June 15, however, a quarantine requirement is still in place for travelers from high-risk countries/regions. All individuals entering Germany from a country outside the EU must quarantine for 14 days upon entry.

Germany has had travel restrictions in place since March in response to the pandemic.

Travelers are reminded that some countries may have their own policies restricting entry to travelers from Germany and are advised to review their destination country’s entry and travel policies before traveling.

Update: March 20th, 2020

Travel restrictions are being expanded

What is the change?

The German Ministry of the Interior has announced new travel restrictions to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Key points:

  • With immediate effect, controls at the inner-EU borders are being expanded to the air and maritime traffic.
  • This means that flights from Italy, Spain, Austria, France, Luxembourg, Denmark and Switzerland will be affected by stricter controls. Ships from Denmark will be as well.
  • Until 18-mar-2020, only the land borders to France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Luxembourg were closed.
  • Individuals commuting for work to their German employer, with a written confirmation proving their travel is employment-related, and transport of goods are still allowed to pass the inner-EU border as usual, everyone else will be refused.
  • Additionally, Germany’s Schengen borders are closed to all third-country nationals – exempted are German and EU nationals, individuals with essential functions (medical staff, diplomats etc.), and those holding a valid German long-term residence permit or permit from another EU member state and those having their permanent place of residence in Germany or in another EU member state.

The new travel restrictions will significantly impact travel to Germany. It is possible restrictions may be extended or additional ones may be announced. Employers should account for affected travelers and rearrange travel schedules accordingly. Significant delays may occur for consular and in-country processing, as more and more German missions abroad and Immigration offices in-country continue to close down their services and/or cancel visa appointments. The response to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Update: March 17th, 2020

All non-essential businesses to shut down, most travel suspended

What is the change?

Germany is shutting down all non-essential businesses to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Key Points:

  • All non-essential businesses are closed until further notice.
  • All non-essential domestic and international travel is suspended, including staying in hotels.
  • The borders to France, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark have been closed on 16-Mar-2020 and are only accessible for transport of goods and commuters.
  • Schools and universities have been closed until further notice.

Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the unprecedented measures today shortly after Germany began implementing border restrictions with neighboring countries. Germany has seen over 7000 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus. The Government has asked the people to avoid any social interaction until further notice.

Employers must be prepared for significant disruption to all but essential business activity. It is likely that the shutdown will also affect immigration-related services. Germany has over 500 immigration offices. We have seen an increase in Immigration offices changing their opening hours or even closing entirely, such as Berlin and Munich. It may be expected that more Government offices / immigration offices will be closing.

Additionally, a 30-day travel ban on non-EU/EFTA visitors to Schengen-Area countries is effective as today 17-Mar-2020. 

However, foreigners with a valid German residence permit can leave Germany and return and those currently outside of Germany on vacation can return, provided they don’t show any symptoms. The Government asked the people to refrain from any travels inside and outside Germany, and the Federal Foreign office have issued a travel world-wide travel warning for touristic purposes. The response to the COVID-19 outbreak continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available.

Deloitte’s View

The new restriction on inbound travel represents Canada’s latest efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Employers should note that the COVID-19 outbreak is a fluid situation that is changing rapidly, and additional controls may be implemented in the coming days.  


Sophie Carlei

Sophie est Managing Director au sein de l’équipe Mobilité Internationale de Lyon et dirige l’équipe immigration. Elle conseille les groupes français et internationaux et intervient tant pour des clients travaillant dans […]

Fatia Bouteiller

Fatia Bouteiller a rejoint Deloitte Société d’Avocats en 2017 pour renforcer l’équipe Immigration. Fatia dispose d’une expérience de 15 ans en mobilité internationale dans les domaines du droit de l’immigration, […]