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German borders open to some travellers from outside the EU

Short on time? Here are the highlights:

  • Fully vaccinated travellers from certain non-EU countries can now enter Germany without quarantine restrictions
  • Travellers from approved countries must also show a negative COVID test prior to departure
  • Borders are effectively closed to countries considered to be virus variant areas of concern – including some key sending markets for German institutions

As of 25 June 2021, Germany’s borders are once again open to travellers from specific countries outside the EU – including the United States, Australia, Japan, and South Korea – as long as travellers:

  • Have been fully vaccinated at least 14 days before entering with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The currently accepted vaccines are Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and Janssen.
  • Produce a negative COVID test result prior to departure if flying into the country.

Proof of vaccination should be “an EU COVID vaccination certificate or a comparable certificate issued by the travellers’ country of residence, either in German, English, French, Italian, or Spanish.” The official list of countries from which travellers will be accepted by Germany will be reviewed and updated periodically and is available here.

Non-EU travellers from approved countries can come in for any reason, including study, tourism, or to visit family and friends.

Countries deemed “virus variant areas of concern” not on the approved list

Extensive restrictions remain in place, however, for anyone travelling to Germany from countries determined to be virus variant areas of concern – so extensive in fact that in practical terms, borders remain closed to travellers from those countries. As of this writing, Portugal, Russia, Brazil, India, Nepal, and the UK are included on the list of countries with significant case counts of COVID variants of concern.

SchengenVisaInfo.com adds that “Entry from China is also restricted due to the reciprocity measure currently in place between this country and the EU.” In other words, entry for Chinese students is expected to be permitted only when China in turn opens its borders to travellers from the European Union.

Full official guidance and the latest updates on requirements for entry to Germany can be found here.

For additional background, please see:


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