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Coronavirus in Germany: Quarantine regulations for each state after travel abroad

The coronavirus quarantine regulations in Germany are not uniform in each federal state, but you need to know in which regulations have been imposed that require you undertake 14-day isolation obligation for persons arriving from abroad, this is because there is a fine of up to €25,000 for non-compliance to the rules. Here is the most important traveller information on quarantine in Germany according to legal status as of May 12, 2020. Anyone traveling from lower Saxony will no longer have to go through a mandatory 14-day quarantine, the lower Saxony administrative court (OVG) as ruled on Monday.

The judges concluded that the Infection Protection Act only allows mandatory quarantine to be introduced in certain circumstances – i.e. in persons who have been diagnosed with an infectious disease or suspected of being infected. The judges recognized that people coming from abroad cannot be considered sick or potentially infected in advance, even if they come from countries affected by the epidemic. However, the court ruling explains that anyone coming from abroad to Lower Saxony may be required to undergo domestic quarantine if an infection is detected or if they have had contact with a sick

It should be remembered that Germany does not carry out regular border checks, but only random checks, so people entering Germany are not “automatically” directed to the mandatory quarantine upon arrival from abroad.

Here are quarantine dates for travellers in individual federal states:

Bavaria until May 17, 2020.
Baden-Württemberg until June 15, 2020.
Berlin until June 5, 2020.
Brandenburg until June 5, 2020.
Bremen until May 20, 2020.
Lower Saxony until May 27, 2020 * obligation partially repealed
Hamburg until May 31, 2020.
Hesse until June 5, 2020.
Saarland until May 17, 2020.
Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania until June 10, 2020.
Rhineland-Palatinate until May 17, 2020.
North Rhine-Westphalia until May 30, 2020. .
Saxony to 20 May 2020.
Saxony-Anhalt to 27 May 2020.
Schleswig-Holstein until further notice.
Thuringia until May 25, 2020.

Groups exempted from quarantine in the absence of symptoms after entering Germany include:

  • persons transporting goods and people (e.g. drivers, train drivers);
  • people working in transport companies and crossing borders for business reasons (e.g. conductors, sailors);
  • persons regularly crossing the border for commuting (German  Ein- und Auspendler ) or coming to Germany for work or for necessary treatment for up to 5 days;
  • persons returning from abroad within 48 hours of leaving Germany;
  • people who enter Germany for a very important reason (e.g. sharing childcare, caring for people in need);
  • persons going through Germany in transit (e.g. Poles returning from France to Poland as permanent residence, as well as Poles going to the Netherlands as a place of work).

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You should always have with you the appropriate documents confirming the reason for entering (or passing through Germany) to be presented during the inspection. For the following groups of employees exempted from quarantine, in the absence of symptoms, you need a certificate of urgent need to enter Germany.  It is the responsibility of the employer or principal to check whether entry to Germany is urgently needed. This certificate is needed for employees responsible for:

  • health system functioning;
  • public safety and order;
  • functioning of diplomatic and consular posts;
  • functioning of the legal system;
  • the functioning of German federal, state and local institutions (municipalities);
  • functioning of EU institutions and international organizations.

In addition, the following will not be released from the quarantine obligation:

  • seasonal workers, when for the first two weeks the employer provides similar conditions as during quarantine, i.e. work and housing in small groups and no contact with other people. Approval must be given by the appropriate health office prior to the arrival of seasonal workers.

The relevant health authorities (German: Gesundheitsamt) will also be able to release people from the quarantine obligation.

Read also: Kenyan in Germany narrates his experience after testing positive for COVID-19