Germany’s government has extended the current transportation ban for all travellers coming from any country that is classified as a “virus variant area" by the German government until further notice. This has been deemed necessary as a measure to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. (For prior coverage, see the following issues of GMS Flash Alert: 2021-130 (3 May 2021) and 2021-122 (27 April 2021).)
Besides Brazil and South Africa, India1 and the United Kingdom (Northern Ireland inclusive) have been classified lately as “virus variant areas” by the German authorities and a transport ban has been put in place.2
WHY THIS MATTERS
Companies with global presence and individuals operating across borders need to be increasingly aware of the relevant risks associated with travel and new work arrangements given the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The travel restrictions implemented for travellers into Germany from Brazil, South Africa, India, and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, as well as other countries currently in force, limit such cross-border travel significantly. The travel restrictions will affect employers and their globally-mobile employees – especially business travellers – who are doing business in Germany, in terms of disruption, inconvenience, new procedures and requirements, and changes to travel plans.
Individuals travelling to Germany from virus variant areas and employers from those countries sending employees into and out of Germany should stay current with the latest travel restrictions and should consider consulting with their travel agents and/or immigration counsel when planning their travel.
Travel Ban in Effect When Coming from “Virus Variant Areas"
With the travel ban in effect, only German nationals and foreign nationals with a German residence permit as well as a registered address in Germany are allowed to enter the country coming from virus variant areas. If allowed entry, other measures such as getting a negative COVID-19 test result as well as quarantine apply.
The transportation ban for travellers from virus variant areas will remain in place as long as the country is classified as a virus variant area by the German federal government. Travel to Germany will only be allowed once the respective country has been removed from the list of virus variant areas.
Delays with German Diplomatic Missions in “Virus variant Areas" expected
With the travel ban in place, it can be expected that further delays might occur regarding appointment scheduling with the German diplomatic missions in the virus variant areas.
1 For notifications of the travel ban, see the webpage of the Embassy of India in Germany at: https://www.indianembassyberlin.gov.in/pdf/IMPORTANT_NOTICE_FOR_TRAVELLERS_FROM_INDIA_TO_GERMANY_2021_apr25_1.pdf and https://india.diplo.de/in-en .
2 For updates on the current travel restrictions and the new rules of entry under the coronavirus entry regulation, please see the following website: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/faq-reisen-1735032 .
Also see (in English): Robert Koch Institute https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Transport/Archiv_Risikogebiete/Risikogebiete_aktuell_en.pdf?__blob=publicationFile . (Note that this is a 3rd party (non-governmental, non-KPMG) website. Providing this link does not represent an endorsement of this website by KPMG.)
* Please note that KPMG LLP (U.S.) does not provide any labour law or immigration services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Germany.
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