According to the German government, starting from 20 June 2021, the U.S. (among other countries such as Serbia, Hong Kong, Albania, Lebanon, or Taiwan (R.O.C.)) is not to be classified as a COVID-19 risk area anymore.1
Furthermore, starting from 25 June 2021, fully-vaccinated persons travelling from third countries may generally be allowed to enter Germany for any purposes. (For prior coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2021-151, 26 May 2021.)
WHY THIS MATTERS
Travel restrictions that have been in place have had a considerable impact on travellers and globally-mobile employees between Germany and other countries (e.g., postponement of trips, delaying assignments, shelving relocation plans, etc.). The lifting of the certain travel restrictions will make it possible for eligible travellers (whether coming to Germany for business or pleasure) to enter and exit Germany.
These rules are updated regularly by the German government, so travellers and global-mobility personnel should stay apprised accordingly. It is advisable that they consult with their travel agents and immigration counsel prior to making plans for travel to Germany as the pandemic is highly dynamic and changes can be implemented on short notice.
U.S. Travellers to Germany
Starting from 20 June 2021, the U.S. will not be classified as a risk area anymore. This means that unrestricted travels from the U.S. to Germany will be possible again, according to German immigration law. Furthermore, as a consequence, no entry registration nor quarantine obligations upon entry will apply. However, travellers must have their domicile or at least permanent residence in the U.S. – a previous short stay is will not be sufficient.
In addition, travellers are only obliged to present a negative test result before departure. This obligation to undergo testing and provide proof applies irrespective of whether or not the carriage took place from a risk area. The swab specimen indicated in the test result must have been taken within 48 hours prior to entry into the Federal Republic of Germany.
Furthermore, starting from 25 June 2021, fully-vaccinated persons travelling from third countries will generally be allowed to enter Germany. However, travellers need to make sure that they have received the last vaccination dose required so as to have complete vaccination protection (in the case of a recovered person: one administered vaccine dose). Furthermore, at least 14 days must have passed since the last required individual vaccination and the vaccine must be accepted in Germany (for a list of accepted vaccines see the website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut2).
Persons complying with this prerequisite can enter Germany for any permissible purpose of travel from all third countries, compliant with German immigration law.
Please note: The above does not apply to entries (1) from countries for which there is a reciprocity reservation (currently, the People’s Republic of China) or (2) if the country of origin is classified as a virus variant area (a constantly updated list of area classifications is available under the website of the Robert Koch Institut3). In addition, the entry and transport restrictions for travels from virus variant areas also apply to fully-vaccinated persons.
Upon entry, a digital COVID certificate of the EU4 or a comparable proof of vaccination in the German, English, French, Italian, or Spanish language must be presented.
1 For notification of changes regarding travellers from the U.S., see the webpage of the United States embassy in Germany (“Entry and Exit Requirements”) at: https://de.usembassy.gov/covid-19-information/.
2 For fully-recognised vaccines, see the website of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut: https://www.pei.de/EN/newsroom/dossier/coronavirus/coronavirus-content.html?cms_pos=2.
3 See (in English): Robert Koch Institut: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html.
4 For more information see: https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/coronavirus-response/safe-covid-19-vaccines-europeans/eu-digital-covid-certificate_en.
* 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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GMS Flash Alert is a Global Mobility Services publication of the KPMG LLP Washington National Tax practice. The KPMG name and logo are trademarks used under license by the independent member firms of the KPMG global organization. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee and does not provide services to clients. No member firm has any authority to obligate or bind KPMG International or any other member firm vis-à-vis third parties, nor does KPMG International have any such authority to obligate or bind any member firm. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavor to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act on such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation.
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