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From November 8, 2020: Germany requires digital entry registration for entry from corona risk areas

Germany: Digital entry registration for entry from international COVID-19 risk areas
It is scheduled to start on November 8, 2020 at 6:00 p.m.: Germany is launching the digital entry application for travel returnees from coronavirus risk areas. Anyone who cannot present it will pay a fine.

Digital entry registration: As of November 8, 2020, 6 p.m., German citizens who wish to re-enter Germany after having previously stayed in one of the coronavirus risk areas designated by the RKI must register online at This applies in particular to travel returnees from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria (except Jungholz and Mittelberg).

Tests after entry from an international COVID-19 risk areas only after five days

The Robert Koch Institute has announced that in future, after a minimum of five days in quarantine, people entering the country from an international COVID-19 risk area can be tested for SARS-CoV-2 in order to end the quarantine obligation with a negative test result. In order to maintain the community and commercial traffic, certain groups of people are exempt from the quarantine obligation. Exceptions for family reasons are also provided for. Questions regarding the quarantine regulations in force in the respective federal state and any exceptions that may apply are governed by the quarantine regulations for persons entering from international COVID-19 risk areas in the respective federal state in which the person entering the country resides.

COVID 19 test before entry saves quarantine

Also a COVID-19 test before entry, i.e. still in the vacation country, is according to § 2, paragraph 3, number 6 of the Muster-VO on quarantine measures for entering and returning travellers to combat the coronavirus is possible. The model ordinance states: Persons who return from a risk area as defined in § 1 paragraph 4 as vacation returnees and who immediately prior to their return journey have carried out a test in their vacation resort with a negative result with regard to infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, provided that

a) on the basis of an agreement between the Federal Republic of Germany and the affected national government, special epidemiological precautions (protection and hygiene concept) have been taken on site for a vacation in this risk area (see Internet site of the Federal Foreign Office) and of the Robert Koch Institute.

Digital entry registration also possible with cell phone or tablet

As stated in a press release of the German Ministry of the Interior, the digital entry registration, the “exit card” reserved up to now for air travellers on their return from an international COVID-19 risk area, is to be replaced and must also be used by individual travellers (with their own car). The Federal Ministry of the Interior had already handed over the digital entry registration to the Ministry of Health on October 15, 2020 for commissioning. In the future, it can be used worldwide by users of digital end devices (desktop, tablet, smartphone), as it is still called.

Health authorities have access to data from the digital entry application

According to the wording of the model quarantine regulation, travelers must register electronically before entering Germany if they come from an international COVID-19 risk area. With the digital entry registration, the health authorities responsible for the destination (place of residence) have the necessary information to monitor the legal quarantine obligation. As soon as the federal states implement the new quarantine regulations, the application can be put into operation, as of November 8, 2020, according to the current status. However, it is questionable whether all federal states will have implemented the corresponding quarantine regulations by that date. On our homepage, users will find the regulations applicable to their federal state, which are kept up to date on a daily basis as far as possible.

Digital entry registration instead of paperwork

Federal Minister of the Interior Horst Seehofer: “We are dependent on the active participation of the population in the fight against the pandemic. The citizens rightly expect this participation to be made as easy as possible. With digital entry registration, we are finally putting an end to the paper economy in travel. The Federal Ministry of the Interior had provided the application in only eight weeks of development time. The biggest challenge was to network the more than 370 health authorities in the districts and cities and to enable secure data transfer. The development was carried out according to the technical specifications of the Federal Ministry of Health together with technology partner Bundesdruckerei GmbH.

Start of digital entry registration from 8 November

Again in the plain language: Who enters from an international COVID-19 risk area, must fill out starting from 8 November, 18,00 h the hopefully punctually “sharply” switched digital entry registration. Failure to do so may result in a substantial fine. The data will be sent directly to the locally responsible district health authorities, who will then check that the quarantine obligations are observed after entry from coronavirus risk areas. As a precaution, one should at least allow for a little more time at the German external borders in the first days after the regulation comes into force, as intensive controls can be expected.

Crucial: What is an international COVID-19 risk area according to RKI?

With the digital entry registration the German government has created an instrument to restrict unregulated travel from international COVID-19 risk areas. Whether the respective destination is designated as a risk area can be found on the RKI website in the coronavirus risk area section. Changes here have direct influence on the entry regulations to Germany. It can be assumed that with the progressive production of sufficient antigen tests from 2021 onwards, a little more normality will return to the possibility of travelling abroad when the modalities change.

Coronavirus new infections and protection concepts are the key

However, we should not lose sight of the classic travel countries of our users such as Germany, Austria, Italy, Slovenia and Croatia: In the future, even more importance will be attached to the numbers of new coronavirus infections, only drastic measures on site will reduce the number of new infections. And here, the position of the Robert Koch Institute has been further strengthened by the new quarantine regulation. In other words: Those who get new infections under control over the winter and develop the right concepts will most likely have more vacationers in the summer!

Update from November 8, 2020, 18.10 h

The SeaHelp editorship already tested the new digital entry registration. Before filling out the form, we strongly recommend that you first read the link thoroughly. What the superficial user quickly overlooks: As of today, not only a PCR test, but also an antigen test is accepted in the vacation country. At least that is what can be seen in the “National Test Strategy of 14.10.2020”, which SeaHelp has already reported on elsewhere.  

Germany digital entry registration: appropriateness test test strategy
The national test strategy for inbound travelers from COVID-19 risk areas also provides for the possibility of an antigen test (see green-shaded bar at the end of the table). Only if the test is positive, the result must be confirmed by a PCR test, says the footnote.


Update November 9, 2020

If a person returns from a corona risk area (Croatia, Austria, Slovenia or Italy) and undergoes a corona test in the risk area 48 hours before entry, which is negative, then

a) Is registration on the entry portal even necessary?

b) Does the person nevertheless have to be quarantined first and can take a test after 5 days at the earliest?

c) Is an antigen test sufficient, as recommended in the test strategy? d) What fines are foreseen for non-compliance ?

The answer was:

Please note that countries have their own quarantine regulations. A federal-state decision stipulates that from 8.11. onwards, those entering the country from risk areas must immediately go into 10-day domestic isolation, which can only be terminated after five days with a negative test. Please enquire in the federal states about the applicable quarantine regulations and the exceptions that apply in each case.

This answer does not fit with the wording of the declaration of the model quarantine regulation of 14.10.2020, which reads:

People who have stayed in a vacation region in which special distance and hygiene measures apply are exempt from the obligation to separate themselves from the body in accordance with § 1 paragraph 1, provided that they still carry out a test at the vacation location no more than 48 hours before departure and have a negative test result on entry.

Recommendation for action Status today, 9.11.2020:

One should register oneself with the entry from a risk area on the entry portal and inquire then with the responsible public health office of the place of residence or with the responsible federal state ministry of health of the respective residence federal state, which entry and quarantine regulations straight up-to-date apply. Then you can only hope that the border control officer or the health department has found the time and leisure to read the constantly changing regulations in order to be able to implement them. Original quote from the model quarantine regulation, as decided in October: “The model represents a common recommendation for all countries wishing to issue a regulation and is intended to ensure that regulations are as uniform as possible throughout Germany”. As a citizen, you ask yourself how to find your way through this chaos. In addition: Must the already overburdened German health authorities, in which already the German Federal Armed Forces are helping out, still answer such questions now or would that not be a matter for the legislator with clear guidelines?

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