Photo by S-F/Shutterstock
The German town of Rothenburg ob der Tauber, known for its cobblestoned streets and half-timbered houses.
The European country is the latest to lift restrictions, allowing both vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans to enter.
Good news for U.S. travelers looking to spend their summer relaxing on the banks of the Rhine: Starting June 20, Germany will allow unrestricted access to U.S. residents, regardless of vaccination status.
The move follows the wider recommendation from the European Union Council, which on June 18 added the United States to its list of countries approved for entry. Despite the suggestion from the governing body, each EU member state has the final say on exactly what their requirements are and will be for travelers entering their borders. In an effort to salvage the summer tourist season, Spain, France, Denmark, Portugal, and Greece have also opened to U.S. travelers in recent weeks.
According to the German government, prior to departure, travelers from the U.S. heading to Germany must provide a negative COVID-19 test result, proof of recovery from COVID-19, or proof of vaccination. Both PCR and rapid tests are accepted, though requirements are slightly different for each: The PCR test must be taken “no more than 72 hours prior to entering Germany; the rapid antigen test, no more than 48 hours.” There is also fine print for proof of vaccination: To qualify, it must have been at least 14 days since the last vaccine dose was administered, and the proof of vaccination must be a physical copy. (A digital photo of a card will not be accepted.) A 10-day quarantine—which was previously mandated for U.S. travelers arriving in Germany—will no longer be required.
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Travelers who have been in “risk areas” 10 days before arriving in Germany must also provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test and fill out a digital registration form that requires information about where they’ve traveled and for how long. The form will be checked by airlines and border control. A 10-day quarantine upon arrival is also required; if travelers have previously spent time in an area of “variant concern,” they are required to quarantine for 14. (That said, Germany does allow these travelers to end home quarantine earlier by submitting a certificate of recovery, a certificate of vaccination, or proof of a negative test result online). The country’s current list of risk areas can be found here.
In the past month, Germany has seen 111,772 new COVID cases, a decline from its record high of 690,608 in December 2020, per Johns Hopkins University. Thus far, the country has fully vaccinated 24,657,569 people—roughly 30 percent of its population. Although the government has mandated wearing face masks in public spaces since January 2020, certain German states have begun to relax their guidelines due to falling infection rates, per The Local.
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