At the moment, due to the spread there of COVID-19 coronavirus there are huge disruptions and difficulties when it comes to traveling. We would advise all of our clients to only consider traveling if it is necessary. As to how long these restrictions will remain in place is difficult to say. Many of the measures introduced to combat the spread of the virus have had time frames from a couple of weeks to a month, however it is possible that countries will simply extend these restrictions if the situation continues to be at a dangerous level. Therefore, the deadlines provided in this article are as they are at the moment. They could change in the future.
Travel Restrictions within Europe
Our article on “Travel Ban to Germany” provides more detail around this topic but currently Germany’s borders are closed to Austria, Denmark, France, Luxembourg and Switzerland. The borders to Poland and Czech Republic are also closed. Poland has closed its borders to all non-Polish citizens whereas Czech Republic has called a state of emergency. Poland has patrols on its borders with passport checks to enforce the measures. These moves have resulted in huge disruptions to travels between these countries and to supply chains which normally cross between borders.
Similarly, Slovakia has also closed its borders to non-Slovak citizens. For Slovenia those coming from Germany must show a negative result of a recent COVID-19 coronavirus test. While Latvia has also closed its borders as has Lithuania. Norway and Finland have also closed their borders to non-Scandinavian countries including Germany. Those from other Scandinavian countries such as Sweden, Denmark and Iceland are currently allowed in.
In Croatia travellers from Germany must remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days, while those from the region of Heinsberg are simply not allowed in. If the visitors from Germany cannot go into quarantine then they will not be allowed into Croatia.
Travel to Italy and Spain is not recommended and should only be considered if absolutely necessary! These two countries have been hit very hard by COVID-19 coronavirus and there are severe limitations in place around daily life there.
Travel Restrictions to North America from Germany
The US government has prohibited travel to the USA from the Schengen Zone for non-US citizens. This move has since been extended to the UK and Ireland as well as the Schengen countries (including Germany). This ban will remain in place for one month but once again this may be extended – it is too early to say with confidence how this will develop. Cases of COVID-19 coronavirus in the USA are growing at a huge rate and are greatly affecting some cities like New York.
Canada also has travel restrictions in place with it only allowing Canadian citizens into the country at the moment. Their restrictions have even seen the US-Canada borders closing. On a similar note the Mexican-US border has also closed to non-essential travel for a period of thirty days.
Travel Restrictions to South America from Germany
South American countries also have travel restrictions in place for those flying from Germany with Argentina banning flights from at risk areas. Such areas include China, Iran, South Korea, the USA and all European countries including Germany. Peru is in a state of emergency until the end of the month initially. Flights from Germany are banned until then at the earliest.
In Uruguay all travellers from Germany must enter a 14 day quarantine while in Colombia, Paraguay and Venezuela all flights from Europe have been banned. In these cases of Venezuela the bans are for at least one month.
Travel Restrictions to Turkey and the Middle East from Germany
Travel bans have been in place in Turkey since mid-March and these extend to Germany. This ban will be in place until at least April 17th. In total Turkey has travel bans in place for over 60 countries and its borders to Greece and Bulgaria are closed.
Travellers to Israel must find themselves a place to quarantine upon arrival if they can show that their travel is necessary. Israel had a travel ban in place for those from Germany but this has now been extended to include travel restrictions to countries all over the world. Saudi Arabia has also banned people coming from Germany.
Oman and Qatar have banned all non-citizens from entering the country while Kuwait has closed its airports. Jordan has also closed its borders to travellers from a number of European countries including Germany.
Travel Restrictions to China, South Korea and the Far East
Travel to China has been restricted for quite a while (see our article on “COVID-19 Coronavirus and its Impact on German Visa Applications” for more information. Travellers to China will be placed into 14-day quarantine but they should also look for what steps are in place for the specific region they plan to visit. Once again, anyone looking to travel at this current time should only do so if it is absolutely necessary.
South Korea has strict border checks with tests in place and a demand for quarantine for all arrivals from Europe into the country. South Korea has placed a strong emphasis on testing people for the virus so visitors should expect tests and quarantine upon arrival. Hong Kong has travel restrictions in place for attempted arrivals from North-Rhine Westphalia while travellers from other parts of Germany can also expect quarantine for 14 days. Like in the case of South Korea, it does not matter whether the subject is showing symptoms.
Vietnam has banned visitors originating from Europe (including Germany) while Nepal has stated that those traveling from Europe must go into 14-day quarantine.
Travel Restrictions from Germany to Australia and New Zealand
New Zealand has placed a travel ban for people going there from all countries. The only exemptions are New Zealand citizens, their families and permanent residents. Travellers to Australia must bear in mind that they will have to go into a 14-day quarantine upon entering the country. These restrictions are in place until further notice.
Travel Restrictions from Germany to African Countries
South Africa announced in mid-March that it was barring entry to foreign travellers coming from or through a number of high-risk countries. Germany is included on this list. Namibia has also banned flights to and from Germany. Morocco made a similar move, announcing it would be until the end of March. However, as cases continue to rise in Germany it is likely that this will be extended for a longer period of time.
Sudan has closed all airports and ports with only humanitarian aid able to get through. Kenya has similarly banned flights from places with COVID-19 coronavirus cases with the step initially designed for a 30-day period. Egypt has also closed airports with specific bans in place for people from countries with high levels of the virus including Germany.
The Impact of these Restrictions
From cancelled flights and holidays to severe disruption of business, these restrictions are impacting people all over the world. Whether you have sought to travel for business reasons, family reasons or for personal reasons, these restrictions have made life hugely complicated for many people. If you find yourself in need of legal advice regarding these travel restrictions then make sure to contact our office. Our lawyers can remain in contact with you remotely to provide the assistance you need.
Needing legal assistance in this area can be for issues such as around what will happen if quarantine is broken, will other countries close their borders, will Germany close its borders etc. Whatever your legal question is, our lawyers are available to help.
For questions concerning the spread of the virus generally in Germany, then please visit the website of the Robert Koch-Institut.
Immigration Law Firm in Germany
At Schlun & Elseven Attorneys we provide assistance in all matters relating to German immigration law. At the moment there are new legal developments arising constantly due to the changing circumstances happening day by day. On our COVID-19 Coronavirus Crisis Center Page information and articles will be provided daily for our clients to make sure that they are informed about these changing circumstances as they happen.
We are a multidisciplinary and multilingual law firm based in Cologne, Aachen and Düssledorf. In normal circumstances we can provide our assistance from our conference rooms around Germany, however in current circumstances we strongly recommend that our clients use the contact details below this article to reach us. Once contact has been made we can provide our services through phone, email and video conferencing. Our services remain on offer throughout this crisis and we will ensure that our clients get the support they deserve. Should you have any further questions or concerns about travel restrictions from Germany, please contact our firm directly. We are looking forward to working with you.