Germany published its revised entry restrictions and, finally, South African travellers are no longer classified as guests from an area of variants of concern.
Germany lifts travel ban on South Africa
Soon after South Africa announced its detection of the highly transmissive Omicron variant, in late November 2021, Germany, along with the rest of the world, banned all flights from the southern region of the African continent.
“With the entry into force tonight (26 November 2021), airlines will only be allowed to transport Germans to Germany, and 14 days of quarantine will apply to everyone, including those who have been vaccinated,” Germany’s Minister of Health Jens Spahn wrote in a tweet at the time.
After widespread condemnation the likes of the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia and the United States (US) have since doubled back and removed South Africa and other southern African countries from the travel ban.
Germany becomes the latest nation to relax its entry restrictions on South African travellers.
“With effect from 04.01.2022 the Federal Republic of Germany no longer lists South Africa, Lesotho and Eswatini as areas of variants of concern. This implies that most of the travel restrictions have been lifted,” the German consular in South Africa noted.
What South African travellers need to enter Germany
As of Monday 3 January 2022, South African travellers, along with other southern African countries, were classified as visitors from high-risk areas. This means that, while entry into Germany has been reopened, strict requirements must be met.
To make it past customs at international arrivals in Germany, South African travellers must:
- produce a negative PCR test result (travellers may be required to take more than one test during their trip to Germany)
- fill out and submit this digital registration entry form. The confirmation letter must be presented when boarding the flight and at customs in Germany
- produce proof of vaccination or recovery
Once processed, travellers from high-risk areas will be required to “make their way directly to their home… and remain isolated there for a period of ten days.”
Here’s where the rules get tricky. Non-vaccinated travellers who present a negative PCR test will be obliged to home quarantine for ten days. Further testing will be conducted and if, on Day 5, a negative test result is produced by the non-vaccinated traveller, then the quarantine will end.
“Vaccinated and recovered persons can end the quarantine from the time when the proof of vaccination or recovery is transmitted via the entry portal. If the transmission takes place before entry (strongly recommended), no quarantine is needed,” Germany’s health ministry noted.