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Luftaufnahme eines Container-Schiffes neben einer Gleisanlage

Source: Deutsche Bahn AG

What restrictions will persons engaged in the cross-border transport of goods by road, rail, ship or aircraft be likely to encounter when entering Germany?

On 13 January 2021, the Federal Government adopted a new entry ordinance to respond to the continued extremely dynamic development of the corona pandemic. The regulation entered into force on 14 January 2021 and will apply until 31 March 2021 – subject to an earlier repeal in the course of the ongoing assessment.

The new regulation revises the existing obligations concerning the digital registration on entry and introduces a testing obligation on entry, but there are exemptions for persons employed in the cross-border transport of goods and passengers. The exemptions differ depending on the type of risk area (risk area, high incidence area or area of variant of concern). The risk areas of the different categories are published and updated regularly by the Robert Koch Institute at https://www.rki.de/risikogebiete.

We have summarized these exemptions for you here.

For more information on the entry restrictions, see the Federal Police's website.

For the rules governing the requirement to self-isolate for persons entering Germany from areas of high risk, see the following question.

What rules governing self-isolation apply to persons engaged in the cross-border transport of goods by road, rail, ship or aircraft when entering Germany?

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The federal states have special self-isolation rules and testing options for persons entering Germany from “areas of high risk”. A list of the current areas of high risk can be found here.

Each federal state is responsible for enacting its own rules governing the requirement to self-isolate. There may therefore be differences from one state to the next. For the purposes of harmonization, the Federal Government has presented Model Quarantine Regulations. These Model Quarantine Regulations stipulate a requirement to self-isolate for ten days for persons entering Germany from areas of high risk. However, they contain exemptions for persons engaged in the carriage of goods or passengers. We have summarized these exemptions in the Model Quarantine Regulations for you here.

The Model Quarantine Regulations are not binding. The rules in force in the federal state that you are entering apply to you. The federal state rules can be found by clicking on the following links:

- Baden-Württemberg

- Bavaria

- Berlin

- Brandenburg

- Bremen

- Hamburg

- Hesse

- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

- Lower Saxony

- North Rhine-Westphalia

- Rhineland-Palatinate

- Saarland

- Saxony

- Saxony-Anhalt

- Schleswig-Holstein

- Thuringia

What self-isolation rules apply to persons entering Germany who are employed at a freight transport or logistics company in Germany and do not cross the border in a goods vehicle?

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Here, there are exemptions for workers who are legally classified as “cross-border commuters”. It depends on the actual shape of the federal state regulations and the exemption provision. They regularly provide for exemptions for cross-border commuters. “Cross-border commuters” means persons whose residence is in a foreign area of high risk and for whom it is imperative, for job-related reasons, to travel into any given German federal state and who return to their residence abroad regularly, but at least once a week. If these conditions are met, and if appropriate health and safety protocols are complied with, this group of persons is exempt from the requirement to self-isolate. Their employer must furnish proof that appropriate health and safety protocols are complied with and certify the compelling professional reason for the journey. Both documents must be in the German language.

The actual shape taken by the federal state exemptions can be found in the attached links. They are usually contained in section 2(3) of any given federal state regulations.

- Baden-Württemberg

- Bavaria

- Berlin

- Brandenburg

- Bremen

- Hamburg

- Hesse

- Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

- Lower Saxony

- North Rhine-Westphalia

- Rhineland-Palatinate

- Saarland

- Saxony

- Saxony-Anhalt

- Schleswig-Holstein

- Thuringia