Please note this article was updated on October 5th. The situation is subject to change so keep an eye on official advice.
Throughout the pandemic, Germany has introduced travel restrictions to try and control the spread of coronavirus.
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) for public health maintains an updated list of risk areas.
What is a risk area?
A risk area is any country or region outside Germany where this is an increased risk of infection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
How many places are classed as risk regions?
Around 160 countries or regions around the world are considered to be high risk regions by Germany. They include the USA, India, Mexico, South Africa, Spain (including the Canary Islands), Belgium, and Israel.
Some of these countries, such as India, Mexico and South Africa, were included in the worldwide warning against tourist travel implemented by the German government in March.
Germany lifted the blanket travel warning from October 1st but replaced it with specific guidance. If countries are still deemed to be 'high risk', people in Germany are still warned against visiting them.
The very few non-EU countries that are not listed as risk areas include Australia, Canada, China, Vietnam, Thailand, New Zealand and Japan.
Travel has been allowed in the EU since mid-June but restrictions can change when regions and countries are declared high risk.
What are the latest developments?
As the Local has reported, in total, regions in more than half EU member states have now been designated as risk areas. The Federal Foreign Office has updated the travel warnings on its homepage.
Here are recent developments (as of October 5th).
– Netherlands: the whole country, except the provinces or autonomous countries of Zeeland and Limburg, is considered a risk area.
– United Kingdom: travel warnings currently apply to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, North East England, North West England and Yorkshire and the Humber. Those returning from others parts of England do not have to self-isolate upon arrival (although this could change at short notice).
– In France, the regions of Pays de la Loire and Burgundy (Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) have been added to the quarantine list.
The regions of Brittany, Centre-Val de Loire and Normandy have been considered as risk areas since September 23rd.
– In Belgium, the capital Brussels was recently listed as a risk area. But now the whole country is classed as a risk zone. That means it particularly affects German border regions in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate.
Luxembourg: the whole country is considered a risk area.
Austria: the Austrian capital Vienna was declared a risk region on September 16th due to an increasing number of Covid-19 cases.
Czech Republic: the whole country (without exceptions) is now considered a risk area.
Which other countries are affected?
Denmark: the region of Hovedstaden, which includes the capital Copenhagen, is considered a risk area
Croatia: the county of Lika-Senj is now also considered a risk area.
It joins the counties of Brodsko-Posavska and Viroviticko-Podravska along with, Split-Dalmatien (both since August 20th), Dubrovačko-neretvanska and Požega-Slavonia (both since September 9th).
Portugal: Greater Lisbon is considered a risk area.
Romania: the counties of Alba and Cluj are considered risk areas. They join Covasna. Previously the counties of Neamt and Caras Severin were considered as risk areas. They join Bacău (since August 12th), Bihor (since August 7th), Brăila (since August 12th), Brașov (since August 12th), București (since 12 August 12th), OIasi (since September 9th), OIlfov and Prahova (both since August 12th).
Slovenia: the region of Koroska and Primorsko-notranjska (coastal inland Carniola) are now considered risk areas.
Hungary: the Csongrád, Vas, Pest and Györ-Moson-Sopron regions are now also considered a risk area. they join Budapest.
Spain: The whole country has been classed as as a risk region since September 2nd
Outside of the EU there are some developments too:
United Arab Emirates: the whole country is considered a risk area.
No longer risk regions
But with all the bad news about rising infection rates and new travel warnings, there is also good news: for Fribourg in Switzerland as well as the Croatian holiday destinations Zadar and Sibenik-Knin, the status as high risk areas has been lifted, meaning there is no warning against travelling there.
In Austria the municipalities Mittelberg / Kleinwalsertal (Vorarlberg) and Jungholz (Tyrol) are not considered as risk areas.
Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Cuba, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Seychelles and Sri Lanka are also not considered as risk areas.
Countries or regions are declared risk regions when there have been more than 50 new cases per 100,000 citizens in the past seven days.
The decision is made by the Federal Foreign Office, the Interior Ministry, the Health Ministry and the RKI.
Other factors are taken into account such as which measures are being taken to halt the spread of Covid-19, if it's a local or widespread outbreak plus testing strategies and rules in place such as hygiene or contact tracing.
A list of the regions considered risk areas can be found on the RKI website, which is updated regularly.
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Travellers returning to Germany from coronavirus risk areas must be tested and go into quarantine until the results are available.
The country is in the process of changing rules. From October 15th, anyone returning to Germany from a risk zone has to go into quarantine for 14 days. After five days the person affected can take a free coronavirus test and if it is negative, the quarantine period can be ended.
The implementation of this and the rules around it lies with the individual German states. Please contact the health department of the state you are visiting or living in for detailed information.
Editor's note: Please keep in mind that this article, as with all of our guides, are to provide assistance only. They are not intended to take the place of official legal advice.