How to prove you have recovered from Covid-19 in Germany

How to prove you have recovered from Covid-19 in Germany
A person receiving a PCR test. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sina Schuldt
Alongside vaccination and providing a negative test result, recovering from Covid also entitles you to some freedoms in Germany. Here’s how to prove it.

Some parts of Germany (although not all quite yet) are opening up public life again as Covid-19 infections fall.

In Germany there are three ways to show that you don’t have coronavirus or are immune in order to take part in certain activities, such as going for a meal in a restaurant or visiting a bar.

These involve being ‘Getestet, Geimpft oder Genesen’ (tested, vaccinated or recovered). You can either provide proof of a recent negative Covid-19 test, show proof that you have been fully vaccinated or show proof that you have recovered from Covid within a particular time frame.


I had Covid-19. How do I prove that?

While you will get paper evidence when you are vaccinated or test negative (you also get a digital PDF from some test centres), proving that you have had the virus and recovered can get a little more difficult.

This is the case particularly if you did not visit the doctor when you caught (or believe you caught) Covid – unfortunately you won’t be able to show proof that you had coronavirus if this applies to you. 

Those who have recovered require proof of a previous infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus that can be in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish, in paper or digital form, according to the government. 

The test must have been a PCR test (or similar), checked in a lab and taken at least 28 days ago. It must also not be older than six months.

If you had Covid-19 nine months ago, for example, you won’t fall into this category. In this case you’ll have to take a rapid test to visit a shop or restaurant in some parts of Germany unless you are fully vaccinated.

EXPLAINED: What are Germany’s new freedoms for vaccinated people and Covid-19 survivors?

Unlike Austria for example, an antibody test is not sufficient in Germany. Officials say that’s because antibodies can decrease over time.

Is there anything else I should know?

The government says in all cases when taking part in the newly unlocked activities – whether they are ‘Getestet, Geimpft or Genesen’, people must not have any symptoms of a possible Covid-19 infection.

These include shortness of breath, new coughs, fever, and loss of smell or taste. If you have these symptoms and suspect you have Covid-19, you should contact your doctor or your local health authority to arrange for a PCR test, and self-isolate.

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