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Can families with unvaccinated children holiday in Germany this summer?

Can families with unvaccinated children holiday in Germany this summer?
Youngsters in Eberswalde in June. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Annette Riedl
Germany has recently opened up its borders to many countries after vaccinations ramped up. But are children - many of whom are unvaccinated - allowed to enter? And do they need to quarantine?

Now that summer is here, lots of people from outside Germany are thinking about packing their bags and visiting the country once again. 

As we all know, travel is tricky at the best of times and you have to consider a lot of factors – such as vaccinations, tests and rules for different countries – before you even book a plane or train ticket. 

It gets even more complicated (and possibly expensive) when you’re not travelling alone. 

READ ALSO: The documents Americans need for travel to Germany 

We looked at the rules on families coming to Germany with children. 

Can children come to Germany if they’re not vaccinated?

The general answer is – yes – unvaccinated children can come to Germany, however, it depends on the country you’re coming from. 

If it’s a Schengen region (EU country or associated state) you’re coming from, travel is generally allowed into Germany, even for unvaccinated people of any age.

If it’s a non-EU region on Germany’s safe list – such as Canada, New Zealand or South Korea – unvaccinated people are also allowed to enter (as well as vaccinated people and those who’ve recovered from Covid within the last six months). 

But there are still restrictions (more on that later). 

READ ALSO: Five things to know about Germany’s new testing rules

What about non-EU countries not on the safe list?

Germany began allowing people from non-EU countries to enter from June 25th. But if you’re coming from one of these regions then the general rule is that you have to be vaccinated.

You can read more about the documents you need to have to get into Germany here:

Germany opens borders to vaccinated non-EU residents: What you need to know

In the case of young children who are not vaccinated usually because a Covid vaccine has not been approved for them yet, Germany is allowing them to enter the country with at least one vaccinated adult.

The German government said this was due to the “uncertainty surrounding vaccination for young people”.

Minors of third country nationals (not on the safe list) over the age of 12 are only allowed to enter if they have a compelling reason or if they have been fully vaccinated.

Do children need to take a Covid test before arrival in Germany?

Yes. Everyone entering Germany – from any country in the world – has to show a recent negative Covid-19 test. 

If you are fully vaccinated or can show proof of recovery from Covid-19 then you can present proof of that instead of a negative test. 

Do all children have to get tested?

No. In Germany, children under the age of 12 are exempt from the test obligation for entry into Germany. 

    Up until August 2nd, children under six were exempt from having to take a Covid-19 test. 

    Do children have to quarantine?

    Yes. A Health Ministry spokesman told The Local that there are no exceptions for children. The quarantine regulations when entering from certain countries to Germany “apply to everyone, children and adults alike”, said the spokesman. 

    But it does depend on the rules of the country you are entering from Germany from, and your health status.

    People who are vaccinated or have recovered from Covid do not have to quarantine if coming from a high risk country if they can show evidence of this on entry to Germany. 

    For high risk areas, unvaccinated people have to do a 10-day quarantine that can be ended after a negative Covid test result taken at the earliest five days into the quarantine. 

    Everyone coming from any kind of risk country to Germany has to register online before arrival and there is the option to upload a test result there. 

    Children also have to self-isolate at home and can end it earlier in the same way. For children under 12, the quarantine automatically ends five days after entry without the need for testing. 

      For ‘virus variant areas of concern’ there is a 14 day quarantine for everyone with no exceptions (although the quarantine rules for vaccinated people coming from these areas can be different depending on the variant in question).

      There is also a ban on entry from ‘virus variant’ countries but there are exceptions, including for German citizens and residents.

      The Robert Koch Institute updates the risk status of countries regularly.  

      Is there anything else I need to know about?

      The same rules apply to people entering Germany as they do for holidaymakers coming back into the country. 

      You’ll need to be aware of the rules for entering Germany, and for getting back into the country you’re travelling from.

      Also keep in mind that airline carriers may have their own requirements in place, and you’ll have to be aware of the rules for any country you’re travelling through on the journey. 

      As with all the Covid regulations, they can change quickly so keep an eye on things.

      Since the local health authorities are responsible for monitoring quarantines, if you have any queries you should contact them before arrival in Germany. 

      We updated this story to reflect Germany’s new travel rules


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