Germany travel guide: country reopens quarantine-free to vaccinated visitors

Nation will welcome vaccinated international travellers from June 25, but the Sinopharm jab is not recognised

Germany is reopening to vaccinated travellers from the UAE and GCC from June 25. Unsplash / Roman Kraft
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With high-profile cities, endless nature and romantic palaces, it's no wonder that Germany is one of Europe's most-visited destinations.

Now, the country is getting set to reclaim its place in the tourist rankings as it reopens to international travellers.

From Friday, Germany will welcome vaccinated international travellers without the need for quarantine.

close to Reinerhof St. Peter
From June 25, international vaccinated travellers can visit Germany to explore places such as the Black Forest. Courtesy German National Tourist Board

The German National Tourist Board (GNTB) confirmed the resumption of international tourism, with the country opening to global travellers, including those from the UAE and across the GCC.

“Opening our borders to international visitors ahead of the summer travel period is vital for the domestic tourism ecosystem and we anticipate Germany being recognised as a go-to travel destination this year,” said Yamina Sofo, director of sales and marketing of the German National Tourist Office Gulf Countries.

Who can visit Germany?

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Courtesy German National Tourist Board
Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Courtesy German National Tourist Board

Germany currently welcomes citizens, nationals and residents from EU countries, Switzerland, Australia, Israel, South Korea, New Zealand, Singapore and Thailand.

From Sunday, it will open to travellers from several other territories including Albania, Hong Kong, Lebanon, Macau, North Macedonia, Serbia, Taiwan and the US, with proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test.

From Friday, vaccinated travellers from countries outside the EU, including those from the UAE and GCC, are welcome to travel to Germany so long as they are not coming from a virus variant area. The list of virus variant areas is updated regularly, and can be found on the Robert Koch website. As of Sunday, the UAE is not listed as a virus variant area.

Which vaccines are recognised in Germany?

FILE PHOTO: Vials of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine are pictured in a vaccination centre in Geneva, Switzerland, February 3, 2021.      REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo
Germany recognises vaccines approved by the EMA, including the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine pictured. Reuters

Travellers hoping to take advantage of the new rules must have received both doses of a vaccination recognised and approved by the European Medicines Agency.

At present, this includes Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. The second dose of the vaccine must have been administered no fewer than 14 days before travelling to Germany.

For UAE residents vaccinated with Sinopharm, travel is not yet open. However, according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community’s website, "vaccines that offer a similar level of protection will be added to the list as soon as the necessary evaluations are completed".

What do I need to do before I go?

All visitors must register online before travelling, and upload proof of vaccination to the site. Travellers should also print out and carry proof of their immunised status. Children who do not have a Covid-19 vaccination can enter with a negative PCR test result taken with the past 48 hours, and children under 6 are exempt.

Travellers should also check with individual German federal states they plan to visit, as there are different rules for visitors to follow prior to arrival. A list of resources linking to state regulations can be found here.

Which airlines are flying to Germany?

A quiet Frankfurt airport. Dennis Gecaj / Unsplash
A quiet Frankfurt airport. Dennis Gecaj / Unsplash

Etihad is operating flights to Germany from Abu Dhabi. The national airline of the UAE currently flies to both Munich and Frankfurt. Germany is also listed on the Abu Dhabi Green List, meaning no quarantine is needed upon return.

From Dubai, travellers can fly with Emirates to Dusseldorf, Hamburg, Frankfurt and Munich.

What can I see and do in Germany?

Berlin is Germany's capital and biggest city. Unsplash / Derek Braithwaite
Berlin is Germany's capital and biggest city. Unsplash / Derek Braithwaite

Germany's capital Berlin is the country's biggest city and is famed for its history, art, museums, architecture and nightlife. In the south, Munich takes the crown as the Bavarian capital, offering a quintessential city in the land of lederhosen and Oktoberfest.

Frankfurt is a major travel hub, and the gleaming financial centre of Germany where you’ll find skyscrapers, historic buildings and a lively art and culture scene. In Hamburg, expect to enjoy the waterways – the city is home to more bridges than Amsterdam and Venice combined.

Away from the big cities, explore the Rhine Valley, visit the country’s beaches, island-hop along the north-west coast, or trek over chalk cliffs and open heaths then visit the Unesco-listed Wadden Sea.