Germany Changes Risk Categories and Removes 10 Countries from the “Virus Variant” List

From August 1, 2021, Germany will streamline the risk categories and remove 10 countries from the “Virus Variant” list. Risk areas will now be classified as either “high-risk areas” (previously high-incidence areas) and virus variant areas. The government has eliminated the “simple” risk area category, noting that there is currently a global risk of infection.

Key Highlights
  • There are no new virus variant areas since the last update.
  • New high-incidence areas or high-risk areas: Andorra, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
  • The Dominican Republic is no longer a risk area.
  • From August 1, all travelers 12 years or older must present a negative certificate, a vaccination, or health certificate upon arrival. Special rules apply to commuters.


People who have stayed in one of the risk areas in the last 10 days before entering Germany must observe certain rules:

  • Travelers who have previously stayed in a risk area are required to fill out the digital entry registration.
  • Travelers who have previously stayed in a high-incidence or high-risk area must carry proof of test, vaccination, or recovery with them. For those coming from a virus variant area, proof of a test is mandatory.
  • People who have stayed in a risk area must quarantine for 10 days; for those who stayed in a virus variant area, the quarantine period is 14 days.
  • The quarantine can end or be bypassed if proof of recovery, a vaccination certificate, or a negative test certificate is transmitted via the entry portal.
    • After a previous stay in high-incidence areas or high-risk areas: testing can be carried out 5 days after entry.
    • After a previous stay in virus variant areas: the quarantine lasts 14 days and early termination is generally not possible.


Erickson Immigration Group will continue to send updates as more news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.