Germany Removes the US from Safe Travel List

Effective August 15, 2021, Germany no longer considers the United States a “safe country” for travel. This means that all travelers from the U.S. to Germany will now need to be fully vaccinated or have an approved essential reason to travel before entering Germany.

Currently, unrestricted entry to Germany is only possible for EU and Schengen Area nationals and residents, third-country nationals who have a current long-term residence permit from an EU or Schengen country and their immediate family members, and residents of “safe countries.” Entry for any other nationals/from any other country is only possible if the traveler is fully vaccinated or has an urgent need to travel to Germany.


Pre-Travel Action Item for all Travelers from the United States to Germany:

To enter Germany, U.S. travelers and others from high-risk areas will need to show proof of the following:

Proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination:

  • The final dose must have been 14 days before travel;
  • The vaccine the person has received must be among those listed on the website of Paul Ehrlich Institute
  • Please see here for the formal guidance on vaccination proof for entry into Germany. A US “CDC Card” is listed on the website of the German Embassy Washington as sufficient proof of vaccination. If such a “CDC Card” does not contain all required information, we recommend obtaining a written confirmation from the provider with all required details. The written confirmation and the “CDC Card” can be presented to the airline carrier before boarding. 

Proof is required before entry and must be presented to the airline before travel.

Other new “high-risk” countries include France (the French overseas territories of French Guiana in South America and French Polynesia in the South Pacific), Israel, Kenya, Montenegro, Turkey, and Vietnam. A full list of high-risk countries and regions is available here.


On Arrival Action Items for Travelers:
  • Travelers who have spent time in high-risk areas must remain in quarantine for ten days. If, before the ten days have elapsed, they submit proof of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, they may end their quarantine when they submit the necessary proof. Alternatively, after the fifth day in quarantine, they may reduce the quarantine period by submitting proof of a negative test result. Children under the age of 12 who enter Germany from high-risk areas may end quarantine automatically after five days, even without proof of a negative test result.
  • Travelers who have spent time in areas of virus variant of concern must remain in quarantine for 14 days. In this case, there is no option to end quarantine sooner, even for people who have been vaccinated or recovered from COVID-19.


Erickson Insights

Germany has maintained strict border controls throughout the pandemic, adjusting guidelines and restrictions as the global data changes.

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.