FAQ – coronavir­us

Dear holidaymakers,

the coronavirus is currently dominating public life. The state government of Schleswig-Holstein has enacted extensive, unprecedented measures in order to protect tourists and the local population. The aim is to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and the respiratory illness Covid-19 in the interests of everyone’s health and a functioning health system.

You are bound to have many questions relating to your holiday. We have put together some FAQs for your information.

FAQ

Is it possible to travel to Schleswig-Holstein from abroad?

In principle, yes. There are uniform federal regulations for entering and returning from abroad, which also apply in Schleswig-Holstein. Entry into Germany therefore depends on whether you come from a safe area, a risk area, a high-incidence area or a virus-variant area. The entry conditions vary depending on the area. You can find more information about this here. Please note that testing is compulsory when staying overnight in Schleswig-Holstein, regardless of where you are travelling from (see below).

*Please scroll down to find the special regulations for travellers and returnees from Denmark.

Since 17th of May 2021, tourist travel to Schleswig-Holstein and thus overnight stays in accommodation establishments (hotels, holiday flats, holiday homes, campsites) are permitted again. Very strict general conditions still apply.

  • Distance and hygiene rules still apply, , as well as strict contact tracing and regular testing at the holiday destination.
  • People entering Germany from abroad should check online on the RKI website before travelling whether the country they are in is currently classified as a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area. The RKI's current risk areas as well as high incidence and virus variant areas can be found online: Robert Koch Institute: Information on the designation of international risk areas by the Federal Foreign Office, Federal Ministry of Health and Federal Ministry of the Interior.
  • For the conditions of your return to your home country, please contact your government or embassy to find out what agreements have been made with your country, whether it is currently possible to leave your country for a trip to Germany and what the return regulations are.
  • The Federal Foreign Office provides information about the current entry regulations.

If you are entering from a country that is classified as safe by the Federal Republic of Germany:

  • If you are travelling by plane from any country (whether a risk area or not), you must follow specific regulations: 
    A general obligation for travellers entering the country by air to furnish proof. Persons entering by plane must – irrespective of whether or not they spent time in a risk area – present a negative test result or proof of vaccination or recovery to their carrier prior to departure. 
  • If you experience symptoms that indicate a possible infection with the Corona virus, you must inform the local health authority immediately during the quarantine period.

If you come from a country classified as a risk area or high incidence area by the Federal Republic of Germany:

  • Before your journey you must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de in the entry portal of the Federal Republic of Germany and carry the confirmation with you for the case of inspection.
  • Anyone arriving must present a negative rapid antigen test, no older than 48 hours. Fully vaccinated persons (in principle two vaccinations and at least 14 days interval to the second vaccination) and convalescents do not have to present a negative test. Please carry proof of your vaccination or recovery with you in case of inspection.
  • After your entry, you must immediately go into quarantine for a period of ten days. During this time, you must not receive any visitors from persons who are not members of your household. If you come from a risk area the quarantine ends earlier if you send proof of complete vaccination, a new negative test or proof of recovery via the registration portal.
  • If you come from a high incidence area, you can have a second test carried out at the earliest five days after entry. If it turns out negative your quarantine ends.
  • Quarantine is at your own expense. Violations can be punished as an administrative offence with a fine of up to 25,000 euros. Further information is available on the website of the Schleswig-Holstein state government. Here, all relevant information on the current legal situation is also available for download in various languages. These include English, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Bulgarina and Serbian.
  • Testing at the holiday destination every 72 hours, although the test may also be carried out under the supervision of local staff. Information on testing opportunities can be found here. Please note that the costs for testing at the holiday destination may have to be paid by yourself, if you are not a German citizen! Information on this can be obtained from your chosen test centre.
  • If you experience symptoms that indicate a possible infection with the Corona virus, you must inform the local health authority immediately during the quarantine period.

If you come from a virus variant area:

  • you must always take part in the registration procedure at www.einreiseanmeldung.de, where you leave your contact details as well as information about your trip and your state of health.
  • have a negative Corona test and go into quarantine for ten days after entering (14 days if entering from a virus variant areas).  For virus-variant areas, there is also a ban on carriage by rail, bus, ship or air. During this time, you must not receive any visitors from persons who are not members of your household.
  • It is not possible to end the quarantine earlier, if you travel from virus-variant areas.
  • Quarantine is at your own expense. Violations can be punished as an administrative offence with a fine of up to 25,000 euros. Further information is available on the website of the Schleswig-Holstein state government.  Here, all relevant information on the current legal situation is also available for download in various languages. These include English, Turkish, Russian, Arabic, Bulgarina and Serbian.
  • Testing at the holiday destination every 72 hours, although the test may also be carried out under the supervision of local staff. Information on testing opportunities can be found here. Please note that the costs for testing at the holiday destination may have to be paid by yourself, if you are not a German citizen! Information on this can be obtained from your chosen test centre.
  • If you experience symptoms that indicate a possible infection with the Corona virus, you must inform the local health authority immediately during the quarantine period.

Staying overnight in Schleswig-Holstein:

  • Guests may only be accommodated if they can show a negative test, which must be presented to the accommodation providers upon arrival (regardless of the country from which travel was undertaken). Guests must also provide their contact details. Fully vaccinated persons (at least 14 days after the last required vaccination) and convalescents do not have to present a negative test. Proof of vaccination by presenting a vaccination card or a vaccination certificate or proof of recovery (positive PCR test result at least 28 days ago and not older than 6 months) is sufficient. 
  • The following applies to the proof of testing: The test must have been carried out before the start of the journey. This ensures that guests know whether they have been infected with the coronavirus before they start their journey. The test result must not be older than 48 hours (applies to rapid antigen tests and PCR tests). Proof of a rapid antigen test can be presented, which was made, for example, at a testing station, in a pharmacy, at a doctor's or by appropriately trained personnel in a company. A self-test done at home, for example, is not acceptable. Children under the age of six do not need a test.  
  • Testing at the holiday destination every 72 hours, although the test may also be carried out under the supervision of local staff. Information on testing opportunities can be found here. Please note that the costs for testing at the holiday destination may have to be paid by yourself, if you are not a German citizen! Information on this can be obtained from your chosen test centre. This testing obligation still does not apply to children under six years of age and to those who have been fully vaccinated and those who have recovered, provided they do not have symptoms typical of corona. 

People who fulfill the following criteria are not required to register upon entry:

  • People who have only passed through a risk area and have not had a stopover there,
  • Persons who are only entering the Federal Republic of Germany for transit purposes,
  • Persons who have stayed in a risk area for less than 24 hours in the context of border traffic with neighbouring countries or who enter the Federal Republic of Germany for up to 24 hours,
  • Persons who enter the Federal Republic of Germany for work-related reasons in order to transport persons, goods or merchandise across borders by road, rail, ship or air.

Are day trips possible?

Yes, but many restrictions still apply. Please find out in advance whether attractions and facilities you wish to visit are open and under what conditions a visit is possible.

Are hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities open in Schleswig-Holstein?

Since 17th of May 2021, tourist travel to Schleswig-Holstein and thus overnight stays in accommodation establishments (hotels, holiday flats, holiday homes, campsites) are permitted again. Very strict general conditions still apply. Anyone arriving must present a negative rapid antigen test, no older than 48 hours. Testing at the holiday destination every 72 hours. Distance and hygiene rules still apply, as well as strict contact tracing at the holiday destination.

Restaurants, cafés and pubs are also allowed to reopen their indoor areas under certain conditions: For example, guests must present proof of testing, and those who have been fully vaccinated (at least two weeks after the second vaccination) must present a vaccination card or certificate. In principle, a maximum of five people from two households may sit at one table. Outside closed rooms, up to ten people (from ten households) are now generally allowed to sit at one table. Further evidence must be presented every 72 hours. Qualified mouth-nose protection must be worn.

Discotheques and clubs remain closed.

Leisure and cultural facilities such as museums, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks etc. open gradually with strict concepts around generally applicable restrictions. Please find out directly whether the facility you wish to visit is open and what rules apply.

Since the 17th of May swimming pools are reopened under strict conditions. Please find out directly whether the facility you wish to visit is open and what rules apply.

How can I currently travel to Schleswig-Holstein?

For information on the current status of your arrival and departure options, please refer to the pages of the means of transport of your choice. Please note possible changes in timetables and capacities of passenger transport companies such as Deutsche Bahn (Deutsche Bahn and local transport in Schleswig-Holstein). There may also be restrictions on air travel (Hamburg Airport (HAM)). Bus travel and ferries are currently subject to restrictions as well, please contact your operator.

Is it compulsory to wear a face mask in Schleswig-Holstein?

In Schleswig-Holstein, people must wear a mouth-nose covering when travelling by bus or train or when entering a shop. Self-sewn masks, for example, but also scarves or shawls are suitable for this purpose. The main thing is to cover the mouth and nose completely. Caution: Transparent plastic visors, so-called face shields, are no longer sufficient on their own because, according to current knowledge, they cannot prevent the spread of aerosols. Persons who are generally exempt from the mask requirement may continue to use visors voluntarily. The state government provides information on the exemptions for children and people with impairments on its website.

Wearing a mouth-nose covering is only one of several important protective measures and should be combined with regular, thorough hand washing and keeping a safe distance of 1.5 meters from other people.

Please note: Since 30 November, the obligation to wear a mouth-nose covering has been spatially extended. This now applies in addition:

  • after designation by the local authorities, also in railway stations, station forecourts and bus stops
  • in enclosed spaces accessible to the public or in the context of professional and customer traffic, as well as in principle at the workplace in enclosed spaces.

Exceptions to this apply:

  • at a fixed standing or sitting place, if a minimum distance of 1.5 meters is maintained or the transmission of viruses is reduced by similarly suitable physical barriers;
  • in the case of heavy physical work;
  • when contacts are made only with members of one's own household;
  • during food intake;
  • if this is unreasonable due to the special circumstances of the individual case;
  • in the context of court hearings and trials.

A mask requirement continues to apply for employees in retail sales and goods distribution points, in enclosed sales stalls and in covered circulation areas of shopping centers in areas open to the public; as well as at weekly markets, both for sales staff and for customers.

In the districts and independent towns where the infection figures are above average in comparison with the rest of Schleswig-Holstein, regionally more stringent measures will come into force. These measures will be coordinated between the state government and the district or city administrations and then announced by the district or independent city by general decree.

Are there any events taking place?

Outdoor events are usually possible with negative tests of participants and further requirements. Additional outdoor areas of recreational and cultural facilities may open such as amusement parks - negative tests are required to visit indoor cultural facilities (museums, exhibitions).

Are the tourist information offices accessible?

Some tourist information offices may run with reduced opening houres for direct customer contact. However, the local colleagues can be reached by telephone and e-mail. Please be patient, they will do everything possible to help you.

Please contact the respective tourist information office in advance to find out if and when they are open.

Where can I find more detailed information about a tourist trip to Germany?

The applicable regulations depend on the respective destination. There are differences both within Germany and within the region.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior and the Federal Foreign Office provide information on their websites about the current regulations.

Are there any restrictions for my return journey?

Depending on where you come from, there might be restrictions for your return journey. Please contact your government or embassy to find out what agreements have been made with your country and what the return regulations are.