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.
Is it possible to travel to Schleswig-Holstein from abroad?
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.
Please refrain from non-essential, private travel and visits. Until 28 February 2021, no guests may be accommodated for tourist purposes in Germany - and thus also in Schleswig-Holstein. Only hotel stays for professional reasons or for funeral ceremonies are now permitted.
If you are returning from a foreign risk area, you must observe the following:
- Before your entry, you must register at www.einreiseanmeldung.de, where you leave your contact details as well as information about your trip and your state of health.
- After your entry, you must immediately go into quarantine for a period of fourteen days. During this time, you must not receive any visitors from persons who are not members of your household.
- 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.
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.
As an entrant from a foreign risk area, you have the option of shortening the ten-day quarantine by a maximum of five days. To do so, you must present a negative Corona test to the health office. This test is free of charge for people entering the country from foreign risk areas.
As a returning traveller from foreign risk areas, you must observe the following when taking the tests:
- The test must be carried out at least five days after entering the Federal Republic of Germany. You are allowed to leave quarantine for this.
- You should have a rapid antigen test done by your family doctor for this purpose, which will be checked by a PCR test in case of a positive test result.
- The rapid antigen test must fulfill the requirements of the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices (BfArM).
- The test result must be kept for a period of ten days after entry and presented to the local health authority on request.
- As long as you do not have a negative test result, the obligation of domestic quarantine applies.
- There is no entitlement to testing for travel returnees. Medically necessary tests or tests ordered by the health department will be given priority.
Please check the Foreign Office page for the current situation.
If affected persons violate one or more of these measures, they may be fined. 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.
Are day trips possible?
Please refrain from non-essential visits. This applies both domestically and for supra-regional day-tourist excursions.
Are hotels, restaurants and leisure facilities open in Schleswig-Holstein?
Hotels, guesthouses and holiday flats as well as other overnight accommodation will only be made available for necessary and explicitly non-touristy purposes.
Restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs are closed since 2 November. Delivery services and take-away food remain permitted.
Leisure and cultural facilities such as museums, cinemas, theatres, amusement parks, swimming pools etc. remain closed.
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?
All events that serve the purpose of entertainment are prohibited.
Please note: Markets and market-like events such as Christmas markets, flea markets, country markets and fairs are prohibited. Weekly markets are still permitted, as they are part of the food retail trade and serve to supply the population.
All further information on this topic can be found on the website of the Schleswig-Holstein state government.
Are the tourist information offices accessible?
The tourist information offices are partially closed 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.
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.