Germany is tightening restrictions on US visitors amid concerns about a surge in cases of the highly transmissible Delta variant of COVID-19 there. Travelers who have recently spent time in the US will now be required to quarantine if they cannot present proof of vaccination.
Germany has increased its vigilance against risks from overseas outbreaks by designating a number of countries to its high-risk list on Sunday, including the US, Israel, Turkey, Vietnam and Montenegro. Under Germany's entry rules, unvaccinated arrivals from high-risk areas are required to self-quarantine for 10 days upon arrival—though that can be reduced to five days if they present a negative COVID-19 test result.
Read more: Do you need a visa to go to Germany?
Vaccinated arrivals, or those who have recovered from COVID-19 within the last six months, don't have to quarantine if they can present proof of vaccination or recovery status.
Travelers who received all the required doses of either the AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are considered fully vaccinated in Germany. Before traveling to Germany, visitors from high-risk areas must register on the Digital Entry Portal; and upon arrival, travelers must present proof of vaccination in either paper (e.g. CDC card) or digital form.
The EU recommended in June that member states should allow nonessential travel for vaccinated and unvaccinated Americans when the US was added to the so-called 'white list' after recording low COVID-19 case numbers. EU officials review the travel lists every two weeks, though ultimately the decision on who can visit their country is down to each member state.
Previously, unvaccinated US travelers had to present a negative COVID-19 test to enter Germany. But now officials have taken the decision to impose tighter restrictions as the US records a surge in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks—largely driven by the Delta variant and a stalled vaccination campaign. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 50% of the population is fully vaccinated, while the Associated Press reports the country is seeing an average of about 129,000 new infections a day.
For more information on Germany's entry rules, see here.