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Coronavirus / Covid-19: FAQ

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02.08.2021 - Article

Please be advised that the information provided below is subject to change and no liability assumed. Travellers should keep themselves informed of any changes by regularly checking websites listed below and following advice provided by competent authorities in their host country.

International travel ban for Australian citizens and Permanent Residents

Australian citizens and permanent residents cannot travel overseas due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Dual nationals, or foreign nationals with permanent residency status in Australia, need to secure an exemption from the ABF Commissioner before they can leave Australia, even if using the passport of their other nationality. The reason behind this is the fact that dual citizens and permanent residents have the right to return to and enter Australia again at a later date. Individuals can apply online for an exemption on the Department of Home Affairs website: https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/help-support/departmental-forms/online-forms/covid19-enquiry-form.

Applications should include as much detailed information and supporting documentation as possible.  For example, individuals should include proof that they do not usually reside in Australia through evidence of working arrangements, school/university enrolments or property ownership.

The application should include other compelling and compassionate grounds as appropriate, including details on the reasons compelling the individual to travel – for example, care for elderly parents who live overseas, other family circumstances or medical issues. Any supporting documentation to verify family relationships and other claims will help to strengthen their case.

As of 22 January 2021, all passengers (five years or older) travelling to Australia must be tested for COVID-19 72 hours or less prior to departure, and display evidence of a negative test result. PCR testing is required. More here.

Where can I get more information from Australian authorities?

COVID-19 information is provided by the Australian Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-resources and https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-travellers#foreign-nationals-entering-australia.

The Australian Government has set up an information Hotline: 1800 020 080; for non-English speakers: 131 450.

Contact details for Health Departments in the Australian states and territories are provided here: www.health.gov.au/state-territory-contacts.

Am I allowed to enter Germany?

Germany has introduced travel restrictions for entries from outside the Schengen area on March 17, 2020.

You can find information on entry and quarantine requirements here.

Travellers must adhere to quarantine regulations and as of 30.03.2021 have to carry proof that they have been tested for Covid-19.

Unmarried partners from third countries have been allowed to enter Germany as of 10 August 2020. Entry requirements here.

As of 25 June 2021 there has been a relaxation of restrictions on entry to Germany for vaccinated persons. However, this does not apply to entry to Germany from countries that are classified as areas of variants of concern. Entry to Germany from these areas continues to be prohibited.

What is recognised as proof of immunity?

Only vaccinations with one of the vaccines listed on the website of the Paul‑Ehrlich‑Institute (https://www.pei.de/EN/newsroom/dossier/coronavirus/coronavirus-content.html;jsessionid=BFEB5AC0589AE75E8E110A71FFEB2BFF.intranet211?cms_pos=3) are recognised. The last required vaccination must have been administered at least 14 days prior to entry. This currently applies solely to vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). The plan is to extend this to other vaccines with a comparable level of protection as soon as the necessary tests have been completed.

As proof of immunity, a digital EU COVID certificate or comparable proof of vaccination in digital or analogue form (paper form) in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish must be presented. This must always include:

  1. the personal data of the vaccinated person (at least family name, first name and date of birth),
  2. date of vaccination, number of vaccinations,
  3. name of vaccine,
  4. name of disease vaccinated against,
  5. name and address of the person/institution responsible for administering the vaccine, and
  6. written documentation or electronic confirmation with a qualified electronic signature or a qualified electronic seal from the person responsible for administering the vaccine; if such information is not possible for administrative reasons, the confirmation provided by the person/institution responsible should appropriately be made clear, specifically through the use of a stamp or a state symbol.

In the case of a person who has recovered from infection, a single dose of a vaccine is sufficient. As proof of full vaccination for a recovered person, proof must also be provided that they had the SARS‑CoV‑2 coronavirus before their vaccination. As proof of this illness, a positive PCR test dating back at least 28 days and at most six months must be presented. The proof of illness must be written in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish and available in digital or analogue form (paper form).

Further information is available under the following link: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/coronavirus-faqs.html.

Flight Connections

Many of the flight connections for travellers from Australia to Germany and Europe have by now been reinstated. This includes flights via established transit hubs such as the Gulf States as well as Singapore and Hong Kong. However, availability has been reduced and flight schedules are subject to frequent changes, which can cause changes in flight times and dates as well as cancellations.

It is, therefore, recommended to frequently check with your travel provider/airline that your flights are still going ahead as planned and which transit regulations at the different transit locations apply to your connection.

It is advised to book all your connections with one provider in order to avoid complications.

Where can I find more information?

The German Missions in Australia website (www.australien.diplo.de) as well as the Federal Foreign Office’s ‘Reise- und Sicherheitshinweise’ (https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise) are updated regularly.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community answers Coronavirus FAQ on their Website here: https://www.bmi.bund.de/SharedDocs/faqs/EN/topics/civil-protection/coronavirus/coronavirus-faqs.htm.

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