Germany will now be requiring all passengers traveling by air into the country to present a negative COVID-19 test, according to an announcement published by the Germany Ministry of Health.
The testing requirement is valid initially from 30 March 2021 until 12 May 2021 but may be extended to further dates.
The requirement applies to all passengers traveling by air into the country and the tests must be paid for by the passengers, according to the announcement.
Tests must be taken before departure from the point of origin. If a positive test is returned, airlines are not allowed to transport the passenger into Germany.
The specimen collected for testing must have been taken within 48 hours of entry into Germany.
Airlines are likely to be the ones carrying out testing in most cases. The German Ministry of Health requires that testing be done only at approved locations abroad. If the passenger is unable to present a test, the airline can then perform testing themselves or assist the passenger in finding an approved testing site.
Airline crewmembers and children under 6 years old are exempt from the mandatory testing.
“From 30 March 2021, in principle all persons entering the Federal Republic of Germany by plane are required to present their carrier with a negative test result before departure. This obligation to undergo testing and provide proof applies irrespective of whether or not the carriage took place from a risk area. The swab specimen indicated in the test result must have been taken within 48 hours prior to entry into the Federal Republic of Germany. The new obligation to undergo testing and provide proof initially applies until 12/05/2021,” the announcement reads.
In the case that a positive test is returned, according to the announcement, the passenger is obligated to undergo the proper procedures of the locality that they are in at departure. This could include quarantine and other procedures. It is important for passengers to know the requirements of every locality that they will be stopping in to ensure that there is minimal confusion or interruption of travel if their test is positive and they cannot enter Germany.
Persons caught entering Germany without a negative test certificate, or if the information on their test certificate is obviously inaccurate, are subject to a fine. Airlines are responsible for ensuring that passengers are tested and are presenting valid testing certificates, however, the national police could also be involved, as they are responsible for border control in Germany.
In addition to all of this, there are only certain tests that are actually recognized by the German Ministry of Health as valid for entry. These include PCR, LAMP, and TMA tests that meet the minimum WHO criteria for COVID-19 testing. Testing is to be monitored by a third party that is also authorized to perform testing, and proof of testing must be presented in paper of digital format in either English, French, or German.