Thousands flout travel rules to enter Germany without a negative test

Thousands flout travel rules to enter Germany without a negative test

Since mid-January, strict controls have applied to anyone wishing to travel to Germany from a high-risk coronavirus region. However, police data has revealed that thousands of people have violated these rules over the past two months.

Nearly 1.000 people entered Germany without a negative test

Between January 24 and March 29 this year, federal police uncovered a total of 44.891 cases of people entering Germany by plane, train or car without providing sufficient health evidence - such as a negative coronavirus test. Of these, 3.753 cases involved people flying to Germany.

Since the beginning of the year, people entering the country from regions with infectious mutations of COVID-19, or those with particularly high incidence rates, have been subjected to tougher controls. They must present a negative coronavirus test, no more than 48 hours old, before boarding their plane. 

Nonetheless, in the first few months of the year alone, police were alerted to 668 cases of people travelling from high incidence areas, and 237 people from regions with virus mutations, who were allowed to fly into the country without presenting a recent, negative test. 

The federal police have also in recent weeks uncovered significant failings with Germany’s entry registration system - a digital form which travellers coming from certain high-risk countries are obliged to fill out before entering Germany. In the first few months of the year, there were 110.2889 cases of travellers either not registering at all, or filling out the form incorrectly or incompletely, a police spokesperson said. 

Airports are “overburdened”

Speaking to the Interior Committee of the Bundestag earlier this year, the President of the Federal Police, Dieter Romann, insisted that airlines were obliged to screen all passengers at the point of departure and only allow those with a recent, negative coronavirus test to board. He explained that when the police detect breaches in the rules, they are reported to regional airports, which are obliged to impose fines on the airlines. 

“There are clearly issues here,” Roman said, adding that the airports “are of course overburdened, so they either don’t pursue the fine procedure or do so belatedly, with the result that one or more large commercial enterprises find it more economical to board people without tests.” 

With coronavirus case rates rising in Germany, a new test requirement has been in force since March 30, obliging anyone who travels to the federal republic by plane to show a negative test before they can board their flight. 



Abi Carter

Managing Editor at IamExpat Media. Abi studied German and History at the University of Manchester and has since lived in Berlin, Hamburg and Utrecht, working since 2017 as a writer,...

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