With the UK expected to announce some sort of Covid passport system this evening, Annabel Fenwick Elliott is looking at how the controversial schemes work in different European countries. Germany has one of the strictest systems, although it hasn’t stopped its Covid rates rocketing in recent months.
If you’re vaccinated, you may enter Germany from the UK without providing a test. Children under 12 can enter with a vaccinated parent but must quarantine for five days upon arrival. If you are over 12 and unvaccinated, you are not permitted to visit Germany unless you qualify for an exemption, which you probably won’t; certainly not for a holiday.
What do I need a pass for?
Pretty much everything, including restaurants, bars, salons, sports venues, hotels and social events. Germany accepts the NHS Covid Pass, but you are travelling with a printed PDF version, it must date from November 1 to ensure that the certificate can be scanned successfully.
Depending on which district you are in, you will either be subject to Germany’s ‘3G’ rules, whereby you can enter most public spaces with proof of vaccination, recovery from a previous infection or a recent negative test, or ‘2G’ rules, which excludes people who only have a negative test. At the strictest end of the scale, expect to face ‘2G-plus’ restrictions, which excludes unvaccinated people and requires even those who are vaccinated or recovered to also provide a recent negative test.
How strict is it?
Very; and not just strict but complicated and fast-morphing. Expect to flash your NHS Covid Pass at every turn, and even then, should local R-rates flare, be asked to submit to extra testing (for example, hotels will test you upon arrival and twice a week during your stay). That, or for bars, restaurants and Christmas markets to be closed altogether.