Can you still go to Germany if you come from North or South Holland?

Yesterday evening, the Robert Koch Institute (the German RIVM) declared the provinces of North and South Holland to be at risk. What does that mean? Who can still go on holiday in Germany?

If you live (or were recently) in North or South Holland, it is not a good idea to go on holiday in Germany at the moment. There is no real travel ban, but as soon as you are in Germany you are obliged to take a coronation test and wait for the result in quarantine.

It can take a while before you can go to a test centre – in fact, from October onwards you are not allowed to do a test until five days after your arrival – and the results are often quite long, so before you know it you will be over a week away.

What if I take a negative test with me?

In many states you can avoid quarantine if you take a negative coronavirus test with you that is not older than 48 hours. However, some states may still require you to take a test, so you will be temporarily in isolation again.

Who is still allowed?

If you do not live in these provinces, and if you have not been there in the past 14 days, you can still travel to Germany.

How is this checked?

People coming by plane from Amsterdam have to have a test done immediately at the airport. Of course, you are not forced to do this, but you do have to give your details on the plane. The German Municipal Health Centres (GGDs) carry out random checks. Many hotels also ask whether you have recently been in a high-risk area and you have to sign a statement to that effect.

Enforcement of this testing and quarantine obligation remains difficult, of course. The German government assumes its own responsibility. If you are caught in one way or another, the fines can mount up considerably. It starts at EUR 500, but can run up to EUR 25 000.