Due to the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Singapore, Germany has redesignated Singapore a high-risk area effective Sunday 24 October 2021 at 12.00 a.m.
In practice, this will be minimally disruptive to your travel plans to Germany- provided you’re fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca. However, there may be issues for those vaccinated with Sinovac/Sinopharm, as well as those travelling with unvaccinated children.
Singapore now classified as high-risk area by Germany
The Robert Koch Institute (RKI), Germany’s equivalent of Singapore’s NCID, has released its latest update on the designation of international risk areas. For context, RKI divides the world into three zones:
- Areas of variants of concern
- High-risk areas
- All others
Effective Sunday 24 October 2021 at 12.00 a.m, Singapore and four other countries will be added to the list of high-risk areas.
For what it’s worth, there’s nothing particularly “shameful” about being on this list- the UK and USA (both VTL countries) are included too. Besides, with close to 85% of the population vaccinated, Singapore is in a much better position than many other countries on the high-risk list.
And for those of you with trips to Germany planned (I’m flying this weekend actually), there’ll be very little impact on you plans, provided you’re fully vaccinated and not travelling with unvaccinated kids.
To summarise the changes:
(Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca)
|Unvaccinated (Children under 12)
Additional requirements for travel to Germany from high risk areas
According to Germany’s Federal Foreign Office, travellers who have visited a high-risk area or area of variant of concern in the last ten days must register before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry.
If you visit the registration page right now, Singapore won’t be listed as a high risk area yet. This will only appear from 24 October 2021 onwards.
Exemptions to this registration requirement apply to those who:
- have only passed through a high-risk area or area of variant of concern without a stopover,
- are only passing through Germany, or
- in the case of border traffic: persons who have spent less than 24 hours in a high-risk area oder area of variant of concern or are only entering Germany for a period of up to 24 hours.
Additionally, persons entering Germany following a stay in a high-risk area (but not an area of variant of concern) are exempt from this requirement for stays of less than 72 hours to visit close relatives (parents, children), spouses and partners who do not belong to the same household, or for the purpose of shared custody.
Quarantine (but not for vaccinated individuals)
Persons entering Germany from high-risk areas must proceed directly to their destination following entry into Germany and self-isolate for 10 days.
However, this requirement is waived for those who can present any of the following:
- Proof of vaccination
- Proof of recovery from infection
- Proof of negative test result
If you submit (1) or (2) before entry (it can be done via the registration portal mentioned in the previous section), no quarantine is necessary.
If you’re planning to submit (3), you cannot use a pre-departure test; the test can only be taken 5 days after entry into Germany.
This matters for those vaccinated with Sinovac. Germany does not recognise Sinovac, so a Sinovac-vaccinated individual arriving from Singapore will have to spend at least five days in quarantine. He/she can present a negative test on Day 5 and be released.
tl;dr: If you are fully vaccinated with Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca, you can still enter Germany from Singapore without quarantine.
What about children?
If you’re planning to travel to Germany with unvaccinated children, however, the situation may be different for you.
Unvaccinated children under 12 years of age arriving from a high-risk area must self-isolate for 5 days. Based on my reading of the rules I don’t see any way of avoiding this.
The quarantine ends prematurely if a negative test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery is transmitted via the entry portal ( www.einreiseanmeldung.de ). In the case of a test, however, the test may take place at the earliest 5 days after entry.
For children under 12 years of age, the quarantine ends 5 days after entry (instead of 10 days) even without proof.
Unvaccinated children from high risk areas (who can’t present proof of recovery) are facing a 5 day quarantine, since just like adults, the earliest acceptable test is 5 days after entry. In any case, children under 12 are released from quarantine after 5 days with or without a test.
Singapore will be designated a high-risk area by Germany from 24 October 2021 onwards, but there won’t be much of an impact on travel if you’re fully vaccinated with a German-recognised vaccine.
After all, Singapore is hardly going to impose a mandatory SHN on travellers from Germany (since the issue exists on the Singapore side, not Germany), and Germany already has processes in place for travellers from high-risk areas to avoid quarantine.
I’ll of course be keeping a close eye on this, but you should also refer to the German embassy in Singapore’s webpage for the latest information.