Germany designates Singapore as high-risk area (but quarantine-free travel still possible)

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Germany will designate Singapore as a high-risk area from 24 October, but there'll be little disruption to the plans of fully vaccinated travellers.

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. 

Source: RKI website

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:

 All othersHigh-risk
Fully vaccinated
(Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca)
  • Can enter into Germany without registration or quarantine
  • Can enter into Germany with registration
  • No quarantine required with submission of vaccination proof
Unvaccinated
  • Can enter into Germany without registration or quarantine
  • Pre-departure test required
  • Can enter into Germany with registration
  • Pre-departure test required
  • 10-day quarantine required
  • Quarantine can end after 5 days with negative test
Unvaccinated (Children under 12)
  • Can enter into Germany without registration or quarantine
  • Exempt from pre-departure test
  • Can enter into Germany with registration
  • 5-day quarantine required

Additional requirements for travel to Germany from high risk areas

Registration

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:

  1. Proof of vaccination
  2. Proof of recovery from infection
  3. 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.

Conclusion

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. 

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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James

Need to upload the proof of vaccination into the portal prior to enter Germany?

Frederic

Hi Aaron, I believe it would only get difficult if Singapore were to be removed from the EU green list. It would mean that traveling as a tourist is no longer permitted, with the exception of EU citizens and their family.

Freddy

A lot of the EU countries still allow entries of tourists from most countries as long as they are vaccinated.

Fred

True, but then you must check IATA website almost every day for each country that you are planning on visiting and go through unending lists of requirements. Plus, the check-in agent might still have a different reading, as it happened on our last trip in Europe, and even though Singapore was still on the green list. Not worth the stress I would say.

Somebody

They are just joining the US. CDC moved Singapore to high risk earlier this week (https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/cdc-very-high-risk-travel-destinations-october-18/index.html). The pattern for vaccinated people seems similar so all good for now I guess. Hopefully things don’t get worse over the next month before I travel for Thanksgiving…

Max

Conceptually the country classifications are similar but the CDC risk ratings aren’t actually related to the covid travel restrictions in the US which currently apply to a rather different list of countries for the next weeks until they switch to a different system based on vaccination instead of travel history.

Carlos Marin

dude you are not reading this properly, the quarantine is mandatory for ALL, doesnt matter vacinnated or not. It is shorted to 5 days if vacinated!

Lhu

You’re the one not reading properly.

Vaccinated and recovered persons can end the quarantine from the time when the proof of vaccination or recovery is transmitted via the entry portal. If the transmission takes place before entry (strongly recommended), no quarantine is needed.

Spoon

LOL. In the words of a famous man, “are you illiterate?”

You actually cut and paste the exact section that says that “no quarantine is needed” if the vaccination proof is submitted on the portal before entry. Laugh die me.

Lhu

My point directly rebuts what Carlos said. Did you see that I replied to the incorrect original commenter? If you’re vaccinated, no quarantine whatsoever. Just submit the proof, very easy to do.

Looks like 2 (or 1) people wasting time on frivolous comments. Good luck to your future travels and figuring out rules if you don’t read them properly.

James

Any need for a PDT Test from Singapore prior to enter Germany under the latest situation for fully vaccinated travellers?

Ryan

Hello Aaron, may I know if I’m affected by this new rule if I transit at Germany airport only (I bought tix Singapore to Barca through Germany for few hours of transit? Like Munich or Frankfurt airport?

Kimberly Chow

Hey aaron! Any genius way that we can get the German CoVPass app or an EU vaccination QR code? My german friends who had Luca had the easiest time checking into places while I had to scramble for my digital cert every time.

LionDen

Is there a minimum lead time from the departure date needed to upload the vaccination proof to the German authority website? 48 hours? Or can I upload the documents way way in advance (weeks in advance) if my trip is already firm.

ctk

I think the lead time of 5 days

Dilys

Is the RT-PCR gargle test accepted for entry into Singapore?

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