So far, a corona test was only mandatory for travelers returning from a foreign risk area – but that is changing. In the future, all people who travel to Germany from another country by plane will have to be tested for Corona before they travel. This provides for a new entry regulation that comes into effect from Monday to Tuesday night. Health Minister Jens Spahn described the consequences of the new ordinance as follows: “If you don’t have a negative test, you won’t be taken.” The answers to the most important questions.
Corona test obligation: when do I have to be tested?
The mandatory test applies from Tuesday, March 30, 2021, at midnight. Initially, the mandatory test should come into force on Sunday, but the start was postponed to give airlines and organizers more time to prepare, said Spahn.
The test result must be available before departure in order to be able to present it to the airline. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, the smear on which the test is based must have been taken no more than 48 hours before entry.
Which corona tests are recognized?
According to the Federal Ministry of Health, which tests are approved is based on a list from the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Methods such as PCR, LAMP and TMA are recognized, but also rapid antigen tests that meet certain minimum criteria. Important: The self-tests that are now available in pharmacies or drugstores are not recognized.
Who will take care of the test?
Basically, every traveler has to take care of the corona test himself. But most airlines and tour operators offer support. Tui, for example, had CEO Fritz Joussen say: “We will set up test facilities for returnees in our own hotels and Robinson Clubs and offer them as agreed.” FTI, DER Touristik and Schauinsland also want to support customers – either by offering quick tests themselves or by offering them inform where tourists can have appropriate tests carried out.
For which countries does the new test regulation apply?
The new test rules are currently primarily affecting Mallorca holidaymakers who have traveled to the Balearic island or are still flying after the travel warning was lifted. But the regulation applies to all countries abroad – only crews are excluded.
The tests at popular long-haul travel destinations – for example the Maldives, Cuba or the Dominican Republic – could be difficult. The Federal Association of the German Aviation Industry announced that not all global destinations had sufficient test capacities and test infrastructures. That is why exceptional options urgently need to be regulated for these destinations. “Otherwise passengers will be left abroad.”
Who pays for the corona test?
“The air travelers generally bear the costs of the tests themselves,” says the Ministry of Health. The costs vary depending on the destination. Take Mallorca, for example: In the hotels and in the test center at Palma airport, around 30 to 40 euros are due for an antigen test.
Individual organizers assume the test costs. For example, DER Touristik pays if a customer has booked a package tour to Mallorca between March 16 and March 22 for the travel period March 27 to April 30.
What if I don’t have a test?
Those who do not have a test will not be taken with them: “The transport company is only permitted if the test result is negative,” said the Federal Ministry of Health. In addition, there is a threat of a fine, Jens Spahn had announced.
What happens if my corona test is positive?
If a test is positive, the airline is not allowed to carry the person affected. Instead, they have to be immediately quarantined in the holiday destination. According to the Ministry of Health, “insulation according to local regulations must be carried out at your own risk”. In Mallorca, for example, there are specially designated hotels.
Who pays the quarantine costs if the test is positive?
“A positive corona test at the holiday resort with all its consequences for general life risk,” said travel lawyer Paul Degott from Hanover to the editorial network Germany. It is therefore nothing other than a broken leg, for example. This means that costs that arise from this are usually borne by the traveler themselves if no appropriate travel health insurance has been taken out.
Many organizers now offer special corona insurance for this case. At Tui, for example, the travel insurance “Covid Protect” takes effect in the event of a positive test – this covers the costs for the quarantine stay in the hotel and the rebooking of the return trip. For all Tui customers, insurance is automatically included in the travel price for departures by October 31, 2021. DER Touristik, for example, offers the “Safe-Super-Carefree Package”, which takes effect in the event of a positive Corona test. In the event of a quarantine, costs of up to 3500 euros will be covered. Individual travelers can independently take out a corresponding corona travel insurance with insurance companies such as Hanse Merkur or Allianz.
Important: Anyone who has taken out general travel health insurance abroad is not automatically protected. Most of them exclude benefits if there is a travel warning for the country before departure or if there is a pandemic.
Test obligation: Do drivers and train travelers also have to be tested?
No, the new regulations only apply to air travelers. But for travelers from risk areas, entries by car, bus or train are also affected.
Can I cancel the vacation free of charge because of the compulsory test?
In principle, the following applies to package tours: Withdrawal without cancellation fees is possible if there are unavoidable, extraordinary circumstances that significantly affect the holiday. Does that apply to the test regulations? This is new legal territory, there have been no court rulings so far. So travelers run the risk of having to pay cancellation fees if they cancel the package tour at short notice.
Individual travelers tend to lose out anyway. If the airline or the accommodation does not have accommodating terms and conditions, the following applies: As long as the airline operates the flight and accommodation is possible, there are costs for the cancellation.
What applies to entry from high-risk, high-incidence and virus variant areas?
Anyone who comes to Germany from a “normal” risk area (incidence over 50) must in future be tested before entering the country. Previously, the test certificate could be submitted up to 48 hours after entry. Anyone who comes from a high-incidence or virus variant area has had to be tested for a long time before entering the country.
The quarantine rules remain in effect. That means: People arriving from high-risk areas and high-incidence areas have to be in quarantine for ten days and can only test themselves free with a test from day five at the earliest. Anyone who comes from a virus variant area has to be in strict isolation for 14 days, free testing is not possible.
It is important, however, that the quarantine regulations are implemented through the ordinances of the federal states. Ultimately, the law of the federal state in which holidaymakers arrive or stay is binding here. Not all federal states implement the model quarantine ordinance one-to-one. Therefore, travelers should inform themselves in detail about possible exceptions to the quarantine obligation.
In addition, travelers from risk areas must still register online at www.einreiseanmeldung.de before arriving in Germany.