In Germany, there is an entry restriction in place for most of the EU citizens who were not German citizens or residents. According to the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, "This warning was lifted as of 15 June" (source).

It is not clear when exactly the borders open: after 15th June, meaning on June 16th, or from the beginning of 15th June, meaning 00:00:00 on 15th. I am asking for an Estonian citizen visiting Germany for 'nonessential' travel.

  • 6
    The sentence you're asking about refers to the German foreign office's warning (for German citizens/residents) against travel from Germany to other countries. As far as I can tell it has no relevance for your situation (rules regarding travel to Germany are generally set by the interior ministry, not the foreign office - although it's very possible that the dates will be the same). I'm looking through the interior ministry's website now and hopefully will be able to write an answer soon.
    – Chris H
    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:20
  • Borders are already open for work-related travels. it's not really clear the flights situation, because I booked a flight italy-germany for 1st of july and it has been canceled
    – Val
    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:51
  • @Val yeah but in my case, it is 'non-essential' precisely because it is not work related (the traveller doesn't have any proof of work-related travel).
    – DaveIdito
    Jun 12, 2020 at 9:52
  • @ChrisH odd that the Germany embassy in Estonia says that it's until 14th i.e. an Estonian can enter Germany from the beginning of the day on 15th.
    – DaveIdito
    Jun 12, 2020 at 10:04
  • @DaveIdito that is strange. The statement I quoted in my answer and this press release are both unambiguous about the restrictions being lifted at the end of that day.
    – Chris H
    Jun 12, 2020 at 10:18

3 Answers 3


As I commented, the sentence you mention in the question isn't directly relevant, as it relates to the German Foreign Office's warnings against travel from Germany to other countries. Rules regarding travel to Germany are a matter for the Ministry of the Interior.

According to the German Ministry of the Interior

Bundesinnenminister Horst Seehofer hat das Bundeskabinett heute darüber unterrichtet, dass die wegen der Corona-Pandemie eingeführten Grenzkontrollen an unseren innereuropäischen Binnengrenzen mit Ablauf des 15. Juni 2020 enden. Das betrifft die Grenzen zu Österreich, Frankreich, der Schweiz, Italien und Dänemark. Die temporären Binnengrenzkontrollen im Luftverkehr bei Einreisen aus Spanien enden nach gemeinsamer Abstimmung in beiden Richtungen zum 21. Juni 2020.

Mit dieser Entscheidung entfällt generell bei Reisen aus anderen Staaten der EU nach Deutschland das Erfordernis eines triftigen Einreisegrundes. Dies gilt auch für Einreisen aus den Schengen-assoziierten Staaten Norwegen, Liechtenstein und Island sowie dem Vereinigten Königreich.

The statement is mostly about controls on the borders to Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy (presumably by air), and Denmark, but also covers general requirements for entry from other EU countries.

I've quoted the German because the English version omits some important details of the German statement. My translation of the above, with added emphasis on the most relevant sections:

Federal interior minister Horst Seehofer has today instructed the federal cabinet that the border controls on our European internal borders will end at the end of 15th June 2020. This affects the borders to Austria, France, Switzerland, Italy, and Denmark. The temporary interior border controls for air travel arrivals from Spain will end by joint agreement in both directions on 21st June 2020.

With this decision the requirement of good justification for travel from other EU countries to Germany is lifted. This also applies to travel from the Schengen associated states of Norway, Liechtenstein and Iceland, as well as the United Kingdom.

Specifically, the German text's use of the word "Ablauf" (~"expiration") makes it clear that the border controls are to be lifted at midnight at the end of the 15th.

  • This is the correct interpretation. Jun 12, 2020 at 11:48
  • I find the ministers statement amazingly imprecise. Lifting the checks at the border does not mean that crossing is not illegal. They should say that they are lifting the restrictions. (Maybe some districts even habe a 2 week quarantine rule if you come from outside of germany, which you need to make sure yourself that you stick to it.). Just to make my point: it is (and always was) illegal to cross borders without ID/Passport, but it wasnt checked. So checks and rules are generally different.
    – lalala
    Jun 12, 2020 at 17:02
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    Not really relevant, but can anyone tell me where is the border between Germany and Italy? Jun 12, 2020 at 23:04
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    Update: twitter.com/BMISprecher/status/1271779671064092675, the border will "pratically" open on June 15.
    – xngtng
    Jun 13, 2020 at 22:18
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    The decision was probably made for the border to open on June 16, but there was some miscommunicaton with neighbouring countries who open up on June 15, even though they were supposed to open up on the same date based on the agreement made in early May.
    – xngtng
    Jun 13, 2020 at 22:20

As explained in the answer by Chris H, there is some confusion introduced due to the usage of the phrase "Ablauf des 15. Juni 2020 enden" in the official statement of the Germany Ministry of the Interior; since the word Ablauf roughly translates to "expiration" and hence implies the expiry of the day of June the 15th.

However, as for air travel, I have gotten a unanimous affirmative that Schengen citizens can enter Germany from (and including) June 15th 2020 without the need to prove "essential-travel" from the following authorities:

  1. German Embassy in Estonia.
  2. Frankfurt Airport Immigration.
  3. Munich Airport Helpdesk.


Disclaimer- the author of this answer has only functional knowledge of the German language.

I am myself not accepting this answer, since I can't prove in writing my confirmations. I guess, in the worst case, I'll wait until June 15th to see the outcome. Indeed, there were no border control measures in place since the beginning of the day today (i.e. June 15th since 00:00:00).

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    "Mit Ablauf des Tages X" is a set, idiomatic phrase in german and means at the end of the day. June 15th, 23:59:59 the ban is still in place, June 16th 0:00:00 the ban has ended. If those institutions answered you in this way, they are confused. The german embassy in Kopenhagen says " Zu den für Einreisen bis einschließlich 15. Juni 2020 geltenden Beschränkungen [...]" (highlight mine) and gets it right.
    – Polygnome
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:36
  • @Polygnome this answer acknowledges that meaning of the phrase and then says "however...." I therefore don't understand why you're raising this point.
    – phoog
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:44
  • @phoog Because the information coming thereafter is plain wrong. All official sources I can find always use the correct meaning. On the BMIs site you find statements such as "Auch die Quarantänebeschränkungen für Einreisende aus der EU entfallen nach dem 15. Juni.", again, after June 15th, not on June 15th. This answer is simply misleading.
    – Polygnome
    Jun 12, 2020 at 13:47
  • @Polygnome If the answer is incorrect, downvote it. Jun 12, 2020 at 14:10
  • It should be noted, that long after this answer was written, a last minute change was made to bring up the date by one day to so that it would correspond to the dates of Switzerland and France. The answer itsself is therefore still incorrect. Jun 15, 2020 at 21:39

The decision was a bit weird because Switzerland and France are opening up from the moment June 15 begins (midnight between 14 and 15 of June) and it was supposed to be a concerted effort, but the wording of German announcement and the interpretation by some German border police were indeed indicating the border should be open on 16th. But nonetheless, it caused huge confusion, especially for Basel.

But Germany has now decided to practically lift border control at the same time as Switzerland in a last-minute decision (or clarification), that is, Germany will stop enforcing border controls at internal borders from the beginning of the day on June 15:

Schweizer können nun doch ab Montag nach Deutschland Am Montag gehen die Grenzen zwischen der Schweiz und Deutschland auf. Das war bis diese Woche allen klar. Doch dann sorgte ein Tweet der Bundespolizei Baden-Württemberg für Verwirrung: Die Grenzen würden erst in der Nacht von Montag auf Dienstag geöffnet, «mit Ablauf des 15. Juni», hiess es da.

Das hätte einige Probleme bereitet, so hätten zum Beispiel Deutsche zwar in die Schweiz einreisen, aber nicht mehr ausreisen können. Nun löste der Sprecher des deutschen Innenministers Seehofer am Samstag ebenfalls auf Twitter die Verwirrung auf: Die Grenzkontrollen würden in der Nacht auf Montag «praktisch» eingestellt.


Twitter from German Ministry of Interior spokeperson:

Mit der Aufhebung der #COVID__19 bedingten Binnengrenzkontrollen entfällt auch das Erfordernis des triftigen Einreisegrundes. Auf Anweisung von BM #Seehofer wird die #Bundespolizei die #Grenzkontrollen an den Binnengrenzen zum 14.6.2020, 24 Uhr, praktisch einstellen.

With the abolition of the COVID-19-related internal border controls, the requirement of a valid reason for entry is also abolished. On the instructions of Minister Seehofer (German Minister of Interior), the Federal Police will practically lift border controls at the internal borders on 14.6.2020 at 24:00.


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