Arriving from the US into Germany: To avoid mandatory quarantine, Germany require a PCR tests that less then 48 hours old. That seems impossible to get where I live (10-14 days turn around time on the test). However Lufthansa in Frankfurt offers testing on arrival with a 6-8 hours to the result.

So I assume you go to the test center and then and 8 hours later there is a result. What happens if you test positive? We were planning to continue on the Berlin and could potentially quarantine there. How would we get there? How would you be tracked and registered? How would you find an accommodation that accepts people who are Covid positive ? What's the earliest/best way to get back to the US again?

  • 1
    If you test positive in Frankfurt, I wouldn't think they'd allow you travel on to Berlin, exposing everyone you meet along the way. That would seem to defeat the purpose. Jul 21, 2020 at 18:15
  • 1
    @NateEldredge according to germany.info/us-en/service/covid-19/2321562 there is a transit exception. Not sure whether this is valid for transit within Germany as well. The thing is: you can't stay at the test center, you have to go SOMEWHERE
    – Hilmar
    Jul 21, 2020 at 18:23
  • There’s a reference here frankfurt-airport.com/en/faqs/faq-coronavirus.html to ‘If there is reason to suspect a case of coronavirus in cross-border traffic into Germany, the Federal Police will inform the local health authorities immediately.’
    – Traveller
    Jul 21, 2020 at 19:54
  • If you test positive and you know it, your are liable toward all other passengers and people you get in contact (not only if you infect them), and you may commit a crime (risking other people live) This is not about travel, but general criminal law (independent of COVID19) Jul 22, 2020 at 9:15
  • @Traveller: the police is not involved here. The test is outside any secure area. Actually it's right next to the train station. I assume that the test staff will indeed inform health authorities (as they should). But what happens then? What will the health authorities actually do?
    – Hilmar
    Jul 22, 2020 at 20:50

1 Answer 1


It seems like every SARS-VoV2-Infektionsschutzverordnung (SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Ordinance) is based on the same template.

Relevant to your case is Part 3 of said Ordinance. § 9 (1) states

Furthermore, § 8(1) sentence 1 shall not apply to persons who enter the Federal Republic of Germany or the state of Berlin only for the purpose of transit; such persons shall immediately leave the territory of the state of Berlin by direct route. The necessary transit through the territory of the state of Berlin is permitted.

This is the same for every Federal State you would cross on your journey to Berlin. How exactly you get there is your own business. You could go by train (be aware of the compulsory-masks during the whole travel, incl. train stations) or - probably the better option when considering you might be infective - rent a car.

According to this article (question 4) the local health authorities (Gesundheitsamt) will be informed of any infections (in the past in Berlin arrivals had to it themselves, but maybe the process is more refined now). The Gesundheitsamt will also decide, what a "suitable acommodation" is (§ 8 (1) of the Ordinance cited above). I guess there are hotels or maybe still congress halls prepared for cases like yours.

Please also be aware that as per § 9 (3) of the Ordinance cited above you need both a negative test result and a medical certificate. According to the website of the test center the test itself will cost you 59 €, the verification of your ID 9 € and the medical certificate an additional 25 €. So, this is cheaper than a voluntary test for German citizens, nice to know.

As to your question of return, I don't think any airline will let you board if you are Covid-19-positive and/or should be under quarantine. You would have to wait out the whole two weeks.

That said, I would strongly advise against doing such travels without very important reasons. Both due to the possible quarantine and the risk of getting infected/infecting others. But you probably considered this.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .