I live in Berlin, and flew back from the UK, arriving into Berlin Brandenburg airport at 17:55 on Sunday 8th November.

Since the UK is on the Robert Koch Institute list of high risk countries, I have been in isolation since I returned. My understanding is that this isolation will need to last ten days.

It's only a matter of a few hours, but officially, when do I need to stop being in quarantine/isolation? Ten days, so 240 hours, after which event?

  1. 1600, ten days after my plane left British soil,
  2. 1755, ten days after my plane arrived at gate in Germany,
  3. 1830, ten days after I passed through customs (and so 'truly' entered the country),
  4. 1945, ten days after I arrived at my flat (and thus would have entered isolation).
  5. 2400, meaning ten complete days after arrival,

[Note, I'm not planning on doing anything 'crazy' as soon as my isolation is over, but being able to leave the apartment to go for a walk, and to top up with fresh-food from a supermarket would be lovely!]

  • I do not know about other countries but in the UK your quarantaine starts to count midnight after arriving, so can be almost a day extra.
    – Willeke
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 9:06
  • If you want to reduce the inconvenience with the quarantine, your best option is to take a covid test on the fifth day after entry. If the result is negative, the quarantine requirement is revoked immediately and you don't have to count hours on the tenth day. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 10:00
  • I decided to forego testing since: i) Testing centres are under a lot of stress right now, and I am not a priority, ii) The earliest I could have taken a test was Saturday, and I doubt processing would have started until Monday morning, so even if I were to get a response with 24 hour processing, it would have only cut down the isolation period by a short period. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 10:39
  • Question is mostly moot. They are not going to check or verify any of this and in terms of actual transmission risk is doesn't make a difference. Last time I entered Germany from a risk area I was astonished how little control or oversight there was. Same going back to the US: we had to fill out an elaborate entry form but then no one even collected it!
    – Hilmar
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 12:41
  • @NeilTarrant Fair enough. Here in Bavaria, it seems possible to pay extra for a prioritized test. I assumed that option to be available in Berlin as well, but you might not even find it worthwile to pay extra to get out of the quarantine earlier. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 12:55

2 Answers 2


In general, your local Gesundheitsamt or health authority is responsible for defining the exact terms and conditions of your quarantine when ambiquities such as this exist. You should contact them for authorative information as opposed to relying on strangers on the internet.

In my past experience, my health authority interpreted the rule as the quarantine lasting 10 calendar days from the arrival day (including arrival day which may differ from the departure day.)

  • I'd say that thwy would probably neither know nir care but feel annoyed by the question.
    – guest
    Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 17:19

The quarantine period starts after entry from abroad

  • Event 2. 1755, ten days after my plane arrived at gate in Germany

Note: The quarantine can end earlier if a negative result is returned from a test taken 5 days after arrival.

Einreisen aus dem Ausland: Quarantäne und Meldepflichten
Wer über den Luft-, Land- oder Seeweg nach einem Aufenthalt in einem Risikogebiet in das Land Berlin einreist, muss sich unverzüglich nach der Einreise auf direktem Weg in die eigene Wohnung bzw. Haus oder eine andere geeignete Unterkunft begeben und sich dort für einen Zeitraum von zehn Tagen nach der Einreise ständig aufhalten.

Entry from abroad: quarantine and reporting requirements Anyone who enters the State of Berlin by air, land or sea after a stay in a risk area must go directly to their own apartment or house or other suitable accommodation immediately after entering and stay there for a period of time stay for ten days after entry.

Ende der Quarantänepflicht
Die Quarantäne kann frühestens fünf Tage nach der Einreise beendet werden. Voraussetzung hierfür ist, dass die betroffene Person einen negativen Test auf das Coronavirus vorweist, welcher frühestens am fünften Tag nach der Einreise durchgeführt wurde.

End of the quarantine obligation
The quarantine can be ended at the earliest five days after entry. The prerequisite for this is that the person concerned has a negative test for the coronavirus, which was carried out on the fifth day after entry at the earliest.

Regulations for persons entering Germany in connection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19:

If you are entering the Federal Republic of Germany by land,sea or air and have spent time in a risk area within the 10 days prior to entry, you are required – bar the exceptions listed below –to proceed directly to your own home, or other suitable accommodation, immediately after arrival and remain there exclusively for a period of 10 days after entry into the country (quarantine).

Each air passenger is required to fill out a form that contains the flight information and date of arrival (Field 4 Ankunftsdatum (date of arrival) of the Aussteigekarte, Anlage 1 (zu § 12 Absatz 1, Gesetz zur Durchführung der Internationalen Gesundheitsvorschriften (2005)) and is the date that will be sent on to (or retrieved from) the responsible health authority. This is a Federal law, based on international health regulations, which is binding for the states to follow in their individual Ordinances (Rechtsverordnungen).


  • This is simply wrong. The quarantine period starts when entering the state of Berlin and not when the plane stops at the airport gate in Germany. It is also an important part of the question if the quarantine requirement is for the following 10 days of for exactly 240 hours after the 'triggering' event. That is not considered at all in your answer. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 12:51
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbo Read the heading: Entry from abroad. Also § 8: this also applies to persons who first entered another state in the Federal Republic of Germany. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 13:02
  • 1
    Quarantine regulations are state law and may differ from the federal recommendations. Both the text you have quoted from the information page (but again obviously not even nearly understood) and the regulation in effect in Berlin, clearly state that entering the State of Berlin triggers the quarantine period. The difference is at least relevant if you enter Germany on one date and for example don't reach Berlin until the next day, or also in this case, if you think (also without legal reasoning) believe that the exact time is relevant. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 14:23
  • 2
    Landing at the Berlin Brandenburg Airport does in this case not trigger a quarantine requirement even if OP is coming from a risk are abroad, since the purpose of entering the State of Brandenburg is transit and OP is leaving the state on a direct route (Brandenburg regulation SARS-CoV-2-QuarV, § 2). He is therefore not subject to quarantine until he crosses the Brandenburg/Berlin state border. Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 14:29
  • 1
    This is completely irrelevant for the question and for this discussion, but the form you are now linking to has never been used during the corona situation. For passengers arriving by air, there was a different corona-specific form in use, but now registration has to be done online. The paper forms are not used anymore. What triggers the quarantine requirements is also the actual act of crossing a state border and not the filling out of the form. Arriving e.g. by car, you were until about a week ago not required to report anything at all, but of course still subject to quarantine if applicable Commented Nov 16, 2020 at 16:35

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