I have a ticket from Munich to Bangkok in late December. In order to board the flight I will need a recent covid test and a fit to fly certificate. There is a test centre at Munich airport that will do this for me.

I am a UK passport holder and will be travelling to Munich from Portugal. There are restrictions on entry to Germany but they don't apply if you are only in transit. The details of this exception are left up to the individual Länder.

I need to arrive in Munich well in advance of the flight to Bangkok, so that there's time to get the covid test done (unfortunately I can't get it done in Portugal). The Bangkok flight goes in the early afternoon, so in reality I would have to arrive in Munich the previous day. I am concerned that the authorities will not count that as transit and will send me straight back where I came from, or maybe to the UK.

There must be some form of regulation that defines what counts as "transit" in Bavaria. Can anybody point me to it? I have found this but as far as I can tell (with my GCSE German) it doesn't deal with the issue.

  • 1
    The latest edit of the title (how long) falsifies the question, since it is not about the amount of hours - but more about the availability of the next connection. The official term used is immediately which cannot be termed in hours for obvious reasons (the next connection could be in 2 or 20 hours). Dec 1, 2020 at 14:47
  • 1
    Is this a private trip, or a business trip? As far as I know, german hotels can still provide beds for business trips, maybe that would be an option?
    – Nico Haase
    Dec 1, 2020 at 16:06
  • Somewhat related: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/161171/…
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 1, 2020 at 19:18
  • @NicoHaase Private, but thanks for the suggestion.
    – raleigh
    Dec 2, 2020 at 10:24

2 Answers 2


This is, for you, a catch22 situation, since you must stay overnight to get a test result.

The rules for transit are the same for all german states:

Exception: transit
The obligation to self-isolate at home does not apply in the case of transit through Germany. In this case, however, you are obliged to leave Germany immediately. The specific regulations of the Länder apply.

In many German versions of this text, the following is often added:

Übernachtungen in Deutschland sind nicht möglich.

Overnight stays in Germany are not possible.

So entering, without transit, a quarantine is needed, but since you are not a resident (thus have no accommodation) a quarantine is not possible.

Hotels are presently also not an option:

According to the decision taken by the Federal and Länder Governments, from 2 November until at least 20 December hotels and other accommodation providers may only provide overnight accommodation to people whose travel is essential. It is no longer permitted to provide overnight accommodation for tourism purposes.

To my knowledge, there are no exceptions presently forseen to allow a stay at an airport hotel to await the result of a test so that one could then travel on.


  • Thanks very much. That's more or less what I thought and the whole thing seems risky. I may just have to get an alternative flight to Bangkok. I don't think I'd have to Qtine in Germany because the first thing I'd do at the airport is get a test and I'd wait in the airport for the results (~ 2hrs, I think). I don't mind Qtining anyway. The problem is that if I booked a hotel the booking would be a bit questionable, and if I didn't (just waited in the airport) I'd be saying that I was in transit but that's also questionable given that there'd be maybe 20hrs between flights.
    – raleigh
    Dec 1, 2020 at 10:40
  • @raleigh Maybe worth a call to an airport hotel to find out for sure. One would think that this constilation would be possible. Dec 1, 2020 at 10:47

As far as I can tell after quite a bit of research, there are no restrictions that would entirely prevent you from entry.

The Bavarian regulations (see §1 (1) and §2 (1)) only say that you have to quarantine yourself in an appropriate accomodation, and that this requirement does not apply for transit travellers who leave Bavariy "directly and immediately". I could not find any further clarification, but staying overnight probably does not count as "immediate", so you'll have to be in quarantine during this time. In practice the question is: where will you be allowed to stay overnight? You haven't mentioned any plans.

My suggestion would be:

  • fill out the digital entry registration.
  • contact one of the hotels directly at the airport to see if you can stay there overnight under these circumstances.
  • for additional reassurance, send emails to the testng center at the airport ([email protected]) and the Bavarian health office ([email protected]) and describe your plan.
  • Thanks very much. The plan was to stay at an airport hotel, but then I realised that hotels can't take bookings unless the travel is essential, so I thought I'd try and book one, or wait in the airport as a last resort. If challenged coming through immigration, I'm not sure emails from the hotel/test centre would help much, so the the whole thing looks risky unless there's something in black&w to say it's permitted, and at best it's a grey area. Either the registration gives a hotel address but the booking is questionable, or it states "transit" but it's Qable whether I'm really in transit.
    – raleigh
    Dec 1, 2020 at 10:33
  • If OP is moving to Thailand to work or live there (which is the only possible reason really, as short term tourism is banned there), the trip is essential.
    – JonathanReez
    Dec 1, 2020 at 19:17

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