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In about one month, I will move from my current place of residence back to Germany, my country of citizenship. My flight includes a layover at London Heathrow airport (I will change planes).

Currently, the country I live in has not been declared a high-risk area by the RKI. Thus, if I were to take a direct flight from here to Germany, I would not need to fill in the digital entry registration. The UK on the other hand – especially England, especially London – is classified as a high-risk area. The landing page of the web form states:

You are not required to complete digital registration on entry if one of the following applies:

  • you only passed through a risk area without a stopover,

As the potentially legally more important German version uses a word (Zwischenaufenthalt) that I might consider closer to (overnight) stopover rather than layover, it’s leading me to assume it may not be required to fill in this form as I am only transiting for a couple of hours. On the other hand, one might also interpret this phrase as applying only to cases such as driving through a high-risk area without stopping. This leaves me a little unsure whether I should fill in the form or not.

(I tried going through the form as far as possible without committing – my arrival is still too far in the future – but I’m still unsure.)

As it is impossible for all of us to say what the situation will be in a month’s time: based on today’s information and regulations, would I have to fill in the digital entry registration if I arrive from a non-high-risk area but transit airside in a high-risk area?


Addendum: My flights via the UK have been cancelled but my replacement trip still brings me through a designated risk area. So the gist of the question is still valid although the actual text no longer applies.

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  • When you change planes you can mix with people of the country the airport is. I would suggest to be very careful and fill out that form if you can, even if you do not have to
    – Willeke
    Jan 12 at 9:09
  • 1
    I have had good experiences asking the Bundespolizei things like this on Twitter. They're typically very helpful.
    – simbabque
    Jan 12 at 9:33
  • @Willeke The problem is that if you fill out the form truthfully, you are lead onto a 'landing page' telling you that there is no need to fill out the form and from there, you can not submit it either. It is technically not possible to truthfully fill out the form and submit it if you are not required to do so. A problem is however that transport operators occasionally requires you to show that you have submitted the form to be checked in, even if it is not required and therefore not possible to do so. Jan 12 at 11:29
  • @Tor-EinarJarnbjo well, I can choose having been in the UK at which point it will allow me (and ask me!) to fill out the rest of it.
    – Jan
    Jan 12 at 11:37
  • @Jan Sure, but then you are de facto 'lying' about having been present in a risk area with 'been present' not used in the sense ment by the regulation. The form will be forwarded to the health authorities at your place of residence and you will be required to quarantine for 10 days, although there is no legal requirement for you to do so. Jan 12 at 11:54
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I actually didn't find any legislative definition of the terms "transit/Durchreise" and "stopover/Zwischenaufenthalt". Anyway, the Hessians Ministry for Society & Integration has a Q&A on their website. Close to the bottom there's the following question & answer (translation is mine):

Do I have to go into quarantine when travelling from a non-risk-area, but having to change planes during my flight?

No. The transit through a risk-area (specific: immediate change of planes at the airport) doesn't count as making a stay.

Still, I suggest you check with the local health authorities of the town you are travelling to, or the ministry of the federal state, whether they interpret the term "transit" similarly. Since you still have a lot of time, you could simply write an email.

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Interestingly and in contrast to Erik’s answer, today I found the following on the FAQ pages of the Federal Health Ministry:

What do I need to consider if my flight has a lay-over?

Transfer passengers with a lay-over at an airport are subject to the obligation to register if said airport is located in a risk area.

As federal law trumps state law, it seems I will be required to fill in the form. I will find out whether I will be required to quarantine when I arrive (that wouldn’t change much).

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