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April 28 2022Legal affairs

Exhibitors and Visitors at Trade Fairs Can Enter Germany

‚Äčlatest updates 
03/04/22: Access restrictions for trade fairs are lifted.
03/03/22: All risk areas worldwide are eliminated.
21/01/22: Nuvaxovid (Covovax) is an authorised vaccine.
20/01/22: If vaccinated with Janssen, two (and no longer one) shots are necessary to qualify as fully vaccinated in Germany.

Trade fair participants from abroad can enter Germany, if they provide proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test upon entry. As of March 3, 2022 Germany no longer qualifies any countries as risk areas. Consequently all quarantine and registration obligations no longer apply.  

Regulations at a glance:

  • All travelers entering Germany need a vaccination, recovery or negative test certificate.
  • Germany only recognizes full vaccination with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen and Nuvaxovid (Novavax).

Germany qualifies no countries as risk areas.  

Negative Test, Vaccination, or Recovery Certificate Mandatory

All travelers entering Germany have to provide proof of a negative test, vaccination or recovery. 

A list of vaccines and necessary number of vaccine doses leading to a vaccinated status is available here. Recognized vaccines are so far: Pfizer/BioNTech (2 shots), Moderna (2 shots), Oxford/AstraZeneca (2 shots), Johnson&Johnson (2 shots) and Novavax (2 shots) . A complete list of all vaccine product names used abroad is available here. Vaccine booster shots are so far not required in order to be treated as vaccinated when entering Germany.   

If entering Germany with a negative test result, the test must be performed no earlier than 48 hours before arrival in Germany. As a rule, when calculating these time frames, the time of entry into Germany is decisive. In case of entry into Germany using a carrier and where the testing comprised a nucleic acid test, then the actual time or scheduled time of carrier departure is decisive. Nucleic acid amplification techniques (PCR, LAMP, TMA) and antigen tests are recognised. Antibody tests are not recognised as proof of testing.

Proof of vaccination or a negative test result must be available in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in paper or digital form. 

see also FAQ of German Health Ministry here 

Entry also from non-EU Countries possible

Trade fair participants from non-EU countries or countries not listed on the EU list of third countries may also enter Germany.

No entry restrictions apply for 

  • vaccinated travelers
  • trade fair participants

Trade fair participants qualify as business travelers with an urgent need to travel. Therefore for them European travel restrictions for travelers from non-EU countries do not apply even if they are not vaccinated. (see also III. No. 11 of the Communication of the Commission COM(2020) 686

Trade fair participants must then provide proof of their participation in the trade fair when applying for a visa or respectively when entering Germany:

  • Employees of exhibiting companies must present a confirmation of their participation in the fair from the trade fair organiser.
  • Visitors to the trade fair must present their entry ticket to the trade fair and additionally provide proof of an appointment for a business meeting with at least one exhibitor at the location at the trade fair.

Even non-vaccinated trade fair participants from non-EU countries can enter Germany.

Business Visa Are Still Necessary

Citizens from countries with visa requirement who travel to Germany to visit a trade fair or exhibit need a business visa. Employees of exhibiting companies are exempt from the visa fee.

German Trade Fairs are International

The competitive advantage of German trade fairs is their internationality: trade fairs bring the world markets to Germany. Around 60% of the approximately 180,000 exhibitors each year come from abroad, a third of them from countries outside Europe. Almost 30% of the 10 million visitors come from abroad. Therefore, AUMA advocates open borders for trade fair participants.

Open borders and the smoothest possible international travel are therefore essential for German trade fairs. International travel is partially restricted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this reason, trade fair participants from abroad must carefully inform themselves about the entry requirements before their trip.

Participants from non-EU countries play an important role at German trade fairs.

Due to the dynamic infection and thus also legal situation, trade fair participants should always inform themselves about the regulations currently applicable to them specifically before starting their journey. As a service of AUMA, the information is only intended to provide initial advice and therefore does not claim to be complete. Although the greatest possible care has been taken in the preparation of this information, AUMA disclaims all liability for the accuracy of its content.

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