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January 24 2022Legal affairs

Exhibitors and Visitors at Trade Fairs Can Enter Germany

latest updates 
24/01/22: Brazil, India, Japan, and more than 15 other countries are new high risk areas.
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.
16/01/22: Austria, Latvia, and more than 30 other countries are new high risk areas.
10/01/22: Ukraine is no longer high risk area. Israel, Sweden and UAE are among over 30 other countries new high risk areas.
04/01/22: All areas of variants of concern are downgraded to high risk areas.

It is generally possible for trade fair participants from abroad to enter Germany. This also applies to exhibitors and visitors from high risk areas and for participants who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19. However, entry to trade fair grounds may require proof of vaccination with a vaccine authorized in Germany or recovery from COVID-19. 

Regulations at a glance:

  • All travelers entering Germany need a negative test or vaccination certificate.
  • Entry from high risk areas is only possible after digital registration.
  • Vaccinated visitors and exhibitors from high risk areas are exempt from quarantine.
  • Unvaccinated trade fair participants from high risk areas may stay in Germany for up to five days without quarantine requirements.
  • Germany only recognizes full vaccination with Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna, Janssen and Nuvaxovid (Covovax).

High Risk Areas

The German government qualifies countries as either no risk areas, high risk areas or areas of variants of concern (see also List of risk areas and country search on No countries are areas of variants of concern.

Risk areas from a German perspective (see also list of risk areas).  
 As of 4 January 2022 Germany qualifies no countries as areas of variants of concern anymore.  

Entry Requirements for Trade Fair Participants at a Glance:

Entry requirements depend on the area, in which travelers have been for 10 days prior to entry.

No Quarantine Requirement for Trade Fair Participants 

No quarantine is necessary for travelers from no risk areas and vaccinated or recovered travelers from high risk areas.  

In general unvaccinated travelers from high risk areas have to quarantine themselves upon arrival in Germany. However, quarantine regulations provide for exceptions for trade fair participants entering Germany from high risk areas. They are business travelers whose entry is absolutely essential and cannot be postponed ((Section 6 (2) 1. c) of the COVID entry ordinance). For them a quarantine obligation does not apply if they stay for up to five days and provide a negative test result, as they are considered business travelers with an urgent need to travel.

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.

The document to proof the trade fair participation is to be carried during travel and presented in checks by the air carrier or by border police officers. 

Alternatively travelers from high risk areas can quarantine themselves upon entry and end quarantanization with a negative test result after five days of quarantine. 

Negative Test or Vaccination Certificate Mandatory

All travelers entering Germany have to provide proof of a negative test, vaccination or recovery. When entering Germany by plane travelers must must provide proof upon departure. The test has to be taken no more than 48 hours (for antigen tests) or 72 hours (PCR test) before arrival in Germany and is checked by the airlines before departure. Proof of a negative test must be available in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish in paper or digital form. (see also FAQ here)

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 Nuvaxovid (Covovax, 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 wh​en entering Germany.    

Registration Obligatory When Entering from Risk Areas

Travelers, who spent time in a high risk area or an area of variants of concern 10 days prior to entering Germany, have to fill in a digital registration on entry at . Please use the english version of the form, since the exemption list as shown below may not be complete in other languages.

Trade fair participants are persons, whose travel is absolutely essential and cannot be postponed. 

Entry also from non-EU Countries possible

Since trade fair participants qualify as business travelers with an urgent need to travel, European travel restrictions for travelers from non-EU countries do not apply. (see also III. No. 11 of the Communication of the Commission COM(2020) 686

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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