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Entry requirements for trade fair participants from abroad

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel is severely restricted. AUMA advocates a swift opening of the German borders for trade fair participants in order to restore the internationality of the leading German trade fairs.

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.

Open borders and the smoothest possible international travel are therefore essential for German trade fairs. International travel is severely restricted by the corona 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.

The following questions arise when trade fair participants from abroad are planning to enter Germany:

  • Is an entry possible at all?
  • Do trade fair participants need a visa?
  • Is a COVID-19 test necessary?
  • Do trade fair participants have to undergo quarantine after arriving in Germany?

Can foreign trade fair participants enter Germany?

It is generally possible for trade fair participants from abroad to enter Germany.

No travel restrictions apply for travellers from EU member states and from countries on the positive list

Trade fair participants from all other countries can also enter Germany, as they are considered business travellers with an urgent need to travel.

Trade fair participants from these countries must 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.

Do trade fair participants need a visa?

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

Quarantine obligation? Duty to test?

In Germany, quarantine regulations are issued by the individual federal states. According to these, people entering Germany from a risk area are currently generally exempt from the quarantine obligation if they enter with a negative corona test. Before entering the country, trade fair participants should check which quarantine and testing obligations apply in the respective federal state they are entering.

In future, quarantine will only be shortened and will no longer be waived, even if a negative corona test result is available on entry. Early termination of quarantine will in future be possible at the earliest by means of a test from the fifth day after entry. This was decided by the Federal Chancellor and the Minister Presidents of the federal states on 27 August 2020. This new rule is expected to be implemented and enter into force in the federal states at the beginning of October 2020. We will update the information on this website as soon as the new regulations are clear.

last update: 14 September 2020

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