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September 21 2021Legal affairs

Entry Requirements for Trade Fair Participants from Abroad

​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.


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.

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 https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de). 


Entry to Germany is possible for trade fair participants from all over Europe


Do trade fair participants need a visa?

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.



Entry Requirements for Trade Fair Participants at a Glance:

Trade fair participants may enter Germany without quarantine obligation, since all areas worldwide are either no risk or high risk areas.


Digital Registration

A digital registration on entry is to be filled out by persons entering Germany, who spent time in the 10 days prior to entry in a high risk area or an area of variants of concern. The application can be reached via https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de .

Unvaccinated trade fair participants may enter Germany as business travellers without quarantine obligation. Vaccinated trade fair participants do not have to take advantage of this exemption, as they are not required to be quarantined anyway.



Negative Test / Vaccination / Recovery Requirement?

All travellers entering Germany have to provide proof of a negative test, vaccination or recovery. When entering Germany by plane travellers 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: Johnson&Johnson, Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca and Pfizer/BioNTech. (a complete list of all vaccine product names used abroad is available here)    

Quarantine Obligation? 

In general unvaccinated travellers 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 travellers 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 travellers 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. 

If trade fair participants from high risk areas are vaccinated or recovered from a COVID infection, quarantine obligations do not apply. Consequently their stay is not limited to 5 days. 

For travellers from areas of variants of concern (currently worldwide no area) a 14 day quarantine is always mandatory, even if vaccinated.  

Further information on travel regulations are also available at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/coronavirus/2317268.


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.

last update: 17 September 2021





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