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On the ground in Germany

I arrived in Frankfurt about a week ago and have been to Leipzig and Dresden and just arrived in Berlin today. I was searching this site looking for clues about travel documents and real time conditions from people who had traveled recently so I thought I would “pay it forward” with my experiences so far.

CDC card has been checked quite a bit at hotels, restaurants and museums. I took Cameron Hewitts advice and laminated a color copy of it and that has worked fine. I showed my original at the airport but the copy in my pocket has saved lots of trips into my money belt.

German Identification papers were only checked at the airport in Frankfurt and my departure city in Houston (United Airlines). I have not been asked to see that by anyone since I left the airport.

Masks are being worn nearly 100% on all public transportation and inside all buildings. Outside very few people are wearing them.

The Luca app has only been in use once at a church and the guy did not really check it close. I downloaded it and showed him but there were so many other people who did not have the app and he was just having them fill out a paper instead.

So the net-net for me is as long as you have all three important things (passport, CDC card and Germany ID tracking document) you will have no problem at the airport or any hotel, restaurant or museum. I am here for a few more days if anything new occurs I will post an update.

Posted by
166 posts

Thanks Charles! We're planning on going in December and planning on taking a few laminated copies as well, so it's good to know they're acceptable for restaurants and such.

Posted by
13 posts

Great info! Did you need to wear N95 or FFP2 mask, or is disposable surgical accepted? I understand that cloth is not acceptable.
After Thanksgiving, we're visiting my son in Schöneck, Saxony. The trains are lengthy with connections from any major city. We're considering renting a car to travel between Schöneck, Dresden and Leipzig, however, my son advises against it. Being close to the Czech border, the approach to driving rules and practices are different, the roads are narrow, and will most likely be snow covered. Please share your experiences and observations, and any suggestions you may have.
Thank you! Looking forward to hearing more about your trip.

Posted by
345 posts

I would say most people are wearing the N95 type of masks with some surgical and very few if any cloth masks. I have seen very few personalized masks here like in the USA. Most all masks are white or black and solid colors. Very few if any prints.

Another thing I would say is that there are testing centers everywhere. Anyone worrying about finding a place to get a test to return to the USA should not worry about that.

Another “watch out” is if you are fully vaccinated you do NOT need to present a negative test to the hotel. One hotel had incorrectly sent me an email before hand stating I needed a test to check in but all hotels are under the same rules…either a CDC card or test. will work.

I would also add that I have been following all the walking tours and other information in the 2019 “pre Covid” RS guidebooks. Other than the expected change in museum hours and new construction zones, the walking tours still work just fine.

Posted by
913 posts

very few if any cloth masks

FFP2/N95 or surgical masks are what is currently required; cloth masks are not accepted. With a very few exceptions, like for children between 6 and 14 or something like that.

Masks with an exhalation valve are not accepted either - for obvious reasons.

Posted by
345 posts

I just returned from my Germany trip. I wanted to add that the lines in the Frankfurt airport as well as the USA for passport control and customs were the shortest I have ever experienced in any of my previous trips. They checked my COVID test for the right date (3 days prior) right kind and negative and they let me right through.

On my two week trip I went to Frankfurt, Fulda, Eisenach, Erfurt, Weimar, Leipzig, Dresden, Berlin, Hamburg, Luneberg, Hannoer, Koln and Remagen. If anyone has any follow up questions about what I saw in any of these individual towns, feel free to ask and I would be happy to share.

I would say that with the exception of Berlin, every other town had very light crowds. Some of those towns I felt like the only tourist. Berlin was not as crowded as the last time I was there but there were noticeably more people there.

Posted by
13 posts

Hey Charles, we are in Germany right now on our second week and having a blast. Just to be prepared, where do you recommend getting Covid tested prior to flying back to the USA from Frankfurt. I know the airport has testing, but everyone seems to recommend getting in Frankfurt the day before flying out. Just wondering if you had any recommendations. Thanks.

Posted by
12331 posts


Great that you went to Weimar, Lüneburg and Leipzig.

In past years, obviously pre-Corona visiting in the summer, I often felt and saw that I was the only US visitor in Weimar and Lüneburg., (both fascinating places ) apart from German tourists in German language tour groups, something I missed, or as individual visitors.

Even if not asked, I would show not only the passport at check-in (obviously) but also the CDC card as a courtesy

Posted by
345 posts

I happened to be in Hannover 72 hours before my flight so I did my test there at the train station. Although there was a testing location in the Frankfurt airport, I agree not to wait until the day of the flight to get the test because I wanted to have time to sort out Plan B had I tested positive. So I would suggest just looking around the train station a couple days before you come home and do it there. I saw testing locations all over the place so hopefully you can find one easily too.

Posted by
4697 posts

Thank you for all this, Charles, and for our PM exchange about my upcoming trip.