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Welcome to the website of the Federal Foreign Office
IncludingBritish overseas territories
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The spread of COVID-19 continues to lead to restrictions in international air and travel traffic and impairment of public life.
Warnings are issued against unnecessary tourist travel to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British overseas territories including Gibraltar, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland remains affected by COVID-19. Local outbreaks are currently returning, including cases of more contagious variants. The United Kingdom is therefore again classified as a risk area from May 16, 2021.
Current and detailed figures are available from the Office for National Statistic and the British Government, for Scotland the Scottish Regional Government.
For the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the British overseas territories ("Overseas Territories") see Special features on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and in the overseas territories.
Entry and exit without a valid reason will be possible again from May 17, 2021, but different entry restrictions apply to entry into England.
Countries are divided into different colored categories (lists), from “green” to “amber” (currently Germany) to “red”.
- "Green": online registration, COVID-19 test before entry, 1 further test before / on day 2, no quarantine
- "Amber": Online registration, COVID-19 test before entry, 2 further tests before / on day 2 and on / after day 8 after entry, quarantine at home for 10 days with the option of free testing on day 5 after entry.
- "Red": online registration, test before entry, 2 further tests before / on day 2 and on / after day 8 after entry, hotel quarantine for 10 days.
Complete vaccination protection does not yet release you from the aforementioned obligations.
Similar entry restrictions will also apply in Scotland from May 17, 2021, and have been in effect in Wales since April 1, 2021 and in Northern Ireland since April 16, 2021.
A negative COVID-19 test must be presented on all entries to England from all countries with the exception of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Jersey and Guernsey, which must not be older than three days upon entry. PCR tests, RT lamp tests and antigen tests (“lateral flow test”) are recognized. The negative test certificate, in English, French or Spanish (a translation is not sufficient), must be presented before the start of the journey (before boarding the plane, ferry and train). Children under the age of 11 are exempt from the test. The UK government provides further details. Travelers entering England without a negative COVID-19 test will face a fine of at least £ 500.
Entrants to England and travelers traveling to Wales via England who have stayed in a country on the "red list" in the last 10 days prior to entry must, in addition to the COVID-19 test prior to entry, be in hotel quarantine for 10 days in Graduate from Great Britain. During the hotel stay, further tests will take place on the second and eighth day after entry. The hotel must be pre-booked through a UK government website. Accommodation, meals and testing during the quarantine cost £ 1,750. Information can be found on the UK Government website. Violations of the quarantine obligation in a hotel and also false information regarding the stay in a country on the "red list" in the 10 days before entry can be punished with a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Entrants to England and travelers traveling to Wales via England must book two additional tests in addition to the COVID-19 test prior to entry: one before or on the second day after entry and another test on or after the eighth day after entry . The booking must be proven before / upon entry and is subject to a fee. Carriers are not allowed to travel to the UK without proof of booking further tests after entry. Information on post-immigration testing and which providers are allowed can be found on the UK government website.
A compulsory COVID-19 test applies to all truck drivers entering England after entry for stays of more than 48 hours, every further 72 hours up to two additional tests.
When entering Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales, similar entry restrictions apply to all travelers.
For entries from Germany to England, and if you have not been in a country on the “red list” in the 10 days prior to entry, you have the option of exempting yourself from quarantine after five days. A negative COVID-19 test is required. The test is chargeable and must be performed at a laboratory licensed by the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Even if you are released from quarantine, the test on the eighth day remains mandatory. Expect costs of £ 80 to £ 300 / test. Please contact the UK government for more information.
The obligation to register electronically prior to entry applies to all those entering the country. This is intended to enable the British authorities to enable a follow-up in the event of discovered corona infections. Therefore, a lot of information including the means of transport and the place must be given. The electronic registration takes place exclusively on the Internet at the earliest 48 hours before entry. Upon entry, proof of registration must then be provided. Violations of the registration obligation can be punished with sensitive, regionally different fines. If you have any queries, please call the UK Government on +44 800 678 1767 Monday through Friday.
The quarantine does not apply to travelers who are coming from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and who have stayed there in the 14 days prior to entry.
In addition, there are exceptions to the aforementioned entry restrictions for a number of professions and activities.
Transit and onward travel
Transit through the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and onward travel from Northern Ireland to Ireland is permitted. Transit travelers must register electronically in advance, even if they are only in the transit area of an airport and present a negative COVID-19 test. Travelers who have been on the “red list” in a country in the 10 days prior to entry must go to a hotel quarantine.
The rules for onward travel from the United Kingdom to France, Belgium and the Netherlands have changed several times at short notice. When driving to France by vehicle, the French regulations, according to strict interpretation, do not allow transit. Entering the Netherlands by plane or car ferry is permitted under certain conditions, including transit through Belgium.
Air connections and in some cases also train and ferry traffic are thinned out. The Eurotunnel to France is open under certain conditions (including submission of a negative PCR test, self-assessment). Traveling with the Eurostar is subject to strict requirements. You can expect long waiting times at ports, at the Eurotunnel and at airports.
Restrictions in the country
There are regionally different contact restrictions. The rules and restrictions vary between England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. After several months of lockdown, the whole of Great Britain is in various opening phases.
For England the following rules apply:
Since May 17, 2021, up to 6 people or 2 households can meet again in closed rooms. Meetings of up to 30 people are allowed outside. Pubs, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, hotels and B & Bs are allowed to open.
The shops are open. Travel is allowed again. In principle, you are required to wear mouth and nose protection in public transport, taxis and supermarkets.
In Scotland there is a lockdown with considerable restrictions on movement that go beyond the level of recommendations and have the force of law. Entry into Scotland is only allowed in urgent cases. Details can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Wales will be at level 3 from May 17, 2021. Six people or two households are allowed to meet outside. Shops, pubs, restaurants, theaters, cinemas, hotels and B & Bs are allowed to open and travel within Wales is allowed.
In Northern Ireland Far-reaching restrictions apply. It is forbidden to meet other households, families or friends in your own apartment, unless you form a "bubble" with another household. It is allowed to meet up to six relatives from up to two households in your own garden, observing the hygiene and distance rules. With a few exceptions, private overnight stays are prohibited. Restaurants and pubs are closed except for delivery service and take-away sales. Non-essential stores must remain closed. Mouth and nose protection is mandatory in public transport, supermarkets and shops.
Please contact the Government of Northern Ireland for details of the rules and restrictions.
In principle, the general hygiene and distance rules in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland must be observed.
Special features on the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and the overseas territories
Entry restrictions apply to Guernsey and Alderney. Countries are divided into four different categories. Travelers from Category 4 countries must be quarantined for 21 days. Violations can result in a fine of £ 10,000. Contact the Guernsey authorities for more information.
Entrants to jersey must present a negative COVID-19 test upon entry, which must be done before departure, and then go into quarantine. With a few exceptions, travelers have to undergo another COVID-19 test on arrival on the fifth and tenth day after arrival. If the result of the test is negative on the tenth day after entry, the quarantine can be left. Travelers from countries with a low COVID-19 incidence are allowed to leave the quarantine early. Please contact the Jersey authorities for more information.
On the Isle of Man all travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test and go into a 21-day quarantine. This can be left prematurely if the results of further Covid-19 tests on the second, seventh and thirteenth day after entry are negative. Further information can be obtained from the authorities of the Isle of Man.
Gibraltar allows entry again from May 17, 2021. As in England, the countries from which the travelers come are divided into 3 colors. Each color has its own entry restrictions. Please contact the UK Government for more information.
One entry to Anguilla is not easily possible. Exceptions must be approved individually and can be requested online. Among other things, a negative COVID-19 test is required, which must be taken three to five days before your planned arrival. There is currently no ferry service to and from Marigot Port on St. Martin. There is also an obligation to quarantine for 10 to 14 days after arrival. Contact the Government of Anguilla for more information.
Entry to Bermuda is possible with restrictions. Travelers must obtain an entry permit a maximum of 72 hours before entering Bermuda. Mandatory COVID-19 tests are carried out upon entry and again four, eight and 14 days after entry. In addition, there is an obligation to complete a quarantine of at least four days after entry. Contact the Government of Bermuda for more information.
Entry to the British Virgin Islands is again possible via T B Lettsome International Airport, with the exception of travelers from the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic and South Africa. Entry must be registered online in the BVI portal; a negative COVID-19 test within five days prior to arrival is a prerequisite. A test will be carried out on arrival and a tracking bracelet must be worn for at least eight days. For at least four days, freedom of movement is limited to certain locations. If another test is negative, you can move freely on the islands. Entrants will have to pay US $ 175. If the test is positive, the quarantine is extended to 14 days and is organized and monitored by the government. Contact the British Virgin Islands Government for more information.
Cayman Islands airports (Cayman Islands) are closed until further notice. Entry is currently only permitted to citizens and residents of the Cayman Islands as well as their close family members and other visitors in a few exceptional cases. A negative PCR test must be presented before entry and an entry permit must be applied for here. There is a quarantine period of 14 days. Travel between islands is restricted. The government of the Cayman Islands provides the current COVID-19 case numbers and further information.
Entry to Montserrat is only possible via Antigua and is currently only allowed to citizens and residents of Montserrat. There is a quarantine period of 14 days. Further information is available from the government of Montserrat.
Entry to the Turks & Caicos Islands is also possible again for tourists. To enter the country, a negative PCR test that is no more than five days old must be presented and a travel authorization must be applied for. The travel authorization includes local health insurance. There is no quarantine requirement. The government of the Turks & Caicos Islands provides infection numbers and further information.
St. Helena & Dependencies With a few exceptions, only permits citizens and residents of St. Helena to enter. A negative COVID-19 test result received within 72 hours prior to entry and a 14-day quarantine after entry are required. Further information is available from the government of St. Helena.
- For information on entering Great Britain and Northern Ireland, always get the latest information from the relevant British representations in Germany.
- Keep up to date with the latest action in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
- Please note the extensive range of information available from the German representations in the United Kingdom.
- Please note that even the shortest stopovers in transit countries such as the Netherlands, Belgium and France result in a quarantine obligation, according to information from the British government.
- Before you start your journey, find out exactly about the applicable regulations for entry from the United Kingdom such as a negative PCR or antigen test (see e.g. information from the Netherlands, Belgium and France) and expect longer waiting times.
- Be sure to check with your airline about the current conditions of carriage and possible changes to the flight schedule.
- When returning to Germany, please note the valid entry restrictions such as registration, proof and, if applicable, quarantine regulations, inquire about the current conditions of carriage at the relevant company or your tour operator, and if you are entering from a risk area, contact the health department of your residence or travel agency Place of residence. Further information is available in our continuously updated info box on COVID-19 / Coronavirus.
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is no longer a member of the European Union. Tourists and short-term business travelers do not need a visa to enter the country for a stay of less than six months, even after January 1, 2021. In most other cases, travelers will need at least a visa for stays since January 1, 2021. Entries for au pairs, for example, are no longer allowed at all and for internships only under very limited conditions.
For information on entering Great Britain and Northern Ireland, please contact the relevant British representations in Germany.
Individual terrorist attacks with fatalities and injuries were carried out in Great Britain, most recently in May 2017 in Manchester, in early June 2017 on London Bridge and in Borough Market as well as in September 2017 in Parsons Green underground station and again in late November 2019 London Bridge in London, as well as in London in early February 2020.
For the whole of the United Kingdom (England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland), level 3 (out of 5) "Substancial" and Northern Ireland warning level 4, "Severe", applies to terrorism threats. The Joint Terrorism Analysis Center / Security Service (MI5) provides information on warning levels.
The UK authorities call for vigilance against the threat of terrorism, especially for suspicious bags on public transport and for other possible signs of terrorist acts.
- Be especially vigilant in busy locations and on special occasions.
- For information about security precautions, please contact the Home Office, Tel. +44 20 7035 4848 and the Terrorism-National-Emergency.
- For the current situation in relation to Northern Ireland, please contact the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) on +44 845 600 8000.
- Please note the worldwide safety information.
In Northern Ireland, local violence can flare up, especially during the marching season from mid-June to mid-August, with violent clashes by rival paramilitary groups and with security forces.
- Be careful.
- Always follow the instructions of security guards.
In large cities, especially in places popular with tourists and on public transport, petty crimes such as pickpockets and occasionally violent crimes occur. In individual districts of large cities, but especially in the British overseas territories, crime and propensity for violence can vary considerably.
- Check out the British Transport Police's helpful tips against pickpockets.
- Inquire with friends, business partners or in the hotel about the safety of areas that you do not know.
- Keep your money, ID, driver's license, air tickets and other important documents safe.
- If you prefer cashless payments, only take the cash you need for the day and no unnecessary valuables.
- In large crowds such as at airports, train stations, on the subway and other public transport, be extra vigilant and watch out for your valuables.
- Be skeptical of unfamiliar e-mails, profit notifications, offers and requests for help from alleged acquaintances. Do not disclose any data about yourself; if necessary, make sure yourself personally or contact the police.
Nature and climate
The climate on the mainland is moderate, in the overseas regions tropical or subtropical.
Extreme weather conditions with storms and heavy rain cannot be ruled out on the mainland.
In the North Atlantic and especially in the Caribbean, the hurricane season is from June to the end of November. Severe cyclones can then occur on Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, the Turks & Caicos Islands, Montserrat and Anguilla, with consequent significant flooding, landslides and failure of the power and communication networks.
Some British overseas territories such as St. Helena and Montserrat in particular are in a seismically active zone, which is why earthquakes and volcanic activity can occur.
Responsible diplomatic missions for the British overseas territories
The London embassy is the competent diplomatic mission for the overseas territories of the United Kingdom, but does not perform any consular tasks.
For Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat the German embassy in Port-of-Spain / Trinidad and Tobago has consular responsibility. In Tortola, British Virgin Islands, there is a German honorary consul whom travelers can turn to in emergencies.
For Bermuda the consulate general in New York / USA is consularly responsible. In Hamilton, Bermuda, there is a German honorary consul whom travelers can turn to in an emergency.
For Cayman Islands and Turks & Caicos Islands the German embassy in Kingston / Jamaica is consularly responsible.
For St. Helena & Dependencies the German Consulate General in Cape Town / South Africa has consular responsibility.
Infrastructure / traffic
Traffic routes may be impaired due to measures related to COVID-19 containment, see Current.
There is a tight network of domestic flights, rail and bus connections and the London Underground. The transport network of British overseas territories usually consists of bus services and taxis.
Find-Your-Great-Britain provides information on driving a car in Great Britain.
There is left-hand traffic. When driving your own vehicle, make sure that the headlights are set for this or that they are taped off accordingly.
The alcohol limit is 0.8, in Scotland 0.5.
Right of way is usually signposted with STOP or GIVE WAY or marked accordingly, whereby a double, white cross line means STOP, a double, broken left means slow approach.
At a few crossroads without signs, the main roads have priority; if necessary, the communication between road users on the order in which they should continue applies.
In the roundabout, traffic coming from the right has the right of way, unless otherwise marked, it should be threaded into the correct lane as early as possible. Flashing signs are already set when driving in according to the desired direction of travel.
Yellow markings on the edge of the lane mean no parking, a red no-stopping, and a solid red double line means no stopping and no parking.
Environmental zones - (Ultra) Low Emission Zone
When traveling in the Greater London area, larger vehicles (such as
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