Unvaccinated passengers hoping to fly with Lufthansa from today will now need to either show a recent negative COVID-19 test or proof of recent recovery in order to board flights both to and from Germany as well as domestically.
The measures were introduced today after being approved by Germany’s federal government and state leaders last week. The rules cover all forms of public transport across Germany, including international and domestic flights along with busses, trains and subways.
The regulations are known locally as the ‘3G’ rules and are already used to deny access to certain public venues to people with a higher Coronavirus risk profile. In German, 3G stands for geimpft, genesen, oder getestet which translates as vaccinated, recovered or tested.
Passengers must have received the final dose in their COVID-19 vaccination schedule at least 14-days prior to travel to be classed as fully vaccinated. Lufthansa said it would accept either paper or digital proof and, for the time being at least, there is no requirement for boosters and no time limit from when passengers received their last shot.
If passengers aren’t fully vaccinated, they will need to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test. For departures from Germany, a PCR, LAMP or TMA test must be taken with 48-hours while cheaper antigen tests must be taken with 24 hours of departure.
The tests are valid for a further 24 hours on international flights bound for Germany.
The final option is for passengers who recently tested positive for COVID-19 and as such aren’t eligible to get vaccinated to show proof of natural immunity. Proof must be submitted in the form of a PCR, LAMP or TMA test certificate dated between 28-days and six months.
On domestic flights, the requirements will apply to all passengers aged six years and older, while the same rules will apply to passengers aged 12 years and older on international flights.
Germany is currently grappling with a worrying surge in COVID-19 infections and hospitalisations with a full national lockdown mooted to contain the spiralling situation. Infection rates are rising across Europe but Germany, with its low vaccination rate compared to some other EU nations, is headed for a potential crisis.
In the third quarter, Lufthansa posted a modest profit as travel demand bounced back during the summer. The airline has also seen a welcome rise in new bookings after the United States reopened to foreign tourists earlier this month.
Some of those gains are now under threat as Germans are advised to avoid mass gatherings, Christmas markets are cancelled work from home is once again encouraged. Earlier this week the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) told Americans, vaccinated or not, to avoid Germany citing pandemic fears for the advisory.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.