Information on Covid-19 in Germany
Competences briefly explained:
On March 22nd, 2020, the German government decided on measures for extended restrictions of social contacts in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and to keep the health care system efficient. The Federal Ministry of Health ("BMG") is responsible for decisions and their implementation in the field of healthcare. In Hesse, the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration and the local health authorities are responsible. The Federal Centre for Health Education ("BzgA") provides information on the coronavirus specifically for citizens. The Robert Koch Institute ("RKI") provides a professional assessment of the situation and advises the Federal Government and the specialist public. The Federal Ministry of the Interior ("BMI") and the Federal Police are responsible for entry regulations, border controls etc. The Federal Foreign Office provides advice on travel, safety and health for other countries and looks after German citizens abroad.
Please be sure to check with quality-assured information sources! On the pages mentioned above, information is usually also available in other languages.
Please be sure to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the responsible authorities. If necessary, special local measures may also have to be observed!
As of April 27th, 2020, citizens in Hessen are required to use a mouth and nose covering. Update June 15th
Measures to restrict social contacts: Binding since 22.03.2020 under threat of fines! The Hessian federal government is relaxing the coronavirus-based lockdown measures. You should keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters to others, there are exceptions for a group up to 10 people etc.
Hygiene measures: Information by the Federal Centre of Health Education in various languages
Residence & Travel
Residence & Travel
(last updated July 1st, 2020)
Important: Please take note of the current regulations of Goethe University!
If you are applying for a visa for the first time, there may be delays and changes in the procedure due to embassy closures. Please be sure to check with your embassy whether you need to submit any additional documents (e.g. proof of digital study, late start of lectures, etc.) or if deadlines have been changed.
If you have initially entered Germany without a visa (only for specific countries), but need to apply for a residence permit within 90 days, please submit a corresponding application to the Immigration Office in your place of residence using the channels provided by this office.
Please refer to the website of the Immigration Office responsible for you to find out how you can currently apply for or extend your residence permit. In spite of the situation, please make sure that you submit your application for a granting/extension of your residence permit in due time!
Immigration Office Frankfurt: FAQ Coronavirus (for English version, please scroll down)
The ABH FFM is open again but only by appointment. Entry is only permitted if you have an appointment, provide proof of it and wear a mouth-nose cover. Please come to the entrance (Rebstöcker Str. 4) 10 minutes before the appointment. You can make an appointment by e-mail, stating your first name, surname, date of birth, residential address, and request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigration Office Wetterau: Personal appointments via email: email@example.com
Immigration Office Offenbach: Personal appointments again since June 2nd. For an appointment, please send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have secured your livelihood through gainful employment in the past and this is demonstrably not possible at present due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, or if your parents have financed your livelihood and there are income restrictions on them due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Immigration Office may temporarily suspend this requirement for the extension of your residence permit. The extension of the scope of employment beyond 120 full / 240 half days is to be facilitated, but you must still obtain the approval of the Aliens Department in advance.
If you are currently residing outside of Germany and cannot return and your residence permit expires, please write an email to your Immigration Office, stating the reason for the delay (please get in touch with the Immigration Office before you exceed the 6-months). Please confirm your request with the responsible authorities! Please include a copy of your passport and your flight tickets (from your flight out of Germany), as well as the nearest German consulate or embassy. If your residence permit is extendable, you will receive a fictional certificate via mial. Hotline: 069 212 -42485/ -46486/ -31538 (Mon-Thu 8-16, Fr 8-12), email@example.com.
If, due to the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions in the teaching activities of the universities lead to an extension of the study period, these are to be considered as circumstances for which the student is not responsible in the individual case examination with regard to the 10-year period of study.
Here you will find further information on residence permit.
(last updated September 8th, 2020)
- At your own risk: The final decision about your entry is at the discretion of the border police at your point of entry. We cannot guarantee your entry and you are taking the decision to return at your own risk.
- Please do not enter if you are sick or were in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.
- Please note that the Federal Foreign Offices’ travel regulations and travel warning for single countries can change on short notice (on entry visa or quarantine regulations).
- For students currently in the EU, in countries associated with Schengen or the UK and Northern Ireland, the travel ban has been lifted.
Regulations for international students entering Germany for the Fall Semester 2020/21
If you have spent time in a risk area at any time within the 14 days prior to entering Germany, you are required to comply with certain safety precautions after your arrival. Risk areas are countries or regions that have an increased risk of infection with Covid-19. The Robert Koch Institute publishes a continuously updated list of risk areas.
Please comply with the following regulations if you enter Germany from a risk area:
- Please contact the local health office (“Gesundheitsamt”) that is responsible for your place of residence before you enter Germany.
If you live in Frankfurt, please send an E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: First- and surname, date of birth, your address in Frankfurt, phone number, the country you are arriving from, date of entry in Germany as well as any symptoms you may have. If you already possess a medical certificate issued within the 48 hours prior to your entry in Germany, please send it to the local health office as well.
- You are obliged to hand in a PCR-test result to the local health office within 14 days after your entry in Germany. You need to go to home quarantine until you receive a negative PCR-test result. Once you tested negative for an acute Covid-19 infection, you may leave/avoid home quarantine.
In principle, you are required to proceed to your own home or another suitable accommodation immediately after your arrival and remain in quarantine for a period of max. 14 days. You can use public transportation on your way to home quarantine.
Within these 14 days after your arrival in Germany, you need to take a RT-PCR test for an acute Covid-19 infection. We recommend taking the test right after your arrival in Germany at Frankfurt Airport. If the test result is negative, you are not required to go into home quarantine. Please send the test result to the local health office.
A PCR-test is mandatory if you enter Germany from a risk area. You can complete and hand in the medical certificate at the local health office either within 48 hours prior to your entry in Germany or within 14 days after your entry in Germany.
- PCR-test within 48 hours prior entering Germany
Option 1 is to complete a PCR-test in your home country/the country you currently are and send the result to the local health office in Germany within 48 hours prior to your entry.
Please note: the medical certificate needs to be issued in one of these countries; otherwise, it cannot be accepted. It must be issued within the 48 hours prior to your entry in Germany. Only certificates in German or English are valid.
- PCR-test after entering Germany
Option 2 is to complete a PCR-test within 14 days after entering Germany and send the result to the local health office. As long as you cannot demonstrate a negative PCR-test result, you need to stay in home quarantine. A negative PCR-test result automatically lifts quarantine regulations in the state of Hesse. Should you test positive for Covid-19, please inform the local health office and stay in home quarantine for 14 days.
At Frankfurt Airport (Fraport), there is a test centre where you can complete the RT-PCR test. We highly recommend to get tested right after your arrival at the airport in Germany.
Please register for the test in time. You usually receive the result within 6 to 8 hours. For further information on the test centre, please visit the following website of Lufthansa.
Medical certificates are free of costs within the first 72 hours after your arrival in Germany. You can complete them in the local health offices, at test centres (e.g. airports) or at any licenced physician.
Please always carry along your negative PCR-test as a confirmation that you do not need to be in quarantine.
For further information on entering Germany during the Covid-19 pandemic, please visit the website of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Foreign Office.
For further information see:
Students from third countries with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying who are staying in Germany
Students with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying from third countries who are staying in Germany
- Please contact the embassy of your home country in Germany and register with the crisis prevention instruments available there, if necessary.
- There are currently no restrictions on leaving the country, but there is a travel warning four countries outside of the EU/Schengen-Area from the Federal Foreign Office. Some countries have imposed entry bans or special controls. Please remember that you may not be able to return to Germany.
Residence & Study
Residence & Study
General conditions of study and teaching
Important information for first year students
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions! +++
Health insurance: international students from third countries who have enrolled but are currently not living in Germany and are attending digital (online) courses, are exempt from the obligation to have health insurance. Please note, that if you return to Germany within the semester and participate in seminars, you are obliged to have health insurance. According to § 186 Abs. 7 Satz 1 SGB, as soon as you enter Germany for the semester, this holds retroactively from the start of the semester/day of enrollment.
If you are not in Germany while enrolling, you still need a confirmation letter regarding your health insurance. A statutory health insurance can issue this letter if you send in an approval from the university and a short statement that you are currently residing outside of Germany
If you are considering withdrawing from your studies at the Goethe University due to the current situation, you can withdraw your enrolment until 31.10.2020.
For further information on special regulations for international applicants for the winter semester 2020/21 due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, click here.
General conditions of study and teaching
(last updated July 16th, 2020)
Please make sure you keep up to date on current developments on the page (only in German) General conditions of study and teaching in the SoSe 2020. Here you will find answers to questions such as lecture times, semester count, semesters on leave of absence, online teaching, examinations, deadlines for study sections, etc. and from there you will be directed to the central services of the university and its corona pages (e.g. library). In addition, please consult your faculties/departments/examination offices for specific information that applies to you.
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions! +++
Certificate for the necessity to be present: If you are currently residing outside of Germany and need a certificate to (re-)enter Germany for study- and/or research reasons at Goethe University, please send an email to: email@example.com
Exams: Students that are abroad due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions and cannot attend the examination, can withdraw their exam registration. Please contact your lecturer if and under which circumstances a comparable assignment is possible. The departments should presume less bureaucratic.
Semester dates: Goethe University is planning both digital and classroom-based seminars for this upcoming winter semester 2020/21 - in accordance with the current safety and hygiene measures.
The lecture period will start later than initially planned.
The winter semester lecture period 2020/2021:
Monday, 2. November 2020 – Sunday, 21. February 2021
Validation, RMV-Ticket, HRZ Account
To avoid having to travel to the campus to validate your Goethe Card, you can print out your own RMV ticket for the Hessian transport services, valid until September 30th, on your PC at home. To do this, you call up the address of the Goethe Card service ("Kartenservice", unfortunately not available in English) and log in with your HRZ account. The menu item 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' will then appear in the selection menu. Press "Starten" and a new window will appear. Again, press 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' on the right and the download will start. This provides you with a personalised form that you can print out yourself.
Tips & Links
Tips & Links
The Citizens Registrations Offices ("Bürgerämter") are open again. The suspended obligation to register is thus again in force without restriction. Please register immediately.