Where you can now be tested for free

When returning from vacation abroad, many travelers want to be certain: Have I been infected with Corona? Many airports and border areas in Germany now offer voluntary and free tests.

Federal Minister of Health Jens Spahn has one Corona test compulsory for travelers returning decided. Since August 8th, it has been valid for all people entering from risk areas. Some politicians criticize the fact that the tests have so far been free for travelers from risk areas. Both SPD General Secretary Lars Klingbeil and Hamburg’s First Mayor Peter Tschentscher (SPD) and Armin Laschet (CDU) argue that vacationers from risk areas should pay for the mandatory tests themselves.

This lists which countries are classified as risk areas Robert Koch Institute on his side.

Photo series with 10 pictures

What applies to travelers returning from risk areas from August 8th?

“If you don’t have a negative test, you have to be in quarantine for two weeks,” said Spahn at a press conference in Berlin. The reason is the increasing risk of new infections brought in by traveling from abroad.

“The test obligation comes with a fine,” Spahn continues. The decision on fines lies with the local authorities and can be up to 25,000 euros. Spahn emphasized that travelers from risk areas should already go into quarantine or have a current negative test result. The test must be carried out within 72 hours of entry.

The central criterion is in which states or regions there have been more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days.

In order to enforce the rules when entering by land, Spahn relies on random samples.

A general test obligation for all vacationers is not provided. That is the legal basis for this decision German Infection Protection Act.

Where can I get free corona tests at airports?

Many airports in Germany now offer free Corona tests for vacationers. But the same conditions do not apply everywhere. An overview.

Berlin airports

Those returning from so-called risk areas have the opportunity to be tested for the coronavirus in Terminal A of Berlin Tegel Airport. At Schönefeld Airport, returnees have the opportunity to be tested for the coronavirus in Terminal L. The tests at the airport are free and are currently also voluntary. The implementation is the responsibility of the Charité.

Bremen Airport

Test stations are currently being set up at Bremen Airport, which the health department will operate. The airport security staff advise on the tests and monitor the necessary security measures. The tests start on July 31st. The authorities pointed out that those tested would first have to go into quarantine. The test result is then usually communicated by telephone within 24 hours.

According to the health department, there are currently no plans to test returnees at Bremen Central Station.

Dortmund Airport

For travelers returning from risk areas, Dortmund Airport has had the opportunity to be examined free of charge in the Corona test center since July 25th.

Dusseldorf Airport

Düsseldorf Airport has been offering free examinations for the coronavirus since July 25 – but only for returnees from risk areas.

Erfurt airport

At Erfurt-Weimar Airport, returning travelers should be able to have themselves tested for the corona virus at a test site from August 15. The tests are free – regardless of whether the travelers come from risk areas or not.

Frankfurt / Main Airport

A second corona test center for travelers is to be built shortly at Frankfurt Airport. In contrast to the existing commercial facility of the company Centogene, where around 40,000 passengers have already been tested, the tests are to be offered there free of charge to travelers from risk areas. According to information from the German Press Agency, the new center will be operated by the German Red Cross.

Hamburg Airport

At Hamburg Airport, all travelers returning from risk areas should be tested for the corona virus free of charge immediately after their arrival. In addition to the airport, there are two test centers of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians in Hamburg in the districts of Farmsen-Berne and Altona. Another test center is to open at the main train station.

Hanover Airport

At Hanover Airport, returnees from risk areas have been able to get tested for the corona virus free of charge since July 30th. For this purpose, containers were set up in the short-term parking lots at Terminal C on Wednesday. At Hannover Airport, Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe (JUH) is in charge of organizing the tests.

Leipzig / Halle Airport

Since August 2nd, all air travelers have been able to have themselves tested for a possible corona infection voluntarily and free of charge at Leipzig / Halle Airport. The corona test center operated by Saxony is aimed at all returnees – regardless of where they live.

Cologne / Bonn Airport: Travelers are queuing at the Corona test center. (Source: Marius Becker / dpa)

Cologne / Bonn Airport

Those returning from vacation from risk areas can undergo corona tests free of charge at the airport in Cologne / Bonn. Around 600 corona swabs are currently being taken per day, said a city spokeswoman.

Memmingen Airport

A test center has also been set up at Allgäu Airport Memmingen. Those returning from the official risk areas can be tested here free of charge. The test center is not available to residents or departing holidaymakers.

Munich Airport

All passengers arriving at Munich Airport have been able to check out the corona virus free of charge since July 25th SARS-CoV-2 get tested. The airport offers tests that are subject to a fee for departing passengers. On the Theresienwiese, where the world-famous Oktoberfest usually takes place, there is a free test station for all Munich residents. The state of Bavaria bears the costs for this, online registration is mandatory.

Nuremberg Airport

At Nuremberg Airport, all travelers returning from vacation have been able to have a free corona test carried out since July 25th. This does not only apply to trips from risk areas.

Saarbrücken Airport

A corona test center is to be set up at Saarbrücken Airport in the second week of August. Monika Bachmann (CDU), Saar Health Minister, communicated this on August 5th in Saarbrücken. The free tests are voluntary for returnees who come from non-risk areas.

Stuttgart Airport

At Stuttgart Airport there is a test station next to Terminal 1. The cost of the voluntary tests are covered by the state. It is still unclear who can be tested there. Further test centers at the main train station and on the Autobahn 5 are to follow.

Where are there other test sites for travelers returning?

Many places in the German border areas are upgrading their test capacities for the many returning travelers in order to prevent the corona virus from spreading again. Train stations in cities are also preparing test sites.

Saarbrücken already has a corona test station in the city. On August 3, it was opened at the exhibition grounds for teachers and those returning to travel.

A test station has been opened on the A5 motorway in Baden-Württemberg on the border with France. At the Neuenburg-Ost car park, travelers returning from risk areas and other travelers can have themselves tested free of charge.

In Stuttgart, those returning from vacation can have themselves tested for the corona virus at the main train station.

There are also test stations in Bavaria – for example on the motorways at the major border crossings to Austria and at several main train stations. The insurance companies and the state government should bear the costs. Since July 30th, travelers can have themselves tested for the Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus at the Hochfelln-Nord rest area on Autobahn 8 near Bergen, among other places. People can also be tested for the virus at the main train stations in Munich and Nuremberg. According to Prime Minister Söder, there should be a total of around corona test centers throughout Bavaria.

After returning from abroad, Schleswig-Holsteiners have been able to have themselves tested for the new corona virus free of charge at five additional locations since July 31. The test centers are located in Kiel, Schleswig, Lübeck, Heide and Elmshorn. Test stations have also been set up at the port of Kiel, in Lübeck-Travemünde, the ferry port in Puttgarden on Fehmarn, at the Ellund service station at the border crossing to Denmark and at the bus station in Neumünster.

At the central bus station (ZOB) in Berlin, travelers returning from risk areas can have a corona smear test. The operator is the German Red Cross, which wants to open the station around the clock.

The first of four planned test stations has opened in the border town of Bitburg (Rhineland-Palatinate). Those returning from Rhineland-Palatinate can be tested there free of charge. The other three test stations are on motorways in the border region: On the A 60 coming from Belgium in the fever clinic in Bitburg, on the A 64 at the Markusberg service station and on the A65 in Landau in Grabengärten 5. You are daily from 8 – Open at 10 p.m., the test is compulsory for those returning from risk areas.


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