Any reason to postpone a trip to Germany in a month?
December 1, 2021 2:59 PM   Subscribe

What are the prospects for a New Year’s Eve vacation to Germany and Amsterdam from NYC? What is the chance we might have to quarantine, or is there any other important reason that we might want to postpone this trip?

Our flight to Germany is December 29th, then we are going to Amsterdam on the 5th, then back to NYC on January 8th.

We are in our mid-30s and otherwise healthy, and we both have three shots of Pfizer.

It looks like at the moment that we wouldn’t have to quarantine upon arrival in either Germany or Amsterdam. Does that seem likely to change? Is Germany basically open that it would make sense to vacation there?

Anything to know that might strongly suggest postponing this trip? Thanks!
posted by andoatnp to Travel & Transportation around Germany (13 answers total)
The number of new cases per day in Germany has been climbing steadily. I think it is hard to predict how much worse it will get and the impact of both the country's policies and your own safety as a tourist. Being vaccinated, if you get it the case will mostly likely be mild but there is a risk of needing medical care in a foreign country plus the risk of delayed return if you have to quarantine.
posted by metahawk at 3:07 PM on December 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Previous question in case you haven't seen it. It depends on the state you are visiting and also potentially on the city. Anti-corona measures are becoming stricter by the day.

One week ago, the German air force (Luftwaffe) began transport of patients from areas within Germany that are overwhelmed to areas that have hospital capacity.

Here's a state by state overview of the new rules as far as we know today. To sum it up generally, 2G rules almost everywhere (entry to shops, restaurants, etc. only for vaccinated or recovered). Some places 2G+ (only entry for vaccinated or recovered AND a current test required). Public gatherings and public consumption of alcohol forbidden in several states. Nightly curfews depending on local incidence rate.

Triage has so far not been necessary, but may become necessary in the near future.
posted by starfishprime at 3:36 PM on December 1, 2021 [2 favorites]

Also, clubs and dance halls closed, depending on state, in case that affects your New Years plans.
posted by starfishprime at 3:41 PM on December 1, 2021

Response by poster: I think we’ll be in Berlin the entire time.
posted by andoatnp at 3:45 PM on December 1, 2021

Here are Berlin's new rules. It is pretty open, relatively.
posted by starfishprime at 3:58 PM on December 1, 2021

The Netherlands is currently under lockdown "until at least Sunday 19 December. The government will reassess the situation on Tuesday 14 December. " because it is having the highest case rate and hospitalizations since this whole thing began.

Basically everything closes down at 5pm, the government is encouraging people to not be out after that as well, which doesn't make it a fun place to be right now. As to what things will be like by New Years - well, thats anyone's guess.
posted by vacapinta at 5:35 PM on December 1, 2021 [1 favorite]

Well, the German federal and state governments are discussing the next suite of measures today. So perhaps monitor and re-assess as you go?

I live in Switzerland and was supposed to travel to the UK last night for a long weekend, a long awaited family visit. Over the last week this went from being a complete non issue with minimal restrictions to being extremely annoying with requirements to self isolate on arrival and on returning home and several additional tests. I was all set to rearrange my plans for the days after my return to meet these requirements, annoying as they are. But one of the two households I'd meet with tested positive for Covid on Tuesday. The other household had contact with them last weekend, is therefore still in the incubation period. So I ended up re-booking everything for late March. I don't want to get the virus and I do have other plans for Xmas that would be badly derailed by testing positive myself next week.

I guess what I'm saying is - this is very fast moving and you have to be flexible. Figure out how late you can change your plans with minimal penalties and be prepared to change them.
posted by koahiatamadl at 1:59 AM on December 2, 2021 [3 favorites]

I live in the UK, my partner lives in Germany, for now. I would love to spend New Year's Eve with him in Berlin. After almost two years of trying to see each other in the face of continually changing travel regulations, I am sceptical at the moment. I am already making peace with the fact that I probably won't be permitted to enter his country without multi-day quarantine at minimum. Mindfulness meditation helps.

All this to say, the situation is hard to predict and your chances of having to quarantine are significant.
posted by guessthis at 8:32 AM on December 2, 2021 [1 favorite]

My sister is currently in Europe for family reasons and is increasingly worried about getting stuck there, not being able to come home to the US, and not being able to start a new job in the US in January.

If you have no money constraints, no job constraints, no family constraints, and could handle being locked down indefinitely in another country, then go for it. Otherwise, cancel the whole trip and make plans to go somewhere within the US, especially somewhere with low Covid rates. There's no way we can predict if the situation is going to worsen or improve in Germany and Holland in a month.
posted by mareli at 8:48 AM on December 2, 2021

I think there are better ways to spend New Years than worrying if I bought enough emergency health insurance to keep me alive in the unlikely but not zero chance that I get sick. I would travel for a pressing need like family, but I think it is irresponsible to travel into a place experiencing a COVID surge solely for recreation. On a holiday when people gather and drink and cheer and sing loudly in groups.
posted by Geckwoistmeinauto at 9:01 AM on December 2, 2021 [6 favorites]

My colleague was in Germany (not sure where exactly) last week and as noted above, reported that they’d been turned away from a bar because of not having a recent test, despite having the correct vaccine pass. So check if your vaccines are permitted (other colleagues have had trouble proving that if they got a different version to what’s approved there) and make sure if you go, you have access to the local correct test.
posted by conkystconk at 10:54 AM on December 2, 2021

Anything to know that might strongly suggest postponing this trip?

5.25 million people have died worldwide from covid; 102,000 of them in Germany. The pandemic is still raging and is currently surging in Germany. The crisis there is going from bad to worse and things are pretty grim. Yesterday, the country recorded its highest number of daily deaths in nine months, and they estimate that there will be around 6,000 covid patients in Germany's ICUs by Christmas. There's also new a new variant about which we know little, and the policy decision-making over the next few weeks and months will absolutely relate to what we learn about omicron.

In relation to their recent surge, Germany just announced that unvaccinated people will be put on full lockdown. They also proposed mandatory vaccinations, and vaccinated people will lose their status 9 months after getting their last shot in order to encourage boosters. I guess you should take that timeline into account, if you decide that going on vacation in a disaster area undergoing tremendous crisis and upheaval is for some reason necessary.
posted by twelve cent archie at 2:27 PM on December 2, 2021 [6 favorites]

OK, the results of the talks between federal and state governments include forbidding fireworks on New Years (to protect hospitals from the inevitable firework accidents). No public gatherings on New Years and January 1st nationwide. Clubs closed if the local incidence is above 350/100,000. Berlin is already above this level.
posted by starfishprime at 3:02 AM on December 3, 2021

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