As a result of the updated border control regulations in Germany, which have been in force since the beginning of November, the freedom of movement for inland navigation and its employees has been severely restricted in most federal states. After protests by the associations BÖB, BDB and BDS to the heads of government of all federal states, they are now opening up, one by one.

At the moment the situation is unfortunately very confusing and can change daily. It is therefore definitely a good idea to check with the relevant health authority of your destination port before you arrive.

  • In North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Baden-Württemberg and Brandenburg freedom of movement for inland waterway transporters has already been reintroduced, provided that precautions are taken to avoid contact and that all shore leave which is not absolutely necessary is avoided.
  • In most other federal states, quarantine is still mandatory if the ship or its crew has been in an area of risk for more than 72 hours.

The regulations are particularly strict in Bavaria, where one can stay for a maximum of 72 hours, if you come from a high-risk area. However, it has been announced that this ordnance will also be revised.

Appropriate protection and hygiene concepts must be observed everywhere. These may need to be transmitted to employees, who whilst at work might need to cross a border or go ashore.

Andrea Beckschäfer
23 November 2020