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I currently live in the UK and would like to ask how difficult is it in terms of practicalities to relocate to Germany during the current pandemic. Suppose that I have have a job offer in Germany and that I intend to self-quarantine upon arrival.

My first question is regarding quarantine site. Can I - a visitor from abroad - rent a short-term accommodation while looking for an apartment? Is it still possible to visit apartments in person? Is it feasible to proceed with necessary paperwork, i.e. register residency, open a bank account etc. or are opening hours severely limited?

What about the actual move - are removal vans (which could be considered non-essential transport I suppose) allowed to cross the border without any limitations?

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  • I will let someone more knowledgeable about Germany answer but note that restrictions have ebbed and flowed since the beginning of the pandemic. For example, the Netherlands had an exception to entry restrictions for highly skilled migrant for most of 2020 but recently suspended it. – Relaxed Feb 12 at 0:12
  • Just a small but important note: the Harwich - Cuxhaven ferry is no more, you need to get across to France, Belgium or the Netherlands and drive from there. This greatly complicates the problem. – chx Feb 13 at 7:48
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Can I - a visitor from abroad - rent a short-term accommodation while looking for an apartment?

Your main problem will be the short-term accommodation after arrival, since all hotels are closed to visitors.

Some form of cooperation with your future employer may be required to get an exception from the local health department for your initial stay in a hotel.

Is it still possible to visit apartments in person?

In theory yes.

When using real estate brokers, they will have to ensure that all contact rules are dealt with properly.

Is it feasible to proceed with necessary paperwork, i.e. register residency, open a bank account etc. or are opening hours severely limited?

To register residency, the online appointment fulfills the legal requirements, then it is a matter of waiting. Even before the pandemic, the waiting times were long.

My local bank still has normal opening hours where unavoidable personal contact is needed.

What about the actual move - are removal vans

As of 2021-01-11, professional transportation when moving is definitely allowed within Germany. It is their task to insure that local requirements (which may differ from state to state) are fullfilled.

Private assistance while moving (i.e. other private people helping while moving) is greatly restricted due to the 1 person outside your household rules.

Cross border moving conditions is not meantioned specifically.

Taking up residence is considered essential (at least for the immigration rules).

If you intend to drive yourself, you would have to have at least the electronic form which would state the address where you are staying after arrival.

A letter from your employer stating that you are

  • taking up employment
  • where you will be initially staying

would probably be useful to clarify any open questions when entering the country.

The present regulations have been extended until 2021-03-07.

What happens after that is anybody's guess.


Sources:

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  • Hotels are not closed for visitors, they are just not allowed to accept tourists. And the OP clearly stated that he is not going to be a tourist. – Andrey Sapegin Feb 14 at 12:42

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