The international travel restrictions resulting from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic and the constantly changing entry regulations are currently causing uncertainty among foreign trade fair participants. Exhibitors and trade visitors from countries outside the European Union are particularly affected. This is because there are currently no travel restrictions for visitors from EU member states, Great Britain, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, as well as from countries on the so-called positive list (currently Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Georgia, Tunisia, Thailand and Uruguay, and probably soon Japan, South Korea and China).
Now the Federal Ministry of the Interior has clarified in its FAQ on the coronavirus that "entry of business travelers for the purpose of visiting trade fairs" is possible in principle, regardless of their country of origin, since both exhibitors and trade visitors are considered "business travelers with an urgent need to travel". The following documents must then be submitted to "substantiate the absolute necessity of entry":
- in the case of exhibitors, a confirmation of participation from the trade fair organizer;
- in the case of trade fair visitors, the admission ticket to the trade fair and confirmation from at least one trade fair exhibitor of an appointment for a business meeting on site at the trade fair.
Trade fair exhibitors and visitors from countries requiring a visa are still required to obtain a visa. According to information from the German Trade Fair Association AUMA, employees of exhibiting companies are exempt from the visa fee. General information on visa applications is available from the German Foreign Office (AA) on its website.
In addition, all trade fair participants entering Germany must observe the quarantine regulations of the respective federal states. As a rule, those entering from a risk area are currently exempt from the quarantine obligation if they can show a negative corona test that is not older than 48 hours. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) is constantly updating a list of countries that are classified as risk areas.
A note with a link to AUMA can also be found on the website of Messe Frankfurt at https://www.messefrankfurt.com/hygiene.