Professional esports athletes allowed to enter Germany despite COVID-19 travel bans

With notice from October 6th, 2020 the German Federal Ministry of the Interior clarified, that professional athletes are allowed to enter Germany despite possible COVID-19 travel bans.

General Situation

Currently, entering Germany is exclusively allowed for travelers from countries of the European Union, some additional European countries (e.g. UK, Switzerland) and the so called “positive list” of international countries. Individuals seeking entry to Germany coming from countries not included in that list (e.g. United States, Russia, China, Turkey) must provide substantial reasons listed by the Ministry to be allowed to enter and stay in the country. More information are provided on a dedicated Ministry website.

Ministry notice regarding esports athletes

On request from the German Esports Federation ESBD, the Ministry clarified that exceptions for professional athletes also including esports athletes. That includes:

  • Professional esports athletes that are eligible for the German esports visa, introduced in March 2020.
  • Professional esports athletes that are participating in tournaments.
  • A supervising person for underaged professional esports players (under 18 years old).

All the above need to provide arguments for mandatory presence and to make credible statements about the economic necessity of the stay and why it cannot be postponed. To make the case, sufficient proof must be provided (documents stating the official commitment to an organization, players contracts etc.). The paperwork must be provided for the visa application as well as to be provided to border control upon entry.

Regardless of those requirements, if players come from risk areas the general obligations of quarantine are to be followed, in respect to individual state law.

Additional ESBD information

We urge players, teams, and tournament organizers to follow federal and state legislation to prevent COVID-19. We recommend exceeding the minimal legal requirements and deploy additional safety protocols and to protect your fellow players, production staff and people in Germany in general.

ESBD is assisting its member organizations in organizing and drafting the necessary paperwork. If you have any questions, please contact our visa team at