British citizens turned away from flights to Germany despite evidence of residency

British nationals who live in Germany have been turned away from flights home, despite showing evidence of residency.

As of 1 January, when the Brexit transition period ended and the UK officially left the EU and became a third country, various member states have barred entry to British travellers unless they have an essential reason to be there or are already residents due to the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly all travel from the UK to Germany is banned until 6 January.

But some Britons who reside in Germany have reported problems with boarding flights.

Victoria Dobbie, who was due to fly from London Heathrow to Munich on 4 January after her original flight had been cancelled, rebooked, and cancelled again, tweeted: “I just got turned away by Lufthansa. I did not have my Anmeldung, but I had my rental contract, my work contract, my German tax number and my health insurance card. Lufthansa did not tell me prior to my flight that I needed the Anmeldung.”

The Anmeldung documentation (Meldebescheinigung), which proves you are registered at your German address, is not required to prove residency according to German authorities. 

German federal police have previously stated that anyone who doesn’t have a residence document – which many Brits don’t have – or their Anmeldung documentation can provide other proof of residency, such as employment or rental contracts.

A Lufthansa spokesperson told The Local that in “some seldom cases” there have been difficulties but that the “vast majority of travel by air from and to the UK is still running smoothly”.  

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Ms Dobbie eventually got home after staff on her next flight didn’t check any of her documents or Covid test result. “Absolutely unacceptable, I am very angry,” she said of the experience.

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UK In Germany, the British Embassy in Berlin, said: “To travel, you must prove residence in Germany. Most UK nationals will not yet have a residence document. We understand German authorities accept a range of credible documents (certificates of registration of address (Anmeldung), reports of residence (Aufenthaltsanzeige), job contracts, tenancy agreements).  

“Carry as much evidence as possible. You also must have the result of a negative coronavirus test taken less than 48 hours before entering Germany, in paper or electronic form. You cannot take this test as you enter Germany.”

The issue does not seem to be in being permitted entry into Germany by border police, but rather in being allowed to board flights from the UK in the first place.

Jim Tonge reported receiving an email from Ryanair stipulating that he needed a permanent resident permit in order to travel.

“I live in Germany legally with documentation, but not permanent resident permit. Pls advise, I’m stranded,” he tweeted.

Meanwhile, Joseph Broomfield was erroneously told by easyJet staff that he would be likely fined and turned away at the border because he didn’t have a residence permit.

He was flying from London Gatwick to Berlin on 1 January and had his Anmeldung with him, and managed to persuade the airline that he had enough required proof of residence to be let into Germany.

“The guy from easyJet was certain that I wouldn’t be allowed through the gates when I landed,” he told The Local. “Loads of people were turned away and might not have known.” 

The Foreign Office advice states: “In order to travel to Germany on exempt transportation from 1 January 2021 UK nationals resident in Germany will require proof of residence. If you are not yet in possession of a residence card, you will be required to provide evidence that you are resident in Germany.

“This could include an address registration certificate (Meldebescheinigung), a tenancy agreement, a utility bill in your name, or a certificate of application (Fiktionsbescheinigung).”

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