• Michali Henig

And what about travelling and relocation?

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Back in March, when Corona just started, I thought it will end by June.

But then again, I never thought I will experience an empty Berlin. We all learn new things.

Now, it is clear that Corona will probably be in our lives for a long time. As time passes and the restrictions are slowly lifted, we understand the priorities and balance in this new, brave new world we live in: On the one hand, we want to re-set our lives into normality and cannot continue with the lock-down as the financial consequences of it are very bad for all of us, but on the other hand, we cannot allow Coronavirus to continue spreading.

So, we can move freely again - but may not throw parties. Children start returning to school - but part-time and in small groups. And the shops are open again - but we all must wear masks while shopping.

("In times of Corona, we may enjoy some distant socializing on our way to the doctor")

Speaking of masks, back in October, we were in Japan and got to experience the mask-wearing habits of the residents of Tokyo.

"They are not sick themselves" our host explained. "They think other people are sick and want to protect themselves from catching it".

We found this idea super, super strange. "This is ridiculous", I thought to myself. "viruses will not kill you, being exposed to them will just make your immune system stronger". I find it super funny that 6 months later, I took my sewing machine from the celler and started making masks for everyone I know.

We live in a strange world.

And one of the things I am mostly concerned about is travelling and relocation. Being a relocation consultant means that I regularly work with people who are moving to Germany. As long as the borders are closed, this is not possible. For now, the visa departments in German embassies around the world are closed, and entering Germany without a visa is not possible.

So what can we do?

First thing we need to understand is that we actually have two regulations to look at: the European regulation and the German one.

The European travel ban was extended until June 15th, 2020. This means that non-essential travels in and out of the European Union will are to be avoided. This also means, that non-EU citizens may only enter the EU if they have a long-term residence permit, or under special circumstances (for example, attending a funeral). As long as the EU-travel ban is there, finding flights to Europe can be complex. Clients have reported about their flights being cancelled or delayed. Others were not allowed on the plane, as airlines fears that non-EU citizens will be denyed entry.

The good news is that it seems like we are coming to the end of it. Germany announced the intention of lifting the German-travel ban (meaning: openning the German borders) after June 15th, 2020, in order to allow travelling within the EU.

(So, this year, we have the German Spargelzeit all to ourselves)

This will probably allow people to go on a summer vacation in Europe.

Will it also allow immigration and relocation? We do not know yet, as everything depends on the behavior of the virus and the developments of events. I believe this is a very good step on our way to re-start thinking about global mobility and about the future of work in a global world.

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