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Attending a German Trade Show Deemed Essential Travel

Andrea Doyle, Senior News Editor

GERMANY ­­— Trade show attendees from all countries can now enter Germany to attend shows. The German government has taken the lead in demonstrating the importance of trade shows in resurrecting the global economy in a COVID-19 world. Germany’s Ministry of the Interior has categorized entering the country to attend a trade show to be “essential travel.”

“UFI applauds this decision by the German government and the work of everyone involved in this, and sees this as a blueprint for other countries to follow,” Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director and CEO, UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry, said.

This means that trade show attendees from all countries can enter Germany to attend a show, subject to them having valid visas where needed. On entering Germany, exhibitors need to present proof of participation at the show; attendees need to present a show ticket and at least proof of one scheduled meeting at the show.

Related. Europe’s Ever-changing Trade Show Landscape in a COVID-19 World 

After being cleared to enter, all travelers are legally obliged to follow the quarantine regulations of the specific German state in which they are staying.

Kai Hattendorf, Managing Director and CEO, UFI, The Global Association of the Exhibition Industry

“Trade shows and business events are not part of the COVID problem, they are part of the COVID solution,” Hattendorf explains. “We need governments to understand that point, and Germany, one of the three biggest and most important markets for trade shows globally, is getting this.”

This is a vital step towards recovery. “Such a decision sends a signal to international exhibitors and attendees far and near that there is a way to come to a show,” Hattendorf adds. 

Trade show executives have been tirelessly advocating that trade shows are not generic mass gatherings but organized business events where the safety and health of attendees and exhibitors is of the utmost importance. Pre-emptive and preventative health and safety protocols are continually updated to protect those at the trade show.

Reach Kai Hattendorf at


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