My mother (from the US) is currently visiting us in Berlin for a month. The last time we saw her and the rest of my family in the US was our visit there in Nov 2019, and she was coming 2-3 times per year pre-pandemic. She is of course fully vaccinated, and was required to show proof of first degree relationship to a resident of Germany before boarding the plane in NY (oddly, the negative COVID test was only required upon arrival in Germany, but not to leave NY), but the trip was relatively smooth and stress free (except for a delay and last minute gate change in FRA). As per the official rule, we provided her with a letter demonstrating the urgent need for her visit but the authorities did not ask to see it (even when she volunteered it). She was required to quarantine for 10 days at our flat in Berlin (reduced to 5 after presenting a negative COVID test to Gesundheitsamt taken earliest 2 days after arrival).
My family and I are traveling to NY in July, and either we'll be vaccinated before in DE (doubtful), or right when we arrive in the US. But under no circumstances am I cancelling this trip. Things are on their way to going back to normal in the US, variants or no variants, and the US is on track to vaccinate 90% of its population by July. By the time we get there vaccines will be available to anyone who wants one. So why not?
The pandemic won't be over any time soon, and we obviously can't rely on the DE authorities to make the situation any better as the default solution is lockdown lockdown lockdown, while hopelessly complicating and bureaucratizing the vaccination effort in the name of 'safety and trust' - and tossing away vaccines rather than deviating from the priority groups. If you're wondering why it's going so slowly, my neighbor (a doctor) told me about his experience of going to a Berlin vaccine center recently. He said there were more people working there than getting a vaccine, and that it took him an hour from when he entered, to when he exited. He said the place had the look and feel of a Bürgeramt, there was complicated signage everywhere, and he had to show papers at 3 different checkpoints each with 4-5 people standing around doing nothing - obviously more interested in checking you had the 'right documents' than vaccinating you. He even got admonished for not bringing his Impfpass, which he said he hadn't seen since he was a little boy. He was even required to watch a 15 min video warning him about the side effects of the vaccine. So, basically, the 'Bürgeramt' approach of needlessly complicating simple things to addressing a public health crisis. What could go wrong? In the US, they got it down to vaccinating 1 person every 1-2 minutes.
Anyway, if I can find a safe way to travel, and for my family to visit, while obeying the rules, then I'm going to do it. I'm not going to wait around and hope the authorities improve the situation, given their dreadful track record of dealing with this crisis thus far.