Dear Goethe University employees: Below you can find information on occupational health and safety in relation to the coronavirus. This will, of course, be updated and extended as the situation develops.
July 14, 2022: The Executive Board has extended the term of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Measures for Employees until September 30, 2022, with the approval of the Staff Council. The binding Coronavirus protection measures thus continue to apply.
The Corona rules have largely been dropped and Goethe University is in attendance mode. Nevertheless, Goethe University would like to continue to provide its employees with the modern forms of work that have become more important under pandemic conditions, to an extent yet to be determined. The department and the Staff Council are therefore currently negotiating a service agreement on mobile working at Goethe University.
Until this agreement is concluded, the currently applicable transitional regulation on mobile working/working from home will continue to apply, at the longest until December 31, 2022.
The following transitional regulation applies:
The possibility for employees to carry out at least part of their activities remotely or from home exist under the following cumulative conditions, that
Good to know:
➔ Offers of the Hochschulrechenzentrum for the use of IT services from home: Information of the HRZ on the use of IT services from home.
When working on-site, the specifications in the following section "New Infection Protection Act and SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Regulation of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs" must be observed.
All employees must be instructed repeatedly by their supervisor before starting work and when the specifications change. (Form: Instruction Sheet for Employees / Guest Researchers).
With the Infection Protection Act ceasing to be in force as of 26.05.2022, the Executive Board of Goethe University has, on the basis of a risk assessment in accordance with §§ 5 and 6 of the German Occupational Health and Safety Act (ArbSchG), determined protective measures for employees staying in the buildings of Goethe University, in event rooms and all publicly accessible areas (sanitary rooms, break rooms, tea and coffee kitchens, canteens, elevators, etc.) as well as at the direct workplace (monitor/office workstations, in laboratories, workshops, archives, etc.).
Where masks are mandatory on the basis of the regulations at Goethe University, the masks are provided by the employer as personal protective equipment. For practical implementation, the departments, units, divisions, etc. are asked to order the medical masks (surgical masks or protective masks of the standards FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable without exhalation valve) decentrally, since it is best known locally where, how many and which masks are needed and here the direct issue can also take place. The costs will be covered centrally. The departments are requested to submit their orders for the masks and to submit the invoices in bundles via the chancellor towards the end of the year.
Effective as per 02.04.2022, the 3G requirement at the workplace has been eliminated for employees. This means that GU employees no longer have to prove that they have been vaccinated, recovered or tested when they work on site.
This does not apply to employees of FB16 at the Niederrad Campus (areas of patient care, outpatient clinics, etc.), where the more far-reaching regulations according to IfSG and the University Hospital apply:
Goethe University continues to offer its employees who do not work exclusively at home (working from home / remotely) a test (antigen rapid test AST) for direct pathogen detection of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus once per calendar week to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection at work.
According to the manufacturer, the test must be stored at 2 – 30 degrees and protected from sunlight. When using the test, it should be at room temperature (approx. 20 – 30 degrees). After using the reagents (bottle with buffer solution), make sure that they are tightly closed again. If used properly, the reagents have a shelf life of up to 2 years (according to the manufacturer).
You can find detailed information on how to use the SARS-CoV-2 antigen self-tests on the package insert.
What to do when you have the test result
Negative test result
Even after a negative test result, you must continue to observe the distancing and hygiene rules and the current instructions on work organisation in full in order to protect yourself and others.
Positive test result
There is an obligation to confirm the result immediately in a test center and to go immediately (i.e. without detours!) into domestic contact restriction in case of another positive result. The test center reports the result to the responsible health office. In addition, the respective supervisor and the crisis team (firstname.lastname@example.org) must be informed immediately. See section "Self-Isolation at Home / Quarantine / SARS-CoV-2 Infection" and the form "Record Sheet for Employers per Infection Protection Law".
Departments / work groups, etc. can send bulk orders for rapid antigen tests to: email@example.com. Please provide a delivery address.
To employees, who belong to a risk group, special protective measures continue to apply according to the regulations of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the regulations of Goethe University. https://www.bmas.de/DE/Service/Publikationen/arbeitsmedizinische-empfehlung-umgang-mit-schutzbeduerftigen.html
A medical evaluation in the form of confirmation through a doctor's certificate (issued by a specialist or family physician) is therefore necessary. The doctor's certification certifies that you are “a person with an increased risk of severe COVID-19. The exact diagnosis should not be stated. The certification will not be put on file.
If you belong to the risk group and are therefore at increased risk of severe disease progression from SARS-CoV-2 infection, the following procedure for implementing protective measures applies to you:
Please note: Recent studies show that all COVID-19 vaccines are very efficient and can prevent severe illness. Persons who have been vaccinated with one of these vaccines and belong to one of the high risk groups defined by the Robert Koch Institute are also protected very effectively against a SARS-CoV-2 infection or a severe progression of the disease.
High risk groups who are vaccinated or have recovered can thus resume their work on site under the same conditions and with the same protection measures that apply for all Goethe University staff, insofar as this is possible and necessary in accordance with No. 6 of the transitional regulation.
Special protective measures that supervisors must take into account when continuing to employ pregnant employees
If any of the activities above with special contact with people apply:
In agreement with the supervisor, the option of working from home or remotely may continue to be used insofar as this is possible and necessary in accordance with No. 6 of the transitional regulation.
If, due to the lifting of compulsory attendance at schools and/or the (partial) closure of childcare facilities, work cannot be performed or can only be performed in part due to the childcare situation, (partial) leave of absence is possible under certain conditions:
Updated information (01.02.2022) on the procedure, including the respective requirements and the necessary documentation, can be found here (in German).
Please follow the reporting procedure for confirmed infection with SARS-CoV-2 or suspected infection.
Vacation already approved is to be taken as planned – also for reasons of solidarity with other employees regarding the distribution of work and free time. There is no right to cancellation. In exceptional cases, a mutual agreement can be reached between employees and supervisors for a different vacation period if that employee's work is urgently needed during the originally planned vacation period.
When planning holidays, staff should bear in mind that the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) classifies certain countries to be areas of variant of concern for SARS-CoV-2 infections.
When returning from an international high-risk area or an area of variants of concern, staff must observe the official rules regarding home quarantine in accordance with the statutory regulations applicable at the time as well as the respective testing obligations.
> Further details are available on the pages of the Federal Ministry of Health.
We therefore request that you take foreseeable quarantine periods into account when planning holidays – also out of consideration for your colleagues and their interests. Staff are obliged to take leave or reduce overtime hours for the duration of foreseeable quarantine if, after prior consultation with their supervisor, it is not possible for them to work from home or remotely. Staff are only entitled to continued remuneration from the employer if they were obliged to quarantine through no fault of their own. Anyone who travels to a region designated by the Robert Koch Institute as a high-risk area / area of variants of concern accepts that this entitlement will become null and void.
If a country is not declared an area of variants of concern until after entry, there is no fault on the part of the member of staff. The quarantine period should then be used for remote work / working from home if possible and in consultation with the supervisor.
To support virtual teaching, Goethe University has concluded a licence agreement with the video conferencing provider Zoom. This contract allows Goethe University lecturers and staff to use the service with their personal HRZ account. The Zoom video conferencing system is still intended exclusively for use during teaching events. We therefore ask users to focus their needs on this and to use other services, in particular Vidyo or BigBlueButton (BBB), for other purposes (such as committee work or meetings). Further information can be found at:
The following regulatoins apply to all events at Goethe University in which Goethe University employees participate and whose attendance is mandatory (internal events, work meetings, advanced training, job interviews, etc., with the exception of teaching events):
The rules that apply to courses / for students can be found here (in German):
can take place again without restrictions in all buildings, also with national and international guests, in accordance with the current legal provisions.
can also be held again without restrictions.
Pocket transmitters / headsets can be borrowed and used. However, it should be remembered that it is not possible to disinfect the microphones, so there is a risk of contact infection.
Handheld microphones can still be used without restriction.
Additionally, the Media Technology staff at the University Computing Centre can help all faculties/teaching staff planning to purchase their own headsets at the faculty's expense.
Please simply order the headsets via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once the headsets have been purchased, the costs are charged via the cost transfer form. Please complete it (including the cost centre) and send it to email@example.com. The Accounts Department will then transfer the costs.
Headset models used in university buildings/rooms:
Should you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
No official travel may take place to regions with a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office or which have been classified as areas of variant of concern by the Robert Koch Institute. If a travel warning is issued by the Foreign Office or if it is classified as an area of variant of concern by the Robert Koch Institute after approval has been granted for official travel, the approval is deemed revoked and the journey may not be undertaken. Persons undertaking official travel are required to check travel warnings and risk classifications of areas of variant of concern for themselves prior to travelling.
If the travel destination is declared as an area of variant of concern during the journey itself (by either the RKI or the Foreign Office), employees may themselves decide whether to continue or terminate their visit.
To protect staff, the Executive Board of Goethe University has adopted additional measures in relation to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance of the Federal State of Hessen.
Goethe University employees, irrespective of their immune status (vaccinated / recovered / boosted), are not permitted to enter Goethe University premises if they:
Employees obliged to self-isolate at home by order of a public health department must present a negative test (either a RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test from an official testing centre) at the end of the self-isolation at home / quarantine period prior to resuming on-site work at the university.
Employees in whose household a member is obliged to self-isolate at home by order of a public health department may not work on site at the university. After the end of the self-isolation at home, it must be ensured that no infection is present (either a RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test from an official testing centre).
Information on warning messages on the Corona-Warn-App:
The Corona-Warn-App is informal only, so a warning message will have no effect on the work-related area.
In case of a confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection on the part of a member of staff or someone in their household, staff are obliged to provide the relevant information to email@example.com using the Record Sheet in the following circumstances.
For the period during which no on-site work is permitted, staff should work from home or remotely, where possible. If this is not possible, paid leave of absence will be granted.
If working from home is not possible due to illness, then there is an incapacity for work. As usual, the standard procedure for internal sick and health notifications applies, but the medical certificate can also be submitted in digital form. If timely submission of the medical certificate is not possible after the third day of illness due to a SARS-CoV-2 infection, the certificate must be submitted as soon as possible. Failure to submit the initial or follow-up certificate on time will not result in any consequences under labor law until further notice. In other respects, the standard procedure for internal sickness and health notifications will remain in place as usual. If there is no incapacity for work and there is no possibility to work from home or remotely, a leave of absence is granted.
Staff are obliged to inform their supervisor and firstname.lastname@example.org without being asked.
Information on current legal provisions can be found on the website of the Hessian state government (in German): https://www.hessen.de/Handeln/Corona-in-Hessen/Quarantaene
For any urgent further questions concerning official matters please send an email to email@example.com. Please include your full details and a telephone number for queries.
You can contact the offices for Occupational Health and Safety and for Biological Safety under 069/798-23688.