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.
The 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered or tested) accompanied by the checking of the respective proof in accordance with Section 3 Coronavirus Protection Ordinance applies for access to Goethe University's buildings.
Staff are obliged to have their 3G proof with them when entering university buildings. There are both entry controls and a check and documentation of the proof by the supervisors.
Access to the buildings is restricted to the circle of people at the university (members and affiliates) who hold a GoetheCard, student ID card, etc. This ID is checked at the entrances to the buildings.
In accordance with Section 3 Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, persons who are not in possession of a GoetheCard, a student ID card issued by Goethe University, etc. but who need to enter the buildings for official reasons or operational requirements (research and teaching or to maintain technical operations, etc.) require an access permit, in addition to the respective 3G proof in accordance with Section 3 Coronavirus Protection Ordinance.
A template for the access permit, e.g. for external lecturers, fellows, other guests attending courses, assistants who are not Goethe University students, service providers, etc., can be found under “Forms". The permit must be filled out by the respective supervisor or the contracting party in the case of service providers, signed and then additionally countersigned and stamped by the dean's office or the division/department manager.
To the extent that their tasks and technical equipment allow, and as long as their physical presence at their workplace is not required, Goethe University employees should work remotely or from home in agreement with their supervisor until further notice. For remote work or working from home, the fixed daily worktime applies. Any costs incurred in working from home or remote work can be reimbursed via decentralised funds upon application, with an itemization of these costs and the supervisor's approval. Employees whose presence is required in particular to maintain teaching, administration and infrastructure operations may work on site at the university under strict adherence to RKI standards. This includes employees in technical and administrative personnel, researchers and university teaching staff. Researchers are requested to give priority to research work and tasks that can be carried out remotely or from home. For research projects on campus, RKI standards also apply.
Before commencing work, employees must be briefed (see documentation form under information sheets and documents).
Please note: Due to the current pandemic situation, most Goethe University employees are currently working from home or remotely. This may result in longer processing times and delays, as requests and orders that are not time-critical are first collected and then handled en bloc so that staff do not have to come to the university to deal with individual questions. We will make every effort to process individual queries within 10 working days.
For offices and evaluation rooms,
the rules of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS)
and the corresponding instructions of the State of Hesse as well as the
recommendations of the RKI apply until further notice: Offices, regardless of their
previous occupancy, may only be occupied by one person. If further capacities
are urgently needed on site, alternating work, i.e. alternaning between office and
home or mobile work and/or alternating use of the office by
employees should be organised. If occupancy by several employees is absolutely essential for official reasons
(maintaining operations and infrastructure / teaching and research), it
must be checked whether the use of additional technical protective measures is
necessary, and whether the ventilation requirements can be complied with.
If the use of rooms by several persons at the same time is unavoidable, the minimum area for each person in the room must not be less than 10 m², insofar as the activities to be carried out allow this.
If the activities to be carried out do not permit this (room occupancy requirement of 10m²/person), the employer must ensure equivalent protection of staff through other suitable protective measures. Equivalent protective measures are the provision of medical face masks or FFP2 masks, suitable partitions between the individuals present (especially in the case of workplaces located opposite each other) and compliance with ventilation requirements. Employees shall wear the masks provided by the employer.
Approval by Occupational Health and Safety at the university is necessary for this; supervisors must regularly compare work areas that have already been approved with the current specifications and, if necessary, checked and adjusted. Please direct enquiries to email@example.com.
In those units that are necessary for maintaining emergency operations, effective substitute regulations must be made in coordination with supervisors.
In accordance with the current coronavirus regulations of the State of Hessen, there is a general obligation to wear a medical mask (surgical mask or protective mask that meets the FFP2, KN95, N95 standard or comparable without an exhalation valve) in all buildings of Goethe University.
Areas/events with compulsory masks
In the case of workplaces/areas used by several employees at the same time and where it is not possible to comply with the rules (i.e. 1.5m minimum distance / 10m² per person and regular ventilation, e.g. when working on/with certain equipment, fume cupboards, in functional rooms), wearing a medical mask is obligatory (in the case of FFP2 masks, note the limit on wearing time!).
Areas/events without compulsory masks
In non-public areas (areas without public traffic, after taking one's seat, and observing the minimum distance and ventilation requirements):
Further information (German).
With the amendment of the Infection Protection Act, effective as per 24.11.2021, the revised SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Regulation will also apply until 19 March 2022.
Working from home
The employer is obliged to offer staff the possibility to undertake office work or comparable activities at home (i.e. to work from home), insofar as no compelling work-related reasons demand otherwise. As a general rule, comparable activities are those that can be done from home with the help of IT. Decisions on suitability or on any opposing reasons lie with the employer, i.e. the immediate supervisor. It is only possible to forego relocating these activities if there are compelling work-related reasons that prevent working from home. This must be justified in writing and the objective reasons presented to the authorities responsible upon request.
Supervisors should please note the following: The completed forms for establishing whether on-site working is necessary must be archived by the respective supervisor and kept in the respective department/group for possible queries from the authorities. Supervisors must instruct staff about their rights and obligations arising from the Infection Protection Act, the Coronavirus Protection Ordinances of the Federal State of Hessen and the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Regulation. Staff are obliged to confirm in writing that they acknowledge the special regulations regarding working from home. For this, please use the “Instruction" form in the Coronavirus Toolbox.
When offered the possibility to do so by their employer, staff are obliged to work from home if they can. Reasons opposing this can be, for example, lack of space, interruptions by third parties or inadequate technical equipment. Staff must explain their reasons to their supervisors in writing (on the “Instruction" form). Working from home and obligation to produce 3G proof Workplaces at home are not workplaces within the meaning of Section 28b Infection Protection Act, meaning that staff working exclusively from home are not subject to any corresponding obligation to present 3G proof. An entitlement to work from home for staff who are not vaccinated or have not recovered cannot be derived from the obligation to provide proof according to Section 28b Infection Protection Act.
In order to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection at work, employers continue to be obliged to provide employees who do not work exclusively at home (working from home/remote working) a rapid antigen test twice per calendar week so that SARS-CoV-2 pathogens are detected immediately. Employees who currently work exclusively from home or remotely in compliance with the coronavirus ordinance and whose work does not require them to be present in person are not entitled to rapid antigen tests from their employer.
Rapid tests at Goethe University
The State of Hesse provides rapid tests for employees of Hessian universities.
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 manufacturer's website (short instructions and video):
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 (see information on the obligation to wear a mask - in German) and the current instructions on work organisation in full in order to protect yourself and others. In-person events can only take place with an up-to-date hygiene concept.
Positive test result
You must self-quarantine immediately (i.e. without detours!). In addition, you must immediately inform your supervisor, the crisis team (firstname.lastname@example.org) as well as the health authority, and make an appointment for a PCR test as soon as possible to verify the result.
Departments/work groups, etc. can send bulk orders for rapid antigen tests to: email@example.com. Please provide a delivery address.
Please take particular note: special protective measures must be taken for employees who belong to a risk group according to RKI standards (information and advice from the RKI (in German)). A risk evaluation is very complex and deciding unambiguously whether a person belongs to a risk group is therefore not possible. A medical evaluation in the form of confirmation through a doctor's certificate (issued by a specialist or family physician) is therefore necessary. This is to be submitted to human resources on request. The doctor's certification certifies that you are “a person with an increased risk of severe COVID-19“ in accordance with the information and advice from the RKI(German). The exact diagnosis should not be stated. The certification will not be put on file.
In general, the supervisor will assess of the working conditions to determine which measures (in accordance with the BMAS "Umgang mit aufgrund der SARS-CoV-2-Epidemie besonders schutzbedürftigen Beschäftigten" (PDF in German)) are necessary to effectively protect employees who belong to a risk group from health risks associated with carrying out their work, especially with regard to the current infection situation.
Individuals with an increased risk of contracting COVID-19 severely must not have contacts with different members of the public / different customers. The options of allocating them their own private office, allowing them to work during off-peak hours, or assining them other tasks by transferring or delegating them elsewhere should be considered. Risk groups can (according to the recommendation of the BMAS (PDF – German), risk group 3 and higher “should") be granted the option of working remotely or from home, insofar as this is possible.
In order to maintain public safety and order, the options do not apply to employees in areas of state administration whose continued operation must be ensured without restriction even in the current situation (e.g. local IT infrastructure, workshops, caretaker services, etc.). The department head determines which areas in his or her department are constitute an exception. (Dienstanweisung zum Umgang mit dem Corona-Virus im Geschäftsbereich des Hessischen Ministeriums für Wissenschaft und Kunst (PDF)).
Procedures for implementing protective measures for employees who belong to a risk group and whose on-site work is absolutely necessary for maintaining continued and unrestricted operation, even in the current situation (e.g. for local IT infrastructure, workshops, caretaker services, repair and maintenance work, emergency and standby services, etc.):
If telework / working from home or remote work are not possible, especially due to the particular nature of the work, and on-site working with protective measures is not possible either, the employees in question are to be granted leave of abscence. This also applies for employees who live in the same household with individuals in need of care. Parents of children who, due to the closure of childcare facilities and schools, are unable to organise care for their children may also work remotely or from home in agreement with their immediate supervisor. Special regulations also apply for employees who are pregnant (PDF, in German)
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.
It was possible for high risk groups to be given preference and vaccinated early on when the vaccination was released for the second priority group (“High Priority"). There is therefore currently no reason that would speak against vaccinated high risk groups coming back to work on site; this also applies for persons in the high risk groups who have recovered. Irrespective of this, the transitional rule on remote working/working from home continues to apply (link in German).
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 rule.
For unvaccinated staff who belong to a high risk group, the provisions according to the recommendations of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs “Dealing with staff in need of special protection due to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic" and the rules of Goethe University continue to apply (link in German).
In such cases, a current medical certificate must be presented to the Staff Services Department.
Staff who belong to a high risk group but who, despite being vaccinated, are still at an increased risk of becoming severely ill in the event of a SARS-CoV-2 infection must also present a medical certificate.
Preference continues to be given to allowing employees the option of working from home or remotely in agreement with their supervisor. 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.
Information on the procedure, including the respective requirements and the necessary documentation, can be found here (in German).
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.
For persons returning from international risk areas, the currently valid regulations of Goethe University (see Home Quarantine and the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations) on testing and quarantine must be followed.
To support virtual teaching in the 2020 summer semester, Goethe University entered into a licence agreement with the provider Zoom, allowing Goethe University teaching staff and employees to use the service via their personal HRZ account. Since Zoom should be used exclusively for teaching, we request that users give priority to this use and that other services (in particular Vidyo) are used for other purposes (e.g. committee work). You can find further information at https://zoom.uni-frankfurt.de and https://lehre-sose2020.uni-frankfurt.de/
Committee meetings can also take place in person for compelling reasons and if this is not possible in a digital format. In such cases, a distancing and hygiene concept is required and must be implemented. Further information and templates can be found in the Coronavirus Toolbox.
External guests / experts etc. can also be admitted to committee meetings with special authorisation and after receiving
instructions / information beforehand. Whenever possible, digital meeting
formats are to be given priority.
Official travel within Germany is permitted for verifiable official reasons. Approval is granted by the supervisor and the dean's office after being reviewed.
Where possible, overnight stays should not take place. If this is unavoidable, all on-site infection control measures must be observed and the regulations for overnight stays of the federal states in question must be taken into consideration.
b) Official travel outside Germany Official travel to areas that are currently no longer classified as areas of variant of concern are only permitted in exceptional cases (e.g., the risk of serious adverse effects on the success of a scientific project, loss of research funding, a research topic that demands a specific time window, or the necessity of on-site presence). For approval by the responsible supervisors and the dean's office, it is necessary that they take into account the RKI standards and BMAS specifications (Official travel approval form). Regional travel restrictions and quarantine rules must also be followed.
No official travel may take place to regions with a travel warning from the Federal Foreign Office (exception: travel warning as high risk area) 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.
Persons who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 must observe a 10-day isolation at home without a special order from the public health department. Any individuals who have come into contact with an infected person must also observe a 10-day quarantine at home. It is possible to end isolation / quarantine after 7 days with a negative test result. Not affected by quarantine at home are household members / contacts, if a booster vaccination has been given, the second vaccination was given less than three months ago (newly vaccinated), an infection did not occur more than three months ago (newly recovered), or in the case of an infection that occurred longer ago, a vaccination was given in the last three months (vaccinated recovered).
Working on site, however, is not permitted for household members / contacts regardless of the immune status. In agreement with the crisis team (Krisenstab), working on site may be permitted earlier after a test has been performed. Anyone entering Germany from an international high risk area / area of variants of concern must also quarantine in accordance with current regulations. If you notice that you or members of your family are showing symptoms, please contact your doctor. The same obligation to quarantine applies analogously for students.
The following rules apply for all members of staff, regardless of whether or not they are vaccinated or have recovered.
During the period in which on-site work is not allowed, work should be conducted remotely or from home. If this is not possible, a paid leave of absence will be granted.
In order to break infection chains quickly, it should also be noted that the firstname.lastname@example.org must be informed if:
Employees are required to inform their supervisors and email@example.com without being asked. Verbal and written orders from the public health departments must also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our procedure and regulations are based on the RKI standards for contact tracing, as also applied by the public health departments.
Information on current legal requirements can be found on the pages of the Hessian state government: https://www.hessen.de/Handeln/Corona-in-Hessen/Quarantaene (in German)
When planning vacations, please be aware that the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) deems certain countries to be high risk areas / areas of variant of concern for SARS-CoV-2 infections.
When returning to Germany from an international high risk area / area of variants of concern, official quarantine at home must be observed in accordance with current regulations, and testing requirements must also be complied with. In addition, the current regulations of Goethe Universiy for working on site after returning from an international high risk area / area of variants of concern. (See the section on 'Reporting procedure in the event of a suspected infection / home quarantine due to an infection, an order from the public health department to quarantine at home or when entering the country from an international high risk area / area of variants of concern'.)
> Further details are available on the pages of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration (in German).
When planning your vacation – also out of consideration for your colleagues - we therefore ask you to factor in foreseeable quarantine periods. Employees must either take vacation or reduce overtime hours for the duration of a foreseeable quarantine if, after prior consultation with their supervisors, it is not possible to work remotely or from home. Employees only then hava a right to remuneration by the employer if quarantine must be observed through no fault of their own. Anyone travelling to a region deemed to be a high risk area / area of variants of concern accepts that this righ will become void.
If a country is not deemed to be a high risk area / area of variants of concern until after entry, the employee is not at fault. If possible, and in consultation with the supervisor, the quarantine period should then be used for remote work / working from home.
Tours on campus for external visitors too
According to the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance, guided tours outside on the campus grounds can take place with up to 25 persons without further restrictions. Approval from email@example.com is no longer necessary.
Guided tours in the university's buildings that are not part of teaching may only take place with a distancing and hygiene concept approved by firstname.lastname@example.org:
University buildings on the Westend, Bockenheim, Riedberg and Ginnheim campuses are still closed to the public, but they may be used by university members under strict observance of the RKI standards. This applies for all buildings in which work is carried out that is indispensable for the organisation of teaching, research and administration. These buildings may be entered using card keys or via staffed main entrances. Access is regulated individually at each location (e.g. locking authorisations, lists with the porters).
In-person events in university buildings take place in accordance with distancing and hygiene concepts that are also to be observed outside the event rooms. If distancing and hygiene rules are not followed, the respective representatives for domiciliary rights within the meaning of the House Rules (Section 3, 3) (in German) are authorised to issue a ban on further access to the campus.
Due to the access restrictions to Goethe University buildings, including the checking of 3G proof (2G on the premises of University Hospital Frankfurt), the following applies for University Library facilities:
Masks are compulsory at all times (even when seated).
Details of all available services can be found on the library's Service Monitor: www.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/corona/monitor.html
Catering facilities of the Studentenwerk Frankfurt am Main are open. Information on access requirements under corona conditions, on "Mensa to go" and "Mensa to stay", and on distancing and hygiene rules can be found at https://www.studentenwerkfrankfurt.de/en/eat-drink/current-information.
The café "Sturm & Drang" in the auditorium complex on the Westend Campus, operated by CampuService, is temporarily closed against the background of the pandemic (as of January 2022).
For courses at Goethe University in the 2021/22 winter semester, the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered or tested) will apply, respectively the 2G rule on the medical campus in Niederrad. In both cases, once proof has been checked and in compliance with the rule on compulsory masks, the rule on maintaining a minimum distance is lifted during courses. The corresponding hygiene concept must be implemented and adhered to. For study visits and short oral examinations, specific rules on distancing and hygiene concepts apply.
In-house university events in which staff are obliged to participate, the 3G rule applies. The minimum distance must be maintained, wearing a mask is obligatory even after teaking the seat. For such events, a hygiene concept must be implemented and adhered to.
For in-house events with external guests in which Goethe University staff are obliged to participate, the 3G rule applies to all participants. The minimum distance must be maintained, wearing a mask is obligatory even after teaking the seat. For such events, a hygiene concept must be submitted to email@example.com for checking and approval.
Such events may generally only take place in the 2021/22 winter semester if they are separate from curricular teaching activities in terms of venue and time schedule, i.e. from Monday to Friday after 8:00 pm and at the weekend. If it is ensured that no teaching activities are underway in the building at the same time, the event can also take place within the core hours.
Events with external guests, receptions, conferences and congresses in which Goethe University staff are not obliged to participate may no longer take place until further notice.
Until further notice, it is not possible to invite international guests (entering the country from abroad) to events in Goethe University buildings. The only exceptions here are events in Goethe University's guest houses and, in specific cases, curricular teaching activities with international lecturers:
Curricular teaching activities with international lecturers
To give students and members of Goethe University the possibility to exchange with external international speakers in the framework of the regular curriculum and thus to offer a face-to-face solution in this context as well, the Executive Board has decided to approve access to the university's buildings for international speakers under certain conditions:
For teaching activities in which the participation of individual international speakers is foreseen as part of the curriculum, a certificate authorising access to university buildings can be issued by way of exception via the respective department. This is conditional on the 2G rule being applied to the speaker and on no other external guests being granted access to the event.
Excluded are persons who at any time in the ten days prior to entering Germany have been in an area classified at the time of entry as a high-risk area or area of variants of concern.
The form for the access permit can be found on the coronavirus website in the instructions on access to Goethe University buildings.
The already valid rule for external persons (from within Germany) not in possession of a GoetheCard, a student ID card issued by Goethe University, etc., but who need to enter the buildings for official reasons or operational requirements (for research and teaching or to maintain technical operations, etc.) remains unaffected. At present, such persons also require an access permit, in addition to the respective 3G proof in accordance with Section 3 of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance.
Detailed specifications (distancing and hygiene concepts) for all in-person events can be found in the current respective templates for distancing and hygiene concepts in the Coronavirus Toolbox.
Pocket transmitters/headsets cannot be borrowed and used as long as the pandemic continues. It is not possible to disinfect the headsets.
Only handheld microphones can be used at the present time.
However, 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.
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.