Dear Goethe University employees: Below you will find information on coronavirus-compatible occupational health and safety, which will of course be updated and extended as the situation develops.
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 office in coordination with their supervisor until further notice. For remote work or work in a home office, the daily target working time applies. Any costs incurred for home office or remote work can be settled via decentralised funds upon application with an itemization of these costs and approval by the supervisor. Employees whose presence is required for the maintenance of teaching, administration and infrastructure operation may work on site at the university under strict observance of the RKI standards. This includes employees in technical operations and administration, 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 the campuses, 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 offices 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 processed en bloc. We will make every effort to process individual queries within 10 working days.
In those units that are necessary for maintaining emergency operations, effective substitute regulations must be made in coordination with supervisors.
With the amendment of the general decree of the City of Frankfurt dated 2.6.2021, the previous requirement to wear mouth-and-nose coverings in the outdoor spaces of the Westend Campus is no longer applicable due to further decreasing incidence values.
According to 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 standard FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable without an exhalation valve) in the buildings of Goethe University, as well as at all in-person events, including outside of buildings or in other buildings (e.g. at external events, rented rooms).
In the case of workplaces / areas used by several employees at the same time, where the minimum distance cannot be maintained (e.g. certain devices, fume cupboards, functional rooms), there is an obligation to wear FFP2 masks (observe wearing time limit!).
Further information (PDF) (German).
On 23 April 2021 the Hessian state government announced that people belonging to the third priority group according to the Federal Vaccination Ordinance may now register for a vaccination appointment. All state institutions are equally included in the third priority group according to § 4 para. 1 no. 4 letter b) of the Coronavirus Vaccination Ordinance. No prioritisation based on relevance will take place among the departments. As a result, it is now legally possible for the Ministry and the departments to issue the employer's certificate required for registration for the vaccination appointment to all state employees. Vaccination certificates from other states may from now on be confirmed by the offices responsible for personnel. It is necessary to keep a list for tracking purposes.
You may already now register for a vaccination appointment at the vaccination centre at your first place of residence without the employer's certificate. If no influence can be exerted on the scheduling of appointments and the vaccination appointment is during core working hours, the vaccination appointment shall be deemed to be working time in accordance with clause 5.2 of the service agreement on flexible working hours.
Please note: Even after vaccination, it continues to be important to maintain as much safety as possible in the coming weeks and months with the help of working from home, with the self-tests that are now available, and by continuing to adhere unconditionally to the distancing, hygiene, ventilation and mask rules. We all bear responsibility for ourselves and even more so for our colleagues. Please continue to be consistent and disciplined, careful and prudent.
The federal and state governments have once again agreed on extending the validity of the Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV) with effect from 1 July 2021 until 10 September 2021. With the amendment, employer obligation to offer home office or remote work options has been lifted. However, the following still applies:
The employer shall take all appropriate technical and organisational measures to reduce the number of people coming into contact with each other for work-related reasons. The simultaneous use of rooms by several persons shall be reduced to the minimum necessary for carrying out work.
Therefore, the above-mentioned Goethe University regulations on home office or remote working still apply, as do the specifications on the staffing of offices and other workplaces for employees working on-site.
Employers continue to be obligated to provide employees who do not work exclusively at home (home office/remote work) a self-testing (AST rapid antigen test) for direct detection of SARS-CoV-2 at least twice per calendar week in order to reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection at work. Employees who currently work principally from home in compliance with the Corona-ArbSchV and whose work does not require on-site attendance, do not have a claim to be provided with antigen rapid self-testing kits by their employer.
Rapid tests at Goethe University
The State of Hessen will provide rapid tests for the employees of Hessian universities.
According to the manufacturer, the test must be stored
between 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 about using the antigen self-tests for SARS-CoV-2 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, in order to protect yourself and others, the distance and hygiene rules (see information on the obligation to wear a mask - in German) and the current instructions on work organisation must continue to be observed in full. Face-to-face 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.
Please take special note: special protective measures must be taken for employees who belong to a risk group according to RKI standards (information and support by the RKI (German)). A risk evaluation is very complex, and an unambiguous designation of belonging to a risk group is therefore not possible. A medical evaluation in the form of a confirmation by doctor's certificate or attestation (issued by a specialist or family physician) is therefore necessary. This is to be submitted to human resources on request. The doctor's attestation certifies that you are “a person with an increased risk for a severe COVID-19 disease progression" in accordance with the information and support by the RKI (German). The precise diagnosis should not be stated. The attestation will not be put on file.
Basically, the supervisor will make an assessment of the working conditions to determine which measures (according to BMAS "Umgang mit aufgrund der SARS-CoV-2-Epidemie besonders schutzbedürftigen Beschäftigten" (PDF)) are necessary to effectively protect employees belonging to a risk group from health risks in connection with carrying out their work, especially with regard to the current infection situation.
Individuals with an increased risk for a severe COVID-19 disease progression may not have changing contacts with the general public / customers. The options of assigning them a private office, working during off-peak hours, or also the allocation of another activity in the context of redeployment or reassignment 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.
In order to maintain public safety and order, this options does not apply to employees in areas of the state administration whose continued operation must be ensured without restriction even in the current situation (e.g. local IT infrastructure, workshops, janitorial services, etc.). The department head determines which areas in his or her departmentare 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 the risk groups and whose on-site work is absolutely necessary for maintaining unrestricted continued operation, even in the current situation (e.g. for location-based IT infrastructure, workshops, caretaker services, repair and maintenance tasks, emergency and standby services, etc.):
If telework / home office or remote work are not possible, especially due to the particular nature of the work, and on-site working with protective measures is also not possible, the employees in question are to be released from work. This also applies to employees who live in the same household with individuals in need of care. Parents of children who due to the closure of day-care facilities and schools are unable to organise care for their children may also work remotely or from home in consultation with their immediate supervisor. Special regulations also apply for employees who are pregnant (PDF, German)
The option of working from home or remotely in coordination with one's supervisor shall continue to be given preference. 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.
You can find the process flow including the corresponding requirements and necessary documentation here (German).
If you are ill and the timely submission of a certificate of incapacity on the third day of illness is currently not possible, it should be submitted as soon as possible. Failing to submit the initial or subsequent certificate will not result in disciplinary action for the time being. In the event of prolonged illness, however, it is important that the certificate of incapacity is submitted to the personnel services department in a timely manner to ensure the continued payment of salary. The submission of the certificates as a scan is acceptable as a temporary solution; the originals may be sent afterward by post.
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 of cancellation. In exceptional cases, a mutual agreement can be made between employees and supervisors for a different vacation period if that employee's work is urgently needed during the originally planned vacation period.
Options provided by the University Computing Centre (HRZ) for using IT services from home:
For travellers returning from a high-risk area on official travel, the currently valid regulations on testing and quarantine observance must be followed: Themenbereich Quarantäne und Einreise | Hessisches Ministerium für Soziales und Integration (hessen.de) (German). Information on Hessian coronavirus regulations is also available in English here. An overview of quarantine regulations can be found here (German).
In support of virtual teaching in the Sommer 2020 semester, Goethe University has concluded a license 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 this use is given priority by users 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 sowie hier https://lehre-sose2020.uni-frankfurt.de/
Committee meetings can again be carried out in-person for compelling reasons if they are not possible in digital form. A distance and hygiene concept, coordinated in advance with the University Occupational Safety Department, is necessary to carry out these meetings. The distance and hygiene concept must always be created on the basis and in observance of the current instructions provided by Occupational Safety. Please send your questions about instructions and your concept to email@example.com.
As a rule, food should not be served during these meetings. In exceptional cases, individually packaged food and drinks may be offered, or an external caterer with an appropriate hygiene concept may be hired.
External guests / experts etc. may also take part in
committee meetings with a special access authorisation and after receiving
instructions / information beforehand. Whenever possible, a digital meeting
format is to be given priority.
Official travel is only possible in exceptional cases (e.g., the risk of serious adverse effects on the success of a scientific project, loss of research funding, a research object that demands a specific time window, or the necessity of on-site presence). Authorisation of official travel by the supervisor and dean's office in charge requires the advance review of the observance of the RKI standards and BMAS requirements. Regional travel restrictions and quarantine rules must also be followed. The completed checklist for official travel is to be submitted along with the application for official travel.
a) Official travel within Germany
Official travel within German to areas which have been classified as risk areas by the RKI should be avoided. Approval be granted by the supervisor and the dean's office only in exceptional cases which are necessary for verifiable official reasons and after being reviewed.
Overnight stays should not take place if possible. If this is unavoidable, the regulations of the states in questions for overnight stays must be taken into consideration in advance.
Official travel should be undertaken alone in an official or private vehicle. The use of a vehicle by more than one person is only allowed in justified exceptional cases. A mouth-and-nose covering must be worn by all occupants for the duration of the drive, and sufficient ventilation must be ensured.
If the use of public transportation cannot be avoided, current regulations such as the obligation to wear a mouth-and-nose covering, are to be observed.
b) Official travel outside of Germany
Official travel to areas that are currently no longer classified as risk areas are again possible on the basis of the other regulations regarding official travel at Goethe University. Official travel to "risk areas" are possible again under the condition that the travellers do not work on-site at Goethe University for 10 days after their return. The early resumption of on-site work is only possible with submission of a negative rapid antigen test at least seven days after entry, and n after consultation with firstname.lastname@example.org. This applies independently of the current Coronavirus Entry Regulation (CoronaEinreiseV) and the of vaccination status of the travellers.
No official travel may take place to regions with a travel warning from the foreign office or which have been classified as high-incidence areas / areas of variant of concern by the Robert Koch Institute. If a travel warning is issued by the foreign office, or it is classified as a high-incidence area / 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 trip may not be undertaken. Those undertaking official travel are required to check travel warnings and risk classifications on their own shortly before beginning travel.
If the official travel destination is declared a risk area / high-incidence area / area of variant of concern during the trip (by either the RKI or the foreign office), the employees may themselves decide whether the trip should be continued or aborted.
For travellers returning from a risk area / high-incidence area / area of variant of concern on official travel, the currently valid regulations on testing and quarantine observance must be followed: Themenbereich Quarantäne und Einreise | Hessisches Ministerium für Soziales und Integration (hessen.de) (German).
Individuals who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 must observe a 14-day quarantine without a special order from the public health department. This also applies to all persons living in the same household. Any individuals who have had contact with an infected person must also observe a 14-day quarantine at home. If children in the same household are subject to an official quarantine, working on site is not permitted during this period. Working on site is also not permitted if a red warning notification appears in the corona app. In coordination with the public health department and the crisis team (Krisenstab), working on-site may be permitted if negative test result (RT-PCR test) can be submitted. Anyone entering Germany from an international high-risk area must also observe a 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 quarantine rule applies analogously for students.
Reporting procedure in case of suspected infection / instruction by health office to observe at-home quarantine
Employees are unconditionally required to report the following cases:
In order to quickly break infection chains it should also be noted that the crisis team must informed when:
Employees are to inform their supervisors and the crisis team email@example.com or
069/798-23688) without being asked. Verbal and written orders from the health departments must also be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The basis of our procedure and our specifications are the RKI standards for contact tracing, as they are also applied by the health authorities
Vacation and quarantine risk
When planning upcoming vacations, please be aware that the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) deems certain countries to be high risk areas for SARS-CoV-2 infections.
When entering Germany from a high-risk area, an official at-home quarantine must be observed in accordance with current regulations, and testing requirements must also be complied with. In addition, the current regulations for working on site after returning from an international risk / high incidence / virus variant area must be observed.
Further details are on the pages of the Hessian Ministry for Social Affairs and Integration (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. A claim to remuneration by the employer only exists if the quarantine must be observed through no fault of the employee. Anyone traveling to a region that has been determined to be a high-risk area accepts that this claim will become void.
If a country is not deemed a high-risk area until after entry, no fault of the employee exists. If possible, and in consultation with the supervisor, the quarantine period should then be used for remote work / work from home.
Following the ongoing sinking of incidence values below the threshold of 100 on five consecutive days (starting on 18th May) which is decisive for the suspension of the “federal emergency brake", guided tours of the outdoor areas of Goethe University are again possible (see the explanations on Levels 1 + 2 below). However, guided tours inside the buildings are still not possible!
The following regulations apply for Level 1:
Level 2 – Incidence below 100 on 21 consecutive days or incidence of 50 on 5 consecutive days, starting on the next day:
The 18th of May 2021 was the first day with an incidence below 100 in Frankfurt. If this trend continues, the following applies:
on 24.05.2021. Guided
tours with non-university members possible under observance of distancing and hygiene concept, and documentation of registration, personal data, and negative test
Starting on 08.06.2021: Guided tours with non-university members possible under observance of distancing and hygiene concept, and documentation of registration and personal data.
Please note: If an incidence over 100 re-occurs on three consecutive days, the counting will begin again from the start, and the “federal emergency brake" will again go into effect.
The stated number of participants is only permitted if the minimum distance of 1.5 meters between all participants can be maintained throughout, and this must be enforced by the event organizers!
Following the ongoing sinking of incidence values below the threshold of 100 on five consecutive days (starting on 18th May) which is decisive for the suspension of the “federal emergency brake", the nightly curfew is no longer in force. Beginning on 27th May, previous building opening hours on all Goethe University locations are again in place. If there should again be changes in this regulation we will inform you at short notice. Changes may come into effect, for example, if the incidence again exceeds the threshold of 100 on three consecutive days. In that case, the previous night curfiew and shortened opening hours will again go into effect.
University buildings at the Westend, Bockenheim, Riedberg and Ginnheim locations are still closed to the public, but they may be used by university members under strict observance of the RKI standards. This applies to 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 key locks or staffed main entrances. Access is regulated individually at each location (e.g., through existing closures, lists with the porters).
Following the ongoing sinking of incidence values below the threshold of 100 on five consecutive days (starting on 18th May) which is decisive for the suspension of the “federal emergency brake", the nightly curfew is no longer in force. Beginning on 27th May, previous building opening hours on all Goethe University locations are again in place. This includes the opening hours of the university library. If there should again be changes in this regulation we will inform you at short notice. Changes may come into effect, for example, if the incidence again exceeds the threshold of 100 on three consecutive days. In that case, the previous night curfiew and shortened opening hours for the university library will again go into effect.
Media can be borrowed and returned on site at the university library (UB JCS); lending sevices are again available to all users. Face masks are obligatory in all buildings, i.e., entry is only allowed with a mouth-and-nose covering.
At all locations, access using the GoetheCard or library cards is monitored by security. Lending/returning and information desks are only accessible without ID at the main library. The number of people who can be in the rooms at the same time is limited at all locations. To enter the library centres for the humanities and the library of sport sciences, an entrance ticket has to be booked in advance using a ticket system, and the ticket shown at the admission control: https://buchung.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/zeit/
University library locations (UB JCS) can again be used to a limited extent by Goethe University students and employees as a place of study under compliance with the RKI standards and after advance booking of a workspace (https://buchung.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/zeit). Users who only have a library card are only admitted to the main library. Out of consideration for others, we ask all users who cannot use the timeslot they booked to please cancel it and make it available for someone else.
The campus book delivery service for Goethe University employees will continue to be provided: www.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/corona/buch.html .
You can find detailed information on all services currently being provided in the library's service monitor (German).
The café „Sturm & Drang“ operated by CampuService in the auditorium complex on the Westend Campus continues to be open from Monday through Friday between 8 and 4:30 pm. Cold and hot dishes are available for takeaway only. https://www.cafe-sturm-und-drang.de/de_de/startseite.html (German)
In view of the current development in the pandemic, the Studentenwerk also plans to reopen some canteen services on the Westend and Riedberg campuses:
The Studentenwerk would like to point out that the existing hygiene and distance rules continue to apply in their establishments and that, in addition to collecting contact data, university affiliation will also be monitored. This means that university members must be able to identify themselves as such, either with the Goethecard or, if this is not possible, by a confirmation letter from the university management. https://www.studentenwerkfrankfurt.de/aktuelles/detail/aktuelle-hinweise (German)
Courses may take place face-to-face within the framework of hybrid teaching. Priority continues to be given to written examinations, tests, laboratory activities, internships, practical and artistic training sections, one-day excursions, practical sport exercises and courses that are comparable in a narrow sense. You can find further information at these links: examinations | teaching (in German).
Until further notice, scientific meetings and conferences may only be conducted in digital form. Urgently required meetings for professional, official or business reasons with external participants from Germany are possible in compliance with the separate regulations according to the current CoKoBeV.
The current requirements for events with external participants include:
specifications can be found in the current templates for distance and hygiene
concepts in the coronavirus toolbox.
A distance and hygiene concept must be drawn up for each event, and a permit must be applied for with email@example.com in accordance with the specifications in the coronavirus toolbox (LINK).
Pocket transmitters / headsets can no longer be loaned for use during the pandemic. It is not possible to disinfect the microphones. At this time, only handheld microphones may be used. If you are planning a purchase from your own funds, you must first contact HRZ Medientechnik, as the transmitters have to be compatible with the infrastructure in the room: 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.
The State of Hessen has set up a hotline for citizens' questions regarding coronavirus, Tel.: 0800/555-4666, Monday to Friday, 08:00 to 20:00.