​Coronavirus — General Advice and Information

Latest update: 14 January 2021

On this page, please find general information on protective measures at Goethe University and links to further information on corona prevention and health

Mouth-and-nose coverings (community masks)

Due the changed pandemic situation, the city of Frankfurt decreed through a change on 27 October 2020 to the general ruling that a mandate to wear a mouth-and-nose covering also extends to public spaces outside of buildings beginning immediately. This also applies to the open spaces on Goethe University's Westend Campus. Here, too, the wearing of a mouth-and-nose covering is now mandatory for all persons on the premises.

In accordance with the updated Coronavirus Regulation of the State of Hessen which goes into effect on 1 December 2020, a mouth-and-nose covering must between worn in traffic areas, event rooms, meeting rooms and examination rooms at Goethe University.

According to the state regulation, the obligation to wear mouth-and-nose protection in work areas exists until “fixed seating has been taken." Below please find a practical guideline for implementing the mouth-and-nose covering requirement in various work areas:

Libraries and warehouses: 

If a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is strictly observed, there is no requirement to wear a mouth-and nose covering

  •   a. while carrying out work in sitting in offices or during meetings (once a seat has been taken)
  •   b. in counter areas that are equipped with a protective transparent barrier 
  •   c. in the warehouse areas 
  •   d. in the workshops
  •   e. for employees who are alone in an office, even if not sitting.

Even if a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is strictly observed a requirement to wear a mouth-and-nose covering exists 

  •   a. when the employee leaves the work area (i.e., all areas named under 1.) 
  •   b. until employees have taken their seats at a meeting 
  •   c. when visiting another office / area (until taking a seat) 
  •   d. when the work area is also used by others as a traffic area, such as when sorting books in front of elevators


Laboratories and workshops: 

  • Workspaces in laboratories are to be standardly occupied so that while taking the areas for moving about into consideration, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres (or 2.5 m for work spaces opposite each other) can be reliably observed. Employees may remove their mouth-and-nose coverings once they have reached their workspace.
  • Workspaces used by more than one employee (e.g., certain devices, function rooms) can only be used in alternation without a mouth-and-nose covering if their crossing pathways accommodate the minimum distance of 1.5 metres.
  • The ongoing use of workspaces in which the minimum distance cannot be ensured is not allowed even with a mouth-and-nose covering. The short-term use of workspaces (e.g. elevators) in which the minimum distance cannot be observed is possible with a mouth-and-nose covering.
  • All corridors are considered traffic areas in the context of the Corona Regulation on Restricting Contact and Operations and the wearing of a mouth-and-nose covering is required.
  • In individual cases, structural preconditions may exist to integrate a corridor area into a workspace in such a way that paths do not cross (e.g., separated laboratory areas without through traffic, radiation protection areas, S2 laboratory areas). This is to be ensured by technical measures (door locking systems), or signage and instructions. In such cases, the mouth-and-nose covering may also be removed.

Offices: 

  • There is no requirement to wear a mouth-and-nose covering in single offices; the office qualifies as work area.
  • In offices with double occupancy, or where there is traffic with the public, there is a requirement to wear a mouth-and-nose covering until taking a seat.

Statement of the coordination group for biological work substances of the DGUV (PDF) (German)

Further information (PDF) (German).

Hygiene to prevent virus spread

To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, the instructions of the Robert Koch Institute to prevent infection must be observed: 

  • Hand hygiene (wash hands with soap for at least 20 seconds), 
  • Maintain distance (at least 2 metres),  
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette (cough and sneeze into crook of arm). 

You can find the 10 most important hygiene tips from the Federal Centre for Health Education here. Further instruction on hygiene and occupational safety can be found here (German).

Campus

The ban on gatherings (German) must also be observed outside of university buildings. In public areas, a minimum distance of 1.5 metres is to be maintained. Public activities that are conducive to endangering this distancing rule, such as celebrations, grilling or picnics, are prohibited on Goethe University campuses, regardless of the number of people involved.


If distance and hygiene rules are not followed, the respective representatives for domiciliary rights in terms of the house rules (§3; 3) (German) are authorized to issue a ban on further access to the campus.

Buildings: limited access

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).

In-person events in university buildings are carried out according to distance and hygiene concepts that are also to be observed outside of the event rooms. If distance and hygiene regulations are not followed, the respective representatives for domiciliary rights in terms of the house rules (§ 3, 3) (German) are authorized to issue a ban on further access to the campus.


Canteens

All canteens will close beginning on 16 December 2020 and are expected to remain closed until 15 January 2021. The Studentenwerk Frankfurt will go on Christmas break starting on 23 December 2020.

The café “Sturm & Drang”, operated by CampuService on the Westend Campus, will be closed from 19 December 2020 through 10 January 2021.

University Sports

Several university sport activities are meanwhile taking place again on site at the Ginnheim sport campus. In particular, team and contact sports with up to 10 people are again possible. The swimming pool has also been reopened. The Zentrum für Hochschulsport (ZfH) (Centre for University Sports) also continues to offer online sports classes. Information can be found here: https://www.uni-frankfurt.de/51726752/Sportangebot, German.

Events

In accordance with the updated Coronavirus Regulation of the State of Hessen from 11 Januar 2021 for reducing the currently high number of coronavirus infections, no additional events may be permitted in addition to the in-person events and courses which have already been approved. Those teacing courses are requested to check already approved courses regarding their necessity of being held in-person and, if possible, to continue them exclusively in digital form. Scientific meetings and conferences may also currently only be conducted in digital form since these could contribute to an increase in the number of contacts and thus also to an increase in infections due to the likely interest both domestically and abroad and the travel this would entail.

Only practical events such as laboratory activities, internships, practical and artistic sections, one-day excursions, practical sports exercises and events comparable in a narrower sense are exempt from this regulation. This also applies in particular to written examinations and examinations, which may continue to take place in person. Information on these can be found under the following links: examinations teaching (in German).

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: mt-support@uni-frankfurt.de

University of the Third Age (U3L)

The university of the third age (U3L) offers a digital vent programme for the Winter 2020/21 Semester beginning 2 November 2020. An overview of events and information on participation will be available beginning 2 September on the U3L website (German). Please also note the U3L information letter (German) regarding current availability of the business office. Please send an email to: u3l@em.uni-frankfurt.de if you have any further questions.

Coronavirus toolbox

Templates for creating hygiene concepts for different forms of in-person events

>> Coronavirus toolbox

Hotline State of Hessen

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.