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Information on Covid-19 in Germany
Competences briefly explained:
On March 22nd, 2020, the German government decided on measures for extended restrictions of social contacts in order to slow down the spread of the coronavirus and to keep the health care system efficient. The Federal Ministry of Health ("BMG") is responsible for decisions and their implementation in the field of healthcare. In Hesse, the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration and the local health authorities are responsible. The Federal Centre for Health Education ("BzgA") provides information on the coronavirus specifically for citizens. The Robert Koch Institute ("RKI") provides a professional assessment of the situation and advises the Federal Government and the specialist public. The Federal Ministry of the Interior ("BMI") and the Federal Police are responsible for entry regulations, border controls etc. The Federal Foreign Office provides advice on travel, safety and health for other countries and looks after German citizens abroad.
Please be sure to check with quality-assured information sources! On the pages mentioned above, information is usually also available in other languages.
Please be sure to follow the guidelines and recommendations of the responsible authorities. If necessary, special local measures may also have to be observed!
- Information by the Robert Koch Institute (public health institute)
- Information in various languages by the Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration
- Information in various languages by the Office for Multicultural Affairs in Frankfurt and the the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration
- FAQ by the Federal Government of Germany
- Information from the Federal Minisitry of the Interior
As of April 27th, 2020, citizens in Hessen are required to use a mouth and nose covering. Update June 15th
Measures to restrict social contacts: Binding since 22.03.2020 under threat of fines! The Hessian federal government is relaxing the coronavirus-based lockdown measures. You should keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters to others, there are exceptions for a group up to 10 people etc.
Residence permit & travel regulations
(last updated July 16th, 2020)
Important: Please take note of the current regulations of Goethe University!
If you are applying for a visa for the first time, there may be delays and changes in the procedure due to embassy closures. Please be sure to check with your embassy whether you need to submit any additional documents (e.g. proof of digital study, late start of lectures, etc.) or if deadlines have been changed.
If you have initially entered Germany without a visa (only for specific countries), but need to apply for a residence permit within 90 days, please submit a corresponding application to the Immigration Office in your place of residence using the channels provided by this office.
Please refer to the website of the Immigration Office responsible for you to find out how you can currently apply for or extend your residence permit. In spite of the situation, please make sure that you submit your application for a granting/extension of your residence permit in due time!
Immigration Office Frankfurt: FAQ Coronavirus (for English version, please scroll down)
The ABH FFM is open again but only by appointment. Entry is only permitted if you have an appointment, provide proof of it and wear a mouth-nose cover. Please come to the entrance (Rebstöcker Str. 4) 10 minutes before the appointment. You can make an appointment by e-mail, stating your first name, surname, date of birth, residential address, and request to email@example.com.
Immigration Office Wetterau: Personal appointments via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Immigration Office Offenbach: Personal appointments again since June 2nd. For an appointment, please send an email to: email@example.com
If you have secured your livelihood through gainful employment in the past and this is demonstrably not possible at present due to the effects of the Covid 19 pandemic, or if your parents have financed your livelihood and there are income restrictions on them due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Immigration Office may temporarily suspend this requirement for the extension of your residence permit. The extension of the scope of employment beyond 120 full / 240 half days is to be facilitated, but you must still obtain the approval of the Aliens Department in advance.
If you are currently residing outside of Germany and cannot return and your residence permit expires, please write an email to your Immigration Office, stating the reason for the delay (please get in touch with the Immigration Office before you exceed the 6-months). Please confirm your request with the responsible authorities! Please include a copy of your passport and your flight tickets (from your flight out of Germany), as well as the nearest German consulate or embassy. If your residence permit is extendable, you will receive a fictional certificate via mial. Hotline: 069 212 -42485/ -46486/ -31538 (Mon-Thu 8-16, Fr 8-12), firstname.lastname@example.org.
If, due to the coronavirus pandemic, restrictions in the teaching activities of the universities lead to an extension of the study period, these are to be considered as circumstances for which the student is not responsible in the individual case examination with regard to the 10-year period of study.
(last updated July 1st, 2020)
- At your own risk: The final decision about your entry is at the discretion of the border police at your point of entry. We cannot guarantee your entry and you are taking the decision to return at your own risk.
- Please do not enter if you are sick or were in contact with a confirmed Covid-19 case.
- Please note that the Federal Foreign Offices’ travel regulations and travel warning for single countries can change on short notice (on entry visa or quarantine regulations).
- For students currently in the EU, in countries associated with Schengen or the UK and Northern Ireland, the travel ban has been lifted.
If you have spent time in a risk area, at any time within the 14 days prior to entering Germany, you are required to go into quarantine/self-isolation after entering Germany. Risk areas are defined as countries or regions that have an increased risk of infection with Covid-19. The Robert Koch Institute publishes a continuously updated list of risk areas.
Having spent time in a risk area within the last 14 days, you have three options to enter Germany.
- Home quarantine/self-isolation
In principle, you are required to proceed to your own home or another suitable accommodation immediately after your arrival and remain in quarantine for a period of 14 days.
Please contact the responsible authority before your arrival in Germany, usually the local health office (“Gesundheitsamt”) that is responsible for your place of residence. If you live in Frankfurt, please send an E-Mail to email@example.com with the following information: First- and surname, date of birth, your address in Frankfurt, phone number, the country you are arriving from, date of entry in Germany as well as any symptoms you may have.
You are allowed to use public transportation on your way home into quarantine.
The local health office may give you permission to leave your home, but only to take a RT-PCR test for Covid-19. If the test result is negative, local authorities may lift quarantine regulations.
- Medical certificate
You do not have to go into home quarantine/self-isolation if you can prove you tested negative for a Covid-19 infection within the 48 hours before entering Germany (RT-PCR test). For that, a negative RT-PCR test needs to be certified by a medical doctor by a medical certificate.
Please note: one of these countries must issue the medical certificate; otherwise, it will not be accepted. The medical certificate must be issued within the 48 hours prior to your entry to Germany. Only certificates in German or English are valid.
- Medical certificate issued at Frankfurt Airport
At Frankfurt Airport (Fraport), there is a test centre where you can complete both the RT-PCR test as well as receive a medical certificate. Please be aware that you can only receive a medical certificate after you received a negative RT-PCR test result. If you only complete the RT-PCR test at Frankfurt Airport, you still need to go into quarantine until the test result is confirmed negative by a medical doctor (medial certificate). If you need to go into quarantine, you must contact the local health office prior to entering Germany (see: home quarantine).
RT-PCR testing at the airport:
Please register for the test in time. You usually receive the result within 6-8 hours (standard test, 59€) or even within 3 hours (express test, 139€). The medical certificate costs another 25€ and is available on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For further information on the test centre, please visit the following website of Lufthansa.
Please always carry along your medical certificate as a confirmation that you do not need to be in quarantine/go into self-isolation.
Please be aware that you have to cover the costs for the medical certificate by yourself.
For further information see:
- Current news from the Federal Foreign Office (in German only)
For students in third countries, the Robert-Koch Institut (RKI) regularly lists the classified risk countries.
- Please make sure to take note of the information provided by the authorities on their respective websites:
For further information regarding quarantine/self-isolation, dining and other Covid-19 regulations offered by the European Commission visit Re-open EU.
- FAQ Ministry of the Interior and Justice, part on travel restrictions/ border controles
- FAQ Federal Border Police (in German only)
- Risk areas Europe (in German only)
- Risk areas world (in German only)
- Quarantine provisions for international travellers decreed by the Hessian Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration
- Frankfurt airport
- Information for travelles from the Robert Koch Institute
Students from third countries with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying who are staying in Germany
Students with a long-term national visa for the purpose of studying from third countries who are staying in Germany
- Please contact the embassy of your home country in Germany and register with the crisis prevention instruments available there, if necessary.
- There are currently no restrictions on leaving the country, but there is a travel warning four countries outside of the EU/Schengen-Area from the Federal Foreign Office. Some countries have imposed entry bans or special controls. Please remember that you may not be able to return to Germany.
General conditions of study and teaching
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions! +++
Dorm rooms for international students: we have a few dorm rooms from the Studentenwerk Frankfurt for 1 semester! The rooms are only available for the winter semester 2020/21. You can only stay this one semester. If you want to extend your stay at student residences, you need to re-apply for summer semester 2021 with no guarantee to receive another room in the student residences. If interested, please send us an E-Mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) until August 19th 2020 with the following information:
- Date of Birth
- Number of Enrolment (Matrikelnummer) at Goethe University
- Indication which type of room you want to rent
For more information, please see the flyer.
Health insurance: international students from third countries who have enrolled but are currently not living in Germany and are attending digital (online) courses, are exempt from the obligation to have health insurance. Please note, that if you return to Germany within the semester and participate in seminars, you are obliged to have health insurance. According to § 186 Abs. 7 Satz 1 SGB, as soon as you enter Germany for the semester, this holds retroactively from the start of the semester/day of enrollment.
If you are not in Germany while enrolling, you still need a confirmation letter regarding your health insurance. A statutory health insurance can issue this letter if you send in an approval from the university and a short statement that you are currently residing outside of Germany
If you are considering withdrawing from your studies at the Goethe University due to the current situation, you can withdraw your enrolment until 31.10.2020.
For further information on special regulations for international applicants for the winter semester 2020/21 due to the Coivd-19 pandemic, click here.
General conditions of study and teaching
(last updated July 16th, 2020)
Please make sure you keep up to date on current developments on the page (only in German) General conditions of study and teaching in the SoSe 2020. Here you will find answers to questions such as lecture times, semester count, semesters on leave of absence, online teaching, examinations, deadlines for study sections, etc. and from there you will be directed to the central services of the university and its corona pages (e.g. library). In addition, please consult your faculties/departments/examination offices for specific information that applies to you.
+++ NOTE - COVID-19 conditional changes/exceptions! +++
Certificate for the necessity to be present: If you are currently residing outside of Germany and need a certificate to (re-)enter Germany for study- and/or research reasons at Goethe University, please send an email to: email@example.com
Exams: Students that are abroad due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic travel restrictions and cannot attend the examination, can withdraw their exam registration. Please contact your lecturer if and under which circumstances a comparable assignment is possible. The departments should presume less bureaucratic.
Semester dates: Goethe University is planning both digital and classroom-based seminars for this upcoming winter semester 2020/21 - in accordance with the current safety and hygiene measures.
The lecture period will start later than initially planned.
The winter semester lecture period 2020/2021:
Monday, 2. November 2020 – Sunday, 21. February 2021
Validation, RMV-Ticket, HRZ Account
To avoid having to travel to the campus to validate your Goethe Card, you can print out your own RMV ticket for the Hessian transport services, valid until September 30th, on your PC at home. To do this, you call up the address of the Goethe Card service ("Kartenservice", unfortunately not available in English) and log in with your HRZ account. The menu item 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' will then appear in the selection menu. Press "Starten" and a new window will appear. Again, press 'RMV-Bescheinigung anzeigen' on the right and the download will start. This provides you with a personalised form that you can print out yourself.
Tips & Links
The Citizens Registrations Offices ("Bürgerämter") are open again. The suspended obligation to register is thus again in force without restriction. Please register immediately.