Current ArrangementsInformation about the Coronavirus

11 August 2020

IMPLEMENTATION OF THE CORONA ORDINANCE AT HEIDELBERG UNIVERSITY

The following arrangements at Heidelberg University take account of the Ordinance of the State of Baden-Württemberg in its amended version of 6 August 2020.

In the university’s action fields – research, teaching and knowledge transfer – the following principle applies: there should be as much physical presence as is possible and justifiable with due regard for the valid hygiene and occupational safety conditions. For the still ongoing summer semester, teaching will be mainly in digital formats. For the winter semester – teaching activities begin on 2 November 2020 – every effort will be made to enable as much face-to-face teaching as is practicable in terms of the distancing and hygiene rules and the nature of the premises available.

GENERAL ARRANGEMENTS

The chief ways of protecting against the spread of the coronavirus remain keeping a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from each other and airing rooms sufficiently.

Wearing a mask covering the mouth and nose is generally recommended in all buildings and public areas of the university. Wherever the distancing rules cannot be kept it is obligatory to wear a mask.

The university’s guide to occupational safety continues to apply to on-campus activities; it includes coronavirus hygiene rules and an aid to action on the topic of COVID-19. Consequently, it remains unchanged that the necessary measures for the respective venues and rooms are based on the risk assessments of the facilities.

Those responsible for holding the respective on-campus classes or events are responsible for ensuring that the valid protective measures are observed.

GATHERINGS, MEETINGS AND EVENTS

Gatherings and meetings of up to 20 people are generally possible without any further restrictions. The above-mentioned hygiene and distancing rules apply.

Events of over 20 people require the preparing of a hygiene plan and collection of contact details. This applies, among others, to lectures and seminars, practical classes and examinations, as well as to committee meetings and any discussions in the context of work, official duties or business operations. 

For these events the following applies: events with up to 100 participants are permitted until 31 July 2020, and thereafter, until 31 October 2020, events of up to 500 participants are permitted in venues with sufficient space.

Furthermore, events of up to 250 people are possible as of now, as long as the participants are assigned fixed seats for the entire duration of the event and the event follows a pre-set programme (e.g. written examinations or staff meetings).

ACCESS AND PARTICIPATION RULES

Entry to university facilities is only permitted for those persons who declare that they have no grounds for exclusion as defined in the Corona Ordinance, e.g. typical symptoms of an infection with the coronavirus. A poster to this effect has been designed for display at entrances to buildings and campus areas. It draws attention to the access and attendance bans before people enter rooms and events (printable in A5 to A3 format).

NO collection of contact details is necessary in the case of visitors and users who observe the hygiene and distancing rules and are not together in a restricted space for an extensive period (e.g. short-term users of university libraries).

*Update* The Corona Ordinance obliges the university to collect the following contact details from all other visitors, users and participants at events: first and last name, address, date and time of presence and telephone numbers. In order to make this task easier, forms have been prepared for collecting these details that can be filled out by the respective institute/facility in the (changeable) first part and then printed in sufficient quantities. The second part should then be filled out by the visitors, users and participants at the respective event.

This documentation is meant for tracking down possible infection chains (‘contact tracing’) and must be kept for four weeks. It must then be destroyed as appropriate under privacy law (in appropriate data protection containers).

A data protection statement supplements the forms for collecting contact details. It is sufficient to ensure that this statement is visibly displayed.

To sum up, these arrangements are set out in a guide to collecting contact details and on access and attendance bans.

FURTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Extended standard length of study course 

For all students enrolled in the 2020 summer semester in Baden-Württemberg, the standard length of their individual study courses will be extended by one semester. Accordingly, the maximum period allowable for receiving the federal student grant (BAFöG) will also be raised by one semester.

Further information on the topic of student affairs and teaching

For the winter semester – teaching activities begin on 2 November 2020 – every effort will be made to enable as much face-to-face teaching as is practicable in terms of the distancing and hygiene rules and the nature of the premises available. 

Arrangements for work in a home office

At present a special arrangement applies at Heidelberg University about work in a home office. The respective supervisors decide directly whether staff can work from home. A form has to be forwarded to the Human Resources Division notifying it of the temporary home office. The University Computer Centre can give assistance in setting up the IT infrastructure (IT-Support: Tel. +49 6221 54-117). Temporary work from home can be revoked at any time, however, and can currently only be agreed to continue until 30 September 2020 at the latest. Detailed information is available on the website of the Human Resources Division.

Extended emergency childcare

Employees have the opportunity of applying for emergency care for their children. The precondition is that both parents or guardians or the single parent have a job requiring physical presence outside their homes and cannot leave their work for childcare.

In order to apply for access to extended emergency childcare for employees, the head of the institute/facility where they work must fill out the form for necessary work unavailability and send it to the Human Resources Division. The Human Resources Division will then issue a confirmation of unavailability due to necessary work and send it to the employee. If a form is provided by the institution providing care, it may be attached to the internal form.

Conferences, conventions and major university events

Conferences, conventions and workshops etc. may be held according to the provisions of the current Corona Ordinance of the state of Baden-Württemberg and with due regard for hygiene and distancing rules, as well as the access and attendance arrangements. This also applies to inaugural or farewell lectures and habilitation lectures.

Central information service in the university administration

Besides the familiar communication channels, the university administration has set up a Corona Service Portal for researchers and staff. It replies to questions and concerns in the context of the Corona challenges or refers them to the internal contact persons responsible.

Telephone availability on 06221 54 19191
Mon to Thurs      8am to 4pm
Friday                   8am to 3pm

service.corona@uni-heidelberg.de

Research activities

Here the general legal conditions apply around the issues of occupational safety and hygiene, as well as access and attendance arrangements.

Research activity in laboratory areas

As of 1 August 2020, those involved in research activities in laboratory areas (including for final exams) may deviate from the 1.5 meters distancing rule, subject to their wearing a mask covering the mouth and nose. Another precondition for so doing is observing the hygiene requirements of the Corona Ordinance in the facilities, particularly ensuring adequate fresh air. The general legal conditions regarding occupational safety and hygiene remain applicable, along with access and participation arrangements.

University Library

The University Library in the Old Town and its Im Neuenheimer Feld branch, as well as decentralised libraries, have gradually opened their service areas, along with their lending and open stacks areas. It is again possible to order books and collect them at the library. The reference areas of the University Libraries are meanwhile open for limited periods and subject to the applicable requirements. Access and attendance arrangements apply.

All digital offerings of the University Library continue to be available as usual. The enhanced digital offerings are being maintained in order to limit library visits only to those that are strictly necessary. The document delivery service HEDD (Heidelberg Electronic Document Delivery) is also still on offer for students of Heidelberg University. The same applies to ordering books from the holdings of the University Library for members of the university with postal delivery to their homes. Many publishing houses are supporting Heidelberg University during the coronavirus pandemic by activating additional or so far unlicensed content.

University Archive

As of Tuesday 2 June 2020, the reading room of the University Archive can be used again, with restrictions. At most three people can work in the reading room, by appointment only. Access and attendance arrangements apply.

Digital services

The University Computing Centre has compiled the currently available digital services on a website and more are to be added as fast as possible.

Business Trips

Business trips within Germany are possible. Please check, however, whether they can be postponed or replaced by digital formats and events. The institutes/facilities decide themselves whether to approve a business trip. Legal provisions at the local level and during the trip must be observed. If university events – of whatever kind – are held outside the campus, they are subject to the hygiene and distancing rules of the current Coronavirus Ordinance, unless there are stricter requirements at the local level, in which case the latter will apply.

Business trips to European countries and other international destinations are possible on condition that the Federal Foreign Office has not announced a travel warning. If there is no travel warning for that destination, the above-mentioned rules for trips in Germany will apply in the same way. This applies to students, doctoral candidates, employees and researchers, as well as visiting scholars.

Returning from abroad

Entering or returning to Germany is subject to the Ordinance of the Ministry of Social Affairs on quarantine regulations (Corona Ordinance EQ) in the applicable version.

The supervisors of employees who have to self-isolate at home under the Ordinance will notify the Human Resources Division about the quarantine ordered by the public authority and likewise when the employees return to work.

Cases of suspicion and recommendations for behaviour

What is to be done in a case of suspected infection with the coronavirus?

The questions of whether there are grounds for suspicion and testing for coronavirus infection is required must be clarified with the Rhine-Neckar District Health Authority. Everyone is urgently recommended not to go to a doctor’s office or emergency room without a prior arrangement. By dialling 06221 522-1881 people can obtain answers and advice on issues like symptoms and incubation time, or on how to protect themselves from infection. The telephone hotline is available daily from 7.30am to 7pm. Contact via email is possible at impfen @ rhein-neckar-kreis.de. After 9pm adults should ring the new infection emergency room on 06221 56-8626. The emergency room of the Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine is responsible for questions concerning children and young people. It can be reached by calling 06221 56-4823.

What can every individual do?

All members of Heidelberg University are required to follow the hygiene rules as issued, for example, by the Federal Centre for Health Education for educational institutions. By way of precautionary health protection, please be careful to observe the rules for good hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette, and keep your distance to other people. Rooms must be aired appropriately. Follow the guidelines for social distancing adopted by the Federal and State Governments.