Recommendations for action and behaviourInformation about the Coronavirus

7 February 2020

Recommendations for action and behaviour

In view of the current spread of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Heidelberg University has received increasing inquiries from students and researchers asking for recommendations for action and behaviour. The university is monitoring reports from the Robert Koch Institute, the World Health Organisation, the Federal Foreign Office, the health authorities as well as other national and international organisations with expertise on the issue. Furthermore, it is in contact with virologists at the Heidelberg University Hospital. There is also a close exchange with the partner universities in China. The partnership representatives and the International Relations Division are the contacts for questions related to possible travel to China and the situation at the partner universities.

The Rectorate asks all employees to postpone business trips to China for the moment, unless they are absolutely essential. At present, no travel authorisation is being granted for business trips to Hubei Province and particularly to the city of Wuhan. As a matter of principle, travellers should follow the precautionary measures and current safety recommendations issued by the Federal Foreign Office, the Robert Koch Institute and the World Health Organisation.

Heidelberg University students planning periods of study abroad in China are urgently requested to postpone their departure for the present. Until further notice, no journeys to China are possible in the context of the university’s exchange and scholarship programmes. The International Relations Division is the body to approach in this matter. The division is also in direct contact with students who are currently in China and is advising them about options for a premature return.

When scholars and students from China are visiting, all hosts are asked to exercise the required care and to take appropriate precautions. Visitors and colleagues returning from risk areas are recommended to take a test on arrival and to repeat it 14 days later. During this time, they should be given the opportunity to stay in their guest accommodation, student residence, or at home and, if possible, to work from there.

The Rhine-Neckar district health authority advises on the question of taking a test, and has set up a telephone hotline for this purpose. 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 on week days from 7.30am to 3.30pm. Contact via email is possible at

The Robert Koch Institute provides information about the risk areas.