FAQs about the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Dear Members of the University Community,

This page provides the Rectorate’s answers to your questions with regard to measures taken at the University of Greifswald for dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19). Please keep an eye on the developments and the information provided below. The Rectorate will also inform you via email if any important changes have been made or any important information has been added.

Thank you for your willingness to cooperate and for your understanding.

Important information regarding the measures taken by the State Government to combat the spread of COVID-19 are available in German here [de].

Update 23/10/2020 2.42 p.m.

23/10/2020: Questions 1, 2 and 6 under General Health and Guidelines were updated.
22/10/2020: Question 1 under Travel and Work-Related Travel was revised.
21/10/2020: The answer to question 1 under Travel and Work-Related Travel was updated. Question 2 in the same section was deleted.

Studies and Teaching

How will teaching take place in winter semester 2020/21 - i.e. will it be on site or digital?

Teaching at the University of Greifswald takes place on site. Therefore, as a general rule of principle, face-to-face teaching remains the form of teaching we would like to provide. It is supplemented and enhanced by digital formats that enable the innovative realisation of teaching and learning goals. Digital teaching does not constitute an end in itself. If the pandemic-related contact and distancing regulations are still in place in winter semester 2020/21, it will be necessary to provide large amounts of digital teaching, but this is only due to reasons related to the protection of health. The most important information regarding the planning of teaching for winter semester has been summarised in a concept that has been agreed with the faculties.

Which rules must students and lecturers observe when attending or holding classes on site at the University?

The following checklists (summarised information) apply for students attending and lecturers holding classes on site. More detailed information can be found in the Hygiene Plan for Holding Classes at the University.

Which hygiene plans and guidelines currently apply for teaching and studies?

If necessary, the hygiene plans and guidelines may be updated. An updated version will be marked correspondingly.
Please also take note of the information provided by the University’s Health and Safety Officer [de].

Help - I forgot my face mask and am unable to cover my face! What can I do?

Simple face masks can now be purchased at all of the snack vending machines located on the University's premises.

Where can I find information about examination regulations during the current COVID-19 circumstances?

The Central Examination Office provides advisory sessions after prior arrangement.
Information about the current examination regulations at the University of Greifswald can be found on the Central Examination Office’s website.

Which deadlines apply for winter semester 2020/21?
  • The lecture period shall start on 12 October. This does not apply to students starting their first semester of the degree courses Human Medicine, Pharmacy, Psychology (B.Sc.) and Dentistry. Lectures for these degree courses start on 2 November 2020.
  • The lecture period for all degree courses shall end on 30 January 2021.
  • Further deadlines (e.g. for applications, admissions to studies) can be found here
How is campus life currently restricted?
  • Some teaching and examinations are taking place in digital formats

  • The computer rooms are closed until further notice.

  • The University Library, Mensas (cafeterias) and cafés are open, but subject to restrictions.

  • Persons taking part in courses taught on site, in sessions held by University bodies etc. must leave their surname, first name(s), full address, and telephone number to enable the fast breaking of chains of infection in critical situations. For more information on data protection please click here.
Can excursions take place?

Unfortunately, due to the related risks, no excursions lasting several days can take place for the time being until 30/01/2021.

Which regulations have been issued by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture Mecklenburg-Vorpommern?

The Ministry holds regular telephone conferences to update the State’s tertiary education institutions about current developments. The current decree from the Ministry can be found here [de] (the current decree is effective until 09/10/2020).
The previous decrees issued by the Ministry can be found here [de].

Conferences and Events

Can events other than courses that are part of the University’s teaching and sessions of University bodies currently be held at the University?

The University continues to be faced with immense organisational challenges due to its obligation to realise and make sure the safety and hygiene requirements that have been developed as a result of the pandemic are observed. Above all, this entails securing normal procedures for teaching, examinations and research, as well as the work of university bodies.  Until further notice, the fulfilment of these key tasks requires a significantly larger number of rooms and administrative effort than usual. As a result of this, no conferences, congresses, ceremonies, colloquia, symposia etc. can take place at the University before the end of winter semester 2020/21’s lecture period (31/01/2021), at the earliest. Rooms shall not be provided for these kinds of events. This applies to events being organised by external parties as well as events organised by members of the university community with external participants.

Are guided tours being provided by the Kustodie (University Collections)?

All of the Kustodie’s guided tours are cancelled until 30/01/2021.

Our school would like to organise a visit to the University of Greifswald, is this currently possible?

Unfortunately, due to the current restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, we are unable to organise school visits to the University of Greifswald. However, we are able to provide customised virtual visits [de] to the University for interested schools.

Travel and Work-Related Travel

Am I allowed to enter Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from risk areas and will I be subject to a period of compulsory quarantine?

Persons

  • who have been to an international risk area, as defined on the Robert Koch Institute’s website, in the 14 days prior to their planned visit;
  • who have been to or have their permanent residence in a district or independent town in the Federal Republic of Germany, in which there were more than 50 new infections per 100 000 inhabitants in the 7 days preceding entry to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (pursuant to the numbers published every day by LAGuS M-V [de], under “Gebiete mit erhöhter COVID-19-Aktivität in Deutschland” (areas with elevated COVID-19 activity in Germany)

are not permitted entry to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern if they do not belong to the exceptions defined in § 5(3)-(14) of the Corona-Lockerungs-VO [de] (regulations to relax the coronavirus restrictions).

In accordance with these regulations, exceptions are made for persons, e.g. who

  • have registered their primary or secondary residence in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern;
  • are enrolled at one of the State’s tertiary education institutions;
  • have to enter Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as part of work-related travel;
  • are entering Mecklenburg-Vorpommern to visit close family relatives.

In accordance with the Quarantäneverordnung M-V [de] (Quarantine Regulations), the following compulsory quarantine regulations applyafter entry to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern:

  • Persons who have been to an international risk area in the 14 days prior to a planned visit to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern have to contact the Gesundheitsamt (Public Health Office) immediately after entry and self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.
  • Persons who enter Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from risk areas within Germany only have to contact the Public Health Office and self-isolate at home for 14 days if they show symptoms that could indicate they have fallen ill with COVID-19 pursuant to the current criteria defined by RKI.
Can employees go on work-related travel?

Work-related travel to the following destinations is not permitted:

  • Work-related travel to foreign risk areas as indicated on the Robert Koch Institute’s (RKI) website.
  • Work-related travel to particularly affected areas in Germany, i.e. districts or independent towns in which the number of new infections in the last 7 days is higher than 50 per 100,000 inhabitants. Pursuant to the SARS-CoV2-Quarantäneverordnung MV (SARS-CoV-2 Quarantine Regulations), the State Office for Health and Social Affairs Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is responsible for the definition of these areas, which they provide on the page Coronavirus Pandemic Details [de], with a daily update of the Gebiete mit erhöhter COVID-19-Aktivität in Deutschland (areas with elevated COVID-19 activity in Germany).

Irrespective of the information provided above, the following applies for work-related travel:

  • Work-related travel must be reduced to a minimum; strict criteria must be used when checking the necessity of travel. This applies in particular to business trips to events with a larger group of people.
  • Persons who have permanent authorisation for work-related travel must independently consider the above-named criteria when planning travel and make a dutiful decision at their own discretion.
  • All work-related travel is subject to the valid social distancing and hygiene regulations.
Which regulations apply for using (work) vehicles?

If private or work vehicles are to be used for work-related travel, please observe the following regulations:

  • Only the driver and two further passengers may travel in a car, minibuses can carry the driver and up to four passengers. Persons with a cough, runny nose etc. may not travel in the vehicle if the person affected is unable to prove the harmlessness of the symptoms through a medical certificate from a doctor.
  • Both the driver and possible passengers must disinfect their hands with the hand sanitiser in the vehicle prior to starting their journey.
  • If the vehicle has air conditioning, it must be turned off.
  • During the entire journey, all passengers (excluding the driver) must wear an FFP face mask without an exhalation valve.
  • If at all possible, and especially on longer journeys, the interior of the vehicle should be regularly aired for short periods of time.
  • If there is only a driver and one passenger in the vehicle, the passenger must sit in the back of the vehicle.
What do I need to do if I have come from abroad?
  • In accordance with the SARS-CoV2-QuarantäneVO MV (SARS-CoV-2 Quarantine Regulations) [de], persons who have entered the State of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern via land, sea or air from abroad and have been to a risk area, defined as such by the Federal Government, at any time within the last 14 days prior to entry, are required to travel directly to their home or other suitable accommodation immediately, and to self-isolate there permanently for a period of 14 days following entry; this also applies to persons who entered the Federal Republic of Germany via another federal state. These persons are not allowed to receive visitors that do not belong to their household during this period. 
  • The persons affected must immediately contact the local competent health authorities (in Greifswald over the phone - tel.: +49 3834 8760 2300 or via email to coronakreis-vgde) and confirm that they are able to fulfil this stipulation. Furthermore, please also inform the Office of the Rectorate (coronauni-greifswaldde) and, if applicable, your line manager/superior.
  • You must inform the local competent health authorities (see above) immediately if you show any signs of illness that could be related to a COVID-19 infection as indicated in the current criteria issued by the Robert Koch Institute. You must also inform the Office of the Rectorate (coronauni-greifswaldde).
  • Upon request, the Gesundheitsamt (Public Health Office) can shorten the 14-day period of quarantine following return from a risk area. The requirements should be clarified with the Public Health Office over the above-named telephone number/email address.
  • The University’s employees are also asked to note the additional information provided in the letter issued by the Ministry of Education [de] on 16/07/2020.

Work Situation

Which regulations must I observe when working in the office during the coronavirus pandemic?

Please find further information on this topic in the information provided by the HR Department.

Where can I find information about aspects related to labour law?

Questions and answers related to working from home, childcare, cancellation of holiday etc. have been put together on the HR Department’s website.

Is it currently compulsory to wear a mask at the University of Greifswald? Can masks be purchased using university funds?

The hygiene measures and code of conduct, in particular keeping at a safe distance from others, as issued by the Robert Koch Institute, are the primary means for avoiding infection with COVID-19.

All persons are obliged to wear a (simple) face mask in the following situations/buildings at the University:

  • In the central lecture hall buildings (Rubenowstr. 1 and Ernst-Lohmeyer-Platz 6) and in the buildings belonging to the University Library

In all other buildings:

  • immediately before and after examinations
  • immediately before and after courses being taught on site
  • immediately before and after sessions of university bodies
  • when attending appointments or visiting offices belonging to the administration during office hours etc. (e.g. at the Central Examination Office or the Students' Registration Office)

‘Immediately’ means that noses and mouths must be covered by some kind of fabric (this also includes scarfs, shawls etc.) from the moment the persons enter the university building until they have taken their seats in the examination room etc. Once there, they can uncover their noses and mouths; however, it is recommended that noses and mouths are covered at all times. All persons must cover their noses and mouths as soon as they leave their seats and until they have left the respective university building. Noses and mouths must be covered at all times when attending appointments or visiting offices belonging to the administration during office hours (i.e. from the moment the persons enter and until they leave the building). This does not apply to persons who are unable to cover their noses and mouths due to a medical or psychological impairment or a disability, and are able to prove this with a doctor’s certificate. The University shall not provide any kind of masks or other fabric for covering noses and mouths.

Special regulations apply to work in laboratories, please refer to the corresponding guidelines.

Which hygiene regulations currently apply to sessions being held for University bodies?

The guidelines for holding sessions for university bodies can be found here [de]

If necessary, the hygiene plans and guidelines may be updated. An updated version will be marked correspondingly.
Please also take note of the information provided by the University’s Health and Safety Officer.

General Health and Guidelines for Persons Who Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 and Suspected Cases

Which situations must I report to the Crisis Team?

Please inform the University’s Coronavirus Crisis Team (coronauni-greifswaldde or over the phone under +49 3834 420 1104, Ms. Hosemann), if

  • you have tested positive for COVID-19;
  • the Gesundheitsamt (Public Health Office) has ordered you to go into quarantine/to self-isolate at home following contact to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19;
  • you have entered Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from an international risk area;
  • you have entered Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from a risk area within Germany and have had to enter quarantine due to showing typical COVID-19 symptoms.

Corresponding notifications will of course be handled confidentially.

What should I do if I am showing acute signs of illness that could suggest I have fallen ill with COVID-19 (especially cough, sore throat, high temperature, runny nose...)?
  • please observe the guidelines for the general public issued by the Robert Koch Institute
  • the University’s premises and buildings must not be accessed until you have fully recovered
  • contact the on-call medical services (116 117) or your general practitioner over the phone to find out whether you ought to have a medical examination; this applies, in particular, if you have been to an international risk area in the last 14 days or have entered Mecklenburg-Vorpommern from a risk area within Germany.
  • inform the Crisis Team and, if applicable, your line manager/superior if you have tested positive for COVID-19 (coronauni-greifswaldde).
I have tested positive for COVID-19
  • Inform the Office of the Rectorate immediately (coronauni-greifswaldde, or over the phone via 420 1104, Ms. Hosemann)
  • If applicable, inform your line manager/superior and make sure you observe the steps detailed in the reporting chain.
  • The existing obligation to inform the Gesundheitsamt (Public Health Office) remains unaffected.
  • You must observe the quarantine measures issued by the respective Public Health Office.
I have been in direct contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 14 days and show signs of respiratory illness
  • Avoid any unnecessary contact and stay at home
  • Contact your general practitioner over the phone immediately (do not, under any circumstances, go to your GP’s practice without calling them in advance) or contact the on-call medical services (Tel.: 116117).
  • Contact your local Gesundheitsamt (Public Health Office) immediately.
  • Inform the Office of the Rectorate (coronauni-greifswaldde, or over the phone via 420 1104, Ms. Hosemann), and, if applicable, your line manager/superior.
  • If you test positive for COVID-19, please follow the steps listed under 'I have tested positive for COVID-19'
  • The University’s buildings and premises may only be accessed again after the Public Health Office has lifted a compulsory period of quarantine and all signs of illness have disappeared. For any questions related to this, please contact the Crisis Team by writing to coronauni-greifswaldde.
I have been in direct contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 14 days, however show no signs of respiratory illness (yet)
My Corona-Warn-App has sent me a risk warning ‘elevated risk’. What should I do?

Please contact the District of Vorpommern-Greifswald’s public helpline under +49 3834 8760 2300 (Mon.-Fri. 8.00 a.m. - 4.00 p.m., Sat./Sun. 10.00 a.m. - 2.00 p.m.) or via email to coronakreis-vgde
Alternatively, please contact your general practitioner. If have received any relevant orders, please inform your line manager/superior and the University's Crisis Team (coronauni-greifswaldde).

How can I protect myself and others from contracting the novel coronavirus?
  • If you show any signs of a respiratory illness, make sure you stay at home.
  • Observe at least 1.5 metres distance to others.
  • Practise good hand hygiene:
    • Regular and thorough washing of hands (for at least 20 seconds)
    • Thorough drying of hands with paper towels
    • No shaking of hands
  • Only cough or sneeze into your elbow (not into your hands or handkerchiefs/tissues)
  • Keep your hands away from your face as much as possible.
  • Avoid large gatherings of people
  • In addition to keeping your distance and practising good hand hygiene, wear a tight-fitting face mask to cover your mouth and nose (surgical mask made with barrier fabric)
Which reporting chain or which measures have been determined if there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at the University?
I feel strained by the isolation at home, quarantine or the restricted contact to others. Is the University providing any support that could help me come to terms with the current situation?

The Chairs of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, and Clinical and Physiological Psychology/Psychotherapy are providing psychological support to help those affected come to terms with these straining situations. Please visit the chairs’ specific webpages [de] to find out more about the support on offer.
Studierendenwerk's (Student Services) psychological counselling is still available to students.