FAQs for Students

What happens if I cannot take part in an exam for which I have registered due to an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus? What impact does this have on processing deadlines or exam dates?
In the case of a confirmed infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the procedure is the same as for a sick note and the corresponding extension of deadlines.
If you cannot adhere to exam dates and/or meet submission deadlines, you have the right to participate in the exam on an alternative date or to an extension of the processing deadline as long as you are in isolation.

How is access to the libraries regulated and is it possible to work there?
Access to the libraries is possible for all users without restriction. Workstations are available in the libraries for students. Opening hours and access rules can be found on the following website:  

How long are the university’s buildings generally open?
The regular opening hours of the individual buildings apply.  

Where can I get tested or where can I find information on test centres?
You can use the Corona-Warn-App to locate certified test centres in the immediate vicinity quickly and easily. A search function for test centres is also available as a browser-based application under: https://map.schnelltestportal.de or https://www.corona-test-hessen.de

What must I do if I test positive?
Since November 23, 2023, persons who have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 are no longer required to self-isolate. The previous isolation stipulation was replaced by a requirement to take measures to protect persons who are not part of the same household and who, in turn, have not tested positive for SARS-CoV-2.
In the five days following initial positive test result, infected individuals are required to wear a mouth-nose protection or a respirator mask outside their own home, in closed rooms and outdoors, if a distance of 1.5 meters from other persons cannot be maintained. There is no need to wear a mask if contact exists exclusively with members of one's own household or with other persons who have also tested positive. Anyone unable to wear a mask for health reasons or unable to communicate with others when wearing a mask is exempt from the mask requirement.
The mask requirement begins at the time of the first positive test for a SARS-CoV-2 infection, regardless of the type of test. It ends at the end of the fifth day following the initial positive test. It is recommended to continue wearing a mask beyond the prescribed five days, until the infected individual has been symptom-free for 48 hours.

What must I do if I am still positive after five days of official self-isolation (after an infection) according to a self-test?
It is recommended to continue wearing a mask beyond the prescribed five days, until the infected individual has been symptom-free for 48 hours.

Where can I get vaccinated? Does Goethe University Frankfurt offer vaccinations against the coronavirus for students and staff?
On the basis of current demand, the university will continue to offer regular vaccination appointments on its Westend, Riedberg and Niederrad campuses:

  • Westend Campus: Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz, Law and Economics Building, ground floor, room 214 (medical officer’s office)
  • Riedberg Campus: Max-von-Laue-Strasse 9, Biocentre, Building N100, ground floor, room 0.24 (medical officer’s office)
  • Niederrad Campus: Ludwig-Rehn-Str. 14 (University Hospital)

Please register in advance via the online appointment portal: https://goethe-termine.as.me/

What do I do if I was vaccinated abroad but my vaccination is not recognised in Germany?
In Germany (according to the Coronavirus Basic Protection Measures Ordinance, the COVID-19 Protective Measures Exemptions Ordinance and the Coronavirus Entry Regulations), only the five vaccines approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the EU (https://tinyurl.com/cn565rn6) as well as other vaccines produced under licence in third countries (as of 29.07.2021, https://tinyurl.com/4a9ec66k) are recognised.
Vaccinations with recognised vaccines are available on our Westend, Riedberg and Niederrad campuses. Please register via the online appointment portal: https://goethe-termine.as.me/
At Goethe University Frankfurt, proof of vaccination is no longer required to enter its buildings and attend courses.

Which infection control measures apply?
Please observe the familiar hygiene rules such as keeping a distance (wherever possible), washing your hands, sneezing into the crook of your arm. You can find more information here: www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavirus/alltag-in-zeiten-von-corona.html
In accordance with the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) and the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbschV), wearing a medical mask (surgical mask or protective mask of the FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable standard without an exhalation valve) continues to be compulsory for employees of Goethe University Frankfurt and thus also for teaching staff wherever the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained. Lecturers/speakers/presenters may remove the mask in courses/other events as long as a permanent distance of at least four metres from the first row of the audience can be maintained.

In all buildings of the University Hospital Frankfurt incl. the Department of Medicine, the general mask obligation continues to apply. In buildings for direct patient care (buildings 7, 8, 11, 14, 15, 18, 23, 28, 32, 33, 68, 92, 93, 95, 97), FFP-2 masks must be worn from 01.10.2022. Exceptions to this are regulated by the hygiene plan.

Nevertheless, Goethe University Frankfurt strongly appeals to all students, staff and visitors to continue wearing a medical mask in its buildings in order to protect themselves and others.

Do I have to wear a medical mask in the university’s buildings?
There is currently no obligation for students and external parties to wear a mask (exception: university hospital, see below). At the same time, it remains very important that we protect ourselves and others as best we can – in view of continuing infections – even after the end of the pandemic situation as defined by legislation.
We therefore urge you to continue to wear a mask in courses and in the university’s buildings. Even if this is a voluntary decision, each and every one of us bears responsibility for others. FFP2 masks in particular have been proven to give effective basic protection against infection with the coronavirus.

Why do lecturers continue to wear a mask in their courses?
The Executive Board’s decision on the basis of a risk assessment in line with the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV) applies to Goethe University Frankfurt’s employees. This ordinance prescribes that a medical mask must continue to be worn where the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained.

Why do different rules apply for teaching staff and students?
Following the amendment of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) and in accordance with the Coronavirus Basic Protection Measures Ordinance (CoBa-SchuV), the obligation to wear a medical mask now only applies for the institutions named in Section 28a (7) Sentence 1 No. 1 of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG).
In line with its duty of care towards its staff, Goethe University Frankfurt as an employer is, however, continuing to implement infection control rules for its employees on the basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbschV). Among others, wearing a medical mask therefore continues to be compulsory for all employees wherever the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained.

What should I do if I receive a warning from the Corona-Warn-App?

The app is of an entirely informal nature, meaning that warnings have no effect on activities at the university.

I was abroad recently. Do I have to quarantine before I can participate in in-person events?
At Goethe University Frankfurt, the rules according to the Coronavirus Entry Regulations apply for participation in events by persons coming from abroad.
(See also: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/faq-reisen-1735032)

Do I have to get vaccinated to attend courses?
You are not obliged to get vaccinated, but we recommend that you do so in order to protect yourself and others. The university will continue to offer vaccinations on its Westend, Riedberg and Niederrad campuses. Please register in advance via the online appointment portal: https://goethe-termine.as.me/

I don’t live in Frankfurt (yet). What does this mean for my studies?
To study here, you should live at least within commuting distance of the university. Since the accommodation market in Frankfurt is very difficult, we recommend that you start looking for a room early on. Information is also available from Frankfurt Student Services (Studierendenwerk Frankfurt am Main), among others: https://www.swffm.de/en/accommodation/general-information

I feel uncomfortable going to in-person courses/using public transport to travel to the university. Why can’t I continue to study online?
Goethe University Frankfurt regards itself as a traditional university and understands this as its mandate. Accordingly, the degree programmes are designed and organised as teaching programmes with corresponding infrastructure and staffing on site. Lecturers and students have chosen Goethe University Frankfurt as their place of work and study on this basis. There is therefore a mutual interest in personal presence. After several semesters with restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic, it has become abundantly clear that the university cannot entirely fulfil its educational and training mandate without personal attendance. Since there is no substitute for intellectual and social exchange and recent studies clearly show that stress situations among students are associated with the absence of the university as a social space, Goethe University Frankfurt is particularly called upon here.

Which deviating rules apply for students of the Faculty of Medicine?
In all University Hospital buildings on Niederrad Campus wearing a mask continues to be compulsory.
Since 15 March 2022, in accordance with Section 20a of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), facility-based mandatory vaccination for protection against COVID-19 applies for all persons working in medical facilities. Accordingly, proof of immunity against COVID-19 must be provided. According to the handouts on the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) published by the Federal Ministry of Health, students of the Faculty of Medicine are to be classified as working personnel within the meaning of Section 20a of the Infection Protection Act.
Based on the Federal Government’s Infection Protection Act (§ 28b IfSG), there is an obligation to present a negative test certificate for access to hospitals as well as fully and partially inpatient care facilities and comparable facilities. Employees in outpatient care services and comparable service providers are also required to present a negative test result during their work.
Further details and exceptions to the testing requirement are regulated by the facilities and companies themselves. At the University Hospital, for instance, students are required to provide two negative test results per week. The requirement to test twice weekly for the presence of a SARS-CoV-2 infection with rapid antigen tests is waived for fully vaccinated or recovered asymptomatic individuals. However, the University Hospital will continue to provide rapid tests, which may be performed on a voluntary basis.

Can people who have been vaccinated e.g. with Sinovac, Sinopharm, Sputnik, etc. be vaccinated again with a vaccine approved in the EU?
According to current legislation and taking into consideration the age-appropriate vaccination recommendations, persons who have already been vaccinated abroad with COVID-19 vaccines not licensed in the EU require a new series of vaccinations in order to obtain the status in the EU of a vaccinated person. To qualify as such, people (currently) need a completed series of vaccinations with a vaccine approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA). A current list of EU-approved COVID-19 vaccines as well as information on the required number of doses can be found on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI). The series of vaccinations should start after a minimum interval of ≥28 days. In such cases, the persons to be vaccinated should be informed that increased local and systemic reactions can occur. Doctors administering the vaccinations are requested to actively monitor heightened reactions to the vaccinations and to report them to the Paul Ehrlich Institute.

Date: 31.08.2022

Are rooms disinfected before and between courses?
All course rooms are cleaned on a regular basis.

Is ventilation in classrooms geared to the coronavirus situation?
There is a ventilation concept for all courses and rooms in which courses are held.
Many classrooms have efficient ventilation and air-conditioning systems that are equipped with air filters and exchange the room air several times per hour.
Classrooms without a ventilation and air-conditioning system must be aired manually on a regular basis (at least every 20 minutes for at least 5 minutes). Many of these rooms are also equipped with CO2 sensors which check indoor air quality: if the threshold is exceeded, an alarm is triggered, at which point additional manual ventilation is compulsory.

Can student organisations/initiatives now hold their events again?
Events can be held as usual.

Can I bring friends or family members to the campus/cafeteria?
Yes, all the university’s buildings are accessible without restriction.

Are parties, campus cinema and other events possible for students on campus?
Yes, there are no longer any restrictions in this regard.

How will teaching at Goethe University Frankfurt look in the 2022/23 winter semester?
After we were able to return last semester for the most part to in-person operations, courses on campus will be the norm in the 2022/23 winter semester. Virtual formats can complement learning together on site in an expedient way. Information on all courses can be found in the course catalogue (https://tinygu.de/vorlesungsverzeichnis).

Will there continue to be online courses?
In-person courses will be the norm again in the 2022/23 winter semester. Virtual formats will no longer replace learning together on site, but should instead complement it in an expedient way. Information on all courses can be found in the course catalogue (https://tinygu.de/vorlesungsverzeichnis).

Do I have a right to alternative or equivalent options to in-person courses if I belong to a risk group? Is there a general obligation for me to attend courses in person?
As of the 2022/23 winter semester, the rules of the programme-specific study and examination regulations apply again without restriction. The temporary amendment of the Framework Regulations for Tiered and Modularised Degree Programmes at Goethe University Frankfurt no longer applies.
Students who for personal reasons cannot attend the course every time (at-risk group/at-risk household, care obligations, etc.) are requested to contact the respective lecturer, who can respond unbureaucratically and, if necessary, provide self-study material or issue equivalent assignments. However, students have no automatic right to this whatsoever.

Can I use the service and counselling centres for students (e.g. Central Academic Advice, Student Registration Office, examination offices, International Office, psychological counselling centres) on site again on campus again?
Services will generally be offered on site again from the start of the lecture period. The university will, however, also continue to offer online services/hotlines. However, students are asked to check the website of the respective institutions in advance if they are in any doubt. An overview of counselling and support services for students can be found on the following website: https://tinygu.de/beratung-unterstuetzung

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