FAQs for Teaching Staff

I myself belong to a risk group and feel uncomfortable about in-person teaching in the current situation. Can I also offer my course online or refuse in-person teaching?
Insofar as teaching staff belong to a risk group according to the definitions of the Robert Koch Institute (cf. risk groups according to the Robert Koch Institute), a decision can be made, in consultation with the supervisor, Occupational Health and Safety and, if necessary, the medical officer of Goethe University Frankfurt, to take the necessary protective measures in line with the statutory regulations for employees requiring particular protection. In this case, please first approach your supervisor and coordinate the further procedure closely with them. To this end, you must present a valid medical certificate to the Staff Services Department. The medical certificate certifies that you are “a person at higher risk of developing severe COVID-19 disease”. It should not include the exact diagnosis nor will the medical certificate be kept on file. For further advice on how to proceed, please consult the following website: https://www.goethe-university-frankfurt.de/87662074/Employees?locale=en#risbeterkurl


What happens if students cannot take part in an exam for which they 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. Students should contact their examination office and the course leader. If the student cannot adhere to exam dates and/or meet submission deadlines, they have the right to participate in the exam on an alternative date or to an extension of the processing deadline beyond their period of isolation.
Students who are unable to attend all of a course’s sessions for personal reasons (at-risk group/at-risk household, care obligations, etc.) are asked to contact their instructors, who can proceed in an unbureaucratic manner in this case and, if necessary, provide self-study material or equivalent assignments. However, students have no automatic right to this.


Are students who belong to a risk group (cf. risk groups according to the Robert Koch Institute) to be offered alternative options?
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 is in a position to respond unbureaucratically and, if necessary, provide self-study material or issue equivalent assignments. However, students have no automatic right to this whatsoever.


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/


Whom can teaching staff contact if they have any questions or are uncertain about their rights and obligations?
Your colleagues in the dean’s offices are your first point of contact for any questions you may have. If you are uncertain or have any queries regarding the rights and duties of teaching staff vis-à-vis in-person teaching in the 2022/23 winter semester, you can use the central email address lehre-corona@uni-frankfurt.de at any time.


What must I do if I test positive?
In accordance with the current regulation of the State of Hesse, the following regulations apply at Goethe University for persons with a proven infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus:

a) These persons are urgently requested to take advantage of the possibility to work either mobile or from home during the period of infection.

b) They are required to wear at least a medical facemask (mouth-nose protection) for a period of five days after taking the underlying test. Wearing a respirator mask (FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable) is strongly recommended on Goethe University premises and grounds.

c) The mask requirement does not apply to these persons outdoors if a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from others can be safely maintained.

d) The mask requirement does not apply to these persons indoors if either no other persons are present in the room, or if all others present in the room have also tested positive.

e) If infected individuals show symptoms, it is recommended that they isolate in their own homes for a period of five days after taking the underlying test and that this isolation not be discontinued until having been symptom-free for at least 48 hours or if ten days have passed since the initial test.

Employees who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 are required to inform the University via the record sheet which needs to be sent to infektionsschutz@uni-frankfurt.de.

The standard process for internal sickness and health notifications continues to apply, but the required attestations can be submitted digitally. Please contact your respective HR officer. If it is not possible to submit a certificate of incapacity for work on time after the third day of illness due to a Corona infection, it must be submitted as soon as possible. Until further notice, the failure to submit the initial or follow-up certificate on time will not result in any labor law-related consequences.

See also: Goethe-Universität — Employees (goethe-university-frankfurt.de)


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 your professional duties.


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.
https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/faq-reisen-1735032


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 line with its duty of care towards its staff, Goethe University Frankfurt as an employer is 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 (surgical mask or protective mask of the FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable standard without an exhalation valve) therefore continues to be compulsory for all employees and 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.


Can I insist on students wearing a mask in my courses?
No. As the obligation to wear a mask ended as of 2 April 2022, teaching staff can only recommend that students wear a mask specifically to protect their own health and that of others. Students cannot be compelled to wear a mask.


Why do different rules apply for teaching staff and students? Why are students and external parties not obliged to wear a medical mask?
According to the Infection Protection Act (IfSG) and 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 can, however, continue 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 (surgical mask or protective mask of the FFP2, KN95, N95 or comparable standard without an exhalation valve) therefore continues to be compulsory for all employees wherever the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained.
Goethe-Universität – Corona – Hinweise für Beschäftigte (uni-frankfurt.de)
Lecturers are recommended to maintain a distance of at least four metres from the first row of the audience when giving lectures.


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 mandatory.


Can study visits (e.g. excavations, field trips, etc.) take place again?
Study visits (including ones lasting several days) both in Germany and abroad can in principle take place like all other courses. Study visits abroad lasting several days (excavations etc.) are possible again on condition that no warning has been issued by the Federal Foreign Office for the destination nor has the region been designated as an area of variants of concern by the Robert Koch Institute. The course or field trip leader is responsible for checking the classification of the intended destination at regular intervals. Should the status change by the day of departure, i.e. should the destination country or transit countries on the journey there be declared an area of variants of concern by the Federal Foreign Office or the Robert Koch Institute, or should there be a corresponding travel warning, the trip/study visit must be cancelled.


May external guests (e.g. for guest lectures in courses) be invited and how do they gain access to the university’s buildings?
There are no longer any access restrictions to the university’s buildings. External guests may also enter the university’s premises without restriction.


Is there a general obligation for students 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. This means that attendance is compulsory, insofar as the programme-specific study and examination regulations provide for regular participation.

Insofar as students cannot attend the course every time for personal reasons (at-risk group/at-risk household, care obligations, etc.), teaching staff are requested to respond unbureaucratically and, if necessary, provide self-study material or issue equivalent assignments. However, students have no automatic right to this whatsoever.


What should I do if the course offered is too full/overbooked?
The corresponding procedure is governed by Section 16 (5) of the Framework Regulations for Tiered and Modularised Degree Programmes at Goethe University Frankfurt. There is also the possibility to conduct a registration and selection procedure.


Are the service and counselling centres for students (e.g. Central Academic Advice, Student Registration Office, examination offices, International Office, psychological counselling centres) available 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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