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 and/or are obliged to self-isolate at home/quarantine by order of a public health department? What impact does this have on processing deadlines or exam dates?
In the case of an official quarantine order or 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. Insofar as an official quarantine order has been issued by the public health department, the student concerned must present corresponding proof. If issue of the official quarantine order is delayed (e.g. due to the workload at the public health department), a doctor’s sick note must certify the confirmed infection and/or necessary duration of the quarantine. 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 as long as they are in isolation.


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?
After a positive self-test, you are obliged to have the result confirmed immediately by means of a PCR test (at your doctor’s surgery or a test centre) and, if that result is also positive, to go home immediately (i.e. without detours!) and restrict your contact with others. The test centre reports the result to the public health department. In addition, you must contact your supervisor and infektionsschutz@uni-frankfurt.de immediately. You can find further information on the coronavirus website for staff. After the self-isolation/quarantine order has ended, you must present a negative test confirming that you are no longer infected (either an RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test from a test centre).


When do I have to quarantine as a contact person?
Contact persons according to the Robert Koch Institute (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Kontaktperson/Management.html;jsessionid=9F2CF1A7E34C10A0BBB4E48D8D451501.internet051?nn=13490888#doc13516162bodyText11 3.1. Definition enger Kontaktpersonen) no longer have to quarantine automatically nor are they excluded from working on site or participating in courses/events in person at Goethe University Frankfurt.


What must I do if a person in my household is in quarantine?
Persons in whose household a member is subject to an official self-isolation/quarantine order are not permitted to work on site. Please contact the respective supervisor and infektionsschutz@uni-frankfurt.de immediately and complete the university’s record sheet (the form is available on the coronavirus website for staff). After the self-isolation/quarantine order has ended, you must present a negative test confirming that you are no longer infected (either an RT-PCR test or a rapid antigen test from a test centre).


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.
(CoronaEinreiseV: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/en/service/gesetze-und-verordnungen/guv-19-lp/coronavirus-einreiseverordnung.html)


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.

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.


What happens with my course if one or more students test positive for COVID-19?
In the case of students who have participated in a course and subsequently tested positive, the public health department responsible will specify the measures to be taken, either only for the individual person concerned or for the whole contact group that he/she has reported.
This does not, however, have any direct impact on the continuation of the course. Teaching staff can therefore continue their courses without restriction. In line with the university’s duty of care towards its students, however, it is advisable to inform them that there has been a positive case of COVID-19 in the course (without naming the person(s)) and to advise them to watch out for symptoms in the coming days and to take a self-test for their own personal protection and for the protection of their immediate environment.


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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