Government issues new restrictions
Circular to all employees and students
Due to the high numbers of new Coronavirus infections, the Baden-Württemberg state government is compelled to intervene considerably in matters of both public and private life. This includes institutions of higher education. The following key changes arise from the statewide Coronavirus directive delivered to the University on Wednesday morning:
Libraries and archives
All University libraries and archives are closed up to and including 10 January 2021, effective immediately. Borrowing and returns are not possible. The return of library material by post is not necessary at this time. No fines will be charged for the closure period. For employees and students, electronically-stored literature remains accessible. In addition, as during the first quarantine in the spring, the University Library offers a service enabling users as far as is possible to obtain essays and papers via document delivery services. Further details may be found on the University Library website:
Studies and assessment/ exams
Studies can continue in the majority of subjects with the restrictions that have been in place since the beginning of November. This means that courses will continue to run primarily online. Typical face-to-face teaching formats such as laboratory practicals, dissection courses and similar will continue. Examinations as well as preparation for examinations can also continue to be conducted in person.
However, the nightly curfew restriction between 20:00 and 05:00 (8 pm and 5 am) also apply here. Therefore, no courses or examinations that require students to be present on campus may be offered after 20:00. I also ask all instructors to end courses and examinations in such a way that students have the opportunity to get home in time before the curfew begins at 8 pm.
There will also be restrictions on practical courses in the Institute of Sports Science study programs. All sports grounds and sports facilities will remain closed up to and including January 10, 2021.
Dealing with childcare problems
Due to the closure of schools and daycare centers, many employees are faced with the problem of a lack of childcare. However, some municipalities, including the city of Tübingen, offer working parents the option of emergency childcare. Applications for it must be submitted to the respective provider of the facility and in some cases must be confirmed by the employer. In these cases, affected employees should contact their respective personnel officer.
Furthermore, employees have the option of applying to work from home. I refer you to the existing agreements for case-by-case work from home and alternating work from home. Such applications by employees must be addressed to their respective superiors, coordinated with them and forwarded to Human Resources. I ask that all applications that are based solely on the current situation of the pandemic and general infection prevention be limited to January 15, 2021.
I realize that the additional restrictions now imposed on us will be met with anger and incomprehension from many of you. I, too, would have liked to have been given a few days' notice of the new requirements, for example with regard to libraries and sports studies. However, when looking at our own individual situation, we must not lose sight of the overall situation in our country. The current infection rates are extremely worrying. In the hospitals in our region, too, people are fighting for their lives. Against this background, we must do everything possible and feasible to break the ongoing wave of infections. Please be assured that in these difficult times, the University will still be making every effort to help its students to succeed in their studies and its employees to work safely.
Professor Dr. Bernd Engler