Coronavirus situation still requires caution

Circular to all employees and students (except medicine)

Dear colleagues,
Dear students,

On April 3, in accordance with the new Coronavirus ordinance of the state of Baden-Württemberg, the majority of the previously applicable Coronavirus regulations went out of effect. This has far-reaching consequences for all areas of the University of Tübingen. In the following, I would like to give you a brief overview of the current changes to our regulations. Details can be found in the university's hygiene concept:

1. 3G checks

In all areas of the university, the requirement for 3G checks will be lifted. This means that participation in courses and examinations, as well as access to most university facilities, will no longer require the person concerned to prove that he or she has been vaccinated, recovered or tested negative. 3G checks at conferences and conventions as well as at cultural and sports events on campus are no longer needed either.

2. Mandatory wearing of masks

Due to the high numbers of infections in southwestern Germany, university management has decided to retain the obligation to wear a medical mask for the time being. This regulation will initially apply until May 1, 2022, and will be reviewed every week during this time to determine its necessity and viability. If the infection situation changes significantly – but no later than the end of April – university management will reassess the respective infection situation and decide whether to retain or abolish the mandatory wearing of masks.

Thus, the university fulfills its legal obligation to ensure an orderly course of study and the best possible academic success (§ 2 LHG). In order to achieve this goal, it is essential at the current stage of the pandemic to make the best possible use of the opportunities for face-to-face teaching that we now have again and, at the same time, to minimize the risks of infections, absences and cancellations. This is especially important for individuals with health issues. Wearing masks will not put them at a disadvantage, and all students will be able to participate in face-to-face classes. For all study activities, at student work places and at events of any kind indoors, wearing an FFP2 mask or a medical mask is therefore still mandatory. This also applies to inspections of examinations and consultation hours on campus.
In addition, masks are obligatory on all walkways (e.g. corridors, stairwells) within the buildings, in sanitary facilities and in elevators.

There is no obligation to wear a mask

  • during examinations, even if a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other persons cannot be maintained;
  • when giving a lecture; in this case, the position of the lecturer in the room must be organized in such a way that a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other persons can be safely maintained throughout,
  • during sports, eating and drinking, for identification purposes, and for similarly weighty and unavoidable reasons in which it is unreasonable or impossible to wear a mask in individual cases.

3. Coronavirus warning app

Since February, the university no longer has the right to collect personal data from participants in class in order to enable the health authorities to trace contacts in the event of an infection. However, with the help of the Coronavirus warning app, it is still possible to alert potentially infected contact persons. In coordination with the student union, I would therefore like to ask you to install and use the Coronavirus warning app on your mobile phones. This applies in particular to those employees and students who regularly attend on-campus classes.

4. Occupational health and safety

For all persons at the University of Tübingen who are subject to the rules of occupational health and safety (this can also include students in the case of operational classification), the requirements of the Coronavirus occupational health and safety ordinance will continue to apply until May 25. The university president’s office has therefore decreed that this group of persons must continue to wear medical masks until further notice if a distance of 1.5 meters cannot be safely maintained. To reduce the risk of infection indoors, the distance and ventilation requirements of the hygiene concept continue to apply. With regard to teleworking, working from home on a case-by-case basis as well as obtaining medical masks, Coronavirus self-tests and vaccinations, please see the circular of March 25, 2022.

5. Occupancy of rooms

The specifications for the maximum occupancy of lecture halls, seminar rooms and other rooms for events also expired on April 3. Thus, all rooms at the University of Tübingen may be used again with maximum capacity in the future, as far as the ventilation situation allows this (usually guaranteed; see the binding data for the summer semester on the intranet, please log in first).

In class, please note that pregnant students must be given the opportunity to reliably maintain a distance of 3 meters from other persons; teaching staff is asked to observe and implement this in the context of exercising their domiciliary right for the respective class.

6. Conferences, conventions, sports and cultural events

Conferences, conventions as well as sports and cultural events can once again take place on university grounds without restriction. Events of this kind no longer need to be submitted to the university's coronavirus crisis team for approval. Prior to each event, a responsible person must be designated to serve as event manager. The responsible person prepares a hygiene concept for the event and is responsible for ensuring that this concept is adhered to. Within the framework of occupational health and safety, the specifications mentioned under 4. apply.

7. Business trips and excursions

The designation of individual countries as high-risk or virus variant areas has already expired since the beginning of March. As a result, requests for excursions or business trips no longer need to be submitted to the coronavirus crisis team for approval. The regular official procedures apply to the approval of business trips.

8. Access to university buildings and facilities

The restrictions on access that have been in place for the past two years have since been lifted. As a result, persons who are not university members may once again enter university buildings and facilities. However, in order to avoid overcrowding in lecture halls and seminar rooms, especially at the beginning of the semester, I ask for your understanding that guest students are generally not yet admitted to regular courses during the summer semester.

9. Facility-related compulsory vaccination

As you have surely gathered from the media, a facility-related compulsory vaccination has been in effect since mid-March for all persons working in health care. This compulsory vaccination also applies to students outside the Faculty of Medicine if they are required to do individual course work in the university hospital or in other medical or care facilities. Students in the natural sciences, social sciences and the theologies may be affected. Unvaccinated students must expect to be denied entry by the facilities mentioned above. I ask those affected to contact the dean of study of your faculty in good time before the start of the semester to discuss possible solutions.

10. Additional hygiene measures

Given the high numbers of infections, I strongly urge all of you to continue practicing the familiar and proven hygiene measures, as we do not want to provoke any infections on campus as the summer semester begins. Continue to maintain a safe distance whenever possible and ensure regular and adequate airing of indoor areas. Disinfection dispensers and boxes of disinfectant wipes continue to be available in all lecture hall buildings.

With best regards and all good wishes for the upcoming start of the semester,

Professor Dr. Bernd Engler