Information on teaching and campus life

What rules apply to face-to-face events and meetings?

(updated 01.04.2022)

In the Corona State Ordinance, which will apply from 3 April 2022, higher education institutions will no longer be addressed separately.

Those attending in-person teaching activities or in-person examinations are no longer required to provide proof of their vaccination, recovery or testing status. In-person teaching in classrooms, seminar rooms, lecture theatres, etc. can be conducted without the need for special seating arrangements. It is strongly recommended that when on campus you continue to wear a medical face mask wherever you expect to come into close contact with others. You should also wear a mask when seated if you cannot maintain a safe minimum distance of 1.5 metres.  This recommendation also applies to all other types of rooms and indoor spaces as well as to all in-person and hybrid teaching or other activities where people will gather together (e.g. meetings).   

For presence events on the Homburg campus, it should be noted that testing is still mandatory in health care facilities and that, in accordance with Sec. 20a of the German Protection against Infection Act (IfSG), proof of immunity is still required for those working in certain facilities.

Where should a medical face mask be worn at university?

(Updated: 08.06.22)

It is strongly recommended that general hygiene measures such as the AHA+L rules continue to be observed. This means that you should continue to wear a medical face mask wherever you can expect to come into close contact with others (e.g. in corridors, on stairs, etc.) and when seated at your workplace if you cannot maintain a safe minimum distance of 1.5 metres.

On the Homburg campus of the Faculty of Medicine and Saarland University Hospital (UKS), the obligation to wear masks now only applies in direct contact with patients or when there are patients on the premises. Therefore, all special regulations for break rooms also cease to apply. In all areas away from patients, masks are no longer compulsory, but there is a recommendation to wear the medical face mask.

What are the regulations governing the use of laboratories?

(updated: 01.04.22)

Face masks worn in laboratories must not compromise lab safety regulations. Laboratory facilities can now be used at full capacity in accordance with normal operational rules. Please refer to the guidance provided by the Occupational Safety Unit for detailed information regarding working in laboratories, including the applicable safety regulationsFurther information.

What are the rules on work in offices on campus?

On 20 March 2022, the national work-from-home mandate came to an end and Saarland University’s procedural directive on remote working, which allows for various forms of telecommuting, came into force. Members of staff working at any Saarland University site will continue to be subject to the provisions of the relevant occupational health and safety legislation. The minimum office space requirement of 8 m2 per person remains in force. Specifically, the relevant occupational health and safety regulation for office work during the coronavirus pandemic states that at each desk there must be at least 1.5 m² of movement space, i.e. space for the employee to move around in. In addition, workplaces must be arranged in a manner that allows office workers to stay 1.5 m apart. If physical distancing cannot be maintained, partitions can be installed between workplaces. It is strongly recommended that office workers continue to wear a medical face covering when moving in areas where they can expect to come into close contact with others (e.g. in corridors, on stairs, etc.) and when seated at their desk if they are unable to maintain the safe minimum distance of 1.5 m. If some of the workplaces in a particular area are temporarily unused because members of staff are working remotely from home, it is important to check whether these unoccupied desks could be used by other colleagues who would otherwise not be able to work on campus without violating the safe physical distancing requirement. This can be of particular relevance to those working in smaller offices, see guidance issued by the Occupational Safety Unit. (Advice and assistance is available from the Occupational Safety Unit (Stabsstelle Arbeitsschutz)).

 

Where can international students get help if they have problems or questions regarding the coronavirus crisis?

Rules on vaccinations, testing and infection cases

Who do I report a positive corona test to as a university member?

If you test positive for coronavirus, please report this immediately to coronafall@uni-saarland.de. Irrespective of the type of test taken, if you have tested positive, you are not permitted to enter university premises during your quarantine period. If you are instructed to self-isolate by the competent authority, you must complete a quarantine notification form (currently available in German only). Use the Corona-Warn-App to see if you have been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Where can university members in Saarland get vaccinated?

(Update: 25.07.22)

The vaccination centre on the Saarbrücken campus was closed on 22 July until further notice. However, there are still numerous vaccination opportunities in Saarland: Interested persons can register at the vaccination centres in the state. Even vaccinations without prior appointment are possible. In addition, one can get vaccinated in one of the 660 medical practices or 24 specialised practices.

Appointments can be booked online or by calling the hotline (0681) 501-4422 or 0800-9991599.
Further information at: https://www.saarland.de/DE/portale/corona/impfung/impfung_node.html

Where can university members get tested for Covid-19?

(updated on 30.06.22)

As decided by the university management and Saarland state government, university members who wish to do a screening test should do so at one of test centres set up for citizens in the districts, or pharmacies and doctors' surgeries. From July 1, a fee of three euros must be paid for the test. Tests remain free of charge for certain risk groups and for employees and visitors in hospitals and care facilities.

 Employees at the Homburg campus please refer to Saarbrücken Campus test centre or use test centres at their locations if at work.

Particularly quickly accessible to university members is the test center for citizens on the Saarbrücken campus, which can be used by all citizens. An appointment must be booked in advance on the website.

Testing facility on Saarbrücken campus

The test centre is located in the Künstleratelier in the Aula (Building A3 3), follow the signs.

For opening hours, please check the websites.

Where is the 2G proof to be provided at the university?

(created: 01.04.22)

In the Land Ordinance applicable from 3 April 2022, higher education institutions are no longer listed separately. Proof of G status is therefore not provided for attendance events and examinations. However, it is important to note the continuing obligation to test in health care facilities as well as the 2G proof due to the institution-related immunity proof obligation according to §20a Infection Protection Act. This primarily affects university members on the Homburg campus.

What do I have to consider if I have flu-like symptoms?

In light of the current infection rates in Saarland, persons who have not recently come into contact with someone with a known or suspected SARS-CoV-2 infection and who are showing only mild signs of illness (e.g. a runny nose and feeling only mildly incapacitated) may visit Saarland University sites. The same applies to people who have a known history of exhibiting similar symptoms due to a pre-existing condition, such as hay fever or a pollen allergy.

If, however, a person is feeling seriously unwell, particularly if they are displaying respiratory and/or flu symptoms or other symptoms relevant to COVID-19, they must stay at home and, when necessary, consult a doctor (initially by phone).

If a doctor is consulted, the doctor will decide whether the patient may continue to visit Saarland University premises or whether a SARS-CoV-2 test is required. If the symptoms occur in persons who are present on Saarland University premises, the affected persons must leave the premises and contact a doctor (initially by phone).

Employees who leave because they are showing symptoms, must complete the corona absence notification form (Reporting an illness) and submit it to the Personnel Department via their supervisor or line manager.

Labour law aspects concerning the largely operational phase

If my child is sick, may I stay at home on paid sick leave to care for him/her?

(Update: 11.02.22)
If the child is sick, parents are allowed to stay at home and care for him or her. Due to the Corona crisis, the number of child sick days was also increased for 2022. The entitlement to child sickness benefit increased from 20 days per parent and child to 30 days in 2021, and thus to 60 days per child for parent couples. For single parents, too, the entitlement per child doubles from 30 to now 60 days. If there are several children, the entitlement is a maximum of 65 days, and for single parents a maximum of 130 days.

 

I am unvaccinated and the authorities have ordered me to be quarantined. What do I have to observe?

(Kopie 11)

(published on 04.10.21)

According to the GMK decision of 22 September (press release via the Saarland Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Women and Family), workers (only employees, no civil servants) who cannot or can only partially perform their work due to an ordered quarantine and who are avoidably unvaccinated are no longer entitled to compensation.

Possible reasons for an officially ordered quarantine can be:

  •  Returning from a high-risk / virus-variant area.
  •  Close contact of a person who has tested positive for Corona
  •  Own positive Corona test result

If you have not been vaccinated, although there is no health contraindication against it, and if you have been ordered by the local authorities to undergo quarantine, you can generally carry out your work activities in your home office (exception: return from a high-risk / virus variant area known before the start of the journey). If this is not possible due to your job, there are the following further options:

  •  Certificate of incapacity for work in case of illness (also in case of Corona).
  •  Holiday
  •  Flexitime (before / after work, overtime reduction) - only in prior agreement with the supervisor!
  •  Unpaid leave / time off

If none of these options apply to you, the quarantine period is considered as self-inflicted non-performance of work. There is no longer any provision for time off with pay, as compensation for loss of earnings will only be paid to those who have already been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have a contraindication to the vaccination or a convalescent status.

As part of these changes, the employer is permitted to request the vaccination status of employees. Proof is provided by means of a copy of the vaccination card.


What happens if I contract COVID-19 on a business trip?

If you fall ill with COVID-19 during a business trip, you will need an officially valid confirmation of the disease (at least a rapid test from an officially recognised test centre, ideally a PCR test), which proves that the disease or infection occurred during the business trip. A self-test is not recognised. If you have symptoms, a medical certificate must be obtained. In any case, an appropriate notification must be made (Corona absence notification). Please contact the responsible person in the Travel Expenses Department in good time so that you can be reimbursed for any additional costs incurred due to seclusion obligations.

 

What happens if I combine my business trip with a private trip and fall ill with COVID-19 during this private trip, but the infection can be proven to have occurred during the business trip?

In principle, costs for the return journey can be compensated via the reimbursement of travel expenses for a private trip, but only up to the amount at which the return journey from the place of the business trip would have been possible. Should the return journey of the private trip not be able to take place as planned for reasons of segregation, this does not change anything; therefore, no higher costs (e.g. rebooking costs incurred, additional return travel costs, hotel costs, meals, etc.) can be covered in this case either.

Even if you fall ill with COVID-19 during a private trip that is connected with a business trip, you will need an officially valid confirmation of the illness (at least a rapid test from an officially recognised test centre, ideally a PCR test) for all further steps, which proves that the illness or the infection occurred during the business trip. A self-test is not recognised. If you have symptoms, a medical certificate must be obtained and a corresponding sick note must be submitted (Corona-Abwesenheitsanzeige). Please contact the responsible person in the travel expenses department as soon as possible.

Information on hygiene measures

Which of the hygiene products that can be used to contain the spread of the coronavirus can be obtained from the Central Procurement Division ("Chemicals Store")?

(update 09.08.2021)

To implement the hygiene measures prescribed in the pandemic response plan, the following items and personal protective equipment can be obtained from the university’s chemical store (Central Procurement Division - Section: Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies): medical face masks, FFP2-masks, self rapid tests, disinfectants and other Corona protection products.

To enable the practical skills and lab classes run by the faculties M (Medicine) and NT (Natural Science and Technology) to take place, disposal face coverings that meet the relevant standard are available from the Occupational Safety Unit (Stabsstelle Arbeitsschutz). These items are currently held in sufficient quantities and can be ordered either via the webshop or by using the relevant purchase order form.

Due to the continuing, severely limited availability of coronavirus protective equipment and the lengthy or uncertain delivery times, please understand that the Central Purchasing Unit cannot process individual requests for masks and protective equipment. You may wish to make use of the departmental procurement option that permits departments to place orders themselves for goods whose net value does not exceed €1000.

The purchase order forms for goods in stock and the current price list, the opening hours of the chemical store and the latest information about procuring masks, personal protective equipment and disinfectants can all be found at: https://www.zchl.uni-sb.de/leistungen/schutzprodukte

We will be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please contact the customer service department of the Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies Section:

Service telephone: +49 681 302 70902
Service mail: labor-einkauf(at)univw.univw.uni-saarland.de

 

How are buildings being cleaned and what disinfection procedures are used?

Buildings are being cleaned according to an agreed cleaning schedule. The rooms within a building can therefore be used by one or more persons in accordance with the university’s pandemic response plan. If the general hygiene rules are complied with (washing hands regularly in accordance with the anti-coronavirus hygiene rules) no further disinfection of the surfaces need to be performed.

In those spaces where larger numbers of people may be expected to be present (service areas for students, libraries, etc.), additional disinfection measures may be appropriate. The necessary disinfectants, cleaning agents and hand sanitizers can be obtained from the Central Purchasing Unit - Section: Hazardous Materials and Laboratory Supplies (https://www.zchl.uni-sb.de/aktuelles/beschaffung-von-masken-schutzausruestung-und-desinfektionsmitteln).

Medical issues and psychological support

I am a student or an employee of Saarland University. Who can I contact if I need psychological support?

The Psychological-Psychotherapeutic Counselling Centre of the Studierendenwerk Saarland is open to all students and staff of Saarland University for free and confidential use. Appointments can be made via the secretary's office by telephone or e-mail. In addition to individual conversations, the counselling centre also offers groups on various topics.

In case of urgent concerns, students and staff can contact the open consultation hours without making an appointment. Current details can be found on the homepage.

Current information

For more information on the latest developments, please go to the university’s staff portal: Neuigkeiten für Uni-Beschäftigte (available in German only) or Saarland University‘s coronavirus information webpage.