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Information on the coronavirus for staff and guests

At Helmholtz Institute Jena, GSI and the Friedrich Schiller University Jena, the health of all employees and guests is very important. For this reason we have compiled current recommendations as well as resolutions of the management for employees and guests with the aim of protecting the health on this page.

Please also mind the information pages of the city of Jena, as well as of GSI and the University.

Status: 22 January 2021, 10:00 a.m.
(Updated regulations at HI Jena, incl. extensive use of working from home. In-person teaching suspended for remainder of semester.)

Current regulations of the University and the city of Jena

  • Schools and childcare facilities in the city of Jena are being closed by public ordinance, effective 14 December 2020 through 22 January 2021; the winter break will be moved to the week of 25 through 29 January. Presence teaching at University of Jena will also be suspended for the remainder of the semester, through 12 February 2021.
  • Effective 14 December 2021, the city of Jena has also instituted far-reaching entry prohibitions on public roadways, although the permissible exceptions include going to places of work. Details are listed here. In addition, effective 16 December 2020 the state of Thuringia has imposed a stay-at-home order for the nighttime hours between 10 P.M. and 5 A.M., also with exceptions for going to places of work.
  • Returnees from designated risk areas are required to self-isolate and notify the Jena health office (using the webform, by email to rueckkehrer@jena.de or +49 3641 492222). The office will coordinate all further measures.
  • Public ordinance mandates wearing mouth and nose protection while frequenting shops, using public transport facilities as well as at workplaces. Workplaces are exempt if they provide a minimum area of 110 sqft per employee, limit the number of people per room to no more than 5, and ensure that the minimum distance of 6 ft is observed at all times.

Current regulations at Helmholtz Institute Jena

  • The University of Jena as well as Helmholtz Institute Jena are returning from emergency operations under stringent safety precautions. Employees are required to wear mouth and nose covers on the institute’s premises, including hallways, kitchens, offices and laboratories.
  • The institute can provide a limited number of masks, but asks all employees to bring their own masks and wear them as directed.
  • Employees may abstain from wearing mouth and nose covers if they are the sole occupant of a room, or are in a room where more than 110 sqft (10 m2) of floor space are available for each occupant. Even then, they must keep 6 ft (1.5 m) distance from others as far as possible. Laboratories ventilated by a common AC system are considered as single rooms for the purpose of these rules.
  • Please comply with the rules of social distancing as far as possible:
    • Even minor meetings and seminars should be realized through telephone or videoconferencing.
    • If, in exceptional cases, in-person meetings are unavoidable, participant information have to be recorded to facilitate possible contact tracing.
    • Activities should be done from home wherever possible. Please make sure to remain available by phone or email. If you need to work on-site, minimize personal contacts by e.g. alternating or staggering the occupancy of offices and laboratories or by using vacant rooms.
  • Please postpone any business travel unless absolutely necessary. For trips you are no longer able to complete, please cancel any ticket bookings as well as the corresponding applications in the online travel system as soon as possible.
    Shift visits by guests, cooperation partners etc. to the institute to a later date or a virtual solution.
  • The joint operation of control computers and similar devices should be realized through remote control solutions, so that each employee only comes in contact with their “own” periphery devices. Devices where this is not possible or practical must be disinfected after each use.
  • Contact tracking lists shall be maintained for laboratories and other rooms where several employees are together for extended periods of time. The lists shall be posted and collected by the work group leaders responsible for the respective labs (or employees designated by them).
  • All offices must be ventilated multiple times throughout each day.
  • Should you feel unwell or exhibit cold symptoms, please stay at home and inform the head of your group and the institute’s secretary.
    If you are affected by mandatory self isolation or quarantine, please also let them know.

General recommendations and measures

Protective measures
  • Where appropriate, we kindly ask you to use the instruments proposed by GSI, such as home office and tele-conferences, in accordance with your line managers.
  • We kindly ask you to make use of the usual preventive measures to minimize potential disease transmission, e.g. coughing in your elbow.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Please refrain from politely “shaking hands” when greeting and saying goodbye.
  • Please raise awareness of employees of external companies at the institute.
Precautionary measures
  • Special risk groups: According to the latest findings, people with previous illnesses (e.g. lung diseases such as asthma, COPD …) or a weakened immune system belong to the group of individuals who are at risk of a more severe course of the viral disease. If you assume that this applies to you, please contact our company medical service to find out about suitable protective measures to prevent infection.
  • In case of symptoms of illness: Those who are sick should get well and not work. If you have a fever and/or clear signs of respiratory disease, do not drag yourself to work, do not put unnecessary strain on your fellow human beings. If the symptoms of the illness are milder, in consultation with your line manager, work from your home office rather than risking to infect your colleagues. Contact a doctor (first, by phone!) – outside office hours this can also be done via the emergency medical service: Phone 116 117.
    If you fall ill – at work, at home or on the road – with typical symptoms (e.g. fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have come from an affected region in the last two weeks or have had contact with people infected with coronavirus, please inform your line manager and the human ressources department directly via the usual channels, for example by email to Krankmeldung@gsi.de.
  • All line managers are requested to make sure that sick employees stay at home and get well. However, the assessment of whether a person is suspected of having a COVID-19 infection is the sole responsibility of the treating physicians or the public health department!

Contact persons

Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the institute’s secretary.

Further links

The Federal Ministry of Health regularly publishes information about the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2):

Important details and advices concerning Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) may be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute:

Information provided by the Foreign & European Policy for the preparation of business trips:

The health office of the city of Jena monitors the local situation closely: