With its Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept, our university is pursuing the goal of protecting everybody by further containing or halting the spread of coronavirus, based on the principles of prevention and the need to enable teaching and research.
SARS-CoV-2: Leipzig University Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept
Translation of the German, which was last amended on: 1 December 2021
The English translation on this page is intended solely as a convenience to people who do not read German. Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in the translation of the official German version of this information are not binding and have no legal effect.
The Free State of Saxony has issued new emergency coronavirus legislation (SächsCoronaNotVO)1 and a new accompanying general decree.2
The University’s updated Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is based on current infection levels and further forecasts, the specifications of the SächsCoronaNotVO of 19 November 2021 and the accompanying general decree as well as the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standards,3 the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Regulations,4 the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV)8 of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the Protection Against Infection Act10 and the national Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations (CoronaEinreiseV).9 Reference is also made to the recommendations on model risk assessment for protection against the spread of pathogens and the maintenance of interim operation at universities5, valid for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus pandemic). The University recommends using the Corona-Warn-App7.
The Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is a general framework for Leipzig University and subject to the Staff Council’s right of co-determination. More detailed hygiene concepts at the faculties and Central Institutions (e.g. for the use of the University Library) are to be drawn up by the individual institutions/faculties themselves. If, compared to the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept for the entire University, these additional concepts define more far-reaching measures for members of staff, then in order for them to be valid for members of staff, the faculties and Central Institutions must also present these concepts to the Staff Council, via the Head of Administration and Finance, in a separate co-determination procedure. Technical protective measures take priority over organisational measures, and organisational measures over personal measures. Deviations or compensatory measures must be determined by means of a risk assessment initiated by the person in charge. Advice on this is available from the occupational safety specialists at the Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and from the staff medical officers at the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin (MIA).
The person responsible for hygiene at the University under the general decree accompanying the SächsCoronaSchVO is Professor Beate A. Schücking, who also heads the University’s crisis management team.
The updated Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept applies to all staff and students of the University as well as to guests, visitors and employees of external companies working at the University, and is subject to the Staff Council’s right of co-determination under the Saxon Staff Representation Act (SächsPersVG). Separate regulations and responsibilities apply additionally to the Faculty of Medicine, whereby the special regulations of Leipzig University Hospital must be observed.
This hygiene concept shall enter into force upon publication and approval by the Staff Council and apply until the end of the validity of the current SächsCoronaNotVO, however – due to the turn of the year – initially until at least 15 January 2021. The University reserves the right to adapt this hygiene concept through the Staff Council or due to new regulations imposed by the Free State of Saxony.
Regulations on Hygiene and Preventing Infections
In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other infectious diseases, the Rectorate and the crisis management team, in consultation with the Staff Council, expressly advise members of the University community to observe the general hygiene rules (known in German as “AHACL”):
D: Keeping a distance
- Keep 1.5 metres away from other people wherever possible.
H: Paying attention to hygiene
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.
M: Wearing a community mask
- Medical face masks or respirators must be worn wherever prescribed or if it is not possible to maintain the minimum distance.
- The University strongly recommends using the Federal Government’s Corona-Warn-App to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an infection.7
- If in use, rooms must be aired sufficiently, even during the winter months.
In order to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, the following regulations must be observed at Leipzig University:
a) Medical face masks and respirators
- In University buildings, medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves must be worn in all areas generally accessible to more than one person, such as corridors, staircases and lifts, and whenever a minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be maintained.
- Medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves must be worn in all lifts. Notices with this information will be displayed in lifts.
- In the case of activities where no technical or organisational protective measures (such as reduced room occupancy, social distancing, partition walls) are possible, in the case of physically strenuous activities or in the case of activities in which loud talking is necessary due to the ambient conditions and, as a result, there is increased emission of aerosols which may be contaminated with viruses, medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves must be worn.
- If a risk assessment shows that using medical face masks does not offer sufficient protection for employees, and that masks designed to protect the wearer are necessary, then respirators must be provided. This applies in particular if the activities carried mean there is an elevated risk of aerosol emission, or in the case of workplace activities involving contact with other persons where one of the persons present is not required to wear a medical face mask.
- The relevant institution is responsible for providing protective masks. Procurement is currently carried out centrally by the Free State of Saxony.
b) Access rules for buildings and facilities
- University buildings are generally open.
- University Sport and fitness activities are only possible if held digitally.
- People are only permitted to enter Leipzig University’s buildings and facilities if there is no suspicion that they have COVID-19 and if they are not subject to a quarantine order. As a precautionary measure, the relevant department reserves the right to temporarily ban potential contact persons from entering the premises.
- The “3G rule” applies for staff, students and guests entering University buildings. Valid “3G” proof is required to enter Leipzig University buildings. An exception applies for taking tests offered at the University for the purpose of obtaining a test certificate. There will be increased monitoring of compliance with the “3G” rule.
- Events with external participants, and festivities, are not permitted. Museums must be closed to the public. Access to in-person teaching is subject to the “3G” rule (proof of full vaccination, recovery from coronavirus or a valid negative test).
- Contact registration is necessary for in-person teaching. Leipzig University uses the Corona-Warn-App for contact registration. Analogue contact registration must be put in place for participants who do not have a digital device.
- Consultations, committee work, selection procedures, doctoral thesis defences, meetings, and the like should be conducted digitally whenever possible. If conducted physically, all participants must furnish “3G” proof and have their contact details registered.
- People with acute respiratory diseases and symptoms of illness are requested to stay at home or to exit Leipzig University’s buildings, rooms and premises, and to consult a doctor in order to prevent the potential infection of other people. Symptoms may include::
- Increased temperature, fever
- Problems affecting the respiratory tract (head cold, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)
- Headache and aching limbs
- General weakness
- Loss of sense of smell or taste
- Gastrointestinal problems.
- If someone enters University buildings, it shall be assumed that they confirm that the above-mentioned reasons for exclusion do not apply to them.
- Notices displayed in the entrance areas of University buildings will draw attention to the general hygiene rules, the “3G” rule and social distancing requirements.
- In accordance with the SächsCoronaSchVO and the accompanying general decree, precautions must be taken to ensure that all persons can wash their hands thoroughly after entering the buildings. Where there are no nearby sanitary facilities in the building, hand sanitiser dispensers are provided in the entrances and foyers of highly frequented buildings.
- The Department of Construction and Technical Services is responsible for ensuring that posters with the hygiene rules, and hand sanitiser dispensers, are distributed in the relevant entrance areas.
- The persons responsible under the University’s House Rules have the authority to grant and deny access to University premises..
c) Social distancing rules
- Basic rule: people must practise social distancing, keep at least 1.5 metres away from others.
- Where it is not possible to maintain this minimum distance, alternative protective measures must be taken. Here, technical solutions (such as partition walls) take priority over organisational and personal protective measures.
- A person’s vaccination or recovered status may be taken into account when determining protective measures.
- The individual facilities are responsible for the procurement and use of technical protective measures.
- Organisational measures include work processes, which should be planned in such a way that there is little direct contact between people. Direct contact can be reduced by measures such as communicating online, coordinating working hours, alternating shifts, and working elsewhere or from home.
- For office work or comparable activities, all employees, civil servants (Beamt:innen) and trainees (even if they are still in their probationary period) are offered the opportunity to carry out these activities from home if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. Employees, civil servants and trainees are required to accept this offer unless there are compelling reasons for them not to do so. Reasons for an employee to refuse to work from home may include, for example, a lack of space, disturbances by third parties or a lack of technical equipment.
- Where working from home and technical solutions are not possible or where people work in situations where the minimum distance cannot be maintained, personal protective measures should be taken, such as wearing protective masks (see 3a).
- Contact between people as they move around should be avoided where possible by means of clear routing (such as one-way systems or floor arrows).
- Congestion in and in front of buildings should be avoided. Appropriate consideration should be given to areas where queues are likely to form, drawing people’s attention to social distancing requirements (e.g. with distance markings or information signs).
- All occupants, with the exception of the driver, must wear respirators when sharing vehicles for work purposes.
d) Rules on using rooms
- The use of rooms by more than one member of staff at the same time must be kept to the minimum necessary.
- Working in offices is still possible. The minimum distance of 1.5 metres between people must be observed.
If, for a limited period, it is not possible to maintain the minimum distance, the protective measures mentioned under c) must be considered. In particular, protective measures must be implemented for personal consultations with University staff and students and other persons.
- In-person teaching is permitted. Further regulations are listed under f). Rooms used for in-person teaching have Corona-Warn-App QR codes for checking in digitally.
- Enclosed rooms which do not have ventilation systems must be aired thoroughly and frequently, as fresh air helps to quickly dilute infectious aerosols. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened wide for three minutes in winter, five minutes in spring/autumn, and ten minutes in summer. Airing intervals must be adapted to the number of persons. As a rule, rooms should be aired every 20 minutes.
- In rooms with ventilation systems, the ventilation systems are programmed to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh air.
- Devices which cause air to circulate (e.g. fans, fan heaters) may only be used in rooms used by one person. This is because the circulating air contributes to the distribution of aerosols in the room, but no fresh air is supplied to lower the aerosol concentration.
- People should not share work equipment if possible. Where this is not possible, the equipment must be cleaned after use.
- Existing room cleaning schedules will be maintained.
- Door handles and stair handrails are cleaned regularly by cleaning staff; disinfecting these is unnecessary and would be unreasonable.
e) Personal protective measures
- Compliance with the general “AHACL” hygiene rules (see point 3)
- Sanitary rooms must be equipped with running water, liquid soap and disposable towels. If the soap or disposable towels have been used up, replenishment must be arranged immediately (by contacting the Department 4 caretakers).
- If technical and organisational protective measures cannot minimise the risk of infection at work, then individual protective measures must be implemented, such as wearing protective masks (see point 3a).
- The relevant superiors are responsible for instructing employees about the hygiene measures taken and how they are to be implemented.
f) Rooms used for teaching purposes
- Rooms used for teaching purposes which have fixed seating or tables that can’t be moved and a ventilation system can be occupied as follows:
- A maximum of 100 persons, for the Audimax 174 persons, are permitted.
- Rooms used for teaching purposes which have movable seating, and rooms used for teaching purposes which do not have ventilation systems, can be occupied as follows:
- Up to 50 seats: 100 per cent occupancy
- More than 50 seats: as a general rule, maximum occupancy of 50 persons.
- Rooms used for teaching purposes which do not have ventilation systems must be aired thoroughly and frequently, as fresh air helps to quickly dilute infectious aerosols. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened wide for three minutes in winter, five minutes in spring/autumn, and ten minutes in summer. Airing intervals must be adapted to the number of persons. As a rule, rooms should be aired every 20 minutes.
- For all rooms that are used for teaching purposes, the institutions responsible for the rooms must prepare appropriate risk assessments.
- For in-person teaching, participants must also wear medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves even when seated.
- If the minimum distance of 2 metres is maintained, lecturers and speakers (e.g. students giving presentations) can take off their face masks so that they can be better understood.
- The risk assessment must define rules for wearing masks in laboratories and similar facilities.
- The “3G” rule applies to all participants of all in-person teaching at Leipzig University. Participation in in-person teaching is only permitted with proof of full vaccination, recovery from coronavirus, or a valid negative test.
- It will be necessary to carry proof with you at all times and to retain it for 4 weeks.
- Students must produce the relevant “3G” proof at the request of the lecturer or a designated person.
- Rapid antigen tests and PCR tests must not be older than 24 and 48 hours respectively.
- Decisions on whether to allow in-person teaching shall depend on the current legislation and the associated assessment of the situation.
- The libraries are open with their own hygiene concept. Medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves are mandatory.
- Access to the libraries is now subject to the “3G” rule (proof of full vaccination, recovery from coronavirus or a valid negative test).
- Libraries have Corona-Warn-App QR codes for checking in digitally.
- Table surfaces are cleaned daily..
h) Computer pools
- Computer pools have Corona-Warn-App QR codes for checking in digitally.
- Medical face masks must also be worn when seated at computer pool workstations.
- As a rule, spaces will be allocated by means of a booking system.
- Table surfaces are cleaned regularly.
- Disposable cleaning cloths are provided for cleaning contact surfaces independently.
i) Museums / Botanical Garden
- In accordance with the current SächsCoronaSchVO and the accompanying general decree, museums and botanical gardens are counted as cultural and leisure facilities. They are not permitted to open.
j) Academic and external events
- Academic and external in-person events are not possible. If digital substitutes (streams, recordings, etc.) are to be planned, this must be registered again with the room coordination office and a hygiene concept for staff working on site must be drawn up. Vaccinations may be offered by different providers within Leipzig University.
k) Events in the Paulinum – Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul
- The Paulinum has its own hygiene concept. Concerts are not permitted. Events that do not directly serve in-person teaching are not permitted. If digital substitutes (streams, recordings, etc.) are to be planned, this must be registered again with the room coordination office and a hygiene concept for staff working on site must be drawn up.
- Church services are permitted. The “Orientierungsplan für das kirchliche Leben unter Corona-Pandemie-Bedingungen” issued by the Landeskirche Sachsen must be observed.
l) Business trips
- Business trips should still be reduced to the absolute minimum. Instead of physical contact, digital alternatives should be used wherever possible. Business trips in Germany and abroad require the approval of the dean, the head of the Central Institution or the Head of Administration and Finance. In the case of approved business trips that cannot be postponed, the possible restrictions at the destination and resulting consequences must be clarified in advance.
- Business trips to international high-risk areas or areas of variants of concern will not be authorised.
- Members of staff planning international business trips should be advised to book a consultation on occupational health precautions with the staff medical officers at the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin well in advance (approximately 8 weeks beforehand). This should be registered as an optional consultation with the responsible HR administrator.
m) Occupational health precautions and protecting the particularly vulnerable
- For members of staff with a higher risk of serious illness (if known), individual protective measures must be provided for in the risk assessment.
- These members of staff will be offered consultations on occupational health precautions from the staff medical officers at the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin, for example on special health risks due to a previous illness or existing condition. Advice is also available over the phone or by email. If necessary, individual protective measures should be examined and determined together with the staff medical officers and the person’s superior, in particular for employees belonging to high-risk groups.
- The employee should register these occupational health precautions as an optional consultation with the responsible HR administrator.
n) Testing strategy, vaccinations
- Employers are required to offer two self-tests per week to employees who are not working from home. Students with an employment contract at Leipzig University are considered employees. Procurement and distribution:
- Rapid test kits will be procured centrally by the Free State of Saxony and made available to Leipzig University.
- The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety will distribute the rapid tests to all management teams in the faculties, Central Institutions and administration. The management teams will be responsible for further distribution.
- For unvaccinated students and staff, Leipzig University offers testing opportunities free of charge at its three testing points. The faculties, Central Institutions and administration may also offer tests themselves in order to enable supervised testing.
- Members of staff should be given the opportunity to get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during working hours.
- When being advised, employees must be informed about the health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 and about the possibility of a vaccination.
- Information about vaccination services for students is published on the following page: www.uni-leipzig.de/en/vaccinationdates.
o) Measures in confirmed and suspected cases of illness, FAQs
The University has published on its website FAQs for staff and students with information about how to deal with COVID-19.
All faculties, Central Institutions, institutes including affiliated institutes, working groups, administrative areas and all other facilities under the jurisdiction of Leipzig University must observe and implement the regulations on hygiene and preventing infections. Superiors are responsible for ensuring compliance with hygiene measures. In the event of violations, the head of the facility must be informed. The head may initiate further measures in consultation with the Rector or a delegated member of the Rectorate.
Questions about this Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept can be submitted by email to the following address: umwelt(at)uni-leipzig.de.
Under Sect. 73(1a) No. 24 of the German Protection Against Infection Act (IfSG), it is an administrative offence to present an incorrect test certificate, certificate of recovery or vaccination certificate.
Under Sect. 73(1a) No. 24 of the German Protection Against Infection Act (IfSG), it is an administrative offence to attend in-person teaching without valid “3G” proof.
The Authority of Public Order is authorised to issue fines for administrative offences.