Hygiene Plan for Universität Hamburg (excluding UKE)
Pursuant to the ordinance on the containment of SARS-CoV-2 in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (Hamburgische SARS-CoV-2 Eindämmungsverordnung, HmbSARS-CoV-2-EindämmungsVO as amended) and the president’s Instructions No. 24 of 22 March 2022.
Last updated: 4 October 2022
To avoid the risk of a coronavirus infection, Universität Hamburg is issuing a hygiene concept. The hygiene plan is binding and goes into effect upon publication of the president’s instructions.
Since May 2022, only basic infection protection measures decided upon by the Federal Republic of Germany apply in Hamburg until further notice. For Universität Hamburg, this means that you are no longer required to wear a mask or meet any 2G or 3G criteria as of 1 May 2022.
The hygiene plan outlines the measures for infection control and SARS-CoV-2 containment in place at the University, based on the German government’s infection protection law and the SARS-CoV-2 German health and safety regulations and Hamburg SARS-CoV-2 containment regulations. The hygiene plan continues to include recommendations for protecting yourself against infection. These include in particular the recommendation to wear a medical mask (covering mouth and nose) in closed rooms at Universität Hamburg. Vulnerable people are urged to wear a well-fitted FFP2 mask for their own protection.
The hygiene plan is regularly updated and applies to everyone who works, studies, or visits the University or who enters a University building in the context of cooperation, the provision of services, or for any other reason.
2. Precautionary measures for individuals
2.1. Personal hygiene
The main route of transmission for the coronavirus is when infected people release particles (droplets or aerosols) that contain the virus, particularly through coughing, sneezing, breathing, speaking, or singing. In addition, the virus can also be transmitted indirectly via the hands if they are brought into contact with the mucus membranes of the mouth, nose, or eyes. To avoid infection, we recommend compliance with the following hygiene rules:
- Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for 30 seconds (see https://www.infektionsschutz.de/haendewaschen.html).
- Observe sneezing and coughing etiquette—that is, cough and sneeze into your elbow, preferably while turning away from other people to create the largest possible distance.
- Keep your distance when possible.
- Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes.
- Avoid touching frequently touched surfaces such as door handles or elevator buttons with your palms or fingers.
- Avoid touching, shaking hands, and hugging when possible.
2.2. Using masks
In closed rooms at Universität Hamburg, we recommend wearing a medical mask (covering nose and mouth). We urge vulnerable people (e.g., those with preconditions, who are unvaccinated, etc.) to wear a well-fitted FFP2 mask to protect themselves.
2.3. Case-specific provision of self-tests
In specific working situations involving a significantly higher risk compared to the general risk present in everyday life, a risk assessment can establish the use of antigen self-tests as a safety precaution. Since the use of self-tests constitutes an individual protective measure, technical measures (e.g., plexiglass windows) and organizational measures (e.g., observing minimum distancing requirements of 1.5 meters) must be checked and applied beforehand in accordance with the Safety and Health at Work Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz, ArbSchG). The application and assessment of the efficacy of these measures must be based on the individual, workplace-related risk assessment.
On the basis of a risk assessment, antigen self-tests can be ordered from the occupational safety specialist responsible in Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection Unit.
2.4. Individual measures for staff members
2.4.1 Working from home
If there are no operational arguments for working in the office, supervisors can continue to make agreements with their staff to work from home. Supervisors decide in agreement with their staff if there are compelling reasons for working in the office.
The arrangements for working from home must be agreed directly between you and your supervisor (in writing—via email or using the form in the Staff Service Portal). Any questions that arise must also be clarified between these parties. Flexitime regulations apply when working from home as do staff members’ core working hours. The rules on recording working hours also apply when working from home. A form is available on the HR page in the Staff Service Portal for this purpose. Professors are exempt from this regulation.
Supervisors are asked to arrange flexible remote-working hours with employees forced to stay at home due to a lack of childcare options in the wake of school and childcare center restrictions. This may include hours outside standard flexitime. If an employee cannot work from home while looking after their children, they may use vacation days or flexitime credits. In this case, their account may go into a negative balance as permitted in the flexitime regulations.
2.4.2 If you suspect you have been infected or you are ill
People with symptoms of an infection—such as a cough, fever, diarrhea—who have not been given the all clear by a doctor are asked not to come into the workplace if possible. Supervisors are permitted to instruct their staff members to leave the workplace if necessary.
If you are unable to work, you must submit a doctor’s note following the third day of illness.
Employees who are quarantined for confirmed case of COVID-19 must continue to perform their work duties unless their illness renders them unable to do so. HR can officially release you from work only if the conditions for working from home cannot be met (e.g., your duties cannot be performed from home or you do not have the requisite technology).
3. Work-related travel and stays abroad
3.1. Work-related travel
As a rule, work-related travel is permitted. Current information and warnings issued at short notice by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and the Federal Foreign Office (e.g., flight restrictions) must be observed when booking travel services or before you begin your travels.
Especially for travel to regions with a virus variant (see the current list of regions on the pages of the Robert Koch Institute), you must inform yourself about the corona-related regulations specific to the country and, if applicable, the institution you are visiting. When returning from regions with virus variants, you must comply with the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations. If you need to quarantine when you return, you need to continue working at home throughout. Before commencing duties, teaching staff traveling to high-risk areas for the sake of work must ensure they have a substitute for courses and examinations during the quarantine period.
3.2. Returning from abroad
Staff and students returning from regions with a virus variant (see 3.1) must comply with the Ordinance on Coronavirus Entry Regulations. Before entering University premises, staff and students must inform themselves about the requirements established by the City of Hamburg and conduct themselves accordingly.
In case of travel warnings, any consequences arising from private travel abroad (e.g., self-quarantine at home) are the sole responsibility of the employee. This means that if working from home is not possible due to self-quarantine measures, vacation days or accumulated overtime must be taken to cover the working hours not completed. Those who are self-quarantined at home must contact HR and their supervisor immediately. Professors must inform the relevant office of the dean and HR.
4. Hygiene measures for the use of shared public areas (elevators, foyers, sanitary areas, passageways, kitchenettes) in Universität Hamburg buildings
To minimize the risk of infection, we recommend compliance with the following rules in public areas of Universität Hamburg.
- Hand disinfectants must be provided in the entrance area of buildings for use on entry to the buildings.
- Individuals should keep their distance from others when possible.
- Elevators should be used only by a few people at a time when possible.
- Kitchenettes, copy rooms, and other similar spaces that do not allow for distancing of at least 1.5 meters should be used by only a few people at a time.
5. Room hygiene
All rooms used and, in particular, surfaces frequently touched by individuals and groups of individuals will be cleaned regularly. According to advice from the Arbeitsmedizinischer Dienst (state occupational medical service [AMD]) and recommendations issued by the Robert Koch Institute, precautionary disinfection of surfaces—including frequently touched surfaces—during the current COVID-19 pandemic is not required. In addition, all sanitary facilities will be regularly cleaned and permanently supplied with sufficient liquid soap and paper towels.
Regular ventilation is important for reducing the risk of infection. The duration, nature, and frequency of such ventilation depends on the methods available, the duration of the event in question, and the use of the space. If a room is scheduled for use in multiple events on a single day, the following scenarios must be distinguished:
- Rooms with windows should be aired out several times per hour by ventilating crosswise and/or by opening windows fully.
- If possible, do not use rooms without a mechanical ventilation system and with windows that cannot be opened by design or for other reasons.
6. Protection and hygiene measures for in-person teaching and examinations
We strongly advise you to wear a medical mask (covering nose and mouth) for courses, examinations, and other in-person activities. We urge vulnerable people (e.g., those with preconditions, who are unvaccinated, etc.) to wear a well-fitted FFP2 mask to protect themselves.
7. Protective and hygiene measures in experimental research operations and during empirical research
We recommend compliance with the following protective and hygiene measures for experimental and empirical research:
- Where space and the nature and conduct of the research permits, participants should be urged to observe a minimum distance of 1.5 meters.
- We recommend wearing an FFP2 mask when coming into close contact with others.
- We recommend sufficient flow of fresh air.
8. Protective and hygiene measures for office workspaces with and without contact with patrons
We recommend taking appropriate technical and organizational measures to reduce contact between individuals. This includes a recommendation for limiting the number of people in a room at one time, depending on room size.
In situations involving close contact (e.g., work-related car rides), we strongly recommend wearing an mask (see 2.2).
9. Recommended protection and hygiene measures for meetings of student bodiesfor committee meetings, work gatherings, and meetings in faculties, central facilities, and University Administration
Student bodies such as the departmental student representative committee, AStA (student council), and student parliament are responsible for their own meetings.
10. First aid services
If first aid is required, you must observe the following rules as far as possible:
- Keep your distance.
- Adhere to coughing and sneezing etiquette, and observe hand hygiene.
- Wearing a mask (see 2.2)
If you notice any signs of health-related difficulties in your colleagues and there are no first-aiders available to help, call an emergency doctor at 112.
11. Expansion of the hygiene plan
This hygiene plan will be updated accordingly.