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General Information on the Coronavirus


Dear Sir or Madam,

Over the past weeks, the coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally changed the world and our way of living. It is certain that we will have to live with many of the restrictions for some time to come. Yet the past weeks have taught us the following: if we all show solidarity and follow basic hygiene measures, we are a good step closer to regaining some normality, in our everyday lives as well as in our University operations.

On the following sites we will continuously update you on recent developments and their impact on University operations. Please familiarize yourself with the applicable regulations and measures at regular intervals so that the University can smoothly operate in safe mode.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Michael Hoch            Holger Gottschalk
Rector                                                  Provost




 Icon_Studenteninfo_red_web_400x400_pix.png Information for students

Icon_Lehrendeninfo_red_web_400x400_pix.png Information for teaching staff

Icon_Mitarbeiterinfo_red_web_400x400_pix.png Information for employees


Transitioning to safe operations phase

Based on legal regulations and the current development of the coronavirus pandemic in Germany, the University of Bonn is gradually transitioning from minimal operations to safe operations mode. Protecting University members against infection and containing the spread of the coronavirus in the most effective way remain our priorities. The following information provides an overview of upcoming changes and is updated on an ongoing basis. Please also refer to the Rectorate’s circular dating 05/06/2020 and the Rectorate´s circular dating 05/14/2020 for a brief initial overview.


(New 09/15)Procedure for (suspected) coronavirus cases

Infections have been on the rise again in Germany in previous weeks and inquiries about (suspected) cases have also been increasing in the University. The Rectorate is therefore once again reminding you of the detailed procedure to follow for (suspected) cases of coronavirus infection. Please refer to the Rectorate´s circular 71/2020 and the attachment.

(Updated 09/15) Private trips

Private trips to countries for which the RKI and the Foreign Office issued travel warnings/ imposed restrictions should be avoided where possible. The Ordinance on entering the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) during the coronavirus pandemic stipulates that every person who travels from or returns from a risk area must quarantine at home for 14 days and inform the responsible health authority. Where responsible health authorities are not promptly notified, this is considered a regulatory offense which may be punished by a fine. We therefore ask you to please bear in mind that certain legal regulations may apply at the time of planning your private trip, which may require you going into quarantine at home upon your return. The period of time you go into quarantine for does not classify as paid working time. Therefore, please carefully check where you plan to take a private trip to and whether it is necessary at this point in time. The German states have respectively implemented regulations requiring quarantining for certain returning travelers, thus knowingly going on private travel to a country subject to a travel warning constitutes a culpable breach of employee sick pay regulations. Such conduct results in a temporary inability to perform work in accordance with § 616 of German Civil Code (BGB), for which the employee would be culpably at fault. Accordingly, the employee forfeits entitlement to sick pay in such case pursuant to § 616 BGB. If work cannot be performed from home, the absence time must either be made up for by forfeiting vacation leave or accrued overtime or unpaid leave must be taken for the period of absence, subject to approval.

(New 08/10) Ventilation and cooling during the coronavirus pandemic

Outbreaks of coronavirus in abattoirs and meat processing factories have been associated with the practice of ventilation with recirculated air. This technology is now viewed as a possible factor in the spread of the virus. The pathogen is spread via “aerosols” which do not fall to the ground, but are maintained in the air by currents. Although the conditions of the meat industry and a university are in no way comparable, recent developments have occasioned the university management to review the ventilation/air conditioning practices on the premises of the University of Bonn. Section 4.3 Technical Services has conducted inspections pertaining to this issue. For more informations please refer to Circular 59/2020.

(Updated on 07/30) Most University museums reopen

Following the easing of restrictions stipulated in the Corona Protection Ordinance, activities at most University museums and the Botanical Gardens may be gradually resumed. The following museums have reopened: the Arithmeum, the Academic Art Museum, the Paul Clemen Museum, the Egyptian Museum, the Mineralogical Museum in Poppelsdorf Castle, the Botanical Gardens and the Goldfuß Museum on Nussallee. Please refer to the individual museum websites for details on the specific hygiene measures and opening times. Further information is also provided in a press release (ger).

(Updated 07/03) Business trips

Please note the regulations in Circular 53/2020 regarding business trips. Effective immediately, traveling for business within Germany and Europe is permissible again as long as no travel warnings were issued for or restrictions imposed on the target countries by the Foreign Office and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). As the current situation may change at short notice, we ask you to please check with the Foreign Office and with the RKI, both prior to booking and starting the trip whether travel warnings/restrictions apply to the relevant country. Business trips to risk areas or countries that are subject to restrictions are only approved in substantiated exceptional circumstances.

(Updated 07/08) Examinations in the summer semester

For examinations that for objective reasons cannot be carried out online, conditions were created to be able to carry out examinations in person and on the University of Bonn's premises. The requirements for infection control and occupational safety must be observed. The University management has informed faculties about the modalities and will provide students with a handbook on the correct behavior during examinations (also via the examination offices). Time and place of examinations will be allocated to departments and subjects via the central room allocation system, where possible according to their requests. The exams are then considered approved. The examination dates as well as the respective, possibly altered, examination method should be announced to the candidates electronically at least two weeks prior to the examination date. As a general rule, the compulsory registration for examinations (§ 64 Paragraph 3 HG) laid down in the examination regulations is not applicable to both first attempts and repeat attempts. It is also possible to withdraw from an examination attempt without giving reasons, as well as to cancel an examination until the submission of a written examination or up to the end of an oral examination. Further information can be found in the Rectorate's Circular 35/2020 as well as the Rectorate's Decision of May 7 and the first decision amending the Rectorate's Decision of May 7 and the handbook for examiners.

(New 06/24) Handling of current changes to corona-related legislation

To protect employees and students and for reliable planning and practical purposes, the Rectorate and deans agreed to conclude the summer semester based on current parameters and plans in place. Taking into account the development of the coronavirus pandemic as well as changes to the Coronaschutzverordnung and Allgemeinverfügung (expected from July onwards), the Rectorate will inform you about the plans for the winter semester and changes to the current protection strategy in due course. Please refer to Circular 47/2020.

(Updated 06/24) On-site presence logging for contact tracing purposes

The latest updates to the Ordinance on Protection Against New Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Infections (Coronaschutzverordnung) and the General Order by the German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (Allgemeinverfügung) have necessitated changes in order to conduct “safe operations”. This principally involves an on-site presence logging requirement for the purpose of contact tracing by the authorities in case of infection. The Coronaschutzverordnung stipulates that name, address and phone number of individuals must be recorded in writing for the purpose of contact tracing. In case of changing groups of individuals, details on the duration of the stay at the workplace, i.e. the time of arrival and departure, must also be documented. The exact regulations can be found in the Circular 39/2020.

To increase efficiency and ensure quick availability, the process for collecting of student data for traceability purposes with regard to on-site examinations as well as to on-site (practical) courses has been simplified. This has been agreed in cooperation with the local health authority. As a result, logging of the student ID number and University email address is sufficient as further student contact details can be retrieved retrospectively, via the student ID number. Please refer to Circular 47/2020.

(Updates 06/23) Bonn University and State Library expands protected operations

From Wednesday, 24 June 2020, the services of Bonn University and State Library (ULB) will once again be available to all users. The opening hours will also be extended. In addition to picking up ordered books, appointments must still be made for visiting the ULB. The opening hours of the library will be extended to Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in order to continue to guarantee a comprehensive supply of literature even after opening for all user groups. The learning and working rooms of the ULB will remain closed. All regulations in detail can be found on the homepage of the ULB.

(Updated 06/16) Preparation of hygiene and protection plans

Hygiene and protection plans have to be prepared for the exceptional cases noted in circular 33/2020 (library lending, research operations and absolutely necessary in-lab teaching activities, examinations which cannot be conducted online and mini-meetings with special requirements). An infection risk assessment as well as instructing relevant staff and students as applicable are fundamental parts of any hygiene and protection plan. For detailed information on preparing a hygiene and protection plan, refer to Circular 34/2020 and the manual for the preparation of hygiene and protection concepts. For any questions you may have, contact Occupational and Environmental Safety.

(Updated 06/10) Specifications on the wearing mouth and nose covers

Mouth and nose covers must be worn in all University of Bonn buildings. Please note the following specifications: Wearing a mouth and nose covering is not necessary if you are either alone in a room or not alone and the following conditions are met: The room has at least 10 square meters of space per person. The minimum safe distancing of 1.5 meters is maintained. The room is regularly ventilated to ensure hygiene and reduce the presence of potential airborne pathogen.Further information can be found in the Circular 2020/39. Useful information on this topic including sewing instructions has been compiled by the Occupational and Environmental Safety Unit of the University.

(New 05/28) Reopening of University buildings during “safe operations” mode

As part of the gradual introduction of “safe operations”, the reopening of the University buildings is scheduled for June 02, 2020. The general opening hours are from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm until further notice. Access to the University premises outside of the applicable opening hours is only possible upon prior agreement. Hygiene and protective measures must be adhered to on University premises, especially wearing mouth and nose covers is imperative. For further information please refer to the circular 38/2020.

(New 05/26) University Sports

On the basis of a phased plan to resume university sports, from May 22nd, limited sporting options will be offered on the outdoor facilities of the university sports complex at Nachtigallenweg. Futher information and details

(New 05/26) Gradual opening of Institute libraries under “safe operations” rules

Steps are currently being taken to open the Institute libraries under “safe operations” rules. Institute libraries may start progressively reopening after the Pentecost holiday once the corresponding hygiene plans have been presented. Protecting staff and users against infection is the main priority in this process.

(New 05/26) What to do in case of suspected corona infection

The circular dated 5/14/2020 outlines detailed information on what to do if you suspect someone within your organization is infected with corona. The steps to be taken outlined herein are absolutely mandatory. Important: Persons exhibiting cold symptoms or who have a fever are prohibited from entering University premises or, if already there, are required to leave premises immediately and obtain a doctor’s diagnosis.

(New 05/26): Provision of protective equipment

The University of Bonn administration is cooperating in various ways to facilitate implementation of the general hygiene and anti-infection plan. Please read and comply with the detailed rules and information outlined in Circular 34/2020. Institute and unit directors can notify Occupational Health & Safety of their total required quantity of mouth-nose masks (MNMs) (max. 3 MNMs per person). Department 4.1 has central responsibility for placing tables with disinfectant liquid at building entrances. Occupational Health & Safety may be contacted if additional resources are required. Simple protective shields of acrylic glass can be purchased from the company Lyreco. Please contact Occupational Health & Safety to request shields of custom dimensions. Disposable gloves to be used for disinfecting surfaces can also be purchased from Lyreco. Please note that such gloves do not effectively protect the wearer against infection and are never suitable for use over an extended period of time.

(New 05/06) General hygiene and safety measures enacted

In preparation for the safe operations mode, the Rectorate has decreed general hygiene and safety measures. It is imperative that all members of the University are aware of and adhere to these. These include guidelines on individual behavior, mouth and nose covers, social distancing, correct airing of rooms, cleaning and disinfection of appliances and issuance of protective equipment. Please also keep in mind the health and safety standards issued by the German Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

(New 05/06) Exceptions possible for courses with physical attendance as of June 02

With strict adherence to existing legal regulations, ordinances and guidelines on occupational health and safety as well as hygiene, exceptions for reopening in safe operations mode may be granted to the following areas:

  • Borrowing from libraries
  • Research and imperative teaching in labs
  • Examinations which cannot be held digitally
  • Small meetings with specific requirements such as job interviews.

Specific hygiene concepts must have been submitted to and approved by the University management beforehand.

(Updated 05/05) Childcare

The Office for Family Services of the University will be pleased to answer all questions on childcare in times of the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, all members of the University may refer to a circular (intranet), which clearly lays out current regulations and available support on the topic.

(Updated 05/08) Facilities closed

All University premises will be closed to the public until further notice. Employees will continue to have access. However, the safe operations mode allows for a gradual opening of the University. As of May 11, the Bonn University and State Library (ULB Bonn) resumes its regular borrowing service (further information above).

University administration 

We ask to refrain from visiting units of the University administration, as it has largely been converted to home office structures. Employees remain available - usually from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. - under the known contact information by telephone and e-mail. If possible, documents should not be sent to the University administration by mail, but by e-mail. Originals can be submitted later, if necassary.
This applies in particular to personnel requests from the University branches, which should be sent as a scan to the respective functional mailbox with the written approval of the budget managers. Details can be found in Circular 21/2020.

University gastronomy

The University gastronomy of the Studierendenwerk Bonn has been discontinued. Only the "venusberg bistro" at the University Hospital Bonn (for UKB staff and students of the University of Bonn with ID) remains open and serves a reduced to-go offer.

(New 05/08) Information for researchers

The coronavirus pandemic has far-reaching impact on the area of research. New regulations now apply to third-party funded projects, aiming at softening the pandemic-related impact on research. For latest updates, please refer to the information on corona provided by Division 7. Please also keep in mind the WissStudGU which is scheduled to be passed by the German Parliament on May 15 and includes important changes to research.

General information on the coronavirus

(updated 06/19) Contact ban

The state government has issued a far-reaching contact ban for North Rhine-Westphalia. Currently, groups of no more than ten people may meet in public. This maximum number of persons does not apply to relatives in a straight line or persons from two different households. The general distance regulation of 1.5 metres continues to apply, including the obligation to wear a mouth and nose protector in certain areas. (

How do you recognize an infection?

Like other respiratory pathogens, infection with the novel coronavirus can lead to symptoms such as coughing, rhinitis, sore throat and fever. Some patients also suffer from diarrhea. In some patients, the virus can take a more severe course, leading to respiratory problems and pneumonia. Deaths have so far occurred mainly in elderly patients and/or persons who suffered from underlying chronic diseases. 

How can we protect ourselves?

To prevent infection in particular, the standard hygiene measures are recommended:
  • More frequent hand washing: thoroughly with soap and water for about 30 seconds.
  • Cough hygiene: Cough only in the crook of your arm.
  • Keep a distance of about 1.5 to 2 meters from the sick person.
  • Reduce contact with other people to a minimum.

What can I do if I suffer from symptoms of illness?

1) Persons who have had personal contact (regardless of travel) with a person in whom the novel coronavirus has been detected in the laboratory should contact the public health authority immediately, regardless of symptoms. 
2) Persons who have been abroad should - regardless of symptoms - avoid unnecessary contact and stay at home for 14 days. If acute symptoms occur, they should seek medical advice by telephone and refer to the trip.

(Updated 06/19) If you travel to Bonn

The Corona Entry Regulation is currently suspended due to a decision of the North Rhine-Westphalian Higher Administrative Court. The federal and state governments are therefore currently discussing an adjustment of the respective entry regulations.

In case of questions or need for assistance, please get in touch with your contact at the University of Bonn:
for international researchers: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]
for international students: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]

Further information

Hotline of the city of Bonn
The public health department of the city of Bonn has established a hotline for the corona virus. It can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on weekends and public holidays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. +49 (0) 228-7175.
Current legal regulations and Circular

For the current legal regulations and circulars visit our german corona-site.

Important links

State authorities


Specialist institutions 

University institutions
Circulars of the University of Bonn (only accessible within the university)


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