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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



(Updated 05/26) 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 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 05/25) Business trips during the “safe operations” phase

Effective immediately, business trips within Germany are permissible again. However, with public welfare in mind, these trips are restricted to work duties that cannot be fulfilled via digital channels. When considering a business trip, the goal of that trip should always be care-fully weighed against the related health risks. Please also refer to the Recorate's circular dating 05/25/2020.

(New 05/26) Advance notice on exceptions for examinations requiring physical attendance

Currently arrangements are made for examinations which cannot be held online for plausible reasons; instead, it shall be possible to hold these on University premises. This will be the case after Pentecost and applies for the time being to pending resits from the past winter semester. In general, however, digital examinations will be the norm for the summer semester 2020. Please note the A handout for students on the correct behavior during examinations. With Circular No. 35/2020 the Rectorate informed the faculties about applicable regulations on infection prevention and occupational safety.

(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: 05/26) 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. For any questions you may have, contact Occupational and Environmental Safety.

(New 05/08) ULB Bonn opens in safe operations mode on 05/11

Starting Monday, May 11, members of the University of Bonn can again borrow books from the ULB. Required books can already be pre-ordered online and will be ready for collection at the Main Library or, respectively, the MNL Branch Library. By following this approach, the time users spend on library facilities and in opens stacks is kept to a minimum. Until further notice, the ULB will be open for collecting of pre-ordered textbooks Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 03:00 pm. In addition, the ULB is offering members of the University a digitization service for journals. External users who are not members of the University of Bonn will be able to use local ULB services as soon as capacity and safety measures allow. To compensate for this reduced service, the ULB has waived its annual fee. Further details are available on the  ULB Bonn homepage.

(New 05/06) Mouth and nose covers mandatory as of May 18

Effective Monday, May 18, 2020, mouth and nose covers must be worn in all University of Bonn buildings. Already now it is strongly recommended to wear mouth and nose covers on all University premises. If you are alone in the room, no such protection is needed. Requirements for labs must be defined on a case-by-case basis; suitable mouth and nose protection must be jointly agreed upon with Occupational Safety and must be documented in a hygiene concept. Where applicable, please contact  Occupational Safety. Please note: Wearing mouth and nose covers does not replace other protective measures such as social distancing and hand hygiene. The Rectorate is calling on all members of the University to arrange for mouth and nose covers for personal use. Useful information on this topic including sewing instructions has been compiled by the Occupational and Environmental Safety Unit of the University.

(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) Strict closure of University premises

All University facilities are closed to the public until further notice. Employees authorized to hold a key continue to have access.

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.

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 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

Contact ban

The state government has issued a far-reaching contact ban for North Rhine-Westphalia. Since May 11, 2020 it has been allowed for people who are not members of the same household to meet in public places. Contact with others should be kept to a minimum in general, and a minimum personal distance of 1.5 meters should be maintained. Wearing a mouth-nose cover is also required in some areas. The use of local public transport remains permitted.

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.

If you travel to Bonn

All persons who enter North Rhine-Westphalia traveling from a non-EU country (plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and the United Kingdom), must undergo a quarantine of 14 days. This quarantine rule also applies if you arrived to Bonn via another EU country or another German state. Upon arrival, you must immediately and directly make your way to your accommodation and remain there for 14 days. During this time, you are not allowed to receive any visitors from persons outside of your household. In addition, you must call the local health authority immediately after your arrival and inform them.

Please contact the health authority in Bonn as follows:
Phone: +49 (0)228 7175
Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
Weekends and public holidays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm

You can find the link to the regulations of North Rhine-Westphalia here.

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 Thursday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. by calling +49 (0) 228-775351 and +49 (0)228-775352.
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)

Status: May 28, 2020


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