UniversityNews & EventsInformation on the Coronavirus
Nachricht der Hochschulleitung an die Beschäftigten der LUH

Message from university management to LUH employees

On-campus activities in winter semester 2021/2022

Dear colleagues,

The new regulations to prevent the infection and spread of the coronavirus issued by the State of Lower Saxony have been resolved. As announced in my previous email sent in July, I would like to provide some information regarding teaching and working at Leibniz University Hannover from 1 October.

I am delighted that the new regulations enable us to resume on-campus learning and I know that most members of teaching staff as well as students and employees eagerly anticipate this. Under certain conditions, distancing regulations for lectures and courses have been lifted. This paves the way for returning to normal operations in most aspects.

I am also aware that some concerns, questions and insecurities will continue to be on all of our minds over the next weeks. We will endeavour resolving many of them in advance, however, we will need to test some options and find the best solution by working together. I am confident that we will achieve this through our cooperative working environment and effective exchange.

For individual guidance on on-campus learning, more vulnerable students and members of staff are welcome to contact the equal opportunities officer of Leibniz University Hannover (beratung@chancenvielfalt.uni-hannover.de).

Currently, on-campus learning can only be facilitated under certain conditions. The regulations to prevent the infection and spread of the coronavirus issued by the State of Lower Saxony provide guidelines for this. Let me explain in the following what rules will be implemented.

3G rule

From 1 October, the 3G rule must be observed by anyone entering LUH buildings. Consequently, access will be restricted to persons who have been vaccinated or have recovered from a COVID-19 infection as well as those able to provide a negative test result. This will ensure the safety of all LUH members. Proof of testing must have been issued by a family doctor or test centre. The test result must have been obtained within the past 24 hours (rapid tests) or within the past 48 hours (PCR tests). Self-tests are insufficient.

Proof of vaccination must be provided as defined in the regulations governing exemptions from protective measures against COVID-19 ("SchAusnahmV") and the coronavirus entry regulations ("CoronaEinreiseV"), see FAQ section 1.3.

Proof of recovery must be issued by the responsible health authority.

I would like to emphasise that accessing LUH buildings without proof of a negative official test result, proof of vaccination or proof of recovery is considered as trespassing and will be prosecuted.

Members of staff

Upon request of their supervisors, members of staff must provide proof of vaccination, recovery or testing. Supervisors are responsible for ensuring compliance with the 3G rule and must verify this. Members of staff unable or unwilling to provide proof of vaccination or recovery who cannot provide proof of a negative test result must conduct a test under supervision. For this purpose, LUH will provide two rapid tests per week for each person requiring testing. Testing kits will be issued to the relevant supervisor.

Members of staff refusing to provide proof of vaccination, recovery or testing and unwilling to get tested must leave LUH buildings. If this is the case, the Personnel and Legal Department will be notified and continued remuneration will be suspended for this period until adequate proof is provided.

Guests, visitors, cooperation partners

Guests, visitors, cooperation partners and other external persons must provide proof of vaccination, recovery or testing to the respective host. The host must ensure compliance with the 3G rule.

Students

From 1 October, proof of vaccination, recovery or a negative test result (proof of compliance with the 3G rule) must be provided for all on-campus learning activities in order to attend lectures and courses. Anyone unable to provide adequate proof cannot attend lectures and courses. This applies to all participants of lectures and courses including students, lecturers as well as all other involved persons.

In particular, on-campus learning activities include all lectures and courses as well as access to examination records.

Ensuring compliance with the 3G rule in teaching

In accordance with the regulations to prevent the infection and spread of the coronavirus issued by the State of Lower Saxony, compliance with the 3G rule must be verified by members of teaching staff or authorised personnel. Checks may be conducted at the entrance of the building (designated entrances for accessing) or in front of the lecture hall.

Currently, there are three scenarios for realising this:

  1. Central lecture hall buildings (specifically: Welfenschloss Audimax, Conti Campus "Würfel", Hochhaus Appelstraße): Checks will take place before entering buildings via one or two entrances designated for this purpose. There will be no additional checks in front of lecture halls.
    Checks will be organised centrally and, if applicable, be conducted in cooperation with guards. Floor plans of buildings illustrating designated entrances will be provided on the FAQ website.
  2. Lecture hall buildings and lecture halls operated by the faculties:
    Checks will be conducted via measures implemented by the faculties (checks at the entrance of the building or in front of lecture halls).
  3. Smaller seminar rooms or similar spaces:
    Checks will be conducted by members of teaching staff or authorised personnel.

The burden of proof regarding compliance with the 3G rule lies with the user, as well as legal violations if proof cannot be provided. The person verifying compliance cannot be held liable.

Face mask requirements

LUH buildings

Face mask requirements (medical face mask or FFP2 mask) apply in all LUH buildings and all traffic areas, even if a minimum distance of 1.5 m can be maintained.

Courses/lectures

Face mask requirements (medical face mask or FFP2 mask) apply in all courses/lectures until students have reached their seat or as soon as they vacate their seat. If a minimum distance of 1.5 m cannot be maintained, masks must be worn during courses/lectures.

Members of teaching staff able to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m to the auditorium are not required to wear a face mask.

In order to ensure the well-being of all involved, especially vulnerable groups, members of teaching staff must ensure that masks are worn correctly - i.e. covering both the mouth and the nose - and approach students who do not comply with this. Students refusing to wear masks correctly after having been asked to do so must leave the lecture. Non-compliance is considered as trespassing and will be prosecuted. If necessary, the lecture must be discontinued.

Study areas

Study areas are available for use. If a study area is used by more than one person, all persons present must wear a medical face mask or FFP2 mask.

Ventilation

In some instances, ventilation conditions in offices or in rooms where teaching activities take place do not fulfil workplace regulation standards. All lecture halls without ventilation and air-conditioning systems will therefore be equipped with suitable devices by the Buildings Management Department as soon as possible.

Ventilation requirements for seminar rooms and offices at the responsibility of the persons occupying the respective space must be determined independently via a carbon dioxide measuring device. To ensure the well-being of students and members of staff, ventilation must be optimised in accordance with the information provided in FAQ section 2.1.2.

In case of any queries, please do not hesitate to contact the relevant person responsible for occupational safety.

Business travel

Business trips within Germany or abroad must be approved by the relevant supervisor.

Business trips within Germany are permitted under strict compliance with the regulations on hygiene and distancing.

Business travel requests to high-risk areas must only be approved if proof of vaccination or recovery can be provided. Business travel requests to areas of variant of concern cannot be approved.

See FAQ section 4.5.

Telecommuting / working from home

The Staff Council has suspended restrictions concerning telecommuting / working from home until 31 December 2021. We are currently in the process of updating the existing agreement. Until further notice, the regulations for working from home apply (see FAQ section 4.1).

I would like to point out that members of staff in service positions must return to their regular workspace.

Moreover, offices may be occupied by multiple persons if regulations on distancing and hygiene can be observed or if masks (medical face masks or FFP2 masks) are worn.


Further details on many processes will be determined over the next two weeks. Thank you for your patience in this matter. The FAQ website at www.uni-hannover.de/corona/ will be updated accordingly in a timely manner. Thank you for your patience.

I am aware that many questions have not been answered yet. We are currently assessing the possibility of organising an online session addressing members of teaching staff in order to discuss any queries. The date will be announced as soon as possible.

Finally, I would like to emphasise that teaching activities should take place on campus. In the interest of our students, any online formats planned as an exception should be held asynchronously. Where possible, streaming or hybrid lectures are particularly encouraged.

Yours sincerely,

Prof. Dr. Volker Epping
President