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Home Office and working on campus

General rules

  • Working from home is the rule for the time being, unless there are official reasons speaking against it. Working on campus is permitted to the extent that it is necessary to ensure the functioning of the University and compliance with the Hygiene and Protection Directive is ensured. Working on campus is also permitted at the request of the employees if the responsible supervisor agrees to it and if compliance with the Hygiene and Protection Directive is ensured. A reason might be that the employee is significantly restricted in his or her work at home, for example due to a lack of a quiet or ergonomic work space.
  • Supervisors decide on who may come to the University to work and why. These decisions must be documented in writing. In addition, it is necessary for the supervisor to carry out a supplementary ‘Corona Risk Assessment’ for the respective workplaces and work areas. A template for the supplementary is available here. Staff Unit 02.2 Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection provides the necessary support.
  • Supervisors must also submit a copy of the documentation on their decision and the risk assessment to their superior (Dean’s offices or heads of Central Units).
  • Each organizational unit ensures adherence to the pertaining rules of the University’s Hygiene and Protection Directive. Supervisors and employees are jointly obliged to comply. Supervisors shall instruct the employees accordingly.

  • Supervisors continue to take appropriate measures to minimize potential personal encounters. Employees should be offered individual rooms for their work. In all work rooms where the use of space by more than one person cannot be avoided (especially offices and workshops), an area of at least 12.5 m2 must be available for each person. This does not apply to teaching and examination events, committee meetings, and other gatherings, or to scientific laboratories. If the room is permanently used by more than one person, the distance between the persons must be greater than the minimum safety distance.

  • Supervisors are requested to schedule attendance and occupancy times for rooms in advance.

    For each occasion of a person’s presence at the University, the legal regulations for contact tracing according to Section 2a of the Corona Protection Ordinance must be observed. This includes in particular the correct recording of contact data (name, address, private [and work, if applicable] phone number) necessary for infection tracing. The presence of employees must be recorded even if they predominantly work in individual offices. Electronic data storage is only permitted with the consent of the persons concerned. In addition, all faculty, students, and staff of the University are strongly urged to use the Corona-Warn-App.

  • Note for the central administration: The home office regulations of the central administration (and other participating units) do not regulate home office work for the currently required needs. They therefore do not apply here.

The following special regulations apply:

  • The concerns of persons who may be affected by a severe course of SARS-CoV-2 infection must be taken into consideration on an individual basis. According to the RKI, risk assessment can only be carried out individually. In cases of doubt, an individual medical assessment of risk factors confirmed in the form of a certificate issued by a specialist or general practitioner is therefore required. This must be submitted to the supervisor or, alternatively, to the Personnel Management Department upon request. The medical certificate certifies that the employee is ‘a person at higher risk of developing a severe course of SARS-CoV-2 disease’. The exact diagnosis should not be stated. The same applies if the person lives in a household with a high-risk person or has regular contact with such a person, e.g. because he or she cares for her or him.
  • Employees who have increased childcare responsibilities due to the current restrictions on childcare facilities and schools should also be allowed to work from home, provided that this is compatible with their tasks.
  • Everyone at the University, particularly managers and supervisors, is asked to take note of the guidelines to ensure accessibility in applying the infection protection measures
  • Please also note: The regulations of Cologne University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine apply to staff working in health care, and may deviate

Research work in laboratories

  • In the case of practical courses involving laboratory activities, in particular those involving hazardous substances, bio-substances, genetically engineered organisms and radioactive substances, the protective measures against the corona virus SARS-CoV-2 must not conflict with other necessary and established protective measures. The standard version of the Corona Risk Assessment stipulates that MNCs are not required in the lab, provided that the minimum safety distance is maintained, the rooms are sufficiently technically ventilated and there is no danger of exposure to hazardous or bio- and other substances. If, when preparing the Corona Risk Assessment, the head of the working group comes to the conclusion that the risk of infection by not using MNCs is higher than that caused by the substances used, suitable MNCs can also be worn in labs.
  • The template for the necessary Corona Risk Assessment is available on the website of Staff Unit 02.2.
  • In cases of doubt, please consult Staff Unit 02.2. If necessary, Unit 02.2 and/or the company medical service will check compliance with the regulations on a random basis.

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Business trips and excursions

Business trips and excursions within Germany are possible. Business trips and excursions abroad continue not to be authorized until further notice. Already issued authorizations are revoked. For all excursions, the Recommendations for excursions/field trips (PDF) must be observed.

  • In principle: Business trips and excursions within Germany are possible. In the course of the restrictions on contacts (since 02.11.2020), however, domestic business trips and excursions will only be approved in justified exceptional cases. Business trips and excursions abroad will no longer be approved until further notice,

  • Business trips and excursions within Germany can again be approved. Applications should be submitted to the Dean via the respective supervisors, to the responsible management in the case of central institutions, and to the Chancellor in the case of the central administration.

  • Business trips and excursions/field trips abroad are still not being authorized; exceptions can only be made on an individual basis and if pressing reasons have been sufficiently demonstrated. Trips to high-risk areas as defined by the Robert Koch Institute can under no circumstances be authorized. Applications must also be addressed to the Dean, in the case of central institutions to the respective management, and in the central administration to the Chancellor.

  • The right to approve business trips and excursions is delegated to the Dean or the management of the central institution for all destinations (international and domestic). For employees of the central administration, approvals continue to be made by the Chancellor. It is not possible to further delegate the right of authorization.

  • Work-related errands (Dienstgang) are possible again with immediate effect and can generally be regarded as approved.

  • Information of the Travel Expenses Department

    The regulations of Cologne University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine apply to all personnel working in health care.

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Compatibility of family and career

Please see the information for (studying) parents and employees caring for relatives.


CoKo – Corona Kontaktdaten (corona contact data)

For the purpose of infection tracing in connection with the corona / SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, according to Section 4a of the Corona Protection Ordinance (Coronaschutzverordnung), the University of Cologne is obliged to record contact data and to transmit them to the public health authorities upon request. Please click here: CoKo – Corona Kontaktdaten (corona contact data)

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ Protective equipment and mouth-and-nose covers

FAQ (Almost) everything regarding business trips and travel expense report

For personnel working in health care, the regulations of Cologne University Hospital and the Faculty of Medicine apply.

FAQ (Almost) everything regarding Home Office