Technische Universität Berlin

Information Letters from the Crisis Committee for Members of TU Berlin

All published letters can be found here

This website lists every information letter published by TU Berlin's Crisis Committee. Please read them carefully for the latest update and guidance for students, faculty and staff.

Crisis Committee

krisenstab@tu-berlin.de

2021

Information letter from 18 June 2021 - TU Berlin switches to phase 1 of University operations under pandemic conditions

To

All professors and teaching staff

All teaching and research assistants and research associates

All other staff

All students

 

Re: TU Berlin switches to phase 1 of University operations under pandemic conditions 

Content

Phase 1 regulations of University operations under pandemic conditions

Phase 1 regulations for study and teaching

Plans for winter semester 2021/2022

 

Dear Members of the University,

In light of the improving situation regarding the pandemic in Germany and Berlin, TU Berlin is now switching to phase 1 of its plans for University operations under pandemic conditions.  This decision was taken in agreement with the State of Berlin and the city’s other universities.

We would like to make it possible for you to work and study more on campus, while continuing to exercise due care and caution and observing both phase 1 regulations and the University’s hygiene regulations.

We will continue to provide extensive testing for our members on campus as well as vaccination appointments. So far, we have been able to provide approximately 1000 vaccinations for students and some 400 for members of staff, with second vaccination appointments also booked. Further appointments will be made available shortly.

Please ensure that you make your own health and that of your colleagues and fellow students your main concern.

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Executive Board and Crisis Committee

 

Phase 1 regulations for University operations under pandemic conditions

TU Berlin enters phase 1 of University operations under pandemic conditions on Monday, 21 June 2021.

The regulations were originally drawn up last year and have been revised to reflect changes. The following now applies until further notice:

 

  • Hygiene regulations

Hygiene regulations at TU Berlin (maintaining distance, wearing masks, etc.) continue to apply for everyone, even those with negative tests or who have been fully vaccinated or have recovered from the virus.

 

  • Buildings

TU Berlin buildings are open to the University’s members.
It is not possible for members of the public to enter the buildings.
Students may only use those rooms assigned for teaching, studying, exams, or advising. It is not permitted to loiter in foyers and other public spaces.

Please refer to “Study / teaching” below for information regarding testing for infection.

 

  • Working on campus and IT restrictions

Staff may work on campus or from home.

Details regarding the simultaneous use of offices etc. can be found in the TU Berlin hygiene regulations. This should be kept to the absolute minimum required for operations.

Please note: Following the cyberattack, use of technical equipment in offices and other workplaces on campus remains restricted.

Please do not switch on any computers or other equipment in offices without first consulting your IT team or coordinator. This procedure has been introduced as part of the University’s increased IT security measures.

Campus Management (ZECM) is currently making the following services available for the entire University:

  • Emergency email
  • tubCloud
  • AFS
  • Webex/Zoom/Matrix
  • ISIS/Moses.

Please contact your IT team or coordinator for services relating specifically to your unit.

We kindly request staff and supervisors to discuss together whether it makes more sense to work on campus or from home. Decisions are the responsibility of management.

The Crisis Committee and the Executive Board would like to point out that it is recommended to continue working from home as far as possible.

 

  • Research / Appointment committees

Research may be conducted on campus. Please, however, refer to the recommendations regarding working from home.

Phase 1 regulations require appointment committees to meet via virtual formats only. The required legal basis for doing so was created by an amendment to the appointment regulations and a decision of the Executive Board. Given the increased danger of an exponential rise in cases posed by the stronger presence of new virus variants, this ruling applies until further notice.

 

  • Official meetings and committee meetings

Official meetings, committee meetings (except for appointment committees), workshops, continuing education programs, etc. can take place face-to-face with a maximum of 20 participants. Decisions regarding exceptions are the responsibility of the Crisis Committee.

We strongly recommend virtual or hybrid formats as well as rapid tests for anyone not fully vaccinated wishing to participate in face-to-face meetings.

 

  • International students / visiting scholars and student mobility

International students and visiting scholars are very welcome at TU Berlin. However, we cannot accept any costs arising from the need to quarantine. We kindly request faculties to make visiting scholars and free movers aware of this and to make individual arrangements where necessary with the Department of International Affairs.

Depending on the destination, funded study stays are possible, though any risk is borne by the student. For advice, please contact the Department of International Affairs.

 

  • Official travel

You are not required to obtain approval from the Crisis Committee for official travel within Germany.

The following distinctions apply regarding official travel abroad:

a) Travel to destinations classified as virus variant regions or high incidence regions is not permitted.

b) Travel to destinations classified as risk regions is, as a rule, not possible. Exceptions are only possible with the approval of the faculty service center (for requests from faculties), or the Crisis Committee (for requests from the Central University Administration or units reporting directly to the president or the vice president for administration). Important considerations are the reasons for the absolute need to travel at this time, the hygiene regulations which apply when traveling and at the destination. If possible, travelers should be able to present proof of recovery or full vaccination. Before commencing an approved trip, you are also required to consult the University Medical Service.

c) Travel to destinations which are neither risk regions nor virus variant regions is possible without obtaining further approval from the Crisis Committee.

Please check before traveling if the status of your destination has changed or if you now need to obtain approval.

 

  • Post

Post is being delivered as normal. Packages are re-directed to the Mail Room in Building Z. From here, they will be delivered to the addressee’s office using the University’s courier service. If no one is present to receive the package after two delivery attempts or if no one can be contacted by telephone to arrange delivery, the package will be kept at the Mail Room for collection by the addressee.

Deliveries of chemicals or heavy equipment etc. cannot be re-directed. If you are expecting such deliveries, please inform the relevant information desk.

 

  • Events

Events with up to 40 visitors from outside the University may take place.

Events may only be attended by more than 20 persons simultaneously if they have a negative test, are fully vaccinated or have recovered from a coronavirus infection. Catering is not possible.

Event staff who are not fully vaccinated are urged to test.

 

  • TU Sport

TU Sport activities may take place with a maximum of 30 participants (outdoors) or 20 participants per group (indoors). For indoor events, a negative test or proof of full vaccination or recovery from a coronavirus infection is required. Independent training in the fitness studio is possible with a hygiene concept.

 

  • studierendenWERK / Catering facilities

The decision to open canteens and cafeterias is the responsibility of studierendenWERK.

Privately operated catering facilities at TU Berlin may open.

Student cafés remain closed for regular operations. However, it is possible to apply to the Crisis Committee for special permission to open (for example, during orientation weeks).

In accordance with the current version of the coronavirus regulations for the State of Berlin, the contact details of guests are to be collected by the operators and kept for four weeks in a manner compliant with data protection (e.g. in sealed envelopes).

 

Phase 1 regulations for teaching and studying

In light of the decreasing rate of infection, the TU Berlin Executive Board and Crisis Committee are very pleased to ease pandemic restrictions and enable more activities on campus. Beginning 18 June 2021, the following revised regulations will take effect:

  • Presence on campus: General and hygiene rules

The following applies to students: You must present a recent negative rapid test result (no older than 24 hours) to attend all study-related courses and activities (including the use of computer labs, libraries, study rooms, etc.). Documentation of recovery from COVID-19 or full vaccination (including the recommended waiting period after the second vaccine) will also be accepted.

The responsible persons are required to document students' attendance for the purpose of infection chain management.

 

  • UB study rooms

The University Library's study rooms are open and can be used with a reservation (https://services.ub.tu-berlin.de/platzbuchung/#/). Hygiene regulations and testing requirements apply.

 

  • Faculty computer labs and study rooms

Faculty computer labs and study rooms are open for use under the following conditions:

  • Presence of a room monitor
  • Use of a booking system to document attendance and infection chain management
  • Observance of hygiene rules (minimum distancing, masks, disinfecting work areas, keyboards, computer mouses, etc.)
  • Maximum capacity under coronavirus regulations
  • A current negative rapid test result

The responsible units will provide further information about opening hours and services.

 

  • Face-to-face teaching for the remainder of summer semester 2021

General information for courses: It is not possible to fully return to in-person teaching during summer semester 2021. Many students are not in Berlin and are relying on our previous decisions to hold courses online.

Beginning 18 June 2021, individual courses can be held in person upon request (to VP-SL) if the appropriate rooms are available (e.g. final classes/events for projects and seminars, block lectures). Hygiene rules, documentation of attendance, and testing regulations apply. Participation in these face-to-face events is on a voluntary basis. 

Practical format courses: Practical format courses may only be held if a hygiene concept has been developed in accordance with the template provided by Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (quick access 129432) and students present a current negative rapid test result or proof of recovery/vaccination.

Labs and projects: Labs and projects, including elective courses, may take place in-person. The relevant academic chairs are responsible for organizing all necessary measures and informing the faculty service center in advance.

Excursions and field trips: Excursions and field trips conducted within the framework of a degree program are permitted. The relevant academic chairs are responsible for organizing all necessary measures. In addition, travel as well as the excursion itself must take place under observance of local coronavirus regulations.

  • The excursion must be outdoors.
  • The excursion is limited to one day (no overnight stay).
  • Participation is limited to 20 students.

Academic chairs must inform the faculty service center in advance. All trips must also still be approved as required by some faculties. In individual cases, other excursions and field trips can be approved upon request to VP-SL.

 

  • In-person exams (2021 summer semester examination period)

Observance of TU Berlin's hygiene regulations as well as proof of a negative test result, recovery, or vaccination are required.

Oral examinations: In-person oral examinations are permitted. Such examinations must be held in rooms which allow for observance of hygiene regulations, in particular minimum distancing.

Written examinations: Written exams of any kind (standalone or portfolio components) are possible with a maximum of 50 participants and no more than 20 participants per room.

Beginning 1 September 2021, written exams with no more than 100 participants (40 participants per room) are possible. Seat markings (including QR codes) in the lecture halls will be adjusted to reflect the new minimum distancing requirement of 1.5 meters (instead of 2 meters) and allow for greater capacity.

 

  • Standard period of study

The individual standard period of study for summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/21, and summer semester 2021 has been increased by one semester.

 

  • Regulations regarding failed exams

The decision not to record failed exams during the pandemic has also been extended to the 2021 summer semester and examination period.

 

  • Suspension of deadlines

Deadlines for final theses and term papers were suspended until 30 June 2021. Effective 1 July 2021, the writing period will resume.

 

  • Examination registration

Due to the cyberattack, QISPOS and SAP cannot be used to register for exams. Examiners are responsible for deciding how and when students register or de-register and for recording all registrations. Following the exam, examiners must only send the results to the Examination Office.

 

  • Online teaching 

Teaching in summer semester 2021 will continue to be held primarily online. ISIS is the central platform for online teaching. Online teaching is made up of asynchronous and/or synchronous courses.

Asynchronous courses: In these courses, teaching material (e.g. teaching videos) is provided for download on ISIS.

Synchronous courses: In synchronous classes, teachers and students meet in a virtual room (video conferencing).

 

  • Online examinations

Oral examinations: Oral exams may be conducted online using video conferencing systems with end-to-end encryption.

Online written exams may be held as either open or closed-book exams.

Open-book written exams: In an open-book exam, students are permitted to use all aids and there is no video supervision (following the authentication of students' identity).

Closed-book written exams (with virtual supervision): Closed-book exams are conducted using video conferencing under the supervision of TU Berlin personnel. Examiners are responsible for deciding whether any aids or resources are permitted.

If a student is unable to take the exam from home due to conditions non-conducive for test taking or reasons of data privacy, they can also take the exam in the mathematics computer lab. To make use of this option, students must submit a request at least one week before the exam (klausur(at)pool.math.tu-berlin.de). Participation in an electronic exam with video supervision from home is thus optional.

 

  • IT tools for teaching

ISIS learning platform: ISIS is the central platform for online teaching and examinations. All relevant information is provided there.

Video conferences: The following systems are permitted for teaching and examinations:

  1. Zoom (tu-berlin.zoom.us)
  2. Webex (tu-berlin.webex.com)

Feedback: The following systems are permitted for use as feedback tools: Pingo and Tweedback.

Collaboration: The following tools for online collaboration (chat, document sharing, collaborative editing) are available:

  1. Webex Teams (teams.webex.com)
  2. Matrix (chat.tu-berlin.de)
  3. OnlyOffice (tubcloud.tu-berlin.de)
  • Deadlines 
  1. The re-registration deadline for winter semester 2021/22 has been re-scheduled for 31 August 2021.
  2. Deadlines to register for repeat examinations have been extended until 30 September 2022

 

Winter Semester 2021/22:

Teaching formats in the upcoming 2021/22 winter semester will greatly depend on the further development of the pandemic and national vaccination program. We all hope the pandemic continues to develop favorably and we are making plans to offer in-person teaching. All in-person teaching and courses will be offered with the requirement to present a negative test result or proof of recovery/vaccination. If the rate of infection remains low and a significant number of students are fully vaccinated by October, we will be able to offer regular in-person teaching. However, if this is not the case, teaching will be held under observance of minimum distancing and hygiene regulations in suitable University classrooms. Not all classrooms can fulfill these requirements. Any decisions will be made in consultation with the other universities in Berlin as well as the Berlin Senate no later than early September 2021. We will inform you.

Information letter from 11 June 2021 - vaccination program for staff and students

To:

  • All university professors and lecturers
  • All research associates and research and teaching assistants
  • All office and technical staff
  • All students

Re:

TU Berlin Begins Vaccination Program for Staff and Students. Vaccine appointments available Fridays for TU members / Registration portal to open shortly

Beginning 11 June 2021, Technische Universität Berlin will offer vaccinations against the coronavirus in cooperation with a vaccination service point. This offer initially applies only to employees and will be extended to students in mid-June.

TU Berlin is working together with a vaccination service point to offer the first and second vaccine doses to its members, with more than 320 appointments available in June. The BioNTech/Pfizer (Comirnaty) vaccine will be used for these first appointments. 

When will the registration portal open?

The registration portal will open on 16 June 2021 for appointments on 18 June 2021. These appointments are open to TU Berlin staff. Beginning 18 June 2021, the registration portal will release appointments every Friday for the following week. Appointments on 11 June 2021 have already been allocated to essential workers.

Who can book an appointment and where can I find further information?

The appointments are only available to TU Berlin members with a University email address. All TU Berlin members will be informed about the option to book an appointment by email in good time.

We kindly ask you to refrain from asking individual questions, including those for medical advice or about scheduling an appointment The Medical Service is also unable to advise on this matter.

Further information as well as frequently asked questions about the University's vaccination program

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, president of TU Berlin, discusses the University's vaccination program:

"We would like to offer all interested members of TU Berlin the opportunity to receive a vaccination to protect their own health as well as prevent the spread of the virus in our community. The TU Berlin Crisis Committee is currently developing plans which gradually allow the University to return to on-campus activities through a combination of vaccinating, testing, and hygiene regulations. After three digital semesters, this is incredibly important for all areas of our work. We are making every effort to ensure we are prepared to offer in-person services on campus during winter semester 2021/22 as appropriate under the pandemic conditions. However, changes to our regulations will continue to be based on the current incidence rate and relevant hygiene regulations.”

 

Stay healthy!

The Executive Board and Crisis Committee of TU Berlin

Information letter from 28 May 2021 - Working from home / paid leave to look after children / changes for students

To

  • All university teaching staff
  • All research and teaching assistants and research associates
  • All other staff

Re: Working from home / paid leave to look after children / changes for students

Content

  • Phase 2 / Working from home remains a priority until 18 June 2021
  • Paid leave to look after children when regular childcare is unavailable as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – regulations apply until 24 June 2021
  • Information: changes affecting students
    • University Library opens study spaces from 4 June 2021
    • Registering / deregistering for exams
    • Writing period suspension extended

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you of the following changes:

Phase 2 / Working from home remains a priority until 18 June 2021

TU Berlin remains in phase 2 of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions.

The Executive Board and Crisis Committee have decided to make working from home a priority until 18 June 2021. All work not urgently requiring staff to be present on campus should be performed from home. Exceptions are only possible with the agreement of supervisors. We request everyone to organize working processes to enable as much work as possible to be performed by staff working from home.

Decisions are the responsibility of supervisors and management.

The following applies when working on campus:

  • Only one person may work at a time in an office or other enclosed space, regardless of its size.
  • Exceptions only apply to situations where occupational health and safety requires more than one person to be present.
  • To avoid direct contact, documents etc. are not to be submitted in person. This applies to all sections of the Central University Administration.  Please use email, or post if necessary.
  • Staff required to work on campus are requested to exercise caution. Please only use kitchens and rest areas when no other persons are present and keep doors joining offices or opening on to unventilated corridors closed when more than one person is present.
  • The testing center in front of the Main Building is open to all. You can register via: https://www.tu.berlin/en/themen/coronavirus/tu-berlin-corona-rapid-test-center/

You are required to wear FFP2 masks on all areas of the campus and not only in buildings.

These regulations apply at TU Berlin until 18 June 2021.
 

Paid leave to look after children when regular childcare is unavailable as a result of the coronavirus pandemic – regulations apply until 24 June 2021

The coronavirus pandemic presents additional challenges for many staff with parenting duties when organizing childcare and combining their professional and family commitments.

To take account of this, a number of options have been introduced for paid leave to look after children during periods where regular childcare is unavailable. 

In the Information from the Department of Human Resources, which you will find immediately below the text of this information letter, you can see which options for paid leave and other funding are currently available to staff at TU Berlin.

These regulations apply until 24 June 2021.
 

Information: changes affecting studying and teaching

University Library opens study spaces from 4 June 2021

Beginning 4 June 2021, study spaces will be available in the University Library for TU Berlin and UdK members (with prior booking). Further information will be available shortly at https://www.tu.berlin/en/ub/news-events/coronavirus-current-services/faqs-on-current-services/.

Registering / deregistering from exams

The IT attack means that students are currently unable to register for exams via QISPOS and SAP. However, TU Berlin is developing alternatives to ensure that students can take exams.
Examiners are responsible for deadlines and options for registering as well as providing this information in their ISIS courses or during classes. Registrations meeting examiners’ requirements are binding.

De-registration is possible up to the day before an exam without reason, provided that the examiner is informed. If they wish to withdraw on the day of the exam, students also need to inform their examiners and submit a withdrawal form with proof of reason by post to the exam team.

Writing period suspension extendeduntil 30 June 2021

Writing periods for final theses and term papers have been suspended until 30 June 2021. The suspension will end on 1 July 2021, meaning that students affected then have the full writing period which remained at the time the suspension was introduced.

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information from the Department of Human Resources and Legal Affairs at TU Berlin (updated: 28 May 2021)

Paid leave to look after children during the coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic presents additional challenges for many staff with parenting duties when organizing childcare and combining their professional and family commitments.

To take account of this, a number of options have been introduced for paid leave to look after children during periods where regular childcare is unavailable. 

What options for paid leave do I have as an employee of TU Berlin?

1. If it is not possible to work from home: options for paid leave pursuant to Section 56 (1a) and (2) sentence 4 of the Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz – IfSG)

2. If it is possible to work from home: half days of paid leave (lex TU)

3. Temporary increase and broadening of scope of entitlement to paid leave to look after sick children (Kinderkrankentage) pursuant to Section 45 of social security code V (Sozialgesetzbuch - SGB V)

               3.1 For staff covered by collective agreements whose children have statutory health insurance

               Staff covered by collective agreements whose children are privately insured have no entitlement to paid leave to look after sick children, only to options 1. and 2. above

               3.2 For civil servants below the income threshold for compulsory insurance (Jahresarbeitsentgeltgrenze)

               3.3 For civil servants above the income threshold for compulsory insurance (Jahresarbeitsentgeltgrenze)


1. Extension of regulations until the start of the summer holidays for paid leave due to closure of daycare centers and schools (Section 56 IfSG)

The regulations for paid leave to look after children (see information letter from 4 November 2020) continue to apply until the start of the summer holidays on 24 June 2021. This means that you may, upon application, continue to use any days not yet taken.


2. Half days’ leave working from home (lex TU)

On the assumption that working from home is only possible to a limited extent when looking after children, parents, guardians, and foster parents are granted paid leave for half of their working hours (until 24 June 2021) .

All further details including tables and information about how to apply can be found at www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/arbeiten-und-dienstleistungen/ in the subsection: Paid leave for parents/guardians.


3. Temporary increase and broadening of scope of entitlement to paid leave to look after sick children during the coronavirus pandemic

The addition of subsection 2a to Section 45 SGB V provides for a broadeningg of the scope of entitlement to paid leave to look after sick children. Entitlement has now been increased again for 2021 through the Fourth Act for the Protection of the Population during an Epidemic of National Proportions of 22 April 2021 as follows:


3.1 Parents with statutory health insurance whose child

  • is twelve or under, or
  • has a disability requiring assistance

are now entitled to 10 additional days’ leave (30 days in total) per child per parent, up to a maximum of 65 days. The entitlement for single parents has increased by 20 days to 60 days per child per parent, up to a maximum of 130 days.

Entitlement to paid leave to look after sick children applies as follows:

Previously (Section 45 (1) SGB V):

A child is sick, and

  • a doctor’s note providing confirmation thereof as well as the requirement to look after the child has been obtained, and  
  • no other person residing in the household is available to look after the child.

Additional new criteria (Section 45 (2a) SGB V):

A child must be looked after at home as a result of

  • the temporary closure of a daycare center, school, or center for persons with disabilities
  • due to the pandemic, or
  • their attendance is refused, or
  • the responsible public authority initiates or extends school holidays or requires the closure of a center as a protective measure against infection, or
  • suspends the requirement to attend school, or
  • restricts access to childcare facilities, or
  • a child does not attend a school or other institution as a result of an official recommendation.

The reason applicable in the individual case must be submitted to the health insurer in an appropriate manner (the health insurer may request a certificate from the institution or school).

No other person residing in the household is available to look after or care for the child.

For the period of leave, entitlement under Section 56 (1a) IfSG is suspended for both parents. During periods of paid leave to care for sick children, parents may not apply for compensation of loss of earnings as a result of caring for the child for who they are claiming or for any other child requiring care.

Entitlement applies regardless of whether a parent’s contractual duties can in principle also be performed working from home. Upon request, parents must provide appropriate proof of the need to provide care to their health insurer.

Applications for paid leave to care for sick children must be submitted to the child’s health insurer. You can find further information on the insurer’s website. A sample certificate of proof of non-attendance of a daycare center/school (Nachweis über Nicht-Inanspruchnahme von Kita/Kindertagespflege/Schule zur Beantragung von Kinderkrankengeld) can be found online.

If you wish to take advantage of your entitlement to paid leave to care for a sick child, please inform your supervisor immediately of the start of your period of absence and its likely duration.

No entitlement to paid leave pursuant to Section 45 SGB V applies if either a member of staff covered by collective agreements or their child does not have statutory health insurance. However, entitlement to compensation pursuant to IfSG may apply if conditions are met.


3.2 Civil servants with regular service or trainee salaries below the annual income threshold forcompulsory insurancepursuant to Section 6 (6) SGB V:

Special paid leave pursuant to Section 7 (1) of the regulations regarding special paid leave for civil servants (Sonderurlaubsverordnung – SurlVO) read in conjunction with Section 1 (1) no. 4 b) and (3) sentence 4 of the implementation regulations (AV SUrlVO), may, by way of deviation from the further application of the recommended regulation in AV, be taken as follows:

  • A total of up to 30 working days for each child, up to a maximum of 65 working days
  • A total of 60 working days per child up to a maximum of 130 working days (for single parents).

Requirements:

When a child is sick:

  • A doctor’s note confirming the requirement to look after or care for a child aged 12 or under. No other person is available to look after or care for the child.
  • A doctor’s note confirming the requirement to look after or care for a child with a disability who is sick. Official proof of the child’s disability and need for assistance. No other person is available to look after or care for the child.

Suspension of care due to an official order /recommendation – child is not sick:

The following criteria and official proof thereof apply:

For the purpose of preventing the spread of infection or contagious illnesses pursuant to the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), daycare centers, schools and centers for persons with disabilities are

  • temporarily closed, or
  • may not be attended, or
  • the responsible public authority initiates or extends school holidays or requires the closure of a center as a protective measure against infection, or
  • suspends the requirement to attend school, or
  • restricts access to childcare facilities, or
  • a child does not attend a school or other institution as a result of an official order or recommendation.

The employer may request a certificate from the institution or school. No other person residing in the household is available to care for or look after the child.

Please note:

Leave of absence previously approved for 2021 pursuant to Section 7 (1) SUrlVO read in conjunction with Section 1 (1) no. 4 b) and (3) sentences 4 and 5 AV SUrlVO and Section 45 (1) SGB V is to be credited against the aforementioned leaves of absence.

Being able to work from home is not a prerequisite for granting special leave for civil servants.

Periods of paid leave to look after children in the event of a suspension of childcare as a result of an official order/recommendation when a child is not sick (see above) are not subject to pressing working requirements. Consequently, applications for paid leave may only be rejected in exceptional circumstances for civil servants occupying key positions, or whose absence would prevent a unit from being able to perform its work even if organizational measures are introduced, and only if other options for childcare are available.

During periods of leave based on these regulations, the leave options stated in Circular IV No. 33/2021 shall be suspended for both parents. However, civil servants are free to choose which form of leave of absence - from Circular IV No. 33/2021 (implementation of Section 56 (1a) and (2) sentence 4 IfSG) or from the circular on which this is based (implementation of Section 45 (2a) and (2b) SGB V) - they wish to take advantage of. Please note that only one option may be taken.

Half days may also be approved for special leave. A half day refers to half the number of scheduled hours for the day in question.


3.3 For civil servants above the income threshold for compulsory insurance (Jahresarbeitsentgeltgrenze)pursuant to Section 6 (6) SGB V:

Provided the requirements below are met, civil servants in this category are also eligible for paid special leave to meet extra requirements for paid leave to look after children during the coronavirus pandemic. An additional 20 days are available for 2021 (40 days for single parents). This regulation is in deviation to Section 7 (1) SUrlVO read in conjunction with Section 1 (1) no. 4 b) AV SUrlVO.

Requirements:

If a child is sick:

  • A doctor’s note confirming the requirement to look after or care for a child aged 12 or under. No other person is available to look after or care for the child.
  • A doctor’s note confirming the requirement to look after or care for a child with a disability who is sick. Official proof of the child’s disability and need for assistance. No other person is available to look after or care for the child.

Suspension of care due to an official order /recommendation – child is not sick:

The following criteria and official proof thereof apply:

For the purpose of preventing the spread of infection or contagious illnesses pursuant to the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), daycare centers, schools and centers for persons with disabilities are

  • temporarily closed, or
  • may not be attended, or
  • the responsible public authority initiates or extends school holidays or requires the closure of a center as a protective measure against infection, or
  • suspends the requirement to attend school, or
  • restricts access to childcare facilities, or
  • a child does not attend a school or other institution as a result of an official order or recommendation.

The employer may request a certificate from the institution or school. No other person residing in the household is available to care for or look after the child.

Please note:

Leave of absence previously approved for 2021 pursuant to Section 7 (1) SUrlVO read in conjunction with Section 1 (1) no. 4 b) and (3) sentences 4 and 5 AV SUrlVO and Section 45 (1) SGB V is to be credited against the aforementioned leaves of absence.

Being able to work from home is not a prerequisite for granting special leave for civil servants.

Periods of paid leave to look after children in the event of a suspension of childcare as a result of an official order/recommendation when a child is not sick (see above) are not subject to pressing working requirements. Consequently, applications for paid leave may only be rejected in exceptional circumstances for civil servants occupying key positions, or whose absence would prevent a unit from being able to perform its work even if organizational measures are introduced, and only if other forms of childcare are available.

During periods of leave based on these regulations, the leave options stated in Circular IV No. 33/2021 shall be suspended for both parents. However, civil servants are free to choose which form of leave of absence - from Circular IV No. 33/2021 (implementation of Section 56 (1a) and (2) sentence 4 IfSG) or from the circular on which this is based (implementation of Section 45 (2a) and (2b) SGB V) - they wish to take advantage of. Please note that only one option may be taken.

Half days may also be approved for special leave. A half day refers to half the number of scheduled hours for the day in question.  

In deviation to Section 1 (3) sentence 2 AV SUrlVO and pursuant to Section 1 (4) no. 4 AV SUrlVO, the maximum number of days of leave for 2021 is 25 working days and 45 days for single parents working as civil servants or judges.

Information Letter from 12 May 2021 - New regulations for excursions undertaken as part of degree programs

To:

  • All university professors
  • All research and teaching assistants and research associates
  • All academic support staff

Re:

New regulations for excursions undertaken as part of degree programs

In its information letter of 12 March 2021, the Crisis Committee informed you that excursions would not be permitted until further notice. However, the committee has now approved certain exceptions on the basis of hygiene protocols and organizational concepts. In view of their importance for certain degree programs, excursions may, with immediate effect, be undertaken under the following conditions:

  • The excursion is mandatory for the degree program.
  • The destination is within Berlin/Brandenburg.
  • Participants make their own way to and from the destination under observation of the coronavirus regulations which apply in Berlin or Brandenburg.
  • The excursion takes place outdoors.
  • The excursion is for one day only (no overnight stays).
  • A hygiene and protection concept is drawn up in line with the standard concept provided by the SDU for labs, etc. (description of journey to and from destination, excursion procedure, working materials, regulations regarding distancing, hygiene, and wearing masks, track and tracing, instructing participants); quick access 129432.
  • All participants present the organizers a current negative coronavirus rapid test result (not more than 24 hours old).
  • The maximum number of participants is 20.
  • If necessary, participants are divided into groups/teams of 5 on site.

If all these conditions are met, the academic chair or research group may conduct the excursion on its own authority. However, the faculty service center must be informed in advance. Please note that this does not replace the requirement to obtain approval via the faculty, which applies for some faculties.

This regulation applies until further notice and is dependent on developments regarding the pandemic as well legal regulations.

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information Letter from 23 April 2021 - Working from home remains priority until 31 May 2021 / Detailed information regarding testing / Standard period of study extended

To
All staff
All students

Content
Working from home remains priority until 31 May 2021
Additional information regarding testing
QR codes for exams
Standard period of study, exams and submission deadlines

 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,

Due to current developments regarding the pandemic, the Executive Board and the Crisis Committee have decided that working from home is to remain a priority until the end of May 2021.

All work not absolutely requiring the presence of staff on campus must be completed from home. No exceptions are permitted.

We kindly ask you all to organize procedures to enable as much work as possible to be performed from home.

Only such work as is absolutely necessary and which cannot be completed by staff working from home may be performed in offices, labs, or workshops at TU Berlin. The final decision rests with the relevant supervisors. Only work essential for maintaining operations in research, teaching/studying and administration is to be regarded as absolutely necessary.

Exemptions include previously registered oral exams, written exams (as long as they are conducted in compliance with published regulations, see in particular the information letter of 22 March 2021 and practical teaching formats. Please note that these exemptions may only be conducted in compliance with TU Berlin hygiene protocols.

Coronavirus tests may only be used to enable the presence at the University of those actually required to be there and not to increase the number of people on campus.

Any staff unable to perform their work from home will be excused from duties on full pay until 31 May 2021.

The University remains closed to the public until 31 May 2021.

This extends the regulation which came into effect on 1 April 2021 and which originally covered the period ending 25 April 2021.

Any changes to the Infection Protection Act introduced by either the Bundestag or Bundesrat relevant to University operations will be communicated separately.

 

Additional information regarding testing

Self-tests not administered under professional supervision will not be recognized and will not be accepted for practical teaching formats etc. Please make use of testing offers which provide professional supervision. These are available at all public testing centers.

All students who absolutely need to be on campus (for example in labs to complete work for final theses) or who need to attend approved practical teaching formats must present a valid test not more than 24 hours old. A self-test will not be accepted. Mandatory testing applies for students.

However, a test is not required to collect items from the University Library.

For testing purposes, scholarship holders and fellows are treated as staff and are entitled to one free rapid test per day. Mandatory testing does not apply.

International TU members who are not resident in Germany and do not have German health insurance are also entitled to one free rapid test per day. They do not require a code from TU Berlin to do so.  Please ensure that you bring your passport as well as your TU staff ID or student ID with you when attending tests.   

We kindly request instructors to schedule practical teaching formats so as to enable students to test and be in possession of a negative result valid at the time of the class. Test results are valid for 24 hours.

You can find further information regarding testing online.

 

QR codes for in-presence written exams

We require all students to use the QR codes provided in lecture halls. Attendance is recorded in ISIS and supports the University’s infection chain management. The QR code information is linked to ISIS. We kindly request all instructors conducting exams in presence to inform their students. QR codes are only provided at those seats to be used so as to ensure distancing. This applies to all lecture halls available for use. Thank you!

 

Standard period of study, exams and submission deadlines

The regulations to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on university law passed by Berlin on 28 September 2020 are intended to prevent disadvantages arising for students regarding the progress of their studies. The regulations included the possibility to individualize standard periods of study. This option was introduced for summer semester 2021 and winter semester 2020/2021 and is now being extended for summer semester 2021. This means that students who were enrolled at a state or state-approved university in Berlin from summer semester 2020 to summer semester 2021 and who did not take a leave of absence during that period may now extend their standard period of study by up to three semesters.

In a decision taken on 16 March 2021, ratified by the Berlin House of Representatives on 22 April 2021, the Berlin Senate also decided to extend the scope of these regulations. This addition enables students to repeat exams which they fail in summer semester 2021 without their counting as attempts and for junior professorships and other fixed-term professorships to be extended by up to one year.
 

Agreement was also reached with universities to put writing periods for final theses and term papers on hold until 31 May 2021.

Further information regarding examinations in summer semester 2021 can be viewed here.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information Letter from 16 April 2021 - New information about testing / Mandatory testing for students effective 26 April 2021

To
All staff
All students

 

Contents

  • Medicare Testzentrum on Campus Charlottenburg
  • Test options for other TU locations
  • Who is eligible for a free rapid test?
  • Mandatory testing
  • Working from home and following hygiene protocols
  • Vaccinated persons
  • Testing to count as working time

 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Members of TU Berlin,

We would like to update you regarding the coronavirus testing facilities provided by the TU Crisis Committee.

TU Berlin has organized a Medicare testing tent for free rapid tests for all University members. It is located on the forecourt outside the Main Building on Straße des 17. Juni, 10623 Berlin. We have now found other partners to provide tests for University members at our other locations.

Staff are not required to take a test. However, it is strongly recommended.

Effective 26 April 2021, students are required to take a test to participate in examinations and practical format classes.

 

Medicare Testzentrum on Campus Charlottenburg

The TU test center is also open to the public. As such, it offers several different coronavirus tests. The link below will take you directly to the correct tests for University members. If you land on a different page, please select “Kostenloser Bürgertest - TU Berlin.” The price in your basket should be 0.00 euros.

The TU test center is open Monday to Friday from 7 to 18:00. Register here in advance for an appointment.

If there are no available appointments, you can also use other Medicare test centers in the city, such as at Leibnizstraße 72, 10625 Berlin.

If a practical format class or examination is scheduled for a Saturday, please get tested the day before or go to a different test center. You can find a list of all test centers in Berlin on the website of the Senate Department for Health. You must present proof of a negative test no older than 24 hours at the start of your practical class or examination.

 

Test options for other TU locations

Effective 19 April 2021, University members can also be tested at the following locations:

Dahlem
Curtius Apotheke

Curtiusstr. 4
12205 Berlin
Email: info(at)curtius-apotheke.berlin

Approximately 1.7 km from Königin-Luise Str. 22
Approximately 2.4 km from Rothernburgstr. 12

The following times have been reserved for TU members to take a rapid test:

  • Tuesdays from 8:30 to 10:00
  • Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:00

An appointment is not required. Please bring your national ID or passport with you as well as current official proof of address.

Your test result will be available after 15 minutes. Please remain on site if you would like to receive a paper copy of the result. Otherwise, your test result will be texted to your cell phone or emailed to you.

Wedding
Schnelltestzentrum Berlin Mitte
Wöhrlerstraße. 4
10115 Berlin
Email: v.semmelrogge(at)gqs-antidoping.de

Approximately 1.1 km from Gustav-Meyer-Allee
Approximately 1 km from Ackerstr. 71-76

TU members can be tested free of charge Monday to Friday from 9 to 11:00.

An appointment is not required. Please bring either your national ID or passport with you as well as current official proof of address, your health insurance card with photo, or your University ID.

You will receive a paper copy of your test result after 15 minutes. Please remain on site.

Nordkreuz Apotheke (located in the Gesundbrunnen train station)
Hanne-Sobek-Platz
13357 Berlin
Email: info(at)nordkreuz-apotheke.de

Approximately 1.2 km from Gustav-Meyer-Allee
Approximately 1.6 km from Ackerstr. 71-76

The following times have been reserved for TU members to take a rapid test:

  • Mondays from 9 to 11:00
  • Wednesdays from 9 to 11:00
  • Thursday from 9 to 11:00

Prior appointment via email to info(at)nordkreuz-apotheke.de with “Testung TU Berlin” in the subject line is required.

Please bring the following documents to your first appointment:

  1. National personal ID or passport as well as current official proof of address, your health insurance card with photo, or your German residence permit
  2. Signed and completed declaration of consent and data protection information (only in German)
  3. Appointment confirmation (email) from Nordkreuzapotheke

You will receive the test result via text message. You can also choose to receive a paper copy of the result. Please remain on site.

 

Who is eligible for a free rapid test?

Persons officially residing in Germany OR who have German health insurance (statutory or private) are eligible for one free rapid testper day.

If you are a member of the University and are not officially residing in Germany AND do not have German health insurance, the University will assume the cost of the rapid test. We will provide you with a code. Further information about this will be provided shortly.

 

Mandatory testing

TU employees are not required to take a test. However, it is strongly recommended.

Effective Monday, 26 April 2021, TU students are required to take a test to participate in examinations and practical format classes. You must present proof of a negative test no older than 24 hours at the start of your practical class or examination. Instructors and examiners are required to check students’ test results. Testing is not mandatory before 26 April 2021, however it is strongly recommended. We currently only accept rapid or PCR tests. Self-tests of any kind are not accepted.

Students are particularly encouraged to observe the following: Reserve an appointment at the Medicare Testzentrum in good time. While the test center offers many appointments, demand is high. You may need to book an earlier appointment and find a way to fill the time remaining before your class or exam. You can also use another test center in the city, just select the free test option available to residents once a day. Make sure to bring your negative result with you to attend your class or exam. 

If there are no available appointments, you can also use other Medicare test centers in the city, such as at Leibnizstraße 72, 10625 Berlin.

International students who are not residents of Germany AND do not have German health insurance can only be tested free of charge at the TU Berlin Medicare Testzentrum on Straße des 17. Juni (in front of the Main Building). TU Berlin will provide you with a code to book an appointment (see information above).

 

Working from home and following hygiene protocols

Please remember: The Medicare Testzentrum and other testing options are currently in place to ensure the safety of persons whose presence on campus is absolutely necessary. We wish to make it absolutely clear that testing does NOT entitle nor is it intended to enable more people to work on campus or more courses, exams, etc to take place in presence. With the exception of select, seasonal practical format classes, only those in-person practical format classes may take place which adhere to the rules communicated thus far and which are registered in the faculty service centers by 24 April 2021.

The regulations published in the information letter of 31 March 2021 continue to apply regarding in-presence operations and teaching.

Hygiene regulations must be observed as before, even if you have a negative test result, meaning that you must continue to maintain distance, wear a mask and air rooms thoroughly. Please take note of this. Thank you!

 

Vaccinated persons

Hygiene regulations are also to be strictly observed even if you have already been vaccinated. We further recommend that vaccinated staff be tested. Vaccinated students must still be tested.

 

Testing to count as working time

Test appointments are counted as working time.

 

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information Letter from 12 April 2021 - TU Berlin opens coronavirus rapid test center

To
All university professors and lecturers
All research associates and research and teaching assistants
All office and technical staff
All students

Subject: TU Berlin opens coronavirus rapid test center

Contents
TU Berlin opens coronavirus rapid test center
Test center at TU Main Building - opening times and general information
What to do if you test positive
Mandatory testing
Working from home and following hygiene protocols
Essential childcare services at Berlin day care centers

 

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,

In an extraordinary session held on 27.03.2021, the Berlin Senate passed an amendment of the second ordinance for SARS-CoV-2 infection protection measures to take effect from 01.04.2021. This amendment requires all employers to provide and organize twice weekly point-of-care (PoC) antigen tests, including self-tests conducted under supervision, for all staff working in presence (cf. Section 6a (1) of the second ordinance for SARS-CoV-2 infection protection measures, updated 01.04.2021).

To help in the fight against the pandemic, TU Berlin has additionally decided to set up a public test center on its campus in Charlottenburg. The test center, which is operated by Medicare Testzentrum, opened on 12.04.2021 at 07:00. Medicare Testzentrum operates a number of test centers throughout Germany.

We are also working to organize testing at our other locations and will inform you in due course.

 

Test center at TU Main Building - opening times and general information

The test center is located on the forecourt of the TU Main Building (Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin) and is open Monday to Friday from 07:00 until 18:00.

All students and staff as well as all members of the public can be tested once daily for free. Register here in advance for an appointment 

https://medicare-berlin-tu.ticket.io/?onlyTag=kostenlos

The process is straightforward:

  1. Book an appointment
  2. Come on time and present ID at reception
  3. Nose and throat swabs taken
  4. Results available by email within 15 minutes

Please arrive a few minutes before your scheduled appointment. After you have shown ID at reception, medical staff will take nose and throat swabs. After about 15 minutes, you will receive an email where you can call up your results via a link using a code.

Please note that you may not drink, smoke, chew gum, suck sweets, brush your teeth or gargle within 15 minutes before a rapid test.

Anyone officially residing in Germany may be tested for free once a day. If you are not officially residing in Germany but have German health insurance (statutory or private), you are also entitled to a daily free test. Please bring your national ID or passport with you as well as current official proof of address. If you reside outside of Germany, please also bring your health insurance card or other proof of German health insurance.

 

What to do if you test positive

If you test positive, please make your way directly home and quarantine there. The test center is required to register positive tests with the health authorities. The information provided includes name, address and contact details so that the health authorities can contact you and take necessary measures.

Please note that TU Berlin is not informed of who was tested or what the results were.

 

Mandatory testing

Pursuant to the current coronavirus regulations of the State of Berlin, TU staff are not currently required to test. However, we strongly recommend that you do so to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Unlike staff, who are only permitted to work alone in offices, a maximum of up to 20 students may attend written examinations and practical format classes. We therefore request students to prepare for the introduction of mandatory testing for written exams and face-to-face teaching formats. Agreements and decisions are still pending and we will inform you as soon as we know more.  For now, testing for students remains voluntary. However, we also strongly recommend that students test.

You can find further information about testing at

https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/corona-schnelltestzentrum-tu-berlin/.

 

Working from home and following hygiene protocols

The test center currently helps ensure that staff required to work on campus can do so. We wish to make it absolutely clear that testing does not entitle nor is it intended to enable more people to work on campus or more courses, exams, etc. to take place in presence.

The regulations published in the information letter of 31 March 2021 continue to apply regarding in-presence operations and teaching.

Hygiene regulations must be observed as before, even if you have a negative test result, meaning that you must continue to maintain distance, wear a mask and air rooms thoroughly.

 

Essential childcare at Berlin day care centers

Berlin’s day care centers opened again recently to provide essential childcare services. One criterion for essential childcare is working in a profession classified as essential by the Berlin authorities. This also includes the following categories of university staff:

  • Teaching staff
  • University staff and staff at non-university research institutions as well as staff at StudierendenWERK whose work is essential to maintain operations
  • Staff operating equipment which cannot or can only be switched off at considerable financial loss (especially measuring stations, laboratories, clean rooms)
  • Staff responsible for IT infrastructures.

Further information including a list of all relevant professions can be viewed at https://www.berlin.de/sen/bjf/corona/kita/.

Staff wishing to receive a confirmation of their entitlement to essential childcare are requested to contact their immediate supervisors who will then contact their superiors (for faculties, the heads of the faculty service centers, and for the Central University Administration, the heads of departments, staff offices or central institutes). We request the heads of departments etc. to check if staff work within the categories listed above and to provide written confirmation thereof. A sample statement of confirmation can be provided for this purpose.

Please note that different regulations may apply in other federal states. You should inform your supervisor of the regulations that apply where you reside.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information Letter from 31 March 2021 - working from home on 1 April 2021 / written and oral examinations will go ahead as planned

To:

  • All staff

Subject:

  • Decision of the Berlin Senate of 30 March 2021 – working from home on 1 April 2021


In light of the current infection rate, the Berlin Senate sees it as its particular duty as the city’s largest employer to implement measures to minimize contact within its own institutions and thus help contain the spread of infection.

The decision has therefore been taken at short notice to recommend all offices and agencies to conduct their work and provide their services with staff working from home tomorrow (1 April 2021), as far as requirements permit.

TU Berlin will follow this recommendation and therefore requests all staff to work from home on Thursday, 1 April 2021.

Exceptions only apply where on-campus presence is essential for University operations. The need for staff to be present should be kept to a minimum. Supervisors are asked to carefully consider and decide which members of staff are absolutely required to be on campus to maintain operations.

Reasons for exceptions also include written and oral examinations scheduled to take place in person. These cannot be canceled at short notice and will go ahead as planned.

Any staff unable to perform their work from home will be granted an extra day off with full pay on 1 April 2021.

Stay healthy and remain positive!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 31 March 2021 - TU Berlin remains in phase 2 / Working from home remains a priority until at least 25 April 2021

To:

  • All staff

Subject:

  • TU Berlin remains in phase 2


TU Berlin remains in phase 2 of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions.

Working from home remains a priority until at least 25 April 2021

Due to the increasing number of infections, the Executive Board and Crisis Committee have decided that staff should continue to work from over the next weeks. All work not absolutely requiring the presence of staff on campus must be completed from home. No exceptions are permitted. We kindly ask you to organize procedures to enable as much work as possible to be performed by staff working from home. Only such work as is absolutely necessary and which cannot be completed by staff working from home may be performed in offices, labs, or workshops at TU Berlin. The final decision rests with the relevant supervisors.

Only work essential for maintaining operations in research, teaching and administration is regarded as absolutely necessary.

This decision currently applies until 25 April 2021. The Crisis Committee will inform you of subsequent developments in good time.

Negative rapid tests and self-tests do not entitle staff whose duties do not absolutely require their presence to return to working on campus. Tests (see following section) may only be used to ensure the safety of those actually required to work on campus

We request all staff who are required to work in presence to exercise care and reduce contact to others on campus to a minimum. Please only use kitchens and restrooms one at a time and remember to close doors connecting offices and leading to unventilated corridors when more than one person is present.

Rapid tests and self-tests

The latest coronavirus regulations for Berlin state that employers are required to offer staff twice-weekly, free, point-of-care (PoC) rapid antigen tests or tests for self-administration under supervision as long as such tests are available in sufficient quantities and can be purchased.

We have already ordered both rapid tests and self-tests and are awaiting delivery. As self-tests may currently only be offered under supervision, admission to buildings is not permitted on the basis of self-tests performed at home. We are currently developing a suitable infrastructure for tests and will inform you as soon as this is in place. Please refrain from making inquiries to the Crisis Committee until then.

This also applies to tests for all courses and exams requiring presence. Until such time as we are able to provide tests, in-presence teaching formats and exams may continue without tests.

We would like to reiterate that tests are only intended to provide safety for those required to be on campus. They are not a measure to increase the number of people present on campus.

Mandatory mask-wearing

As of now, regulations require FFP2 masks to be worn in a number of places and situations. This does not include work in offices, so that you may continue to wear a FFP2 or surgical mask.

Face-to-face teaching and practical teaching formats

For the summer semester, face-to-face teaching is initially only permitted for such practical formats (not field trips or excursions) which are mandatory elements of courses and which cannot take place in digital format.

Practical teaching formats may take place under the usual regulations and with the usual restrictions on the number of persons present on the basis of the SDU’s standard hygiene protocol. Hygiene protocols for practical formats must be presented to the relevant faculty administration.

TU Berlin extends paid leave due to closure of daycare centers and schools

The regulations regarding paid leave for childcare have been extended until 30 May 2021. The Crisis Committee provided details of these regulations in an information letter published 4 November 2020. The extension also applies to leave for half days. This means that you can continue to apply by the usual channels for any paid leave for childcare not yet taken until 30 May 2021.

You can find further details, including a table showing leave entitlement and details of how to apply at: https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/arbeiten-und-dienstleistungen/ under the subheading: Paid leave for parents/guardians.

Official trips

Official trips and field trips may not be approved until further notice. Exceptions will only be granted by the Crisis Committee under special circumstances. Applications for exceptions should be addressed to krisenstab@tu-berlin.de. The conference of the first ministers of the German federal states recently stressed the importance of avoiding travel. In light of this, approval will currently only be granted in very exceptional cases. We are currently unable to say when official trips and excursions can be recommenced as usual.

Care when using sanitizer dispensers

Sanitizer dispensers are provided in a number of places throughout the University. You may have already noticed the large white stains on the floor around these dispensers. We would like to point out that long-term exposure to sanitizer causes permanent and irreparable damage to flooring in our buildings, particularly linoleum. Linoleum coverings are only resistant to the effects of alkalis and disinfectants for a short time.

We kindly ask you to immediately wipe away any sanitizer you spill and clean the area with clear water.

The building department would like to point out that the costs for refurbishing any flooring sufficiently damaged will have to be covered by the units where this damage has occurred.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 12 March 2021 - TU Berlin remains in phase 2 / Working from home continues to be a priority

Contents

TU Berlin remains in phase 2
Working from home remains priority until at least Easter
Medical masks required on campus
Preliminary information regarding vaccinations and rapid tests
Flexible childcare offers
Access to buildings
Official trips and excursions
Flat-rate reimbursement of expenses incurred while working from home
Procurement of office materials
Recording working hours when working from home
Residual leave from 2020
Current available services

 

TU Berlin remains in phase 2

TU Berlin remains in phase 2 of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions.

 

Working from home remains a priority until at least Easter

Due to the increasing number of infections as well as their expected continued rise with the phased relaxation of restrictions announced by the federal government and states, the Executive Board and Crisis Committee have taken the decision to continue to prioritize working from home for all University employees. All work not absolutely requiring the presence of staff on campus must be completed from home. No exceptions are permitted. We kindly ask you to organize procedures to permit as much work as possible to be done by staff working from home. Only such work as is absolutely necessary and which cannot be undertaken by staff working from home may be performed in offices, labs, or workshops at TU Berlin. The final decision rests with the relevant supervisors.

Only work essential for maintaining operations in research, teaching and administration is to be regarded as absolutely necessary. 

This decision is in effect until Easter. The Crisis Committee will inform you of the University’s regulations thereafter in good time.

Due to the limited supply of rapid tests, we request that you refrain from excessive testing. Please note that a negative rapid test result does not currently allow you to work on campus.

 

Medical masks required on campus

Pursuant to the most recent coronavirus regulations of the state of Berlin, all persons on campus are required to wear a medical mask (surgical mask or FFP2 mask). Community masks (mouth-nose protection) can no longer be worn in University buildings, including in offices or during examinations.

TU Berlin continues to provide the following staff and students with FFP2 masks:

  • Staff who need to be in a room with others for reasons of occupational health and safety,
  • Staff working in units where it is not possible to observe minimum distancing,
  • Teaching staff and students taking part in practical format classes and
  • Examiners and proctors during in-person examinations.

 

Preliminary information regarding vaccinations and rapid tests

TU Berlin aims to offer vaccinations through the Medical Service as soon as possible. Currently, this is not yet possible. Due to the limited number of vaccines available, we only expect to commence this service in late spring. We will inform you of further developments in good time. Please refrain from making inquiries with the Crisis Committee until then.

We are currently in discussions with the state of Berlin regarding the use of rapid self-tests for students and personnel during in-person examinations and practical formats. We request that you also refrain from making inquiries about this. We will inform you as soon as we have further information, including whether such rapid tests are to become mandatory.

 

Flexible childcare offers

Although schools now offer block scheduling and daycare centers have resumed regular operations, children continue to require care at home. We would like to remind you of the flexible childcare offers organized by the Family Services Office. Both staff and students are entitled to make use of these offers.

If interested, please contact the Family Services Office to book an offer with one of our partner agencies. Please keep in mind that it takes 1-2 weeks to process your request.

Childcare is offered by experienced, certified professionals for 2-4 hours dailyfor a maximum of 12 hours per week in your own home.

The reduced fee is 6 euros per hour for employees and 4 euros per hour for students.

You can find further information about flexible childcare offers here: https://www.personalabteilung.tu-berlin.de/familie/menue/kinderbetreuung/ergaenzende_kinderbetreuung/flexible_kinderbetreuung/

Parents must first complete an informational meeting with the Family Services Center before making use of this service. Please email or call to arrange an appointment:

familienbuero(at)zuv.tu-berlin.de;   030 314-25693/-23332

Our office hours (by phone) for any questions regarding family, care, or essential childcare are: Mon–Fri9–15:00

 

Access to buildings

University buildings are currently open to TU members only. Buildings with an information desk are to be accessed via the main entrance. Personal keys may be used to access all other buildings. The University is not open to the public. Please make sure to close doors behind you and ensure that side entrances do not remain open. We also ask that you use main entrances when taking a break and that you refrain from leaving any doors open or blocking entrances, such as when smoking.

 

Official trips and excursions

Official trips and field trips are still not to be approved until further notice. Exceptions for special individual cases where there is an urgent official need for a trip require the approval of the Crisis Committee: krisenstab(at)tu-berlin.de. We are currently unable to say when official trips and excursions can be recommenced as usual.

 

Flat-rate reimbursement of expenses incurred while working from home

All staff will receive a monthly 10-euro flat-rate reimbursement for additional expenses incurred while working from home for November 2020 through March 2021. The reimbursement will be paid out with your salary disbursement in April. Staff who discontinued working at the University during this time will receive partial reimbursement.

 

Procurement of office materials

In light of recent inquiries, we ask you to take independent decisions regarding the procurement of office materials and use your material fund budget for this purpose. This also applies to second office chairs. In general, we ask all units to review whether any office chairs remain unused which could be taken home for use. A modest number of chairs are currently available in the University’s furniture storage depot (https://www.tu-berlin.de/?60257). Staff are responsible for transporting these home.

 

Recording working hours when working from home

In our information letter of 12 February 2021, we reminded you that you are not required to record working hours when working from home. However, you may choose to do so. Staff may decide this for themselves. This means you can either enter your start and end times or enter “Homeoffice” in the column J for the respective day. If you would like to alternate between options, we ask that you do so on at least a monthly basis to avoid confusion. All other methods of recording working hours are to be arranged with your direct supervisor.

 

Residual leave from 2020

Pursuant to the collective agreement for Berlin universities (TV-L), residual leave from 2020 must be taken by 30 September 2021. We are aware that many staff took less leave last year and thus accrued a high amount of residual leave. We would also like to ensure that the University remains in operation during the summer months and avoid staff taking longer periods of leave until 30 September 2021. For this reason, we have chosen to extend the deadline for taking residual leave until 31 December 2021.

 

Current available services

Please note that all departments in the Central University Administration are currently making every effort to continue to provide their services under the current conditions, for instance the research department continues to process transactions. Procedures will only be processed by email and all documents requiring signatures are to be scanned and submitted as PDF documents. Documents which require a wet signature will be processed on site.

Nevertheless, we ask that you take consideration of everyone’s current circumstances including homeschooling and childcare, which may limit colleagues’ ability to work. It is to be expected that most procedures will take longer to complete.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 12 February 2021

Subject: TU Berlin remains in phase 2 / Working from home continues to be a priority

Contents

  • TU Berlin remains in phase 2
  • Working from home continues to be a priority
  • Recording working hours when working from home
  • Letter of confirmation that TU Berlin is working from home
  • Practical format courses
  • Online written examinations

 

TU Berlin remains in phase 2

The Senate Chancellery for Science and Research and the city’s universities have decided to extend the agreed measures for limiting contact and restricting the spread of the pandemic until 31 March 2021. https://www.lkrp-berlin.de/aktuelles/210212-einschraenkung-31maerz/index.html

As a result, TU Berlin remains in phase 2 of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions.

 

Working from home remains a priority until 7 March 2021 initially

Until 7 March 2021 initially, all work not absolutely requiring the presence of staff on campus must be completed from home. No exceptions are permitted. We kindly ask you to organize procedures to permit as much work as possible to be done by staff working from home. Only such work as is absolutely necessary and which cannot be undertaken by staff working from home may be performed in offices, labs, or workshops at TU Berlin. The final decision rests with the relevant supervisors.

Only work essential for maintaining operations in research, teaching and administration is to be regarded as absolutely necessary. 

 

Recording working hours when working from home

We have recently received many inquiries about recording hours when working from home.

The rules published in the information letter of 16 March 2020 continue to apply:

Collective agreements and statutory provisions as well as the existing service agreements and circulars on working hours, rest breaks and incapacity for work apply. Pursuant to the flextime framework in the TU Berlin/Staff Council agreement on flexible working hours, employees are permitted to freely determine their working hours when working from home. When recording your working hours, please enter “Homeoffice” under “Comments” in column J. You are not required to enter your start and end times. Employees are to arrange the times they are available when working from home with their supervisors.

This means then that you are not required to enter your start and end times. It is of course possible to continue to maintain a record of hours worked. Staff may decide this for themselves.

 

Confirmation of working from home for 2020

We have received a number of requests to provide a letter confirming that TU Berlin is working from home for 2020. You can find this as an attachment to the email sent (in German) on 12 February 2021. We kindly ask you to initially provide the tax office with copies of your own records of hours worked should they request these.

 

Practical format courses

In recent information letters, we informed you that practical format courses which have already commenced may be completed.

We would like to remind you that staff with responsibility for these course are required to develop hygiene and protection protocols (risk assessment and protection measures to prevent infection). They must also inform and instruct staff and students regarding these measures to ensure that they are complied with. This is necessary to ensure compliance with Sections 5 and 6 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act (Arbeitsschutzgesetz). 

Until initially the end of March 2021, practical format courses such as labs and workshops may only be conducted if they are part of a compulsory course (not compulsory elective) and postponing them by a few weeks would result in scheduling difficulties due to a lack of suitable spaces.

Field exercises, excursions, closed meetings of academic chairs or institutes, etc. are explicitly not permitted for the time being.

Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU) and the Medical Service are happy to advise on hygiene protocols. Email: sdu(at)tu-berlin.de, baed(at)tu-berlin.de

SDU has provided a sample of a plan of action as well as hygiene protocols based on a number of previously approved protocols.

Online written examinations

A place can be reserved in the mathematics PC lab for the duration of the exam for students unable to take an online written examination at home. Students should send an email with details regarding the date, time and duration of the exam at least one week in advance to: klausur(at)pool.math.tu-berlin.de

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 3 February 2021

Dear Colleagues,

The examination period begins in just a few weeks. We are now faced with the decision whether and to what extent face-to-face examinations can be held. Following an extensive discussion between the Berlin universities and the Senate Chancellery, we have taken the decision to only offer limited face-to-face written examinations dependent on the number of registered participants. In detail, this means:

  • Face-to-face written exams with up to 20 participants can take place as scheduled.
  • Face-to-face written exams with up to 50 participants can be held using 2-3 rooms with no more than 20 participants per room. innoCampus will contact instructors whose exams have up to 50 registered participants and provide examination rooms where possible.
  • Written exams with more than 50 participants may not take place face-to-face.

This decision is effective from 15 February to 10 April 2021.

We are aware that this results in substantial additional work for all those involved in the planning and conducting of examinations. We took a number of factors into consideration when taking our decision:

  • Berlin’s current measures to contain the pandemic only permit gatherings of up to 20 people in closed rooms.  The prospects of a relaxation of these restrictions during the examination period are very unlikely.
  • We wish to avoid students taking public transportation to attend exams. We also would like to avoid gatherings of students when arriving and leaving the exam.
  • Additionally, our students’ current readiness to take an exam face-to-face is very low.
  • Our examiners require clear and reliable conditions as well as sufficient time to prepare.
  • Written exam dates have already been communicated and should not be amended at this point. We would further like to avoid a repeat of the serious congestion we experienced last summer.

We believe freedom of teaching and research extends to the choice of examination format and will only prohibit formats or decisions which do not comply with legal regulations or place the health of our University’s members at risk. Such is the case now. At the same time however, we wish to avoid canceling and postponing written exams. For this reason, we request that you keep to the examination dates as scheduled and select one of the alternative exam formats from below:

 

Oral examinations:

This format is a possibility for exams with fewer participants. However, it generally requires changing the examination date to accommodate individual appointments over several days. Face-to-face oral examinations under observance of hygiene regulations are possible. However, an online solution is to be prioritized. We are confident that we will have clarified all questions concerning data protection within the next two weeks so that Zoom can be used for online oral exams.

 

Online written examinations with ISIS:

At present, approximately 10 percent of the 600 written examinations registered in innoCampus are scheduled to take place via an online format. This corresponds to about 20 percent of all exam participants. The reasons for this relatively low number include the significant effort required to conduct an exam online as well as concerns about the legal compliance of such exams.

In general, we are currently faced with a conflict between the examination requirements (identification and authentication of participants, preventing cheating) and Berlin’s strict data privacy regulations. Proctored exams, in which students complete the exam at home with their camera on while supervised by a person or algorithm, are not permitted. Cameras are only to be briefly used to identify students (showing their face together with their student ID). As a result, online written exams must be taken without the use of a camera.

Instead, we recommend open book written exams using ISIS, which permit the use of resources. Our large-scale math exams were already held using this format last summer. In our recent experience, there has not been a significant difference in the grades earned when switching from face-to-face to online written exams.

This solution is not without complications, however. While it does make it more difficult, it cannot prevent cheating altogether.

In this vein, we would like to address three problem areas:

  • Identification

Past experience has shown that identifying students by means of a camera and photo ID is highly time-consuming (despite doing so in multiple smaller groups at the same time). We recommend instead that students identify themselves using their TU login, including a potential additional 2-factor authentication via smartphone. (This 2-factor authentication is currently being developed and is scheduled to be made available mid-February.)

  • Attempts to cheat

We have learned from past exams that participants are able to effectively communicate and discuss with each other during an exam. However, this option does not apply if every student receives a different copy of the exam and/or the available time is limited. We recommend creating different but comparable pools of tasks and randomly selecting questions for individual participants. For tasks requiring calculations, we also recommend varying values in the original question. Questions requiring a free form response with multiple theorems are also a challenge, as it is difficult to provide complex answers, including formulas or drawings, using a keyboard. Online written exams in ISIS allow students to upload handwritten solutions (for some or all problems) as a photo/PDF. In cases of doubt, this provides examiners with a handwriting sample, which may discourage certain forms of cheating. This format reflects the current procedure for submitting homework in many courses. It does not offer protection against the use of a ghostwriter. At the very least, students can be required to sign a statement declaring they did not receive assistance (similar to final theses).

  • Technical problems

Before the proper exam is held, students need to take a “sample exam”, to become familiar with the exam software and ensure that access, identification, output, and submission are working properly. It is also necessary to deal with actual or apparent technical difficulties which may occur during the exam (e.g. computer crash, unstable internet connection). We ask you to show understanding in such instances. If, despite all efforts, it is not possible for a student to continue the exam, the exam attempt is not recorded. This is in line with our current regulations granting students one non-recorded exam attempt.

If you would like to hold your written exam online with ISIS, please contact the ISIS team (info(at)isis.tu-berlin.de). The team will arrange a timeframe for the start of the examination with you to prevent ISIS from being overloaded.

We will communicate with students that IP addresses and internet connections will be recorded to identify any attempts at cheating. Students caught cheating will be subject to the consequences laid out in the General Study and Examination Regulations, which may include termination of enrollment at the University.

 

Take-home exams

This option permits students to work asynchronously offline to answer or solve test questions. This format is comparable to a term paper that students are, for instance, required to submit within 24 hours. Take-home exams are a feasible option for more comprehensive portfolio assessments.

ZEWK’s online teaching team and innoCampus have scheduled additional office hours to best support you with preparations for an online exam. Details about office hours as well as guidelines for online examinations can be found on the wiki. The next office hours on online exams will be held Thursday, 4 February 2021, at 16:15.

Additionally, a lively exchange about online examinations took place last week in the discussion forum.

We will immediately inform you of any further developments or changes to pandemic measures which affect the University and the conducting of examinations. However, we do not expect any substantial changes in the coming weeks.

Current hygiene protocols apply to all face-to-face examinations taking place under the restrictions stated above. All individuals present are required to wear a mask. Pursuant to the current coronavirus regulations of the state of Berlin, a community mask is sufficient. However, we recommend wearing a medical mask wherever possible. Examiners and supervisors can collect FFP2 masks from the Hygiene Storage Facility as well as a small supply of replacement surgical masks for students whose own masks can no longer be used.

Please also note:

  • Holding a written exam or a written portfolio component as an online exam in one of the formats listed above represents a change to the original exam format and must be reported to the relevant examination board.
  • Holding an oral exam online does not represent a change to the exam format.
  • We request you to inform your students as soon as possible about any changes to the examination as well as the option to withdraw from the exam up to one day beforehand.

Students will be informed shortly of the new regulations separately.

Sincerely,
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 1 February 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Members of the University,

We would like to inform you of the following regulations:

Occupational and service law changes resulting from the impact of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic:

  • Paid leave for parents or guardians of children requiring care
  • Increase and extension for a limited period of entitlement to child sickness benefit during the coronavirus pandemic

 

Paid leave for parents or guardians of children requiring care

Section 56 of the Protection Against Infection Act (IfSG) has been amended for the period covering 30 March 2020 until (provisionally) 31 March 2021 by the implementation of the Act for the Protection of the People During an Epidemic of National Proportions.

Effective 1 September 2020 (and valid through 31 March 2021), the previous regulations concerning parents or guardians of children requiring care were amended in accordance with the regulations of Section 56 (1a) and Section 2 (4) IfSG as follows:

In the event of the closure of childcare facilities, schools or facilities for persons with disabilities, including as a result of the requirement to quarantine, or of school or other holidays enforced or extended by the responsible authorities as a measure to protect against infection, or the suspension of face-to-face teaching at schools, working parents and legal guardians are entitled to paid leave upon application

  • if their child is under twelve or is disabled and requires care
  • if they have to care for a child themselves as they are unable to arrange any other reasonable alternative
  • if they do not have plus hours on their working-time account and
  • if they are unable work from home.

The same applies for foster parents caring full time for a child, as defined in Section 33 of Social Security Code (SGB) VIII, residing in their home.

Paid leave can be requested for up to 34 whole days, or 67 whole days for single parents (to be applied to a five-day work week). Alternatively, staff have the option to request up to 68 half days, or 134 half days for single parents (50 percent of regular daily working hours).

Parents, guardians and foster parents wishing to apply for leave are required to demonstrate to their employer (TU Berlin) that for the period in question there are no reasonable options for childcare, such as essential childcare services or care provided by other persons not belonging to identified coronavirus risk groups, and that circumstances make it unreasonable for them to work from home.

An entitlement to paid leave also applies for those periods when the daycare center or school would otherwise have been closed, for example due to school or public holidays. 

You are not entitled to paid leave in accordance with the IfSG if you have flextime credit or if you can be reasonably expected to work from home. Options for mobile working should always be explored first.

On the assumption that working from home is only possible to a limited extent when looking after children, parents, guardians, and foster parents will be granted paid leave (beyond the entitlement in accordance with the IfSG described above) until 31 March 2021 for half of their required working time, provided the other conditions are met. When assigning work, supervisors are requested to take account of the individual childcare requirements of their staff. In individual cases, it may be possible to agree a reduced workload as an exception. This exception is designed to help in situations where parents, etc. are required to simultaneously look after more than one child who would otherwise be attending a school or daycare center.

The amount of unpaid leave a person is entitled to is unaffected. Please refer to the information letter published by the Crisis Committee on 4 November 2020. Days already used for coronavirus-related leave of absence will be taken into account when calculating leave entitlement.

How to apply: 

Staff wishing to take advantage of this option should send the completed form to Human Resources. You should also submit proof that the daycare center/school attended by your child, ward or foster child is closed or unable to offer care for the period in question, or that no supervision or classes will be taking place for their year, or that the school or daycare center etc. has been forced to suspend care or schooling. No proof is required in cases of enforced or extended school holidays or if face-to-face teaching is suspended.

If you do not yet know when the daycare center/school or school class will be reopening or running again, please make a note of this in your application and provide this information as soon as possible thereafter.

Please submit your application electronically if possible.

You may remain at home to look after your children as soon as you have submitted your application by email. Human Resources will then review and approve the application.

We request that you remain contactable at the email address you used to submit  your application in case Human Resources needs to clarify anything with you regarding the processing of your application.

You are further requestedto immediately inform your supervisor that you will not be working and remain in regular contact with them.

The following is relevant for supervisors: You need to continue to fill out the form for registering illness for such cases (Erkrankungsanzeige) and return to II T. The reason for absence from work in the section “wegen” should be completed by hand and entered as “notwendige Kinderbetreuung aufgrund der Kita-/Schulschließung wegen COVID 19” (essential childcare due to closure of daycare center/school because of COVID 19). You can ignore the boxes which you would normally check for this purpose. The form for registering a return to health/work should also continue to be used.

These regulations also apply for staff with civil servant status.

 

Increase and extension for a limited period of entitlement to child sickness benefit during the coronavirus pandemic

In addition to the options for paid leave for parents and guardians to look after their children requiring care (see circular IV no. 99 2020 of 15 December 2020), a law has also now been passed as an amendment to Section 45 SGB V through the addition of Section 2a to increase entitlement to child sickness benefit.

These regulations apply retroactively from 5 January 2021 and remain effective until the end of 2021.

The regulations entitle parents with statutory insurance whose children are co-insured as dependents as per Section 10 SGB V to 20 days’ child sickness benefit (previously 10 days) per child per parent, up to a total of 45 days. This entitlement for single parents increases by a further 20 days to 40 days per child per parent, up to a maximum of 90 days.

Entitlement is now extended to also include other situations where a parent is required to care for or look after a child at home.

This means that parents are entitled to child sickness benefit days if:

  • Their child is sick
  • Their child requires looking after at home because
    • a daycare center, school or facility for persons with disabilities has been temporarily closed due to the coronavirus, or
    • the requirement to attend school is suspended, or
    • access to childcare is restricted, including in cases where the daycare center is in principle open but where parents are requested to only make use of the facility in urgent cases.

Entitlement applies to the working parents of children

  • who are under twelve or have a disability which requires assistance and
  • where there is no other person at home who is able to look after or care for the children.

For the time where they are receiving this benefit, entitlement under Section 56 (1a) IfSG is suspended for both parents. During the time they are receiving child sickness benefit, parents may not apply for compensation for loss of earnings either for the child for who they are claiming child sickness benefit or for any other child requiring care or looking after.

Entitlement applies regardless of whether a parent’s contractual duties can in principle also be performed working from home. Upon request, parents must provide appropriate proof of the need for care to their health insurer.

Applications for child sickness benefit are to be submitted to the child’s health insurer. You can find further information on the insurer’s website. You can find a sample certificate of proof that a child is not attending daycare/school to submit when applying for child sickness benefit online.

If you wish to take advantage of your entitlement to child sickness benefit, please inform your supervisor immediately of the start of your period of absence and its likely duration.

The aforementioned regulations apply accordingly to civil servants previously entitled to time off to care for a sick child in an analogous application of Section 45 SGB V. Taking leave continues to be on the basis of registering absence due to the sickness of a child (see circular entitled Krankmeldungen und unentschuldigtes Fehlen dated 10 July 2002). Please also submit the certificate of proof of non-attendance of a daycare center or school referred to above.

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 22 January 2021

Information letter from 22 January 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,

Berlin has now passed the fourth amendment to its measures for protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2. Consultations held by the task force of the Berlin universities and the TU Berlin Crisis Committee have resulted in the following binding regulations, which shall apply from 25 January 2021 until 15 February 2021 (initially):

TU Berlin remains in phase 2 of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions. However, there have been some amendments to individual regulations, which we will inform you of in this bulletin. Essentially, this means that for winter semester 2020/2021, state, private and confessional institutions of higher education, including any facilities accessible to the general public, may not open and will have to conduct their teaching using online formats without the option of face-to-face classes.

Working from home has priority

From 25 January 2021, all work not absolutely requiring the presence of staff on campus must be completed from home. No exceptions are permitted. We kindly ask you to organize procedures to permit as much work as possible to be done by staff working from home. Only such work as is absolutely necessary and which cannot be undertaken by staff working from home may be performed in offices, labs, or workshops at TU Berlin. The final decision rests with the relevant supervisors.

Only work essential for maintaining operations in research, teaching and administration is to be regarded as absolutely necessary. 

 

Access to buildings

Starting 25 January 2021, access to buildings is only possible via the main entrances. Only those buildings with information desks may be entered via these points and upon presentation of staff or student ID.

Buildings without information desks will remain locked. Staff performing essential work which can only be undertaken on campus can continue to access buildings and rooms using electronic keys. Instructors teaching practical format classes in these buildings must ensure that participants enter and exit buildings in accordance with hygiene protocols (e.g. by organizing their collection from entrance areas and accompanying them off the premises at the end of classes).

No special passes are required. If you need to enter buildings and are not in possession of a valid staff or student ID, please contact Campus Management as soon as possible.

 

Working on campus

If you need to work on campus (i.e. your work is essential and cannot be completed at home), please be aware of the following:

  • Irrespective of its size, only one person may work in an office or enclosed space at a time. 
  • Exceptions are only permitted where occupational safety requires the simultaneous presence of more than one person.
  • To avoid direct contact, please refrain from delivering documents in person. This applies for all units within the central administration. Please use email or interoffice mail when necessary.

 

Studying and teaching – no face-to-face classes

No face-to-face teaching will take place at universities until 15 February 2021.

Exceptions may only be made for practical format courses which have already commenced and urgently need to be continued and for which no digital alternative is possible. The number of participants is to be kept to a minimum. Participation is voluntary for students and those choosing not to participate will not suffer any disadvantages.

Face-to-face written examinations may not take place through 13 February 2021.

Face-to-face oral examinations are permitted under observance of the applicable hygiene protocols and the agreement of all participants. Students who are currently unable to take part in a face-to-face examination for reasons of health should not be disadvantaged in any way.

 

Requirement to wear masks and issue of FFP2 masks

The requirement to wear a mask continues to apply on the entire campus. Medical masks are recommended but you may continue to use a community mask.

TU Berlin will provide the following staff and students with FFP2 masks:

  • Staff who need to be in a room with others for reasons of occupational health and safety.
  • Staff working in units where it is not possible to observe minimum distancing.
  • Teaching staff and students taking part in practical format classes.

Masks can be collected from the Hygiene Storage Facility. One mask will be issued per day per person, or two masks per day per person for those doing physical work. A supply for one week will be issued. Masks may be reused if not worn for several consecutive days. Please refer to the information provided or linked by SDU regarding occupational safety under coronavirus conditions and the use and reuse of FFP2 masks.

Masks can also be collected by a single person on behalf of others (e.g. an instructor for all participants in a practical format class or a colleague for an entire academic chair.)

 

Services of the Central University Administration

There will be no changes to the services provided by the Central University Administration. Please be aware, however, that there may be delays in processing requests and applications as a result of staff working from home, the increased measures within phase 2 (one person per office and the resulting alternating shift system) as well as staff taking time off for homeschooling and childcare. We thank you for your cooperation.

Department I Student Services

The Office of Student Affairs can be reached by telephone and via the contact form; applications will continue to be processed and ID cards printed without further restrictions. Depending on how the postal services operate, there may be delays in delivering ID cards.

Information from the Examination Office

Deadlines for submitting final theses and term papers, as long as they are not part of portfolio examinations, will be suspended until 31 March 2021. This is based on the assumption that it will not be possible to work on theses and term papers until 31 March 2021. Writing periods which have already commenced will be extended by the appropriate amount of time. New submissions of topics will be internally processed. Topics will however only be assigned to students at the end of March, with the writing period commencing 1 April 2021. Students have the option of informing their examination team when submitting an application for the assignment of a topic that they do not wish to take advantage of the suspension of deadlines.

This decision is irreversible. In such cases, it is only possible to take advantage of the extensions to deadlines provided for in the study and examination regulations.

We strongly recommend examiners offering portfolio examinations with term papers to extend submission deadlines on account of the closure of libraries and study spaces.

Students may continue to submit final theses to their examination team in electronic format. Please refer to the information provided on the website.

As a result of the regulations regarding failed examinations not counting as attempts, second repeat examinations will still be held until 31 March in the form specified in the module description. Any such examinations not passed may be repeated. Please note that the regulations regarding failed attempts do not apply if students do not take an examination for which they registered or if they are found to have cheated.

Study and examination regulations for bachelor’s and master’s programs which expired on 31 March 2020 or 30 September 2020, will be extended until 30 September 2021, meaning that students enrolled in these programs have the opportunity to complete their degrees in accordance with the prior study and examination regulations. Students may also apply to switch study and examination regulations before they expire. Any such switch is binding.

Students still studying in Diplom programs due to exceptional circumstances have the option to apply to the relevant examination committee for an extension, stating the reason for the extension.

Graduation documents are currently taking longer to issue as they can only be prepared by staff working on campus and have to be signed in person. Preliminary certificates of completion can be issued in urgent cases.

There are current restrictions on students reviewing their examinations, and the period for appealing exam results will only commence once the exam review has taken place.

For examiners: Given the lack of certainty regarding face-to-face examinations, we urge all teaching staff to consider alternative formats.Examiners continue to have the option to make temporary changes to exam formats.

Please refer to the information provided online and here.

There will be no changes to the services offered by the Academic Advising Service.

 

Department II Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Beginning 25 January 2021, Human Resources will be working more from home as a result of the increased measures to protect staff from the coronavirus. We recommend you use email to contact HR staff and submit requests and applications. There may be delays in processing applications and requests. As a result, incoming requests will be prioritized to a greater degree, and procedures that are important for the functioning of the University (new hires) and to prevent staff becoming unemployed (renewals of contracts) and/or suffering financial hardship will be processed first.

Human Resources will communicate mainly by email with units hiring new staff. However, contracts and other documents intended for Human Resources may be delivered to the information desk at the entrance of the Main Building or submitted via interoffice mail.

To help Human Resources process priority cases, faculty and department managers are requested to check priority before submitting requests and applications and provide a processing time of least four weeks for hiring procedures. Should any requests and applications need to be processed at short notice during this period to prevent particular financial hardship, please contact Pascal Koch, head of Human Resources, to discuss how to proceed.

Job interviews may only be conducted using digital formats.

 

Department IV Building and Services Management 

Controls by security staff: Security staff will step up measures to ensure that hygiene protocols are observed at TU Berlin.  Please ensure that you have your staff or student ID with you at all times.

Mail/cleaning services: Mail and cleaning services will continue to operate as normal.

Construction work and construction sites: All current construction work will be continued but there will be delays in processing requests as a result of staff working from home.

Operation of buildings: Buildings will continue to operate under current hygiene regulations with a significantly reduced staff. There will be delays in processing reported faults. Please report faults via the fault reporting mailbox. Please also inform the appropriate staff by telephone in cases of imminent danger.

Please ensure that technical devices in your offices that do not need to be left on are disconnected from the mains when you are not at TU Berlin. To help save energy, we also request you to turn down the heating when offices are not occupied.

 

Department V Research

The research department will continue to process transactions. Procedures will only only be processed by email and all documents requiring signatures must be scanned and submitted as PDF documents. Documents which require a wet signature will be processed on site.

Please note that there will be delays in processing the majority of requests and applications, etc. as a result of the current situation and the additional problems caused by staff having to school and look after children at home.

 

Campus Management IT service desk

Please make an appointment to go in person to the IT service desk (E-N 024). You can do so by email or telephone:  it-support(at)tu-berlin.de and 314-28000. When visiting the service desk in person, please follow hygiene protocols, wear a mask and maintain a distance of two meters! The sanitizer provided is also for your use.

 

University Library

Workspaces in the TU Berlin libraries remain closed for use until 31.01.2021. The libraries continue to be open during their respective opening hours for you to order, borrow and collect media. Please note that you may only enter libraries with a valid library card or TU student/staff ID. Further information is listed online.

 

Certificates for essential childcare in daycare centers and schools (primary level)

From January 25, 2021, Berlin's daycare centers and schools will switch to essential-only operations. According to the Senate administration, parents are entitled to essential childcare for their children in very urgent circumstances. Essential care can only be provided on individual days and for a few hours. One criterion for essential childcare is working in a profession classified as essential by the Berlin authorities. This also includes the following categories of university staff:

  • Teaching staff
  • University staff and staff at non-university research institutions as well as staff at StudierendenWERK whose work is essential to maintain operations
  • Staff operating equipment which can only be switched off at considerable financial loss (especially measuring stations, laboratories, clean rooms)
  • Staff responsible for IT infrastructures.

Further information including a list of all relevant professions can be viewed here or here or here.

According to the website of the Senate administration, it is also possible for staff working from home to apply for essential childcare in daycare centers.

Staff wishing to receive a confirmation of their entitlement to essential childcare are requested to contact their immediate supervisors (for faculties, the heads of the faculty service centers, and for the Central University Administration, the heads of departments, staff offices or central institutes). We request the heads of departments etc. to check if staff work within the categories listed above and to provide written confirmation thereof. A sample statement of confirmation will be sent to the heads of departments, etc. listed above.

Please note that different regulations may apply in other federal states. You should inform your supervisor of the regulations that apply where you reside.

 

Official trips and excursions

Official trips and excursions may not be authorized. Previously authorized official trips are to be canceled. Exceptions for special individual cases where there is an urgent official need to travel require the approval of the Crisis Committee krisenstab(at)tu-berlin.de. Official trips may only be made if previously approved by the Crisis Committee. Official trips for which exemptions were previously granted by the Crisis Committee may also take place. All other approved official trips are to be canceled. Cancellation costs will be covered by the funds used to pay for the trip or by the unit which approved the travel. Please note that cancellation costs may not be chargeable to all third-party funders.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 19 January 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,

As the latest reports in the media have made clear, the federal government and the federal states are preparing further measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

TU Berlin wishes to be ready for this eventuality. We are currently in close discussions with the Senate Chancellery, but would like to ask you to prepare for the following in anticipation of the decisions we will be taking this week together with the state of Berlin:

Working from home & working on campus

TU Berlin has already requested all units to work from home as far as possible. Beginning 25 January 2021, it will only be possible to conduct work on the premises of TU Berlin which absolutely requires the physical presence of staff. Until further notice, decisions regarding which work requires the physical presence of staff will be the responsibility of the respective supervisors. Beginning next week, all work which can be done from home is to be done from home. 

We will be publishing information about how to gain entry to buildings at the end of this week. Our aim is to operate a more straightforward procedure than in spring 2020. Please refrain from making inquiries until after this information has been published.

Interoffice mail will continue to operate. Please be aware, however, that it may take some time for staff working from home to receive interoffice mail. Please ensure that any mail you send can be read or signed for and use digital options wherever possible.

From 25 January and until further notice, it is not possible for more than one member of staff to work in the same office at the same time. The size of the office is irrelevant. Exceptions are only permitted where occupational safety requires the simultaneous presence of more than one person.

We will shortly be publishing details regarding the services provided by the central administration.

We request you only to place such orders as are necessary to maintain operations over the coming weeks.

Despite the increased measures to contain the pandemic, the services provided by the central administration will have to continue to function at their current level to enable TU Berlin to conduct essential procedures.

 

Teaching & examinations

The restrictions published in the information letter of 8 January 2021 continue to apply (https://www.tu.berlin/go10841/).

Practical format courses which have already begun may be completed. No new practical format courses may be commenced.

FFP2 masks are available for collection from the Hygiene Storage Facility by teaching staff for instructors and students participating in practical format courses (one FFP-2 mask per person): https://www.facilities.tu-berlin.de/iv_g_aussendienste/menue/bereiche/material_und_hygienelager/.

Face-to-face written examinations are prohibited through 13 February 2021. If the rate of infection improves and it becomes possible to hold face-to-face examinations, it is still likely that we will have problems finding sufficient space for larger examinations even when renting external facilities. Given the lack of certainty regarding this situation, we kindly request all teaching staff to consider alternative formats for examinations. Out of fairness to our students for the work they have put in as well as to prevent a future logjam, examinations should only be postponed to a later date in exceptional cases.

Face-to-face oral examinations are permitted under observance of the applicable hygiene regulations and the agreement of all participants. Students who are currently unable to take part in a face-to-face examination for reasons of health should not be disadvantaged in any way.

 

Research

All academic chairs are requested to prepare for a possible switch to phase 3, during which they may be required to power down their research facilities to safety mode.

The information above concerning working on campus applies.

 

Libraries

A decision concerning changes to library services will be reached this week with the Senate Chancellery. We will inform you of this shortly.

 

Crisis hotline for TU staff

Until further notice, TU Berlin will continue to operate a crisis hotline for psychosocial counseling. The crisis hotline is available Mondays and Thursdays: 10:00 to 14:00. You can reach the hotline at: 030 314 -73946. Further information can be viewed at: https://www.tu.berlin/go1043/n1717/

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 13 January 2021

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As reported in the media, a number of federal states have introduced restricted movement for residents in administrative districts where the 7-day incidence rate exceeds 200 infections per 100,000 of the population. The regulations allow for exceptions for traveling to and from work. As yet, the regulations do not require commuters to present a certificate from their employer. However, a number of our staff have already reported that they were stopped or questioned, and we would kindly ask supervisors to provide staff residing more than 15km from the border to Berlin with an appropriate document confirming that they are required to commute to work. We have prepared a sample text to help you. Please delete any text that is not relevant. We also recommend all TU staff to carry their staff ID with them and to present this to the police or the Ordnungsamt as further proof of their employment at TU Berlin.

Wherever possible, all staff should continue to work from home with the agreement of their supervisor.

Sample text

Arbeitgeberbescheinigung

Folgende Bestätigung dient dem Nachweis der Zugehörigkeit zur Technischen Universität Berlin aufgrund der behördlich verfügten Ausgangsbeschränkungen anlässlich der Corona-Pandemie.

Die Technische Universität Berlin bestätigt, dass

Vorname Nachname                    ______________________________

wohnhaft in

Straße u. Hausnr.                          ______________________________

PLZ und Wohnort                         ______________________________

 

an der Technischen Universität Berlin am Standort

________________________________________ (Straßenname)

beschäftigt ist.

Die Technische Universität Berlin ermöglicht Homeoffice. Für einzelne Beschäftigte ist Homeoffice aufgrund ihrer Arbeitsaufgaben jedoch nicht möglich. Der Hin- und Rückweg vom o.g. Wohnort zur Arbeitsstätte ist zur Erfüllung der arbeitsvertraglichen Pflichten erforderlich.

Im Rahmen der Arbeitstätigkeit ist sie/er regelmäßig auch an den Standorten

______________________________________ tätig.

 

Dies hat folgende Gründe: _______________________________________.

 

Für Rückfragen steht ________________________ (Name)

unter ______________ (Tel.) zur Verfügung.

 

Berlin, d. _________                  ____________________________

                                                           Unterschrift / Funktion

 

 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 8 January 2021

Dear Teaching Staff and Students,

In anticipation of updated regulations for the state of Berlin and the special urgency of the matters at hand, we have chosen to already send you the most recent decision of the TU Berlin regarding teaching operations and examinations. These regulations will initially be in effect from 11.01.2021 to 31.01.2021.

In light of the current federal regulations and consistently high infection rate, no face-to-face courses will be held at TU Berlin during this period. 

Exceptions to this include some practical formats which are absolutely necessary and cannot be offered digitally. This is in the interest of students who would otherwise lose a semester of their studies. Participation in these face-to-face practical courses is on a voluntary basis. They will be held in accordance with strict hygiene concepts which have been approved by the relevant departments at TU Berlin and thus far prevented any known cases of infection resulting from such courses.

Face-to-face examinations are prohibited during this period. Examiners are requested to postpone exams to a later date, hold exams online, modify the exam format, or, in the event of a portfolio examination, permit students to complete the required work in another format. Examination boards are requested to demonstrate understanding when processing corresponding requests.

Face-to-face oral examinations are permitted under observance of the applicable hygiene regulations and the agreement of all participants. Students who are currently unable to take part in a face-to-face examination for reasons of health should not be disadvantaged in any way.

Due to the, in part new, difficult study conditions, particularly as concerns the closure of the libraries and their workspaces, all deadlines for submitting term papers and final theses have been suspended for the period from 04.01.2021 to 31.01.2021.

Workspaces in the TU Berlin libraries remain closed for use until 31.01.2021. Any changes thereafter will be communicated accordingly. The libraries continue to be open during their respective opening hours for you to order, borrow and collect media. Further information: https://ub.tu-berlin.de/

In the week preceding 31.01.2021, the Berlin universities and other institutions of higher education will once again confer with the Senate Department for Science whether these regulations are to be extended.

We urge everyone to significantly restrict their physical contact with others and adhere to the applicable hygiene regulations.

Despite the difficult circumstances, we would like to wish you all a healthy and happy new year. Let us continue to work together to overcome this challenging situation for each of us individually and our society as well as the University.

All information can also be found in the University’s coronavirus portal: https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/ 

Stay healthy!
The Executive Board and Crisis Committee of TU Berlin

2020

Information letter from 18 December 2020

Dear TU Members,

The regulations regarding paid leave for childcare have been extended until 31 March 2021. The Crisis Committee provided details of these regulations in an information letter published 4 November 2020. The extension also applies to leave for half days. This means that you can continue to apply by the usual channels for any paid leave for childcare not yet taken until 31 March 2021.

You can find further details, including a table showing leave entitlement and details of how to apply at:

https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/arbeiten-und-dienstleistungen/

under the subheading: Paid leave for parents/guardians

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 15 December 2020

TU Berlin remains in phase 2: Working from home and limited physical contact strongly encouraged

Dear Staff,

The federal and state governments have agreed more restrictive measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus. After conferring with the Senate Chancellery, we would like to inform you how these new measures affect our University.

A brief video message from the TU Berlin president, Professor Christian Thomsen can be viewed at TU Berlin’s YouTube channel.

Five key points:

First: We will remain in phase 2 of our plans for University operations under pandemic conditions, but with the tightened measures explained in detail in this letter. These do not entail a complete closure of the University.

Second: We continue to recommend you work from home whenever possible. We once again request all supervisors to take the steps necessary to ensure their staff can continue their work from home. Only administrative work which cannot be performed from home is to be carried out on the premises of TU Berlin. Supervisors are responsible for deciding which work needs to be carried out on campus.

Third: Some face-to-face classes, practical teaching formats, and exams will continue until 18 December 2020, but many have already been canceled. There will be no face-to-face teaching or examinations from 19 December 2020 to 10 January 2021. The University Library is providing a loan service only from 16 December 2020.

Fourth: All of the University’s research units are also strongly encouraged to work from home. Only unavoidable work on campus is permitted, with the exception of research related to the coronavirus.

Fifth: We strongly recommend all TU members limit their physical contact with other people as much as possible. Please avoid taking public transportation and meeting colleagues on campus. Current hygiene rules are to be observed at all times.

 

By working from home, you help the University prevent the spread of the virus. The University’s preparations since October have demonstrated their effectiveness in two ways:

Phase 2 provides us with a solid foundation, requiring only a few additional changes during this next period. Additionally, very few coronavirus cases have been recorded at TU Berlin.

Please continue to help us in our efforts! The situation is and continues to remain serious. We anticipate that the hard lockdown will be extended after 10 January 2021.   

 

Additional rules for Phase 2, effective 15 December 2020

  • Central administrative services
  • Access to buildings
  • Teaching – face-to-face formats and libraries
  • Essential childcare service at daycare centers and schools
  • Paid leave for childcare
  • Libraries
  • Mail service at TU Berlin
  • Official trips
  • Trainees and apprentices
  • Elections of institute councils – requesting postal ballots

Central administrative services
Most staff in the central administration will be working from home and can be contacted by phone or email. Face-to-face office hours or other similar services will not be offered. Many departments will be operating under restricted conditions. We are all making every effort to continue to offer our services as much as possible. Please contact the central administrative departments with urgent work only in the coming weeks. Please note that mail will be delivered but may not processed.

Access to buildings
No changes have been made concerning access to buildings. Some buildings remain open while others have been closed since 19 October 2020. An up-to-date list of currently closed buildings is available online. If external persons (tenants, suppliers, etc) absolutely require access to these buildings, the heads of the academic chairs or responsible persons are to continue to issue entry permits. In the period between 19 December 2020 and 10 January 2021, non-members of the University as well as students are not permitted to enter any of the buildings affected.

Teaching – face-to-face formats and libraries
Face-to-face courses are not being held at the Berlin universities between 16 December 2020 and 10 January 2021. Exceptions to this include some previously scheduled in-person exams and practical formats which are absolutely necessary and cannot be offered digitally. The number of participants is to be kept to a minimum. Students are not required to take part in any face-to-face events.  Additionally, the Preparatory School will not be holding face-to-face courses effective 16 December 2020. Face-to-face exams between 19 December 2020 and 10 January 2021 are not permitted. One additional request: All instructors bringing their children to daycare in order to teach online are requested to refrain from doing so in the coming days and to keep their children at home. Please reschedule your online teaching.

Essential childcare service at daycare centers and schools
The state of Berlin has requested daycares and schools to offer essential childcare outside of the scheduled holiday break. Unlike in the spring, this essential childcare service is not limited to parents working in crucial professions. Parents must inform the daycare why they require essential childcare and why caring for their children at home is not possible.

More information is available at: https://www.berlin.de/sen/bjf/corona/kita/

A list of crucial professions has been compiled for essential childcare in grade schools as well as a form to declare your need for the essential childcare: https://www.berlin.de/sen/bjf/corona/schule/#hilfe

Different rules may apply in the state of Brandenburg.

Paid leave for childcare
Until the state rules regarding paid leave for childcare take effect on 1 January 2021, the University’s own rules on childcare communicated in the information letter of 4 November 2020 remain in effect until 31 March 2021. This means any paid leave for childcare which you have not yet taken can be requested as outlined in the information letter until 31 March 2021.

Libraries
Scientific libraries may only offer online and loan services from 16 December 2020 to 10 January 2021. As a result, the TU Berlin University Library will be closing its study spaces. Loans continue to be possible during libraries’ opening hours. The TU Berlin libraries remain completely closed to the public from 28 to 30 December 2020. Further information: https://ub.tu-berlin.de/

Mail service at TU Berlin
The mail service will operate as normal. Packages will be re-routed to the mail unit in Building Z. Packages arriving here will be delivered by the TU Berlin courier service to the addressee in their office at the University. If after several attempts, it is not possible to contact anyone at the office or by telephone to arrange delivery, the package will be kept in the Mail Room for collection by the addressee. This applies to all packages, except chemicals, with a maximum weight of 31.5 kg and a maximum size of 120 x 60 x 60 cm. As the delivery companies do not always follow the information provided on posters throughout the University regarding the delivery of packages to the Mail Room, we request you to provide the following delivery address throughout the period of restricted operations:

Technische Universität Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135
Zentrale Poststelle Geb. Z
z.H. [Title][ Last name] [Office code or staff code]
10623 Berlin

Please also be aware that larger or heavier packages, major deliveries (e.g. large-scale equipment, palettes, and dangerous goods), as well as packages with chemicals must be delivered directly and signed for by you. Please make suitable arrangements with the delivery company and inform the relevant information desk at TU Berlin. The Mail Room is unable to accept or re-route such deliveries.

Official trips
Official trips and field trips are not to be approved until further notice. Previously authorized official trips are to be canceled. Exceptions for special individual cases where there is an urgent official need for the trip require the approval of the Crisis Committee (krisenstab(at)tu-berlin.de). Only official trips previously approved by the Crisis Committee may be taken. Official trips for which exemptions have been granted by the Crisis Committee may also take place. All other approved official trips are to be canceled. Cancellation costs will be covered by the funds used to pay for the trip or by the unit which approved the travel. Please note that cancellation costs may not be chargeable to all third-party funders.

Trainees and apprentices
Effective immediately, TU Berlin trainees are no longer required to be present on campus, with the exception of trainees in practical fields where working from home is not possible and work continues to take place on site. In these cases, trainees may take part in face-to-face operations under observation of the hygiene regulations. Trainees are required to contact their trainers by email or telephone to discuss which work and tasks they can do from home.

Elections of institute councils – requesting postal ballots
We would like to remind you of the option to vote by postal ballot in the upcoming institute council elections on 14 January 2021. In accordance with the Electoral Regulations, postal ballots will be mailed out no later than 6 January 2021, eight days prior to the election. When requesting your postal ballot, please ensure you have access to the mailing address provided.

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 10 December 2020

Dear Staff,
Dear TU Members,

The federal states and local administrations are currently passing stricter measures to limit the effects of the pandemic. Given that the number of infections is not falling, we request you to prepare for a lockdown in your departments and units similar to that in March/April 2020. We will provide more detailed information in the coming weeks once the Berlin Senate has decided on a course of action. We ask you to work from home as far as possible and to consider whether you need to power down technical equipment or place it on a safer setting as well as a strategy for dealing with long-term experiments. Beginning now, we request you to only place orders which are absolutely necessary. Working with the University’s central administration, we are developing a list of services adapted to the situation. To protect yourself and others, please observe all hygiene regulations when on campus. Stay healthy!

Infection chain management - update
According to reports in the media, testing capacity is currently restricted, meaning that not all suspected cases of coronavirus infection can be tested, even if your doctor believes that there is a very high probability of infection. This could also affect persons who have developed symptoms after contact with a person who has tested positive. In such cases, we request you to proceed on the assumption that you have tested positive by informing your supervisor and arranging with them to work from home.

Self-isolation
The Berlin boroughs have issued general instructions in response to the very high demands placed on the public health authorities. These require members of the public to self-isolate under certain circumstances and for a specific period of time.  Self-isolation is similar to a period of quarantine as imposed by public authorities. The difference being that you are not directly informed to self-isolate by a health authority.

Please familiarize yourself with the regulations that apply for your district.

Please note that TU Berlin cannot advise you as to whether the general instructions require you to self-isolate.

This is a separate issue to the University’s request to work from home for a period of five days following brief contact to a person who has tested positive.

Self-isolation is similar in length and nature to quarantine and you are required to act accordingly.

Information published by the RKI regarding different categories of contact can be viewed at https://www.rki.de/EN/Home/homepage_node.html;jsessionid=FAF1A63A0ACEDA6648F5A4EDD8382545.internet102 

If you do have to self-isolate, please inform your supervisor and arrange to work from home. If the nature of your work prevents you from working from home, please instruct your supervisor and your personnel team by email and inform them of the length of time your district requires you to remain in self-isolation.

Leave due to closure of childcare facilities and schools as a result of the coronavirus
Our letter of 4 November informed you of the regulations for the rest of the year regarding leave due to the closure of childcare facilities and schools. The option of half days granted for November 2020 for staff caring for children with restricted capacity for working from home has been extended until 31 December 2020.

Package delivery
As many of you are currently working from home, deliveries of packages should be re-routed to the Mail Room. You can either collect them from there or arrange for the TU Berlin courier service to deliver them to your workplace. This applies to all packages with a maximum weight of 31.5 kg and a maximum size of 120 x 60 x 60 cm. As the delivery companies do not always follow the information provided on posters throughout the University regarding the delivery of packages to the Mail Room, we request you to provide the following delivery address throughout the period of restricted operations:

Technische Universität Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135
Zentrale Poststelle Geb. Z
z.H. [Title] [Surname] [Office code or staff code]
10623 Berlin

Please also be aware that larger or heavier packages as well as major deliveries (e.g. large-scale equipment, palettes, and dangerous goods) must be delivered directly and signed for by you. Please make suitable arrangements with the delivery company and inform the relevant information desk at TU Berlin. The Mail Room is unable to accept or re-route such deliveries.

Travel during Christmas
The Christmas holidays are fast approaching. Many of you are no doubt thinking about traveling to visit family or friends. It is your decision to do so. However, we would ask you to familiarize yourself with local regulations as well as the regulations regarding your return. Please also contact your supervisor to discuss working from home at the start of January if it seems likely that you will be required to self-isolate upon your return to Brandenburg or Berlin.

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 4 November 2020 - Option of paid leave for parents or guardians of children requiring care

Dear Staff,
Dear Members of the University,

We would like to inform you of the regulations and guidelines regarding the following:

Occupational and service law changes resulting from the impact of the ongoing SARS-CoV-2 pandemic: Option of paid leave for parents or guardians of children requiring care

Section 56 of the Protection Against Infection Act has been amended for the period of 30 March 2020 until 31 December 2020 by the implementation of the Act for the Protection of the People During an Epidemic of National Proportions (IfSG). 

Effective 1 September 2020 (and valid through 31 December 2020), the previous regulations concerning parents or guardians of children requiring care were amended in accordance with the regulations of Section 56 (1a) and Section 2 (4) IfSG as follows:

Parents or guardians can submit a request for paid leave 

  • if their child is under twelve or is disabled and requires care 
  • for the period that daycare centers, schools or other childcare facilities are closed to prevent the the spread of infection 
  • if they have to care for a child themselves as they are unable to arrange any other reasonable alternative
  • if they do not have plus hours on their working-time account and
  • if they are unable to work from home

The same applies for foster parents caring full time for a child, as defined in Section 33 SGB VIII, residing in their home.

Paid leave can be requested for up to 34 whole days, or 67 whole days for single parents (to be applied to a five-day work week). Alternatively, staff have the option to request up to 68 half days, or 134 half days for single parents (50 percent of regular daily working hours).

Parents, guardians and foster parents wishing to apply for leave are required to demonstrate to their employer (TU Berlin) that for the period in question there are no reasonable options for childcare, such as essential childcare services or care provided by other persons not belonging to identified coronavirus risk groups, and that circumstances make it unreasonable for them to work from home.

On the assumption that working from home is only possible to a limited extent when looking after children, parents, guardians, and foster parents will be granted leave in November 2020 for half of their required working time, provided the other conditions are met.

There is no right to leave for those periods when the daycare center or school would have been closed anyway, for instance due to school or public holidays. The same applies if they have plus hours on their working-time account.

Any leave taken as a result of previous coronavirus regulations will not be included in the calculation of new leave approved as a result of these new regulations.

If you do not work a five-day week, please use the following table to determine the number of possible days of leave:

Paid Leave:

6 work days per week: 41 days paid leave
5 work days per week: 34 days paid leave
4 work days per week: 27 days paid leave
3 work days per week: 21 days paid leave
2 work days per week: 14 days paid leave
1 work day per week: 7 days paid leave

 

The following applies to single parents or guardians:

Paid Leave for Single Parents:
6 work days per week: 81 days paid leave
5 work days per week: 67 days paid leave
4 work days per week: 54 days paid leave
3 work days per week: 41 days paid leave
2 work days per week: 27 days paid leave
1 work day per week: 14 days paid leave

 

Should your child require additional care beyond this, staff covered by collective agreements can apply for the following unpaid leave:

Unpaid Leave:
6 work days per week: 19 days leave
5 work days per week: 16 days leave
4 work days per week: 13 days leave
3 work days per week: 9 days leave
2 work days per week: 6 days leave
1 work day per week: 3 days leave

The following applies to civil servants: The regulations in Section 56a IfSG do not apply directly to civil servants. However, the regulations are transferred accordingly. In accordance with the regulations regarding special leave in Section 59 LBG, urgent work requirements can prevent civil servants from taking leave as described above.

After taking special leave in accordance with Section 59 LBG for 34 or 67 working days (for a five-day work week), civil servants may work part time due to family responsibilities in accordance with Section 54a LBG or request a leave of absence (without pay) in accordance with Section 55 (1) LBG.

How to apply: 

Staff wishing to make use of this leave should complete and send the attached form to Human Resources without delay. You should also submit proof that the daycare center/school attended by your child, ward or foster child is closed for the period in question or that no supervision or classes will be taking place for their year.

If you do not know when submitting your application when the daycare center/school or school class will be reopening or running again, please make a note of this in your application and provide this information as soon as possible thereafter.

Please submit your application electronically if possible.

You may remain at home to look after your children as soon as you have submitted your application by email. Human Resources will then review and approve the application.

We request that you remain contactable at the email address you used to submit your application in case Human Resources needs to clarify anything with you regarding the processing of your application.

You are further requestedto immediately inform your supervisor that you will not be working and remain in regular contact with them.

The following is relevant for supervisors: You need to continue to fill out the form for registering illness (Erkrankungsanzeige) and return to II T. The reason for absence from work in the section “wegen” should be completed by hand and entered as “notwendige Kinderbetreuung aufgrund der Kita-/Schulschließung wegen COVID 19” (essential childcare due to closure daycare center/school because of COVID 19). You can ignore the boxes which you would normally check for this purpose. The form for registering a return to health/work should also continue to be used.

These regulations also apply for staff with civil servant status.

Sincerely,
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 4 November 2020 - New Additions to Regulations

Dear Colleagues,

As of 2 November 2020, new regulations aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus are in force in Berlin. TU Berlin’s phased plan provides the Crisis Committee with an instrument to enable us to plan reasonably effectively. As a result, we only have to adjust some parameters to comply with the new regulations. Today’s letter informs you of these.

TU Berlin is still in phase 2: https://www.tu.berlin/themen/coronavirus/stufe-zwei/

Restricted services
The increasing number of infections and the new regulations for Berlin have affected the capacity of some units at TU Berlin:

  1. An increasing number of staff at TU Berlin have been directly affected by the pandemic, either becoming sick themselves or being forced to self-isolate. This means that many members of staff are unable to carry out their duties either fully or at all.
  2. It is recommended to enable as much work as possible to be done from home throughout winter semester 2020/2021. Given the rising number of infections, this is the express wish of TU Berlin. In practical terms this means: All staff who are currently working from home and are able to do so effectively are urged to continue to work from home until further notice. The final decision rests with your supervisor.

As a result, some units at TU Berlin, particularly the administrative units, will not be able to function at 100 percent. This means that

  • procedures will have to be prioritized,
  • delays in dealing with some procedures will occur,
  • all staff are requested to batch work sent to the Central University Administration and to put non-urgent procedures on hold for now.

We appreciate that all members of staff are doing their utmost to complete their work, despite the circumstances. We would like to express our deepest thanks to you all!

We need to continue to show solidarity and appreciation of each other and adopt a constructive approach to work if we are to deal effectively with what are extremely difficult circumstances for us all. The Executive Board and the Crisis Committee are fully aware that restrictions imposed by the coronavirus regulations also lead to restrictions in the services we can provide. The Executive Board is currently holding discussions with different groups to examine effective options for making services available in digital format. Together with the need to overcome the coronavirus pandemic and to protect health, this is one of the most important tasks we face in the coming months.

We would like to thank you all for your cooperation and for observing the regulations to prevent the spread of the virus.    

TU Sport
As of 2 November 2020, TU Sport has stopped all its on-campus programs. Instead, a number of programs are now offered online.

Canteens and cafes on campus
Please refer to the websites of the individual operators to see which canteens and cafes operated by Studierendenwerk and private operators are open and on what basis (e.g. take-away service).

Student cafes remain closed.

Official Trips
No work-related trips should be made before the end of the year, unless absolutely necessary. No official travel may be made to regions for which the Federal Foreign Office has issued a travel warning or which have been categorized as risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute, or to regions within Germany with a seven-day new infection rate greater than 50 per 100,000. You are responsible for checking the regulations regarding negative tests, self-isolation etc. for the region you wish to travel to.

The above regulations do not apply to work-related travel within Berlin. However, we recommend that you still use digital meetings wherever possible.

All previously approved official trips to risk areas must be canceled. In exceptional cases, the Crisis Committee can approve official trips to risk areas. Detailed applications justifying the trip should be sent to krisenstab(at)tu-berlin.de. Cancellation costs will be covered by the funds used to pay for the trip or by the unit which approved the travel. Please note that cancellation costs may not be chargeable to all third-party funders.

Excursions and field trips
According to current coronavirus regulations for Berlin, it is only possible for a limited number of people from a limited number of households to meet in public spaces. Although excursions are not strictly prohibited, it is possible that they will conflict with these regulations. As such, no excursions may take place effective 2 November 2020 until further notice. Scheduled excursions must be canceled. We kindly request you not to reschedule excursions for any time before the end of the year. Please reschedule for the end of the semester.

Events
Until further notice, no events or academic gatherings such as conferences, either completely or partly open to the public, may take place on the campus of TU Berlin. We kindly request that you switch all previously approved conferences and events, etc. to digital formats and cancel all events scheduled to take place in person on campus. Exceptions may be granted in individual cases. Please send applications requesting exceptions to krisenstab(at)tu-berlin.de.

Infection chains
In our information letter of 22 October 2020, we asked supervisors to request staff who have had direct contact to a person testing positive for COVID-19 to work from home for five days following the contact. In answer to queries we have received, we would like to stress that this not only refers to direct contact in the workplace but also to direct contact outside of work to persons testing positive for COVID-19.

Please also note that at least some Berlin districts have issued a general regulation that persons who have had direct contact to infected persons should self-isolate on their own initiative, as the local health authorities have limited capacity to track and trace. We request all staff to find out which regulations apply in their district.

Corona Warning App
The Corona Warning App provided free of charge by the federal government is voluntary for private cell phones. TU Berlin recommends that you make active use of this app. All users of a cell phone issued by TU Berlin for work purposes are asked to install and activate the app, if technically possible.

Information about the Corona Warning App

 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 22 October 2020

Subject: Reporting chains for COVID-19

Dear Madam and Sir,

We need to respond to the fact that some local health authorities are no longer able to trace infection chains quickly.

We kindly ask you, therefore, to contact all affected persons as quickly as possible in the event of a positive COVID-19 test for a person attending your face-to-face classes, in-presence exams or practical projects, or working in your unit. We strongly urge students to minimize social contact and request supervisors to arrange for their staff to work from home for five days.  

Action is to be taken on the basis of the staff deployment schedules maintained by supervisors in each unit or the attendance lists for classes and examinations.

We would like to take this opportunity to urge everyone to strictly observe the TU hygiene regulations on all areas of the campus. This is the only option we have to prevent a new lockdown.

The following instructions are intended to supplement TU Berlin’s infection chain management.

 

Lecturers inform students

Dear Lecturers,

A number of public health authorities are currently overworked and unable to respond quickly. We would kindly ask you to observe the following points to help safeguard the wellbeing of everyone on campus. If you become aware that one of the students attending your face-to-face classes tests positive for COVID-19,

  • please report this to coronafall(at)tu-berlin.de; we will then coordinate with you to send attendance lists (including name, postal or email address, telephone number and when possible seat number) to the health authority
  • please also inform the other persons attending the class without delay.

We suggest the following as a model for doing so:

Dear Madam and Sir,
Dear Students,

I would like to inform you that a person attending [class XY]  on day Z has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. The attendance list for this class has already been forwarded to the public health authority. Please also note: Risk assessments and decisions concerning the requirement to self-isolate are the sole responsibility of the health authority. The health authority will contact you if they decide that you have been exposed to an increased risk.

However, we urge you to take responsibility yourself by restricting social contact over the next few days.

If you exhibit symptoms, please contact the emergency doctor by telephone at 116117.

We wish you all the best. Stay healthy!

Sincerely,
[First name last name]

 

Supervisors inform the relevant members of their units

Dear Madam and Sir,

In light of the fact that a number of public health authorities are currently overworked and unable to trace infection chains quickly, we kindly request all supervisors to take the following action:

If a member of your team tests positive for COVID-19,

  • please send the contact details (name, email address and telephone number) of all persons who had direct contact with this person without delay to the public health authority for the district where the infected person resides (you can search for health authorities by zip code on the website of the Robert Koch Institute)
  • report the positive test to coronafall(at)tu-berlin.de
  • inform other members of your team who had direct contact to the person testing positive for COVID-19 for a period of at least 20 minutes or who had any contact without a community mask (mouth-nose protection) or who spent any time at all with them in an enclosed space. As a precaution, please arrange for all these persons to work from home for a period of five days. This is to protect the wellbeing of everyone.

We suggest the following as a model for communicating with your staff:

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to inform you that a person working in our unit XYZ has unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. According to the staff deployment plan, you had direct contact to this person. A list of all persons who had such contact has already been forwarded to the public health authority. Please also note: Risk assessments and decisions concerning the requirement to self-isolate are the sole responsibility of the health authority. The health authority will contact you if they decide that you have been exposed to an increased risk.

However, I urge you to take responsibility yourself by restricting social contact over the next few days. I would also ask you to work from home over the next five calendar days (or as many of these days are workdays).

If you exhibit symptoms, please contact the emergency doctor by telephone at 116117.

We wish you all the best. Stay healthy!

Sincerely,
[First name last name]

 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 15 October 2020

  • Phased plan for TU Berlin – University operations under pandemic conditions
  • Information regarding working from home
  • Information regarding at-risk groups
  • New hygiene regulations at TU Berlin

Dear Madam and Sir,
Dear Members of TU Berlin,

We would like to inform you about a number of new regulations which will apply at TU Berlin from 19 October 2020. A new phased plan has been developed consisting of three stages. We will inform you regarding which phase is in operation at any given time via the homepage of TU Berlin. Just as in the summer semester, all information will also be published in German and English on our webpages devoted to the coronavirus.

From 19 October 2020, we will be in phase 2 until further notice.

All our information letters are sent by email to the above recipients. If your email address is not on our distribution list, please contact the ZECM – Hotline: Phone: (030) 314 – 28000, email: it-support@tu-berlin.de, Mon - Fri : 10:00 - 16:00

Staff working from home are also required to keep themselves updated.

We all need to contribute to ensure that we contain the spread of the pandemic, that teaching, work, and research continue to take place on campus and that we protect our health.

Stay healthy!
TU Berlin Crisis Committee

 

TU Berlin phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions
Effective from 19 October 2020

The Senate Chancellery for Science and Research, in coordination with the Berlin State Conference of Rectors and Presidents (LKRP), has developed a phased plan for college and university operations in Berlin under pandemic conditions to enable the city’s combined higher education establishments to react quickly and appropriately to changing rates of infection in Berlin.

On the basis of this plan, the TU Berlin Crisis Committee has developed specific details and measures for our University.

TU Berlin’s phased plan becomes effective from 19 October 2020. The plan envisages three phases for University operations under pandemic conditions.

Phase 1 determines the basic conditions for University operations on the basis of the guidelines issued by the Federal State of Berlin. Phase 2 becomes effective if two of the three indicators which make up the traffic light system for Berlin turn red. (For further information about the traffic light system for Berlin, see: https://www.berlin.de/corona/lagebericht/desktop/corona.html, only in German). Alternatively, TU Berlin can move to phase 2 if the University experiences an increased infection rate exceeding that for the rest of Berlin. Phase 3 takes effect if the Federal State of Berlin re-introduces essential-only presence for universities and colleges. The Federal State of Berlin will draw up a legal basis for this. TU Berlin has not yet been informed of the conditions for a switch to phase 3.

Important: TU Berlin hygiene regulations apply during all phases. On the instructions of the Federal State of Berlin and until further notice, face masks providing mouth and nose protection are to be worn in all closed spaces where more than one person is present at the same time. This applies to lectures and classes, examinations, offices occupied by more than one person, and libraries as well as all meetings, committee sessions, etc. held on campus.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of University operations under pandemic conditions is defined by measures designed to contain the further spread of the coronavirus. Less restrictions apply during such periods of comparatively low infection rates than is the case for phases 2 and 3.

During phase 1, the majority of buildings at TU Berlin where teaching takes place are open. Students have access to these buildings only. Staff have access to all buildings. Buildings open for teaching are also open to external parties, such as suppliers, those attending events, individuals and organizations renting space on the campus and persons coming to sign contracts. Access to buildings other than these for students and external parties is only possible with an entry permit issued by the head of an academic chair. Updated list of buildings which are not open.

Some teaching operations take place face-to-face with a maximum number of 40 participants per room. The maximum number of participants for practical teaching formats is 20. Examinations can take place in presence, with the maximum number of participants determined by the size of the room.

Research can be conducted on campus. Please also refer to the recommendations regarding working from home.

Administrative duties can be performed both on campus and from home. Details regarding sharing offices are laid out in the TU Berlin hygiene regulations.

Official meetings, committee sessions (excluding appointment committees), workshops, trainings, etc. can take place in presence with a maximum of 20 participants. Decisions regarding exceptions will be made by the Crisis Committee. Virtual sessions are recommended wherever possible.

In the future, appointment committees are only to meet in virtual formats; a legal basis for this is currently being drafted. We will keep you informed.

Libraries may be used with a restricted number of workplaces in reading rooms and by prior online reservation. Items may be borrowed from open access holdings (self service) and from stacks (online ordering and issue).

PC labs and study rooms are open on the basis of an electronic registration system and upon presentation of an appropriate hygiene concept to the Crisis Committee.

TU Sport activities can take place with a maximum of 24 participants (outdoor sports) or 11 participants (indoor sports with low contact). Only these types of sports are possible.

You may make official trips, but not to regions for which a travel warning has been issued by the Federal Foreign Office or which have been classified as risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute (including Germany). Decisions regarding exceptions will be made by the Crisis Committee. Official trips approved to areas subsequently classified as risk areas or for which a travel warning applies are to be canceled. Cancellation costs will be covered by TU Berlin.

Excursions and field trips are possible with a maximum of 20 participants, but not to risk areas or areas for which a travel warning has been issued (including Germany). Responsibility lies with the respective academic chair. For excursions and field trips involving more than 20 participants, a hygiene concept must be presented for approval to the vice president for teaching (vp-sl(at)tu-berlin.de).

Teaching at the Preparatory School takes place in face-to-face format.

Study trips are possible, depending on the destination. Risk is borne by students themselves, however. The Department of International Affairs can advise students regarding study trips.

Scientific gatherings and other events are possible with a maximum of 40 participants. However, catering is not permitted for such events.

Studierendenwerk is responsible for decisions regarding the opening of cafeterias and cafés. Privately operated catering facilities are permitted to open on the TU Berlin campus. The Wiwi EB, Sheila and Architektur student cafés may open until 19:00. Contact details of all persons using cafeterias and cafés are to be retained by the operators for a period of four weeks in accordance with the current version of the coronavirus regulations of the Federal State of Berlin. This data is to be stored in compliance with data protection standards (for example, in a sealed envelope).

The mail service will operate as normal. Packages will be re-routed to the mail unit in Building Z. Packages arriving here will be delivered by the TU Berlin courier service to the addressee at their office at the University. If after several attempts, it is not possible to contact anyone at the office or by telephone to arrange delivery, the package will be kept in the post unit for collection by the addressee. Deliveries of chemicals or heavy devices cannot be re-routed. The relevant information desk staff are to be informed of such deliveries.

TU Berlin continues to welcome international students and visiting scholars. However, the University cannot assume costs associated with any possible period of self-isolation. We request faculties to make visiting scholars and free movers aware of this situation and arrange individual solutions with the Department of International Affairs where appropriate.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of University operations under pandemic conditions is defined by more restrictive measures designed to contain the further spread of the coronavirus in the event of rising or high rates of infection.

During phase 2, the majority of buildings at TU Berlin where teaching takes place are open. Students have access to these buildings only. Staff have access to all buildings. Buildings open for teaching are also open to external parties, such as suppliers, those attending events, individuals and organizations renting space on the campus and persons coming to sign contracts. Access to buildings other than these for students and external parties is only possible with an entry permit issued by the head of an academic chair. Updated list of buildings which are not open.

Regarding  teaching and examinations, restrictions apply to scientific defenses, which may take place in partial in-presence format with a maximum of 10 participants.

Research operations may continue to be conducted on campus. Academic chairs are requested to check whether it makes sense to develop a cohort system (dividing staff into at least two groups working at different times or days to avoid contact between them) as a way to ensure that research can continue to operate. Supervisors are required to draw up staff deployment schedules. During phase 2, academic chairs are also requested to prepare for phase 3, during which they may be required to power down their research facilities to safety mode.

Administrative duties can be performed both on campus and from home. The relevant units are requested to check whether it makes sense to develop a cohort system (dividing staff into at least two groups with different working times or days to avoid contact between them) as a way to ensure that operations can continue. Supervisors are required to draw up staff deployment schedules. Administrative services may be restricted.

Details regarding sharing offices are laid out in the TU Berlin hygiene regulations. These regulations are binding.

Official meetings, committee sessions (excluding appointment committees), workshops, trainings, etc. can take place in presence with a maximum of 10 participants. Decisions regarding exceptions will be made by the Crisis Committee. Virtual sessions are strongly recommended, however.

In the future, appointment committees are only to meet in virtual formats; a legal basis for this is currently being drafted. We will keep you informed.

Libraries may be used with prior online reservation, though it may be necessary to further restrict the number of workspaces in reading rooms. Opening hours may vary according to the staffing situation. Items may be borrowed from open access holdings (self service) and from stacks (online ordering and issue).

PC labs and study rooms will be closed.

TU Sport activities can take place with a maximum of 24 participants (outdoor sports) or 11 participants (indoor sports with low contact). Only these types of sports are possible.

You may make official trips, but not to regions for which a travel warning has been issued by the Federal Foreign Office or which have been classified as risk areas by the Robert Koch institute (including Germany). Decisions regarding exceptions will be made by the Crisis Committee. Official trips approved to regions now classified as risk areas or for which a travel warning now applies are to be canceled. Cancellation costs will be borne by TU Berlin.

Excursions and field trips are possible with a maximum of 10 participants with prior permission from the vice president for teaching (vp-sl(at)tu-berlin.de).

Classes at the Preparatory School take place in hybrid format (face-to-face and online).

Study trips are possible, depending on the destination. Risk is borne by the students themselves, however. The Department of International Affairs can advise students regarding study trips.

Scientific gatherings and other events are possible with a maximum of 10 participants. However, catering is not permitted.

The catering services run by Studierendenwerk and private operators may continue under the same conditions as apply during phase 1. Decisions regarding the opening of student cafés are made by the Crisis Committee on the basis of the current pandemic situation. Contact details of all persons visiting cafeterias and cafés are to be retained for a period of four weeks by the operators in accordance with the current version of the coronavirus regulations of the Federal State of Berlin. This data is to be stored in compliance with data protection standards (for example, in a sealed envelope).

The mail service will operate as normal. Packages will be re-routed to the mail unit in Building Z. Packages arriving here will be delivered by the TU Berlin courier service to the addressee in their office at the University. If after several attempts it is not possible to contact anyone at the office or by telephone to arrange delivery, the package will be kept in the post unit for collection by the addressee. Deliveries of chemicals or heavy devices cannot be re-routed. The relevant information desk staff are to be informed of such deliveries.

TU Berlin continues to welcome international students and visiting scholars. However, the University does not assume the costs associated with any possible period of self-isolation. We request faculties to make visiting scholars and free movers aware of this situation and arrange individual solutions with the Department of International Affairs where appropriate.

 

Phase 3

Phase 3 is characterized by significant restrictions to in-presence operations.

Access to TU Berlin buildings is only possible for essential staff for whom individual permission has been granted as well as under exceptional circumstances and in individual situations which are still to be defined. Right of access to buildings is to be decided by the head of the Crisis Committee.

There is no face-to-face teaching. A decision will be made regarding in-presence examinations at an appropriate time.

In-presence research operations are only possible for research relating to Covid-19 and upon presentation of a hygiene plan. Research facilities are to be powered down to safety mode and monitored remotely if necessary.

The University’s administrative staff works mainly from home. Only essential administrative work which cannot be performed from home is carried out on the premises of TU Berlin. Phase 3 results in restrictions to the University’s administrative services. You will be informed about these at the appropriate time.

Details regarding sharing offices are laid out in the TU Berlin hygiene regulations. These regulations are binding.

Official meetings, committee sessions, workshops, trainings, etc. are only possible in virtual formats. Decisions regarding exceptions will be made by the Crisis Committee.

In the future, appointment committees are only to meet in virtual formats; a legal basis for this is currently being drafted. We will keep you informed.

It is no longer possible to use work spaces in the libraries. Items may only be borrowed from open access holdings and stacks if requested online in advance.

PC labs and study rooms are closed.

TU Sport offers no in-presence events and courses. These will be replaced by online offers.

Official trips and excursions are discontinued. All previously approved official trips must be canceled. Cancellation costs will be assumed by TU Berlin.

There will be no face-to-face teaching at the Preparatory School.

No approval will be given for new funded study trips.

Scientific gatherings and events may not take place.

Studierendenwerk is responsible for decisions regarding the opening of cafeterias and cafés. All other catering services on TU Berlin premises are closed.

The mail service continues to operate as normal. Alternatively, mail may be stored in designated rooms. Orders should only be made for urgent supplies; deliveries of packages will be re-routed to the post unit in Building Z. We will inform you at a later date if it is possible for packages to be automatically re-routed using the TU courier service. Deliveries of chemicals or heavy devices required for essential-only presence operations cannot be re-routed. The relevant information desk staff are to be informed of such deliveries.

Visiting scholars and incoming exchange students are urged not to travel to Berlin. Visiting scholars and incoming students already in Berlin remain in Berlin at their own discretion.

 

Information regarding working from home

TU Berlin recommends that in the future as much work as possible be done from home. Supervisors are responsible for determining which tasks can be done from home and to what extent.

Regulations for working from home

Information regarding at-risk groups

In principle, persons belonging to an at-risk group may work on campus during periods of in-presence University operations under pandemic conditions, but are advised to work from home. This is also to avoid exposure to infection when commuting to and from work. As part of their responsibility to protect their staff, supervisors are required to draft individual risk assessments and to include appropriate measures in their staff deployment plans. The University Medical Service and the SDU can advise you on this.

Staff belonging to an at-risk group may only work alone in an office.

At-risk groups include people with a pre-existing condition such as

  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system (e.g. coronary heart disease and high blood pressure) 
  • Chronic diseases of the lungs
  • Chronic diseases of the kidneys
  • Chronic diseases of the liver 
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Cancer
  • A compromised immune system (such as resulting from an illness associated with a weakened immune system or from regular medication which affects and suppresses the immune system, such as cortisone)

Staff with one of the above conditions associated with an increased risk should present a medical certificate from either a specialist or their GP to their manager or supervisor, who should then forward the certificate to the relevant personnel team. It is not necessary to name the medical condition in the certificate. 

A medical certificate is also required for cases where a member of an employee’s household rather than the employee themselves suffers from one of these illnesses or conditions. The medical certificate should confirm that the person belongs to one of the at-risk groups. It is not required to state the name of the illness or condition.

According to the Robert Koch Institute, pregnancy is not associated with an increased risk. Employees who nevertheless do not wish to work on campus during in-presence University operations under pandemic conditions out of concern for their own health or that of their unborn child, should discuss this with their supervisor.

A severe disability alone, without the presence of a risk-increasing illness, does not represent sufficient reason for persons with a severe disability to not work on campus during periods of in-presence University operations.

It may happen that staff belonging to an at-risk group prefer to work on campus. If, as a supervisor, you are aware that a member of your staff belongs to an at-risk group, whether they explicitly stated this in relation to the coronavirus or not and irrespective of whether they presented a medical certificate, we would ask you, as part of your duty of care, to include appropriate precautionary measures in your staff deployment plans and to inform the employees concerned of their personal responsibility as well as the possibility to seek advice from the TU Medical Service. Seeking advice from the Medical Service is on a purely voluntary basis. Our doctors are sworn to secrecy and management will not be informed of the content of any advising session.

Hygiene regulations at TU Berlin

All persons on the campus or in the buildings of TU Berlin are required to comply with and implement the following hygiene regulations. This also applies to external persons and businesses. These measures are intended to adapt both the Federal State of Berlin’s regulations for the containment of the pandemic and the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute to operations at TU Berlin while taking account of the SARS-COV 2 occupational safety standards of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They do not replace these regulations and recommendations. The hygiene regulations and protective measures apply throughout all phases of the phased plan for University operations under pandemic conditions.

The regulations are binding.

  1. Cooperation
    Please help to keep the risk of coronavirus infection as low as possible by complying with the following hygiene and protection regulations.
     
  2. Restricting contact
    Continue to minimize your physical contact to your colleagues.
     
  3. Minimum distancing
    Maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters to others at all times as far as operations permit.
    This also applies to all examinations, labs and workshops, offices, waiting areas, corridors and pathways, and elevators, etc.
    Management and supervisors are required to ensure that these regulations are complied with by, for example, organizing work so that only one member of staff works in an office, or implementing a rotating shift system for areas used by more than one member of staff and where minimum distancing cannot be observed. In areas of the campus where larger numbers of people gather, such as libraries, protective construction measures such as the installation of plexiglass screens are to be implemented in agreement with the building department. 
     
  4. Use of offices by more than one person

If it is not possible to avoid more than one person working in an office at the same time, management must ensure that this only occurs in offices with at least 25 square meters. An additional 15 square meters of space must be available for each additional person working in the office. Periods of overlap are to be kept to a minimum (through the use of staggered starting times in accordance with DV Flex and taking account of individual family situations) and recorded in staff deployment schedules. Staff belonging to an at-risk group may only work alone in an office. It is essential that offices are sufficiently aired on a regular basis (several times per hour). Ideally, offices should be aired continuously. Minimum distances must be maintained between work spaces, by reorganizing furniture or introducing plexiglass if necessary. During phase 1 of University operations under pandemic conditions, you are strongly recommended to wear a face mask providing mouth and nose protection, even when observing minimum distancing. During phases 2 and 3, the wearing of a face mask providing mouth and nose protection is mandatory when working in an office occupied by more than one person at the same time. You should avoid repeatedly swapping teams around. Please contact the Medical Service if you require further advice or clarification. Members of the Staff Councils and the Medical Service can, by prior agreement, enter office spaces if they need to do so to check on arrangements. The Staff Councils may view staff deployment plans as required.

  1. Opening doors
    Avoid touching door handles, door knobs and door openers when entering buildings or rooms. Try instead to open doors using your elbows or forearms.
  2. Washing hands and hand care
    Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (minimum 30 seconds) with soap and then apply a cream to your hands to protect the skin.
  3. Face masks providing mouth and nose protection. On the instructions of the Federal State of Berlin and until further notice, face masks providing mouth and nose protection are to be worn in all closed spaces where more than one person is present at the same time (e.g. in-presence meetings, job interviews, advising sessions, as well as in libraries (including when seated at a work space). It is essential that you continue to observe distancing regulations, even when wearing a face mask. Avoid touching your face mask so as not to contaminate it.
  4. Sneezing and coughing
    Observe the correct procedure when sneezing and coughing. Sneeze and cough into your elbow even if wearing a face mask.
  5. Airing rooms
    Air rooms regularly (at least every 20 minutes) and thoroughly, opening windows fully. This applies particularly to rooms with more than one person.
  6. List of participants
    A list of participants is to be drawn up and retained for four weeks by the organizer for meetings involving the physical presence of more than one person. Please ensure that you have the participants' business telephone numbers or email addresses so that they can be traced and contacted if necessary. Such lists are purely to allow the health authority to trace individuals if an infection is subsequently detected in one of the participants.
  7. Cleaning workspaces and work materials used by more than one person
    As far as possible, work spaces should not be used by more than one person. Should this not be possible (for example in workshops with shared equipment, rotating use of shared offices, examinations, etc.), areas such as surfaces and tables and work materials used by more than one person are to be disinfected appropriately.

    Example:
    1. Workshop: Tools must be disinfected after use by the members of staff who have used them.
    2. Office: Telephones, keyboards, mouses and tables are to be disinfected before and after use. The user screens of multi-function printers should also be cleaned regularly.
    3. Oral examinations: The table used by the candidate is to be disinfected after each examination. The same applies to any items made available for the purpose of the examination.
    4. PC labs: Keyboard, mouse and table must be disinfected after every use.
  8. Kitchens
    Kitchens are only to be used by one person at a time, particularly if too small to allow minimum distancing to be complied with. It is particularly important that hygiene regulations are observed. Surfaces are to be disinfected after use.
  9. Instructing users
    Managers are required to adapt regulations to the circumstances and conditions in their units and to inform their staff of all points (this must be documented pursuant to Section 12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act). All supervisors are required to draft and agree an updated staff deployment schedule with their staff. This schedule must be filed or stored appropriately. The Staff Councils may view staff deployment plans as required.
  10. Disinfectant
    Sanitizer for disinfecting surfaces is to be made available for staff and examination boards as they may be required to disinfect an area several times a day depending on the area or the number of examinations being conducted, etc. 
  11. Obtaining hygiene material
    Disinfectant and cloths used for applying disinfectant are to be collected in person from the Hygiene Storage Facility by staff or students upon presentation of their staff or student ID. Empty disinfectant containers must be returned. The Hygiene Storage Facility is open Mon - Fri from 07:00 until 15:00. The Hygiene Storage Facility is located in the EW building in room 001b and can be accessed via the main entrance on the ground floor. Please read signs carefully (further information available at www.tu-berlin.de/?146803). For instructions on how to use disinfectant, please see www.tu-berlin.de/?141798. Face masks may also be obtained from the Hygiene Storage Facility. Please note that only restricted quantities of hygiene materials may be issued per person.
  12. What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms
    Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (including low-grade fever, symptoms of a cold, shortage of breath) should leave their workplace and/or remain at home until they have been examined by a doctor. They should also contact their supervisor so that they can continue to work from home. We would ask everyone to check their state of health before commencing work so as not to expose colleagues and fellow-commuters to danger.

Please also inform yourself of the regular updates to the recommendations issued by the Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Center for Health Education. Please also be aware that decisions taken by the Berlin Senate can result in amendments to recommendations and regulations and that these then take precedence.

If you become aware of any violations of hygiene and protective measures, please contact your supervisor. Advice is available at any time from the University Medical Service as well as Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection and the Staff Councils.

Information letter from 8 October 2020

Requirement to wear a face mask (mouth-nose protection)
 
Dear Madam and Sir,
Dear Members of TU Berlin,

In response to rising infection rates, the state of Berlin has introduced additional measures to combat the coronavirus. The requirement to wear a face mask providing mouth and nose protection also applies to us at TU Berlin.

With immediate effect, face masks providing mouth and nose protection are to be worn at TU Berlin

  • in all common areas
  • in all offices used by more than one person
  • as well as all enclosed spaces where more than one person is present at any time.

Face masks providing mouth and nose protection are also to be worn by persons attending classes and examinations at the Preparatory School.

The requirement to wear a face mask does not replace distancing regulations and other hygiene regulations, which are also to be observed at all times. Avoid touching your face mask so as not to contaminate it.

We kindly request you to adhere strictly to these regulations.

We also request you to keep physical contact to other TU members to a minimum. In this regard, we also ask you to not congregate in groups in open spaces at TU Berlin, particularly in the entrance and exit areas of buildings.

Please help us to contain the spread of the virus. This is particularly important now that we are experiencing rising infection rates.

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 29 September 2020

Announcement of a phased plan for TU Berlin – University operations under pandemic conditions

Dear Colleagues,

The state of Berlin released a phased plan for Berlin universities on 24 September 2020. Updates and relevant links can be found on the TU Berlin homepage:

https://www.tu.berlin/en/nachrichtendetails/mit-stufenplan-durch-das-hybridsemester/

The Crisis Committee is currently working to adapt this phased plan to TU Berlin. We are also developing a system for managing possible chains of infection and revising our hygiene regulations.

We will inform you shortly regarding the new regulations for TU Berlin, which will become effective 19 October 2020. Until then, all current guidelines continue to apply.

Sincerely,
Lars Oeverdieck
Lead of the Crisis Committee

Information letter from 6 August 2020

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear TU Berlin Staff,

The purpose of this bulletin is to update you regarding new regulations:

  • Hygiene concepts for practical teaching formats: central approval no longer required
  • Staging public and scientific events at TU Berlin
  • Take part: Central survey of TU lecturers regarding the digital summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin

Hygiene concepts for practical teaching formats: central approval no longer required

On 18 May 2020, TU Berlin transitioned to restricted in-presence operations. This saw a transfer of greater responsibility to the various organizational units (e.g. academic chairs and management) regarding the deployment of staff on campus or when working from home. As far as teaching is concerned, however, all practical formats, such as labs, workshops and field trips, remained subject to approval. Thus far, 100 such practical format classes have been approved on the basis of the hygiene concept adopted. Now that we have gained extensive experience of working with adapted protective and hygiene concepts, the time has come for responsibility for conducting practical teaching formats to be transferred to the academic chairs. This seems particularly appropriate given that the heads of the chairs are already responsible for occupational health and safety within their areas.

Practical format classes are to be conducted on the basis of the regulations regarding hygiene and protective measures at TU Berlin of 5 May 2020 (https://www.tu.berlin/go6240/). In addition, a separate hygiene concept is to be developed for each class. This should also include maintaining a list of participants. Hygiene concepts are to be presented upon request. You can use the hygiene concept published online by the SDU as a template (https://www.arbeits-umweltschutz.tu-berlin.de/menue/gesundheitsschutz/einsatz_und_hygieneplaene/).

To help ensure that students and staff understand the regulations, instruction is to be provided and documented. Together with the hygiene concept (serving as an assessment of risk and a statement of protective measures), these instructions fulfill the documentation requirements established in Section 6 of the Occupational Safety Act. 

These new regulations apply to the following formats with up to 20 participants (including classes taking place off TU premises if organized by members of the University):

  • Labs
  • Workshop labs
  • Field exercises
  • Field trips
  • Block seminars held in the lecture-free period
  • Closed meetings of academic chairs and institutes
  • Research project status workshops (e.g. Clusters of Excellence, Collaborative Research Centers, Transregios, etc.)
  • Continuing education courses provided by academic chairs and institutes

Academic chairs are requested to inform the relevant faculty administration concerning such events. Centrally managed rooms at TU Berlin may only be used if booked in advance via InnoCampus. Classes and events attended by more than 20 persons can only take place in digital format. Exceptions may be granted upon application to the Crisis Committee.

Travel and accommodation arrangements for participants are to be included in hygiene concepts. It is particularly important to observe the regulations regarding official trips, according to which visits to areas classified by the RKI or the Federal Foreign Office as risk areas or for which a travel warning has been issued are still not permitted.

The regulations do not apply to other classes to be conducted in-presence during the coming winter semester. We will contact academic chairs at a later date regarding these classes when we have an overview of available rooms.

To summarize, the new regulations regarding practical teaching formats are as follows:

  • Hygiene concepts for practical teaching formats must be developed either by or in consultation with management or supervisors
  • Documented instruction must be provided for participants by management or supervisors
  • Approval is to be provided by the vice president
  • Faculty administrations are to be informed
  • Hygiene concepts are to be presented upon request

These regulations are effective as of 10 August 2020.

Staging public and scientific events at TU Berlin

On 21 July 2020, the Berlin Senate agreed an amendment to the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Act. On the basis of the revised act, the Executive Board at TU Berlin wishes to enable scientific symposia, workshops and smaller conferences to take place in selected rooms at the University during the winter semester. A corresponding decision was taken on 4 August 2020. 

From 1 October until further notice, it will be possible to stage smaller scientific events in selected lecture halls and conference rooms with suitable ventilation. Up to 100 participants may attend, provided the rooms and hygiene regulations permit. The primary focus of all such events must be the scientific work involved in a research project. External guests may also attend. Ideally, digital attendance should also be possible to minimize or avoid contact and travel.   

The following must be observed for these events:

  1. The general protective and hygiene regulations for TU Berlin are to be adhered to
  2. Events may not last more than half a day (in other words a maximum of four hours including the time required to disinfect areas before and after the event)
  3. Face masks covering mouth and nose must be worn for the entire duration of the event
  4. Only lectures or workshop formats are permitted
  5. Coat check facilities and information stands are not permitted and it is not allowed to hand out material
  6. Catering is not permitted
  7. Open areas (such as foyers and the atrium) may not be used
  8. Participants may only be registered for the purpose of documenting attendance as per Section 3 (1) no. 8 of the SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Act. If possible, this should be done using a digital format.
  9. Gatherings of larger groups for longer period of times must be strictly avoided.

The Event Management team will shortly provide a form online for registering events to be held from 1 October onwards. This can be downloaded via www.tu-berlin.de/?id=29049.

When registering, it is necessary to attach a hygiene concept which clearly demonstrates that TU Berlin hygiene regulations will be maintained. Both Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection and the University Medical Service are available for advice.

Information regarding the number of places available for an event room is provided by Event Management.

Internal requirements for academic chairs have priority when booking event rooms.

Regulations are subject to change and will be adapted according to how the pandemic develops. In principle, teaching and examinations have priority in the allocation of rooms at TU Berlin.

All public and scientific events are canceled up until and including 30 September 2020 (cf. Section 7 (5) SARS-CoV-2 Infection Protection Act.

Take part: Central survey of TU lecturers regarding the digital summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin

As it seems likely that digital formats will in part remain necessary throughout the coming semester, TU Berlin wishes to improve the general conditions for digital teaching. Feedback regarding the experiences of teaching staff at TU Berlin is of key importance to achieve a reliable evaluation of the digital summer semester and identify urgent needs for action and change for the approaching winter semester. Vice president for education, digitalization and sustainability, Professor Dr. Hans-Ulrich Heiß, has commissioned a central instructor survey in order to obtain this information. 

Professors, teaching or research assistants and tutors have been and continue to be particularly affected by the restrictions imposed on in-presence operations as a result of the pandemic. The purpose of the survey is to gain information on the experiences and assessments of teaching staff regarding the specific challenges, potential and requirements of digital teaching during a period of restricted presence operations. The views of teaching staff at TU Berlin should be taken into account when planning the winter semester 2020/2021 to help improve the general conditions regarding restricted in-presence operations as they apply to teaching. 

The survey runs until 16 August 2020 and all teaching staff at TU Berlin are invited to take part:
www.tu-berlin.de/?id=215422

Contact: Wenke Seemann, Strategic Controlling/QPL, email: wenke.seemann(at)tu-berlin.de

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 16 July 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We informed you in a bulletin of 19 March 2020 that TU Berlin would be entering a phase of essential-only presence from 20 March 2020 to combat the spread of the coronavirus. This meant that from 20 March until 18 May 2020, staff only entered the University premises when absolutely essential for the continued operation of TU Berlin. Staff whose presence on campus was not essential were only permitted to work from home.

As most of its work requires access to files and can only be partly accomplished from home due to data protection issues, Human Resources (II T) could only provide a considerably reduced service regarding the administration of personnel matters during the period of essential-only presence. This meant that priority was given to procedures which were essential for the continued operation of TU Berlin and which needed to be performed to prevent financial hardship for members of staff. Operations were further restricted by unfilled vacancies and staff taking advantage of the option of an additional 20 days’ leave to look after their children.

In order to process the backlog of work arising during the period of essential-only presence, it is necessary to close the Human Resources Section in the period from 20 until 31 July 2020.

We kindly request you not to initiate any procedures or submit any documents or applications, etc. during this period. No telephone calls will be taken or emails answered during the period of closure. The period of closure is necessary for the wellbeing of staff to enable them to work their way undisturbed through the backlog of tasks. Postal and email inquiries will be processed again by Human Resources (II T) commencing 3 August 2020.

Should any procedures need to be processed during this period to prevent financial hardship, please contact Pascal Koch, head of Human Resources, to discuss how to proceed.

Thank you for your understanding.

Information regarding official trips

During the period of essential-only presence, it was not possible to submit applications for reimbursement for some official trips within the six-month deadline following the end of a trip to Traveling Expenses (II RK) due to the fact that staff were not able to access their offices to obtain copies of the necessary paperwork. Staff who were unable to submit their applications for reimbursement to Traveling Expenses on time between 20 March 2020 and 18 May 2020 now have until 30 August 2020 to do so.

In our bulletin of 29 May 2020, we requested you not to accept vouchers for trips which you were unable to take but to insist upon a refund of travel costs. If the organization you booked your travel with was unable to provide said travel, you are entitled to a refund of travel costs from them. Should the booking organization not respond to your requests for reimbursement, you can request Traveling Expenses at TU Berlin to obtain your refund.

When doing so, please provide copies of your correspondence with the booking organization as proof of your efforts to obtain reimbursement and reassign the claim against the booking organization to TU Berlin. The form for reassigning a claim can be obtained from Traveling Expenses.

Catering services provided by Studierendenwerk and other operators

While the other canteens and cafés operated by Studierendenwerk remain closed, we would like to draw your attention to the take-away option provided by the Veggie N°2 canteen on Hardenbergstraße as your go-to option on campus. Further information is available online.

Please refer to the websites of the individual operators to see if the privately run canteens and cafés on campus are open:

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 8 July 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
Dear TU Members,

We would like to inform you of the regulations and guidelines regarding the following:

Official Trips

With immediate effect, it is now possible to recommence official trips abroad, provided they are absolutely essential.

This does not include regions classified as risk areas or for which travel warnings have been issued on the websites of the Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Foreign Office. Official trips to these areas are still not permitted.

Field trips can be recommenced to areas beyond Berlin and Brandenburg, taking account of defined risk areas and regions for which a travel warning exists. Until further notice, you are required to submit an application for excursions to the vice president for teaching at vp-sl(at)tu-berlin.de, providing details of the program and how you propose to maintain distancing.

Self-isolation following private trips

Regarding vacations, we kindly request you to find out about the situation which will apply after your return before departing, particularly if you will be required to self-isolate after returning from a risk area.

You can find updated information on the websites of the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

Please also refer to the regulations and general decrees of the federal states: https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-bundeslaender-1745198

Please be aware that these could differ for Berlin and Brandenburg.

Please also note: If you knew or could reasonably have been expected to know, at the time of your departure to a region defined as a risk area that you would be required to self-isolate upon your return and are then unable to perform your professional duties or work at full capacity at home, you may lose your right to receive your salary for the period affected.

Student stays abroad

We are delighted to announce that as of 23 June 2020, study stays abroad are possible again. This only applies to countries for which no travel warning has been issued by the Federal Foreign Office. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of International Affairs. Please be aware, however, that it is not possible to provide reliable information concerning developments over the coming months.

Mobility at Technische Universität Berlin

TU Berlin continues to welcome international students and visiting scholars. Depending on the regulations that apply at the time of arrival, it is possible that persons traveling to Berlin from regions where a travel warning exists will be required to self-isolate. This represents a particular problem for people without personal acquaintance in Berlin and can result in additional costs. We recommend that international students and visiting scholars coming to Berlin find out about the self-isolation regulations that apply in Berlin and organize suitable accommodation before departing. We request faculties to make visiting scholars and free movers particularly aware of this situation and arrange individual solutions with the Department of International Affairs where appropriate.

Please note that TU Berlin cannot cover additional costs associated with a period of self-isolation after arrival in Berlin.

This also applies to anyone traveling from a risk area or region for which a travel warning exists to attend a conference or meeting in Berlin.

Care days

Time off to care for children can also be used in periods during which daycare centers and schools are closed for holidays.

The regulations published in the bulletin of 29 May 2020 continue to apply.

Working in offices

The hygiene and protective measures published by TU Berlin in its bulletin of 5 May 2020 stated that work areas are, wherever possible, not to be used by more than one person at the same time. This also applies to offices. Presence can be organized on a rolling basis if possible. If it is not possible to avoid more than one person working in an office at the same time, management must ensure that this only occurs in offices with at least 25 square meters. An additional 15 square meters of space must be available for each additional person working in the office. Overlapping periods should be kept to an absolute minimum by, for example, taking advantage of early and late starting times as permitted by DV Flex. Staff belonging to an at-risk group may only work alone in an office. It is essential that offices are sufficiently aired, if possible on a continual basis, and that minimum distances are maintained between work spaces, by reorganizing furniture or introducing plexiglass if necessary. We also strongly recommend that you wear face masks, even when observing minimum distancing regulations. You should avoid regularly swapping teams around. Please contact the Medical Service if you require further advice or clarification. Members of the staff councils and the Medical Service can, by prior agreement, enter office spaces if they need to do so to check on arrangements.

Essential meetings and committee sessions may be held in sufficiently large rooms under observation of the hygiene and protective measures, but video and telephone conference formats should continue to be used.

The hygiene and protective measures published in the bulletin of 5 May otherwise continue to apply.

Dealing with at-risk groups

The coronavirus bulletin of 14 May 2020 stated that staff suffering from an illness classified by the RKI as associated with an increased risk of a more serious development of a coronavirus infection and who are therefore not able to work on campus during the period of restricted in-presence operations will, upon presentation of a medical certificate, be exempted from having to work in presence.

It may be that staff belonging to an at-risk group would prefer to work on campus. If as a manager you are aware that a member of your staff belongs to an at-risk group, whether they explicitly stated this in relation to the coronavirus or not and irrespective of whether they presented a medical certificate, we would ask you, as part of your duty of care, to include appropriate precautionary measures in your staff deployment plans and to inform the employees concerned of their personal responsibility and the possibility of seeking advice from the TU Medical Service. Advising from the Medical Service is on a purely voluntary basis. Our doctors are sworn to secrecy and management will not be informed of the content of any advising session.

Recording vacation and flexdays

To ensure that an accurate record of leave entitlement is maintained, staff are requested to enter any leave or flexdays requested and approved by email in their record of leave and flexdays for 2020.

Corona warning app

We recommend all members of the University to download and use the federal government’s corona virus warning app. We believe that, if used by a sufficiently large number of people, this app can contribute significantly to the containment of the spread of the virus.

You can find further information and links to the relevant app stores at https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/corona-warn-app

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee, 8 July 2020

Information letter from 29 May 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,

TU Berlin commenced restricted in-presence operations (phase 3) on 18 May 2020. Certain restrictions affecting the entire University continue to apply.

Although many units can work very well from home, for others this is not possible or only to a limited extent. These include units of the Central University Administration (ZUV), whose many services enable teaching and research to function at TU Berlin. Some areas of the ZUV will continue to face restrictions. The exact nature of these restrictions will depend upon how the pandemic develops.

The University has introduced a number of measures to protect the well-being of its staff, which we reported on in earlier bulletins. These include a strong recommendation to only man offices with one person at a time as well as the decision to provide staff belonging to at-risk groups the option of not having to work in presence. Not all tasks, however, are equally suitable for working from home. Added to this is the fact that many people have to look after children who can only spend at most a few hours in their childcare facilities or schools. The result is that many members of staff are neither able to work on campus or do their full hours from home.

This has led to a reduction in the services currently offered by the Central University Administration. The following provides a department-by-department overview of restrictions:

 

Department I – Student Services

Currently, no sections are offering on campus office hours.

Documents can neither be submitted or issued in person. No in-person issue of student IDs.

Information requiring access to examination files (hard copies) is only available with a delay.

Authentication, pre-certification and replacement copies for TU documents requiring access to archive files can only be processed with delays.

To ensure a quicker response, please address questions as far as possible to the individual sections by email.

 

Department II – Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Much of Human Resources’ work depends upon being able to access physical files and as such only a certain amount of this can be achieved working from home. Despite a comparatively high number of staff working on campus, considerable delays in processes have been and will continue to be experienced.

Until further notice, restricted in-presence operations will apply to those procedures most important to the functioning of TU Berlin and/or whose non-processing would have serious repercussions. Examples include procedures to avoid staff becoming unemployed (where this is not the intention of the University) or serious financial hardship arising from non-payment of salaries. In order to cope with the volume of cases, priority is therefore currently given to recruitment procedures, extensions of employment contracts, short-term applications for parental allowance and termination of employment contracts.

The relevant managers in the departments and faculties can assist Human Resources by checking priority and urgency before sending documents and by instituting a processing time of four weeks for recruitment procedures.

 

Department III – Finance

Hard copies are as a rule required for processing invoices. A “digital” option for use in urgent cases only was introduced in response to the special circumstances arising from the shutdown of the University. A mixed option of hard copy and digital invoice processing has been in operation since the introduction of restricted in-presence operations (phase 3) on 18 May 2020. This is to ensure that accounts receives a hard copy of invoices. Units whose work involves placing orders have been appropriately informed.

Invoices can only be processed by accounts on condition that hard copies are submitted. Resources are not available to process computer files or to print out invoices.

To facilitate the processing of invoices, orders should only be placed with existing suppliers. The use of new suppliers will overburden resources during the period of restricted in-presence operations. Please also be aware that seemingly cheap Internet suppliers often operate a 10-day payment deadline, immediately imposing late-payment fines thereafter. Fines are more or less inevitable as there is no way of guaranteeing that an invoice will reach accounts within 10 days.

Larger orders which need to be placed via the Contract Awarding Office may be recommenced. This is not restricted only to procurements necessary for the continuing operation of the University.

It is still not possible to make or receive cash payments.

 

Department IV – Building and Services Management

The planning and implementation of structural and technical work as well as the operation of the premises and associated buildings will continue with a reduced number of staff.

Planning, organizing and carrying out work require considerably more time when working from home. This has resulted in a growing backlog of maintenance work and delays in implementing measures.

As with the other departments, in-person contact in Department IV should be kept to a minimum. Planning and consultation for construction work as well as on-site coordination, however, require in-person contact.

We would therefore kindly ask you to only notify us of building and technical work which is absolutely essential.

 

Department V – Research

We kindly request you to observe internal deadlines and processing times etc., such as submitting new research proposals, at least two weeks in advance. This is particularly important during the period of the coronavirus pandemic. Failing to do so may mean that we are unable to conduct a full and proper examination of your proposal. This is in part due to the fact that the Research Department needs to give priority to disposition statements etc. for the funding agencies when processing proposals. The timely processing of third-party funding statements is ultimately in the interest of all University members, since failing to meet deadlines and other infringements of regulations can damage the reputation of a university among funding agencies.

 

Department of International Affairs

Office hours are only by telephone. You may also email us your questions and requests. All sections can be contacted by telephone and email. Please be aware that it may however take longer to process your query.

Access to buildings

Restricted access to TU buildings continues to apply during the period of restricted in-presence operations. Access is granted to staff in accordance with the regulations outlined in the latest bulletin from the Crisis Committee. Concrete action plans and staff rosters are required for each organizational unit. Premises are to be entered via the main entrance for buildings with an information desk. Your staff ID or other proof of employment at TU Berlin (issued by your manager or supervisor) will be checked. Information regarding staff ID, including issue and re-issue, can be found in the TUB portal under “Mein Profil” -> “Ersatzkarte beantragen”.

Buildings remain closed to the public and to students. Some exceptions do however apply.

Students have already been informed of these in a separate bulletin https://www.tu.berlin/go6224/.

Job candidates and persons attending to sign contracts, etc. as well as persons participating in academic defenses are required to present their invitations at the information desk upon arrival. We kindly ask the relevant sections to state this clearly in letters of invitation.

Committee members and members of the public with right of attendance should contact the relevant faculty service center or the Section on Matters of Academic Self-Administration.

Any persons not referred to here should get in touch with their usual point of contact.

Suppliers and disposal organizations do not have automatic right of entry to TU Berlin premises. Units wishing to receive orders or use the services of a disposal company should contact bauabteilung(at)tu-berlin.de in good time to request an entry permit for the respective companies.

Time off for childcare

The offer of 10 days’ additional paid leave to care for children under the age of 12 in the event of closure of childcare facilities or schools due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic published in bulletins issued by the Crisis Committee on 11 March, 30 March and 7 April has been extended by a further 10 days, meaning that a total of 20 days is now available. These do not need to be taken consecutively. Half days may also be taken (in other words for half the hours that would normally be worked on a day by a member of staff). We further refer you to the Crisis Committee bulletins mentioned above.

Should you wish to take advantage of this option, please apply by email to Human Resources with proof of closure and details of the expected period of closure. Leave may be taken as soon as the application has been submitted. Prior approval is not required.

You are further requested to inform your supervisor and remain in regular contact with them.

In individual cases, it is also possible to apply for leave to care for a child aged twelve or over under the above conditions and upon proof that childcare needs to be provided. For these cases, explicit approval is required. Applications should be submitted via email to Human Resources. No form is required. Please include proof of the closure of the childcare facility and the scheduled period of closure as well as proof of the need for childcare.

These regulations regarding leave for the purposes of childcare apply until 31 August 2020.

Liability of staff

The current exceptional circumstances require us all to find quick and effective solutions. Decisions need to be made and it is not always possible when doing so to observe the usual procedures, processes and legal norms.

Staff are often unsure and concerned that they could later be held liable for decisions taken in response to the current circumstances.

We would like to assure you that staff are only liable for damage arising through the execution of their professional duties if caused intentionally or as a result of gross negligence. Regulations regarding liability for civil servants derive from Section 48 of the Civil Servant Status Act. Employees covered by collective agreements are similarly protected by corresponding regulations in the TV-L Berlin Universities.

As such, only persons who knowingly and intentionally violate their duties or fail to observe due care in a particularly serious manner by not exercising common sense are obliged to compensate the employer for damage caused.

Assessments regarding gross negligence are made on a case-by-case basis. Staff may cite mitigating circumstances, such as excessive workloads, the urgency of the work being performed or the need to act quickly due to the danger of a situation, to counter accusations of gross negligence.

Information regarding official trips

You are requested not to accept vouchers for official trips and to insist instead upon a refund of travel costs.

If the organization you booked your travel with is unable to provide said travel, you are entitled to a refund of travel costs. This is at least the case for trips booked via a German-language portal and for which German law applies. This is then a case of legal impossibility, with the consequence that performance and consideration are no longer applicable. There is currently no legal regulation that restricts a customer's right to reimbursement.

Even when accepting vouchers, the customer has a right of refund for vouchers not used.

We therefore request you to insist on a refund of travel costs for official trips if your journey was canceled by the travel organization (such as cancellation of flight, closure of hotel etc.).

It was stated in the Crisis Committee bulletin of 11 March 2020 that cancellation fees for official trips would be assumed by TU Berlin. We have been asked in this context to clarify how to assign cancellation costs. These are to be assigned to the same G/L account as the trip itself.

Returning empty disinfectant containers

We would like to take this opportunity to remind you to return disinfectant containers promptly to the Hygiene Storage Facility.

Stay healthy!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 28 May 2020

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Guidelines for conducting exams at TU Berlin during summer semester 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

On behalf of the Executive Board and TU Berlin Crisis Committee, Departments I and IV, InnoCampus and the Medical Service have developed the following guidelines for conducting exams during summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin.

Preparing for and conducting examinations

All individuals responsible for an upcoming examination are to assess the situation, identify possible risks, and determine appropriate protective measures. Please note the following:

  • Belt barriers will direct persons waiting in the foyers and large entry areas in front of rooms H0104 and H0105. (Dept. IV will provide three marker posts each in front of H0104 and H0105 to guide candidates to the relevant exam.)
  • A minimum distance of at least 2 meters between individuals is to be observed, for instance through the use of floor markings. (Dept. IV will install these floor markings.)
  • Where feasible, entrances to examination rooms are to be used only to enter or exit the room. Proctors are to monitor the entrance and exit and inform participants accordingly.
  • Sufficient time of at least 90 minutes between each examination block is guaranteed for a change of personnel and surface cleaning (as scheduled in innoCampus). Rooms will also be ventilated during this time. (Dept. IV will arrange for the cleaning and ventilation.)
  • Tables and desks will be disinfected between each individual exam. Cleaning will be undertaken centrally by a cleaning service.
  • A minimum distance of 2 meters must also be maintained in rooms with fixed seating. Every third row and every fourth seat will be occupied. 
  • Examination rooms are not to exceed one tenth of their maximum capacity to ensure the minimum distance of 2 meters.
  • Seat numbers will be used to identify all available seats. (Provided centrally by the Press Office/Event Management)
  • A record must be kept of the seating arrangement during each exam. Examinees are to record the room and their seat number on their exam papers.
  • Care should be taken to ensure that, if possible, examinees seated in a row do not have to pass each other to take their seat. A suitable access and exit plan should be in place (e.g. Rows are accessed from the left and exited from the right). Should this not be possible, the seated person to be passed must first leave the row and make way for the person taking their seat.
  • Where possible, proctors are to be provided with protective masks (FFP2) or cotton mouth and nose protection. Masks can be collected beforehand from the TU Berlin Hygiene Storage Facility.
  • Examinees are to present their ID in such a way so that the proctor does not need to take the ID to read it. In compliance with the minimum distance guidelines, IDs are to be placed on a nearby table. Examinees are to wear mouth and nose protection when entering and exiting the room as well as during the examination.
  • Examinees are to place their completed exam in the box provided.
  • Exam documents are to remained untouched for three days before being graded.
  • PC labs may be used for online examinations. The authorized persons are responsible for organizing exams held in PC labs (lab management, academic chair, etc.). As immediate, professional disinfection is not possible, please ensure that computer stations are used again no earlier than 72 hours after the last use. To this end, all workstations used must be labeled with clear warnings immediately after the exam (for example with the warning sign W009 pursuant to DIN EN ISO 7010: biohazard warning) as well as the date and end time of the last use. A minimum distance of 2 meters is to be maintained between adjacent stations next and a minimum distance of 3 meters between stations across from each other (including diagonally).
  • Where possible, exam reviews are only to be held for students who failed an exam or who have other pressing reasons to review the exam. These students must first register with the relevant academic chair to receive an appointment. Instructors will book a suitable room in LSF and issue students a single-day permit for entry to the respective building. Minimum distance regulations are to be observed during the exam review. All individuals present must wear mouth and nose protection during the review. Students may only remove their protection for the purpose of identification.

    Exam papers are to first be distributed to each available seat before students are seated to maintain the minimum distance. Examiners are to use a physical or digital copy of the exam for discussion with students to avoid any personal contact when using the same copy.

    A seat used by a student may not be used again during the same review appointment until it has been cleaned with surface disinfectant, which can be collected from the TU Berlin Hygiene Storage Facility.

TU Berlin´s hygiene and protective measures - an overview

We kindly ask that you observe these.

Stay healthy!

Robert Nissen
Head of Department I – Student Services

Information letter from 14 May 2020

Thursday, 14. May 2020

Phase 3 “Ending of essential-only presence and transition to restricted presence – without in-presence teaching – with increased options for working on campus”

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, 

From 18 May 2020, TU Berlin will commence restricted presence - without in-presence teaching - to increase the options for working on campus while maintaining its policy of digital teaching.

The basis for phase 3 is the ordinance regarding essential measures to restrict the spread of novel coronavirus SARS-cOv-2 in Berlin of 7 May 2020 (https://www.berlin.de/corona/massnahmen/verordnung/#headline_1_25).

Phase 1 (essential-only presence) became effective 20 March 2020 with phase 2 (exceptions to essential-only presence) commencing 23 April 2020. The Executive Board now wishes to inform you of the general conditions for working on campus and from home as well as exceptions regarding in-presence teaching. These conditions have been agreed with the Crisis Committee. Phase 3 means: 

  • The ending of essential-only presence at TU Berlin on 17 May 2020
  • The start on 18 May 2020 of restricted presence with increased opportunities for working on campus
  • The continuation of digital teaching without in-presence teaching but with justified exceptions.

The following provides details of the new regulations at TU Berlin, which determine the basic principles for phase 3, as well as the general conditions for working on campus and from home with detailed information to help you plan. The hygiene and protective measures for TU Berlin, which are binding for all members of the University, were published in a previous information letter.

TU Berlin regulations for working on campus

TU staff should be able to continue to work from home as much as possible.  Research and administrative staff as well teaching staff for some areas may commence working on the campus again under compliance with

  • the hygiene and protective measures of TU Berlin and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI),
  • the general conditions presented here for working on campus and from home 
  • the action plans and staff rosters to be drawn up by individual organizational units. 


Managers and supervisors are responsible for drawing up action plans and staff rosters for their unit on the basis of the hygiene and protective measures of TU Berlin and the RKIthe general conditions for working on campus and from home. Management are further responsible for ensuring strict compliance with their action plans and the hygiene and protective measures of TU Berlin. 

It is in principle possible to re-enter TU premises from 18 May 2020. Concrete action plans and staff rosters are required for each organizational unit. Premises are to be entered via the main entrance for buildings with an information desk. Your staff ID or other proof of employment at TU Berlin (issued by your manager or supervisor) will be checked. Information regarding staff ID, including the issue and re-issue, can be found in the TUB portal under “Mein Profil”, see “Ersatzkarte beantragen”. 

Teaching will continue to take place in digital format and University buildings remain closed for students and on-campus teaching. Exceptions are however possible and are regulated elsewhere (see Regulations at TU Berlin for teaching and libraries). 

Entry permits are no longer required and there is no need to obtain centralized permission to work on the TU campus. Entry permits are replaced by the action plans or staff rosters drafted by the individual organizational units. 

The University will remain closed to the public and public events until further notice. Canteens, cafeterias and similar facilities also remain closed until further notice. 

As a rule, committee meetings should continue to be held digitally. They may only take place as in-presence sessions in justified circumstances under compliance with the hygiene and protective measures. Access to in-presence sessions for members, those with right of petition, and members of the public (upon registration if required) is to be regulated and safeguarded by the chairs of the committees. 

Scientific defenses for doctorates may, subject to the relevant faculty, take place with partial presence in rooms sufficiently large for the purpose. External doctoral candidates and external examiners are required to present their invitations to the scientific defense to gain access to the relevant building. Official trips may be approved again if deemed absolutely necessary. Digital formats for scientific exchange are, however, preferred.

Official trips abroad are currently not permitted. In principle, TU Berlin aligns its policy on travel with the regulations published by the RKI and the Federal Foreign Office. Management should base their decisions to approve an official trip on these. 

Open spaces may be used under strict compliance with the hygiene regulations of TU Berlin. TU Berlin requests all its members to adopt a responsible approach by observing distancing regulations etc. 

Job interviews may be held with up to a maximum of six people present (including representatives of special groups) at the same time in a room. The rooms selected should be as large as possible and well aired (if possible with cross ventilation). Minimum distancing regulations and the hygiene and protective measures for TU Berlin must also be strictly complied with. Responsibility lies with the manager or supervisor of the relevant unit. Entry to the building is upon presentation of a letter of invitation to attend. 

Personal contact within the University should be kept to a minimum. Applications etc. are to be sent electronically. You may only enter areas of the University other than those approved in the action plan or staff roster if absolutely necessary. 

Detailed information can be read in the general conditions for working on campus and from home. Please refer to these when planning.

TU Berlin regulations regarding teaching and libraries

There will be no in-presence teaching until further notice. The summer semester for teaching and studying will be conducted digitally. Regrettably, students are not permitted on the campus even for the purpose of studying. Teaching staff should prepare and teach their classes from home.  

Certain exceptions are, however, possible: 

Digital courses which can only be implemented by teachers from the campus. Supervisors are required to provide an action plan or staff roster for this purpose (see above). 

Practical teaching formats may be conducted on the campus. Practical teaching formats refer to classes which students cannot participate in from home. These include:

  • Practical labs
  • Practical workshops 
  • Local field trips in small groups to destinations in Berlin and Brandenburg

Applications must always be submitted (to the vice president for education: ) providing details of how a space is to be used and how the class will be run in compliance with the RKI regulations and TU Berlin’s hygiene and protective measures. The academic chairs are to issue students with appropriate documents to enable them to enter buildings. 

In-presence examinations may be conducted under compliance with the RKI regulations and TU Berlin’s hygiene and protective measures. 

The backlog of written examinations is to be cleared between 2 June 2020 and 15 July 2020. A schedule of rooms and times to enable compliance with hygiene and distancing regulations is being drawn up by InnoCampus and the academic chairs. Guidelines for conducting the exams will also be made available. If you have any questions, please contact . Arrangements must be made to clean a room between examinations scheduled to follow one another. As soon as measures for cleaning a room have been drawn up, these are to be passed to the persons responsible for the examination.  

A new plan based on hygiene and distance regulations is required for the summer semester examination period due to commence 20 July 2020. The academic chairs will be provided with further details.Students participating in exams are required to bring their student ID and proof of registration with them to access the building (for detailed information see: www.tu-berlin.de/?213475). 

Oral examinations can be conducted online. Guidelines are available at https://www.pruefungen.tu-berlin.de/menue/sommersemester_2020_digital/lehrende/  under “oral examinations” (Mündliche Prüfungen). Alternatively, depending on available space, oral in-presence examinations can be held in seminar rooms in the Mathematics Building: Please submit requests to   

You may continue to borrow items from the University Library. The library building remains closed to the public. This also includes the study spaces. 

PC labs, study spaces and foyer areas with seating remain closed for now.

Hygiene Storage Facility and advisory services

Obtaining hygiene material: Disinfectant and cloths used for applying disinfectant are to be collected in person from the Hygiene Storage Facility by staff or students upon presentation of their staff or student ID. Empty disinfectant containers must be returned.

If one employee is to collect hygiene materials for several colleagues, for an entire academic chair or similar, a certificate from their supervisor must be presented to the Hygiene Storage Facility upon collection, stating which employee is collecting which hygiene materials (surface disinfectants of 250 ml each, associated cosmetic tissue boxes, reusable cotton face masks or, if applicable, disposable face masks) and in which quantity.

Please note that only restricted quantities of hygiene materials may be issued per person. Please calculate with care; two cotton face masks are permitted per person. Surface disinfectant is only intended for areas used by several people. 

The Hygiene Storage Facility is open Mon - Fri from 07:00 until 15:00. It is located on the ground floor of the EW Building (Eugene-Paul-Wigner-Haus) (room 001b). Please read signs carefully (further information available at www.tu-berlin.de/?146803). For instructions on how to use disinfectant, please see www.tu-berlin.de/?141798.

If you become aware of any violations of hygiene and protective measures, please contact your supervisor. Advice is available at any time from the University Medical Service (www.tu-berlin.de/?27675) as well as Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU www.tu-berlin.de/?5394) and the Staff Councils (www.tu-berlin.de/?9555).

Campus Management (ZECM): We can be contacted by telephone at 030/314-28000, by email it-support@tu-berlin.de or via our contact form and will continue to support you to the best of our abilities with your questions and problems. You can find information about setting up a telephone conference at https://tubmeeting.tu-berlin.de/

General conditions for working on the campus and from home

Preventing the danger posed by the virus and protecting health continue to be our main priorities in the period of restricted presence - without in-presence teaching - at TU Berlin (phase 3). TU staff, including student assistants, are therefore urged to continue to work from home as far as this is possible. 

As a matter of principle, supervisors are responsible for deciding on the basis of the general conditions whether work is to be completed from home or on campus. Medical certificates and a member of staff’s risk-group status are decisive here. 

The respective supervisor is responsible for drawing up, implementing and monitoring action plans and staff rosters.

A) Conditions for working on campus

Staff may work on campus in their labs, workshops and offices if the following conditions are met:

An appropriate plan of action or staff roster must be devised for each organizational unit. This must include

  • Implementation of the hygiene and protective measures of TU Berlin (www.tu-berlin.de/?214303) and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI),

  • Details of the conditions in the specific areas

  • The requirements of the employer

  • The needs of staff members

The plan of action and staff roster must also take account of the following:

An office may generally only be used by one person at the same time.

An office, lab or workshop may however be used by two or more persons at the same time if sufficiently spacious to permit this. A minimum distance of two meters must be maintained between all persons present and the space must be aired regularly and thoroughly (by cross ventilation if possible), unless the room has functioning air conditioning. Should it not be possible to maintain a minimum distance of two meters, appropriate safety measures must be drawn up and implemented by supervisors or management. An application must be submitted for approval to the head of the Crisis Committee if technical or safety requirements necessitate non-compliance with the hygiene and protective measures of TU Berlin.

It should be made possible for staff to combine working from home and on campus though the use of alternating working times within the organizational unit (distributed over so many days per week). Shifts should be organized for a day rather than having several staff working for a number of hours at home and on campus within a single day.

If possible from an organizational point of view and in terms of work, all members of staff within an organizational unit should be able to work roughly the same number of hours on campus and from home.

As a matter of principle, staff should avoid meeting in groups such as when entering rooms or changing shifts in labs, if possible by using different entrances and exits to buildings). Team meetings within an organizational unit are permitted if the number of attendees and the length of the meeting are kept to a minimum, the minimum distancing regulations are complied with and suitable spaces in terms of size and the presence of cross ventilation are chosen for meetings. However, digital formats are preferred (video or telephone conferencing).

TU Berlin protective measures must be observed when handing over rooms to other members of staff (e.g.: disinfecting keyboards and airing rooms). Suitable materials are available for this purpose from the Hygiene Storage Facility.

We strongly recommend you avoid the use of public transport and instead use private transport for the journey to and from the University (such as a bicycle) or walk.

Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (low-grade fever, symptoms of a cold, shortage of breath) should leave their workplace and/or remain at home until they have been examined by a doctor and contact their supervisor so that they can continue to work from home. We would ask everyone to check their state of health before commencing work so as not to expose their colleagues and the people they come into contact with on the way to work to danger.

Planning is to be on the basis of mutual agreement between supervisors and staff.

B) Conditions for working from home

TU staff should be able to continue to work from home as much as possible. This is explicitly urged so as to reduce the spread of the virus. In concrete terms this means: All staff who are able to work from home should continue to do so until further notice.

The requirements for working from home are:

  • Having the technical means to do so
  • The possibility to do the defined work from home in terms of content
  • A binding agreement with the supervisor responsible for your area of work.

Depending on your organizational unit, it may be possible to alternate between working on campus and from home.

Parents of children aged up to 12 should be able to work from home if essential childcare or schooling is not available or only offered on a restricted basis. Your contactability and if necessary the volume of work to be done can be adjusted in agreement with your manager or supervisor.

The following groups of people can continue to work mainly or exclusively from home:

Anyone belonging to one of the risk categories: Certain groups have an increased risk of a serious progression of a COVID-19 infection. For details, please refer to the Robert Koch Institute: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogruppen.html. These include in particular people with a pre-existing condition such as

  • Diseases of the cardiovascular system (e.g. coronary heart disease and high blood pressure) 
  • Chronic diseases of the lungs
  • Chronic diseases of the kidneys
  • Chronic diseases of the liver 
  • Diabetes mellitus 
  • Cancers
  • A compromised immune system (such as resulting from an illness associated with a weakened immune system or from the taking of medication which affects and suppresses the immune system, such as cortisone).

Staff suffering from one of the named conditions associated with an increased risk who are therefore unable to work on campus as part of restricted presence operations should present a medical certificate from either a specialist or their GP to their manager or supervisor, who should then forward the certificate to the relevant personnel team. It is not necessary to name the medical condition in the certificate.
A medical certificate is also required for cases where a member of an employee’s household, rather than the employee themselves, suffers from one of these illnesses. The medical certificate should confirm that the person belongs to one of the risk groups. It is not required to state the name of the illness.
According to the RKI, pregnancy according to the aforementioned list is not associated with an increased risk. Employees who nevertheless do not wish to be deployed in the restricted area out of concern for their own health or the health of their unborn child should discuss this with their supervisor.
A severe disability alone without the presence of a risk-increasing illness does not represent a reason for persons with a severe disability to not participate in restricted operations. 

Further information is available from the TU Berlin Crisis Committee: www.tu-berlin.de/?211643

Stay healthy!

The Executive Board and Crisis Committee of TU Berlin

Information letter from 5 May 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

The following hygiene and protective measures apply with immediate effect at TU Berlin. All persons on the campus or in the buildings of TU Berlin are required to comply with and implement these measures. These measures do not replace the containment regulations of the State of Berlin or the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute but seek to adapt these to operations at TU Berlin. 

Please note that it is currently only possible to enter the premises of TU Berlin and conduct work if you have applied for and been granted permission to do so. You may only enter the buildings in possession of an entry permit.

  1. Cooperation
    Please help to keep the risk of coronavirus infection as low as possible by complying with the following hygiene and protection regulations.
  2. Restricting contact
    Continue to minimize your physical social contact to your colleagues.
  3. Minimum distance
    Maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters to others at all times as far as operations permit. This also applies to examinations, labs and workshops, offices, waiting areas, corridors and pathways, and elevators etc. Management and supervisors are required to ensure that these regulations are complied with by, for example, organizing work so that only one member of staff is working in an office or implementing a rotating shift system for areas with more than one member of staff and where the minimum distance cannot be observed. In areas of the campus where larger numbers of people gather, such as libraries, protective construction measures such as the installation of plexiglass screens are to be implemented in agreement with the building department.  
  4. Opening doors
    Avoid touching door handles, door knobs and door openers when entering buildings or rooms. Try instead to open doors using your elbows or forearms.  
  5. Washing hands and hand care
    Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (minimum 30 seconds) with soap and then apply a cream to your hands to protect the skin.
  6. Face masks (mouth and nose protection)
    Face masks are to be worn at all times in public areas of the buildings of TU Berlin, such as on the way to and from your office or when visiting restrooms. It is also strongly recommended to wear face masks in your work area if you are not working alone in an office. It is, however, essential that you continue to observe distancing regulations even when wearing a face mask. Avoid touching your face mask so as not to contaminate it.
  7. Sneezing and coughing
    Observe the correct procedure when sneezing and coughing. Sneeze and cough into your elbow even if wearing a face mask.
  8. Airing rooms
    Air rooms regularly (every 30-45 minutes) and thoroughly. This applies particularly to rooms with more than one person. According to the Charité, it is not necessary to air rooms with air conditioning.
  9. List of participants
    A list of participants is to be drawn up and retained for four weeks by the organizer for meetings involving the physical presence of more than one person. Please ensure that you have the participants´ business telephone numbers or email addresses so that they can be traced and contacted if necessary. Such lists are purely to allow the health authority to trace individuals if an infection is subsequently detected in one of the participants.
  10. Cleaning workspaces and work materials used by more than one person
    As far as possible, work spaces should not be used by more than one person. Should this not be possible (for example in workshops with shared equipment, rotating use of shared offices, examinations, etc.), areas such as surfaces and tables and work materials used by more than one person are to be disinfected appropriately.
    Examples:
    • Workshops: Tools must be disinfected after use by the members of staff who have used them.
    • Offices: Telephones, keyboards, mouses and tables are to be disinfected before and after use. The user screens of multi-function printers should also be cleaned regularly.
    • Oral examinations: The table used by the candidate is to be disinfected after each examination. The same applies to any items made available for the purpose of the examination.
    • PC labs Keyboard, mouse and table must be disinfected after every use.
  11. Kitchens
    Kitchens are only to be used by one person at a time, particularly if too small to allow minimum distancing to be complied with. It is particularly important that hygiene regulations are observed. Surfaces are to be disinfected after use.
  12. Instructing staff
    Managers are obligated to adapt regulations to the circumstances and conditions in their units and to inform their staff of all points (this must be documented pursuant to Section 12 of the Occupational Safety and Health Act).
  13. Disinfectant
    Sanitizer for disinfecting surfaces is to be made available for staff and examination boards as they may be required to disinfect an area several times a day, depending on the work area or the number of examinations being conducted, etc. 
  14. Obtaining hygiene material
    Disinfectant and cloths used for applying disinfectant are to be collected in person from the Hygiene Storage Facility by staff or students upon presentation of their staff or student ID. Empty disinfectant containers must be returned. The Hygiene Storage Facility is open Mon - Fri from 7:00 until 15:00. It is located on the ground floor of the EW Building (room 001b). Members of TU Berlin can access the Hygiene Storage Facility with their entry permit even if this was not explicitly issued for the EW Building. Please read signs carefully (further information available at www.tu-berlin.de/?146803). For instructions on how to use disinfectant, please see www.tu-berlin.de/?141798. Face masks may also be obtained from the Hygiene Storage Facility. Please note that only restricted quantities of hygiene materials may be issued per person. 
  15. What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms 
    Persons exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms (low-grade fever, symptoms of a cold, shortage of breath) should leave their workplace and/or remain at home until they have been examined by a doctor and contact their supervisor so that they can continue to work from home. We would ask everyone to check their state of health before commencing work so as not to expose their colleagues and the people they come into contact with on the way to work to danger.

Please also inform yourself of the regular updates to the recommendations issued by the RKI and the Federal Center for Health Education https://www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavirus/ and be aware of the fact that decisions taken by the Berlin Senate can result in amendments to recommendations and regulations and that these then have priority.

Advice is available at any time from the University Medical Service (www.tu-berlin.de/?27675) and Occupational Health and Safety Services and Environmental Protection (SDU www.tu-berlin.de/?5394).

Information letter from 30 April 2020

Thursday, 30. April 2020

On 4 May 2020 at 10:00, the TU Berlin and UdK University libraries will once again permit the borrowing of physical media, opening part of the joint location at the VOLKSWAGEN-Haus (Fasanenstr. 88) to the public.

The service is initially limited to members of TU Berlin and UdK. You will only be permitted to enter the building to collect media; lingering is not permitted. Reading rooms are not open.

Beginning at 10:00 on 4 May 2020, the order function in TU Berlin’s Primo knowledge portal and in UdK’s Knowledge Portal of the Arts will be available. Central information about the restricted borrowing service will also be available on the University library websites. Please only contact the libraries from this point on. Thank you!

Extensive precautions have been taken in advance by the University libraries and TU Berlin's Crisis Committee to ensure compliance with hygiene regulations, control entry, guide visitors, and maintain a minimum distance between people.

Please make note of the following information effective 4 May 2020:

  • The restricted borrowing service will be offered Monday to Friday, 10:00 to 16:00.
  • You must first order media via TU Berlin’s Primo knowledge portal and UdK’s Knowledge Portal of the Arts before borrowing any items. You can order any media that can be borrowed (stacks and open holdings) from the TU Berlin Central Library and Udk University Library.  
  • Once your order is ready, you will receive an email explaining how to collect your items. You cannot collect your ordered items until you have received this email.
  • The return of books is only permitted in exceptional cases. You must use either the self-return machine or the book drop box in the foyer (e.g. for AV media or interlibrary loans).
  • Use of work spaces, open access holdings, PCs, copy machines, and scanners is not permitted.
  • You must show your library card to be permitted entrance to the building.
  • Please be aware that there may be a line to enter the building due to these regulations. We ask you to plan accordingly.
  • You are required to wear nose and mouth protection.
  • Please ensure that you keep sufficient distance of at least 1.5 meters from others.
  • Sanitary facilities are not open to the public. Please take note of this.
  • Sanitizer will be provided.

All further information will published on 4 May 2020, 10:00 and updated regularly on the University websites at www.ub.tu-berlin.de or www.ub.udk-berlin.de

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 29 April 2020

Information letter from 23 April 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentleman,
Dear Colleagues,

the State of Berlin approved further regulations for dealing with the coronavirus pandemic on 21 April 2020. These also apply to universities. The Executive Board of TU Berlin has agreed binding regulations on the basis of the fourth ordinance for amendments to the ordinance for preventing the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and agreements reached between the presidents and rectors of the universities and the state secretary for science in the context of the task force established for this purpose.

Along with other universities in Berlin, TU Berlin will maintain its policy of essential-only presence. Teaching and studying will be digital. Staff will continue to work from home. However, exceptions regarding essential-only presence are slowly being permitted. There are three binding conditions for exceptions:

  • Hygiene regulations must be strictly observed.
  • It is the task and duty of the heads of the academic chairs and department heads as well as all other persons who have been assigned responsibility for a unit to take measures to ensure that hygiene regulations are observed.
  •  All exceptions require the approval of the Crisis Committee.

The Crisis Committee continuously checks the suitability of the regulations in force and adapts them to the regulations passed by the State of Berlin.

The specific measures for TU Berlin apply from 4 May until further notice. Please be aware that the process of granting exceptions takes some days to complete. Thank you for your understanding.

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen, president of TU Berlin, on the measures:

“Protecting our health and restricting the spread of the virus continue to be our number one priority and are the guiding principles of our operations and my decisions as president. The conditions under which we live and work affect all of us. We have now reached a point, however, where we are able to introduce some relaxations. These exceptions have been agreed by the Berlin universities. They are dependent upon one fundamental condition: That those responsible ensure that hygiene regulations are implemented and properly observed within their unit. This is something that we and the relevant members of staff must guarantee. This is an absolute prerequisite of the regulations regarding exceptions. We are here to advise on this and Department IV is working to make hygiene products available. I hope we can all approach summer semester 2020 with a sense of optimism, but I would ask you to exercise caution and continue to act responsibly.

I have some more good news for you: Beginning 27 April 2020, lecturers conducting interactive teaching at universities and members of staff whose presence on campus is deemed necessary will be able to take advantage of the essential childcare service provided by schools and daycare centers. This is an important step and one which I hope will make life easier for many of you.

I would like once again to express my gratitude and deepest respect to all of you for everything that you have achieved and made possible in the last weeks. You efforts have made TU Berlin stronger.”

Further information about daycare centers and schools in Berlin:

www.berlin.de/sen/bjf/coronavirus/aktuelles/notbetreuung 

Regulations at TU Berlin

1. Extension of essential-only presence

The wording of the Berlin ordinance
Section 13 (1) State, private and confessional universities and their facilities and institutes may not be opened for in-presence teaching or to the public.

Regulations for TU Berlin
No in-presence teaching is taking place at TU Berlin. All courses will be conducted digitally. All staff other than in the case of approved exceptions will work from home. All TU buildings remain closed to the public until further notice. It is not possible to enter the buildings. Exceptions are decided upon by the Crisis Committee, which is also responsible for granting entrance.  studierendenWERK canteens may not open. University Sports Center offers and programs have also been discontinued until further notice.

2. Exceptions subject to approval

The wording of the Berlin ordinance 
Section 13 (2) Universities may exercise their internal and managerial rights to permit members of their universities limited access to their premises in cases of approved exceptions and under strict observation of the hygiene regulations as per section 2.

Regulations for TU Berlin

The following exceptions (subject to approval) are defined for TU Berlin:


For essential-only presence in administration:

  • The current regulations continue to apply for all administrative staff working in ZUV, the faculties and other institutions and units at TU Berlin
  • Staff are required to continue working from home.
  • In approved cases and purely for the purpose of essential-only presence, the Crisis Committee may grant permission to enter the premises for a limited time period. Requests are to be submitted by a member of management or a supervisor stating the reasons for the exception. No form is required for this purpose. 
  • Requests providing details concerning the person, time, duration and location should be submitted to . Please note that requests may take some time to process.


For essential-only presence in research:

  • The Crisis Committee will continue to grant exceptions for research into the coronavirus.
  • Further exceptions for other research work may also be approved by the Crisis Committee if there is sufficient good cause. Requests must fulfill two conditions:
    Firstly, they need to justify the exception and secondly they need to demonstrate how the measures drawn up the Robert Koch Institute will be implemented. Applications require the signature of the managing director of the institute or faculty. Before signing, they need to ensure for each building that the exception will not result in too many persons being in close proximity to one another. The main priority is to ensure that hygiene regulations are observed. 
  • There is no automatic right to an exception. 
  • Requests providing details concerning persons, times, duration and location should be submitted to 


For essential-only presence in study and teaching

  • Lecturers whose IT facilities at home (e.g. bandwidth) are not sufficient for larger classes (100 people and above) can be granted an exception to conduct classes from their workplace at the University. Exceptions are granted for the time required to conduct the individual classes.
  • Requests providing details concerning persons, classes, times, duration, and locations should be submitted to 


Further individual exceptions

  • Exceptions apply for the production of disinfectant in the Institute of Chemistry.
  • Exceptions also apply for the production of protective masks in the textile workshop.
  • The regulations for upper classes (Abitur classes) at schools apply to the Preparatory School.  
  • Limited training operations for train directors for Deutsche Bahn are permitted.
  • Staff working in these areas must apply for an exception to the Crisis Committee citing details of persons, time, duration and location:  

3. Examinations

The wording of the Berlin ordinance

Section 13 (3) Essential in-person examinations, including admission and language examinations, are permitted under observation of the hygiene regulations cited in Section 2.

Regulations at TU Berlin

  • As far as possible, all examinations in summer semester 2020 at TU Berlin should be conducted digitally.
  • Exceptions can be made for essential in-person examinations, including entrance and language tests. 
  • Oral examinations may be conducted from 4 May 2020 in larger seminar rooms in the Mathematics Building with three persons present (examiner, observer, candidate). A valid reason must be provided (e.g. final examination required to complete a B.Sc. or M.Sc.)
  • Written examinations for up to 25 persons may be conducted in the lecture halls in the Mathematics Building.  
  • Applications for exceptions providing details of the person in charge, the maximum number of examinees, times and durations must be submitted to vp-sl@tu-berlin.de
  • The exact location will then be communicated to the relevant persons. 

4. Conducting practical teaching formats

The wording of the Berlin ordinance

Section 13 (4) Essential practical teaching formats requiring the use of special labs or work spaces at universities may be conducted under observance of the hygiene regulations referred to in Section 2.

Regulations at TU Berlin

  • Essential practical teaching formats requiring special labs and work spaces as well as practical labs in workshops may be conducted in justified cases.
  • Individual practical classes with a small number of participants can be conducted with the agreement of the relevant degree programs and according to available spaces. Persons responsible for organizing the classes must demonstrate and ensure that the hygiene regulations can be and are complied with. 
  • Requests providing details concerning the person in charge, time, duration, the number of participants and location should be submitted to: vp-sl@tu-berlin.de

5. Libraries, archives and collections/museums

The wording of the Berlin ordinance

Section 11 Libraries and archives may be opened for the purposes of borrowing materials under the condition that arrangements are implemented to ensure that hygiene regulations are complied with, that entrance to the spaces is regulated and that a minimum distance of 1.5 meters between persons is maintained.

Regulations at TU Berlin

  • Libraries, archives and collections/museums at TU Berlin will be opened for the purposes of borrowing materials from 4 May 2020.
  • Special regulations will be agreed for this purpose with the responsible persons in the respective institutions. Students and the public will be informed separately nearer to this date.

6. Hygiene regulations at TU Berlin

TU Berlin will shortly publish specific hygiene regulations for the exceptions referred to above. The regulations drawn up by the Robert Koch Institute apply until such time: https://www.infektionsschutz.de/coronavirus/ 

Advice and assistance are available from the departments, faculties and other units at TU Berlin. We also provide detailed information.

Disinfectant is currently being produced at TU Berlin and we are in the process of acquiring other essential protective materials. Exceptions can only be approved once these are available and ready for use.

The Crisis Committee would like to assure you that all requests for exceptions are examined carefully and processed as quickly as possible. The relevant staff in the staff units assigned to the Executive Board and the departments will do all they can to enable appropriate exceptions to be granted. We would like to assure you that we will try to find quick solutions, but would ask you to be aware that not all exceptions can be granted immediately. 

Many thanks.

Stay healthy!

The Executive Board and The Crisis Committee

Information letter from 7 April 2020

Information letter from 7 April 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to inform you of a number of regulations made by the various departments etc. and provide you with some new information.

Stay healthy!
Your Crisis Committee

Closure of childcare facilities and schools: How this affects parents with children requiring care – revised information

TU Berlin has decided to grant 10 working days leave of absence with full pay. This is in addition to your normal annual leave allocation. To clarify the situation, we wish to make clear that these 10 days do not have to be taken consecutively. Once this allotment of days has been used up, you can continue to care for your children by taking regular leave or time off in lieu. Use of flextime for the purposes of taking care of children is regulated in the TU Berlin/Student Staff Council agreement on working hours for student assistants (DV Arbeitszeit) and the TU Berlin/Staff Council agreement on flexible working hours for staff (DV Flex). Please also note that legislation is planned (!) at national level to introduce a replacement salary covering a period of six weeks for parents unable to work as a result of the closure of schools or childcare facilities. As soon as this becomes law, we will inform you of how to proceed.

These regulations replace and update the Crisis Committee letter of 30 March 2020.

Simplified option for taking advantage of the 4% rule

We wish to make it as easy as possible to combine professional and private life during this period, particularly for those who need to look after their children and those with care duties. You can apply from now until 30.6 for days to be credited to your working time account for a period of six to twelve months for the purposes of looking after your children or caring for dependents. A reduction of salary of 1% to 4% applies. Requests can be made by email directly to your supervisor who will then, once agreed, forward your request to the relevant personnel team. 

Once agreement has been provided by your supervisor, you can, with immediate effect, take the additional days added to your working time account to look after your children or care for dependents. The corresponding reduction of your salary will be processed by Human Resources once the crisis situation has passed. You can use this sample email to be addressed to your personnel team via your immediate supervisor:

Dear ………..,

In accordance with the DV-Flex 4% rule, I hereby apply for

·         a X% (1,2,3, or 4%) reduction of my salary

·         from XX.XX.XX (date)

·         for a period of X months (6 or 12 months).

Sincerely,
.…..

Please see here for further information regarding the DV Flex 4% rule:
https://www.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/a9600/Personalrat/Dienstvereinbarungen/Allgemein/Gueltige_DVs/AEnderung_der_Anlage_2_DV_Flex_durchsuchbar.pdf

Sample calculations:
https://www.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/a9600/Personalrat/Dienstvereinbarungen/Allgemein/Gueltige_DVs/Berechnungsbeispiele_durchsuchbar.pdf

Reporting a commencement of duties/return to work

In order for new staff or staff who have transferred to another position as well as staff returning to work after a period of special leave or parental leave to receive their salary, their commencement or return to work has to be reported to section II T in Human Resources. In order to ensure the prompt payment of salaries, a commencement of duties or return to work can now be reported by email to the relevant personnel team by the staff member´s supervisor/section. Under the present circumstances a hard copy is not required. This regulation applies until the resumption of in-person operations at TU Berlin.

Regulations regarding committee meetings

The Senate Chancellery for Science and Research has provided guidelines for conducting committee meetings to help maintain the working capacity of the various academic committees during the SARS-CoV crisis. Given the current circumstances, the Senate Chancellery regards the use of technical options as an acceptable and necessary alternative to the principle of physical presence. The preferred option is video conferencing and if this is not possible then telephone conferencing. Steps are to be taken to ensure the quality of broadcast and that votes are only cast by those members of the committee entitled to do so. The execution of resolutions is by public vote. Please refer to the Senate Chancellery´s letter of 26.03.2020 for further details regarding the use of video and telephone conferencing https://www.tu-berlin.de/asv/menue/service/infos_formular_muster/

Please ensure that access is granted to the public for points of order which are to be publicly conducted. Relevant documents with details of how to gain access to the session are to be published online in a format accessible to all. At the same time, it is recommended that the invitation to attend include a statement requesting that only members of the public with a genuine interest log into the meeting. This is to prevent the capacity, stability and broadband of the broadcast being overloaded and to ensure that the session can be conducted by the members and advisors of the committee.

A further option is to pass resolutions on the principle of a silence procedure if no member objects to the use of this procedure (Section 47 (4) sentence 3 BerlHG). You can find a template for instigating a silence procedure by email as well as further information at https://www.tu-berlin.de/asv/menue/service/infos_formular_muster/.

To ensure the participation of the public in points of order to be conducted publicly, the public should be informed online regarding those points of order to be voted on using a silence procedure. Once voting has taken place, the result is also to be published online without delay. Please ensure that information regarding access to the session, as well as due documents and minutes can be accessed from outside the TU network.

We wish to point out that, irrespective of the choice of procedure pursued, the rights of other parties to the proceeding (women´s representatives, Staff Council etc.) and the time limits which apply under the applicable rules of procedure must be respected.

We will update you on further information provided by the Senate Chancellery regarding committee meetings.

Increased online offers and services from Human Resources and Continuing Education

The current situation presents our working lives, which are so dependent upon personal contact, with a new set of challenges. To help you meet these challenges, we in Human Resources and Continuing Education provide you with the option to take advantage of our programs while working from home. We offer the following online programs: 

Offers for management

  • General Act on Equal Treatment AGG for management (Ger/Eng)
  • Managing diversity in demographic change (Ger/Eng)
  • Develop your creativity – Thinking outside the box, developing new ideas (German)
  • Effective management instruments (Ger/Eng)
  • Fulfilling your new leadership role confidently (Ger/Eng) 
  • Correctly and effectively delegating, learning to hand off - for results-oriented and motivational leadership (Ger/Eng)
  • Rhetoric – useful tips for rhetoric, body language, voice, argumentation and manipulation, tips for coping with stage fright (German)
  • External offer: Various offers provided by the digital learning platform of the Verwaltungsakademie (VAk) Berlin
  • External offer: Digital offers provided by the Bitkom Akademie as cooperation partner of the VAk (including an online seminar on working in digital teams)

(External) offers on office management and law

  • Learning videos about budget law, knowledge transfer, and GGO Berlin (Berlin Joint Bylaws of the Coalition of Municipal Employers’ Associations) provided by VAk
  • Digital learning platforms provide by VAk and other organizations
  • Sub-threshold awarding regulations (UVgO)
  • Video advising on pensions from the Deutsche Rentenversicherung 

Language-learning offers

  • Current language-learning offers will be offered in online formats in addition to existing online versions

(External) offers on health, family life and career

Further offers in the pipeline

  • Management working from home in difficult times 
  • Virtual team management for science staff
  • Team workshops / coaching for management - e.g. working together in home office; developing strategies
  • Project coaching
    • Self Management and Time Management
    • In Balance - Mindfully and calmly balancing family and career while working from home

     

A number of online training programs ranging from simple learning videos to massive open online courses (MOOCs) are also offered by commercial organizations. We will gladly help you with any such external offers requiring the approval of your supervisors.

How to register

Found something that interests you? Please register for the course(s) of your choice by sending an email to the relevant contact person in IIPE-WB. Please also include an email from your supervisor approving your participation. 

If you have any questions concerning our offers and how to apply or if you would like to send us your ideas and suggestions for other online offers, please contact us in II PE-WB by email or telephone. Further details are available on the web pages of Human Resources and Continuing Education: https://www.wb.tu-berlin.de/  (Quick access 20315).

We hope you enjoy our offers. Stay healthy!
Your II PE-WB Team, Heike Wieland (temporary head of section)

Access to University premises during the period of restricted operations / permits to enter

We would like to remind you that under the current circumstances, it is only possible to enter TU Berlin premises with a valid permit to enter and your staff ID. Permits to enter are to be applied for from the vice president for administration as follows: for faculty staff, via the heads of faculty service centers; for staff working in the central administrative departments, the central institutes and institutions, via their relevant head of department etc. Anyone not in possession of both documents will be refused entry by security staff. Exceptions can only be made in cases of imminent danger.

Information from the Family Services Office

The Family Services Office provides a number of tips at https://www.personalabteilung.tu-berlin.de/familie to help you organize working from home to make this time as fun as possible for you and your children. The link also provides useful information for students and staff with dependents requiring care. The Family Services Office additionally provides an advising service by telephone and email.

To help develop a best practice for working from home, the Family Services Office would like to hear from you regarding the following questions: What works well when combining working from home with looking after children and caring for dependents? What do you find more difficult/challenging? Send us your ideas and views to:  

TU Berlin Crisis Committee, 7 April 2020

Information letter from 3 April 2020

Friday, 03. April 2020

Dear Colleagues,
Dear Members and Students of TU Berlin,

Today the presidents and rectors of the Berlin universities took the decision together with state secretary for science, Steffen Krach, to begin the digital lecture period for the summer semester on 20 April 2020. This decision is the official starting signal for all preparations in the state of Berlin to formally begin. TU Berlin has already been hard at work making the necessary preparations.

Our utmost priority is and remains containing the spread of the coronavirus. This important undertaking - for all of us as well as the broader society - will accompany us in the coming months, in our studies, in teaching, in research and in administration.

The press release on this decision can be found at: https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/2020/pressemitteilung.916050.php

Regulations regarding summer semester 2020 in Berlin can be found at: https://www.berlin.de/sen/wissenschaft/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/2020/berliner-sommersemester-2020.pdf

I ask all of you - staff and students alike - to take on this extraordinary semester with particular commitment and determination. It will require a great deal from us. We will continue to have exceptions and provisions which limit our field of action. We will have to work with this as best possible.

However, we want summer semester 2020 to be one of joint effort. I call upon you to come together, open new avenues and find new ways to solve our common problems. Let us show that a university can continue to work under the given circumstances.

As the University governance and crisis committee, we want to demonstrate this with the help of all, with the faculties, Academic Senate, other committees, staff councils, administration, student representative bodies, researchers, and staff.  

The 34,000 plus students who came to our university to learn with the intent of changing or even improving the world are the focus of all our internal efforts.

Please all do your part and help us continue to give them this opportunity.

Heartfelt thanks and stay healthy!

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen
President of TU Berlin

Information letter from 30 March 2020

Monday, 30. March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to update you with additional and more specific information regarding your conditions of employment during the current situation:

Closure of childcare facilities and schools: How this affects parents with children requiring care

TU Berlin has decided to grant 10 working days leave of absence with full pay. This is in addition to your normal annual leave allocation. To clarify the situation, these 10 days do not have to be taken consecutively. Once this allotment of days has been used up, you can continue to care for your children by taking regular leave or time off in lieu. You can also use the flextime option to allow you to look after your children even if you do not have sufficient plus hours on your account. Minus hours are to be made up within a six-month period in agreement with your manager or supervisor.

Please also note that legislation is planned (!) at national level to introduce a replacement salary covering a period of six weeks for parents unable to work as a result of the closure of schools or childcare facilities. As soon as this becomes law, we will inform you of how to proceed.

Working from home

Staff working from home are required to work as normal for the working hours agreed. Staff assigned too little work for these hours are requested to proactively contact their supervisor or manager to discuss additional tasks. Staff are also free to make suggestions concerning such additional tasks. These may include any work falling within the remit of the tasks agreed for your position, such as creating new forms, editing and updating existing documents, preparing texts for the website, taking part in online seminars, telephone meetings, preparing training material, updating tables, or preparing statistics or wikis. Your manager can also assign you additional work. If your manager is unable to assign you any further meaningful work, then you will be granted leave of absence on full pay.

Leave

Many of you will have applied for annual leave or other forms of leave of absence for this period. Approval continues to apply for all leave previously authorized. Cancellation or withdrawal of leave requires the authorization/consent of the University. Given the current circumstances, authorization/consent will only be granted if this is in the interest of the employer and if the employee´s work is demonstrably indispensable to the functioning of the University during the period of restricted operations. 

What does this mean exactly? Essentially cancellation of leave or any other form of leave of absence at the request of staff will not be approved as long as the coronavirus continues to affect the University´s operations. Exceptions will only be granted if the employee´s work is deemed absolutely indispensable to the University. It is also possible to reschedule periods of approved leave to enable staff to look after their children during the current period of closure affecting schools and childcare facilities.

Making purchases and orders

Please note that during the period of essential-only presence, purchases and orders may only be made for items and services necessary for maintaining essential operations or which help to prevent the spread of the virus. All other purchases, such as for office supplies, are not permitted and will not be processed. This regulation was already communicated in the Crisis Committee bulletin of 19 March 2020. Heads of departments, central institutions, and central institutes, etc. have already been informed regarding procedures to enable a proper processing of invoices by accounts during the period of essential-only presence. 

Video and conference tools

The demand for digital conference tools is increasing as staff seek ways to perform their work effectively during the period of essential-only presence. We recommend the German Research Network´s conference tool, which can be requested online from Campus Management. As an alternative, we recommend tubMeeting. Increased demand could however lead to the system being overloaded at certain times. Campus Management is aware of this problem and is working hard to stabilize existing options as well as to find other solutions conforming to data protection law.

In the meantime, we request you not to use tools, which are suspect in terms of data protection. These include Skype, WhatsApp, and FaceTime. You can already access tubMeeting via tubmeeting.tu-berlin.de (quick access: 147980) for all your web meetings or telephone conferences. Please limit the number of hosts to an absolute minimum by appointing one person within your section to coordinate meetings (including rescheduling).  

Legal regulations continue to apply during the period of restricted operations. The General Data Protection Regulation regards the passing on of personal data without legal cause as a violation of data protection. This includes requiring applicants to use a tool as part of an interview process, where the tool provider uses the data for its own purposes or when the Patriot Act and CLOUD Act enable the NSA access to the data as a result of its transmission to the United States of America. 

The current situation imposes restrictions on staff and students in all areas of university life. Maintaining operations and taking measures to combat the risk of infection as well as ensuring your capacity to work once the situation has come to an end have absolute priority.

We would like to thank all of you for all your efforts!

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 19 March 2020

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The TU Berlin Crisis Committee has decreed that TU Berlin will transition to essential-only presence (meaning that only personnel whose presence is absolutely essential will be able to access TU Berlin buildings) from Friday, 20 March 2020, 15:00. This means that only essential operations will be conducted throughout the University´s premises with all TU staff otherwise working from home.

This measure has been adopted in response to a decision taken by the task force of the state secretary for science and research together with the presidents of Berlin universities on 18 March 2020 and reflects the obligation to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in all situations and effectively as possible. This regulation is binding for all and is in effect until further notice.

The wording of the decision is as follows:

“Administrative operations will be restricted to essential-only presence from Friday, 20.03.2020 (with the exception of Charité– Universitätsmedizin Berlin). The affected institutions are to determine on the basis of their right to determine who is granted or denied access to their buildings and the extent of their measures for dealing with a pandemic which key persons are essential for the emergency operation of their institution and are thus to be granted access. Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin will determine appropriate measures to reflect the work it does.”

TU Berlin President Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen says: “We currently find ourselves in the most extraordinary situation in the modern history of TU Berlin. These enacted regulations impact the University at its core. We will have to re-think the University. It is up to each and every one of us to meet the challenges of this new togetherness without direct personal contact. I would like to thank all TU Berlin staff who have managed these extraordinary days and exceptional tasks with vigor, creativity, and composure. Currently there is no alternative other than to adopt a policy of essential-only presence. Our most important duty, for every organization and every single person, is to avoid the spread of the coronavirus. This is the need of the hour and we are acting accordingly.”

A video message from the TU Berlin president can be found at: youtu.be/_4EULLCb3bI

The vice president for education, digitalization, and sustainability, Professor Hans-Ulrich Heiß, has also spoken about studies and teaching in the current situation in a video message: youtu.be/UbW6NnwtanE

What does this mean exactly?

Essential-only presence means that

  • all TU Berlin buildings will be shut, 
     
  • no one will be allowed to enter the University buildings, 
     
  • TU Berlin staff are required to continue working exclusively from home,
     
  • the exception are staff working in areas which need to keep operating in order to maintain essential operations (determined in an extraordinary regulation drafted by TU Berlin´s vice president for administration),
     
  • management are to agree exceptional regulations with staff whose regular work does not permit them, whether for technical reasons or due to the nature of the work itself, to work from home,
     
  • management have the right to grant leave on full pay to staff whose work cannot be performed from home,
     
  • face-to-face teaching and in-person exams are canceled until further notice, 
     
  • research operations will be suspended, with certain exceptions approved by the Crisis Committee,
     
  • the University administration will continue to operate essential Services,
     
  • no cafés, restaurants, offices, points of sale, etc. may remain open on the campus
     
  • The essential-only presence regulations also apply for third parties renting spaces on the campus.

TU Berlin has determined that essential presence applies to the following:

  • necessary technical supervision and maintenance of buildings and equipment by the building department
     
  • minimal processing of staff-related issues such as extending and terminating contracts to prevent individuals becoming unemployed
     
  • minimal processing of staff-related issues as they relate to the payment of wages and salaries
     
  • minimal accounting procedures as they relate to the paying of small invoices and salaries and wages
     
  • minimal staff required to perform security services
  • minimal staff required for decentralized technical plants, generally only occasionally and in the event of emergency
     
  • essential interoffice mail services
     
  • on-call Duty
     
  • a small number of staff in Campus Management to perform essential operations
     
  • members of the TU Berlin Crisis Committee
     
  • anybody working in the fight against the virus on a case-by-case basis (production of enzymes for test kits or the production of spare parts for respiratory equipment, etc.)

All members of the University are called upon and obliged to

  • leave their offices and work places at the University,
  • continue working from home,
  • take advantage as parents of children aged up to 12 of the option of paid leave of absence for 10 working days,
  • agree regulations with their managers if their work cannot be conducted from home for technical, logistical or other reasons,
  • use Campus Management´s services for telephone and video conferences, tubCloud and other similar services.

The following applies as a point of principle: TU Berlin continues to pay regular salaries and wages during a period of essential-only presence.

Studying and teaching

No in-person examinations will be conducted from 19 March 2020. Examinations will be conducted in an alternative form and/or at a later date. Guidelines for conducting state examinations will be drafted and made available by the relevant examination offices.

Submission dates for final theses for bachelor´s, master´s and Diplom programs will be suspended from 12.03.2020 until normal operations are resumed for students (not before 11.05.2020). This means that you will have the full period for completing your final thesis from the time the University returns to normal operations, including the reopening of libraries, PC labs, etc. There will be no disadvantages for you.

Further details are available in the information letter of 17 March 2020: www.tu-berlin.de/?212770 

Working from home

Employment contracts remain unchanged
Should staff work from home, their employment contracts remain unaltered in their current state. Employees are only freed from their obligation to work in their respective place of work for the duration of the exception approving their working from home.

Joint agreement on the scope of responsibilities
The employee and manager are to jointly determine the type and scope of duties to be completed from home. Work packages, scopes for action, and the means and extent of accessibility are to be clearly agreed upon by the employee and manager.

Working times when working from home
Collective agreements and statutory provisions as well as the existing service agreements and circulars on working hours, rest breaks and incapacity for work apply.

Pursuant to the flextime framework in the TU Berlin/Staff Council agreement on flexible working hours, employees are permitted to freely determine their working hours when working from home. When recording your working hours, please enter “Homeoffice” under “Comments” in column J. You are not required to enter your start and end times. Employees are to arrange the times they are available when working from home with their supervisors.

Tools, data privacy, and occupational and health protection when working from home
Employees are permitted to use both official and personal tools when working from home. Please ensure data privacy and security (see info sheet “Data privacy and IT security when working from home”).

Employees are also protected by statutory accident insurance when working from home. Protection extends to occupational accidents and occupational illnesses. According to Section 8 (1) sentence 1 SGB VII, occupational accidents are accidents suffered by insured persons as a result of an activity which constitutes the basis for insurance coverage.

Obligations of staff

During the period of restricted operations, staff are required to check their university email address at least twice every working day (https://exchange.tu-berlin.de/owa) to keep up to date with the latest developments and to ensure that they remain contactable in urgent circumstances. They are also obliged to check the University website once a day as the latest information and statements are published there. Should you not be able to access your email inbox, please provide your supervisor with a telephone number where you can be contacted.

Regulations regarding your workplace at the University

Every member of staff is obliged to leave their workplace in an orderly condition. Please remember to ensure that you leave no valuables behind and that fridges are emptied. The electricity supply will continue to operate during the period of restricted operation. Users are responsible for ensuring that they switch off all lights in offices, corridors and labs. Disconnect coffee machines, kettles etc. from the mains. Switch off the heating.
It is essential to ensure that all doors are locked when you leave your rooms. If possible, place equipment in lockable cupboards.

Reducing the workload for University support services

As all central administrative departments, teams, and sections as well as faculties etc. are required to switch over to “emergency mode”, the following regulations apply for all staff:

Staff procedures

Staff teams and staff councils have agreed regulations to avoid all appointment procedures as well as the procedures for extending and terminating contracts being suspended to a later date. Initially those procedures will be undertaken which are critical in terms of time (e.g. extensions to contracts in March/April 2020) or which are necessary to prevent personal difficulties arising (such as unemployment due to non-renewal of contract etc.). We would kindly ask you to refrain from making inquiries to allow the staff to organize everything. We will keep you updated regarding these issues.  

Advisory and other services of the women´s representatives

Answering inquiries, providing advice and receiving complaints will be conducted exclusively by email and telephone until further notice. The following applies regarding the women´s representatives´ involvement in staff procedures: With immediate effect, all staff procedures will be conducted electronically. This includes the forwarding of documents. Approval or rejection by the women´s representatives for electronically conducted procedures will be given by email.

Suspension of ordering of goods

We request all TU members – whether working from home or the office – NOT to order any goods from now on. Only orders placed to ensure the essential operation of the University will be approved. This regulation is binding and is in effect until further notice. The reasons for this decision are that it is not possible to arrange for the proper receipt of goods and to reduce the workload of the finance department to allow them to conduct essential business as smoothly as possible. This includes the payment of wages and salaries. We thank you for your cooperation. Please avoid doing anything at the moment which is not strictly necessary.

Communication

During the period of essential-only presence, the Crisis Committee will also be meeting regularly (currently on a daily basis) to evaluate the situation. Information letters with binding regulations will continue to be published. The Office of Communication, Events and Alumni will be updating you on the situation at the University on an ongoing basis throughout this period.

Please ensure that you visit the TU Berlin website on a daily basis to update yourself: www.tu-berlin.de 

Please also make use of the University´s main official social media channels:
www.facebook.com/TU.Berlin/ 
www.twitter.com/TUBerlin 
www.instagram.com/tu_berlin/ 
www.youtube.com/user/TUBerlinTV 

Please address any questions regarding TU Berlin or your specific place of work to the following email address only:  

We will provide a prompt answer to all your emails.

Please refrain from making general inquiries concerning the spread of the virus and illness etc. For such questions, please use the following information service: www.tu-berlin.de/?212570 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee
19 March 2020

Information letter from 17 March 2020

Information letter with measures from department II to V

Tuesday, 17. March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

The following measures are being implemented with immediate effect by the University’s departments to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. These measures apply until further notice. Additional measures may also be introduced if the University is required to further reduce operations to a minimum. Measures affecting Department I will be announced separately.

Department II – Human Resources and Legal Affairs

Human Resources (IIT) is reducing direct personal contact and face-to-face appointments (e.g. staff interviews; appointments with committees, academic chairs, etc.) to an absolute necessary minimum. Advisory services will only be provided by email and telephone until further notice.

The following applies regarding the finalization of work contracts:
With immediate effect, work contracts will generally be sent digitally, meaning that an unsigned contract is sent by the relevant member of staff to the appointee together with the necessary forms and paperwork. The appointee prints two copies of the contract as well as all other documents sent, signs everything and returns by standard mail to the indicated staff team. Once the contract has been signed by Human Resources, an original copy is sent to the appointee by standard mail.

A face-to-face appointment may be possible as an absolute exception should it not be possible to finalize a contract in time using the above procedure (for example, the standard mail service may take too long).
A digital procedure is similarly to be used for all other situations where a signature is required.
Over the next weeks, Human Resources will give priority to work which has to be completed by strict deadlines. This means that priority will be given to job postings, the finalization of contracts, the termination of contracts and changes to working hours as they affect the payment of salaries.
Traveling Expenses (IIRK) is also reducing direct personal contact. Inquiries will only be answered by telephone and email until further notice.

14-day (calendar day) self-quarantine for all members of the University returning from regions identified as risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)

It was determined in the communication dated 11 March 2020 that all students, researchers and staff of academic institutions returning from regions designated as risk areas by the RKI are required to self-impose a 14-day quarantine.

Staff who have just returned from a risk area are urgently requested to immediately contact the relevant health authority. Staff will be granted leave on full pay for 14 days to enable them to self-quarantine and to arrange for medical treatment or testing. A form is available via ID which staff are requested to complete and send by email to their staff team.

Staff returning from a risk area should contact their manager as soon as possible (either by telephone or email) to discuss the options for working from home during this 14-day period.

Incapacity to work due to illness

A sick note from a doctor confirming incapacity to work is to be presented at the latest on the working day following the third day of illness. Should it not be possible to present an original copy of a doctor’s sick note confirming an existing incapacity to work by this deadline, you also have the option to scan the document as temporary proof of incapacity to work and send it to your staff team as an attachment by email, as a photo from your mobile phone, or by fax.

Information regarding leave of absence for all units, academic chairs, and faculties:

All units, academic chairs and faculties should continue to complete the form for registering illness (Erkrankungsanzeige) as normal and send to their staff team so that any time not worked can be recorded. For staff granted leave of absence due to the closure of a childcare facility/school or due to their return from a risk area, the reason for absence is to be completed by hand in the relevant field (wegen) and the boxes which would normally be ticked left blank. Please also continue to use the form for registering a return to work for staff granted leave of absence. Completed forms can be sent by email to the relevant staff team.

Services provided by the Family Services Office

To prevent children and their caregivers infecting each other, the flexible childcare service for TU members will be discontinued for the time being. Family Services Office advising offers will be available only by email and telephone until further notice.

Seminars offered by Human Resources and Continuing Education (II PE-WB)

Seminars offered by Human Resources and Continuing Education are canceled until the end of April 2020.

Leave of absence for trainees

With immediate effect, trainees are released from their requirement to attend until further notice. Trainees are required to contact their trainers by email or telephone to discuss which work and tasks they can continue to do from home.

Department III - Finances

  1. Closure of the University Cashier’s cash counter
    Due to current circumstances, the University Cashier’s cash counter is closed beginning 12 March 2020. We would like to make clear that no exemptions are possible regarding the paying in and out of cash. Please take appropriate measures. Please inform all your students, customers, etc.
     
  2. All non-cash payments remain unaffected and will continue to be processed on a daily basis.
     
  3. Due to the greatly reduced staff levels in Financial Accounting (FIBU), we kindly request you to refrain from inquiries regarding individual invoice transactions, including those for which a reminder has already been issued. We will not be able to deal with such requests. It is also not possible to select individual transactions from the inbox.
     
  4. Invoices will be processed according to their priority. Priority is determined on the basis of the amount to be paid and the discounted amount, provided this still applies after the transaction has been received by Financial Accounting.
     
  5. We kindly ask you to refrain from bringing transactions in person to Financial Accounting as well as all sections within Department III, i.e. Human Resources Management – III PW – and Financial Management  – III FIMA.

Department IV - Building and Services Management

  1. Advisory services regarding building work will be reduced to a minimum.
     
  2. Work on state construction sites will continue to be undertaken on site until such projects are suspended.
     
  3. Other building work will continue until completely suspended.
     
  4. Removals will only take place at the request of the office or individual requesting the move. The disposal of bulky waste should be discontinued in the coming period.
     
  5. Reported faults will continue to be processed. Please only report faults requiring urgent attention. Please be aware that it may take longer to deal with faults than usual. Should such a delay represent a potential risk, please inform Department IV by telephone.
     
  6. Cleaning and interoffice mail services will continue to operate.
     
  7. The usual range of building operations will continue to operate. Please be aware, however, that there may be extensive delays in such services due to the reduced number of staff.
     
  8. Waste disposal and printing services will continue to operate.
     
  9. Invoices must continue to be entered in-house as long as there is no digital option for forwarding incoming mail. The booking of invoices is the responsibility of Department III.

Department V Research

Department V will essentially be working from home to avoid social contact and reduce the risk of infection (some staff, such as team leaders, section leaders, and the head of department will, however, continue to work from their offices). They are therefore canceling all face-to-face office hours and kindly request you to refrain from coming to the offices of Department V in person.

However, all sections can be contacted by email as usual.

Department V will strive to maintain its operations as fully and effectively as possible. The following services are provided on a priority basis:

  • release of funds for staff recruitment
  • payment orders
  • project facilities
  • project projections
  • verification and payment requests
  • contract reviews and contract negotiations with industrial partners and funding agencies, including telephone consultation service for researchers
  • all legally binding signatures required
  • correspondence

Department of International Affairs

Student Mobility and International Students

All staff are available for their target groups by phone (via call forwarding to private numbers) and email. Some staff members will be present in the office on a rotating basis.

Advising for international students and TU Berlin students planning a semester abroad will only take place by phone and email until further notice (call forwarding in place, limited presence in the office).
All scholarships are guaranteed to be paid out. Due to regulations regarding the necessary signatures, payments may be delayed.

Selection process are not affected (paper selection).

Information and orientation events will transition to an online format where possible.

International exchange students (incomings) who have not yet arrived are/have been urgently recommended to postpone their stay. All partner universities have been informed.

TU Berlin exchange students in risk areas are/have been urgently recommended to return to Germany without delay. Students who have not yet begun their stay abroad have been prohibited by the Senate Chancellery from leaving and have received notice of revocation of funding from our office.

We are currently communicating with third-party funding organizations (Erasmus/DAAD) whether/which re-booking/cancellation fees can be reimbursed. We are also working on a comparable solution for TU Berlin scholarship holders.

The Visa Service has been suspended. However, according to the State Office for Residents’ and Regulatory Affairs, temporary residence visas will continue to be valid. https://www.berlin.de/einwanderung/ueber-uns/aktuelles/artikel.906001.php

All measures/information can be found at www.tu-berlin.de/?5190 beginning Tuesday afternoon, 17 March 2020.

International Projects

Where possible, questions concerning current international projects will be answered by email  – please use the following email addresses.

International Projects: 
International Scientific Cooperation:  

Seed funding selection processes

The selection processes for international seed funding projects will continue to take place. The deadline of 6 April 2020 remains in effect for seed funding proposals for cooperation with partners in the Global South. Please contact  with any questions.

Applications for calls (seed funding for UTS) are to be sent exclusively via email to . Selection will be conducted together with university management as usual.
 

International Scientific Cooperation

Questions concerning visiting scholars, joint PhDs, and other aspects of international scientific cooperation are to be sent to 

Please note that such inquiries relating to select Global South countries should be directed to International Projects 

You can find the responsible team and contact person for individual countries of the Global South at: https://www.naturwissenschaften.tu-berlin.de/fileadmin/f2_internationalesfak2/GS_DAC-Liste_Laenderzustaendigkeiten_TUB.pdf

All scheduled meetings with partner institutions are to be held online where possible.

Preparatory School

In-person teaching at the Preparatory School has been canceled. Lessons are to be continued using electronic media as far as possible. Efforts are being made to maintain course times and schedules in the transition to electronic lessons.

Oral final exams will take place according to the guidelines of the Robert Koch Institute; semester exams have been canceled.

Due to the current situation caused by the coronavirus, regular office hours for general advising and for MINT language courses for refugees have been canceled until further notice.

The Preparatory School is available for general advising by email at  or phone at +49 30 314-72720. We can be reached by phone Monday to Thursday, 8:00 to 15:00 and Fridays, 8:00 to 13:00.

The Preparatory School is available for questions regarding the MINT language courses for refugees by email at  or phone at +49 30 314-26519 Phone advising is open Monday to Friday, 9:00 to 12:00.

Information letter from 16 March 2020

Monday, 16. March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Our current utmost priority is to reduce social contact to a minimum to avoid spreading the coronavirus. The following regulations are intended to contribute to this aim and enable staff to work from home, as technology and the nature of their work permit.

We ask all management as well as staff to consider together whether working from home is possible and can be implemented.

To this end, the TU Berlin Crisis Committee asks
a) that the conditions and instructions listed below are adhered to, should work from home be possible.
b) that all managers enable flexible individual solutions which meet our priority of “minimizing social contact”. Possible models may include half of the team working in the morning and the other half in the evening. We ask that you remain flexible when finding possible solutions.

The following regulations regarding work from home apply until further notice:

  1. Decision of the direct Manager
    Due to the current exceptional situation, the respective direct manager is responsible for decisions regarding the granting and scope of work from home. Human Resources will not be reviewing or approving any decisions. 
  2. Employment contracts remain unchanged
    Should staff work from home, their employment contracts remain unaltered in their current state. Employees are only freed from their obligation to work in their respective place of work for the duration of the exception approving their work from home.
  3. Joint agreement on the scope of responsibilities
    The employee and manager are to jointly determine the type and scope of duties to be completed from home. Work packages, scopes for action, and the means and extent of accessibility are to be clearly agreed upon by the employee and manager. 
    Tasks can be completed with or without technical aids and online or offline from home. It will not be possible for every employee to fully work from home. We ask that direct managers make individual considerations about which tasks can be completed from home and to implement these accordingly.
  4. Working times when working from home
    Collective agreements and statutory provisions as well as the existing TU Berlin/Staff Council agreements and circulars on working hours, rest breaks and incapacity for work apply.
    Pursuant to the flextime framework in the TU Berlin/Staff Council agreement on flexible working hours, employees are permitted to freely determine their working hours when working from home. When recording your working hours, please enter “Homeoffice” under “Comments” in column J. You are not required to enter your start and end times. Employees are to arrange the times they are to be available when working from home with their supervisors.
  5. Tools, data privacy, and occupational and health protection when working from home
    Employees are permitted to use both official and personal tools when working from home. Please ensure data privacy and security (see info sheet “Data privacy and IT security when working from home”). 
    Employees are also protected by statutory accident insurance when working from home. Protection extends to occupational accidents and occupational illnesses. According to Section 8 (1) sentence 1 SGB VII, occupational accidents are accidents suffered by insured persons as a result of an activity which constitutes the basis for insurance coverage.
  6. Persons with pre-existing medical conditions
    In work areas with limited opportunities to allow employees to work from home, we ask the immediate supervisor to decide who can work from home and to what extent as prudent. We ask that this is made possible in particular for employees with pre-existing conditions or employees living with persons with pre-existing conditions. This especially includes the risk groups listed by the Robert Koch Institute: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogruppen.html 
  7. Maintenance of University operations
    In order to maintain University operations, certain work cannot be completed from home. This work must continue to be performed on site by the respective employees. A provision shall be made here which ensures the minimum operation of the University and which also takes into account the interests of the persons concerned with regard to protection against infection. 
  8. Tips for working from home
    How do I implement mobile working?

 

There are different options for mobile working:

 

If you work with personal data:
You should only work using a VPN: see https://www.tu-berlin.de/?57961 

All others can use the
o cloud:
https://tubcloud.tu-berlin.de  or https://www.tu-berlin.de/?131359 
o Accessing email online
https://exchange.tu-berlin.de/owa  or https://www.tu-berlin.de/?97930 
o AFS:
https://webafs.tu-berlin.de  or https://www.tu-berlin.de/?78548 

 

You can find further services at https://www.campusmanagement.tu-berlin.de/menue/dienste/ 

Stay up to date:

Call forwarding

Where possible, employees working from home are requested to forward calls from their work phone to their personal landlines or cell phones where they can be reached. If the number you wish to have your calls forwarded to has a different area code than 030, meaning it is outside of the Berlin landline network, please send an email with your TU Berlin phone number to Torsten Wünsch (torsten.wuensch@tu-berlin.de).

Instructions for activating/deactivating call forwarding

For conventional connections:

  1. Lift the receiver of your work phone and dial 321.
  2. Enter the number you wish your calls to be forwarded to (if entering an external number, such as a cell phone number, dial 0 first, e.g. 00176...).
  3. Wait for the acknowledgment signal tone and hang up.
  4. To deactivate call forwarding, lift the receiver and dial 421. Wait for the acknowledgment signal tone and hang up.

Please note that you cannot deactivate call forwarding from outside the University.

For connections using VoIP:

You can find the instructions at https://doku.voip.tu-berlin.de/german/8851/ 
-> Menü Anruffunktionen -> Rufumleitung
In English: https://doku.voip.tu-berlin.de/english/8851/index.html 
-> Call  Functions -> Forwarding all Calls
This documentation is only accessible within the TU Berlin network and cannot be accessed from an external computer or account.

If you are cannot or do not wish to forward your calls, we ask that you create call forwarding chains within your team ending with an employee’s voice mailbox requesting the caller to send an email. The team member who activates this voice mailbox recording is requested to send an email to Torsten Wünsch ( ) with their name, TU phone number, and email address (must end with @tu-berlin.de) More information is available at https://www.facilities.tu-berlin.de/iv_c_fachtechnik/menue/organisation/schwachstromtechnik_fernmeldetechnik 

Using the TUB Cloud

Please consider in advance which documents you want to upload to the TUB Cloud to later access when working from home or outside the office. You are not permitted to upload documents with sensitive data (such as personal data). You can find further information at: https://www.campusmanagement.tu-berlin.de/tubcloud/ 

Phone conferencing

Please plan meetings with your team and/or colleagues working from home using phone conferencing:
https://www.campusmanagement.tu-berlin.de/menue/dienste/kommunikation_internet/tubmeeting/ 

If these services are temporarily unavailable due to the foreseeable high demand, please reschedule your use for off-peak hours. Thank you!

Deputization regulations

Managers are required to determine clear deputization regulations.

Activating your out-of-office message

Please remember to set up or activate your out-of-office message and to name your respective deputy in the message.

Office/fridge

Please also remember to remove food and perishable items from the office if you are to begin working from home.

Info sheet on data privacy and IT security when working from home (last updated: March 2020)

Please use sensitive data as little as possible.

The most important rule is to take only official analog and digital data that is absolutely necessary from your place of work. As a rule, work with personal or otherwise sensitive data should be carried out in your place of work. If necessary for official purposes, resources that are only available in analog form can be digitized in advance by the employee. Data and the TU network can be accessed via the tubCloud (quick access: 131359) or VPN (quick access: 57961). In exceptional cases, encrypted data can be saved to an encrypted USB stick. Please contact your local IT support if you require assistance.

Sharing information with third parties is prohibited

All data, particularly personal and confidential data, must be protected by the employee in such a way as to prevent an unauthorized gateway and unauthorized access to data and documents. Data, information, and documents may neither be shared with third parties nor made available for viewing by third parties (e.g. on your computer screen or printouts).

Protect your data and devices

If you use personal hardware to conduct official work, please use a separate user profile for official work. Clean this regularly of (temporarily) stored official data. Do not leave your mobile workplace unattended. Mobile terminal devices should be locked (including when not in use) and documents are to be stored securely. Passwords should be entered unobserved by strangers and never stored locally. You are not permitted to share your devices with third parties. For all services not accessible from outside TU Berlin, please use the VPN if you are dependent on it for current work, as this makes unauthorized access for third parties more difficult.
To conserve the limited available capacities, please terminate the connection as soon as possible after finishing your work.

Use trusted software products

To the extent possible, use the same products as in your official workplace. Licenses are generally available from Campus Management. In order to use official emails, calendars, or address books, please exclusively use the products recommended by Campus Management (quick access: 97930). When using tablets and smartphones for official purposes, please use apps which comply with data privacy regulations.

Keep your technology secure

Regularly update operating systems and all installed programs/apps on your mobile devices. Install virus protection software with regular updates and a personal firewall (for example SOPHOS Av, quick access: 13499). Delete apps and de-install software you (no longer) need. Make sure that you use the separately installed administration profile for operating system or application software updates. Configure your device’s security settings according to the recommendations of Campus Management and the data protection officer as well as data protection regulations. Please contact your local IT support if you require assistance.

Information letter from 15 March 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

As stated in the letter from the TU Berlin Crisis Committee of 13 March 2020, the current situation calls for research operations to be restricted in an effort to avoid as much social contact as possible. The exact wording in the letter is:

“At the discretion of the respective institution, research operations may continue in justified individual cases as long as they are in accordance with the mandatory and recommended measures here.”
On behalf of the TU Berlin Crisis Committee, I would like to ask you to make the following important preparations without delay:

  1. If you have equipment, technical facilities, laboratories, or workshops (in particular, facilities requiring approval, e.g. which observe genetic engineering or radiation protection guidelines), in which certain equipment cannot be shut down and/or decommissioned quickly, please immediately make preparations for such decommissioning. This is to ensure that in an emergency, not much time is needed to shut down the equipment in accordance with the regulations. Please start taking the necessary measures immediately!
  2. If you have equipment, technical facilities, laboratories, or workshops with equipment, which require regular on-site monitoring despite being shut down (e.g. re-filling cooling agents), please immediately send the Crisis Committee the following information: 
    - Type and scope of necessary Monitoring 
    - Monitor information (name, position, email address) 
    - Please send this information in an email with the subject line “Forschungsbetrieb” to your responsible faculty administration head (In the case of ZELMI, please send the information to the head of Faculty II administration). This will provide the heads of the faculty administrations with an overview of the facilities in their faculties, which they will then collect and summarize and Forward to the Crisis Committee. 
  3. If you are able to monitor the facilities and provide maintenance remotely, please adapt your operations to do so immediately. 
  4. If there are other special cases to be considered within your research operations, please also provide specific information about these without delay. 
  5. If there are no responsible employees in the building, are there any hazardous areas which are NOT to be entered by the building technicians/facility managers in case of damage (e.g. burst water pipes)? If yes, please also inform us of this with specific details and state who is to be informed. Send this information in an email with the subject line “Forschungsbetrieb/gefährdete Bereiche” to the head of your faculty administration as well. 
  6. As all official travel is no longer approved with immediate effect, scientific investigations and experiments outside of TU Berlin (prototype testing, surveys, etc.) may no longer take place. Please postpone or cancel such work. 
  7. Pursuant to the stated immediate measures, work in open space offices and laboratories is to be avoided and ceased immediately.

I ask all superiors to make these measures possible and to implement them immediately. They are to be observed by all TU employees.

Please inform yourself in short regular intervals on the TU Berlin website with information about the measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

If you have fundamental questions about regulations at TU Berlin, please send them to the Crisis Committee at .  

Please help us minimize the spread of the virus.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

p.p. Lars Oeverdieck

Crisis Committee

Information letter from 13 March 2020

Information letter from 11 March 2020

Wednesday, 11. March 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Members of TU Berlin,

In light of the situation resulting from the spread of the coronavirus, we as a university are obliged to respond responsibly, prudently, and with consideration for the future. Our aims are to stem the spread of the virus, gain time, and adjust our actions accordingly.

On 11 March 2020, the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research adopted immediate measures in agreement with the state universities in the State of Berlin and on the advice of  health experts at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

These immediate measures and additional TU Berlin-specific measures are mandatory for all members of TU Berlin and are effective immediately until further notice.

I ask all TU members to act responsibly to minimize the spread of the virus. Doing so will help protect human lives. I also ask for your understanding and cooperation regarding the following binding regulations. They significantly affect our university life. They are, however, unavoidable and necessary. The Crisis Committee and many other TU members are currently making every effort to implement these measures and provide assistance with their implementation in individual areas.
Please direct all general questions about the virus, illness, and any possible contact with infected persons to the Berlin hotline and relevant public health authority. We are happy to answer questions specifically regarding the University and will make every effort to respond promptly. Please refer to the TU webpage about the coronavirus to remain up to date. The webpage includes updates from the Crisis Committee and further information including how to contact the Committee. 

Please do your part to implement these measures, help your colleagues, avoid large crowds, minimize your travel, and remain calm. The situation will require a creative response from all of us. I ask all management to demonstrate understanding and goodwill in solving this problem. Together we can overcome this situation.

Most sincerely,

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen
President of TU Berlin

Immediate measures for all Berlin universities

  1. The immediate cancellation of all conferences, conventions and other events during the current lecture-free period as well as for the lecture period of summer semester 2020 (until 20.07.2020). This also applies to events organized by third parties.
  2. The immediate cancellation of all courses requiring physical attendance being held in the current lecture-free period. Each university will examine the possibility of providing these as online Courses.
  3. The universities are required to evaluate on the basis of the guidelines provided by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) whether examinations scheduled for the period up until 20.07.20 can be conducted. Agreement concerning the conducting of state examinations is to be taken in conjunction with the relevant Berlin Senate Departments, namely those for Justice, Health, and Education. Ongoing and scheduled internships which are components of degree programs are to be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the institutions or organizations where the internships are taking place.
  4. The start of the summer semester lecture period for universities is to be postponed until 20.04.2020. The universities are to prepare measures to deal with any necessary postponements of classes and examinations or shortening of semesters (such as providing block seminars or online formats). 
  5. Other functions such as research operations, administration and libraries are to be maintained for the time being. Regarding libraries, TU Berlin is implementing another Concept.
  6. All students, researchers and staff of academic institutions returning from regions designated as risk areas by the RKI are required to self-impose a 14-day quarantine.
  7. Official trips as well as study and research stays in regions designated as risk areas by the RKI are not being approved.
  8. The universities and research institutions are required to communicate applicable measures to their members and to adjust these measures on an ongoing basis to reflect changes to the situation. If they have not already done so, the universities and research institutions are to adjust their procedures for dealing with pandemics.

Special measures are being adopted in cooperation with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Studierendenwerk Berlin.   

Further immediate measures of TU Berlin

In addition, the universities are called upon to introduce further specific measures. The TU Berlin Crisis Committee has adopted the following additional measures to be implemented:

1. Closure of libraries and PC rooms at TU Berlin

TU Berlin will close all libraries and PC rooms from 11 March 2020. Detailed information is to follow. This applies until further notice.

2. Information regarding exams

Detailed information regarding exams and examination dates will follow shortly.

3. Information for parents and guardians of children attending primary schools and childcare facilities closed due to SARS-CoV-2

If the child in your care (children up to and including 12 years of age) is ill, the usual regulations apply.

Parents or guardians of children who are not ill but whose childcare facility or school has been closed are granted paid leave for 10 working days.

Should you wish to take advantage of this option, please apply in writing to Human Resources with proof of closure and details of the expected period of closure. Please submit this application electronically!

You can remain at home as soon as you have submitted your application. You do not require prior approval.

These regulations apply accordingly for staff with civil servant status.
You are further requested to inform your supervisor and remain in regular contact with them.

4. Salary payments during quarantines ordered by the relevant public health authority

The usual regulations regarding pay in the event of illness apply for staff placed in quarantine who are actually ill themselves and officially registered as being ill (salary payment for a period of six weeks with statutory sick pay from the seventh week).

For staff placed in quarantine only as a preventative measure the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease (IfSG) applies.

In this case, staff receive payment in line with loss of earnings payments. This will be paid by the employer for the first six weeks. Loss of earnings payment is the equivalent of an employee’s net salary. From the start of the seventh week, this payment will be made by the responsible authority on application by the affected individual. Payment is the same as statutory sick pay in accordance with Section 47 (1) SGB V, provided loss of earnings does not exceed the contribution assessment ceiling. 

5. Documentation

Should you fall ill with COVID19 and remain ill for more than three calendar days, you remain obligated to submit a sick note. This also applies in cases where, in addition to sick leave, a quarantine has been ordered by the responsible health authority.
In the case of such quarantine without simultaneous sick leave due to COVID-19, the persons concerned must submit proof of the order of quarantine by presenting the letter issued by the health authority.

The sick note and/or letter from the health authority are to be immediately submitted via email (scan or photo) to the responsible personnel team. Please retain the original copies.
The rules and regulations in the circular “Sick notes and unexcused absence” of 29.8.2013 continue to apply for sick notes issued for other reasons.

Please inform both your personnel team and your supervisor.

6. Official and non-official travel

TU Berlin is not approving any official trips to regions designated as risk areas (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html).

We also urgently request you to make as few official trips as possible. Please carefully consider whether any such trips are strictly necessary at this time. If not, then please cancel the trip. Cancellation costs will be paid by TU Berlin. 

We further urgently request all TU members not to undertake any trips or only travel if absolutely necessary. This also applies to TU students.

Lastly:
What to do in case of a suspected corona infection? What are the symptoms?
https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus.html 

 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee, 11 March 2020

Information letter from 3 March 2020

Tuesday, 03. March 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We would like to update you concerning the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

a) The TU Berlin’s Crisis Committee is currently examining whether it is possible for events such as congresses, conferences and symposia scheduled to take place at the University in March and April 2020 to go ahead as planned. We have written to all event organizers in this regard. We have also contacted the relevant district authority. Click here to read the Robert Koch Institute’s risk assessment:
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/

If you are planning to stage an event yourself, we kindly request you to look closely at these criteria.  

b) On 3 March 2020, we were informed that three TU Berlin students have been instructed by the public health authority to remain at home for a period of, probably, 14 days. We are in contact with these individuals as well as those colleagues who most probably came into contact with two of the three students. TU Berlin is well prepared for any further cases. The Crisis Committee has developed scenarios and is in regular contact with the public health authorities and the Berlin Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research.

c) We have also received some inquiries from members of the University who are required to remain at home due to the closure of schools and childcare facilities as a result of the coronavirus. The following should be observed in this respect:

  • If the child under your care is sick, then the usual regulations apply.
  • If the child under your care is not sick, but the childcare facility or school has been closed, then you should use your flexitime hours, or apply for leave or special leave.

d) We would like to reiterate the importance of following hygiene instructions. A good example is provided here: https://www.infektionsschutz.de/mediathek/infografiken.html  

Please inform your colleagues of this. Respirator masks and disinfecting agents – as the recommendations state – are of less purpose than a strict adherence to hygiene measures, such as washing hands, etc.

e) Please also keep yourself updated regarding risk areas: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html 

f) We further ask you to take care not to allow fear, uncertainty or hysteria to lead to prejudice when dealing with other people. TU Berlin calls upon its members to continue to take a firm stand against all forms of racism throughout the period of the COVID-19 virus.

Please also refer to the information provided by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin: https://www.charite.de/klinikum/themen_klinikum/faq_liste_zum_coronavirus/ 

The following is taken from information provided by Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin:
What should people living in Berlin do if they suspect they may have caught the virus?

The Berlin Senate Department for Health, Care and Equality has set up a hotline for residents who are concerned they may have caught the virus. The Berlin Senate’s Health Department advises the following:

  • people who have been in contact with a confirmed case within the last 14 days, as well as
  • people who have visited one of the risk areas within the last 14 days and have symptoms (ranging from a slight cold to pneumonia) should stay at home and notify the relevant public health authority by telephone. The public health officer will decide whether a test for SARS-CoV-2 or isolation at home is necessary based on the criteria of the Robert Koch Institute and the individual situation of the person requesting information.
  • People who have visited one of the risk areas within the last 14 days or have been in contact with someone who has visited a risk area and do not notice any symptoms, can contact their family doctor, who will decide whether a test for SARS-CoV-2 is necessary. All contact should first be made by telephone; direct contact with other people is to be avoided.
  • Only patients with severe symptoms should visit an emergency department. The department should be contacted by telephone in advance and notified of a possible case of COVID-19.

Please also refer to the detailed advice provided by the Robert Koch Institute.

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Information letter from 28. February 2020

Friday, 28. February 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear TU Members,
 
We would like to update you with new information about the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2).
 
New risk areas

 
As of 26.2.2020, the Robert Koch Institute has listed the following regions as risk areas:
 
In China: Hubei province (including the city of Wuhan) and the cities Wenzhou, Hangzhou, Ningbo, Taizhou in the Zhejiang province.
In Iran: Qom province
In Italy: The province of Lodi in the Lombardy region and the city of Vò in the province of Padua in the Veneto region.
In South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do province (North Gyeongsang)
 
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html
 
If you are planning to travel to a risk area, we urgently request you not to undertake this journey or to postpone it until further notice. Until further notice, approval is not being given for TU official trips to these areas.
 
Adherence to hygiene measures
 
We also request that you adhere to the following hygiene measures:
 
The most important rules of hygiene:

  • Turn away from others if you have to cough or sneeze. Keep a distance of at least one meter between you and others.
  • Only use paper tissues once! Throw used tissues away in a garbage can with a lid.
  • Sneeze or cough into your arm if you do not have a tissue.
  • Important: Thoroughly wash your hands after wiping your nose, sneezing, or coughing.
  • Please wash your hands thoroughly multiple times a day.

Source: WHO, Ministry of Health
You can find other detailed tips at:
https://www.infektionsschutz.de/hygienetipps.html
 
 
Information is key!
 
Please inform your colleagues and follow the updates from the Robert Koch Institute, Charité, and Ministry of Health.
You can find further information for TU members at: www.tu-berlin.de/menue/home/
 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee
Februar 28, 2020

Technische Universität Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
Email: 

Information letter from 19. February 2020

Wednesday, 19. February 2020

Ladies and Gentlemen and Members of TU Berlin,

Every day there are new developments regarding the COVID-19 virus (Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2) and its spread. We are writing to you once again today in this context with the following urgent recommendations:

Information for persons planning to travel to a risk area

If you are planning to travel to a risk area, we would urgently request you not to undertake this journey or to postpone it until further notice. Until further notice, approval is not being given for TU official trips to these areas. The areas in question are those classified as risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute and those regions for which the Federal Foreign Office provides travel and safety instructions relating to the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.

Information provided by the Robert Koch Institute:
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/nCoV.html

Information provided by the Federal Foreign Office:
www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/reise-und-sicherheitshinweise/letzteaktualisierungen

Further Information:
https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenpolitik/themen/coronavirus/2298448 

Information for people currently in risk areas who are planning to visit Berlin: Please postpone your trip or visit to Berlin until a later date
We urgently request future exchange students and newly admitted students currently residing in risk areas and who are planning to visit Berlin to postpone their journey until further notice. This also applies to guests or anyone planning to visit Berlin to attend a conference.

Information for TU members and TU students who currently find themselves in a risk area: Please consider an immediate return
We advise TU members and TU students currently in risk areas to end their stay and return to Germany without delay. Please contact the public health office in your home country, preferably before your departure.

Information for persons who have recently been in a risk area: If possible, please remain at home for the first 14 days after your return to Germany.
If you have returned to Berlin or Germany from a risk area in recent days, we request you to remain at home for 14 days as a precautionary measure and to inform the relevant public health office (see below for information).

These recommendations apply for the duration of the (partial) travel warning issued by the Federal Foreign Office.

Should, as a result of these developments and recommendations, persons affected encounter difficulties regarding their studies or research projects, then they should inform their supervisors of the situation by email or telephone. We will work together to find a solution.

 
We expressly point out that our information is important for anyone
- who has recently been in a risk area,
- who has recently had direct contact with a person either from or who has been in a risk area
- who is planning to travel to an affected region or
- anyone, irrespective of their nationality, who wishes to travel from an affected region to Germany or Berlin in the near future.

Hotlines
The Senate department for health, care and equality has been operating a hotline since 28 January 2020 where anyone living in Berlin who feels they may have become infected can call for advice.

The Berlin hotline number is +49 30 9028-2828 and is open daily from 8:00 – 20:00. Alternatively, you can contact the emergency standby doctor at 116 117. This service is available 24/7. The Berlin Senate Health Administration recommends that you seek a diagnostic confirmation if
- you have been in a risk area within the last 14 days
- you have had direct contact with a person who has been in a risk area
- you have had direct contact to a person with a confirmed diagnosis.

You can contact the Federal Ministry for Health from Monday to Thursday from 8:00 until 18:00 and on Friday from 08:00 until 12:00. Coronavirus hotline: +49 3 346 465-100. 

Should one of the criteria for a diagnostic confirmation referred to above apply to you, then please remain at home and inform your public health office, who will perform a further diagnostic confirmation.
You can find out how to contact your public health office at: https://tools.rki.de/PLZTool/en-GB  

As with other respiratory viruses, an infection with the novel coronavirus can cause symptoms such as coughing, rhinitis, sore throat, and fever with some affected persons also experiencing diarrhea. In some patients the virus is associated with a more serious progression resulting in breathing problems and pneumonia. Due to the existence of confirmed cases of coronavirus where the affected persons displayed none of the typical symptoms, we recommend you seek a diagnostic confirmation if you have no symptoms (cough, fever, respiratory problems) but do fulfill one of the three criteria referred to above.

To prevent the spread of the virus, we recommend that you do not seek further medical care (family doctor, hospital) without making an appointment in advance by telephone.

Information about the virus is also available from Charité –Universitätsmedizin Berlin: https://virologie-ccm.charite.de/en/ 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee

Office of Communication, Events and Alumni

Technische Universität Berlin
Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
Email:  

Berlin Senate hotline

The Senate department for health, care and equality has been operating a hotline since 28 January 2020 where anyone living in Berlin who feels they may have become infected can call for advice. 

The hotline number is (030) 9028-2828 and is open daily from 8:00 – 20:00.

The hotline is operated by experts from the state agency for health and social issues, the health offices of the city boroughs as well as the Charité hospital and is organized by the Senate department for health.

The hotline is intended to help determine if a person’s suspicion of infection is founded or not. Anyone with pneumonia, a cough, fever or experiencing shortness of breath AND who has been in the region of risk in China or who has had contact with a person from this region OR anyone who has had contact with a confirmed case should be considered at risk.

Anyone at risk should have themselves tested for the novel coronavirus.

Further Information: