Information regarding the coronavirus

Status: 24.04.2020, 08.00 h

The state of information on the coronavirus leads to questions and uncertainties also among the members of Leibniz-HKI. On this website, Leibniz-HKI provides information and lists current measures in relation to the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).

In general, a prudent and level-headed behavior is important in the current situation.

Therefore, please inform yourself regularly about the current status on the websites of state authorities and institutions listed under "Important Links".

The Leibniz-HKI is in normal operation with pandemic-related personnel plans and hygiene measures

You can find detailed information here:

Important documents
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Quarantine measures

Individuals who enter Thuringia from a state outside the Federal Republic of Germany are obliged to go directly to their own home or other suitable accommodation immediately after entry and to stay there permanently for a period of 14 days after entry. These persons are not permitted to receive visits from persons who do not belong to their household during this period. Furthermore, these persons are obliged to contact their competent authority without delay and to inform it of the existence of their quarantine obligations. They are also obliged to inform the competent authority immediately if symptoms of the disease appear.

Since 10 April 2020, the Robert Koch Institute has no longer designated any international risk areas or particularly affected areas in Germany.

Hygienic measures

It is strongly recommended to follow the usual hygienic measures which also protect against an influenza infection:

  • Refrain from shaking hands.
  • Maintain a good hand hygiene, and wash your hands with sufficient soap and water.
  • Use commercially available agents for hand disinfection. If these are not available, the WHO recommends that you use one of the following formulations:
  • Observe the coughing/sneezing etiquette (arm bend instead of the hand).
  • Use tissues only once, and dispose of them safely.
  • Keep a distance of 1 to 2 meters from other persons, and in particular, avoid close contact with persons who have a respiratory infection.

Further information on the usual hygienic measures can be found here.

Childcare

In order to guarantee the care of children required during the closure of day care centres and schools, the following possibilities are basically available to employers. A solution suitable for the individual case is determined by the head of the structural unit.

  • Extension of the working time corridor preferably from 06:00 to 21:00 hours. In this way, childcare can be better shared with the partner by shifting working hours or shift work. The Working Hours Act must be observed with regard to maximum working hours per day and break times,
  • Part-time agreements to reduce the regular weekly working time,
  • Home office, if this is possible,
  • Reduction of remaining vacation from 2019 or use of vacation days for 2020, agreements can be made on granting half vacation days if required,
  • Utilization of unpaid leave; since 30 March 2020, the legislator has offered the possibility of compensating for the loss of earnings resulting from the need for care due to the closure of a day care centre or school ordered by the authorities. 67% of the loss of earnings incurred will be reimbursed, up to a maximum of EUR 2,016 per month.
Frequently asked questions

What happens if my child cannot attend childcare or school because of the corona virus?

  • If the child is confirmed to be ill with COVID-19, the above requirements for persons who have been in contact with a sick person must be observed. In case of any other illness of the child, the usual regulations apply (see more information in the Serviceportal - under work release due to illness of a child).
  • Employees who have to stay at home to care for their children because the children are no longer allowed to attend childcare facilities or schools due to orders from the health authorities or because the school/care facility has been closed due to coronavirus, contact the head of their structural unit. He/she will take appropriate measures to balance childcare with the obligations of the employment relationship.
  • The aforementioned regulations apply to children up to the age of 12. The staff will be informed at short notice of any changes made by the legislator in the context of the current infection situation. The Leibniz-HKI will use its discretionary powers in interpreting the applicable legal regulations and will strive for goodwill solutions in individual cases.

What happens if I am quarantined or cannot travel home?

  • Employees under quarantine in Germany (only if ordered by the health authorities) are released from work with continued payment of their salary.
  • Employees under quarantine outside Germany (only if ordered by the security authorities in the sense of quarantine measures) are released from work with continued payment of their salary.
  • If employees on vacation are affected by quarantine measures, the vacation is terminated from this point in time and "replaced" by a release from work.
  • Employees who are unable to return home from abroad due to other safety regulations, are released from work and continue to receive their salary. If the return journey is not possible for other reasons, further steps must be agreed with the Personnel office.
  • A closure of the institute initiated by the Executive Board has no influence on the continued payment of remuneration. The payment of salaries is technically guaranteed.

Should I cancel an approved business trip?

This depends on whether the business trip is to a risk area. Approvals for business trips to risk areas will not be issued until further notice, and any existing ones have been revoked. Business trips to other areas are still possible on your own responsibility. Due to the dynamic development, recommendations for the future are currently not possible. If business trips that have already been booked have to be cancelled for reasons for which the business traveler is not responsible, the costs can be reimbursed (only the business part if a private trip is combined with a business trip). Please note that you are obliged to take all possible steps to keep the costs as low as possible (e.g. cancel in good time and not just before the trip is due to start).

Should I take out a travel cancellation insurance for a future business trip?

Unfortunately, we are not allowed to reimburse the costs of a travel cancellation insurance due to the regulations of the Thüringer Reisekostengesetz (Thuringian Travel Expenses Act). Moreover, such an insurance would normally only pay in the event of your own serious illness. Not insured are concerns about illness or travel to countries for which the Foreign Office has issued travel warnings. Many providers also rule out epidemic or pandemic scenarios. It is recommended – according to current knowledge – to purchase fully flexible or cancelable tickets. The additional costs incurred can be claimed as part of the reimbursement of travel expenses. Please note on the travel expense report that the booking of the more expensive ticket was necessary due to the dynamic development of the spread of the corona virus.

What does an employee have to consider if he or she falls ill with COVID-19?

Sick employees regularly call in sick. The reason for an inability to work is a private matter, but the employer's duty of care may give rise to a claim to know whether someone is ill with COVID-19 in order to protect colleagues from infection. Please help to contain the spread of the virus if possible, and disclose any infection to your employer.

What happens to the workplace of an employee who is confirmed to be ill with COVID-19?

The workplace of the employee (office, laboratory, etc.) must be closed immediately after knowledge of the confirmed illness, and further use is prohibited. This also applies to shared workplaces such as shared offices, etc. Before resuming use, surfaces must be cleaned with disinfectants. Please inform the officer for biological safety (Dr. Sina Gerbach, sina.gerbach@leibniz-hki.de, 03641 532 1335.