Information regarding the coronavirus

Status: 03.04.2020, 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".

Emergency operation at Leibniz-HKI from 20.03.2020, 18.00 h

The current federal and municipal measures to reduce the risk of infection have drastic effects on the operation of the Leibniz HKI. Only consistent avoidance of personal contact ("social distancing")can protect our health system from impending overloading and you personally from illness.

Against this background, the Leibniz-HKI Executive Board orders that the regular institute operation with on-site presence will be suspended for the time being from Friday, 20.03.2020, 18.00 hrs and that all employees will be working from home.

The department and group leaders have appointed persons who will maintain all essential services and functions at the institute. This concerns among others

  • Goods receiving department
  • Facility management and laboratory infrastructure
  • Animal and fermentation facilities
  • National Reference Centre for Invasive Fungal Infections

The following telephone numbers remain busy:

  • General inquiries: 03641 532 1000
  • Personnel office: 03641 532 1018
  • Facility management and laboratory infrastructure: 0170 7450490
  • IT access: 03641 532 0111
  • Goods receiving department: 03641 532 1030

Orders are no longer possible with immediate effect. Goods arriving after 23.03.2020 will be stored in the goods receiving department.

Please also note:

  • Business trips are currently not approved.
  • Holiday trips to the risk areas defined by the city of Jena are not approved.
  • All teaching activities are completely suspended until further notice.
  • All events at Leibniz-HKI are cancelled until further notice.

The situation will be constantly reassessed by the Executive Board and the duration of the emergency operation will be adjusted to the situation. As things stand today, the order is expected to remain in effect until 19 April 2020, so please check our website regularly and also notify each other of the current status.

Please note the following practical information

  • Configure a call diversion to 0110 on your service telephone, where an automatic announcement is made.
  • Add a note to your mail signature, e.g:

    Auf Grund der SARS-CoV-2-Pandemie bin ich derzeit nur stark eingeschränkt erreichbar. Es kann zu Verzögerungen bei der Beantwortung von Emails kommen. Bitte informieren Sie sich auf zur aktuellen Lage.

    Due to the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic I am currently only available to a very limited extent. There may be delays in answering e-mails. Please inform yourself on about the current situation.

  • Stop any ongoing experiments and leave your workplace clean and tidy.
  • Shut down your computers.
  • Check your webmail access regularly
  • Use the time working from home to complete paperwork and organize your professional activities after resuming normal operations..

For work from home

  • Regulations for occupational safety and accident prevention must be observed.
  • Availability for the head of the respective structural unit during normal working hours must be guaranteed.
  • Anyone who needs a day off to deal with personal matters must take leave. This leave must be entered into ZEUS after returning to the workplace.
  • Sickness notifications are to be made to the personnel office even during the period of emergency operation; sick notes are to be submitted to the personnel office as soon as possible.

Please inform the personnel office immediately if an infection with SARS-CoV-2 is detected in you or a direct contact person.

We also ask you for social cohesion, despite "social distancing". We can only master a challenge like this together. Please show consideration for each other and support those who need help.

Guidelines of the Federal Government for restricting social contacts

Meeting of the Federal Chancellor with the heads of government of the Länder

The rapid spread of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in Germany in recent days is worrying. We must do everything possible to prevent an uncontrolled increase in the number of cases and to keep our health system efficient. Reducing the number of contacts is crucial for this. 
The Federal Government and the Länder agree on an extension of the guidelines on the restriction of social contacts adopted on 12 March:

  1. Citizens are urged to reduce contacts with people outside the members of their own households to an absolutely necessary minimum.
  2. In public, wherever possible, a minimum distance of at least 1.5 metres must be maintained from persons other than those mentioned under I.
  3. Staying in public areas is only permitted alone, with one another person not living in the household or in the circle of members of one's own household.
  4. The way to work, emergency care, shopping, visits to the doctor, participation in meetings, necessary appointments and examinations, help for other or individual sports and exercise in the fresh air as well as other necessary activities remain of course possible.
  5. Groups of people celebrating in public places, in apartments and private facilities are unacceptable in view of the serious situation in our country. Violations of the contact restrictions should be monitored by the regulatory authorities and the police and sanctions should be imposed in case of violations.
  6. Catering establishments will be closed. This does not include the delivery and collection of take-away food for consumption at home.
  7. Personal hygiene service providers such as hairdressers, beauty salons, massage parlours, tattoo studios and similar establishments will be closed because physical proximity is essential in this area. Medically necessary treatments remain possible.
  8. In all establishments and especially those open to the public, it is important to comply with hygiene regulations and implement effective protective measures for employees and visitors.
  9. These measures should be valid for at least two weeks.

The Federal Government and the Länder will cooperate closely in implementing these restrictions and assessing their effectiveness. Further regulations based on regional peculiarities or epidemiological situations in the Länder or districts remain possible.

The Federal Government and the Länder are aware that these are very drastic measures. However, they are necessary and they are proportionate with regard to the legal interest of public health to be protected.

The Federal Chancellor and the heads of the Länder governments would like to thank in particular those working in the health system, in the public service and in the industries that maintain daily life, as well as all citizens for their sense of responsibility and their willingness to abide by these rules in order to further slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Important Links
Podcasts and Media
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.

Risk areas

Currently, there are several areas in which there is an accumulation of infections. A list of risk areas which is constantly updated by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) can be found here.

The city of Jena has extended the list of risk areas designated by the RKI by means of a general decree. This extended list applies to the Leibniz HKI (see download area). It currently comprises:

  • Bavaria
  • Baden-Württemberg
  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • North Rhine-Westphalia
  • Rhineland-Palatinate
  • all countries outside the Federal Republic of Germany

The current travel and security information from the Federal Foreign Office can be found here.

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 child care facilities or schools due to orders by the health authorities or because the school/child care facility was closed due to the corona virus, can be released from work for up to ten working days with continued payment of the salary within the framework of a goodwill arrangement of the Leibniz-HKI if otherwise care cannot be guaranteed. These ten days are not taken into account for the payment of sickness benefit if the child falls ill. As far as it is possible to work in home office in addition to child care, this possibility must be taken advantage of.
  • 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,, 03641 532 1335.