Announcements of the crisis unit

Announcements of the crisis unit

 

 

November 23, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit met today (November 23,2021) and would like to share these important announcements with you.

As you know, as of tomorrow Wednesday (November 24, 2021), only vaccinated, recovered or tested employees receive access to our buildings (3G regulation). This also means that whoever does not meet the 3G criteria will no longer have access to our campus. The compliance with this new 3G regulation is checked and documented by the institute managements and, if requested, provided to the authorities.

For those who do not meet the vaccinated or recovered critirea, and therefore need to present a valid test to gain entry, we are sorry to say that due to operational reasons we cannot monitor the correct execution of a self-test upon arrival on campus after all. Due to the fact that testing at a certified testing station is now free of charge in Stuttgart and the surrounding area, we ask you – until further notice – to please bring a test from a certified testing station each day you work on campus. This test should not be older than 24 hours at the time of entry. Please show this certificate to the person working at the reception for you to gain access to our campus.

In the longer run, we will try to establish the possibility to do monitored testing on campus, but we cannot guarantee anything at present. However, obtaining a certificate from a certified test station holds the advantage that you can also use public transport to get to campus, as the 3G rule now also applies in buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, long distance trains etc., in addition to the current mask requirement.

Please contact Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de) for FKF o Linda Behringer (linda.behringer@is.mpg.de) for IS if you should have any questions.

We thank you for your attention and wish you the best of health!

 

November 19, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit met on Friday, November 19, 2021, and would like to share these important announcements with you.

With the number of new infections with the SARS-CoV2-virus and the number of severe cases of the disease rapidly increasing, the federal and state governments on Thursday changed the current Infection Protection Act (since the epidemic situation of national scope expires on November 25, 2021). It implements new measures and restrictions to reduce the severity of the pandemic in Germany.

There are new regulations regarding the workplace as it is an area where close contact occurs on a regular basis. From Wednesday (November 24, 2021) onwards, working from home becomes mandatory where there are no operational reasons against it. Please speak to your supervisor how best you can work from home.

If you do come on campus, we as your employer are now obliged to make sure only vaccinated, recovered or tested employees receive access to our buildings (3G regulation). This also means that whoever does not meet the 3G criteria will no longer have access to our campus. The compliance with this new 3G regulation is checked and documented by the institute managements and, if requested, provided to the authorities. We therefore kindly ask each employee to inform us about their vaccination status.

To be able to compile a list of which employee meets which criteria (vaccinated, recovered, not vaccined, no information about status), each supervisor will appoint one person within their department, group or team. This person collects the names of as many team members as possible – ideally 100% of all team members – by Tuesday 23rd November at noon. Your supervisor will inform you who your team’s person is. This dedicated person will have to check the documents confirming the status: For the vaccination record, the original digital EU-Covid-certificate or the yellow vaccination booklet common in Germany is sufficient. For the recovery certificate the one issued by your family practitioner is sufficient. Please make sure you inform the person in your team as soon as possible.

Employees who have no valid vaccination (only vaccines approved by the Federal Government count for 2G: BioNTech, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson&Johnson), or do not wish to give details about their status, or have failed to inform their team’s dedicated person will have their house access cards switched off. They will only be able to access the campus with a negative test result not older than 24 hours, which consequently means there needs to be a test for each working day on campus.

The test can be from a certified testing station, but you can also do a test upon arrival on campus. If you do the on-site-test, please only access the building through the Heisenbergstr. 1 entrance. There, the person at reception will send the employee to do a rapid Corona test with our company doctor, Dr. Zehender’s team. Note that on-campus testing is only possible during the working hours of our company doctor: 8 am to 3 pm.

The negative test result must be presented to the reception immediately after the test procedure. Only then can the employee begin work on campus. Should an employee wish to start work at 7am for instance, a test from a certified testing station needs to be presented at the entrance.

On campus, note that all regulations regarding meetings remain unchanged, see email sent on November 15.

We encourage vaccinated and recovered employees to regularly test themselves before coming on campus.

We also ask all employees to adhere to the protective measures such as keeping a 1.5 meter distance, washing hands regularly, wearing a mask in all communal areas and regularly ventilating rooms.

The 3G rule was also introduced for travelling by public transport such as by buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, long distance trains, airplanes etc., in addition to the current mask requirement. If passengers are not vaccinated or have not recovered from an infection, they must show proof of a rapid negative Corona test result. They must carry proof of a negative test at all times. At the start of the journey, the test must not be older than 24 hours. The test certificate must be shown upon request.

Please contact Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de) for FKF o Linda Behringer (linda.behringer@is.mpg.de) for IS if you should have any questions.

We thank you for your attention and wish you the best of health!

 

September 24, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart would like to share the following announcements with you.

From September 10 onward, a new federal ordinance on work safety related to the Corona virus is in place. In addition, as from September 16 onward, new Corona regulations from the state of Baden-Württemberg are in place. Based on these two regulations we have updated our campus rules for Stuttgart:
 

1) Wearing masks:

As of now, there is one simple principle for the whole campus: As long as you can keep a distance of 1.5 m to the next person, you do not have to wear a mask.

There are however locations where wearing a mask is still mandatory:

  •  in all corridors,
  •  in restrooms, 
  • in the cafeteria (while not seated), 
  • in the elevators.

 Wherever the distance of 1.5 m can be maintained reliably, there is no need to wear a mask

  • in offices, 
  • in laboratories, 
  • in seminar rooms and in lecture halls, 
  • in workshops, 
  • outside area.


2) 3G status:

For all campus employees, the campus rules related to business activities are independent of whether employees have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19, or have been tested.

For all external guests, the 3G-rule applies on campus (“Geimpft, Genesen, Getestet”). All external guests must have a host, who ensures that they register at the entrance. In the questionnaire they will be asked if they are vaccinated, recovered or if they can prove a negative test.


3) Meetings and events:

Regular business-related meetings taking place on campus do no longer require a hygienic plan (for external guests participating at business meetings the 3G rule above applies.)

Events with more than five external participants as well as all meetings and events with an informal or private character (e.g. Ph.D. defense, barbecues, group outings) do still require a hygiene concept which has to be sent in advance to Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de) for FKF employees, or to Barbara Kettemann (kettemann@is.mpg.de) for MPI-IS, VAD and IMW employees.


4) Self tests:

We are still providing two self-tests per week for all staff members who do not work from home exclusively. Note that there is no obligation to do a self-test. Your group’s or department’s person responsible will make sure all employees have enough tests.


5) Cafeteria:

The Corona regulation Baden-Württemberg is defining the rules for our cafeteria:

  • For campus employees only the 1.5 m distance rule applies.
  • For external people the 3G-rule applies in addition as long as the hospitalisation rate in BW is below 8.0. At the moment this rate is at 1.83.
  • In the cafeteria, we will now allow three people per large table and one person per small table. With this arrangement, up to 120 persons can have their lunch at the same time in the cafeteria indoors. 
  • In order to spread out the attendance in the cafeteria, we encourage you to use the full period from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm for your lunch there. We have also asked our chef in the canteen to serve popular food not only at the beginning but rather spread from 11.30 am to 1.30 pm, so that also late eaters will have the chance to grab their favourite lunch.


6) Sports courses:

For our voluntary sports courses we apply the 3G-rule for all participants (external, internal, and instructors) according to the Corona-regulations of Baden-Württemberg.
 

7) Working from home:

While working from home in agreement with your supervisor continues to be an important measure to avoid personal contacts, we are convinced that with the above measures in addition to our previous vaccination campaign for all employees, our campus remains to be a safe place!

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health! 
 

For MPI-IS:

8) Withholding of salary payments in case of ordered quarantine.

Since 15.09.2021, compensation according to § 56 para. 1 IfSG will no longer be paid in Baden-Württemberg to persons who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, who have to be quarantined in connection with SARS-CoV-2 and therefore are subject to a loss of earnings. If an employee of the Institute has to go into quarantine and is not fully vaccinated, the salary payments for the period of quarantine will be withheld until the person concerned has been able to clarify with the relevant authority whether there may be a claim for compensation (e.g. due to a medical contraindication.)

The regulation applies to all affected employees who cannot perform their full scope of work from the location where they have been quarantined. 

 

June 21, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart would like to share the following announcements with you.

Firstly, we would like to say a big thank you to our company doctor Dr. Zehender and his team for successfully completing the first round of vaccinations today: 260 people have received their first shot. The second round of vaccinations will start in two weeks and will be completed in August. This is quite an achievement looking at other Max Planck Institutes and companies in the area. Chapeau!

From July 1 onward, with the end of the federal “emergency brake”, working from home is no longer mandatory. As a result, more people are likely to return to campus in the coming days and weeks.

But even if one has been fully vaccinated and it feels as though normal everyday life is resuming, SARS-CoV-2 and its Delta variant is spreading. We must do our share in helping avoid a fourth wave at the end of the summer, hence we still have to be cautious.

Thus working from home, in agreement with your supervisor, continues to be an important measure to reduce the risk of infection on campus. Please discuss with your supervisor whether you plan to be present on campus in the coming weeks. In that sense we today announce that some rules must remain the same, but some can be loosened as of tomorrow.

Firstly, we ask you to continue following the hygiene rules at our Institute at all times.

For those employees coming to campus, we ask you to please perform either one or two self-tests per week, depending on how many days you work onsite. Note that there is no obligation to do a self-test. Your group’s or department’s person responsible will make sure all employees have enough tests.

FKF: As per my email last week, the office occupancy rules are relaxed. As long as you keep a distance of 1.5 m to the next person, you are allowed to share an office – independent of the size of the office. If all those in an office are fully vaccinated or recovered, you can take off the mask. If possible, please make sure the room is well ventilated.

IS: The office occupancy rules are relaxed. As long as you keep a distance of 1.5 m to the next person, you are allowed to share an office – independent of the size of the office. Working at your desk or in a lab, you can take off the mask. If possible, please make sure the room is well ventilated.

When leaving an office or a laboratory and entering a communal area such as the hallways, toilets or the canteen, all employees must continue wearing medical masks independent of whether they have been vaccinated, recovered from Covid-19 or have been tested.

From July 1 onwards, we allow using the indoor seating area in the canteen. One or two people per table are allowed, not more. Please always wear your mask in the canteen area and only take it off once you begin eating. Please remember that also in the outside seating area, we ask you to keep a distance of 1.5 m to the next person.

We will also allow having lunch or coffee in communal areas inside the building. Please wear a mask, keep a distance of 1.5 meters to each other and only take off your mask for the consumption of food.

We would like to remind you of how many people are allowed in meetings or seminars. On our campus, we continue allowing events, meetings, seminars and lab tours with up to 50 people in our large lecture hall 2D5. This number is smaller for smaller rooms: each room has the maximum number of people allowed stated both at the entrance and in the room booking system. All indoor events are subject to the updated occupancy limits. Work-related informal get-together are preferentially to be held outside and following social distancing rules. Private events are not allowed on campus. All meetings and events should be kept as short as possible.

Meetings with less than 10 people do not require a hygiene concept. Meetings with more than 10 people do. MPI-FKF and VAD employees should send their hygiene plan to Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de), and MPI-IS and IMW employees should send it to Barbara Kettemann (kettemann@is.mpg.de).

The crisis unit would like to thank you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

June 30, 2021

Dear FKF colleagues,

since the incidence rates in Stuttgart and its surroundings are decreasing, the Board of Directors has decided to relax the Institute rules regarding occupancy of the offices, consistent with the Federal regulations. With immediate effect, the following rules apply to our Institute:

  • In all public places, such as corridors, coffee corners, seminar rooms, staircases, lecture hall, canteen, laboratories the minimal distance of 1.5 metres between individuals has to be kept and face masks (medical or FFP2) have to be worn at all times.
  • For staff members who are fully vaccinated, recovered or tested the following rule applies: Offices can be permanently occupied with more than 1 person if the minimal distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained between all office mates. Furthermore, if one person in the office is not fully vaccinated or recovered, all members in the office should wear face masks.  
  • A staff member is classified as fully vaccinated 14 days after the second vaccination (or after the first vaccination in case of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine).
  • A staff member is classified as recovered if he/she has a confirmed positive PCR test result on SARS-CoV-2 which is at least 28 days old and not older than 6 months.
  • A staff member is classified as tested if he/she performs at least two self-tests per week and tells the negative test result to his/her office mates.
  • All other regulations on the Stuttgart Max Planck campus concerning the corona virus remain in place.
  • These more relaxed measures may have to be reversed in case the incidence rates go up again.

Kind regards, Ali Alavi

 

 
May 25, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart would like to share the following announcements with you.

We are currently in close touch with our company doctor to provide vaccinations for employees on campus, as soon as possible. At this point, due to supply-shortage of vaccines, we cannot yet say when and how many of our employees we will be able to vaccinate. However, we are trying hard to start the vaccinations on June 7, and to maximise the number of vaccinations we are able to obtain. We therefore ask for your patience. The purpose of this email to gather the information we need to start the vaccination campaign.

If you are interested in receiving a vaccination through our company doctor, please fill out the Lime Survey below. You will need to provide your name, family name, email address, phone number and date of birth.

If you do not wish to be vaccinated through our company doctor, please do not fill out the Lime Survey form. Additionally, employees who have already received their first vaccination, and are now waiting for their second shot, should not fill in the survey. In that case, please get your second shot where you received your first (e.g. vaccination center or family doctor).

Staff who take long-term medication against blood clotting or immunosuppressive medication should not fill in the survey, but instead contact their family doctor to discuss whether a vaccination is possible.

The survey is for employees who primarily work on the Stuttgart campus. There will be a separate email for the Tübingen campus.

The deadline for filling out the survey is May 31, 2021.

https://survey-is.tuebingen.mpg.de/index.php/982677?lang=en

For those who fill out the survey, Dr. Zehender and his team will contact you directly to arrange the vaccination. Note that at this moment we cannot influence which vaccine we will receive. Presumably, you will not have a choice either. Please also note that it is entirely at the discretion of Dr. Zehender whom he vaccinates first. The vaccination order is based on his medical assessment of who has priority. Please refrain from trying to change that order.

Also note that, currently, we can vaccinate employees only – vaccinations for family members cannot be offered at this point, but may be offered at some later date depending on availability of vaccines.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

April 27, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart would like to share the following announcements with you.

In accordance with the latest Corona Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance, we now offer 2 tests per week to all employees who do not exclusively work from home, independent of the number of days per week on campus. There is no obligation to do a self-test, we nevertheless strongly encourage you to perform a test.

Since April 22, 2021, several new measures are in effect as part of the federal Infection Protection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz), in particular, the so-called “emergency brake” applies if the incidence is above 100.

Part of these legal changes concerns working from home. Employees are now obliged to accept their employer’s offers to work from home when applicable, and as long as there are no valid reasons against this. Potential reasons for employees not being able to do so may include space constraints, interference from third parties, or inadequate technical equipment.

In addition, several new government rules came into place affecting public life, of which the most important are:

  • Get-togethers with friends and family are still possible with the members of one's own household and one other person from another household. Please note that due to the new federal law, the age limit for children excluded from the number of persons has been lowered. Children age 13 years or younger are exempt from being counted (previously: 14 years).
  • The night time curfew is now from 10 p.m. (previously 9 p.m.) to 5 a.m. In addition, physical activity performed alone outdoors is permitted between 10 p.m. and midnight. However, this does not apply to sports facilities.
  • Bookshops are allowed to reopen and are exempt from the emergency brake.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

April 19, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart met again today. We would like to share the following announcements with you.

We would like to reiterate that as many employees as possible continue to work from home. The number of employees working on campus should be kept as low as possible. If you do have to work on campus, please strictly follow our hygiene rules and practice social distancing – these restrictions and working from home are the most effective ways in fighting the spread of the virus.

For those employees working on campus, self-tests will be available from tomorrow onwards. Please note although there is no obligation to do a self-test, we nevertheless strongly encourage you to perform a test at least once a week:

  • If you are on campus for 1,2 or 3 days a week, you are entitled to 1 self-test.
  • If you work 4 or 5 days per week on campus, you are entitled to 2 tests.

Please note that additionally to the self-tests we now provide as your employer, the government offers every citizen one free Corona test per week. This is the so called “Bürgertest”, which you can do at a certified test center. Only there is a negative test result certified, allowing access the several services (see below). Please find the list of tests centers in and around Stuttgart here (website is in German only).

Employees can perform the self-test at home before travelling to work, or else in their office separate from colleagues. Please wait for the test result for the exact time as stated in the instructions.

We, the Institute’s crisis unit, will not document the test results and neither will we be able to certify a negative test result. This means that a negative self-test result supplied by us
cannot be used to access certain services, such as hair salons, for which a certified negative test is necessary (the above mentioned certified Bürgertest would be sufficient for this purpose). We also mention that, additionally, as of today, most personal care services will be close, although medically necessary treatments are open.

Should a self-test be positive, the employee either should leave the campus immediately and go home, or should not come to the campus, respectively. He/she should contact his/her family practitioner or call 116 117, a non-emergency medical phone service that directs he/she to the nearest PCR testing center and helps in arranging a test appointment. During normal working hours only, employees can call our Betriebsärztlichen Dienst (BAD), our campus medical team, to receive guidance as to what to do next. Please call -1417.

It remains the responsibility of the supervisor to name a person within the team in charge of picking up the tests from the supply store and distributing them among the team.

As of today and given the high incidence rate of well above 100, several new government rules come into place, of which the most important are:

  • there is now a night time curfew between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m. except for routes to work or other similarly important reasons (i.e., no sports)
  • there are now tighter contact restrictions both outdoors and indoors: you are allowed to meet only one other person from another household.
  • Outdoor sports: only contactless sports, a total of no more than two people from two households or with members of your own household

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

April 5, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Max Planck Campus Stuttgart met again on March 25, 2021. We would like to share the following announcements with you.

There is no change in our campus regulations due to the extended lockdown until April 18, 2021.

We want the number of employees working on campus to be as low as possible. All work tasks that can be performed effectively from home should be done from home. If you do work on campus, please strictly follow our hygiene rules and practice social distancing – these are the most effective ways in fighting Corona.

As an additional tool, we have ordered self-tests that can be used in specific cases. It is up to the supervisor to decide in which cases self-tests will be used. It is also the supervisor’s responsibility to purchase the test from the supply store and distribute them among the team.

Please note that self-testing on our campus is voluntary. No one is forced to take part in a test. A person's refusal to undergo a test has no consequences under labor law. While self-testing is voluntary, at the same time there is no entitlement to take a test.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

March 9, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Max Planck Campus Stuttgart crisis unit met again yesterday. We discussed possible implications for our campus due to the extended lockdown which came into effect on Monday.

The SARS-CoV-2 federal occupational health and safety regulation prioritizing working from home and requiring wearing medical masks at work will be extended until April 30, 2021.

Thus, our campus regulations will remain in place.

The MPI Stuttgart crisis unit would like to clarify that eating take-away food and drinks is allowed in the garden area outside the campus cafeteria, including the large stone tables. Importantly, please note that at most only two people per table are allowed per public and campus regulations. You must not push tables together and sit in groups larger than two. The inside seating area of the canteen will remain closed, and eating and drinking inside our buildings is only allowed for one person in their office.

On Sunday, the state government of Baden-Württemberg has loosened several of their Corona regulations, coming into effect Monday. Most times they depend on the incidence rate in a county, so please watch carefully where the incidence rate currently stands at and how it changes in the county you live in. You can find the current incidence value for Stuttgart (67.6) at https://coronavirus.stuttgart.de

 

The most important new rules are:

  1. From Monday onwards, provided there is a 7-day incidence rate in a county of below 100 new infections per 100.000 inhabitants, private and public meetings are allowed for two households with a maximum of five people. Children of the two households up to and including 14 years of age are not counted. Couples who do not live together count as one household.
  2. In counties with a 7-day incidence above 100, tighter contact restrictions apply: One household plus no more than one other person who is not part of the household.
  3. Book stores are allowed to reopen, as are home improvement stores, gardening shops, and flower shops.
  4. For personal hygiene services such as hairdressers or barber shops, you might be required to do a rapid test prior of the service, in addition to wearing a medical mask. This applies for instance for barber shops.
  5. Other retail shops such as clothes stores may now also offer "Click&Meet" in addition to "Click&Collect" given strict hygiene measures. Restrictions apply for counties with a 7-day incidence of over 100: Retailers may no longer offer "Click&Meet". "Click&Collect" however is possible.
  6. Visits to libraries and archives are possible with prior appointment booking and documentation of contact details.
  7. Sports outdoors and at indoor sports facilities (except swimming pools) are allowed with a maximum of five people from no more than two households. Children of the two households up to and including 14 years of age are not counted. Couples who do not live together count as one household.
  8. Open with prior appointment booking and documentation of contact details are galleries, museums, memorials, zoos and botanical gardens.

 The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

February 11, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Max Planck Campus Stuttgart crisis unit met again today. We would like to share the following announcements with you.

Because of the spread of new variants of the coronavirus, the federal government and the states have passed a resolution to continue the lockdown, and to maintain the present level of contact restrictions, until at least March 7, 2021. Shops, restaurants, sports clubs etc. stay shut, with the exception of hairdressers: they will open on March 1, 2021.

The state government of Baden-Württemberg is expected to make further decisions, for instance with regard to opening schools and kindergartens, by next Monday.

However, as of today, the night time curfew between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. is no longer in place in Baden-Württemberg.

It is very important to all of us that you stay safe and healthy. We will continue to provide medical masks for your work on campus. Additionally, out of goodwill, each department, research group and service group will be able to allocate budget and provide each team member with one package of five FFP2 masks. We ask each team’s appointed person in charge of collection at the supply store to contact the team when the FFP2-mask-packages have been collected and are ready for distribution. We believe the new delivery of FFP2 masks will happen on Monday, at the latest.

We have decided to distribute FFP2 masks among colleagues to support especially those employees travelling to campus by public transport. On your way to and from work and also in crowded areas such as supermarkets, we would like you to be protected against the Coronavirus as best as possible and we would encourage you to wear FFP2 masks on public transport.

Note that previous rules are still in place: there is no general obligation to wear a FFP2 mask while on campus. Medical masks are sufficient and we recommend that you usually wear a medical mask. On campus, FFP2 masks should remain reserved for those special cases where it is difficult to keep a distance of 1.5 meters to a colleague, or if increased aerosol emissions are to be expected. If you are working closely with a colleague and it is necessary to wear a FFP2 mask, you must inform your supervisor and consult the institute’s safety manager ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS).

In the past, we have had a fire alarm in the guest house due to an unauthorized cooking plate. Cooking plates and other electrical devices that haven’t been authorized by the guest house management are strictly forbidden.

Of course, cooking in the communal kitchen is also forbidden for guests who have been ordered into quarantine by the authorities, as the person has to remain in the room separated from other people. Hence, we ask all team members who look after colleagues in quarantine to provide that person with all necessities – including, if requested, with a warm meal from the canteen or via food delivery.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

January 27, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Max Planck Campus Stuttgart crisis unit met again yesterday. We would like to share the following announcements with you.

Both institutes must do their share in preventing the Coronavirus from spreading and hence we want to further reduce the number of employees working on campus. If you haven’t already done so, please discuss with your supervisor, whether it is feasible for you to work from home. Following the federal ordinance regarding work safety, that is in effect as of January 27, 2021, all work tasks that can be performed effectively from home should be done from home.

As we informed you earlier this week, it is now mandatory to wear either a medical mask on campus or – should team members work very close together and might not always be able to adhere to the 1.5 m distance rule – a FFP2 mask. In most situations when one employee meets another in the hallway, lounge area or on their way to the toilet or cafeteria, medical masks are sufficient and we recommend that you usually wear a medical mask, while FFP2 masks should be reserved for special cases, as their use is subject to strict rules. If you are working closely with a colleague and it is necessary to wear a FFP2 mask, you must inform your supervisor and consult the institute’s safety manager ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS).

The institutes will provide medical masks for your work on campus, that will be handed out through your supervisor or your department’s office.

Jörg Eisfeld and Michael Wied have also kindly updated the videos giving instructions on how to correctly wear a medical mask or a FFP2 mask. These videos can be watched here.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you the best of health!

 

January 7, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit wishes you a very Happy New Year and the best of health in 2021!

We met today to discuss possible implications for our campus due to the extended hard lockdown that will be in place until at least January 31, 2021. The Minister Presidents of the States and Chancellor Angela Merkel meet on Tuesday, January 5, and announced the extension of the lockdown as well as tighter measures as described below.

We strongly encourage everyone to work from home during the hard lockdown. If you have urgent or important work to do in the institute, you can still come to campus, it is operational as before. Please consult your supervisor to determine whether working on campus or working from home is appropriate for your situation. If you work from home, please consult your supervisor how you can do so productively, and if you work on campus, how you can do so safely, especially when working in the laboratories, as fewer employees are around.

Our campus cafeteria will reopen on Monday, January 11, 2021, as planned serving as usual:

– Sandwiches: starting at 10:00 a.m.
– Hot lunch: from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

However, food will be served exclusively for consumption outside the cafeteria premises. You can take away your food on a plate and tray or ask for a disposable plastic container. Please enjoy your meals in your office; eating together in a group in the common areas is not allowed. For hygienic reasons, we kindly ask you to return trays, plates and cutlery after your meal and leave nothing in your office or in communal kitchens.

Please also note the campus cafeteria will remain closed for the public until further notice.

Starting Monday, January 11, 2021, new and stricter measures will come into place due to the still-rising number of new Coronavirus infections and a new virus variant that has spread across the UK, known as 202012/01, and a similar, but different variant, recently identified in South Africa (501.V2). The German Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states decided to tighten the current restrictions and announced new measures, that will last until January 31, 2021.


The most important new rules are:

  1. From Monday onwards, private meetings with members of the household are only allowed with a maximum of one other person not living in the same household. While previously during the holiday season, children weren’t counted, they now are.
  2. Schools and day care centers will remain closed for now, and compulsory attendance will be suspended. Emergency care will be provided. Until when exactly schools and daycare centers remain closed will be announced by the Government of Baden-Württemberg in coming days.
  3. People travelling to Germany from a risk area face tighter measures to contain the virus: In addition to the existing ten-day quarantine obligation (which can be terminated at the earliest on the fifth day of quarantine if a negative test result is available), there will be also an obligation to do a Corona test no more than 48 hours before entry or immediately after entry. Note that a negative test result 48 hour before or upon entry does not release from the obligation to go into quarantine for ten (or ~5) days!

Please remember you must at all times keep a 1.5 meter distance from another person and wear a mask whenever you might meet someone else, including in laboratories. Please also wash your hands frequently and obey our office occupancy rules.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you good health!

 

December 14, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit met today to discuss the hard lockdown that begins on Wednesday. We decided to share the following announcements with you.

We encourage everyone to work from home or take vacation days on December 16, 17, and 18, which are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of this week.

Both working from home and taking a vacation day require approval from your supervisor.

If you have urgent and important work to do here, you can still come to campus on these days. In other words, our campus is not shutting down on December 16. Please consult your supervisor to determine whether working on campus, working from home, or taking vacation is most appropriate for your situation.

If you need to come to the institute after Tuesday, December 15, 2020, we suggest that you inform your supervisor of your plans in advance. Keep in mind that fewer people will be around, so you should be especially careful when working in the laboratories.

Although we expect campus will be very quiet, you should continue wearing a mask whenever you might meet someone else, including in laboratories. Please also wash your hands frequently, keep your distance from others, and obey our office occupancy rules.

Our recommendations for these three dates are in addition to the general expectation that most people will stay home from Saturday, December 19, 2020, through Sunday, January 10, 2021. Staying home and minimizing your personal contacts are the best ways to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Finally, we would like to confirm that it is still possible for outside individuals to come onto campus when necessary by completing a COVID-19 entry questionnaire and meeting their contact person at the reception desk. Examples of urgent and important visits include a technician coming to repair a broken instrument or a construction worker involved in ongoing renovations.

Campus visits of outside individuals that are not both urgent and important should be postponed until after the hard lockdown ends.

The crisis unit thanks you for your attention and wishes you all the best over winter break. Stay healthy!

 

December 13, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart campus crisis unit would like to share the following urgent updates regarding coronavirus regulations.

Starting Wednesday, December 16, 2020, the entire country of Germany will go into a hard lockdown due to the still-rising number of new coronavirus infections. The German Chancellor and the heads of government of the federal states decided to tighten the current restrictions to significantly reduce the number of cases. The new measures were announced at a press conference on Sunday morning and will likely last until January 10, 2021.

The most important new rules are:

1. Starting Wednesday, schools and day care centers will be closed, and compulsory attendance will be suspended. Emergency care will be provided, and distance learning will be offered. Separate arrangements may be made for graduating classes.

2. Many retail stores will be closed from December 16, 2020, to January 10, 2021. Shops that will remain open are supermarkets, baby care stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores, drugstores, opticians, hearing aid stores, farmers markets, pick-up and delivery services, gas stations, car repair shops, bicycle repair shops, banks and savings banks, post offices, dry cleaners, laundromats, newspaper kiosks, pet supply stores, Christmas tree sales, and wholesalers.

3. Starting Wednesday, personal care services will be closed, such as hairdressers, cosmetics studios, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar businesses because physical proximity is essential in this sector. Medically necessary treatments, for example physio-, ergo- and logotherapies as well as podiatry/foot care, will remain possible.

4. For the holidays, from December 24 to December 26, 2020 (before it was December 23 to 27) – as an exception to the otherwise applicable contact restrictions – the federal states will allow meetings during this period with four people outside of your own household plus children up to 14 years of age from the closest family circle, i.e., spouses, partners, and partners of a non-marital partnership, as well as relatives in a straight line, siblings, siblings’ children, and their respective household members, even if this means more than two households or five persons over 14 years of age. In view of the continuing high incidence of infection, an urgent appeal is once again made to everyone to reduce contacts to an absolute minimum in the five to seven days before family reunions for the holidays.

5. On New Year's Eve and New Year's Day, all outdoor gatherings are forbidden. In addition, fireworks are banned in public places to be defined by the local authorities. The sale of all kinds of fireworks before New Year's Eve is prohibited this year, and the firing of fireworks bought previously is strongly discouraged on New Year's Eve. This ban is because of the high risk of injury from fireworks and the already enormous burden on the healthcare system.

6. The sale and immediate consumption of alcoholic beverages (such as Glühwein to go) is now prohibited.

7. Special protective measures must now be taken for nursing homes and mobile care services. The federal government supports them with medical protective masks and paying for rapid antigen tests. In addition to requiring the wearing of an FFP2 mask, the states will also order mandatory testing several times a week for staff in retirement centers, nursing homes, and mobile care services. In regions with increased incidence, proof of a current negative coronavirus test will become mandatory for visitors.

8. The federal governments are urging everyone to refrain from nonessential travel in Germany and abroad between now and January 10, 2021. They emphatically point out that when entering Germany from foreign risk areas, completion of a digital entry registration is mandatory, and that one must quarantine for a period of 10 days after return. The termination of quarantine is possible only with permission of the health authorities through a negative test taken no earlier than the fifth day after entry.

Please also review the new nighttime and daytime curfew rules that we announced here on Friday, December 11, 2020.

As before, we encourage you to work from home when appropriate, after obtaining approval from your supervisor. When traveling to and from campus, we further encourage you to minimize your interactions with other people by avoiding rush-hour travel on public transportation; please consider coming to work earlier or later than usual, with approval from your supervisor, or using private transportation means such as a car or bicycle.

The crisis unit will meet early this week to decide whether to implement any additional rules or make any further recommendations for our campus. We will announce any changes and further developments as soon as possible.

We appreciate your attention to this important announcement. Stay healthy!

 

December 11, 2020

Dear colleagues,

Starting tomorrow, December 12, 2020, curfew restrictions will apply statewide in Baden-Württemberg due to the still-rising number of new coronavirus infections. Minister-President Winfried Kretschmann announced the new measures today at a press conference.

As of Saturday, December 12, 2020, leaving your home between 8:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (nighttime) is permitted only for valid reasons. These reasons are as follows:

  • Work.
  • Medical appointments, including veterinary services.
  • Accompanying minors and persons in need of support.
  • Accompanying the dying and persons with acute life-threatening conditions.
  • Caring for animals, including walking them.
  • Going to school, day-care centers, or educational institutions.
  • Gatherings for work purposes, official or business operations, public safety and order, or social welfare.

There will also be daytime curfew restrictions starting on December 12. Leaving your home between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. will only be allowed for the following valid reasons. Please note that valid reasons for nighttime hours also apply during the day:

  • Sports and exercise in the outdoors are only permitted alone, with one person not living in the same household, or with members of your own household.
  • Going shopping.
  • Gatherings and private events between members of one's own household or a maximum of five persons from up to two households, including direct relatives and partners. This rule does not apply to children from the respective households up to 14 years of age.
  • Events in accordance with Section 10 (4) of the Corona Ordinance. This regulates, for example, attendance at court hearings or meetings of municipal bodies.
  • Exercising custody and visitation rights for one’s own children.
  • Attendance of meetings in accordance with Article 8 of the German constitution (freedom of demonstration).

In “hotspot” regions with more than 300 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last seven days, a curfew will also be imposed during the day. Neither Stuttgart nor Tübingen is currently a hotspot: Stuttgart had 129.0 new cases per 100,000 residents in the past seven days, and Tübingen had 144.8 (yesterday’s data).

For the time being, the measures apply until January 10, 2021, with possible further restrictions starting on Monday, December 14. Details will be determined on Sunday, December 13, during a ministerial conference.

Previously announced exceptions during the holidays remain in place for the time being.
For the time being, exceptions announced for the period between December 23 and December 27 are still valid. This means that restrictions coming into force tomorrow and any potential additional restrictions introduced thereafter do not apply to these four days. Specifically: between December 23 and 27, up to ten people from two households may meet, plus any children from the same two households up to 14 years of age.

Full lockdown planned after the holidays
After the holidays, an almost full lockdown will be imposed, in all likelihood until January 10, 2021. The exact details of this lockdown have not yet been announced.

More information on December 13
We will keep you informed of further developments as the situation develops and once the state government has made official decisions.

As always, the crisis unit appreciates your attention to these important topics. Stay healthy!

 

December 1, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart campus crisis unit would like to share the following updates regarding the coronavirus regulations of the State of Baden-Württemberg. These announcements caused us to slightly change one campus rule about in-person meetings (see below); all other previously announced rules are still valid.

On Wednesday, November 25, Chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of Germany’s federal states announced the prolongation of several measures to contain the continuing high spread of COVID-19 cases. Yesterday, on Monday, November 30, the State of Baden-Württemberg announced not only that the measures initiated in November must be extended into December, but also that they need to be tightened.

These tightened measures come into effect today, Tuesday, December 1, and will last until at least December 20. Government leaders will come together in mid-December to discuss how to proceed.

The most important rules are:

  • It is still urgently necessary to limit contact with people outside your household to the absolute minimum.
  • As of December 1, masks are required on all work and business premises in Baden-Württemberg. Thus, all employees must continue to wear an everyday mask and maintain the minimum distance of 1.5 meters to their colleagues in all common areas at work, even outdoors.
  • No more than five people over 14 years old from a maximum of two households may gather privately in any location, public or private. Children from these two households may also join the gathering and do not count toward the limit of five people.
  • An exception to the gathering limits is planned from December 23 to 27: for these dates only, up to ten family members and close friends over 14 are allowed to gather, plus children from their households, with no limit on the number of households involved.
  • There will be no exceptions to the contact restrictions on New Year's Eve.
  • Similar to other German states, hotels in Baden-Württemberg are allowed to open from December 23 to 27 only for travelers on their way to visit family. Hotel stays are not permitted for vacations or other forms of tourism during this period.
  • The state government plans to bring forward the start of the Christmas vacation to Saturday, December 19.
  • From now on, you are obliged to wear an everyday mask in all areas where people come together, such as pedestrian zones, shopping streets, in front of stores, in parking lots, at farmers markets, and on busy sidewalks and hiking trails.
  • All recreational facilities will remain closed, including theaters, amusement parks, brothels, swimming pools, and gyms.
  • Restaurants, cafés, bars, and all similar establishments remain closed.
  • Businesses providing personal care services, such as beauticians, remain closed.
  • Employers should allow staff to work from home whenever feasible.

The following types of activities can continue (will not be shut down) during this period, provided they follow all relevant hygiene and distancing rules:

  • Food delivery and pickup services can continue operating.
  • Company cafeterias like ours on campus can stay open.
  • Hairdressers can stay open.
  • Retail stores and wholesalers can stay open, allowing no more than one customer per 10 square meters of floor area.
  • Schools and day-care centers remain open.
  • Outdoor athletic activities remain allowed with a maximum of two people or one household.

 

In light of the urgent need to reduce interpersonal contacts, the crisis unit has decided to reduce the maximum number of people at in-person meetings to five, rather than the previous limit of ten. This change appears in the first of the following six campus rules:

  • From now on, we highly discourage any in-person meetings on campus of more than five people. If it is absolutely necessary to hold such a meeting, the organizer must develop a hygiene concept for the meeting, which requires social distancing, ventilation, and recording a list of all attendees. MPI-FKF and VAD employees should send their hygiene plan to Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de), and MPI-IS and IMW employees should send it to Barbara Kettemann (kettemann@is.mpg.de).
  • As stated in previous emails, food and drink may be consumed only in the cafeteria and in private offices. In other words, consumption of food and drink in any other public areas on campus is not allowed. For example, you are not allowed to drink coffee in a tea kitchen, and you cannot eat any meal at a table in a communication area or hallway.
  • No one is allowed to sit closer together than 1.5 meters in the cafeteria. Members of the same household must stay at least 1.5 meters apart in the cafeteria. Under no circumstances should the maximum number of people per table be exceeded (1 for small tables, 2 for large tables). Pushing cafeteria tables together is also forbidden.
  • As of November 11, 2020, only one person is allowed to be in an office at a time; this rule applies to all offices independent of their size and irrespective of office mate(s) living in the same household. All employees are asked to organize their work schedule accordingly by arranging their presence with their office mate(s) and by working from home so that they can follow this rule, in agreement with their supervisors. Exceptions to this rule are possible only in justified cases with approval by the institute’s safety officer.
  • We encourage you to work from home when appropriate, after obtaining approval from your supervisor. When traveling to and from campus, we further encourage you to minimize your interactions with other people by avoiding rush-hour travel on public transportation; please consider coming to work earlier or later than usual, with approval from your supervisor, or using private transportation means such as a car or bicycle.
  • To further limit contacts, campus employees should minimize business travel as much as possible. It is still possible to take necessary business trips within Germany with approval of your supervisor. International business trips are also possible but require approval of the central MPG crisis unit, as announced earlier. The traveler (or his or her delegate) is responsible for requesting this approval by emailing krisenstab@gv.mpg.de.

We thank you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

November 13, 2020

Dear colleagues,

Given the continuous high number of new COVID-19 cases in our region, the crisis unit asks supervisors to postpone the start of new employees and long-term guests from international risk areas when possible.

If the start of employment cannot be postponed, the current regulations require that these new employees must enter a mandatory 10-day-long quarantine after arriving from an international risk area. See the crisis unit’s announcement from November 8 for details.

During our recent meeting, the crisis unit decided to change our rules to allow such people to stay in our campus guest house. We made this decision for several reasons:

  • It is currently very difficult for people arriving from a risk area to find any accommodation outside our campus.
  • Additionally, we want new employees to feel welcome when arriving in Stuttgart and make their start as easy as possible.
  • Staying in the guest house facilitates bringing the new employee food and other necessities.

Whenever your team has a new employee arriving from a risk area and spending their quarantine in the guest house, you must notify your institute’s contact person in advance; contact for MPI-IS and IMW and for MPI-FKF and VAD. This campus registration is separate from the mandatory German entry registration at https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de

We anticipate that only a small number of new employees will be coming to our campus from risk areas in the coming months. The crisis unit will keep track of the number and meet again to discuss the topic if it approaches 10 employees simultaneously quarantining in the guest house.

Such new employees can obtain the key to their guest house room only at the reception of Heisenbergstr. 1. We recommend the new employee’s contact person in each team to be there as well and hand the key over outside our building, wearing everyday masks and always keeping a distance of at least 1.5 meters.

It is important for each team to clearly communicate that the quarantined person must not leave their room for the entire time of the quarantine – except in an emergency such as a fire alarm or when asked by the authorities to be tested for COVID-19. They are not allowed to come in contact with their neighbors, and they must not go into shared areas of the guest house or for walks outside. Note that the shared kitchens in the guest house cannot be used during quarantine. Individuals who are found to deliberately or negligently disobey these regulations can be punished by the local authorities by a fine of up to 25,000 EUR.

To protect the health of the cleaning staff, there will be no cleaning service of the rooms of new employees during the mandatory quarantine.

We ask all hosting departments, research groups, and other units to ensure that all new employees quarantining in the guest house:

  • understand and obey these very important regulations,
  • have a daily supply of food and other necessities, and
  • are physically and mentally well throughout quarantine.

We specifically suggest contacting new employees digitally at least once a day – also on weekends – to check that everything is OK and help solve any problems that they encounter.

If the new employee shows symptoms similar to COVID-19 while in the guest house, the person together with the team’s contact person should immediately inform , our company doctor (https://www.praxis-am-wiesental.de/en), and get his advice on how to proceed. Obviously, the authorities also have to be kept in the loop, following the instructions that the employee will receive after doing the digital entry registration.

Should there be a new employee with strong COVID-19 symptoms, call 116 117 to reach a non-emergency doctor or 112 to reach the emergency paramedics. Most new employees will not know what the emergency numbers are, so it is good if they can always call their contact person who knows what to do when.

Remember that by default, the quarantine lasts 10 days. A negative test result upon entry no longer removes the quarantine requirement. The authorities may ask individuals to take a test five or more days after arrival, but they often do not provide this option. Furthermore, the results can take many days to arrive, so everyone should plan for 10 days of quarantine from the beginning.

As always, the crisis unit appreciates your attention to these important topics.

 

November 10, 2020

Dear colleagues,

Unfortunately, we have a new confirmed case of COVID-19 on our Stuttgart campus in MPI-IS. The person was tested on Monday, November 9, and was confirmed positive on Tuesday, November 10. The person was last on campus on Friday, November 6, and had the first symptoms in the evening on Sunday, November 8. The infected person had no contact with any Max Planck employee since November 6. The entire group to which the person belongs and all known contact persons on campus have been working from home starting today, November 10.

Given this incident and the continued very high number of cases in our region, today the Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit decided to implement stricter rules on office occupancy, which are in effect immediately:

  • As of now, only one person is allowed to be in an office at a time; this rule applies to all offices independent of their size.
  • All employees are asked to organize their work schedule accordingly by arranging their presence with their office mate(s) and by working from home so that they can follow this rule, in agreement with their supervisors.
  • This rule applies irrespective of office mate(s) living in the same household. As of now, living in the same household no longer qualifies for automatic exceptions on campus.

Exceptions to this rule are possible only in justified cases with new approval by the institute’s safety officer. Any employees who want to request special permission to share an office with a colleague must personally email their institute’s safety officer ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS). Specify:

  • The name, email address, and supervisor of each employee who wants to share an office
  • The room number of the office in question
  • The reason an exception is being requested

When time allows, the safety officer or deputy safety officer will first check the size and shape of the office in question. If it is sufficiently large, they will then inspect the office to determine whether compensatory measures can be implemented to allow two people to occupy it simultaneously. Potential compensatory measures that could be required include physical barriers, always wearing masks, and frequent ventilation.

Important: Starting immediately, two people can be in an office together only after receiving approval from their safety officer and only when following all specified compensatory measures.

We understand this new office occupancy rule will be challenging to implement. We urgently ask you to support us in protecting the health of all employees on campus, as that is the crisis unit’s highest priority. We can best protect each other if we all follow the above rules without exception.

Given the severity of the situation, we also urge all employees and guests on campus to strictly follow all campus rules. Together, we can get through this crisis well!

 

November 8, 2020

Dear colleagues and guests,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit would like to draw your attention to the new rules for entering Germany from a coronavirus risk area. The Baden-Württemberg government just confirmed the adoption of these rules for our region.

Starting on Sunday, November 8, individuals who enter Germany from an international RKI-determined risk area will not take a free coronavirus test on arrival.

Instead, almost everyone entering Germany from a risk area must immediately enter a mandatory quarantine.

  • By default, the quarantine lasts 10 days (instead of the previous duration of 14 days).
  • Generally, presentation of a negative test result on entry does not remove the quarantine requirement.
  • Individuals have the option to take a coronavirus test no earlier than 5 days after arrival; obtaining a negative result for this test ends the quarantine.
  • Exceptions exist for cross-border commuters and other special cases.

The details of these new rules are all clearly described in English in the following press release:
https://www.baden-wuerttemberg.de/fileadmin/redaktion/m-sm/intern/downloads/Anhang_PM/20201106-PM-VO-EQ_EN.pdf

In addition, we would like to tell you that anyone entering Germany from an international risk area must register digitally before entry. The new web application “Digitale Einreiseanmeldung" (DEA) replaces the paper exit card. It can be accessed starting at 6:00 p.m. on November 8, 2020, by users of digital devices (desktop, tablet, smartphone) worldwide on the following website:
www.einreiseanmeldung.de

For the moment, our campus rules on this topic remain unchanged. An individual who has entered from a risk area may enter buildings on our campus only after 1) receiving a negative result for a test taken five days after entry or 2) waiting the entire period of the mandatory quarantine.

This change in rules will have the greatest effect on new employees arriving from risk areas to start work on campus. We ask all hosting departments, research groups, and other units to ensure that all new employees understand and obey these new entry regulations, help them find a safe place to spend the mandatory quarantine (not permitted in the campus guesthouse), and support them in obtaining food.

We sincerely hope that these new entry rules (and the other restrictions of this four-week-long light lockdown) succeed at reducing the infections in our region and across Germany.

I would also like to take this chance to remind you about the Employee Management Assistance Program (EMAP), which is run by the Fürstenberg Institute and provides free support for all MPG employees during these challenging times. Family members living in your household can also use EMAP.

If you require fast and anonymous support while facing a crisis that affects your work – whether professional, personal, or health-related – EMAP is available to you free of charge. Simply call 0800/387 78 36 from Germany or 00800/38 77 83 62 from outside the country for immediate help. Tell the operator you are calling from MPG. Experts are available to assist you in German or English, with other language options on request. If you wish, you can also arrange a personal counseling appointment.

As always, the crisis unit appreciates your attention to these important topics.

 

October 30, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit held our 23rd meeting on Thursday, October 29, to discuss the new coronavirus rules that Germany has enacted and announce new campus rules, as detailed below:


1. Yesterday Chancellor Merkel and the heads of German’s federal states announced severe new measures to stop the rapidly rising numbers of new COVID-19 cases. These measures go into effect starting on Monday, November 2, throughout Germany. This “lockdown light” will last for four weeks. This graphic provides an overview of all new state rules.


2. We recommend you read the formal announcement of these decisions and refer to the six-page-long decision document for a more detailed summary (both documents are available in both English and German). The most important changes are:

  •  Everyone is advised to limit contact with people outside your household to the absolute minimum necessary.
  • No more than ten people from a maximum of two households may gather in any location, public or private.
  • Everyone is asked to refrain from non-essential travel for personal reasons. Even travel within Germany, day trips for tourism, and visits to relatives should be avoided.
  • All recreational facilities will be closed, including theaters, amusement parks, brothels, swimming pools, and gyms.
  • Restaurants, cafés, bars, and all similar establishments will be closed.
  • Businesses providing personal care services, such as beauticians, will be closed.
  • Employers should allow staff to work from home whenever feasible.
  • Government leaders are aware these are particularly radical measures, but they are necessary and they are proportionate to protect the health of the population, which is a legally protected right, and to avert even more extensive economic damage that would result should the pandemic spread uncontrolled.


3. They also announced that the following types of activities can continue (will not be shut down) during this period, provided they follow all relevant hygiene and distancing rules:

  • Food delivery and pickup services can continue operating.
  • Company cafeterias like ours on campus can stay open.
  • Hairdressers can stay open.
  • Retail stores and wholesalers can stay open, allowing no more than one customer per 10 square meters of floor area.
  • Schools and day-care centers remain open.
  • Outdoor athletic activities remain allowed with a maximum of two people or one household.


4. In light of the urgent need to reduce interpersonal contacts, the crisis unit decided to make our campus rules more restrictive in the following four ways, starting immediately:

  1. We highly discourage any in-person meetings of more than ten people. If it is absolutely necessary to hold such a meeting, the organizer must develop a hygiene concept for the meeting, which requires social distancing, ventilation, and recording a list of all attendees. MPI-FKF and VAD employees should send their hygiene plan to Michael Eppard (m.eppard@fkf.mpg.de), and MPI-IS and IMW employees should send it to Barbara Kettemann (kettemann@is.mpg.de).
  2. Food and drink may be consumed only in the cafeteria and in private offices. In other words, consumption of food and drink in any other public areas on campus is not allowed. For example, you are not allowed to drink coffee in a tea kitchen, and you cannot eat any meal at a table in a communication area or hallway.
  3. No one is allowed to sit closer together than 1.5 meters in the cafeteria. Members of the same household must stay at least 1.5 meters apart in the cafeteria. Under no circumstances should the maximum number of people per table be exceeded (1 for small tables, 2 for large tables).
  4. Pushing cafeteria tables together is forbidden. The tables and chairs are positioned by our work safety officers to maintain at least 1.5 meters between people who are eating and drinking without masks. Do not move any cafeteria tables or chairs.


5. We encourage you to work from home when appropriate, after obtaining approval from your supervisor. When traveling to and from campus, we further encourage you to minimize your interactions with other people by avoiding rush-hour travel on public transportation; please consider coming to work earlier or later than usual, with approval from your supervisor, or using private transportation means such as a car or bicycle.


6. To further limit contacts, campus employees should minimize business travel as much as possible. It is still possible to take necessary business trips within Germany with approval of your supervisor. International business trips are also possible but require approval of the central MPG crisis unit, as announced earlier. The traveler (or his or her delegate) is responsible for requesting this approval by emailing krisenstab@gv.mpg.de.


7. Finally, we want to remind you to continue to follow all of the hygiene rules on campus:

  • Stay at least 1.5 meters away from all people outside your household,
  • Wear a mask in all public spaces,
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently,
  • Open windows for ventilation,
  • Respect the maximum number of occupants for each room,
  • Meet online whenever possible,
  • Keep track of all your RKI category 1 contacts (more than 15 minutes face-to-face or more than 30 minutes in the same room), and
  • Consider using the Corona-Warn-App for automatic contact tracing.


Protecting the health of all employees on campus is the crisis unit's highest priority. We can best protect each other if we all follow these rules every day, both at work and in our private lives.

The crisis unit will continue closely monitoring the situation; we will adapt our campus rules as new laws and regulations become available from Germany, Baden-Württemberg, and the Max Planck Society. Please feel free to approach members of the crisis unit with any questions or concerns.

 We thank you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

October 13, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit would like to share the following updates about the coronavirus situation in Stuttgart. These announcements do not require changes to any of our campus rules; all previously announced rules are still valid.

The number of confirmed coronavirus cases has increased very rapidly over the last few days in Germany. In particular, Stuttgart's 7-day-incidence value of infections per 100,000 inhabitants reached 70.0 on Monday, October 12, which is significantly above the emergency threshold value of 50.

Thus, the city of Stuttgart announced several measures to slow down the spread of the virus:

  1. The city ordered that gatherings are allowed only with up to 10 participants in private and up to 25 participants in public or rented rooms. The general decree was published on Monday and will apply starting on Wednesday, October 14. In addition, increased controls will be used to combat illegal parties.
  2. Furthermore, everyone must now wear an everyday mask within the Stuttgart city center. In particular, it is required to wear a mask in the entire area of the so-called "City-Ring", which is the area surrounded by the following streets and depicted in this online map:
    ArnulfKlettPlatz (with ArnulfKlettPassage), Friedrichstraße, TheodorHeussStraße, Rotebühlplatz (including City Plaza and Rotebühlpassage), Paulinenstraße, RupertMayerPlatz, Vorplatz der Kirche St. Maria, Feinstraße, Österreichischer Platz, Hauptstätter Straße, Charlottenplatz (including CharlottenPassage), KonradAdenauerStraße, GebhardMüllerPlatz, andSchillerstraße.
  3. The sale and consumption of alcohol have been restricted. The locations where alcohol may no longer be consumed after 11 p.m. include the area of the “City-Ring” and several other places specified in the press announcement of the City of Stuttgart. Starting at 9 p.m., adjacent stores are no longer allowed to sell alcoholic beverages – with the exception of licensed restaurants. These restrictions on the consumption and sale of alcohol will apply for two weeks. A curfew for restaurants and bars is currently not planned.
  4. Spectators are temporarily not allowed at soccer/football matches. At other sports or cultural events, up to 500 spectators are permitted; they must wear a mask at all times.
  5. The Mayor of Stuttgart will contact the most important service providers in the city at the beginning of the week to create or expand options for working from home.
  6. As the operator of the schools, the city of Stuttgart also wants to ensure more distance between passengers on buses and trains.

This new situation in the city of Stuttgart currently has no effects on campus activities. All of our present Coronavirus regulations remain in effect. As before, work that can be done from home should be done from home with agreement of your supervisor.

Additionally, the recent ban on accommodation for travelers from risk areas within Germany applies only to tourists; business trips are not affected. Employees who need to take a business trip during this time should contact their supervisor to obtain a brief written confirmation from the institute about the reason for the business trip. This document can then be shown if questions arise during the trip.

Because the crisis unit is very concerned about the situation here in Stuttgart, we urgently remind you to:

  • Keep 1.5 meters distance to all people outside your household.
  • Wear a mask in common areas.
  • Wash your hands properly.
  • Respect the maximum number of occupants for each room.
  • Hold meetings online whenever possible.

The crisis unit will continue carefully observing the developments; if needed, we will take action promptly to protect the health of all employees on campus.

Many thanks for your attention.

 

September 15, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit held our twenty-second meeting on Monday, September 14, to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Please note the following important announcements.

There have been no new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our campus.

Because the situation here in Stuttgart is quite stable, we did not enact any new rules for our campus.

However, we would like to remind you to follow the rules that we have previously announced and that are listed on our website. Honoring these rules will help protect the health and wellness of all our employees. The crisis unit particularly wanted to remind you of the following key rules:

1. Only healthy individuals may come on campus. Individuals with any symptoms similar to coronavirus (even mild symptoms, see below for the full list) or contact with a possible coronavirus case must stay home and inform their supervisor and their institute's contact person ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS).

According to the RKI, the most common symptoms of COVID-19 are cough, high temperature or fever, shortness of breath, loss of sense of smell or taste, runny nose or sneezing, sore throat, headache, limb pain, and a general feeling of weakness.

2. Please wear an everyday mask whenever you are in communal areas on campus such as the lobbies, hallways, chill-out areas, cafeteria waiting line, and bathrooms. Keep a mask ready at all times and wear it when appropriate.

3. Stay at least 1.5 meters away from everyone who is not in your household. This rule applies at all times and in all locations on campus. Additionally, follow the maximum occupancy rules for tables in the cafeteria (maximum 1 person at small tables, maximum 2 people from different households at large tables), as well as the maximum occupancy rules for offices (one person per office is preferred, maximum 1 person for offices less than 11 square meters, maximum 2 people for offices larger than 11 square meters).

4. To minimize interpersonal contact and reduce waiting time, please consider going to lunch earlier or later than usual. The cafeteria serves cold sandwiches and other take-away items from 10:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. Hot food is served between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. The main line that forms is for hot food; individuals who want to buy sandwiches and other cold food are allowed to use the exit stairway to bypass the hot food waiting line as long as they wear a mask, stay 1.5 meters away from others, and never exceed the maximum of 6 customers in the main area of the cafeteria.

5. Frequently wash your hands using the methods recommended by the health authorities, which includes rubbing with soap for 20 to 30 seconds. You should especially make sure to wash your hands after entering our buildings from outside, after touching your face, after blowing your nose, before eating or going to the cafeteria, after eating or leaving the cafeteria, and when leaving a bathroom.

We will continue monitoring the local situation and will adapt our campus rules accordingly when there is a significant increase or decrease in the prevalence of COVID-19 in our region.

The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

August 16, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met on Wednesday, August 12, to discuss new coronavirus rules that Germany recently enacted. Please note the following important announcements.

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) continues monitoring the worldwide pandemic and is actively maintaining a list of international risk areas that currently present an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2; see the bottom of the page for an archived PDF in English. This risk area list presently consists of more than 150 regions including India, Iran, Turkey, the USA, Luxembourg, Antwerp, mainland Spain, and the Spanish Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, Formentera, and others, but not including the Canary Islands).

As previously announced, you should carefully check this list of risk areas when choosing a travel destination and when returning from any trip. We advise all employees to avoid risk areas if possible.

Starting August 8, every person who enters Germany from an RKI-designated risk area must be tested for the novel coronavirus. This mandatory testing rule applies to people of all nationalities, to people of all ages including children and small children, and to all forms of travel, including residents returning from vacation and people starting new jobs at our institute.

An individual entering Germany has three options for this mandatory first test:

  • Taking an RKI-recognized molecular biological (PCR) test shortly before beginning your return journey and presenting your negative test result at the airport or other entry point. The negative test result must be less than 48 hours old at the time of presentation to be considered valid. PCR tests from all EU countries and about 100 other countries are currently recognized by the RKI (see bottom of the page for an archived PDF in English).
  • Submitting to a free PCR test at their point of entry; in Baden-Württemberg the test is presently available at Stuttgart airport, Karlsruhe airport, Friedrichshafen airport, the main Stuttgart train station, and on the A5 at the motorway service station in Neuenburg-Ost. It is also available at Frankfurt airport and other major airports across Germany. Please note that the waiting time may sometimes be several hours.
  • Obtaining a free PCR test at a corona testing center, a specialist practice, or their family doctor’s practice within 72 hours of returning. For example, the off-campus practice of our company doctor, Dr. Zehender, offers this test in Büsnau.

Importantly, all travelers entering Germany from a risk region are required to remain in quarantine until a negative test result is obtained. Individuals who are found to deliberately or negligently disobey these regulations can be punished by a fine of up to 25,000 EUR.

Furthermore, each individual must also register with the local authorities upon their entry from a risk region. In the Stuttgart region, please write to sicherheit@stuttgart.de stating the risk region you came from, the date and time of your return to Germany, what means of transport (plane, train, car, etc.) you used, your name, your nationality, and your address in the Stuttgart region. If you already have a negative test result, please also include it in the message.

Because the PCR test cannot detect very recent exposures to SARS-CoV-2, and because it sometimes gives false negative results, the health authorities also strongly encourage everyone to undergo a second PCR test four to five days after entering Germany from a risk region. This test is also free and can be obtained at all the same locations as the first mandatory test.

Protecting the health of our employees is of the utmost importance to the campus crisis unit. We want our campus to be even safer than public buildings in Stuttgart. Thus, we decided to require individuals coming from a risk region to undergo a second PCR test four to five days after entry to Germany. The person is allowed to enter our institute buildings only if this test is also negative.

In other words, any individual who wants to enter Heisenbergstr. 1, Heisenbergstr. 3, the S Building, or the Precision Lab must wait four to five days after entry from a risk region, take a second free PCR test, and get a negative result. They are expected to work from home or take vacation days during the waiting period. Individuals who have returned from a risk region and do not take a second test after arrival must wait fourteen days before entering our buildings on campus.

The crisis unit recognizes that this requirement for a second negative test incurs additional burden on our employees who must enter Germany from a risk region. However, we are confident that the benefits of reducing the chances of COVID-19 transmission within our campus community outweigh the drawbacks.

For clarity, individuals are not required to quarantine during the time they are waiting to take and pass the second test. The crisis unit recommends that they avoid contact with others to limit possible virus transmission, but they are allowed to ride public transportation (with a mask), go shopping (with a mask), and do all other activities except enter our campus research buildings.

Importantly, the crisis unit decided to allow people to stay in the guest house after only one negative test result. We anticipate that only a small number of new employees will be coming to our campus from risk regions in the coming months, and we explicitly want them to be able to stay in the guest house at the start of their time in Germany. They are subject to the same requirement of taking and passing a second PCR test before entering our main buildings. Until they get the second negative result, they should avoid close contact with their neighbors and refrain from going into shared areas of the guest house if not necessary.

One other useful point to know is that individuals entering Germany from all other regions (aside from risk areas) are also eligible to receive a free PCR test within 72 hours of entry. These tests can be obtained at the same locations listed above; you should bring proof of your stay outside Germany, such as flight tickets or a hotel invoice. Quarantine is not generally required before undergoing this voluntary test or waiting for its results, but individuals who were possibly exposed and/or who are experiencing symptoms similar to those of COVID-19 should self-isolate and contact a doctor or the health authorities.

Questions and concerns can be addressed to your institute's contact person ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS). You can also contact any member of the crisis unit at any time.

The registration form for campus visitors and our coronavirus website are constantly updated to reflect changes. We will continue monitoring the local situation and will adapt our campus rules accordingly as changes occur. In the meantime, we kindly remind you to follow all of the hygiene and social distancing rules that are recommended by the health authorities and listed on our website.

The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

July 28, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again yesterday to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Please note the following important announcements.

We are modifying our social distancing rules to be more flexible in exceptional cases: members of the same household are now allowed to come closer together than the 1.5-meter distance that was previously required.

However, people from different households must continue to practice social distancing by staying at least 1.5 meters away from each other at all times – without exception – and ensuring the area they are in is well ventilated. We kindly ask you to stick to this rule as a sign of respect to others.

We also kindly remind you to please wear an everyday mask when you leave your office and go to communal areas such as the hallways, chill-out areas, the cafeteria waiting line, or the bathrooms. We have recently seen this rule being broken more often and hence urge everyone to remember to keep a mask ready at all times and wear it when appropriate.

The summer holiday season is about to begin, so we posted more prominently on the starting page of our website which countries the Robert Koch Institute considers risk areas. The countries listed here (in German, see bottom of page for archived PDF in English) are designated as currently presenting an increased risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2. Please carefully check the list when choosing a travel destination. We advise all employees to avoid risk areas if possible.

Should you choose a risk area as your holiday destination, or if you are obliged to travel to such a country due to personal reasons, you are doing so at your own risk. It is your personal responsibility to contact the local authorities for further guidance on whether you will need to self-quarantine or present a recent Corona test when you return.

Also speak to your supervisor about how to proceed, including when it is safe to come back on campus. Be aware that a location you visit may be named a risk area while you are there or after you return, so please check the list every time you enter Germany and periodically for two weeks after you return.

We would also like to remind you of the occupancy office rules: currently, a maximum of two people from different households are allowed to work together in one office, and only if it is larger than 11 square meters. We encourage officemates not to sit face-to-face. The one-person-per-office-rule remains in place for offices smaller than 11 square meters. In shared offices, stay at least 1.5 meters away from each other at all times if you are not members of the same household and ensure the room is well ventilated.

We also kindly remind you to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cough or sneeze properly, stay home when you are ill, and apply all of the other hygiene rules that are recommended by the health authorities and listed here.

We will continue monitoring the local situation and will adapt our campus rules accordingly when there is a significant increase or decrease in the prevalence of COVID-19 in our region.

The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

July 2, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again yesterday to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Please note the following important announcements.

To support more employees coming back to campus, we decided to change the office-occupancy rules as follows:

  • From now on, two people are allowed to work together in an office if it is larger than 11 square meters. The one-person-per-office-rule remains in place for offices smaller than 11 square meters.
  • In shared offices, stay at least 1.5 meters away from each other at all times – without exception – and ensure the room is well ventilated.
  • It is not mandatory to wear an everyday mask when working at your desk.
  • Please wear an everyday mask when you leave your office and go to communal areas such as the hallways, chill-out areas, the cafeteria waiting line, or the bathrooms.
  • We encourage officemates not to sit face-to-face. In cases where this seating arrangement cannot be avoided, it may be possible for a plastic screen to be installed. Please consult your institute’s safety officer ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS) to inquire about this option.
  • Please consult your supervisor and/or your institute’s safety officer if you are asked to share an office and have any serious reasons for not doing so at this time.

Although we decided to relax the rules given the low number of new cases in our region, the crisis unit encourages everyone to continue following the one-person-per-office rule when possible, even in offices that are larger than 11 square meters. Always be on the safe side to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission between our employees.

As with offices larger than 11 square meters, people working in laboratories must also stay at least 1.5 meters away from each other and wear an everyday mask at all times. Please consult your institute’s safety officer ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS) if you would like to determine whether and how people can safely work together at a distance closer than 1.5 meters in a laboratory.

We also kindly remind you to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly, cough or sneeze properly, stay home when you are ill, and apply all of the other hygiene rules that are recommended by the health authorities and listed here on the website.

We will continue monitoring the local situation and will adapt our campus rules accordingly when there is a significant increase or decrease in the prevalence of COVID-19 in our region.

The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

June 23, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again on June 18 to discuss the COVID-19 situation. Please note the following important announcements:

  1. We are glad to see that campus activities have been increasing gradually but steadily, with a maximum of about 50% of our staff on campus at any time. As posted here, all main campus services are operational again, including the Cafeteria, Central Mechanical Workshop, Chemical Synthesis Service, Electronics Workshop, Fine Mechanical Workshop, Glass Workshop, Library, Low Temperature Service, Medical Service, Robotics CSF, and Supply Store.
     
  2. We ask employees to balance working from home with working on campus. Working from home is still encouraged for employees who need to care for children, people with health risk factors, and those whose work can be conducted efficiently at home. Otherwise, you are asked to carefully increase your daily activity on campus in consultation with your supervisor. On campus, we ask you to follow all of the applicable regulations listed in previous announcements, including the previously announced rules for office and lab occupancy.
     
  3. We decided to modify the rules for the cafeteria to increase its efficiency and capacity while keeping contact between employees to a minimum.
    • Two separate waiting lines will be formed: one for the vegetarian meal, and the second for the non-vegetarian meal. You may cautiously pass individuals waiting on the stairs when needed.
    • The large round wooden tables inside the cafeteria can now accommodate two people.
    • The large stone tables outside the cafeteria can also now accommodate two people.
    • People who are not in the same household must maintain an inter-personal distance of 1.5 meters even when sitting together at a large table.
    • Only one person is allowed at all other smaller tables inside and outside. All other rules remain unchanged, including wearing an everyday mask when not eating.
    • gourmet compagnie has set up a donation box in the form of a piggy bank by the cafeteria cash register. Most of the employees in our cafeteria are receiving only 60% of their normal salary due to the reduced working hours from the pandemic. If you would like to thank the cafeteria employees for their service, please consider giving a small donation, such as 5 to 10% of your meal price. Participation is voluntary,and any collected funds will go directly to the employees.
       
  4. Effective immediately, meetings of larger groups may take place if the following rules are observed:
    • First, the event organizers need to collect the following information: title and short description of the proposed event; name and contact data of the main organizer; date, duration, and location for the event; expected numbers of internal and external participants; an initial hygiene concept (plan for how to minimize the chances of virus transmission during the event); and a statement consenting to record the event attendance as specified below.
    • As soon as it has been collected, MPI-FKF and VAD employees should send this information to Michael Eppard (), and MPI-IS and IMW employees should send it to Barbara Kettemann (). You can write in either English or German. Mr. Eppard and Ms. Kettemann will help the event organizer determine whether their plans need any modifications to comply with the coronavirus regulations of Baden-Württemberg.
    • During the meeting, the main organizer must write down a list of all attendees along with the actual date, starting time, ending time, and location of the meeting. The organizer should keep this list on file for four weeks and then destroy it. It will be needed for infection tracing only if any of the attendees is later found to have coronavirus.
    • Everyday masks must be worn when entering the room and finding your seat.
    • Each meeting participant must maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters to all other participants at all times.
    • As an example, we estimate that up to about 50 people could meet in 2D5 by leaving empty seats between people in the same row and leaving every second row of seats free.
    • If available, windows should be opened to ventilate the room during and after the meeting.
    • If desired, you are allowed to take off your everyday mask during the meeting.
    • When leaving the meeting, you must again wear an everyday mask.
       
  5. Individuals needing a quiet place to work on campus may want to consider the 14 work tables in our library. They are located along the windows on the lower level. Please follow the library’s coronavirus rules, which include wearing an everyday mask.
     
  6. Germany’s official Corona-Warn-App was recently released. Available for free via the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store, the Corona-Warn-App helps trace infection chains of SARS-CoV-2 (which can cause COVID-19) in Germany. The app is based on technologies with a decentralized approach and notifies users if they have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2. Transparency is key to both protect the app's end-users and to encourage adoption. Use of this app is recommended by the crisis unit but is completely voluntary. See the app’s website to learn more: 
    https://www.coronawarn.app/en
     
  7. The Robert Koch Institute is again naming risk regions for the novel coronavirus. Their  online list of risk regions (in German, see bottom of page for archived PDF in English) is updated frequently and should be consulted by anyone considering travel or welcoming new employees. Individuals entering Germany from a risk region must undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Our campus visitor questionnaire has been updated to reflect this change, with the risk regions shown on the second page. Individuals arriving from abroad are not allowed to conduct any part of their 14-day quarantine in the campus guest house, as the guest house is part of our campus.
     
  8. The Max Planck Society currently requires individuals who want to take a business trip outside of Germany to ask the central MPG crisis unit for COVID-19-related travel recommendations in advance of the trip. The traveler (or his or her delegate) is responsible for requesting this advice by emailing . Responses usually come within one business day, and the advice received should be shared with the travel approver, if there is one. Business trips within Germany currently do not require special measures beyond the standard travel authorization form.

The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

 

May 15, 2020

Dear all,

Starting on Monday, May 18, our campus cafeteria will open at 10:00 a.m. instead of 8:00 a.m. It will close at 3:00 p.m., as usual. These new opening hours apply until further notice.

Due to low current demand, there will be no hot breakfast. Instead, they will serve cold sandwiches.

Sandwiches: starting at 10:00 a.m.
Hot Lunch: 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

In addition, the canteen will be closed on Friday, May 22, and Friday, June 12. We expect few employees on campus on those dates due to the adjacent public holidays.

These changes will help the canteen operate in a more economical way. Thank you for continuing to support their business on our campus.

 

May 7, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again yesterday to discuss the COVID-19 situation.

We are delighted to announce that our campus cafeteria will reopen on Monday, May 11. It is great news that the canteen operator, Gourmet Compagnie, accepted our invitation to start preparing and serving food again. The reopening of the cafeteria should make it more convenient for our employees to work on campus.

The canteen will operate in a new pandemic mode that has been designed to protect the health of our employees and the cafeteria staff. This plan for safe operation was formulated by Jörg Eisfeld (safety officer for MPI-IS), Michael Wied (safety officer for MPI-FKF), and Dr. Bernd Zehender (our campus doctor) and is based on current guidelines for infection protection.

The crisis unit decided to enact the following rules for the canteen until further notice:

      1. Only individuals with a "Max-Planck-Institute Stuttgart" identification card are allowed to eat in the canteen. External visitors without a campus ID card may not enter the canteen area.
      2. The canteen will be open for both breakfast and lunch. The same rules apply to both meals.
      3. You must wash your hands using the methods recommended by the health authorities before going to the canteen. The left sidebar on the starting page provides handouts on proper hand-washing techniques, and signs are posted in all bathrooms on campus.
      4. You must wear simple mouth and nose protection (an everyday mask) in order to enter the canteen. If you forget your reusable mask, you can get a disposable mask at the H1 and H3 reception desks. Canteen employees will also wear everyday masks.
      5. You must stay at least 2 meters away from other people at all locations in and around the canteen. Maintain this distance no matter what you are doing – even when you are washing your hands or waiting in a line.
      6. Check the balance on your card before you enter the canteen, and add money to ensure you have sufficient funds when you get to the cashier.
      7. Access to and from the canteen will be organized with a one-way flow of people. You can enter the cafeteria only by the stairs located across from the supply store. The floor will be marked to show you the direction to move and the inter-person distance to keep. You can exit the canteen only via the exit staircase that is intertwined with the entrance staircase, or via the terrace to the outdoor area.
      8. A maximum of six customers may be in the canteen’s sales area simultaneously. Up to one person may be on the entrance stairway, up to four people at the food counters and in the main part of the room, and no more than one person paying at the cashier. This limit will be posted on signs, and a staff member will monitor this area from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. to help everyone follow this rule.
      9. Clear plastic panels are being installed to better separate customers from staff working behind the food counters and at the cash register. You may approach a cafeteria worker at a distance less than 2 meters only when a clear plastic panel is present between you.
      10. The canteen will prepare and hopes to sell about 100 hot lunches per day. They will offer one vegetarian and one non-vegetarian lunch option, as well as one portioned breakfast in the morning. Cold beverages and other packaged items may be taken as usual, and coffee should also be available for purchase at the cashier.
      11. The silverware will be prepackaged in a bundle with a napkin. Food will be served on standard plates and trays, and we have requested the option for disposable packaging for people who want to eat alone in their office with the door closed.
      12. Pay for your purchases with the money loaded on your ID card. To minimize contact with staff, you cannot pay with cash.
      13. Only one person may sit at each table, regardless of its size and regardless of whether it is indoors or outdoors. To maintain the required distance between people, the canteen chairs will be placed at appropriate locations and must not be moved to other tables. Note that even members of the same household must sit at separate tables in the canteen.
      14. Obviously, you may remove your everyday mask while eating and drinking. Please put it back on as soon as you are done with your meal.
      15. You are responsible for returning your dishes in the usual way. Employees who eat on the terrace are allowed to come back into the canteen to return their dishes, providing they wear a mask and stay at least 2 meters away from others.
      16. You should wash your hands properly soon after leaving the canteen area.
      17. The handrails of the cafeteria staircases will be disinfected regularly by the cleaning staff. The tables inside the canteen will be cleaned once per day.

We are pleased to make the operation of the canteen possible again with these extensive health protection measures. By eating your lunch in the canteen when you are on campus, all employees can contribute to ensuring that the canteen can operate economically even in this new pandemic mode.

The campus crisis unit thanks Jörg Eisfeld, Michael Wied, and Bernd Zehender for formulating this safety plan. We are also grateful to everyone who is working hard to implement these procedures so that our canteen can reopen on Monday!

Thank you for your attention and cooperation.

 

April 30, 2020

Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today to discuss the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please note the following important announcements:

(i)   The Baden-Württemberg government recently announced a new mask requirement. Everyone is now required to wear simple mouth and nose protection (known as an "everyday mask") when shopping and when on public transportation. You may wear a purchased mask (such as the reusable masks we distributed), a hand-made mask, or any type of fabric over your nose and mouth. You should also stay at least 2 meters away from all people outside your household in these situations.

(ii)   The health of all of our employees continues to be the top priority in all of the crisis unit's considerations. We share the Max Planck Society’s objective not to risk a renewed lockdown due to exponentially increasing infection rates. Thus, we are exercising great caution as we plan how to gradually increase research activities on campus during the month of May.

(iii)   We ask all employees to continue working from home whenever possible. Only operationally necessary activities should take place on campus, e. g., conducting an experiment that cannot be postponed. Given our knowledge of the number of people entering our buildings and the number of devices connecting to our wireless network each day, we expect there should be less than 30% of our total staff on campus at all points in time.

(iv)   As always, individuals with contact to a possible coronavirus case or symptoms similar to coronavirus must stay home and inform their supervisor and their institute’s contact person. Only healthy individuals without likely exposure may come on campus.

(v)   If and when you come onto campus, we remind you to:

    • Stay at least two meters away from all other people at all times.
    • Wear a simple face mask in all parts of campus where you might meet others. (See the left sidebar on the starting page of our Corona website for new mask videos.)
    • Wash your hands frequently, using proper techniques.
    • Follow our campus rules for office and lab occupancy (detailed below).

    (vi)   Only one person may be in a typical office at any time. Coordinate with your officemates and supervisor to plan who will use which office at what time.

    (vii)   Offices that are larger than 30 square meters may accommodate two people simultaneously only if the two people can stay at least two meters away from each other at all times. In this case, both individuals should wear an everyday mask, and a window should be opened to provide ventilation. Measure your office and/or confirm its size with your manager or safety officer before occupying it simultaneously with another person.

    (viii)   We recognize that two (or more) people may need to work simultaneously in one laboratory for safety and/or operational reasons. As with large offices, individuals must stay at least two meters away from each other and wear an everyday mask at all times. Please consult your institute’s safety officer ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS) if you would like to determine whether and how more than one person can work together closely but safely in any laboratory, as our laboratories vary greatly.

    (ix)   The German Federal Foreign Office extended its worldwide travel warning through June 15, 2020. Thus, international business trips remain impossible at this time. Business trips within Germany should also be avoided whenever possible.

    The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

     

    April 16, 2020

    Dear colleagues,

    The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today to discuss the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Please note the following important announcements:

    (a)    The current regulations on our campus will continue until at least Sunday, May 3. These regulations include:

      • Working from home whenever possible.
      • Urgent recommendation to wear a simple face mask (so-called "everyday mask") any time you might encounter a person outside your household.
      • Staying at least 2 meters away from all people not in your household, even when wearing masks.
      • Having no more than one person in an office at a time.
      • Avoiding in-person meetings: hold meetings by video conferencing or telephone whenever possible.
      • Frequently washing your hands following the methods recommended by the health authorities.

      (b)   Although we expect our operations to be affected by the coronavirus pandemic well beyond the next two weeks, we believe it is time to start thinking about how to gradually increase our campus activities after May 3. Each department, group, facility, and team should discuss safe strategies for increasing their activity level, focusing first on their most urgent and important on-campus activities. Note that we must not increase social interactions suddenly after May 3; all plans should respect the 2-meter rule and the 1-person-per-office rule.

      (c)   The RKI stopped identifying international risk regions on April 10. Instead, anyone entering Germany from any other country is now subject to a 14-day quarantine after entry. Similarly, you should be aware that the Federal Foreign Office of Germany (Auswärtiges Amt, AA) has issued a worldwide travel warning against non-necessary travel outside of Germany. The crisis unit expects all employees and guests on campus to follow these rules. Business trips abroad are still currently not permitted.

      (d)   We are aware of no new confirmed COVID-19 cases on our campus. As always, individuals with contact to a possible coronavirus case or symptoms similar to coronavirus must stay home and inform their supervisor and their institute’s contact person. Only healthy individuals without likely exposure may come on campus.

      (e)   To facilitate containment of any future cases, we ask you to keep a record of all people with whom you directly interact each day. We follow the RKI's definitions and ask you to separately track both Category I contacts (high risk of infection, defined as persons with whom you had more than 15 total minutes of face-to-face contact counted over several days) and Category II contacts (lower risk of infection, defined as persons who were in the same room as you, regardless of the duration). Your institute’s contact person will ask you to share your dated list of professional contacts only if you fall ill with a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection.

      (f)   We ask authorized external visitors with business on campus (e. g., construction contractors) to wear their own simple face masks on campus. Visitors who do not have a mask may obtain a disposable mask from the staff at our Heisenbergstr. 1 and Heisenbergstr. 3 entrances. We have also placed hand sanitizer at these locations for your convenience, but we remind you that hand sanitizer does not replace proper hand washing.

      The Stuttgart MPI crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important announcements.

       

      April 6, 2020

      Dear colleagues,

      The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you:

      1.   We encourage all employees to wear simple mouth and nose protection on campus to limit the spread of the virus. This policy aligns with current recommendations by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI, only in German) and the city of Stuttgart (only in German).

        • Both reusable fabric masks and disposable masks are acceptable.
        • You might be able to buy such masks in a local store or online, but an easy way to get one is to make it yourself. You can find a variety of instructions online.
        • We have ordered such masks for our campus; we will tell you as soon as they are available.
        • We encourage you to wear a simple mask any time you might encounter another person on campus, including in the hallways, bathrooms, kitchens, and shared laboratories.
        • We also encourage you to wear a simple mask at all points on your journey to and from campus when you might encounter another person.
        • You do not need to wear a mask when working in an office alone with the door closed or when riding in your personal car.
        • For clarity, wearing simple mouth and nose protection is not currently required, but it is strongly recommended by the crisis unit and may become required in the future.

        2.   Wearing such a mask does not completely protect you from being exposed or exposing others. Thus, it is essential that you continue following all other regulations on campus, including:

          • Staying at least 2 meters away from all people not in your household at all times.
          • Not having people from different households together in an office simultaneously at any time.
          • Frequently washing your hands with the techniques recommended by the health authorities.
          • Staying home and informing your supervisor and your institute’s contact person ( for MPI-FKF or for MPI-IS) if you experience any symptoms similar to corona virus.
          • Staying home and informing your supervisor and your institute’s contact person if you have had contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19.

          3.   The RKI recently updated the list of corona virus risk regions (only in German). Here is the current list, with the newest entries highlighted in bold:

            • Austria: entire country
            • Egypt: entire country
            • France: entire country
            • Iran: entire country
            • Italy: entire country
            • South Korea: Daegue, Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
            • Spain: entire country
            • Switzerland: entire country
            • Netherlands: entire country
            • United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: entire country
            • United States: entire country

            We would like to remind you that individuals returning from any RKI-defined risk region must work from home for 14 days from the time of their return, coming onto campus only after that time has passed.

            The Stuttgart campus crisis unit thanks you for your attention to these important measures.

             

            March 31, 2020

            The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you.

              • There have been no new confirmed cases on our campus. Our total number of confirmed cases thus remains at two.
              • Our employees continue to work mainly from home, with only a small number of employees coming onto campus for essential tasks. People over 59 years old or who have relevant pre-existing health conditions are especially urged to work from home. We expect we will continue in this same mode at least through Monday, April 13, and probably through Sunday, April 19. Talk to your supervisor for guidance on what to work on from home.
              • Today the Max Planck Society released new social distancing rules for people who come on campus. In addition to requiring you to stay at least two meters away from all other people at all times, they specified that no more than one person should occupy an office at a time. Please follow these rules precisely.
              • If you do need to come to the institute, we recommend the use of private transportation, such as a car or bicycle. If you must use public transportation, avoid peak travel times and crowded cars, always staying at least two meters away from others. Wash your hands as soon as you reach your destination.
              • President Stratmann recently decided that no foreign business trips may take place in April 2020. Furthermore, business trips within Germany should be avoided if at all possible and can be approved only for well-justified reasons.

              We would like to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your patience, support, and encouragement during this difficult time. Your cooperation has enabled us to continue most of our scientific, technical and administrative activities despite the substantial constraints our world is facing. Keep up the good work!

               

              March 31, 2020

              International risk areas (RKI, March 31, 2020)

                • Austria: entire country
                • Egypt: entire country
                • France: entire country
                • Iran: entire country
                • Italy: entire country
                • South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                • Spain: entire country
                • Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
                • United States: States of California, Washington, New York and New Jersey

                Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

                  • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                   

                  March 27, 2020

                  International risk areas (RKI, March 27, 2020)

                    • Austria: entire country
                    • Egypt: entire country
                    • France: Île-de-France and Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
                    • Iran: entire country
                    • Italy: entire country
                    • South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                    • Spain: Regions of Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and Paìs Vasco
                    • Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
                    • United States: States of California, Washington, New York and New Jersey

                    Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

                      • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                       

                      March 25, 2020

                      International risk areas (RKI, March 25, 2020)

                        • Austria: State of Tyrol
                        • Egypt: entire country
                        • France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
                        • Iran: entire country
                        • Italy: entire country
                        • South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                        • Spain: Regions of Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and Paìs Vasco
                        • Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
                        • United States: States of California, Washington and New York

                        Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

                          • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                           

                          March 24, 2020

                          We have two confirmed cases (person A and B) of infection with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19) at FKF. Both individuals belong to the same department.

                            • Person A felt their first symptoms in the evening on Thursday, March 12, and left campus in the morning of Friday, March 13, with symptoms. Person A was tested on March 20, received the positive test result on March 23, and informed their manager immediately.
                            • Person B started having symptoms on Saturday, March 14. They were last on campus on Thursday, March 12. Person B was tested on March 17, received the positive test result on March 23, and informed their manager immediately.
                            • All members of this department began working from home immediately after the positive result was known on March 23.
                            • Person A attended seminars starting at 11 a.m. in room 4D2 on the following three dates: Tuesday, March 10; Wednesday, March 11; Thursday, March 12.  Except for these three seminars, Person A did not have close contact with colleagues outside their department since March 10.
                            • People who attended any of these seminars on March 10, 11, or 12 must self-quarantine for 14 days from the latest contact date and inform their supervisor.
                            • Person B did not have any close contact with colleagues outside their department since Thursday, March 12.
                            • We contacted the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) this morning. They confirmed that we have implemented proper measures in both cases and that we may keep the campus open.

                            Please stay calm and continue social distancing and hygiene measures.

                             

                            March 23, 2020

                            Many of you are now working from home, have to look after children or relatives at risk, and hardly get to leave your own four walls. Mental health is especially important now. You can access the Employee and Manager Assistance Program, known as EMAP, which was established last year and is available free of charge at any time to support you even in these challenging days. Family members living in your household may also use EMAP.

                            Physical fitness also should not be neglected in the home office. The Preventive Sports Medicine and Sports Cardiology Department of TU Munich has put together ten simple tips on exercise, relaxation and behavior (in German) that can help you to stay fit despite the restrictions of the corona virus.

                             

                            March 21, 2020

                            International risk areas (RKI, March 21, 2020)

                              • in Austria: State of Tyrol
                              • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
                              • Egypt: entire country
                              • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
                              • Iran: entire country
                              • Italy: entire country
                              • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                              • in Spain: Madrid
                              • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York

                              Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

                                • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                                 

                                March 20, 2020

                                The communication team of the campus crisis unit decided to announce the following points:

                                1.   We still know of no confirmed coronavirus cases on our Stuttgart campus. However, a positive case was recently confirmed in the Tübingen site of MPI-IS. The affected person had not come onto campus at all after being exposed. Thus, the health authorities did not recommend any actions beyond notifying all contacts, which has been done. 

                                2.   We kindly remind you to practice social distancing and that people with symptoms similar to those of coronavirus must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room. Only healthy individuals may come on campus at this time.

                                3.   The most common symptoms in COVID-19 cases, as stated by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), are fever as the most common, followed by cough, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, head ache, nausea, stuffy nose and diarrhea.

                                 

                                March 18, 2020

                                Dear colleagues,

                                The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you:

                                1.   We kindly remind you that people with symptoms similar to those of coronavirus (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties) must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room. Only healthy individuals who are not experiencing any coronavirus-like symptoms may come on campus at this time.

                                2.   We encourage everyone to perform your work at home (“home office”) to the greatest extent possible. Each individual situation is different; please consult your supervisor for guidance on how to be productive when working at home.

                                3.   Some projects may not be able to be completed in the planned funding period due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is slowing down most research progress. The Max Planck Society’s President and Secretary General recently announced that this is to be taken into account through appropriate extension options for doctoral and postdoctoral students. Thus, Ph.D. students and postdocs should not feel contract-based pressure to make research progress at this time.

                                4.   Remember to wash your hands before visiting our on-campus cafeteria, following the hand-washing techniques recommended by the health authorities. While in the cafeteria and everywhere else on campus, stay at least two meters away from all other individuals.

                                5.   Our website also links to many trusted sources of information about this situation (left), which we encourage you to consult.

                                We thank you for your attention and support of these important measures.

                                 

                                March 17, 2020

                                The Robert Koch Institute has today classified the risk to public health as "high". The strategy is to break chains of infection and slow down the spread of the virus. To ensure this delay, the Federal Government and the Länder are taking numerous measures.

                                 

                                March 16, 2020

                                Dear colleagues,

                                The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you.

                                (i)   We are happy to see that many of you are working partially or fully from home. Having fewer people physically on campus greatly reduces the risk that any diseases will be transmitted from person to person. We thank all employees who are supporting this home office effort.

                                (ii)   We are confident that our campus remains a very safe place to work. As we previously announced:

                                  • Anyone who is sick with any illness must stay at home until fully recovered.
                                  • Anyone who has had contact with a possible coronavirus case must stay at home for 14 days from the contact.
                                  • Anyone who has been in a coronavirus risk region (see point vii below for an important update) must stay at home for 14 days from their return.
                                  • We are carefully controlling access to our buildings to keep this healthy and safe environment.

                                  (iii)   We repeat our request that everyone practice social distancing both here on campus and everywhere else. That means staying at least 2 meters away from every other person who is not in your immediate family. Please be especially considerate of and keep your distance from older adults, who are at increased risk from this disease. Specifically, we ask you to hold meetings by telephone or video conferencing tools whenever possible, even when all parties are present on campus. Wash your hands frequently using the technique recommended by health authorities.

                                  (iv)   The crisis unit confirmed that our campus is continuing to operate. This decision aligns perfectly with the instructions that President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems sent to all MPG Directors last Friday. It also aligns perfectly with Chancellor Merkel’s announcement from today. We plan to consider moving to emergency operations only if and when a coronavirus case is confirmed on our campus (or if the local health department, the government, or the Max Planck Society tell us we must close our campus).

                                  (v)    We still know of no confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus. However, we recognize that we might not have all relevant information. Therefore, we ask that you tell both your supervisor AND your institution's designated contact person from the crisis unit immediately if you know of anyone (including yourself) who is suspected or confirmed of having the novel coronavirus. The designated contacts of the crisis unit are as follows:

                                    All information that you share will be kept confidential by the crisis unit and will help us make good decisions for our campus.

                                    (vi)    Many employees will need to work from home for the next month because Baden-Württemberg closed all schools and daycare centers starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, through at least Sunday, April 19 (correction from previous announcement). It is important to realize that our administration, IT, building services, workshops, and other support services cannot work in normal mode during this school closure time. They will do their best to support the ongoing activities on our campus within the present constraints. Please be patient and adapt your work patterns to find ways to stay productive during this challenging time.

                                    (vii)   The RKI’s recently expanded its list of coronavirus risk areas as follows:

                                      • Italy: entire country
                                      • Iran: entire country
                                      • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
                                      • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                                      • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
                                      • in Austria: State of Tyrol
                                      • in Spain: Madrid
                                      • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York
                                      • in Germany: Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                                      If you have returned from any of these risk areas in the past 14 days, you must work from home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor. If you notice coronavirus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can be found under "Hotlines” (left).

                                      (viii)   If you have questions or concerns, you can email our entire crisis unit at  .

                                      (ix)   You can also always directly contact individual members of our crisis unit members. Our active members are:

                                        We thank you for your attention and support of these important measures.

                                         

                                        March 15, 2020

                                        International risk areas (RKI, March 13, 2020)

                                          • Italy: entire country
                                          • Iran: entire country
                                          • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
                                          • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                                          • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
                                          • in Austria: State of Tyrol
                                          • in Spain: Madrid
                                          • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York

                                          Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 13, 2020)

                                            • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

                                             

                                            March 13, 2020

                                            Dear colleagues,

                                            The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus met today to discuss and make additional decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). The crisis unit decided to inform you about the points and decisions listed below:

                                            (a)   To date, there are still zero confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus.

                                            (b)   However, in our region and beyond, the number of people infected with this coronavirus continues to rise quickly. We are therefore taking action to help break the chains of infection and reduce the risk of uncontrolled contagion for you and your colleagues. This goal requires us to reduce the number of people on our campus as much as possible. Specifically, MPG President Martin Stratmann and MPG Secretary General Rüdiger Willems just sent the following message to all Directors: "Against this background, we call on all Max Planck Institutes to ask their staff to work from home as far possible. The concept of 'home office’ should be interpreted broadly, and, as far as possible, not be linked to the presence of IT equipment."

                                            (c)   Today the government of Baden-Württemberg decided to close all schools and day-care centers starting on Tuesday, March 17. This closure will continue at least through Monday, April 19, which is the last day of the Easter holidays.

                                              • We recognize that some employees will need to stay home to take care of their children during this period.
                                              • We encourage employees affected by this school closure to tell your supervisor and request permission to work at home.
                                              • We encourage all supervisors to approve such working from home if possible.
                                              • On this point, President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems stated that "Employees with children who cannot otherwise ensure their care and who, at the same time, are unable to work from home (e. g. workshop employees, technical assistants, etc.) can be released from work on full pay until further notice after consultation with their superiors."

                                              (d)   As we announced in point 5 of our email yesterday, each Director and Research Group Leader must make his or her own decision whether to allow any or all of his or her team members to work from home, based on the individual employee's situation, the team's composition, the research and projects being pursued, and all other relevant factors. Team members with concerns should talk with their supervisor, members of the crisis unit, or the relevant Work's Council for support.

                                              (e)   Our Max Planck campus remains operational. The crisis unit deliberately decided not to enter into emergency operation at this time. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will react quickly to any changes that occur.

                                              (f)   To minimize the chance for disease transmission, we ask everyone to practice social distancing and good health hygiene whether you are at work or anywhere else. All non-critical in-person seminars, in-person meetings, and visits by guests should be postponed or cancelled. For instance, the crisis unit today decided to cancel our on-campus language classes and sports courses until further notice. As written by President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems, "please keep social contacts to a minimum." Do your best to stay at least two meters away from other people. Wash your hands frequently, following the instructions posted in our bathrooms, and minimize touching your face. Carry tissues, use part of your clothing, or use other parts of your body to avoid touching your fingers to door handles and other surfaces that may be dirty.

                                              (g)   To further reduce the risk, our campus cafeteria will serve portable lunch packages rather than standard plated meals starting on Monday, March 16, until further notice. You will still need to wash your hands before coming to the cafeteria to pick out and pay for your lunch package, but you can easily eat it anywhere. During lunch, as at all other times, we encourage you to keep appropriate distance from other people.

                                              (h)   Because the situation may change rapidly, we ask you to check your email and/or our coronavirus website before coming to campus. All announced regulations, hygiene suggestions, travel restrictions, and the like can be seen here at any time.

                                              We continue monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks. Thank you for helping our campus manage this difficult time together. 

                                               

                                              March 12, 2020

                                              Dear colleagues,

                                              The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus met today to discuss and make decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). We decided to inform you about the points and decisions listed below.

                                              1.   The RKI recently expanded its list of coronavirus risk areas (in German, March 11, 2020) to include a region of France. The full list of risk regions is now as follows:

                                                • Italy: entire country
                                                • Iran: entire country
                                                • in China: Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City)
                                                • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                                                • in France: Grand Est Region (includes Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardenne)

                                                2.   If you have returned from any of these risk areas in the past 14 days, you must work from home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor. If you notice coronavirus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can be found under "Hotlines" (on the left).

                                                3.   All individuals who have had contact with any confirmed or suspected coronavirus patient must work from home for 14 days from the time of that contact and inform their supervisor. We follow the RKI’s definition of contact (in German). In short, contact persons include people who have been in the same room with a confirmed case of COVID-19 from two days before the appearance of initial symptoms. Our rules apply to all contact persons, regardless of the category (I, II, or III). As above, call your doctor or an emergency room if you notice coronavirus-like symptoms during these 14 days.

                                                4.   Anyone who has symptoms similar to those of coronavirus (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties) must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room.

                                                5.   Directors and research group leaders may decide to encourage, ask, or require their team members to work from home due to coronavirus. Directors and group leaders must make this decision individually, based on their team's composition, research topics, and other relevant factors. Team members with concerns should talk with their supervisor, members of the crisis unit, or the relevant Work's Council for support.

                                                6.   New employees arriving on campus during this time will first be treated as visitors and will need to complete the questionnaire about their health and travels. Hosts should share this form with new employees in advance; you can always download here the current version from .

                                                7.   To date, there have been zero confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus. If and when any case is confirmed, the crisis unit will meet immediately to decide whether our campus will enter into emergency operation. To limit the spread of the virus, access to campus buildings will be extremely limited during emergency operation. External card readers will not function, and only individuals listed on our emergency access lists will be able to enter the buildings, which will be possible only by registering at Heisenbergstrasse 1.

                                                8.   For the common good of our society, we urge everyone to stay calm, observe these restrictions, support one another, and do your part to prepare for what may come. As the New York Times reported Chancellor Merkel saying on March 11,"the most important thing...is to slow down the spread of this coronavirus to win time for people to develop immunity, and to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed."

                                                We continue monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks.

                                                 

                                                March 11, 2020

                                                International risk areas ( RKI, March 11, 2020)

                                                  • Italy: entire country
                                                  • Iran: entire country
                                                  • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
                                                  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
                                                  • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)

                                                   

                                                  March 10, 2020


                                                  The entire country of Italy and the entire country of Iran have become risk regions, as announced by the Robert Koch Institute this morning. 

                                                  If you have returned from Italy, Iran, or another risk area in the past 14 days, please stay at home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor.

                                                   

                                                  March 9, 2020

                                                  Dear colleagues,

                                                  The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus is meeting on a regular basis to discuss and make decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). All regulations announced earlier are still valid.

                                                  In addition, the crisis unit has decided to adopt the new precautionary measures listed below until further notice:

                                                    • Starting at 8:00 am on Tuesday, March 10, our campus will be closed to external people who have no business purpose here. This temporary measure includes all areas including our cafeteria and will last until further notice.
                                                    • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, all visitors who have a business purpose on campus must fill in a questionnaire about their health and travels ( download pdf) before entering our buildings. The questionnaire will be available at both main entrances in both German and English.
                                                    • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, all employees can enter our buildings only through the main Heisenbergstrasse 1 and Heisenbergstrasse 3 entrances or through external doors with an electronic card reader. All other doors will be locked. Please show your Institute badge or a valid ID at the entrance in order to enter.
                                                    • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, the smoking area at the kitchen delivery will be closed. Smoking is instead allowed near the entrance of Heisenbergstrasse 1. Please use the ashtrays that have been installed there.
                                                    • The blocking of external doors (e. g., with wooden wedges) is not allowed and can result in legal consequences for personnel and others. Do not hold any institute doors open.

                                                    We are monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks.

                                                     

                                                    February 28, 2020

                                                    Dear colleagues,

                                                    The institute managements of both Max Planck Institues (MPI for Solid State Research and MPI for Intelligent Systems) take the rapid spread of the coronavirus very seriously and has decided to adjust precautionary measures to continue to protect all employees. We are monitoring the situation daily and reserve the right to extend the regulations below in the coming days or weeks.

                                                    Currently, the provision of prophylactic hand disinfectants in public areas on our campus is not indicated according to the current recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Note that RKI is the German government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine, which is in charge of safeguarding public health in Germany.

                                                    Employees with chronic or serious illnesses or who are pregnant may work from home after consultation with their supervisor.

                                                    The following measures apply to all "risk areas", as defined by the website of the RKI. (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html - in German):

                                                      • With immediate effect, no business trips to risk areas will be approved.
                                                      • If you are currently in a risk area and wish to visit our institute, postpone your trip until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact your host at the institute.
                                                      • We currently do not accept visitors from risk areas in our guest house.
                                                      • If you have returned from a risk area, you should stay at home for 14 days from the date of your return and work from home. If you notice virus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can also be found under "Hotlines".  
                                                      • If you have had contact with people who have been in a risk area and suffer from virus symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, colds, etc.), first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can also be found under "Hotlines".

                                                      If you want to organize or hold any event on campus, the following guidelines apply:

                                                        • Consult your supervisor to determine whether this event is really necessary, or if it could be postponed.
                                                        • Until further notice, internal events with only local campus attendees should not involve more than 50 total participants.
                                                        • Until further notice, campus events should involve no more than ten external participants.
                                                        • The responsible director or group leader makes the final decision about whether to hold an event.

                                                        If you develop the symptoms described above during your presence at the institutes and belong to the risk group, go home immediately observing the hygienic measures (see website) and consult your doctor or the offices set up for this purpose (see above). To avoid spreading the virus here on campus, do not visit our company doctor.

                                                        We hope that we can protect our valuable and healthy employees with these measures.

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