Revised RWTH Regulations on Travel

September 8th, 2020 | by

Since September 1, 2020, new regulations regarding the coronavirus pandemic have been in force, which also makes it necessary to adapt the previous RWTH regulations regarding traveling to or arriving from risk areas. On the basis of the legal specifications and out of concern for all University members, the Crisis Management Team, in consultation with the University Management, has agreed upon the following regulations:

Individuals returning from risk areas

Individuals returning to Germany from these areas are obliged to self-isolate for 14-days (§3 (1) CoronaIrVO) and to inform the public health department about their return from a stay in a risk area (§2 (1) CoronaIrVO). The public health department can also require travelers to get tested for COVID-19 within those 14 days (Ordinance on the compulsory testing of persons entering from risk areas).

You can find information from the Aachen Health Department here.

Employees who commute to work from risk areas

RWTH employees whose work cannot be carried out remotely are allowed to work on site (at RWTH). For commuters who have been in a risk area other than their place of residence due to business or private travel, the regulations described above apply. Commuters from risk areas must limit all face-to-face interactions as far as possible.

Guests/visitors from risk areas:

The Crisis Management Team strongly recommends refraining from in-person meetings and switching to video conferencing formats or the like. If guests or visitors arrive from risk areas (e.g. because they planned a stay in Europe for longer than two weeks), their host institution must let them know that they are obligated to register with the responsible Health Office (usually that of Städteregion Aachen). Regardless of the public health department’s decision on a quarantine order, these guests are also not permitted to enter the RWTH premises until one week after arriving in Germany, at the earliest.

Regulation for students coming from risk areas:

For students who enter the country daily (commuters) or who are only in the country for up to 5 days because of their studies, the obligation to self-quarantine and notify the public health department does not apply according to §3 (4) 4 CoronaIrVO. However, any students who arrive in Germany and stay for longer than 5 days must report to the Health Office immediately. The public health department can shorten the quarantine period if students present a negative test result. As soon as the (shortened) quarantine period is over, students may attend courses and take exams at RWTH.

We ask host institutions to inform students about the reporting obligations and quarantine regulations. For some individual students from risk areas, supervision of the written exam can be offered via Zoom. The Examination Boards have already received detailed information regarding this option.

Travel to risk areas

Business trips for employees:

We will not approve any business trips to risk areas at present. If an employee returns from a country that has been subsequently classified as a risk area, and if the local health department does not issue a quarantine order or shortens the quarantine period for special reasons, the employee must still work from home for the first week following their return.

Private travel by employees:

The Crisis Management Team urgently appeals to all employees to refrain from personal travel to risk areas when it is not absolutely necessary. If, however, employees do go on such trips, the respective superiors should be informed in advance so that work arrangements can be made ahead of time. Irrespective of the health authority’s decision regarding quarantine, these employees must always work remotely from home for the first week after their return.

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