Archive for November, 2021

Adapted regulations of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance

November 24th, 2021 | by

The State of North Rhine-Westphalia has adapted the regulations of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance in response to the increasing infection rates. The following regulations are significant for RWTH:

  • Teaching activities, use of the University Library, and congresses are still permitted in compliance with the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered, tested).
  • Admission to cultural events is now only permitted in compliance with the 2G rule (vaccinated, recovered).
  • The 2G rule also applies to University Sports offerings – both indoors and outdoors.
  • From November 26, 2021, at the latest, the CovPassCheck app published by the Robert Koch Institute should be used to check digital vaccination certificates whenever possible. The app is available via popular app stores.

Further, the Crisis Management Team strongly recommends wearing a mask at indoor events or similar, even if there is no legal obligation to do so.

3G Rule Implementation in the Workplace

November 23rd, 2021 | by

3G Rule for Employees

The new 3G rule applies to all RWTH employees – including all students and research assistants as well as instructors – whenever they work on site. All employees must have valid proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result (usually no older than 24 hours) when they start their working day at RWTH. If it is possible to carry out a supervised self-test in the respective university institution, this must be agreed in advance with the supervisor, carried out immediately upon entering the workplace, and appropriately documented. This supervised self-test then counts as proof.

Instructions for performing supervised self-tests and a documentation template are available here (PDF).

3G Compliance Check

According to the requirements of the Infection Protection Act, a daily, complete check of the 3G proof has to be carried out. At RWTH, this obligation is delegated to the head of the respective university institution or to individuals appointed by them. As this is a sensitive matter, this task should only be delegated upon mutual agreement.

Provided that proof of vaccination or recovery has been checked once and this check has been documented (see below), employees with valid poof of vaccination or recovery can then, in principle, be exempted from these daily checks. They must, however, have this proof on them at all times. The focus of the checks is the validity of the test certificates.

Employees who cannot provide the required proof shall be denied access to the workplace. The relevant HR department will offer advice on such matters as required.

Documenting 3G Compliance Checks

In order to comply with the data minimization principle of the data protection regulations, it is sufficient to “tick off” the first name and last name of the employees on a list on the respective day of the check if appropriate proof has been provided by the employee. For your convenience, a corresponding template is available here (PDF).

When it comes to vaccinated and recovered individuals, proof of a valid certificate only needs to be recorded and documented once. The end date of the recovered status must also be documented. A template is also available for this (PDF).

Proof of vaccination and recovery status and negative test certificates is subject to particularly stringent data protection. For this reason, the data, including the lists, must be kept securely in the respective university institution, separate from other files or data. In particular, it must be ensured that unauthorized individuals (external third parties, but also employees not entrusted with the documentation) cannot gain knowledge of the recorded data.

The data must be deleted or destroyed six months after collection.

3G Rule Applies to All RWTH Buildings

November 23rd, 2021 | by

From November 24, 2021, the 3G rule will apply to all RWTH employees. An event-related 3G rule has already been in effect for some time for both courses and other events at RWTH. These regulations aim to protect employees and students from infection. Considering the above regulations, the Rectorate has now decided that, as a matter of principle, the 3G rule will apply to anyone accessing any of RWTH’s buildings. Therefore, any persons who enter the University premises must have appropriate proof of 3G compliance from November 24, 2021, onward.

The heads of the university institutions, any individuals appointed by them, and members of University Security are authorized to check this proof. Should someone not be able to provide sufficient proof, they are to be expelled from the premises under the University’s rights as the householder. If necessary, University Security is to be called in.

The Department of Facilities Management will promptly provide appropriate signage for all accessible entrances to university buildings. A template is also available here (PDF).

Obligation to Make a Home Office Offer

November 23rd, 2021 | by

In the updated Infection Protection Act, employers are once again under a so-called homeoffice offer obligation. This will be in effect for a limited period until March 19, 2022, and applies to all staff who perform office work. The head of the higher education institutions shall, per the statutory requirements, offer employees who carry out office work or comparable activities the opportunity to carry out these activities at home, provided that there are no compelling operational reasons opposing this.

The legislator has made it clear that for office work or similar activities, employers are only exempt from offering their employees the opportunity to work from home in particularly justified exceptional cases. Activity-based hybrid forms of work may also be considered. Employees must accept such an activity-based home office offer if there is no reason to oppose this. Reasons for declining this offer could, for example, be a lack of space in their home or if they are unable to work undisturbed.

This latest home office offer obligation aims to reduce contacts at the workplace again as much as possible. If employees have to continue to work on site, the workplaces freed up by granting home office to others should therefore be used as much as possible to further the objective of contact reduction. Sharing an office at the same time should be avoided at all costs.

Important Information About COVID-19 Booster Vaccinations | Vaccination Offers

November 22nd, 2021 | by

The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) has updated its recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination.

The STIKO now recommends that individuals aged 18 years and older get a booster vaccination with an mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. As a rule, the booster vaccination should be administered 6 months after completing the primary series of vaccinations. Individuals who have been vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are recommended to receive the booster vaccination as early as 4 weeks after primary immunization.

University Management, the Crisis Management Team, and the University Medical Center strongly recommend that all members of RWTH get a booster vaccination at the recommended interval. Individuals who have not yet been vaccinated are urged to take up a vaccination offer as soon as possible!

Since the University Medical Center has to prioritize the staff at Uniklinik RWTH Aachen with booster vaccinations, COVID vaccine boosters will initially be offered exclusively to all employees and students born before December 31, 1981.

Read the rest of this entry »

Classification of the Netherlands and Belgium as High Risk Areas

November 22nd, 2021 | by

As of Sunday, the Netherlands and Belgium are classified as high risk areas by the German government. The German government has posted the regulations concerning registration on entry, required documents (e.g. negative test result, proof of recovery, etc.), and quarantine requirements for travelers on this website:

A brief overview (in German) is available at:

We urgently ask all travelers to carefully check and comply with the regulations currently in place.

For commuters from the Netherlands, the previously communicated eased regulations apply again. A negative test result – in this case a supervised self-test is sufficient – only has to be provided twice a week. Individuals who have been fully vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid are not subject to the regular testing obligation.

(Deutsch) Anerkennung von Coronatests

November 10th, 2021 | by

Sorry, this entry is only available in German.

Basic Regulation for Winter Semester 2021/22

November 9th, 2021 | by

In light of the current trajectory of the coronavirus pandemic, all RWTH members are still called upon to be careful and behave responsibly. At the same time, it is becoming apparent that the infection prevention and occupational safety regulations are to have a new legislative framework by the end of November (expected to be effective through the end of March). At this stage, the University is not able to foresee what specific legal framework will be in place through winter. However, RWTH understands that the university institutions would like to be able to plan their everyday work and staff scheduling in advance.

For this reason, the Crisis Management Team and the Rectorate have already agreed on the following basic regulation for the entire winter semester 2021/2022 (effective through March 31, 2022):

  • RWTH still sees protecting its employees and students from potential infection as its top priority, while taking into account the seamless continuation of operations and studies. In order to further reduce work-related contact with individuals, supervisors have to take all the necessary technical and organizational measures.
  • The option of alternating between working on site and from home is still available. The supervisors of the respective university institution or department are responsible for deciding on the form and extent (up to a maximum of 100%) that their employees can work from home.
  • Any arrangements mutually agreed upon between supervisors and employees for this period still do not require the involvement of the respective HR department.
  • The basic regulation will apply from November 25, 2021. Until then, the previously communicated regulations apply. If the German and/or state government issue(s) further regulations due to infection rate trends, the University will inform its members accordingly.

RWTH University Sports Center’s Program Warmly Welcomed

November 4th, 2021 | by

Since mid-October, the RWTH University Sports Center (HSZ) has more or less resumed its regular sports operations. Over the past few months, the sports program has been gradually ramped up so that normal sports courses can resume in the 2021/22 winter semester. “Covid has shown us how important social interactions are. University sports are a vital opportunity to establish new contacts and communication,” says Peter Lynen, head of the HSZ. “The sports program was warmly welcomed by our participants. We recorded 6,500 registrations on the first day alone. The courses were fully booked in no time at all.”

Despite the resumption of normal sports courses, some safety precautions still apply so that a program can be provided for all interested in sports. The 3G (vaccinated, recovered, tested) rule also applies to sports. In addition to the sports courses and snow events, sports enthusiasts can now book extra tours in skiing and snowboarding again. However, those interested must be either vaccinated or recovered to participate in the trips.

More information is available on the website of the University Sports Center.

Mobile Vaccination Bus Will Now Stop at RWTH Every Friday

November 3rd, 2021 | by

The mobile vaccination bus of Städteregion Aachen will be making a stop at RWTH every Friday from now on. The bus will be in front of the Main Building, Templergraben 55, from 12 noon to 7:30 p.m. Anyone interested can get vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine of their choice – free of charge and no prior appointment needed (for second vaccinations, the choice is limited to the approved vaccines for the second shot). Please note: you must provide proof of ID and your health insurance card.