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Renewed Efforts to Prevent the Spread of Infections

News from Jan 08, 2021

Chancellor Merkel and the heads of Germany’s state governments met on January 5 and agreed upon new, stricter measures to help prevent the continued spread of Covid-19. The new measures impact research, teaching, and administrative operations at our university. The university management at Freie Universität recognizes the seriousness of the situation and is coordinating its efforts with the State of Berlin and the other universities and colleges in the city. Based on decisions made in conjunction with Berlin’s Senate Chancellery – Higher Education and Research on January 6, 2021, universities and colleges will continue to follow the phase 2 regulations as described in Berlin’s phased plan for university operations with pandemic-related protective measures, beyond the original period scheduled to end on January 11, 2021. We still need to continue to observe the relevant safety and health precautions and keep contact with others to a minimum.

In concrete terms, the latest decisions have the following implications for us at Freie Universität:

  • University operations, including research, teaching, and administration, will continue to follow regulations for phase 2, as was the case before the general closure over the holidays. Details on those regulations can be found on our website: New Measures to Prevent the Spread of Covid-19. Teaching and meetings should only take place in person if it is absolutely necessary to do so.
  • As of Monday, January 11, 2021, university buildings will re-open for university members who need to conduct important business on site.
  • Libraries will be open for check-out services with as little physical contact as possible. Reading rooms will remain closed until January 31, 2021 for now.
  • Computer labs and other meeting areas and workspaces for students will also remain closed until January 31, 2021.

Freie Universität Berlin’s various offices, departments, and units should continue to take steps to ensure that their employees can continue to perform their work and, if possible, do so remotely from home.

If you have been affected by school closings, including closings of daycare facilities, you can request additional days off as stipulated in the Protection against Infection Act (Infektionsschutzgesetz). More information is available here.

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