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Information for employees: Next steps in dealing with the Corona pandemic in the summer semester 2021

2021-05-31

Dear Colleagues,

In view of the fortunately continuously decreasing infection figures for some time now, the Presidential Board has decided to take the first cautious steps towards opening up during the current summer semester. These mainly concern the lecturers, who will again have the possibility to hold hybrid courses in presence as of June 1, as well as the students, who will also have workstations in the library available to them again as of June 1.

I would like to provide detailed information below on some topics beyond the information for faculty and for students, where you may be wondering if there are changes coming:

1. VACCINATIONS
Even before companies started to have their employees vaccinated against the Corona virus, we as a university were also looking for ways to implement such an offer for Leuphana employees. Unfortunately, I have to inform you that at the moment we are not able to offer such vaccinations via Leuphana’s occupational health service. According to our occupational health service, this will not change until mid-August at the earliest due to other priorities and limited capacities. Special vaccination appointments at a vaccination center or by physicians in private practice have also not yet been made available to us.

I would therefore ask you to continue to make regular efforts to obtain vaccination appointments from the vaccination centers responsible for you and from your family doctors. The good news from the Presidential Board’s point of view is that, according to the forecasts available to us, vaccination appointments for all those willing to be vaccinated should apparently be available by July at the latest.

2. HOMEOFFICE
Due to the federal government's Corona Occupational Safety Act, which currently remains in effect unchanged, all regulations currently in effect regarding home offices will remain in effect unchanged until June 30. As you know, it is currently the case that employees must work in a home office if it is possible for them to do so. Reasons for not being able to do so may include space constraints, interference from third parties or inadequate technical equipment. Employers must explain to the relevant authority why home office is not possible if the authority requires it.

We currently anticipate that on campus work at the university will be increasingly possible again as of July 1. We will provide separate information on this in due time, also against the background of ongoing negotiations between the Presidential Board and the Staff Council on a possible adjustment and extension of the permanent regulations on mobile work and teleworking.

3. BUSINESS TRIPS
Due to the general improvement in the infection situation, the German Foreign Office has issued differentiated travel and security advisories and travel warnings for individual countries. They replace the blanket travel warning for non-European countries.

Accordingly, business trips to European and non-European countries are once again easier in principle. However, on behalf of the Presidential Board, I would ask you to weigh up the risks on an individual basis and, if possible, only undertake business trips if it is absolutely necessary or if you are fully vaccinated. Furthermore, it is not advisable to undertake business trips to countries for which entry is only possible to a limited extent, for which quarantine is planned after entry, or which do not permit unrestricted travel in an overall view.

Please inquire about the possible existence of travel warnings issued by the German Foreign Office at https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/covid-19/2296762 in good time before starting your journey.

In addition, please continue to inform yourself regularly about current quarantine regulations and recommendations:
- in the Corona Entry Regulation VO: https://www.niedersachsen.de/Coronavirus/vorschriften-der-landesregierung-185856.html
- in the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Quarantaene_Einreisen_Deutschland

4. JOB INTERVIEWS
For job interviews, it continues to apply that until the end of June interviews are to take place in principle only in digital form, at least as an initial interview. This regulation follows the current continuing obligation of the university and its employees to conduct work in the home office or digitally whenever possible.

After a first selection round has been conducted, a second selection round can also be conducted in person, as has been the case in the past. In this case, please be sure to observe the applicable distance and hygiene rules and take advantage of the opportunity to provide additional security by taking a negative rapid test. For this purpose, you can still request self-tests from the university at corona-test@leuphana.de or you can use the Corona testing station in Building 14 (Monday - Friday from 8 am - 2 pm).

5. UNIVERSITY SPORTS
The University Sports Center of Leuphana will soon resume some sports activities within the framework of the continuing requirements of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance, including sports activities for employees. The University Sports Department will provide separate information on this. Please keep yourself informed on the website of the University Sports Center.

6. MENSA
We do not yet have any new information from the Studentenwerk Ostniedersachsen regarding the operation of the Mensa. For the time being, we assume that the Mensa will continue to offer take-away meals. Should the situation change, we will also inform you about this in the short term.

7. OUTLOOK AND REQUESTS
In view of the positive developments, the Presidential Board currently continues to assume that we will be able to conduct teaching and studies in the coming winter semester completely or at least to a large extent in presence again. We will continue to inform you about this on an ongoing basis.

To ensure that this goal remains attainable, however, we ask you to continue to exercise great caution in the coming weeks, despite all the positive developments and the resulting easing of the situation. Meetings outdoors are always preferable to meetings indoors. And please continue to not come to campus if you have any signs of respiratory illness - even mild symptoms. In these cases, please stay home and seek medical advice.

For all university-related questions, you may continue to contact cv-info@leuphana.de. For additional general information, please visit https://www.leuphana.de/portale/coronavirus.html.

We hope that despite all the hardships of the last few months, you continue to hold up well, that you are able to enjoy the first summer days, and that - like all of us - you are looking forward to the gradual return to what we hope will soon be a more or less normal life.

Also on behalf of the other members of the Presidential Board,
with best regards

Christian Brei
Executive Vice President