FAQ About the Coronavirus

 

For information on regulations currently in place at RWTH, such as work from home arrangements, as well as guidelines on holding courses and events, please visit: Measures Currently In Effect to Contain the Spread of the Coronavirus

On this web page, we provide you with FAQ sections on the following topics:

 

General Questions About the Coronavirus

What do I have to be aware of when entering University premises?

The AHA Rules (distancing-hygiene-mask) are part of RWTH’s safety concept to protect against infection in everyday working life when dealing with colleagues, students or visitors.

Since we cannot guarantee that the minimum distance can be maintained in the corridors or rooms at all locations, all members, visitors, and guests of the University have been required to wear a mouth and nose covering since August 10. Medical masks are required for in-person sessions.

If not enough mouth and nose coverings are available for employees, these can be ordered in the RWTH Purchasing Portal. Mouth and nose coverings count as so-called occupational health and safety equipment, which must be financed by the employer, i.e. the individual university institution. 

Please actively support the implementation of this regulation, which is intended to protect all university members.

How can I protect myself?

Good hand hygiene, covering your coughs and sneezes, and avoiding close contact with others can protect against respiratory diseases.

The "AHA Rules" (Distancing-Hygiene-Mask) are part of RWTH's safety concept and help prevent infections when dealing with colleagues, students, or visitors.

Please abide by the following recommendations for good cough etiquette:

  • Keep a distance of at least two meters from other people when sneezing and coughing.
  • Sneeze and cough into a disposable tissue.
  • Always wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing, and coughing.
  • If you do not have a tissue to hand, you should keep the crook of your arm in front of your face when coughing and sneezing.

What are the possible signs of infection?

The incubation period for infection with the coronavirus is about five to six days as a rule and, in exceptional cases, up to 14 days. Please be aware of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sore throat
  • Body aches
  • General malaise
  • Changes to, or loss of sense of taste or smell

What should I do if I have any symptoms?

It is hard to tell the coronavirus apart from other respiratory illnesses and influenza due to its unspecific symptoms.

If you notice you have one or more of the symptoms above, we strongly recommend that you contact your family doctor by phone to discuss how to proceed.

Avoid all unnecessary contact with other people and, if possible, stay at home. You can contact the University Medical Center for advice via or by telephone at +49 241 80 94444. We can include an interpreter, if the need arises. Please refrain from unannounced visits to the University Medical Center.

How can I tell if I have been infected?

If you have any symptoms, you should get tested using PCR diagnostics.

Please make sure you contact a family doctor in advance to request this test. You can find local family doctors on the website of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung Nordrhein. The public health department also does testing. To contact the local Aachen branch, call +49 241 5198-5300 or send an .

What should I do if I test positive for Covid-19 disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Covid-19 disease (no suspected cases), please contact the University Medical Center immediately at +49 0241 80 94444. Please inform your supervisor if you are employed by RWTH. Please also note that you are not allowed to enter Uniklinik RWTH Aachen if you have Covid-19 symptoms or an acute case of Covid-19 disease.

What can I do if I am affected by quarantine measures?

The quarantine measures mandated by the responsible authorities must be followed in any case.

What do I have to do as a "contact person"?

You can find information on the different catgories of contact persons here in German.

RWTH employees with category 1 status must inform their supervisor and work from home, making sure to clear up any necessary technical matters (computer, VPN, etc.). The HR Department will also be happy to answer your questions.

If all safety precuations were implemented at the workplace (medical mask, distancing), the contact persons at the University are assigned category 2 status and can continue to work in compliance with the safety measures and self-observation as well as reduction of contact with third parties, where possible.

What do I have to do if I receive a warning from the Corona-Warn-App?

The app distinguishes between red and green warnings.

If your smartphone displays a red warning, in other words, an increased risk of infection, this means first of all that there’s a chance you may have been infected, not that you’ve been infected for sure. The app gives this initial advice:

  • If you are employed: Inform your supervisor (if possible without meeting face to face)
  • Go home immediately
  • Reduce encounters with other people
  • Call your doctor's office, the public health department, or your health insurance company's on-call service. You can reach the SHI-accredited medical on-call service by calling 116 117.

In this phone call, you will determine whether or not you need to get tested for Sars-CoV-2. It will be necessary, for example, if you are showing the typical symptoms of an infection, have contact with risk groups, or work in daycare centers or schools.

If your phone shows a green warning, you do not need to contact your doctor's office, self-quarantine, or get tested – as long as you don’t have any symptoms. Nevertheless, the Robert Koch Institute recommends that you:

  • Reduce your contacts with others for the next two weeks
  • Observe the AHA rules: Keep your distance, observe hygiene guidelines, and wear an everyday mouth and nose covering

I am worried about my mental health; I suffer from anxiety or depression. Who can I turn to?

If you have any questions about mental health topics, the experienced psychological counseling team at RWTH is available to all students. The counseling service is also available in English. Employees can contact the team for Advising on Matters of Social Concern, Supervision, and Organizational Development.

Further contact points for psychological counseling emergencies can be found here.

Who can I contact if I have any questions?

RWTH has set up a hotline for urgent questions by staff and students: .

Please note that our hotline staff are not in a position to provide any medical advice – we recommend that you contact the medical on-call service by phone at 116 117 or the local public health department (Gesundheitsamt).

For citizens of the city of Aachen and the StädteRegion Aachen, an additional coronavirus hotline has been set up in addition to the 115 number. It is only to be used for general information on the subject as well – not for personal medical advice. This hotline is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm, at +49 241 510051.

The NRW Ministry of Health has also set up a hotline for questions on the coronavirus at +49 211 9119 1001 (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm).

The authorities expressly request that the emergency numbers 110 and 112 are not used unless there is an actual emergency.

It is important that you closely follow the latest information provided by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Robert Koch Institute, and the German Federal Centre for Health Education, BZgA for short. The BZgA also provides information on protecting yourself from the coronavirus.

The Rectorate is monitoring the situation carefully in order to initiate further appropriate measures in case of acute need.

The website of the Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration offers links to documents in various languages, including English and Turkish, on its coronavirus (de) information web page. Furthermore, it recommends the Handbook Germany website which provides comprehensive information on the coronavirus in several languages.

I need signage. Who can I ask about this?

If you are missing coronavirus-related signage in an RWTH building, please feel free to email

 

FAQ About Vaccinations

Will RWTH offer the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes, as soon as it is legally possible and vaccines are available, RWTH intends to establish a vaccination offer at the University Medical Center along the lines of the popular annual flu vaccination service.

Do you already have a date in mind of when the vaccination service will be offered at RWTH?

The date depends on two factors: Availability of the vaccine and the priority given to different groups according to the German Coronaimpfverordnung (Coronavirus Vaccination Ordinance). We assume that we will only be able to establish a vaccination offer at RWTH at the end of spring or beginning of summer at the earliest.

Does RWTH already have plans regarding the professional groups or the individuals who should be vaccinated first (in other words, a vaccination strategy)?

Unfortunately, we cannot be sure when a vaccination service will be available at RWTH at present. For this reason, we also cannot determine which professional groups or individuals will primarily be considered for vaccination at this time. Further, the state of NRW – as in similar situations – may well issue clear guidelines on vaccination priorities.

RWTH will consistently implement the priority guidelines set by the German federal and state governments.

Are RWTH employees given higher vaccination priority?

Yes, since all university employees are classed as priority group 3 in the Coronavirus Vaccination Ordinance, meaning they are now considered a higher priority for vaccination. The NRW state government has not yet given all subgroups in this priority group priority for vaccination. Please note that even though a booking has been made, proof of employment will still be checked on site. The Vaccination Center elaborates on this on its website: "+++ Please note: Vaccination eligibility will be verified at the Vaccination Center prior to the vaccination appointment. Individuals not currently eligible to get vaccinated will be turned away. +++” At present, we can therefore assume that RWTH employees will still be rejected despite the fact that appointments can be booked at the Vaccination Center. As of yet, it is not clear when these members of the priroity group will be offered a vaccination.

What should I do if I receive an offer of a vaccination because of a chronic illness or my age? Can I also get this vaccination at RWTH?

The current German and state vaccination strategy intends for individuals with a chronic illness to be vaccinated by their attending doctors, while older individuals who do not have a chronic illness are to be vaccinated at vaccination centers. The University Medical Center is currently unable to offer vaccinations in these cases. For this reason, we strongly advise you contact your family doctor or a vaccination center.

I have heard that the University Medical Center is already administering vaccinations against COVID-19. Is that true?

Yes, the University Medical Center also serves Uniklinik RWTH Aachen as a company medical service. Vaccinations have already been offered there to maintain health care for certain professional groups since the beginning of the year.

 

Questions About Coronavirus-Tests

What options are there for students and employees to get tested?

Everyone is allowed to get at least one free rapid test at a coronavirus test center per week. The city of Aachen provides up-to-date information on all testing opportunities in Aachen and the region on its website. This website also includes information for people who live in neighboring countries and work at RWTH. A software program or app should facilitate the search for test centers and appointment bookings in the future. Employees are also allowed to take this test during working hours.

Will additional coronavirus self-tests be available to staff?

Yes, university institutions may purchase coronavirus self-tests from the RWTH Purchasing Portal.

Who are the coronavirus self-tests in the RWTH Purchasing Portal for?

The Rectorate and the Crisis Management Team have decided that all employees working in areas exposing them to an increased risk of infection are to be offered at least two coronavirus self-tests by the respective university institution each week. This particularly pertains to staff who cannot observe the applicable minimum distance at all times, such as working in workshops or labs, supervising lab courses, etc.

Are employees required to take coronavirus self-tests?

No, the use of the coronavirus self-tests is voluntary.

How do the self-tests that are available through the RWTH Purchasing Portal work?

Please note that several different test products are available for purchase through the RWTH Purchasing Portal. Please check which product you have bought and refer to the respective instructions for use below. (Of course, you will also find printed instructions enclosed in the packages you have purchased)

Product: CLINITEST Rapid COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test

Instructions for use (de)
Quick reference guide (de)
Video instructions (de)

Product: HOTGEN (2019-nCoV)-Antigen Test

Instructions for use (de)
Video instructions (de)

What do I need to do if a coronavirus self-test delivers a positive result?

In this case, you must have a PCR test carried out as a control test immediately – or on the next working day at the latest – either at a test center or your family doctor’s office. Individuals must inform the testing agency of the positive self-test result in advance. From receiving the positive result of the self-test to taking the PCR test, individuals must avoid all non-essential close contact with others. If the self-test is carried out at the workplace, the employee must leave the workplace immediately. After the PCR test, the individual must go into quarantine until the test result is available. The individual affected should also clarify whether other household members are also subject to the quarantine order. If individuals test positive for SARS-CoV-2 with a PCR test, the current quarantine rules apply. If the result is negative, the quarantine period can be terminated.

Must / Should university institutions document to whom they have issued self-tests and what the results were?

No. These coronavirus self-tests are offered to employees on a purely voluntary basis. The university does not expect institutions to keep records on the tests they have issued to staff or the results.

Are there any special regulations for cross-border commuters from the Netherlands?

Since the RKI has classified the Netherlands to be a high incidence area as of April 6, 2021, people entering Germany must carry proof of a negative coronavirus test. There are exceptions for cross-border commuters (such as employees of  RWTH/UKA and students) who travel to Germany from the Netherlands to work or study. You must be in possession of a coronavirus test taken no more than 72 hours ago or take one immediately after you cross the border.

Employees can obtain a certificate of employment from the relevant HR department.

Can employees / students commuting from the Netherlands be tested at RWTH?

RWTH has set up a testing service for cross-border commuters from the Netherlands, where they can take the coronavirus self-test required by federal and state law with help and supervision from medical professionals.

The University Medical Center offers this testing service Monday through Friday from 8am to 12 noon in lecture hall 4, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Pauwelsstrasse 30.

Please be sure to observe the following general conditions:

  • The testing service is aimed exclusively at RWTH employees and students who live in the Netherlands and currently have to travel to be at RWTH in person (to work at the office or lab, or complete an internship, etc.). All other employees and students are asked to continue to take advantage of the available testing options, such as the free rapid COVID-19 test (“Citizens’ Test”) or the coronavirus self-tests that can be carried out at home.
  • Access to the University Hospital is currently restricted. When planning to use the testing service, you must, therefore, carry the commuter certificate issued by your respective human resource department or a current RWTH student ID (not the Bluecard) with you. You must also be able to present an additional form of ID that shows your place of residence.
  • Please note that the certificate the University Medical Center issues after you take the test only serves to allow you to cross the border to and from the Netherlands. This test, or the resulting certificate, is not equivalent to a so-called citizens’ test, which allows you to shop at certain retail stores, for example.

The University Medical Center can be reached by email at in case you have any question regarding the testing service.

I live in Germany and work/study at RWTH. Is transiting through the Netherlands allowed without a test?

Due to the current classification of the Netherlands as a risk area with particularly high numbers of cases, you should avoid transiting through the Netherlands if possible.

In principle, there is no obligation to get tested if you are merely passing through. However, we must point out that a stay in the Netherlands (even if it is unintentional) leads to the obligation to get tested. Also, proving that you were merely transiting may be difficult.

The Human Resources Department issues certificates of employment.  However, they will not issue certificates for transit.

(These are the regulations in Germany – anyone wishing to travel in/through the Netherlands must find out for themselves what regulations apply on the Dutch side and do so in advance)

Can a certificate be issued for the self-test conducted in my university institution?

No. For a self-test performed at university institutions other than the University Medical Center, certificates cannot and may not be issued. Only the University Medical Center is authorized to do so because of the staff‘s expertise.

Please be aware that the issuing of certificates by unauthorized entities may be penalized.

I have symptoms of Covid-19 diease. Which test is useful/sufficient?

In symptomatic individuals, only a PCR test can provide a reliable result on whether someone is infected with Covid-19. This test can be carried out at the family doctor's or at the community testing center (GAZ) at Tivoli stadium. (To make an appointment at the GAZ, click here).

Please note: Any individuals experiencing symptoms that could be due to an infection with Covid-19 are not allowed in the buildings of RWTH until a doctor or official test proves these symptoms to be unrelated to the coronavirus.

 

FAQs about the workplace

For my tax return, I need a certificate that I have been working from home. Who issues the certificate at RWTH?

A fact sheet and a form for issuing the certificate are available in the Forms Center. The certificate can be issued and completed by the management of the university institution, your head of division, or the representative in office.

The form and fact sheet are available here.

Under what conditions is working from home permitted?

Current regulations on working from home can be found here.

If working from home is not possible, the workplace has to meet specific requirements. See below, How does the workplace have to be set up?

How can I use the central IT services when working from home?

The IT Center has summarized all the relevant instructions and further information.

How does the workplace have to be set up?

The management of the respective university institution must create the conditions required to comply with the existing distance and hygiene regulations. Due to the existing legal requirements, this action must be documented by carrying out the general risk assessment for the workplace.

Both managers and employees in the respective university institutions are responsible for complying with the distance and hygiene regulations.

Staff should be spread out among the offices as far as possible. All available rooms should be used in order to avoid several employees working in just one office, while other offices go unoccupied. When it comes to shared offices, we recommend employees alternate between working from home and at the office (work duties permitting) in order to keep the number of individuals present in one place at the same time as low as possible. If this is not possible, the distance and hygiene regulations must be observed and special protective measures must be taken (partitions, face masks in case of temporary inability to comply with the minimum distance, room size, etc.)

In laboratories, workshops, etc., appropriate measures must be taken to ensure that employees can work in a low-risk environment, as specified above. If necessary, you can contact the Occupational Safety and Radiation Protection Staff Unit for further advice on this matter.

Employees in at-risk group for SARS-CoV-2 or who have additional childcare duties due to the restricted opening of schools or daycare centers, should primarily work from home, provided this is compatible with their work duties.
The human resources departments at RWTH will be happy to provide you with further information if necessary.

When working from home, please also refer to the available guidelines. In addition, we would like to encourage you to take a look at the offers of the Family Services Center.

Regarding the at-risk groups mentioned above, RWTH assumes the definition of the Robert Koch Institute. According to the University Medical Center’s assessment, employees with the following pre-existing conditions in particular are in at-risk groups for the coronavirus.

  • Cardiovascular diseases requiring treatment (e.g. coronary heart disease, high blood pressure)
  • Lung diseases (e.g. COPD, bronchial asthma)
  • Chronic liver diseases
  • Kidney diseases
  • Oncological diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Weakened immune system(e.g. due to a disease resulting in an immune deficiency, or regular medication intake that can weaken the immune response, such as cortisone).

For pregnant women, the specific risk assessment for SARS-CoV-2 is carried out as part of the general risk assessment when the pregnancy is announced.

To announce they are at risk, employees simply have to declare this fact to their superior in text form (an email is sufficient) if their superior is already aware of their health condition. Otherwise, employees must submit a medical certificate confirming they would face serious health complications if they got infected with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 due to their particular condition. For data protection reasons, the pre-existing condition should not be specified.

If necessary, employees and university institutions can discuss any queries on this matter with the University Medical Center.

If employees of an at-risk group are working at the office, suitable protective measures must be agreed upon with the Occupational Safety and Radiation Protection Staff Unit and the University Medical Center if necessary, so that their risk of infection is low.

Are there any restrictions for cross-border commuters?

If, freedom of movement is restricted in neighboring countries, commuters can request a so-called commuter certificate via their designated HR administrator, who will then send it as a scan by email.

Are there any policies and regulations for holding events?

For up-to-date information on policies and regulations for holding events, please visit: Regulations and Effective Dates

What continuing education offerings are currently available?

Due to the coronavirus crisis, many continuing education events at RWTH cannot be held as in-person events. However, in order to enable all employees to benefit from educational offerings, many events are now available in digital formats. To make it easier for you to see which events are offered online, the events database can now be filtered according to the formats "Online," "In-person," and "Blended (Online & in-person)". If you have any questions about specific course offerings, please get in touch with the organizers of the course.

Are there any restrictions to the service offerings provided by RWTH's central administration?

Due to limited staff availability, the Waste Management Service Center (SCA) in Mathieustraße has to offer a reduced service. Only the following measures can guarantee waste disposal for time-critical issues at RWTH at present:

The SCA is staffed during the following times:

  • Monday and Friday, 8am to 12 noon
  • Tuesday through Thursday, 8am to 2pm

During this time, waste can only be accepted if the disposal has been arranged by telephone beforehand. During normal office hours, SCA staff can be reached by telephone and email. Individuals may only enter the building if they are wearing a mouth and nose covering. The minimum distance must be maintained at the depot. If the minimum distance cannot be maintained, a mouth and nose covering must be worn here as well.

Does the current situation have an impact on University sports?

Sports operations at the University Sports Center are currently suspended in most cases. Sporting activities on the dirt track and woodchip jogging trail at Stadion Königshügel are permitted again under certain conditions and compliance with the minimum distance. You can find more information here.

The HSZ is offering on-demand and live workouts for everyone.  All offerings can be booked online. Further information

What can I do if I am affected by the limited hours offered by childcare facilities, pre-schools, and schools?

If our employees have difficulties coming to work as normal because childcare facilities, schools, and other institutions are only open limited hours, please get in touch with your superiors to find a solution.

RWTH is determined to contribute to ensuring that all employees who are faced with the challenge of meeting care responsibilities during regular working hours due to the limited services of the above-mentioned facilities are enabled to meet this challenge. However, in this certainly exceptional situation, it is not only RWTH that is responsible for finding a solution, but also our employees, their partners, and possibly also their partners’ employers. Sensible, fair solutions can be found quickly if all parties involved contribute their share. The HR Department is not able to propose a generally applicable solution, since a fair solution must always be based on the situation of the individual employee and their respective university institution. For this reason, a specific solution can only be found between the respective superior in the university institution and the employee.

Parents are offered different options for financial relief such as paid child sick leave or wage replacement in accordance with § 56 of the Infection Protection Act (IFSG). The state government of North Rhine-Westphalia has also created a further relief option for self-employed and privately insured parents in the form of a childcare allowance.

In addition, RWTH is also offering parents the opportunity to take three coronavirus special leave days in 2021 ( – this does not include civil servants, however). Employees may be granted these special leave days if they do not have any leave days left from 2020 nor have overtime they can compensate. These special leave days will be granted with the employee’s salary paid as usual. Special leave may be requested by parents of children under the age of 12, or, in the case of children with disabilities, also over 12. In order to take special leave, the employee must have used up their entitlement to child sick leave.

Employees and students of RWTH who are looking for a carer for their children in the private sector can continue to use the babysitting network. The requirements of the Corona-Schutzverordnung (Coronavirus Protection Ordinance) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia must be observed.

If you have any questions or need advice, the Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office () and your contact person in the responsible HR department will be happy to help.

The most current information can also be found on our RWTH Corona-News Blog.

 

When can I claim child sick leave pay due to closure or prohibited access to schools or daycare centers?

Parents who have statutory health insurance will now be able to apply for 30 instead of 20 days of child sick leave pay (Kinderkrankengeld) per statutorily insured child and parent in 2021 and for a maximum total of 65 days if the parent has more than one child. The entitlement for single parents increases by 40 days to 60 days per child, with up to a maximum of 130 days if the parent has more than one child. This new regulation applies retroactively from January 5 and applies to children under 12 (exception: children with disabilities).

The entitlement also applies if a child must be cared for at home because schools or daycare centers are closed, compulsory attendance at school has been lifted, or access to daycare services has been restricted. In this case, parents must submit a corresponding certificate from the school or daycare center to their statutory health insurance provider.

Parents can also apply for child sick leave if they could work from home.

You can apply for child sick leave with your statutory health insurance by filling out this form. Unpaid leave from RWTH is granted after you submit your „Freistellung zur Betreuung eines kranken Kindes“

application found in the forms database.

Please refer to the German governments website for more information in German.

Sie können sich auch unmittelbar an Ihre gesetzliche Krankenkasse wenden.

Which rules apply for civil servants in case of only partially reopened schools or daycare centers ?

According to the “Freistellungs- und Urlaubsverordnung NRW” (NRW Sick Leave Ordinance), all civil servants (without taking into account the annual salary limit) can be granted leave for the calendar year 2021 to care for a sick child (Section 33 (1) no. 6 FrUrlV NRW). In the event of pandemic-related restrictions on access to childcare services, civil servants can also receive leave for up to a maximum of 30 working days for each child and up to a maximum of 60 working days for single-parents. The maximum entitlement is not more than 65 days, for single-parent civil servants not more than 130 working days.
 
Prerequisites are that no other person living in the household is available to care for the child and that there are no official reasons for not doing so.
 
Civil servants must submit proof of the pandemic-related restriction on access to childcare to the Human Resources Department with their application for a leave of absence. Special leave under § 33 para. 1 no. 8 FrUrlV NRW (up to three working days in other urgent cases) counts towards the aforementioned maximum limits.

Childcare days are granted regardless of whether staff can work from home.
 
If you have any questions, please contact the Human Resources Department.

Can I obtain compensation for lost income under Section 56 of the Infection Protection Act due to only partially reopened daycare centers and schools or a ban for my child to attend?

If you cannot go to work because daycare centers and schools are only open on a restricted basis and you suffer a loss of earnings because you have to care for your child, you can receive compensation. This also applies if you have to care for your child because of an order to self-isolate or quarantine. The compensation is intended to protect you against excessive loss of income.

Parents or guardians who have to stay at home due to restricted opening of schools and daycare centers or due to a child’s quarantine requirement and lose income as a result are entitled to compensation.

The conditions at a glance:

  • The child or children are under twelve years of age or in need of care due to a disability.
  • Any flextime or overtime, as well as any remaining vacation days from the previous year must have been exhausted.
  • There is no entitlement to emergency care
  • There is no reasonable alternative care option
  • Working from home is not possible or reasonable
  • The wage replacement amounts to 67 percent of the net income, but a maximum of 2,016 euros per month.
  • The payment is available for a maximum period of 20 weeks from the date of the first application.
  • There is no earnings replacement for vacation periods during which schools and daycare centers would have been closed anyway. They are therefore not counted towards the 20-week period.
  • This option also applies in principle to privately insured employees; it does not apply to civil servants.

For the period of the aforementioned childcare, you will be released from the obligation to perform work. Instead, you will be paid the wage replacement benefit via the LBV. The LBV will also pay the social security contributions on an assessment basis of 80 percent of the salary.

Please submit your application to your HR department using this form.

In principle, employees are entitled to compensation under Section 56 (1a) IfSG if their child has been banned from a childcare facility or school or if compulsory attendance at a school has been suspended. An official recommendation to care for children at home is not sufficient in this case.

While employees receive child sick leave pay, the entitlement to wage replacement under the Infection Protection Act is suspended for both parents.

For more information on wage replacement under Section 56, please refer to the German webpage on Entschädigungen bei Quarantäne, Tätigkeitsverbot oder Schließung von Schulen und Betreuungseinrichtungen (compensation for quarantine, ban on activities or closure of schools and childcare facilities).

What is the entitlement to child sick leave (also applies to (partial) closure of schools and daycare centers)?

The number of days that parents with statutory health insurance are entitled to child sick leave will be doubled for 2021. In addition, the entitlement applies not only when the child is ill, but also when daycare centers and schools are closed due to the pandemic or care is limited. The regulation applies retroactively from January 5.

You can find more information here.

You can also contact your statutory health insurance provider directly.

 

FAQS about teaching and learning

What do students enrolling at RWTH for the first time have to do?

Students have to enroll online. They will be informed by email about the necessary steps. For further information, or if you do not receive said email within 10 working days of receiving your notification of admission, please contact Division 2.1 – International Office at +49 241 80 90670 or by .

Are any of the study and reading rooms open and available?

Study and reading rooms are closed for the time being.

 

 

Are there any policies and regulations for holding courses?

For up-to-date information regulations for holding courses, please visit: Regulations and Effective Dates

What support do lecturers have in order to adjust to the situation?

The Center for Teaching and Learning Services, CLS for short, offers central video recordings and other forms of support, so that teaching can continue wherever possible despite the restrictions related to the coronavirus. The CLS website offers detailed information on distance and online teaching.

Does the current situation have an impact on University sports?

Sports operations at the University Sports Center are currently suspended in most cases. Sporting activities on the dirt track and woodchip jogging trail at Stadion Königshügel are permitted again under certain conditions and compliance with the minimum distance. You can find more information here.

The HSZ is offering on-demand and live workouts for everyone.  All offerings can be booked online. Further information

 

I am an international student and have questions about the organization of my studies or stay abroad.

You can find all the video presentations, FAQs, and further information on Welcome Week here. For all other questions, please contact the Info Service Center of the International Office.

 

What networking opportunities are available to international students?

If you are looking for ideas for digital leisure activities, follow the International Office on Facebook and Instagram, where they regularly post tips and new online offers. The Facebook group RWTH Welcomes Internationals is another great networking opportunity.

 

Where can international students who need support due to the current situation get information on individual topics?

If you have any questions regarding your studies or your stay here, please contact the Info Service Center of the International Office. The advisory team will be happy to assist you in clarifying your questions.

 

Due to the limited opening of KiTas and schools, it is difficult to participate in online events. What can I do?

For hourly childcare or to cover childcare problems during closing times, students can claim a financial subsidy toward their childcare costs. The subsidy is capped at 300 euros per semester and per student parent. The Family Services Center can reimburse a maximum of 9 euros per hour of childcare. In order to apply for the subsidy, students must present their Family Card and submit a one-off personal application to the Family Services Center. Further information on the childcare allowance can be found here.

RWTH students who are looking for a caregiver for their children in the private sector can continue to use the babysitting network. The requirements of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance (Corona-Schutzverordnung) of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia must be observed.

Please feel free to contact the Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office () as well as the Social Counseling Service of ASTA if you have any questions or need advice.

What funding options are available for student parents?

Bridging aid: scholarships for students in need

German and international students who are enrolled at state and state-recognized universities in Germany can apply for the bridging aid.

Those who already receive a loan, scholarship, or similar in the concerned months can still receive bridging aid. Depending on proven need, an amount between 100 euros and 500 euros can be issued as a non-repayable grant.

Further information can be found at Studierendenwerk Aachen.

Bridging grants from the University and proRWTH:

The #RWTHhilft initiative supports students in need due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they can continue their studies or complete their degree program.
For more information, please contact AStA.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the Social Counseling Service of ASTA as well as the Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office ().


BAföG

The standard period of study has been extended by one semester for all students. Therefore, students should receive BAföG for an additional semester. However, this only applies to those whose funding entitlement only expires after the current semester.

More information is available at Studierendenwerk Aachen.


Supplemental child allowance

Supplemental child allowance can only be considered for students whose education is eligible for support according to BAföG in special circumstances. The supplemental allowance offers financial support to low-income families. In order to be eligible, the following requirements must be met:

  • You receive child benefit (or a comparable benefit) for the child
  • Your gross income is at least 900 euros (parent couples) or 600 euros (single parents)
  • Your gross income does not exceed the maximum income limit (ALG II rate)
  • Together with the child supplement, your income exceeds the entitlement amount for unemployment benefit II or social benefits

The supplemental child allowance must also be applied for at the Family Office of the Employment Agency. It amounts to a maximum of 205 euros per month per child and is usually granted for six months. You can find more information about the allowance here.

Please feel free to contact the Family Services Center of the Equal Opportunities Office () as well as the Social Counseling Service of ASTA if you have any questions or need advice.

Further information on the topic of student financing during the coronavirus crisis can be found here.

 

FAQS about research

Are there any policies and regulations for holding events?

The current regulations are available here.

What does this situation mean for my third-party funded research project?

RWTH will communicate any information and news regarding the current restrictions in the university’s official business and the associated possible delays in the implementation of projects funded by third parties to the project managers as soon as possible. For time-sensitive questions, project managers are also welcome to contact the Management of Third Party Funds team via .

What are the consequences for academic staff in qualification positions?

If the current restrictions in RWTH Aachen University's service operations could have an impact on academic qualifications, the supervisors should be contacted promptly so that necessary measures can be agreed upon at short notice. RWTH will make every effort to ensure that there are no avoidable delays.

Who can international researchers and doctoral candidates contact if they have questions about the organization of their research stay or doctoral studies?

The International Office's Welcome Center is available for all general questions concerning the organization of the stay of international researchers or doctoral candidates.

 

Are there virtual networking opportunities for international researchers, doctoral candidates, or their partners?

The Welcome Center of the International Office provides up-to-date information on online services for international researchers. The closed Facebook group Welcome Center RWTH offers a good networking opportunity for international researchers. The closed Facebook group Aachen International Spouses is aimed at the partners of international researchers who have joined them in Aachen.

 

 

 

FAQs on travel

Which regions are currently considered risk areas?

Risk areas are being identified by the RKI on a continual basis. For an up-to-date overview, please visit: RKI – Risk Areas (de). The website also provides English-language information, including a PDF document on current risk areas in English..

What do I need to consider when traveling or returning from travel?

Up-to-date information for travellers returning from abroad are available here.