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+L Rules (distancing-hygiene-mask + proper ventillation) 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 help me?

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.

Whom 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

Is RWTH offering the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes. The University Medical Center has been vaccinating against COVID-19 since Tuesday, June 8, 2021. Initially, only mRNA vaccines are being used. The extent of the vaccination offer depends on the available doses per week. The University Medical Center naturally strives to get as many vaccines per week as possible.

Who is eligible to get vaccinated at the University Medical Center?

Due to the University Medical Center's mandate to provide care, RWTH has established a vaccination service for all members of the University, FH Aachen University of Applied Sciences, Studierendenwerk, and Uniklinik RWTH Aachen.

How can I make an appointment for vaccination?

You can register for a vaccination at this link if you are eligible to get vaccinated (see above) and have not received any vaccination so far.

If you want to make a single appointment, you can do so a well via this link. The single vaccination offer is particularly targeted at the following:

  • Individuals who would like mix-and-match inoculation (the first shot with one vaccine and the second with a different one). In this case, they must have already had a first shot of AstraZeneca.
  • Individuals who have been infected with Covid-19 six months prior, as defined by the Standing Commission on Vaccination.
  • Individuals who have recently moved to the Aachen area and have already received their first vaccine shot.

Employees need their personnel number to book an appointment, while students need their student ID number. 

What must be considered when scheduling an appointment?

The online tool for managing vaccination appointments makes it possible for eligible individuals to choose an appointment slot within the opening hours of the vaccination center. Please take into account that, with the BioNTech vaccine, there will be a follow-up appointment six weeks later. This second vaccination appointment can only be changed (during your first appointment) at Uniklinik if there are valid reasons. Otherwise, this vaccination schedule must be followed strictly.

For this reason, when making your first appointment, please ensure that you will be able to attend the follow-up appointment. If you are not able to attend the follow-up appointment due to illness, please contact the vaccination center (0241 80 38777 or coronaimpfung@hsa.rwth-aachen.de) immediately. Please also take into account that no other vaccinations, if possible, should be taken two weeks before and after each vaccination appointment.

Can I still get vaccinated at a vaccination center or general practitioner’s practice?

Yes, of course. Please note, however, that university members are currently not eligible to get vaccinated at a vaccination center.  

Where can I find the RWTH Vaccination Center?

Vaccinations will be offered at the Vaccination Center, Uniklinik RWTH Aachen, Spiegelsaal, Elevator B2, Floor E, Corridor 03, Room 01.

Is there any parking available for RWTH members attending the Vaccination Center?

If you have an appointment for vaccination, you can use the RWTH parking garage at Forckenbeckstraße 50. If you do not have a RWTH parking permit for parking zone U, you can obtain a free day pass the . To obtain a pass, please send them an email several days in advance of your appointment.

Does the Medical Center pass my personal data on to third parties?

In order to enable the monitoring of vaccination rates, the University Medical Center submits the following data to the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians (“Kassenärztliche Vereinigung”) and to the Vaccination Center of Städteregion Aachen: First name, last name, date of birth, gender, postal code, vaccination date, batch number, vaccine, first follow-up vaccination, date of recording.

Will I also receive a digital vaccination certificate from the University Medical Center?

Currently, company physicians have not yet been authorized by the federal government to issue vaccination certificates. However, you can obtain a digital vaccination certificate at a pharmacy. You can find out the pharmacies that offer this service here, for example. Take your vaccination certificate and a form of ID with you to the pharmacy.

Further information on the digital vaccination certificate can be found on the website of the Federal Ministry of Health.

Am I required to submit my vaccination certificate to RWTH as my employer?

No, workers are not required to let their employer know whether or not they are vaccinated against coronavirus. 

I got my Covid-19 vaccination outside of Europe. Will it be recognized as proof of a 3G option here?

Whether or not your vaccination will be recognized as proof of fulfilling the 3G regulation depends on the type of vaccine you have received. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institut has made pertinent information regarding the equivalence of vaccines available on its website.

The University Medical Center now offers individuals the opportunity to be issued a vaccination certificate if they have received an equivalent vaccine to make it easier for them to have their compliance with the 3G regulation at RWTH checked.

The Vaccination Center of Uniklinik RWTH Aachen can issue certificates on the following dates:

  • September 7, 2021, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 8, 2021, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 9, 2021, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 16, 2021, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
  • September 23, 2021, 12 noon to 2 p.m.

After September 23, 2021, the vaccination clinic hours will be Thursdays from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Prior registration is not necessary.

I was vaccinated outside the EU and my vaccination is not recognized as equivalent by the Paul Ehrlich Institute. Can I still participate in events at RWTH?

You can participate by providing valid proof of a negative test.


Medical Questions About COVID-19 Vaccination

Can I choose which Covid-19 vaccine I get?

Currently, BioNTech is being used for all vaccinations.

The complex logistics of coordinating and administering vaccinations will not allow us to offer you a choice between vaccines.

How is the vaccine administered, and by whom?

Before you come in for your vaccination appointment, please read the information sheet thoroughly. Please bring the completed consent form and your vaccination certificate with you to the vaccination.

The vaccine is injected into the upper arm muscle by a doctor or a certified medical assistant (MFA) legally authorized to administer vaccinations. Afterward, a seating area (Café Lounge on the gallery level of the staff cafeteria) is available for the required observation period of 15 to 30 minutes. This area is staffed with medical personnel as well. They can provide help immediately, should someone begin to experience acute side effects.

Who can get vaccinated?

Can people suffering from an acute illness get vaccinated?

Anyone suffering from an acute illness with a fever above 38.5°C should not be vaccinated until they have fully recovered. However, a cold or slightly elevated temperature (below 38.5°C) are not valid reasons to postpone immunization. Vaccination is possible as soon as you are free from fever and other symptoms after an illness.

Can individuals with chronic diseases get vaccinated?

Chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, asthma, cardiac or renal insufficiency, or obesity do not constitute a contraindication to vaccination. Neither a lower protective effect nor an increased side effect rate are expected.

Can individuals who are taking immunosuppressive drugs, have an immune disease, or a malignant disease get vaccinated?

Although there are no robust scientific data on this to date, this group of people should not experience more intense or different side effects from vaccination. Also, it is precisely these employees who are particularly at risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19, so that we recommend vaccination all the more urgently to these vulnerable individuals. However, there is a potential for their body's immune response to be weaker, so they might not be as protected against COVID infection as other fully vaccinated people.

Can people with allergies get vaccinated?

In principle, allergic or anaphylactic reactions can occur in very rare cases (1 case per 100,000 to 1 million vaccinations) with any vaccine (not only against COVID-19). This may be due either to the vaccine itself or to adjuvants/additives in the vaccine.

For patients with the following diseases from the allergic/ atopic group, there is no evidence for increased risk (compared to the normal population) in connection with COVID-19 vaccination when using the approved vaccines:

  • Eczema (atopic dermatitis)
  • Hives (urticaria and angioedema)
  • Allergic rhinitis (hay fever)
  • Asthma (but asthma should be well controlled at the time of vaccination)
  • Nasal Polyps
  • Food allergies (in particular, those allergic to eggs are not affected, as there is no chicken egg protein in the Biontech or Moderna vaccine)
  • Insect venom allergy
  • Painkiller intolerance
  • Antibiotic allergy
  • Contact allergy (e.g. nickel, fragrance or preservative allergy)

Please contact us if you have experienced one of the following in the past:

  • Severe allergic reaction to a previous non-COVID 19 vaccination
  • Severe allergic reaction after taking medication (especially laxative solutions) or getting injections
  • Severe allergic reaction after taking any medication and you suffer from mastocytosis
  • Severe allergic reaction due to an unknown cause

Patients with a known previous severe allergic reaction to ingredients of the vaccine or to the first COVID-19 vaccination cannot be vaccinated. Among others, the following ingredients may play a role:

  • Polyethylene glycol (=Macrogol)
  • Tromethamine/Trometamol

(See the answer to: What ingredients do the vaccines contain?)

Here is some more information for individuals undergoing treatment at the time of the vaccination:

Patients receiving treatment for the above conditions (including antibody therapies such as Xolair®, Dupixent®, Nucala®, Fasenra®) may be vaccinated. Patients are currently recommended to wait about one week between having treatment and the vaccination.

As with all other vaccinations, a minimum break of one week should be observed between the administration of subcutaneous allergen hyposensitization/specific immunotherapy (SCIT) and the COVID-19 vaccination. Clinical experience regarding vaccination (e.g. with the Biontech or Moderna vaccine) and simultaneous SLIT treatment has not been documented for many allergen immunotherapy treatments. In order to distinguish possible reactions to the COVID-19 vaccination from reactions to SLIT, allergological experience advocates that SLIT should be paused at least 1-2 days after having the COVID-19 vaccination.

Can pregnant or breastfeeding women get vaccinated?

At present, there is not sufficient experience on the use of COVID-19 vaccines during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The STIKO does not currently recommend getting vaccinated during pregnancy. However, in individual cases, pregnant women with pre-existing conditions who have a high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 may be offered a vaccination after a risk/benefit assessment has been performed and detailed information communicated. The STIKO considers it unlikely that vaccinating breastfeeding mothers would pose a risk to the infant. Pregnant women or breastfeeding mothers can get personal advice on this topic by calling the Vaccination Center hotline at 0241 80-38777.

Can women trying to conceive get vaccinated against COVID-19?

Yes, women actively trying to conceive can also be vaccinated against COVID-19. The available COVID-19 vaccines have been tested on adults, including women trying to conceive, and were found to be safe and effective.

Rumors that the vaccine impairs fertility are circulating at the moment. These rumors are, however, false. In the extensive clinical trials conducted prior to the approval of the vaccines, there is no evidence of the occurrence of infertility. The rumor is based on the fact that the protein encoded in the vaccines has a similar structure to a protein that is important for fertility. This similarity is, in fact, limited to a few sections of the protein. However, such similarities occur very frequently and are not specific to the COVID-19 vaccine. If such a similarity resulted in infertility, then the COVID-19 infection would also cause infertility. However, this has not been observed worldwide. The Paul-Ehrlich-Institute evaluates the safety of the vaccine as follows: "Drawing on all available data, the drug approval process provides the highest possible certainty for excluding damage to reproductive organs and fertility impairment in humans." So women wishing to conceive can get vaccinated against COVID-19.

What women hoping to conceive should be aware of, however, is getting vaccinated while pregnant. There are currently no systematic human data on whether vaccination is safe for pregnant women. I.e., this does not mean that vaccines are not safe for them– simply that there is a lack of data to substantiate or refute this. The STIKO's recommendation not to vaccinate pregnant women is therefore based on the fact that there is insufficient data for a recommendation –not on the fact that a specific risk is to be anticipated. Wanting to have children is not a reason to avoid vaccination. Getting vaccinated is also not a reason to terminate a pregnancy. The recommendation is a precautionary measure, not a direct objection.

Should those who have already been infected with COVID-19 get vaccinated against it?

The STIKO recommends one vaccine dose for anyone who has already had a SARS-CoV-2 infection. A laboratory diagnostic test (positive PCR or antibody test) can be taken to confirm prior infection with SARS-CoV-2.
The following recommendations apply:

  1. For those who have tested positive for infection with SARS-CoV-2 and experienced symptoms, STIKO recommends one vaccine dose to be administered, typically about 6 months after recovery or diagnosis. However, in light of the vaccine being increasingly more available and the proven safety record of Covid-19 vaccination, those infected with SARS-CoV-2 can now be vaccinated as early as 4 weeks after all COVID-19 symptoms have subsided.
  2. For individuals who have tested positive for SARS-Cov-2 but were asymptomatic, the recommended single dose of vaccine can be given as early as 4 weeks after laboratory diagnosis.
  3. Anyone who has already been vaccinated once against COVID-19 and then tested positive for infection with SARS-Cov-2 later (PCR or antibody test) should receive the 2nd vaccination about 6 months after diagnosis or recovery from COVID-19 symptoms. Again, administration of the vaccine is possible as early as 4 weeks after recovering from symptoms.

All licensed COVID-19 vaccines can be used to inoculate individuals with prior infection, according to the recommendations of the STIKO.

Which vaccines will be used?

Four coronavirus vaccines are currently licensed in Germany, of which three are expected to be used:

mRNA vaccine

  • COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® from the company Moderna, which was developed in cooperation with the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). European Medicines Agency granted approval for the vaccine on January 7, 2021.
  • The Comirnaty®vaccine, jointly produced by BioNTech and Pfizer. Comirnaty® was approved by the European Medicines Agency on December 21, 2020.

Viral vector vaccine

  • The viral vector vaccine AstraZeneca® by British-Swedish company AstraZeneca was approved by the European Medicines Agency on January 29, 2021.

What is an mRNA vaccine?

The vaccines are genetically engineered in the laboratory and consist of mRNA (messenger RNA) packed into small lipid or fat droplets – so-called nanoparticles. The mRNA contains the blueprint for a surface antigen, the so-called spike antigen of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. When this mRNA reaches the target cell, it uses the body's own mechanism (ribosomes) to produce proteins, in this case, the viral surface antigen. The body then develops antibodies against these antigens in order to be able to protect itself accordingly in the event of actual contact with the virus. Viral proteins can also trigger a T cell response (CD4, CD8) (cellular immune response). T cells help the immune system fight intracellular infections and they can also kill the infected cells directly.

The mRNA remains in the cytoplasm of the cell and naturally decays there after a short time. The mRNA does not enter the nucleus, where the cell's DNA is located. There is also no evidence that the mRNA absorbed up by the body's cells after vaccination is transcribed into DNA.  For this reason, there are no changes in the genetic material of the cell.

What is a COVID-19 viral vector vaccine?

The vector viruses used in the AstraZeneca vaccine are adenoviruses (modified viruses that cause colds in chimpanzees), which are harmless to humans. The virus vaccine does not replicate (i.e. reproduce) in the human body and therefore cannot cause infection.

After vaccination, the virus vaccine containing the SARS-CoV-2 gene enters a few body cells. The cells use the gene to make the spike protein. The immune system recognizes it as an invader and, in response, produces antibodies and T cells that ideally protect against infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

In natural adenovirus infections, no genetic alteration of human cells has been observed so far. Adenoviral vectors are generally considered non-integrating vectors, i.e. they do not integrate their genetic material into the cell genome. The genome of COVID-19 vector vaccines based on non-replicable adenoviruses, like that of other adenoviruses, remains outside the human DNA (extrachromosomal) in the nucleus of infected cells.

Also, in view of the fact that adenoviral vectors – unlike natural cold viruses – do not replicate in the human body due to genetic alterations and are rapidly eliminated by the body, there is no risk of the adenoviral vector DNA integrating into the human genome according to current scientific findings.

What ingredients do the vaccines contain?

In addition to the active ingredient (mRNA), the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® contains the following ingredients, according to the manufacturer's information:

  • the proprietary ionizable lipid SM-102
  • 1,2-Dimyristoyl-rac-glycero-3-methoxypolyethylene glycol-2000 [PEG2000-DMG]
  • Cholesterol
  • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine [DSPC]
  • Tromethamine
  • Tromethamine hydrochloride
  • Acetic acid
  • Sodium acetate
  • Saccharose
  • Water for injections

In addition to the active ingredient (mRNA), the Comirnaty®vaccine by Biontech/Pfizer contains the following ingredients, according to the manufacturer:

  • ALC-0315 = (4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2- hexyldecanoate)
  • ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
  • DSPC= 2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3 phosphocholine
  • Cholesterol
  • Potassium chloride
  • Potassium dihydrogen phosphate
  • Sodium chloride
  • Disodium phosphate dihydrate
  • Saccharose
  • Water for injections

It does not contain adjuvant, nor preservatives, nor egg white.

According to the manufacturer, the stopper of the Comirnaty® vials is not made of natural rubber latex.

One dose (0.5 ml) of COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca vaccine contains:

  • Chimpanzee adenovirus encoding the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein ChAdOx1-S *, not less than 2.5 x 108 infectious units.

*Produced in genetically modified human embryonic kidney 293 (HEK) cells by recombinant DNA technology. This product contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs.)

The other ingredients are:

  • Histidine
  • Histidine hydrochloride monohydrate
  • Magnesium chloride hexahydrate
  • Polysorbate 80 (E 433)
  • Ethanol
  • Sucrose
  • Sodium chloride
  • Sodium edetate dihydrate (Ph.Eur.)
  • Water for injections

Was the vaccine adequately tested prior to approval?

The genome of the SARS-CoV-2 virus was fully decoded in January 2020 and the first vaccine candidates were already available by the end of December. This was made possible by overlapping or telescoping the different test phases (I/II and II/III) and forwarding all study results immediately to the regulatory authorities on a rolling basis, where they were prioritized, thus saving much time overall. Besides, never before has so much financial support been given to vaccine research worldwide, because it is clear to everyone that only effective vaccines available to a large proportion of the world’s population can contain the pandemic in the near future.

The European Medicines Agency’s approval for the Comirnaty® vaccine, jointly manufactured by BioNTech and Pfizer, was approved on December 21, 2020. The COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® was approved on January 7, 2021. The third vaccine to be approved by the European Medicines Agency was the COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca® from British-Swedish company AstraZeneca on January 29, 2021.

Why do two doses need to be administered?

The second dose further stimulates the immune system – already stimulated by the first dose – to produce sufficient antibodies against the virus. We know from other vaccinations that antibodies are not only produced more frequently, but they also last longer. Some diseases even require three vaccinations (e.g. hepatitis B or diphtheria).

How effective is the protection offered by vaccination?

From the approval study of the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® produced by Moderna, it is known that the effectiveness in over 15,000 vaccinated subjects was approximately 94 percent. This means that symptomatic COVID-19 infection was observed about 18 times less frequently in the vaccinated subjects than in the non-vaccinated study participants.

The pivotal study of the Comirnaty® vaccine, jointly produced by BioNTech and Pfizer, showed effectiveness of approximately 95 percent in over 20,000 vaccinated subjects, meaning that symptomatic COVID-19 infection was observed approximately 20 times less frequently in vaccinated subjects than in non-vaccinated study participants.

According to current findings, the vector-based vaccine COVID-19 Vaccine AstraZeneca has a 70% effectiveness against COVID-19 infection in individuals. What does that mean?

The effectiveness of the vaccination determined in the clinical trials tested the vaccine protection in the period starting 15 days after the second dose was administered. The odds of contracting COVID-19 were 70% lower in those vaccinated against COVID-19 than in those not vaccinated. Here is an example: Imagine that in an area with many active COVID-19 cases, there are about 20 cases per 1,000 people. If part of the population in this area were vaccinated, 20 out of 1,000 non-vaccinated individuals would subsequently still contract COVID-19, but only about 6 out of 1,000 people who have been vaccinated. Thus, if a person vaccinated with the vector-based COVID-19 vaccine comes into contact with the pathogen, they are very unlikely to contract the disease.

How quickly does the vaccine become effective?

Full effectiveness only develops after the second dose. Correspondingly high antibody titers should develop approximately two weeks after the second dose. However, the approval studies of the two vaccines COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® and Comirnaty® also show that even the first vaccine dose has a certain effectiveness.

AstraZeneca vaccine achieved 60% (41-73%) of effectiveness 28 to 34 days after the first dose, which increased to 73% (27-90%) thereafter.

How long is the vaccination effective?

No conclusive data are available on this so far, as the first subjects were only vaccinated in March/April 2020. However, from other coronavirus infections, it is known that immunity resulting from infection lasts for about a year. We can therefore also assume the vaccines available here would last around the same length of time. However, it is still unclear whether people will actually have to be vaccinated again every year, as is the case with the flu.

Can vaccinated individuals pass the virus on to others?

This is a good and valid question, and unfortunately, the evidence is not yet conclusive. This is known as "sterile immunity". This means that the vaccination prevents the virus from being absorbed and multiplying in the throat area, thus preventing it from being transmitted to others. It is very likely that being vaccinated reduces the risk of transmission, but it does not prevent it in every situation and to all individuals, e.g. those at risk.

Until this situation has been clarified, all individuals must continue to comply with the hygiene regulations in force, both at work and in private.

What side effects or complications can arise?

In principle, a distinction must be made between mild but frequent reactions and rare but severe complications.

Yet harmless, mild reactions are actually a "good reaction" because they show that the body is responding to the vaccine and developing an immune response. Common and harmless vaccine reactions described in theapproval studies of the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® and Cominarty® vaccines include redness or swelling of the injection site. Fever, fatigue, nausea, and muscle, joint, and head aches may also occur after vaccination. In very rare cases, swelling of the lymph nodes may also arise. Mild vaccination reactions occur more frequently in younger subjects and more often after the second vaccination. The vaccination reactions persisted for a maximum of one to two days and were reversible without exception.

Serious adverse events, on the other hand, go beyond a normal vaccination reaction and significantly burden the health of the vaccinated individual. In extensive pre-approval clinical trials, three cases of acute facial paralysis were observed following the administration of the COVID-19 Vaccine Moderna® vaccine. Whether these are causally related to the vaccination is as yet unclear and is being further investigated. In addition, there have been some individual case reports of severe hypersensitivity reactions, so-called anaphylactic reactions, occurring immediately after vaccination. This is also an extremely rare, but, in principle, life-threatening complication of vaccination. Please also read the section "Can people with allergies get vaccinated?"

After administering the COVID-19 vector vaccine (AstraZeneca), local and general reactions may occur as a result of the body's exposure to the vaccine. The most commonly reported reactions during the mostly two-month observation period to date were tenderness at the injection site (more than 60%), pain at the injection site, headache and fatigue (more than 50%), muscle pain and malaise (more than 40%), elevated temperature and chills (more than 30%), joint pain and nausea (more than 20%). Vomiting, diarrhea, redness and swelling of the injection site, and fever have been reported frequently (between 1% and 10%). Occasionally (between 0.1% and 1%) lymph node swelling, decreased appetite, dizziness, drowsiness, increased sweating, pruritus, and a general skin rash occurred. Most reactions are slightly less common in older people than in younger people. Reactions are mostly mild or moderate, usually lasting a few days and occurring less frequently after the second dose compared to the first dose. Since the introduction of the vaccine, blood clots (thrombosis) associated with a reduction in the platelet count (thrombocytopenia), in some cases together with bleeding, have been observed very rarely after the AstraZeneca® vaccine was administered. Among them were some severe cases with blood clots in different or unusual locations (e.g. in the brain as sinus vein thromboses), together with increased clotting activity or even bleeding throughout the body. The majority of these cases occurred 7 to 14 days after vaccination and predominantly in women under 55. However, more women under 55 have received the vaccine overall than other groups. Some of the cases described had fatal consequences.

Finally, it is important to mention complications that are not caused by the vaccine but may be caused by the injection itself. Here, as with any other injection, even using a proper injection technique, there is an extremely low residual risk of bleeding, infection, or nerve and soft tissue injury.

Are we covered by insurance for vaccine injury?

Uniklinik RWTH Aachen only uses vaccines that have been approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and recommended by the Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) at the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Under these conditions, the public authorities guarantee they will cover the costs of any vaccination injury.

Is data available on long-term side effects?

Possible side effects that only appear after several years are not known at present. Also, due to the short time the vaccines have been available, interactions with other vaccines, drugs, or other underlying diseases could not yet be described in as much detail compared to drugs or vaccines that have been approved for many years. However, further data will be generated for this purpose and it will then also be possible to register particularly rare side effects which, for example, only occur in 1:30,000 or 1:40,000 cases.

What should I do if I suspect I am suffering from side effects?

If symptoms occur after a vaccination which exceed the above-mentioned temporary local and general reactions, you can of course consult with your family doctor. If you experience severe adverse effects, especially if you develop a persistent headache, shortness of breath, or pinpoint bleeding of the skin 4 to14 days after the AstraZeneca® vaccine was administered, you should seek medical attention immediately.

Who monitors vaccination reactions and how can side effects be reported?

Even with widespread use, the efficacy, safety, and also the length of protection of COVID vaccines will be continuously reviewed and evaluated by the pharmaceutical companies themselves as well as by the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute and the responsible committees at the European Medicines Agency (EMA). In case there are indications of possible side effects, they can react very quickly. If you or your attending physician suspect you are experiencing side effects, you can report it to the Paul-Ehrlich-Institute (PEI) as the highest federal authority, your local health department, or in the PEI's SafeVac app.


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.

Are additional coronavirus self-tests 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. Exceptions apply to cross-border commuters from high-risk areas and to employees returning to work on site at RWTH for the first time after a leave of absence lasting at least five working days and comparable leaves of absence from duty or work (see below).

What do I need to consider when coming back to work at the office after a vacation or similar leave From work?

The new Coronavirus Protection Ordinance stipulates a one-off testing requirement, effective from July 1, 2021, for all employees returning to work on site for the first time following a vacation of at least five consecutive working days and comparable leaves of absence from work (CoronaSchV §7 (3)).

To comply with this testing obligation, employees must present

  • a valid negative test (no older than 24 hours, can be credited as working time when taken before work)
  • proof that they are fully vaccinated or proof of recovery from infection
  • a return travel test that is no older than 48 hours
  • a documented, supervised self-test that is taken prior to or at the beginning of this workday in compliance with employee testing under Section 4 of the Coronavirus Test and Quarantine Ordinance. instructions and briefing)

to their respective supervisors on their first day back to work. The employees simply have to show a document as proof. However, the employer also has a duty of proof. For this reason, the respective supervisors must keep records, listing the necessary information as shown in this template.

Employees returning to work following an absence due to illness or a business trip are not subject to the testing obligation.

What do I have to do as a cross-border commuter from a high-incidence region?

Employees who are coming to work at RWTH from a high incidence area must provide proof of testing twice a week.
You can meet this testing requirement by presenting

  • a valid negative test (no older than 24 hours)
  • proof that you are fully vaccinated or proof of recovery from infection
  • a documented, supervised self-test that is taken prior to or at the beginning of a workday in compliance with employee testing under Section 4 of the Coronavirus Test and Quarantine Ordinance (instructions and briefing).

For more information, click here.

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.

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

RWTH employees can certify other employees’ negative self-test results. The prerequisite for this is that the certifying person has previously accepted and signed the induction training given to them via the instruction sheet (de). The signed instruction sheet must be kept at the respective university institution and presented if required.

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?

You can find all the regulations currently in effect for holding events in the latest Adapted Regulations for Implementing the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance at RWTH and on this webpage.

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?

You can find more information here.

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.

Can those who are fully vaccinated work together in their shared office?

According to the Coronavirus Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (CoronaArbeitsschutzV) currently in effect, employers must "take all appropriate technical and organizational measures to reduce the number of staff coming into contact with one another in the workplace. The simultaneous use of rooms by several persons must be reduced to the minimum necessary for operation." Accordingly, whether staff can work in an office at the same time depends on whether the simultaneous work in the same room is necessary for campus operations.

Immunization status currently has no effect on the permissibility of simultaneous office use.


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 spaces open and available?

  • Central study spaces (including at the University Library): The Central University Administration and the University Library reopened their central study spaces to students at the beginning of June. To use these study spaces, students must continue to book their spots via the familiar platform to minimize queuing in front of the rooms. The regulations regarding masks and compulsory testing must be observed.
  • Check here to find out exactly which study spaces are available on any given day.
  • Decentralized study spaces (especially in department libraries): Decentralized study spaces may be opened, provided that the study space has been approved by the Occupational Safety and Radiation Protection Staff Unit within the scope of the available capacities, suitable supervision is ensured within opening hours, and a responsible person has been designated in the organizational unit. The regulations concerning the obligation to wear masks and to take tests must be observed.

Are there any policies and regulations for holding courses?

You can find all the regulations currently in effect for holding events in the latest Adapted Regulations for Implementing the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance at RWTH and on this webpage.


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?

You can find more information here.

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 ().


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?

You can find all the regulations currently in effect for holding events in the latest Adapted Regulations for Implementing the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance at RWTH and on this webpage.

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.

What do I need to consider when coming back to work at the office after a vacation or similar leave From work?

The new Coronavirus Protection Ordinance stipulates a one-off testing requirement, effective from July 1, 2021, for all employees returning to work on site for the first time following a vacation of at least five consecutive working days and comparable leaves of absence from work (CoronaSchV §7 (3)).

To comply with this testing obligation, employees must present

  • a valid negative test (no older than 24 hours, can be credited as working time when taken before work)
  • proof that they are fully vaccinated or proof of recovery from infection
  • a return travel test that is no older than 48 hours
  • a documented, supervised self-test that is taken prior to or at the beginning of this workday in compliance with employee testing under Section 4 of the Coronavirus Test and Quarantine Ordinance. instructions and briefing)

to their respective supervisors on their first day back to work. The employees simply have to show a document as proof. However, the employer also has a duty of proof. For this reason, the respective supervisors must keep records, listing the necessary information as shown in this template.

Employees returning to work following an absence due to illness or a business trip are not subject to the testing obligation.

What do I have to consider as a cross-border commuter who enters Germany from another country?

Employees who are traveling to work at RWTH from a high risk area or virus variant area must provide proof of a negative test result twice a week. For those who are fully vaccinated or have recovered from infection with Covid-19, the testing obligation does not apply.

Cross-border commuters from other countries are not obligated to provide proof of a negative test.

You can meet the testing obligation mentioned above by presenting

  • a valid negative test result from a test center (no older than 24 hours)
  • proof that you are fully vaccinated or proof of recovery from infection
  • a documented, supervised self-test that is taken prior to or at the beginning of a workday in compliance with employee testing under Section 4 of the Coronavirus Test and Quarantine Ordinance (instructions and briefing).

For more information, click here.