Prevention and Security Measures against the Corona Virus

Prevention and Security Measures against the Corona Virus

Information and safety instructions for all scientists, employees and guests at MPQ

The infection rate with the Corona virus has increased significally over the last weeks. Meanwhile the WHO has declared a pandemic outbreak. Therefore we implement the following safety measures with immediate effect:

*this website is constantly updated.

Travelling to risk areas and in general

All trips to officially declared risk areas remain ineligible for approval. These include at the current state (21st of March, Source: Robert-Koch-Institut):

Egypt: whole country
China: Province Hubei (incl. city Wuhan)
France: Region Grand Est (containing Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
Iran: whole country
Italy: whole country
Österreich: State Tirol
Spain: Madrid
South Korea: Province Gyeongsangbuk-do (Nord-Gyeongsang)
USA: Staes California, Washington and New York

A situation update on the affected regions and more detailed information can be accessed at the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control via this link:

Independent of that all business trips with travel dates within the next two months (approx. until mid of May) should be cancelled. For exceptions, please speak directly to your supervisor.

Attendance at the institute and home office

All employees, both researchers and administrative staff, are asked to examine whether they can shift their activities to home office and do so, wherever possible. Please contact your direct supervisor. If you have technical difficulties or questions please get in touch with the IT department, which will remain staffed with minimum one person on site. 

For departments, whose tasks can't be shifted to home office and/or whose attendance on site is crucial for the institute: Please form rotating teams and take turns with your team members. Please seek our advise from your direct supervisor. This rule mainly applies for departments in the administration, employees in technical support and the mechanical workshop.

All labs should only operate in a reduced manner. Only one team of two people at a time per 40²m lab floor. Also these teams should operate in rotation. 

Returnees from risk areas

Everybody who recently returned from trips to risk regions should remain at home for the next two weeks. We encourage working from home during this period wherever possible. If this isn't possible or you feel uncertain please reach out to human ressources (Nina Kilgus or Elisabeth Limmer) to discuss any further actions.


Due to the current closing of day nurseries and schools, many households experience difficulties in child care. The following options are available at the moment:

  • Take annual leave
  • Move to Home Office
  • Reduce overhours or move working hours to later or earlier in the day
  • Take unpaud leave

In all those cases, where parents can't work from home and also have no other option for child care then to stay home themselves, the Max Planck Society is able to offer a special solution. In this case, is it possible to exempt employees from their work whilst maintaining payment. Please get in touch with your supervisor in case you need to make use of this option. 

Events and meetings

All conferences and symposia at MPQ must be cancelled until further notice. The Photonlab (students' lab) is closed over the same period of time. All visitor tours through the institute and the Girls Day on 26th of March are cancelled.

All colloquia at the institute are cancelled until end of April.

Code of conduct in the institute

The corona virus Covid-19 is highly contagious. It is therefore particularly important to strictly follow hygiene measures. We have distributed disinfectants throughout the institute. A dispenser for hand disinfection is available in the entrance area, which should be used with every entrance to the institute. Recommendations on best practice hygiene measures are shown in the infographic and should be followed closely. Please wash you hands every time you enter or leave a lab or office, before touching any items, and after every coughing and sneezing. Try to avoid touching your face. On top of that we ask you to use desinfectants to clean surfaces and keyboards wherever possible. 

Furthermore, the containment of the virus is to be given priority over the German netiquette. Therefore, a No Handshake Policy applies. Please try and maintain a mimimum distance of 2m to every other person.

Meetings with more than 5 people are generally forbidden. Please use a video conference system like Zoom, Skype or DFNconf for group meetings. Please avoid direct contact wherever possible.

The cafeteria remains open, but with a special and more distant seating of minimum 2m. Please follow these instructions. Cutlery will only be handed out by the cafeteria and under strict rules of hygiene. To have your lunch, please spread out over the institute i.e. the communication zone, and also avoid accumulations in larger groups in confined spaces. Please maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres to other people in and outside the institute. Make use of the disinfection liquid in front of the canteen before every meal. 

It is crucial to maintain a safe distance to other people of 2 meter when talking to people. This is an absolutely appropriate measure and our new requirement for mutual respect and politeness.


All visits from guests and researchers are to be postponed until further notice 

Symptoms of illness

All people who experience symptoms of illness or a feeling of discomfort typical of a cold are encouraged to stay at home and should either call in sick, or if less drastic, work from home. In case of a flu-like illness, a sick note must be made. In order not to increase the risk of infection in medical practices, the first medical consultation should be made via phone. In any of those cases the institute should stay informed about  further developments and courses of illness. Contacts are listed on the right.

If any acute symptoms occur during working hours or whilst being present at MPQ, the institute is to be informed immediately. For these purposes an emergency room (C 2.69) has been set upwhere employees can withdraw and, if necessary, put on protective masks until further action, such as transport at home or medical consultation have been taken.

In order to keep track on how many people are currently either sick, in (self) quarantine and/or home office, we ask the team assistants to collect this information and submit it on a weekly basis (every Friday) to the head of administration. 

Informing the Institute

Please contact the institute immediately if any of the above cases eventuates. The same holds if you feel unsure about any of the situations above and require assistance. The institute is also to be kept informed on a regular basis on any cases of illness and/or abstinence from the workplace.


Here you can find all information for employees, researchers and guests of the Max Planck Society in greater detail and always up-to-date. more

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