Current Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Status Update of March 18, 2021

Dear Institute Members and Guests,

At the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems we take the coronavirus situation very seriously and have established measures to protect all employees and guests of the institute. These describe a number of important rules for hygiene, distancing, and contact tracking, so please read the measures below very carefully and follow them rigorously. Thank you, and good health to everyone!

Current information about Coronavirus (COVID-19), the Max Planck Society’s framework for action as well as regulations and policies on campuses that affect employees and guests of our institute are available on the following websites:

  • RKI (Link)
  • MPG Framework for Action “Occupational Health and Safety from A to Z during the Pandemic” (Link)
  • Technische Universität Kaiserslautern (Link)
  • Universität des Saarlandes (Link)
  • State of Rhineland Palatinate Coronavirus Information (Link)
  • State of Saarland Coronavirus Information (Link)

Below we list the MPI-SWS measures for protection against Covid-19, specifically our provisions for limited access to the MPI-SWS buildings in Saarbrücken and Kaiserslautern.

Working in the institute

  • In view of the current lockdown in place in Germany, all MPI-SWS researchers (interns, PhD students, postdocs, RGLs, visitors, faculty members) should make every effort to work from home and not come to the institute.

  • Only one person can work in an office at a time. The "capacity numbers" on doors indicate maximum number of people who can simultaneously be in the office for the purpose of a time-limited meeting; in such instances, please wear masks or remain at least 2 meters from anyone else. People in shared offices must synchronise with the other occupants in order to avoid coming to the institute at the same time.

  • Larger rooms have a maximum number of allowed people posted at their entrances, based on an occupancy of one person per 20 square meters. Within these rooms, all people must wear masks or keep at least 2 meters from anyone else. When entering such a room, everyone must wear a mask until seated.

  • Institute members with certain chronic conditions should continue working from home until further notice. Such conditions include: diseases of the respiratory and circulatory systems, tumor diseases, diseases of the immune system, chronic intestinal diseases, diabetes, or kidney diseases.

  • Anyone who has any cold or flu symptoms, especially cough, fever, rhinitis, or
    loss of smell and taste, must not come to the institute. If you are not
    feeling well, notify your supervising faculty member, follow the RKI and state
    recommendations for self-isolating, and contact your doctor.

Access to and movement inside the building

  • When entering the building and whenever not in your office (or larger rooms
    as indicated above), everyone must wear a face mask covering mouth and nose.
    This holds also for short walks to the coffee machine, restrooms, going up and
    down staircases, etc.

  • The building can only be entered through the main entrance on the ground
    floor (use your transponder to open the door). Upon entering, everyone must
    disinfect their hands (dispensers are available), and everyone must register
    their times of arrival and departure in the respective list on the ground
    floor. This is important for narrowing down potential contacts in case someone
    gets infected. It will help reduce the risk of drastic lockdown measures in
    cases of infections.

  • All staircases are one-way paths (to minimize short-distance contacts), and
    clearly labelled as such.

  • Take the elevator only one person at a time, and only if you are not able to
    climb the stairs.

  • Access to the basement is strictly prohibited.

Reporting of infections

  • Institute members must inform the institute immediately if they develop Covid-19 symptoms, or if they were in contact with a person who has been positively tested (or of course if they have tested positive themselves). Such cases must be reported to the respective supervising faculty member or to Volker Geiß.


  • All business travel requires approval -- start by speaking with your
    supervising faculty member. For business travel abroad, you will also require
    MPG approval; again, speak to your supervising faculty member for details.
    He/She will consult with the central crisis management team of the MPG
    ( regarding planning and implementing business trips
    abroad. Nevertheless, it is recommended to check carefully whether appointments that are connected with a trip can be postponed or carried out virtually.

  • All overnight travel (business or leisure/vacation) should be coordinated
    with the respective supervising faculty member. Reporting such travel activity
    is important for risk assessment based on the latest status of high-risk areas.
    (List of risk areas in German. For English please see the "English archive" on the above web page.)

  • Visitors, guests and employees of external companies must read and sign the form from the Max Planck Society with instructions to protect health and safety before they arrive at the institute. Faculty members planning to host visitors must (1) have their visitors fill in the Corona instructions external visitors form and send it to the office staff, and (2) contact the office staff to learn the latest requirements for incoming visitors.

  • For entries from risk areas to Germany, all travelers have to fill out a
    digital entry application when they arrive. Afterwards, information about the
    return/entry and the obligation of domestic quarantine ("self-isolation") will
    automatically be sent to the responsible health authority. A testing obligation
    upon entry is to be introduced in addition to the existing ten-day quarantine
    obligation, which can be shortened after five days at the earliest by a
    negative test result (two-test strategy). The test result must be kept for ten
    days and presented to the public health department upon request. Please
    coordinate with your supervising faculty member regarding working from home.

    The federal government will issue separate regulations, in particular on
    compulsory testing prior to entry, for special risk areas from which there is a
    particular risk of entry due to the spread of mutations of the virus or
    particularly high incidences.