Current Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Status Update of October 27, 2020

Dear Institute Members and Guests,

After months of essentially working from home, the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems will now open our institute in a restricted mode. 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)

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

  • Every member of the institute who has a full-time position can work in the institute (regularly or occasionally) if they feel that this substantially improves their performance, or can continue to work remotely. This choice must be coordinated with the respective supervising Faculty member.

  • 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.

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.

  • 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.) Upon returning from a high-risk area you must go into two weeks of self-quarantine. Please coordinate with your supervising Faculty member regarding working from home. (See this RKI page.)

  • When returning from travel (especially from abroad or high-risk areas in
    Germany), it is strongly recommended in any event to isolate yourself for two
    weeks of self-quarantine. Please coordinate with your supervising Faculty
    member regarding working from home.

  • 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.
    Institute members planning to host visitors must (1) have their visitors fill in the "Corona instructions external visitors" form, available at and send it to the office staff and (2) contact the office staff to learn the latest requirements for incoming visitors.