CAU Hygiene Conceptual Framework

Update of the Hygiene Conceptual Framework of 19.05.2020 in accordance with the resolution of the University Board on 30.10.2020

Important: If the currently applicable state regulations go beyond the provisions of the CAU's framework, the provisions of the state regulations apply. You can find the currently valid regulations here (German only). Further regulations are contained in the state's higher education corona ordinance, for example the obligation to wear masks. This currently applies to all lectures on-site. The cohort principle is currently not applicable.

Preliminary remarks

This Hygiene Conceptual Framework describes the applicable general hygiene and protective measures for the entire university operations in teaching/studying, research, administration and all university institutes and establishments, as well as particular hygiene and protective measures for specific teaching, examination and event formats and for special areas at the CAU, in accordance with the applicable state regulations.

The objective is comprehensive health protection for the CAU members and guests. Based on these regulations, the university should continue to operate without serious restrictions as far as possible, and a contribution made towards containing the spread of the coronavirus.

To do so, comprehensive guidelines for operations at the CAU will be formulated, which cover as many institutions and/or examination and event formats as possible, so that the individual concepts can largely draw on this framework and supplement it where necessary.

Basic principles

  • Non-essential contact between employees, students and other people (e.g. doctoral researchers, visiting scientists and guestss) must be avoided. General hygiene measures must be implemented, and the infection risks during essential contact must be minimised by means of special hygiene and protective measures.
  • As a matter of principle, digital formats should be prioritised for all events in order to minimise direct personal contact. 
  • The requirements for general hand hygiene and coughing and sneezing etiquette must be followed.
  • On the entire CAU campus, both indoors and outdoors, a minimum social distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained to other people. For this purpose, appropriate social distancing measures must be determined for each location. Special conditions apply to musical and sporting events.
  • Indoors and directly in front of the buildings at the CAU, wearing a mask is mandatory, in accordance with the valid version of the "Hochschulen-Coronaverordnung" (university coronavirus regulations) of the state of Schleswig-Holstein.
  • In principle, lifts should be used alone, unless the minimum distance of 1.5 m can be maintained. 
  • In closed rooms for temporary use (such as examinations, short-term laboratory use, meetings), there should be a maximum of 2 people per 10 square metres, and in offices or labs used for longer periods (of more than 1.5 hours), a maximum of one person per 10 square metres. This should be understood as a guideline, and may vary according to specific conditions at each location.
  • All interior spaces must be adequately ventilated with fresh air. In the event of mechanical ventilation (technical ventilation), the Facility Management team will ensure that the settings of the ventilation systems are adjusted accordingly. There are handouts for regular ventilation in all other seminar rooms and meeting rooms. Here, it is important to open the doors and windows completely at least every 20 minutes for 3-5 minutes, so that the room is filled with fresh air. (This is based on the "Infektionsschutzgerechtes Lüften" (correct ventilation to protect against infections) recommendation of the Federal Government issued on 16.9.2020)
  • Signs must be displayed at building entrances and inside buildings regarding the hygiene measures to be observed[1]
  • Documentation is required for all persons who are not only temporarily present in the institutions (institutes, departments, etc.). This includes details provided of the days present and the rooms generally used, as well as contact details (usually a mobile phone number). The records of attendance must be kept by the heads of the respective institutions for a period of four weeks, in accordance with the applicable data protection regulations, in such a way that the records are accessible at all times in case contact tracing becomes necessary. These attendance records must be provided to the health authorities on request. 
  • The contact tracing for face-to-face lectures and examinations can be supported digitally via OLAT. In particular, this system must be used for lectures.
  • Travel to the campus should preferably be individually (by bicycle, car, or on foot): those using public transport must comply with the applicable rules for wearing a mask in the state of Schleswig-Holstein. 
  • People with respiratory symptoms or fever should not be present at the institution. In the event of acute respiratory symptoms, the person affected must leave the institution immediately and have their symptoms checked by a doctor.
  • Travel returnees and persons arriving in Kiel from abroad must observe the applicable regulations of the state of Schleswig-Holstein for returning travellers, along with any temporary entry bans in place related to university premises. 

All members of the university are required to responsibly observe and adhere to the existing regulations and rules, in order to protect themselves and others. Further information on the above-mentioned principles is available on the CAU’s coronavirus information pages.


The general basic obligations of the employer in terms of Section 3 and Section 4 no. 3 ArbSchG and/or DGUV Regulation 1 give rise to general hygiene requirements, which are specified in the ArbStättV and its Technical Rules for workplaces as well as other regulations. This Hygiene Conceptual Framework was developed on the basis of the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standard (SARS-CoV-2-Arbeitsschutzstandard) of 20.08.2020 (2020, p. 484-495 GMBL), which specifies the occupational safety and health requirements in relation to SARS-CoV-2 during the period determined to be a nationwide epidemic in accordance with Section 5 of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG).

With this Hygiene Conceptual Framework, the CAU also fulfils its obligation to prepare a hygiene concept in terms of Section 3 (1) of the "Landesverordnung über besondere Maßnahmen zur Verhinderung der Ausbreitung des Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 an Hochschulen" (state regulations regarding special measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus at universities), as amended on 13.10.2020.

The requirements for face-to-face teaching events and examinations are based on the "Guidelines for creating hygiene concepts in all state and state-recognised universities in Schleswig-Holstein" issued on 15.09.2020, developed by the Ministry of Education, Science and Cultural Affairs together with the universities in Schleswig-Holstein.

Hygiene concepts for examinations and teaching

For all parties, protection against infection takes precedence over carrying out the various event formats. Examination and teaching processes must be adapted accordingly, and offered in digital formats as far as possible. The basic principle is that critical gatherings of participants in the buildings and on campus must be avoided. As a rule, organisational and spatial measures must ensure that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres between people can be maintained.

In the winter semester 2020/2021 the following course formats will be made possible:

  • Examinations are allowed which cannot be carried out digitally
  • face-to-face events from the compulsory and compulsory elective sections of curricular teaching, which are not digitally possible and are also relevant for the continuation or completion of the degree programme. These are teaching event formats with explicitly practical skill development, for example through practical laboratory exercises, outdoor exercises, practical sports exercises or literature studies without digital availability. These also include final theses, which for example are completed in laboratories.
  • Lectures for first semester students

Such events are subject to the general safety requirements as described under "Spatial and organisational requirements" below. All participants are obliged to contribute through their conduct towards helping to ensure that teaching events and examinations can be carried out without any health risks for all participants.  We appeal to the sense of responsibility of each individual, not to attend teaching events or examinations if they have any symptoms of illness. Students who are diagnosed with a coronavirus infection (Covid-19) within 14 days after a teaching event or examination must immediately inform the Dean’s Office at their faculty.

People who belong to high-risk groups should only participate in face-to-face teaching events or examinations after medical consultation. Participants who belong to a high-risk group must announce this in advance to the responsible examination office, and will be granted separate access and a separate examination room or workplace where possible.

There are additional restrictions for clinical teaching at the Faculty of Medicine at the CAU, which takes place at the USKH, Campus Kiel. The Faculty of Medicine will develop hygiene concepts appropriate for these special circumstances, and coordinate them with the UKSH. Additional approval by the CAU is not required. The training and research in pre-clinical teaching on the CAU campus are subject to the provisions of this Hygiene Conceptual Framework.

Development of hygiene concepts

Development of hygiene concepts

  • A hygiene concept must be developed in good time beforehand for every examination and practical event, based on templates. Details of the respective teaching or examination event must be included. 
  • Hygiene concepts are first checked for completeness and plausibility by the dean's office, and then submitted to the University board via the dean’s office. The University Board reserves the right to check the concepts, with the involvement of the Central Unit: Safety Engineering. There will not be explicit approval of the concepts. The responsibility for carrying out the relevant teaching event or examination in accordance with the requirements of this Hygiene Conceptual Framework lies with the respective teachers or examiners.
  • The concepts will be stored centrally, and made available at the request of the health authorities or other testing authorities.
  • Hygiene concepts of the Faculty of Medicine for clinical teaching at the UKSH will be collected by the Dean's Office at the Faculty of Medicine, and made available at the request of the health authorities or other testing authorities. 
Information and registration of participants

Information and registration of participants

  • Students will be informed in advance of the measures to minimise the risks and the applicable rules for participation in person at examinations and lectures. In addition, at the beginning of the semester information will be provided about the rules of conduct on campus, which includes a notification that only healthy people are allowed on the campus. This will be done in writing (esp. by e-mail) including a reference to the CAU’s corona website. 
  • Violations of the rules of conduct may be punished by expulsion from the university premises, through the exercise of domiciliary rights by the persons supervising the event (if necessary with the support of the employees at the main gate and/or the caretaker responsible). If the violation causes increased risk of the spread of the virus, then the violation will also be documented and pursued further in consultation with the authorities.
  • The registration of students and contact tracing where necessary is performed digitally via an additional function in OLAT.
Spatial and organisational requirements

Spatial and organisational requirements

  • Routes through the buildings to the venues for exams, face-to-face teaching events and to the sanitary facilities will be marked as far as possible, in order to prevent or minimise encounters. A mask must be worn the whole time until seated in the event venue.
  • Separate entrances and exits should be indicated where possible.
  • Signs about infection protection and health instructions must be displayed at building entrances and inside the buildings, which provide information about general protective measures such as hand hygiene, wearing face masks, social distancing and coughing and sneezing etiquette.
  • The rooms and the sanitary facilities will be cleaned every working day, in accordance with the hygiene requirements. Additional cleaning steps may be performed, depending on usage.
  • In rooms where adequate ventilation cannot be ensured (e.g. non-opening or no windows, no forced ventilation), no events may be held, the time spent in the room must be kept to a minimum.
  • The doors of event rooms used should be kept open where possible, so that touching doorhandles can be avoided - and the rooms ventilated thereby if possible. This does not apply to rooms where the doors must be kept closed for security reasons, e.g. laboratory rooms. 
  • In the sanitary facilities, the availability of at least soap and paper towels will be ensured. The hygiene guidelines for proper hand washing techniques will be displayed prominently.
  • Guidelines for entering the sanitary rooms alone will be formulated and displayed prominently at the respective facilities. 
  • In the rooms used, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres between all participants and the examiner or teaching staff must be ensured. If this is not possible due to the spatial conditions, and alternative rooms are not available, for example because of the technical facilities required, alternative measures must be taken to minimise risk, such as perspex or other barriers, temporary use of face masks, or significant reduction of group sizes. 
  • The rooms will be prepared accordingly before the start of the event, and materials required for carrying out the event such as examination papers, worksheets, etc. will be distributed to the individual workplaces. It is not necessary to allocate places. If equipment is used by several people, intermediate cleaning must take place after each use by the user (wiping of surfaces, buttons, etc.). People preparing the room/ the event as well as the participants must wash their hands thoroughly before the event. If there is no possibility to wash hands near the event venue, then hands must be disinfected.
  • After the event, the participants must leave the building quickly via the marked exits. Here too, critical gatherings must be avoided.
Cohorts (currently not applicable)

Cohorts (currently not applicable)

In accordance with Section 2 (2) of the HochschulencoronaVO (university coronavirus regulations) of 16.9.2020, cohorts can be set up if specific groups of students can study according to a defined timetable, and the events are not attended by students from other groups in their degree programme, other degree programmes, semesters, etc...

Forming cohorts at the CAU is subject to the following additional criteria:

  • The composition of a cohort may not be changed.
  • At events, students within a cohort do not have to observe minimum social distancing and also do not have to wear face masks, provided that the above-mentioned regulations have not temporarily imposed other rules.
  • The lifting of social distancing rules only applies to the cohorts and only for the duration of the particular lecture or course.
  • As lecturers generally supervise several cohorts, they must continue to observe social distancing rules with one another and with group members.
  • Potential quarantine measures apply to the whole cohort.
  • Each student can only be assigned to one other cohort.
  • If a student needs to switch from one cohort to another (e.g. for field trips), an isolation period of 14 days must be observed.
  • In order to ensure that each student only participates in one cohort, the participants must be registered. This is done via the OpenOLAT learning platform.
  • A cohort strategy must be presented to the Dean; students must be informed of this in an appropriate manner.

Hygiene measures for specific types of examinations and lectures

Attendance examinations

oral exams

  • For oral examinations, the opportunities offered by digital formats will be explored and used if possible.
  • For face-to-face oral examinations, the existing distancing rules must be observed in accordance with the general requirements.
  • Attendance times and the arrangement of arrivals and departures will be assigned to avoid personal encounters between the students. (see Chapter 2, paragraph on additional protective measures and 4.3 on the spatial and organisational requirements)

Written examinations

  • For written examinations, the opportunities offered by digital formats will be explored and used if possible.
  • If attendance is required for written examinations, rooms must be used which meet the distancing rules in accordance with the general requirements (see Chapter 2, paragraph on additional protective measures and 4.3 on the spatial and organisational requirements).
  • Attendance times and the arrangement of arrivals and departures will be assigned to ensure that the distancing rules can also be observed here at all times.
  • The examination papers will be distributed turned over beforehand by the invigilators. They must wash their hands before and after distributing the examination papers, according to the stipulations of the applicable hygiene rules. At the end of the examination, the students must put their examination papers in a specially-prepared collection box, so that there is also no personal contact here between students and invigilators.
face-to-face lectures

Exercises with individual workplaces (e.g. practical laboratory and sports exercises)

  • For practical laboratory exercises with individual workplaces, practical sports exercises with individual workplaces, literature practical exercises with individual workplaces (in the library, or in a larger seminar room using a distribution system): the measures listed above must be implemented here. If it is not possible to observe the minimum distances of 1.5 m in exceptional cases, appropriate barrier measures and/or personal protective measures (masks) must be taken.
  • For practical laboratory work on equipment that is not available individually for all students, as well as exercises using sports equipment, or literature studies on non-digital books with a limited number of printed copies available: in addition to the above-mentioned measures, it must be ensured that
    • the students and supervisors observe the distancing rules when moving from one piece of equipment to another,
    • and where this is not possible, face masks must be worn.
  • In changing rooms at sports facilities, appropriate measures must be implemented to ensure that these are used by one person at a time only.

Special notes on laboratory practicals

  • The mandatory hygiene plans for biological laboratories with protection level 1, 2 and 3 remain unaffected by this Hygiene Conceptual Framework, and must be implemented in addition. 
  • Also, the mandatory hygiene plans for institutions for the husbandry of laboratory animals at the CAU remain unaffected by this Hygiene Conceptual Framework, and must be implemented in addition. 
  • The hygiene measures of the following "Technical Rules for Biological Agents" shall remain in full force:
    • TRBA 100 Protective measures for activities involving biological agents in laboratories
    • TRBA 260 Protective measures for activities involving biological agents in veterinary medicine and similar activities
    • TRBA 120 Husbandry of laboratory animals

Field trips

Before the field trip, it must be ensured that

  • the arrival and departure of students and supervisors can take place in accordance with the hygiene and social distancing rules; when using vehicles from the CAU fleet, the rules stipulated in 6. for trips with university vehicles are observed;
  • on-site during the field trip, the hygiene and social distancing rules are followed at all times;
  • if overnight stays are required, they comply with the relevant provisions of the overnight accommodation, and that the hygiene and social distancing rules are followed;
  • if meals are eaten during the excursion, that this takes place in accordance with the applicable regulations.

In addition, the relevant hygiene regulations of the field trip site must be observed.

Hygiene concepts for libraries

For the use of libraries, separate concepts must be developed for the central University Library and the individual departmental/specialised libraries, based on this Hygiene Conceptual Framework. In doing so, the requirements described in 4.1 to 4.3 above must be applied correspondingly. In addition, the recommendations of the Deutscher Bibliotheksverband (dbv) must be observed.

 For the departmental/specialised libraries, it must be individually determined whether the presence of students is even possible and permissible due to the size and spatial conditions, and whether lending systems can enable literature work in suitable seminar rooms.

The University Library and the Dean’s Offices responsible for the departmental/specialised libraries will submit the hygiene concepts for approval by the University Board, through the crisis management team coordinator. The concepts will be stored centrally, and made available at the request of the health authorities or other testing authorities.

Research and administration, events, self-governance

Protective measures must be implemented for the research and administration operations, and mandatory minimum standards for occupational safety and health protection must be ensured. All employees must adhere to the principles listed under 2. above. 

In addition to the mandatory risk assessments in accordance with the ArbSchG, the form "Risk assessment for continuing University operations during a pandemic until the end of the pandemic is officially declared" must be completed ( The employees must be instructed accordingly by their supervisor. The Central Unit: Safety Engineering provides assistance on its website, and advises employees and supervisors.

The corona website is the definitive resource for the currently applicable preventive and protective measures at the CAU. All members of the CAU should regularly inform themselves there about the applicable regulations. Information about protective measures and the code of conduct, and in particular the observance of personal and organisational hygiene rules (social distancing, wearing masks, coughing and sneezing hygiene, hand hygiene, regular ventilation), is provided through notices and signs.

Work station design

Work station design

When working in offices, laboratories and workshops, the following principles must be observed:

  • Double/team offices, which are not only used for short periods, may only accommodate one person at a time, otherwise a risk assessment must be conducted and protective measures taken where necessary.
  • Open-plan offices, workshops and other working areas where several employees congregate must be organised in such a way that personal contact between staff is reduced to a minimum level and the minimum social distancing of 1.5m between employees is ensured. Where this cannot be guaranteed technically or organisationally, alternative measures (use of face masks, separating walls) must be taken. 
  • A mask must be worn in all interior areas where people circulate to and from the work station in all buildings at the CAU. At the work station, the mask may be removed, as long as the risk assessment does not provide otherwise.
  • Hygiene and distancing regulations must be adhered to in offices and laboratories. The information and recommendations by the Central Unit: Safety Engineering (“Risk assessment and working alone”) must be observed in this regard. 
  • Occupancy density of workspaces and shared facilities must be reduced by measures to stagger operations (offset working and break times, shift work if necessary). When drawing up shift plans, care must be taken to allocate fixed shifts, and to organise the transition between shifts so that there is no contact between the individual shifts on site. Shifts may also be organised on an alternating daily basis.
Working from home

Working from home

Working from home as a form of mobile work can and should be used, in consultation with the supervisor, for example:

  • to reduce the number of people present at the same time in a work unit, and to support compliance with distancing rules
  • by those who belong to a high-risk group due to pre-existing conditions, if no individual or organisational arrangements can be made on-site for the work station, even after consultation with the university's in-house doctor
  • by employees who are affected by the closure of kindergartens or schools
  • in the event of slight cold symptoms.

The prerequisite in all cases is that the respective activities of the employee allow mobile work. Employees must be contactable. Regulations on working hours must be observed.

Sanitary and break rooms

Sanitary and break rooms

Mild liquid soap and towel dispensers must be made available for washing hands. The cleaning intervals must be adjusted. This applies in particular to sanitary facilities and common areas. Doorhandles and handrails will be cleaned regularly to prevent infections. Appropriate social distancing must be ensured in break rooms, for example through the corresponding arrangement of tables and chairs. Distancing must also be maintained in the shower rooms of workshops or other operational institutions; showers must either be blocked off, or other measures taken to ensure that they can only be entered and used by one person at a time.

Work equipment/tools

Work equipment/tools

If possible, work equipment and tools should be used by one specific person. Where this is not possible, they must be cleaned before being handed over to others.

Work clothing and PPE

Work clothing and PPE

Personal protective equipment (PPE) may only be used and stored by a specific person. Separate storage of work clothing and PPE from the everyday clothes must be enabled.



In closed rooms, ventilation at regular intervals is highly recommended, if the operational circumstances allow this. If the room is equipped with an air conditioning system (HVAC), this must be operated continuously to reduce the aerosol concentration in the air and the associated increased risk of infection. (During the event, shock ventilate for three to five minutes after a maximum of 20 minutes. Cross-ventilation is
recommended here for particularly rapid air exchange - see ventilation concept.)

Travel around campus

Travel around campus

Travel around campus should take place using open-air vehicles where possible (bicycles, delivery bicycles, scooters, etc.). If travel by car is necessary for work purposes, then the following rules must be observed for the use of university vehicles:

If the trip is considered unavoidable, and individual travel is not possible, a maximum of one person per row of seats may use the vehicle, so that a distance of 1.5 m is maintained; cross-ventilation inside the vehicle must be ensured, and recirculation of the air by a ventilation system and/or air conditioning system should be avoided in favour of fresh air intake. The vehicles in the university fleet must be equipped with materials for hand hygiene and disinfection, as well as paper towels and rubbish bags. When returning the vehicle, the steering wheel, cockpit, centre console, doorhandles in particular, as well as any other surfaces/vehicle parts which have been touched must be disinfected by the vehicle user using the materials provided, and the paper towels disposed of in the rubbish bag.


Business trips

Business trips

Business trips which are not absolutely necessary (for completing work) are not to be conducted. Business trips to high-risk areas abroad and regions with high numbers of infections within Germany (high incidence regions) should not be approved. Exceptions require approval from the University Board in individual cases. When using the CAU university fleet for business trips, the above-mentioned rules for travel around campus must be observed accordingly.

(Public) events, meetings, sessions/self-governance

(Public) events, meetings, sessions/self-governance

No public events shall take place on the CAU premises until further notice. There is no possibility of holding face-to-face events that are not directly connected with teaching (e.g. conferences, lecture series and similar event formats).

Digital formats should be used here instead. Internal talks, meetings of working groups and committees should be held as telephone or video conferences. All meetings that are deemed absolutely necessary and which cannot be conducted by telephone or video conference must adhere to the prescribed hygiene measures and distancing regulations. Please see the guidelines by the University Board from 21.04.2020 for information about conducting appointment procedures for professors. The University Board will decide on use of the CAU rooms by external third parties on an individual basis.

Access for non-university personnel, visits by the public

Access for non-university personnel, visits by the public

Access for non-university personnel must be kept to a minimum. Contact information for non-university personnel (e.g. workmen and other service providers) as well as their time of entering/leaving the CAU premises should be documented where possible. Non-university personnel must be informed of the measures currently implemented with regard to protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection, and follow the principles listed under no. 2 above.

Instructions for handling suspected and confirmed cases of infection

Instructions for handling suspected and confirmed cases of infection

We would like to draw your attention to the information and regulations for rapid identification and tracing of suspected cases of a COVID-19 infection, as published on the CAU corona website, along with the information about reporting and passing on information there, too.

Occupational healthcare and protection of high-risk people

Occupational healthcare and protection of high-risk people

Employees can arrange a personal consultation with the university's in-house doctor, also regarding high risks due to a pre-existing condition or an individual predisposition. The university's in-house doctor provides advice to employees and supervisors on appropriate protective measures for individual workplaces. The currently applicable instructions and procedures to/for people who belong to high-risk groups, or share a household with someone in a high-risk group, are published on the CAU corona website.

Requirements for special areas and institutions at the CAU

Special areas and institutions at the CAU such as the Sports Centre, Botanical Garden or museums will develop their own hygiene concepts in accordance with the relevant state regulations, the principles of this Hygiene Conceptual Framework and the recommendations of relevant professional associations for hygiene concepts. The institutions will submit their hygiene concepts for approval by the University Board, through the crisis management team coordinator. The concepts will be stored centrally, and made available at the request of the health authorities or other testing authorities.

Special distancing regulations apply to musical and sporting events, in accordance with the respective current state legal requirements.

Templates, handouts and guidelines

To assist with implementation of the provisions of this Hygiene Conceptual Framework, and in particular to support development of the hygiene concepts for individual teaching events and examinations, as well as their implementation, templates, handouts and guidelines will be provided via an online platform, and updated on a regular basis.

Further information:


Reduce the risk of contagion

What is the structure of the coronavirus?

The new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is an RNA virus. The surface of the virus consists of a fatty membrane (lipid membrane), which contains the viral glycoproteins. These surface proteins are responsible for the crown-like structure (corona) on the surface of the virus, and enable the attachment of the virus to receptors on the cell surface.

In the picture: The surface of the virus consists of a fatty membrane (lipid membrane), which contains the viral surface proteins. Inside the virus is a RNA single stand.

Structure of the coronavirus

Why does soap help against the coronavirus? Prof. Helmut Fickenscher explains.

Please note: Once you watch the video, data will be transmitted to Youtube/Google. For more information, see Google Privacy.

Why does soap help?

The genome of the coronavirus is protected by proteins and the lipid membrane against nucleases, so that the genome remains intact and the ability to infect is maintained. However, the structure of the lipid membrane is dependent on moisture. If it dries out, the contagiousness of the virus is also greatly reduced.

Detergents, i.e. fat-dissolving soaps, also dissolve the lipid membranes. The coronavirus thus loses its ability to pass on infection. Thorough hand washing with soap and water for 30 seconds reliably deactivates the coronavirus. Mild, pH-neutral products are recommended for use on the hands. Antimicrobial soaps are unnecessary, since viruses cannot multiply outside of cells. Detergent-based household cleaner is recommended for cleaning surfaces.

Are disinfectants more effective than soap?

Alcohol-based disinfectants are also very effective for deactivating the coronavirus, but should be reserved for the medical field. In particular, disinfectants protect risk groups with pre-existing conditions or a weak immune system, as well as medical personnel. Soap is sufficient for general public use and at home.

How can I protect myself from the coronavirus?

The most important thing at the moment is to try to restrict the spread of the virus as much as we can. To do so, staff and students should take special care to observe the usual sneezing and coughing etiquette, good hand hygiene and keep their distance from sick people (approx. 1 to 2 metres). According to Professor Helmut Fickenscher, a doctor of infection medicine, these measures are very effective against the coronavirus. Soap is good at disabling it.

How can I protect others?

Always cough or sneeze into the crook of your arm or a disposable handkerchief. Dispose the handkerchief in the garbage immediately. 

What should I do, if I have had contact with an infected person?

You should call 116117 or your local health office immediately - even if you have no signs of illness. You will find the responsible health office in the database of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI):
Database of the Robert Koch-Institut (RKI).

Washing hands thoroughly

Icons washing hands
© elenabs/iStock/CAU

Good respiratory hygiene

Icon Sneeze, Cough