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Current information concerning the coronavirus outbreak

Current information concerning
the coronavirus outbreak

[DATE 09/24/2020]
Due to the coronavirus outbreak the Hochschule für Künste Bremen (HfK) is adjusting it's precautionary measures an regulations accordingly and in consultation with the responsible authorities.

If you have any inquiries or notifications regarding aforementioned issues, please reach out to the stated contact persons. If you have further questions, please contact

Members of the HfK will receive the latest information and current developments on this topic in their HfK email account as well as on the website and on the portal. Please ensure that you can be reached via your official HfK email address.

In spite of the restrictions, all administrative members can be contacted, albeit with some limitations. Due to restrictions, responses to inquiries may be delayed and administration, faculty as well as workshop directors cannot offer usual and all services. Please always contact us first by e-mail or telephone. You will find all contacts on this website: University > Organization and Administration or Persons.

The following guidelines are based on the data and legal situation as of September 1, 2020. All information is subject to change, depending on the dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic.

1. Winter Semester 20/21

Preamble
The 2020/2021 winter semester is planned as a “hybrid semester” with a combination of in-person and digital classes.

1. Hybrid Scenario

Maximum presence (in-person classes, access to studios, rehearsal rooms and workshops) with observance of hygiene rules. Courses that can be taught digitally should be offered this way.

2. Online Scenario

A second scenario is planned in case of lockdown. If infection rates rise to the point where in-person instruction must be halted, either partially or fully, the classes affected will go online. For classes that cannot be replicated online, a replacement format will be offered.

If everything remains within normal boundaries, the hybrid scenario will be implemented. In this scenario, classes that can be offered digitally will be online, so that the space available can be reserved for the classes that can only be conducted live.

In order to fairly distribute rooms for in-person instruction, students in each class should be able to meet a minimum of three times per semester. The length of the class will be determined by the room capacity.

Classes for first semester students, international students and students finishing their final semester have priority for in-person instruction.

Should the current infection rate worsen, the HfK and the faculty in particular will be flexible in offering solutions in between hybrid and online instruction. This means, for example, that in-person classes will be gradually cut back, based on the number of participants. Individual instruction and advising, as well as independent work and
practice sessions, should remain available unless an emergency is
declared and operations switch to the online scenario.

2. Summer Semester 2020

On one hand, the 2020 summer semester will be graded as usual. This decision complies with the rules governing all institutes of higher learning in the Federal Republic of Germany. Please remember that students who are obtaining credits and degrees this semester must do so within a legal framework.

On the other hand an emergency coronavirus law has been passed, which, among other things, will eliminate the student account in Bremen. Anyone who is not able — for professional, financial, social, familial, or other reasons — to complete the 2020 summer semester should not have it count according to the student account regulations. In addition, with the elimination of the student account, long-term student fees will also be dropped.

For further questions please contact Dezernat 1 Student Services Office dezernat1@hfk-bremen.de 

3. Teaching / Classes

The fundamental rules as set out in the Preamble (see point 1) apply.

Students who cannot or do not want to participate under these conditions must apply for a semester’s leave of absence.

Members of the faculty who cannot participate in the 2020/21 winter semester under these conditions must comply with Senate Finance rules (state their reasons, such as child care, being at risk, etc.), or who do not want to participate, must apply for a special leave of absence.

Classes
While planning the semester, the Dean’s offices and the Campus Offices will work closely together to establish how a class, event, or individual appointment can be held (digitally or in person). If you have further questions, please contact your Campus Office ( // ).

During in-person appointments, distance and hygiene rules must be strictly observed.

In-person classes for up to a maximum of 15 people (including faculty and tutors) in suitable rooms are being planned. If there are more participants, they will be able to attend on line.

Department of Art and Design

Establishing Registration Deadlines/Lottery for Classes
Registration deadlines will be fixed sometime in September. The date for the Art and Design department lottery will also be announced in September.

Tests and Final Exams
Integrated Design
Deadlines, as well as all information about registering bachelor’s and master’s theses, will be announced in a general e-mail as well as on the HfK portal in September.

Fine Arts
Solutions for registering for exams are under consideration.

Digital Media
As usual, students may register for bachelor and master’s theses at any time, without any deadlines.

Depending on circumstances and framework, final exams such as exhibitions, performances, lectures, etc., should be able to take place during the 20/21 winter semester in front of an in-house audience. We are striving for an agreement with our responsible agreement to permit a public audience. At present, however, the participation of a public audience is not possible. Hygiene concepts must be developed and observed for these events (see point 5).

Music Department
The deadline for registering for the 2020/21 winter semester final exams is September 30, 2020. The examination period finishes on March 31, 2021.

Depending on circumstances and framework, final exam concerts should be able to take place during the 2020/21 winter semester in front of an in-house audience. We are striving for an agreement with our responsible agreement to
permit a public audience. At present, however, the participation of a public audience is not possible. The HfK hygiene concept must be observed (see point 5).

4. Events

HfK events can take place in compliance with the applicable hygiene concept and room regulations. The participation of external guests shall be made possible after approval by the Senate administariton. For this purpose, hygiene concepts (see point 5) are to be developed or the hygiene concept of the HfK is to be followed. At present, however, the participation of external guests is not possible (for exceptions see the following point).

Exceptions for the participation of external guests (speakers, musicians, jury etc.) can be made if their participation is absolutely necessary for the realization of the event. The Rectorate decides on this every two weeks in consultation with the Dean's Offices after the application has been submitted to

All events can be planned with up to a maximum of 15 persons in suitable rooms.

Exceptions may be made for events accommodating up to 30 people in the large rooms at the HfK (or external spaces), but only after being closely examined on a case-by-case basis. When allocating rooms, in-person classes will be given priority over extra lectures series and events. In case there are several requests for the same room during the same window of time, classes will be given priority. Lecture series / events must take place on line, should there be no other suitable space for them. The Rectorate decides on this every two weeks in consultation with the Dean's Offices after the application has been submitted to

Department of Music
Events, such as exhibitions, lectures and concerts (including streaming), which can be realized in accordance with the HfK hygiene concept (number of persons, room size, etc.) can take place.

These events must be registered by the responsible teaching staff via email to KBB (), Referat 1 (), the room team () and the dean's office ()

Department of Art and Design
Events, such as exhibitions, lectures and concerts, which can be realized in accordance with the HfK hygiene concept (number of persons, room size, etc.), as well as digital formats can take place. Please consult in advance with event manager Jan Charzinski ().

5. Hygiene Rules

Please practice basic hygiene:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 1.5 meters to all people at all times.
  • Starting October 1st a mask covering the mouth and nose must be worn whenever you go anywhere inside the HfK. It may not be removed until you have reached the workstation. If sufficient reason exists, masks must also be worn during events.
  • Washing your hands thoroughly and on a regular basis.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
  • Stay at home, if you feel sick or have flu-like symptoms.
  • All HfK buildings, facilities, events, and premises are smoke-free areas.
  • Preparation of food and beverages at HfK facilities and in HfK spaces by students and faculty alike is not allowed.
  • Further hygiene rules may apply to individual areas and will be displayed.

When is an own hygiene concept necessary and when can the HfK hygiene concept be applied?

HfK hygiene concept for:

  • regular classes with 15 persons.
  • regular classes with 15 persons outside of the HfK, if the teachers lists all participating students on the HfK form and confirms in writing that all hygiene rules have been followed.

Adaptation of the HfK hygiene concept to your class / event or explicit indication that the HfK hygiene concept can be applied, if

  • more than 15 persons participate in the event, whether inside or outside HfK.

Check in advance whether you have to apply for an exemption for your event. The rectorate decides every two weeks in consultation with the deans after the application has been submitted to Natalie Lürßen //

You must then provide the following information (a short e-mail is sufficient: Natalie Lürßen // ):

  • Who is responsible for the event and can be contacted if questions arise?
  • What is the maximum number of people who will be present?
  • Can the hygiene rules of the HfK be applied (ventilation, minimum distance, documentation of the participants etc.)? What adjustments do you have to make?

6. Rooms and Access to campus Speicher XI and campus Dechanatstraße

Space Assessment and Risk Analysis
In both departments all individual rooms will be assessed in terms of capacity, social distancing, ventilation, activity type, and event format. The types of usage permitted will be posted on the door of each room, and rooms will be set up (furniture, protective measures, markings, etc.) only for permitted use.

Furthermore, a coronavirus coordinator has been appointed and will be centrally located in the Rektorat. Ms. Natalie Lürßen // 0421 9595 1016.

Access, Room Reservations, and Group SizeAccess to the HfK buildings and usage of rooms will continue to be controlled and documented. We are striving to simplify the registration process.

In-person classes for up to 15 people (including faculty and tutors) in suitable rooms are being planned. If there are more participants, they will be able to attend on line.

Exceptions may be made for events accommodating up to 30 people in the large rooms at the HfK (or external spaces), but only after being closely examined on a case-by-case basis. When allocating rooms, in-person classes will be given priority over extra lectures series and events. In case there are several requests for the same room during the same window of time, classes will be given priority. Lecture series / events must take place on line, should there be no other suitable space for them. The Rectorate decides on this every two weeks in consultation with the Dean's Offices after the application has been submitted to

A mask covering the mouth and nose must be worn whenever you go anywhere inside the HfK. It may not be removed until you have reached the work station. If sufficient reason exists, masks must also be worn during events.

Access

Campus Dechanatstraße

  • Administration employees have access with the previous process (check in and check-out at the reception desk)
  • Access regulations for faculty and students are under revision. Music Campus Office will inform the department about the process by the end of September, at the latest. If you have any questions, please contact
  • For the Music Department, planning and reservations can be made through the Music Campus Office and the central e-mail address:

Speicher XI

  • Access is open to students and faculty of the Art and Design Department as well as the administration.
  • Students and faculty of department please follow the “Three Steps” to reserve rooms and workshops and to obtain access to the Speicher XI campus (see attachment). If you have any questions, please contact the room booking team by e-mail
  • For administration and workshop employees the procedures remain the same (check in and check-out at the reception desk).
  • For the Art and Design department, rooms for classes will be allocated through the Campus Office. For individual room reservations, you may continue to contact the central e-mail address: and if necessary, workshop leaders, etc.

Hygiene Rules When Using Rooms

  • Only rooms that can be sufficiently ventilated will be made available for use.
  • In between each class or student, teachers must thoroughly air out the room for 15 minutes, and also disinfect surfaces/door knobs. Please follow the rules for sneezing and keeping hands clean. During class, the room must be thoroughly aired out every 20 minutes.
  • Maximum occupancy will be established depending upon the physical characteristics of the space, the activity taking place inside of it, and how much minimum distance per person per room there is. The room’s actual measurements are secondary; it is more important to maintain the minimum distance between people and to ventilate the space.
  • In all classes, teachers will have a list of students on the HfK form and must confirm in writing that all hygiene rules have been followed.
  • Disinfectants and spacer bands will be available at the reception desk in each location.

Calculating Minimum Distance
In general, a minimum distance between people of at least 1.5 meters must be maintained at all times. When setting up your work station, always calculate enough room to move at a work station.
Masks are secondary to organizational or technical protective measures and cannot replace ventilation or minimum distance rules.

  • Lecturing / teaching: 3 m distance between the speaker and audience and 2 m on either side. If necessary, reckon on a 3 m radius (so the speaker can move); sneeze guards may be used.
  • Quiet activities and playing music: a minimum of 1.5 m.
  • Activities in studio with more movement (e.g., building a model): a minimum of 2.5 m.
  • Wind instruments: Maintain 2 m on either side, 3 m in front of the instrument.
  • Performance: Performance - moving around in rehearsal and scenes, talking, singing, dancing, moving, with 6 m distance for each individual (around 20 square meters per person).
  • Singing: 2 m on either side. Maintain a minimum of 6 m in front of the signer. Choirs may not sing together in closed spaces; currently, they may only sing as a group outdoors.

Libraries
Department libraries at Campus Dechanatstraße and Campus Speicher XI are offering limited services. Please note that borrowing is by appointment only:

Dechanatstraße: Ms. Veronika Greuel, // 9595-1509

Speicher XI: Ms. Agnes Knütter, // 9595-1209 (M, T, Th, 10 a.m. to noon). The return of books is possible at all times at the reception at Speicher XI.

Rooms Outside of the HfK
Rooms outside of the HfK (no private spaces) may be used for classes and lectures as long as there is a hygiene concept in place, or the HfK’s hygiene concept can be applied. Faculty will keep a list of all participants on the HfK form and will confirm in writing that all hygiene rules have been observed.

For classes and lectures outside of the HfK, please give priority to spaces within the city of Bremen. Avoid holding classes and lectures in spaces outside of the city of Bremen; they will only be allowed in urgent cases, where there is no other alternative. If students cannot or will not participate in person, an alternative must be offered.

Outdoor Classes
When possible, classes may be held outdoors within the boundaries of the city of Bremen. Please continue to adhere to the HfK hygiene concept; the faculty is responsible for ensuring that the rules are followed (distance, documentation > see HfK form).

The maximum number of persons allowed remains the same as it is for indoor classes (15 persons).

7. Business and Field Trips

Business trips within Germany will again be possible during the 2020/21 winter semester.
Field trips within Germany without overnight stays are permitted during the 2020/21 winter semester. Groups may not be larger than 10 persons.

Please be aware of current areas of risk and new developments. Applications must be submitted within the usual lead time. Permission will only be given if conditions allow for it.

Reservations may not be made before permission is given.

8. Foreign Students

Foreign students with questions - especially if you need assistance with visa problems - please contact the Dezernat 1 Students Services Office or the International Office

9. Report obligation und isolation

Please note that in case of an infection with the coronavirus, a risk/suspicion of infection or when entering from a foreign country/a risk area, you are obliged to inform the HfK and the public health department and you may have to isolate yourself.

  • If an infection with the coronavirus has been confirmed, you are not allowed to leave your home for a period of 14 days without the consent of the public health department. You are also forbidden to receive visits from persons who do not belong to your household during this period.
    Please see § 19 of the 17th Corona Ordinance for more information
  • If you have had close contact with a person who has been confirmed to be infected with the coronavirus, you are not allowed to leave your home for a period of 14 days without the express permission of the health authorities. You are also prohibited from receiving visits from persons who do not belong to your household during this period.
    Please see § 20 of the 17th Corona Ordinance for more information
  • If you have entered or entered the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen from abroad within the last 14 days and have stayed in a risk area, you are obliged to go to your apartment immediately and to isolate yourself there for a period of 14 days after your entry. Exemptions are granted only by the respective department of health. This regulation applies also if you are entering after a former arrival from another federal state. During this period you are not allowed to receive visits from persons who do not belong to your household.
    Please see § 20 of the 17th Corona Ordinance for more information
  • Note the requirement to disclose information both to your respective department of health and to HfK Bremen, if the aforementioned circumstances apply to you. Please inform local authorities by emailing to and HfK by emailing to (employees) or (students)
    • The message should contain the following information:
      • Were you at the HfK or at HfK events within 48 hours before your first symptoms or 48 hours before you took the coronavirus test? Where exactly were you?
      • With which persons did you have close contact? Were these persons already informed about the increased risk?

All persons, members of the HfK as well as external persons, to whom the above mentioned conditions apply and who have to isolate themselves, are not allowed to enter HfK premises or to participate in HfK events.

The salary of staff members who are unable to come to the HfK due to isolation measures, will remain unaffected, as I assume that tasks defined contractually, will still be carried out within the limits applied.

The period of isolation for students will be considered as sick leave. Please inform your examination office if necessary:

10. Sick Notes, HfK Members with Chronic Medical Conditions and Groups of Higher Risk

  • Please send your sick notes to and state whether or not you are suffering from flu-like symptoms (see attachment DEZ3).
  • Please note the requirement to disclose information both to your respective department of health and to HfK Bremen, see chapter 9.
  • If you belong to a group of higher risk as defined by the RKI and seek further protective measures, please contact your supervisor and HR/Dezernat 3 by sending an email to – if you haven’t already done so. To ensure your safety, we will jointly assess how you can assume your work duties while working remotely or while returning to your work station if required (on certain days, e.g.) and implement new safety measures, if needed (individual office, e.g.).
  • All members of HfK with chronic medical conditions are kindly asked to contact HR/Dezernat 3 by sending an email to , including a brief outline of your medical condition. To ensure your safety, we will jointly assess whether or not you can still assume your work duties given the specific circumstances. The same applies if you share a common household with a person with chronic medical condition whose health might be otherwise compromised.
  • Students who are exposed to an increased risk due to their state of health or an impairment or handicap should be enabled to use rooms at the HfK individually. Please contact your dean's office or your campus office or the e-mail address

11. Special Leave of Absence Due to Closed Schools/Daycares & Remaining vacation days

Please note that adjustments have been made regarding the requirements under which special leave of absence due to childcare obligations can be granted. Before special leave of absence can be granted, extra hours have to be taken. It is planned to gradually lift the officially ordered closure of schools and childcare centers and to extent emergency childcare arrangements. Please visit the respective websites of the Senator of Children and Education for the latest updates and information on this.

If you need to apply for special leave of absence amid the closure of schools and childcare centers/nurseries starting from May 4, 2020 onward, please send an email to Dezernat 3 , including a brief statement of your reasons.

Remaining vacations days: Usually, employees have to take the remainder of last year’s vacation days until September 30 of the following year. The deadline for transferring remaining vacation days of the last year has been extended to December 31, 2020 due to the current situation.

12. Assistance Services and further Information

HfK Mail (German, English, Spanish)
If you have any questions regarding the coronavirus, please send us an e-mail to . If you seek medical care or advice, please contact your doctor or the medical after-hours service initially only via telephone.

FAQ by the World Health Organization (English)
The WHO provides information and guidance regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus
https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
https://www.who.int/news-room/q-a-detail/q-a-coronaviruses

Robert Koch Institute
The Robert Koch Institute informs about international risk areas and particularly affected areas in Germany and provides further information regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus (partially only in German):
https://www.rki.de/DE/Home/homepage_node.html;jsessionid=ED02A1A5852020E...

Travel and safety information, travel warnings
The Federal Foreign Office provides travel and safety information and publishes current travel warnings (German only):
https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit

Family Doctor (Hausarzt, Allgemeinmediziner)
In Germany, you are free to choose any family doctor of your choice. If you display symptoms or need medical advice contact your doctor initially only via telephone, in order to clarify the further steps. In acute medical emergency, you should immediately dial 112, the emergency telephone number.

Medical after-hours service
Outside of your doctor’s office hours, you can contact the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen:
Phone 116 117
https://www.kvhb.de/bereitschaftsdienst (German only)

HfK Department of Research Development and Research Funding
The department now offers help and advice in two key areas online from now on:
i. Stipa: Advice on scholarships and residencies
Contact:
ii. Language Assistance: Helping with matters regarding language problems and language barriers German – English;
contact:
If you need assistance in another language than English/German, do reach out and Language Assistance will try put you in touch with someone who can help with your specific language needs (i.e. Chinese, Korean, Arabic etc.)

HfK Social Fund
Students in financial need and under financial duress due to the pandemic can contact the International Office (for international students // ) and Dezernat 1 (for German students // ) for assistance.

13. How to support our Students

Some of our students endure financial duress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, as they lose their sources of income (cancellations of concerts or the loss of second jobs etc.). In order to support them, the HfK has extended the guidelines for awarding financial support from the HfK’s social fund.

We are thankful for any attribution to our fund:

Hochschule für Künste Bremen
Reference: IA 83212018 / Sozialfonds für Studierende
Account: DE68 2905 0000 1070 5300 04
Bank: Nord/LB (BRLADE22XXX)

All information without guarantee. Subject to short-term changes.