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Changes to Travelling and Staying Abroad

Eine Frau mit einem Koffer in der Hand geht eine Straße entlang

What People Travelling Should Consider

You are planning a private or business stay abroad? Or you are returning to Bremen from abroad? We have collected the important information on the topic of “Travelling and Staying Abroad” on this page.

From Bremen to abroad (status on 19.10.20)

The letter from the Director of Finance and Administration concerning the lifting of the general work trip prohibition is extended by the following regulations:

Currently, work trips to the following areas may be generally authorized and carried out:

  • Work trip is within Germany if the number of new coronavirus infections in the area (district / county borough) does not exceeded 50 cases per 100,000 residents.
  • Work trips in countries that are not deemed risk areas.
  • The current requirements for the authorization of work trips must be fulfilled at both the time of submitting the travel request form and shortly before going on the trip.

You can find current information on new cases of infection here:

New infection numbers in Germany: https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/478220a4c454480e823b17327b2bf1d4/page/page_1/ (in German only)

A further requirement for a work trip is that there are no entry restrictions when travelling from Germany to the respective country/area and that it is possible to return to Germany or Bremen without any quarantine and entry restrictions. You can find the relevant information regarding this on the website of the Federal Foreign Office: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/covid-19/2296762 (in German only).

Please take note of the country-specific safety recommendations (in German only) from the Federal Foreign Office.

The danger posed by the coronavirus must generally not be higher than it is under normal working conditions at the University of Bremen. The General Work Safety Standards of the university are to be adhered to. Extra regulations apply to special laboratory work and field trips/excursions. Please state the dangers posed by coronavirus and the relevant safety measures as part of the work trip risk assessment form.

The stated requirements for the authorization of work trips (see “What should I do if I am planning a work trip?”) must be fulfilled at both the time of submitting the travel request form and shortly before going on the trip. If you need to cancel a work trip at short notice, for example because a country has been classed as a risk area, we will cover all possibly incurred cancellation costs centrally as an exception.

Please follow this process:

  • After the short notice cancellation of the work trip, please send the travel expenses report to the Travel Management Office within Administrative Department 3 as usual.
  • Please add documents/information regarding the short notice cancellation and receipts for all costs already incurred in connection to the planned work trip to the travel expenses report.
  • The Travel Management Office will then calculate the reimbursable part of the costs and will then pay said amount directly or will credit it to the relevant account.
  • Please contact the Travel Management Office by email if you have any questions.

The Federal Foreign Office issued a warning against tourist, non-essential travel to several countries:
https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/covid-19/2296762

We ask all staff members that they handle their own health and the health of others with responsibility and ask that they make informed decisions regarding whether travel at this point in time is unavoidable.

Depending on your destination, a 10-day self-isolation period may be required upon return (see also “What should I do if I am returning to the University of Bremen from abroad?” for information on what to do if a country is declared a risk area during your stay there).

The university would like to make you aware that there is no automatic right to continuation of payment. If you travel abroad, despite the recommendations made by the Robert Koch Institute (especially regarding the risk areas) and the Federal Foreign Office, you run the risk of having to isolate upon your return. You must then use recreational leave, unpaid special leave, or overtime for the isolation period. Due to the special legal situation for civil servants, disciplinary measures cannot be ruled out. Therefore, it is advisable to take the 10-day self-isolation period into account when planning your private holiday.

In case of a negative test result, it is possible that the Health Department will prematurely lift your isolation requirement.

Should you develop symptoms during the isolation phase, please contact your doctor or the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen via phone.

The senator for finance has applied clear regulations that are also valid for the University of Bremen.

It may be the case that you are planning to no longer take already authorized holiday or are intending to end said already authorized holiday early because you will now receive special leave as stated above. The university can only accept such a leave cancellation if you can then complete your work tasks at the university and there is a need for your work at the university. Thus, holiday cannot be cancelled due to special leave becoming possible.

Special leave can be granted for the school/daycare center holidays based on the school and daycare center closures if the relevant requirements are fulfilled. However, it is not possible to cancel already authorized recreational leave or a leave period for the exact same period in connection to this.

If you wish to no longer take already authorized holiday or are intending to end said holiday early for other reasons, then the relevant ruling applies. The university can only accept such a leave cancellation if you can then complete your work tasks at the university and there is a need for your work at the university.

As it is not foreseeable when the restrictions on daily life, including the possibility to travel, will be removed, leave days for the year 2019 can be carried forward until 31.12.2020.


From abroad to Bremen (status on 19.10.20)

The Federal Foreign Office has warned against undertaking any touristic, unnecessary travel to non-European countries: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/de/ReiseUndSicherheit/covid-19/2296762 (only in German)

If you return from abroad, different rules apply, depending on the country of you stayed:

Returning from a risk area:

If you have spent time within the past 10 days in a risk region, the following applies:

  • Please immediately return, by direct means, to your “own home or another suitable accommodation option,” after your return.
  • You must now self-isolate for 10 days (starting from entry into Germany).
  • It is not allowed that people who do not live in your household visit you in this time.
  • Please inform your superiors (deans, administrative department heads, heads of the administrative units, administrative heads, institute directors, and other relevant superiors) by email or telephone. Please fill out the linked form and email it to the Administrative Department for Human Resources (personal@vw.uni-bremen.de).
  • Please inform the responsible local authority and register via https://www.einreiseanmeldung.de/#/.
  • For further information on digital registration on entry visit www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus-infos-reisende/merkblatt-dea/faq-dea.html.
  • Should you develop symptoms that point towards COVID-19 during your 10-day isolation, please contact your doctor by phone. He/she will explain the next steps to you.
  • Only the Health Department can exempt you from isolation or shorten it. Only the Health Department can provide information on this. You will need to provide a test result to the Health Department for this, which must fulfill certain requirements.
    Additional information and information on testing options for Bremen citizens can be found here[1] .
    Here[2] , you can find out which Health Department is responsible for you. Should you take a corona test after entry, in terms of labor law/staff regulations it is obligatory that the test may only be carried out five days after entry into Germany, at the earliest.
    If the test result is negative, the Health Department may terminate the isolation prematurely.

You do not need to submit a negative test result to the university, for example to the faculty administration or the Administrative Department for Human Resources, as only the Health Department has the authority to end the isolation period earlier than planned.

The regulations for returning from a risk region apply whether you have travelled to Germany on land, by air, or by boat.

Traveling through a risk area without staying there is uncritical.

Should you need to isolate based on the above regulations, you will be granted special leave with a right to continuation of payment if there is no fault on your part. If you travel abroad, despite the recommendations made by the Robert Koch Institute (especially to risk areas) and the Federal Foreign Office, you run the risk of having to self-isolate upon your return. You must then use recreational leave, unpaid special leave, or overtime for the isolation period. Due to the special legal situation for civil servants, disciplinary measures cannot be ruled out.

It may be the case that you are planning to no longer take already authorized holiday or are intending to end said already authorized holiday early because you will now receive special leave. The university can only accept such a change if you can then complete your work tasks at the university. Thus, holiday cannot be canceled due to special leave becoming possible. It is unfortunately not possible for the University of Bremen to deviate from the regulations made by the senator for finance.

As it is not foreseeable when the restrictions on daily life, including the possibility to travel, will be removed, leave days for the year 2019 can be carried forward until 31.12.2020.

There are no isolation requirements when returning from areas that are not risk areas.