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Mask protection concept for public authorities

Please note: In addition to the mask protection concept for public authorities​ below, the University of Bayreuth has established its own binding rules for visiting the campus and branch offices. In case of doubt, we refer to these rules as well as to the "Coronavirus Handbook".

In order to reduce the number of new infections with SARS-CoV-2 as much as possible, and in particular to protect those persons who have an increased risk of serious or fatal disease, the number of personal contacts and a minimum distance of 1.5 metres must, as previously, be maintained.

Reference is made to existing guidance issued by StMAS (Bavarian State Ministry for Family, Employment and Social Affairs) and StMFH (Bavarian State Ministry for Finance and Home Affairs), such as the adoption of teleworking, avoidance of multiple occupancy of rooms, and the preferred use of telephone or video conferencing systems. Authorities with public access should, as far as possible, install transparent partitions between employees and visitors at the points of contact between employees and visitors.

If no sufficient reduction of the risk of infection can be achieved with technical or organisational protective measures, the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV) requires the wearing of face masks (so-called medical face mask or also surgical mask), a filtering class P2 half-mask(so-called FFP2 mask), or an equivalent respiratory protection mask according to the annex of Corona-ArbSchV.

The following infection protection measures must be taken into account independently by the respective unit when carrying out the risk assessment in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act. Where the term "mask" is used in the following, it is generally understood to mean at least mouth-nose protection. If a hazard due to increased aerosol emission (e.g. when speaking loudly or intensively) is to be expected during activities carried out, or if a person present is not wearing a mask when in contact with other persons, the term "mask" refers to an FFP2 or equivalent mask. In the case of a mask mandate, this applies equally to vaccinated, recovered, or tested individuals.

I. General regulations for all employees

1. Working in an individual office

If one person is alone in an office, there is no need to wear a face mask (mouth-and-nose protection or FFP2 mask).

2. Use of communal and circulation spaces

When using communal and circulation spaces within the building, including stairs, doors, lifts, corridors, and sanitary rooms, it must be ensured that the minimum physical distance of 1.5 metres is maintained. Crowds of people are to be avoided. A face mask must always be worn in communal and circulation spaces (e.g. in lifts, corridors, canteens, and entrances).

3. Use of lifts

The use of lifts should be avoided wherever possible. Where the use of lifts is unavoidable, minimum physical distancing of 1.5 metres between persons must be observed. Rates of occupancy must be limited to the absolutely necessary amount, and then combined with the obligation to wear a face mask. A face mask must always be worn in lifts.

4. Work in offices with multiple occupancy (2 or more people)

Multiple occupancy of rooms must be avoided. If this is not possible, the distance between workplaces should be as large as possible. If this is not possible, appropriate ventilation measures as well as partitions between work stations must be ensured. Otherwise, the employees concerned must wear face masks.

5. Necessary meetings with several persons (2 persons and more)

Meetings are to be limited to events that cannot be postponed and technical options such as video or telephone conferences are to be preferred. If meetings are absolutely necessary, the minimum distance of 1.5 metres must be maintained and sufficient ventilation must be ensured. When leaving the meeting room, a face masks must be worn.

6. Persons at risk

For groups persons designated to be at high risk of suffering a severe course of disease as defined by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), any necessary measures must be examined on a case-by-case basis. Reference is made to the RKI information on COVID-19 (https://www.rki.de/EN/Content/infections/epidemiology/outbreaks/COVID-19/COVID19.html) as well as the occupational health recommendation on how to deal with persons in need of special protection due to the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic (https://www.bmas.de/DE/Service/Medien/Publikationen/arbeitsmedizinische-empfehlung-umgang-mit-schutzbeduerftigen.html - website in German).

II. Regulations for particular professional groups

1. Front office / reception

In the front office/reception area, visitors must at least wear a mask . If a minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be reliably maintained, all persons must wear a face mask.

2. Public access / external persons

Crowds are to be avoided through admission controls. The number of customers in the waiting rooms shall be limited. If there are no transparent partitions and the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained, all customers must wear at least a face mask. If there are no transparent partitions between workplaces and the customer area or if the minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained, it must be checked, depending on the number, frequency and type of customer contacts, whether mouth-nose protection is sufficient for employees or whether higher-quality respiratory protection (in the form of personal protective equipment according to the Occupational Health and Safety Act, i.e. at least an FFP2 mask) is required. In particular, regular, adequate ventilation must be ensured in areas with public traffic.

3. Postal service / courier services

During the distribution of mail in the offices, couriers must wear a face mask. Wherever possible, electronic communications should be used to the greatest possible extent.

4. IT personnel

If IT work is necessary directly at an employee’s workplace, both employees must wear a face mask during this time if physical distance is less than 1.5 metres.

5. Library / registry / material issue

Floor markings to help maintain safe physical distancing must be provided. If the minimum physical distance of 1.5 metres cannot be safely maintained during opening hours, everyone must wear a face mask.

6. Cleaning personnel

Cleaning staff must wear a face mask when cleaning any spaces on the premises, unless there is no one else in the room to be cleaned.

7. Transport service

A face mask must always be worn when travelling in an official car. Wearing a face mask must not impair vision. According to § 23 (4) of the German Road Traffic Regulations (StVO), a driver may not cover or obscure his face in such a way that they are no longer recognisable. Wearing a face mask may cover the nose and mouth area, but must allow the eyes to be seen. Charges will only be laid if the driver covers their mouth and nose with the intention of preventing their personal identification.

8. Special features each occupational area

In every operational area, the special requirements of the activities of employees must be taken into account and, as part of a risk assessment, specifications for compliance with the minimum physical distance of 1.5 metres, and the quality of the face mask must be drawn up.

9. Exemptions from the obligation to wear a face mask

​From the point of view of occupational medicine, a general "incompatibility" of face masks is generally not justified for employees who are able to carry out their normal occupational activities without any health restrictions. Against this background, it is advisable to clarify, in consultation with the University Medical Officer, whether the general conditions which were decisive, e.g. for the issuing of a certificate submitted by a member of staff, correspond to those at their work place, especially if the face mask only has to be worn for a limited time.