Courses and Conferences

EMBL Courses and Conferences are a major European platform for sharing and expanding research, knowledge and contacts through face-to-face and virtual interaction

FAQs: Corona and COVID-19 information for on-site events at EMBL Heidelberg

What do I need to bring on the first day to access the event?
  • Certification from a supervised, negative antigen / PCR COVID-19 test, not older than 24 h for antigen and 48 h for PCR tests
  • Valid proof of vaccination / recovery and an ID document, ready when coming to the event venue. 
  • FFP2 ( recommended ) or medicinal mask

Do I need to show a negative test for every day of the event?

This depends whether you are attending a training course or a conference.

For courses: yes, daily tests are currently required for courses. Because of the prolonged contact in smaller groups and spaces, you are required to continue testing daily throughout your stay and need to show a valid certificate on arrival each morning to continue on the course. You’ll be given information on the locations for testing by the tutors at the start of your course

Rapid antigen tests are valid for 24 h and PCR tests for 48 h. Please see FAQ on testing in Heidelberg for more information on finding a test centre.

For conferences: no, you will need to show a certificate from a supervised, current, negative COVID-19 test upon arrival on your first day of attendance only.

Conference participants are however encouraged to continue testing after day 1. The best way to do this is by taking part in EMBL’s screening programme which runs twice a week and is free for all participants. The results are anonymous and kits and instructions will be included in your conference bag.

What kind of masks must be worn onsite?

Medical masks or FFP2 masks are required in all indoor areas and must be worn during the whole event (except while eating or drinking during the breaks and social sessions). For our training courses, because of the extended periods spent working closely in the labs, FFP2 masks are required.

What counts as proof of vaccination?
  1. Your proof of vaccination must show that you are fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. To be considered fully vaccinated, you need to meet the definition specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute. Furthermore, it is necessary that
  • either the vaccine/s you received were administered in the number of doses required for full protection, as specified on the website of the Paul Ehrlich Institute above, and 14 days have elapsed since the last required dose of the vaccine was administered,
  • or, if you have recovered from a SARS-CoV-2 infection, you have received one dose of vaccine. In this case, in order to prove you are fully protected, you must show proof that you were infected with COVID-19 prior to being vaccinated. For this purpose, you need to show a positive result of a PCR test. 
  1. Your proof of vaccination must include the following information:
  • your personal details (at least your given name and family name and date of birth, and the number of the passport or other official photo-ID document to be presented at passport control) 
  • the date/s of vaccination and number of vaccination doses
  • the name/s of the vaccine/s
  • the name of the disease against which you were vaccinated
  • distinctive features which show the identity of the person or institution responsible for administering the vaccination or issuing the certificate (e.g. an official logo or name of the issuer).
  1. Your proof of vaccination must be written in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish.

Proof is accepted in paper or digital form, provided it meets the criteria listed under points 1, 2 and 3. Photographs of paper documents do not count as valid digital proof for the purposes of checks by the transport company or by the police authorities conducting border controls. Digital documentation needs to have been issued electronically by the authorised issuer and transmitted electronically to the authorised holder.

Please note that these are general requirements pursuant to the Coronavirus-Einreiseverordnung. For a digital COVID certificate in line with the EU Regulation on the EU Digital COVID Certificate, additional requirements may have to be met. Further information can be found on the Coronavirus: Frequently Asked Questions website of the German Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community

Which Covid-19 vaccines are recognised in Germany?

Please check the Paul Ehrlich Institute website for recognised vaccines to see if your vaccination status is considered valid in Germany. You will find information such as which vaccines (and combinations) are approved, the number of doses required for a complete vaccination protection and the length of time that must pass after vaccination.

What counts as proof of recovery?

You need bring along your positive COVID-19 test result. The test to prove the previous infection must have been carried out by laboratory diagnostics using nucleic acid detection (PCR, PoC-PCR or other methods of nucleic acid amplification technology). At least 28 days ( but no more than 90 days) must have passed since getting a positive test. Information on recovery can be found (in German) on the Robert Koch Institute website.

How long is the proof of vaccination valid in Germany?

Until 30 September, 2022 you are considered fully vaccinated in Germany if you have had two doses of a recognised vaccine regardless of how long ago that was. From 1 October, 2022 fully vaccinated status will be defined as having had 3 individual vaccinations, with at least 3 months between the second and third doses.

How long is the proof of recovery valid in Germany?

The validity of proof of recovery in Germany is 90 days (roughly 3 months). At least 28 days must have passed since getting a positive test. 

Do I need to register and quarantine when arriving in Germany from another country?

You only need to register if you are arriving from a ‘high-risk area’. As at 25 May 2022, nowhere was considered a high-risk area by Germany. The current list of high-risk areas is on the Robert Koch Institute website.

If you do need to register, do this at the travel portal (www.einreiseanmeldung.de) before entering the country. You must carry the confirmation with you, but you do not need to quarantine as long as you upload your proof of vaccination or recovery when registering. You can find additional information on the obligation to register and exemptions in the FAQs on Digital Registration on Entry, the obligation to furnish proof and quarantine on entry.

I am not a EU resident, will my proof of vaccination / recovery be accepted?

Participants travelling from a non-EU country, who therefore have no access to a European Union Digital Covid Certificate (EUDCC), will be granted access to events upon providing the same written proof they used to enter Germany, which should be a verifiable proof of vaccination / recovery that meets the validity requirements in Germany (please see previous questions).

Please see the list of non-EU countries (and territories) that have joined the EU Digital COVID Certificate system

Please note that Baden-Württemberg state (where EMBL Heidelberg is situated) accepts only digitally verifiable proof for the 2G rule such as a QR code. The primary means of verifying COVID vaccination status in Germany is through the “EU Digital Covid Certificate”. This can be obtained from the local pharmacies by showing them your vaccination papers together with an ID document. The pharmacy will give you the printouts which you can then enter into a mobile application ( Corona-Warn-App).

Where can I get a COVID-19 test in Heidelberg?

It is not possible to get a certified COVID-19 test done onsite at EMBL. However Professional testing stations are readily accessible at many convenient locations throughout Heidelberg.

These testing stations offer lateral flow antigen tests on a ‘walk-up’ basis. As of 30 June, 2022 there is a small, fixed charge of 3 Euros per test and you may need to state that you require the test because you are attending an indoor event. Results and certificate are sent by email, within approximately 20 minutes.

If you are staying at the ISG Hotel, there is a test station on the premises open from 08:00 to 12:00 midday. The next nearest test station is located at Louise-Ebert-Zentrum (just 2 minutes walk or 150m from the ISG Hotel). This is open from 10.30 – 18.00 daily.

Please note, some testing stations offer PCR tests as well, these are generally charged for but can be free of charge in some circumstances, eg: for people who have already tested positive by rapid antigen or self test and need to get confirmation by PCR.

What happens if I test positive for Covid-19 during my stay in Heidelberg for a course or conference?

If you test positive whilst your course or conference is still running, you must withdraw from the event and cannot return unless you subsequently test negative by PCR test. The EMBL Course and Conference Office team can help and advise you on everything from the current regulations in Germany, to quarantine-friendly hotels or accessing medical advice and further tests as needed.

What are the current local restrictions (e.g. public transport, restaurants or cafes)?

Masks are legally required on public transport and generally recommended in other public spaces. Most other government requirements have been removed but some venues, shops, restaurants etc. are continuing to require or request masks and some still have an access policy. Before entering some buildings, you may still see see signs with admittance rules that mention ‘2G’ or ‘3G’.

  • 2G rule means that only vaccinated or recovered people are allowed to enter
  • 3G rule means fully vaccinated, recovered or tested people may enter

Take your CovidPass and ID wherever you go and be sure to carry FFP2 or surgical masks. Additionally please find here the current local Public transportation requirements (in German).

Where can I find more information?

Information on the COVID measures and travel restrictions in place in European countries can be found on the following websites: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/coronavirus/2317268 and https://reopen.europa.eu/en. These websites also contain information on what personal information and documents you will need to have with you to travel.