Measures Against the Spread of the Corona Virus

March 17, 2020

Due to the increasing spread of the virus in Germany, the Fritz Haber Institute of the Max Planck Society will for the foreseeable future only operate in a limited capacity in order to ensure the safety of staff, guests, contractors and all other parties relevant to FHI operations. All important information can be found here.

About the current operation of the institute

From Tuesday, 17 March 2020, the Fritz Haber Institute will be in reduced operating mode until further notice. Research staff will work largely from home, while technical, workshop and administration staff will rotate in shifts.

All campus buildings including the library are closed to staff, students and other guests. Only authorised staff have access.

Highly magnified, digitally colorized transmission electron microscopic (TEM) image highlighting the particle envelope of a single, spherical shaped, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) virion. Source: USA National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)


If possible, please contact us by email and refrain from telephone inquiries. All internal and external inquiries will be processed, but there may be considerable delays. We ask for your understanding.

The central office is still manned and can be reached via 030/8413-30 (8 am – 3 pm).


All events planned up until Easter are cancelled. This includes all departmental seminars, conferences, internal meetings and outreach events such as Girls' Day 2020.

Business trips

Non-essential business trips should be avoided. Business trips to risk areas will not be approved until further notice, and trips that have already been booked should not be taken. Institute members returning from abroad, especially from risk areas should generally be placed in home quarantine and, if possible, work from home in consultation with their supervisor(s).


Visits by guests scheduled to take place up until Easter must be cancelled. If you are planning to visit the FHI in the near future as a guest researcher or scholarship holder, please talk to your contact person at the Institute as soon as possible to discuss the cancellation and, if possible, the postponement of your stay.

Companies and contractors

If you need clarification about the next steps of your assignment, talk to the responsible site managers. Should they be unavailable, you can contact Sebastian Malotke at 030 / 8413 3445 or Frank Päch at 030 / 8413 3448 (7-12 am).

Suppliers and Deliveries

If you have any questions, please contact Martin Schmidt: 030 / 8413 3138 (9-11 am).

Technical difficulties

Questions regarding technical matters should be directed to the IT department via Email:

Questions about the Joint Network Center should be directed to the GNZ via Email:

Home Office

All employees who are able to work from home will do so from now on. Those who belong to the risk groups identified by the Robert Koch Institute (aged over 50 and/or preexisting illnesses) will stay at home, as will all those who can only travel to work by public transport. The exact procedure must be agreed individually with your direct superior. Employees can and should use the following tools and guidelines for their temporary home office:

  • To access the FHI network from home, you must first install VPN (Virtual Private Network) software on your work laptop. Instructions
  • You also have access to FHI Webmail from home (no VPN access is needed for this)

If problems occur please contact the IT service PP&B. They can be contacted as usual during the reduced operation mode. PDF flyer with general information and contact details

General information

The management of the FHI urgently requests all members of the Institute to minimise the risk of infection, and especially of passing on the virus, both in the professional and the private context. We strongly advise following the hygiene measures recommended by the health authorities.

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