Welcome Service, International Office

For students

Katja Kaboth-Larsen

Boris Pohl

Christine Trappe

For doctoral candidates and researchers

Inger Zychla

Christiane Rochner

Help and advice for Internationals in times of COVID-19

1. Entry regulations (as of 15 February 2021)

If you enter Germany from abroad, you must observe the applicable entry and quarantine regulations; these are currently changing frequently. Before your planned departure, please contact the responsible authorities to obtain the latest information. We assume no liability for the information provided here.

What do I have to consider when entering Germany?

A distinction is made between areas with no risk, risk areas, "areas of variant of concern" (that is risk areas with a virus mutation) and "high incidence areas" (that is risk areas with a particularly high incidence). The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) identifies international risk areas. Please note that this list changes constantly.

If you are entering Germany from a risk area, you have to follow the steps below. This also applies if the country of departure is later declared a risk area (within 10 days of departure) or entry was via a non-risk area, but you had been in a risk area within 10 days prior to entry.

Step1: Take a corona test

  • Anyone entering from a risk area must take a Corona test. The test can be taken up to 48 hours before entry, directly at entry or immediately after entry.
  • If you are entering from a risk area with a virus mutation or a risk area with a particularly high incidence rate, you must have a test performed before departure as you may be requested to show proof of this on entry by the relevant authority or the Federal Police. When using a transportation provider, you must present this proof to your transportation provider before departure. The test must have been carried out less than 48 hours before entry.
  • You must go into quarantine even if your test result is negative. 
  • The test result must be available as hardcopy or electronic copy in German, English or French and you must be able to present it for a period of ten days after entering Germany.

Step 2: Digital entry form

You are required to complete a digital registration form on entry so that the local public health authority can check whether you remain in quarantine. The digital registration on entry is centrally monitored by German authorities. Your travel and contact details will be passed on to the local public health authority at the place where you will be staying so you can be contacted if necessary. You must carry the proof of digital entry registration with you and present it on request.

Digital registration on entry

Step 3: Quarantine for fourteen days

Go into quarantine immediately for 14 days! Violations can be punished as an administrative offence and carry a fine of up to EUR 25,000. Important! If you have symptoms of illness 14 days after entry, contact the local public health authority (Gesundheitsamt)!

To find out whether your area of origin is currently defined as a risk area, visit this page:

International risk areas identified by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) (webpage in German, with English archive)

Please note that this list changes constantly!

Can I end the quarantine early?

The option to shorten your quarantine after five days is only available if you have entered from a risk area that is not a high-incidence or variant-of-concern area. Those entering from high-incidence areas and virus variant areas can no longer shorten their quarantine period. If you want to shorten your quarantine period after entering Germany from a risk area, you require a negative PCR test (PoC rapid antigen tests are no longer sufficient). If the test result is negative regarding an infection with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, you can end your quarantine early.

Please also refer to the Lower Saxony corona regulations and quarantine regulations; see: Vorschriften der niedersächsischen Landesregierung (website in German).

Where can I take a corona test?

Please note that PoC rapid antigen tests are no longer sufficient if you want to shorten your quarantine after entering the country.

You can get tested in Oldenburg at a family doctor's office / GP. Please call them in advance to make an appointment:

"White list" database with search function for medical practices (in German)

There is a testing centre at the train station in Oldenburg where Covid19 antigen rapid tests (EUR 50) and PCR tests (EUR 100) are performed. An appointment must be made online in advance.


The Oldenburg branch of the Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe offers Covid19 antigen rapid tests (there is a EUR 30 cash fee). Located in the "BiTa" (congress centre) at Jägerstraße 64-66, the station is open on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10am to 3pm You must register by calling (0441) 40579266 between 9am and 5pm.

Covid19 antigen rapid tests (Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe test centre)

Can I travel on to Oldenburg within Germany?

You may travel from your airport of arrival to Oldenburg by public transport (e.g. by train - www.bahn.de). You must wear a mask covering your mouth and nose on public transport. The quarantine obligation begins upon arrival at your place of residence.

Where can I be quarantined after arrival? (for doctoral candidates/ researchers)

Please get in touch with your landlord to find out whether you can self-quarantine in your new accommodation. If you cannot, you should – if necessary – arrange for suitable accommodation for the quarantine period as early as possible.

You can, for example, enquire about self-quarantine options in a hotel in Oldenburg. You will need to enquire about available rooms and pay for the hotel yourself. List of Oldenburg hotels

Please note: If you do not have accommodation for quarantining, please do not enter! There is no additional emergency accommodation available!

Who will look after me during my quarantine?

For students

The International Office of the University of Oldenburg offers quarantine care for international students by our team of tutors. Please contact us during office hours (Monday to Friday):

Please let us know in good time when you will arrive and where you will be staying.

For doctoral candidates / researchers

Please contact your supervisor, tutor or workgroup or the International Office regarding possible quarantine care.

2. Current situation at the University of Oldenburg (as of 27 January 2021)

These FAQs are particularly intended for international students, doctoral candidates and researchers. Please also read the general information on the situation at the University of Oldenburg and the Stud.IP event "Zentrale Informationen fürs Studium WiSe 20/21" (for students).

Is the university still open?

As a matter of principle, the campus, all buildings and rooms as well as the Botanical Garden of the University of Oldenburg will remain closed until at least 31 March 2021.

Designated student workstations outside the library (including in the areas of the cafeteria at the Haarentor Campus and the serving kitchen at the Wechloy Campus) are open and accessible for use by students in strict compliance with existing hygiene and safety measures.

All classes are now taught online only. Classes which cannot be taught online are not taught at all. Study-related internships are generally cancelled during the above-mentioned period. No face-to-face exams are held. Possible exceptions may be granted by the Presidential Board upon justified application by the school.

What kind of mask do I have to wear? Are medical masks provided by the university?

You must wear a mask covering your mouth and nose on the entire campus.

Medical masks (surgical masks, medical face masks) instead of simpler cloth versions covering the mouth and nose must be worn in all buildings and rooms of the university, excluding rooms used by a single person. This provision will be in effect from February 1, 2021 until further notice, but at least until March 31, 2021.

The medical masks will be made available to members of the University of Oldenburg (i.e. employees and students) as warranted and needed. Students receive the medical masks for compulsory examinations / courses in presence by the responsible persons.

Is the university restaurant (Mensa) open?

No. Due to the Corona lockdown, the Mensa and cafeterias run by the Studentenwerk Oldenburg will be closed until at least 31 March 2021.

Will the university libraries remain open?

The University Library on the Haarentor Campus and the Departmental Library in Wechloy will be closed to visitors until at least 31 March 2021. It is possible to order and pick up literature online.

Opening hours of the university library



3. Situation in Oldenburg and Germany (as of 23 February 2021)

What does the current lockdown involve?

The lockdown is extended to 7 March 2021 - and tightened by further requirements.

The obligation to wear masks in public has been put in more specific terms. In public transport, in or near shops, in places of worship and when having necessary medical services carried out that involve close body contact, you are now obliged to wear medical respirator masks (KN95/N95 or FFP2). Private gatherings are only allowed among members of one' s own household and with a maximum of one other person not living in that household. This also applies to public gatherings.

Shops throughout Germany are close since 16 December 2020. Services such as, cosmetic studios, massage practices, tattoo studios and similar must also close. Garden centres and garden markets may reopen on 13 February 2021, and hairdressers will probably be allowed to reopen on 1 March 2021.

Shops for daily needs remain open, these are:

  • Food shops for groceries
  • Outdoor markets for food
  • Direct food marketers
  • Pick-up and delivery services
  • Drinks markets
  • Health food shops
  • Baby product markets
  • Pharmacies
  • Medical supply stores
  • Drugstores
  • Opticians and hearing aid acousticians
  • Petrol stations, garages and bicycle repair shops
  • Banks, savings banks and post offices
  • Dry cleaners and launderettes
  • Newspaper sales
  • Pet supply stores and feed stores
  • Christmas tree sales
  • Wholesalers

The delivery and pick-up of meals by caterers is still permitted. Medically necessary treatments such as physiotherapy remain possible.

See also:

Where do I have to wear a mask?

Medical respirator masks are also referred to as surgical masks or masks of the standards KN95/N95 or FFP2. Respirator masks with exhalation valve are not permitted.

In Lower Saxony, the obligation to wear a medical mask applies in the following places/situations in particular:

  • In retail outlets which are currently open, including: Grocery stores, weekly markets, beverage stores, pick-up and delivery services, health food stores, pharmacies, medical supply stores and drugstores, optical and hearing aid stores, banks, post offices, etc,
  • in public transport (bus, web, trains, taxis, ferries) as well as at stations, stops and their waiting areas
  • when activities or services require a distance of less than 1.5m. This applies particularly to health care, care of disabled/elderly persons, and for services involving close body contact. This also includes doctors' offices.
  • During religious services or other religious events in churches, synagogues, mosques or other closed premises and also at meetings of other religious or philosophical communities

Since 23 February 2021 the obligation to wear a mask in Oldenburg's city centre has been lifted. However, there is still an obligation to wear a mask at the weekly markets and the associated car parks. You are also still required to wear a mask on the entire campus.

Corona regulations of the City of Oldenburg (in German)

Are there exceptions from the obligation to wear a mask?

The only exceptions are children up to the age of 6 years and people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. These people must carry evidence of the medical reasons.

Children between the ages of 6 and 14 do not need to wear medical masks; standard masks are sufficient for them.

What rules apply to shopping?

From 25 January 2021, a medical respirator mask must be worn in shops, and a minimum distance of 1.5m to 2m must be maintained. Many supermarkets require you to use a shopping trolley.

Are restaurants and cafés still open?

All restaurants, pubs, cafés, bars, shisha bars, and nightclubs are closed. Some offer take-away food or deliveries for consumption at home.

Can I still meet up with friends and family?

Option 1:
My household (no matter how many persons) + 1 person

Option 2:
Me (as a single person from a household) + 1 other household (no matter how many persons).

Children are to be counted as full persons like adults. (Exception: children up to and including 3 years of age may continue to attend another household together with a parent/carer).

Am I allowed to travel within Germany?

Private trips and excursions should be avoided, however they are not prohibited. Hotels, hostels etc. are closed throughout Germany, only business trips are allowed.

Do I have to self-quarantine if I have been in a German risk area?

No. However, it makes sense to look out for possible symptoms of illness.

What happens if I do not follow the rules?

Violations of the corona regulations can be punished as an administrative offence and carry a fine of up to EUR 25,000.

4. What to do in case of a (suspected) COVID-19 infection

Have you had contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19?

Option 1: Notification from the public health authority (Gesundheitsamt)

The Gesundheitsamt might contact you because you have been identified as a direct contact person (index person).

  1. The Gesundheitsamt will quarantine you for at least 14 days (from the last contact with the index person) regardless of the test result.
  2. It is up to the Gesundheitsamt to decide whether you will also be tested for COVID-19.

Option 2: No notification from the public health authority (Gesundheitsamt)

If you think you are a direct contact person but have not received a message from the public health authority, please contact either

  1. the citizen's hotline (Bürgertelefon) of Oldenburg's ServiceCenter: 0441 235-4550 (Monday to Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or
  2. the central hotline of the Lower Saxony state government: 0511 120 6000 (Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

All persons who have been in close contact with an index person (for at least 15 minutes without observing the distance rules of 1.5 metres, including speaking, physical contact or contact with bodily secretions) have been exposed to a higher risk of infection and are classified as Category 1 contact persons (direct contact persons). This also applies if the contact took place in the two days before the symptoms began.

Are you ill or do you suspect you are infected with COVID-19?

Do not come to the university. Please call a GP: Do not visit a GP or hospital without making an appointment!

"White list" database  of GPs (in German only)

Outside of your doctor's consultation hours, you can contact Oldenburg's emergency service for urgent medical care (Notdienstpraxis Oldenburg) by calling the following telephone number (free of charge and without area code):

116 117

Have you tested positive for COVID-19?

1. Home quarantine

Persons who have tested positive for COVID-19 are quarantined by the public health authority (Gesundheitsamt) for 14 days, even without symptoms. Home quarantine means that you are not allowed to leave your home. This is regularly checked. If you develop symptoms during quarantine, you must contact a GP and the public health authority (Gesundheitsamt) by phone. Acute symptoms - emergency call 112: If you suffer from severe acute symptoms such as shortness of breath, acute chest pain or a (temporary) loss of consciousness, please call for medical help immediately (emergency call 112)!

2. Inform the University of Oldenburg

Please inform the university about your infection using the online contact form or by calling 0441/798-5000.

Do you have acute severe symptoms (shortness of breath, chest pain, loss of consciousness)?

If you suffer from severe acute symptoms such as severe shortness of breath, acute chest pain or (temporary) loss of consciousness, please call for medical help immediately (emergency call 112)!

If a person is infected with COVID-19 and shows severe symptoms of illness, they will be admitted to a suitable hospital. They will receive treatment according to their symptoms.

Who will look after me during my quarantine?

Please contact us during office hours (Monday to Friday):

5. Financial and social support for international students and doctoral candidates

Losing your job as a consequence of the Corona crisis can mean serious financial problems and have a negative impact on the academic success of international students and doctoral candidates.

Interest-free loans (KfW student loan)

The Student Council (AStA) can grant an interest-free loan of up to EUR 1,000 to bridge financial bottlenecks. Please contact the AStA by e-mail at and state your request and a telephone number.

The KfW student loan programme (interest free) has been opened up for non-EU international students who are currently unable to finance their studies due to the Corona crisis. You can apply for this loan programme until 14 February, 2021. Your can receive a monthly rate of max. EUR 650.
KFW student loan

Emergency one-off payments, bridging aid ("Überbrückungshilfe")

International students in urgent financial emergencies can contact for advice on further support options.

The Protestant Student Congregation (ESG)  and the Catholic University Congregation (KHG) can also make one-off payments in justified cases. Please use the consultation offer of the respective institution.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is helping students who are demonstrably in a financial or economic emergency situation owing to the corona pandemic with allowances totalling 100 million euros. For the University of Oldenburg, the allowances are paid out via the student service organisation "Studentenwerk Oldenburg":
Studentenwerk Oldenburg bridging aid ("Überbrückungshilfe")

I cannot pay my living expenses due to the Corona crisis

As a rule, contracts may not be terminated if you have financial difficulties due to a loss of employment caused by the Corona crisis! The same applies to electricity, gas and telephone lines. If you are currently unable to make payments, you should actively contact the relevant office, e.g. your landlord, your health insurance company, your mobile phone company, the broadcasting fees office, etc.

If you are living in a hall of residence run by the student service organisation (Studentenwerk Oldenburg) and can no longer pay your rent, please contact the accounting department of the Studentenwerk directly with appropriate proof (e.g. certificates, termination of employment by your employer, etc.): . The accounting department will then try to find a solution.

If you live in private accommodation and have rent debts between 1 April and 30 June 2020, you will be given the opportunity to pay the rent you have defaulted on until the end of June 2022.

Other job options

Many jobs in the hospitality sector, i.e. restaurants etc. fell victim to the Corona crisis. Alternatives can be found in supermarkets, delivery services, logistics companies, petrol stations and cleaning companies.

Psychologigal counseling during the Corona Crisis

As international student in pandemic Germany you may have been experiencing a lot of intense and challenging emotions over the past weeks. Being physically distant from loved ones too far away to visit when wanting to be close to them is already difficult during normal times. Under the impact of global travel restrictions, massive economic turbulences and the threat of a potentially harmful virus that scientists still know little about, however, studying abroad has become even more challenging. As psychological counselors supporting you to maintain good mental health, we are not only aware of the problems you and your families are facing during these emotionally difficult times, but committed to supporting you to the best of our knowledge and capacity.

Just to give you an idea of typical concerns raised in counselling sessions, please see below a list of issues, we are prepared to support you with (amongst all other mental health concerns that may not be directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic, of course!)

  • The fear of losing my financial security is distracting me from my studies. What can I do?
  • My parents have pre-existing conditions and are at an age that makes them vulnerable to experiencing serious health problems should they contract the virus. I am afraid they could get seriously ill and wonder how I could persuade them to protect themselves.
  • Since face-to-face teaching has been suspended and I cannot meet with fellow students for discussing materials and assignments, I have great difficulty concentrating on lectures and home works. How can I get back my focus?
  • Two times a week I went to the gym. On weekends I liked to party. Those outlets have become impossible to pursue. I am worried, if this lasted much longer, I will feel increasingly isolated and relapse into depression. How can I prevent this from happening?

If you wish to talk to a counselor about these or any other mental health-related concerns, please do not hesitate to send an email to the Psychological Counseling Service Team at ! They will be happy to invite you to a phone or videotelephony consultation at your earliest convenience.

Preparing your stay in Oldenburg

If you have any questions and need advice, please contact

General information for preparing your trip here (international students)

General information for preparing your trip here (doctoral candidates and researchers)

(Changed: 2021-02-25)