It is the task of all of us to contain infection routes and prevent new infections. The so-called sneezing etiquette and frequent, thorough hand-washing are two essential principles of conduct.

The virus is excreted at a very early stage and is very easily transmitted by droplet infection, which can be avoided. It is the task of all of us to contain infection routes and prevent new infections.

How can I stay up-to-date?

We ask you to keep up-to-date with the latest information via relevant websites (see box).

In case of uncertainties about an infection or the measures to be taken, special advice is given by the hotline of the Federal Ministry of Health on Tel: 030 - 346 465 100.

In the state of Bremen you can obtain information about the corona virus by calling Tel: 0421 - 115. In addition, continuous information is provided on the website of the Bremen Senator for Health Women and Consumer Protection as well as the Department of Public Health Bremen (Gesundheitsamt Bremen).

Special Email for ZMT Staff

To reach the directors, the head of the administration, and the persons who are in charge of the formal and organisational matters of home office, special leave, sick leave, official contact points etc. in one email, we have installed the new email address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We all read the messages that go to this address. Phones are redirected to mobile phones wherever possible. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

1 May 2020| UPDATE Extended partial lockdown


In response to our explicit request to the Bremen Senator for Science and Ports (Division 22 - Science Planning and Research Promotion) we have now received approval for an extended emergency operation:

As of May 4, 2020, four laboratories of the research infrastructure can switch to extended emergency operation:

- The biology laboratory
- The chemical laboratory
- The Geolab
- The Marine Experimental Ecology (MAREE)


Laboratory staff will process/measure/etc. samples that scientists need to bring their work to a qualifying completion. This applies to students (Bachelor, Master), doctoral students but also post-docs.

Scientists still work in home office.

As an end of the corona pandemic is not in sight, we can provide scientists with the measurement results of their samples under controlled conditions in a time-prioritized procedure to help them complete final papers, reports, etc. in time.

The extended partial lockdown is to apply from 04 May 2020 and provisionally until 31 May 2020.

All our best regards and stay healthy!

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Scientific Director, and Dr. Nicolas Dittert, Managing Director

20 April 2020 | UPDATE Corona Restrictions at ZMT

The German Chancellor, together with the Ministers of the Länder, decided on Wednesday (15 April 2020) to relax the corona restrictions. These decisions will of course also have an impact on ZMT.

For the time being, nothing will change in the basic regulation: ZMT will remain in emergency operation until 3 May 2020 inclusive.

Business trips to Germany and abroad will still not be permitted.

If you intend to cancel a vacation that has already been applied for and approved, we would like to draw your attention to the corresponding regulation of the Senator of Finance: Cancellation of already approved vacation is – as a general rule – not possible at this time. If you have any questions, please contact Tino Eichler.

We ask all group leaders (WGL / IGL) to offer employees the opportunity to massively reduce overtime hours over the next two weeks and to organise the work accordingly.

At the same time, the legal ordinance on protection against new infections with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (Corona Ordinance) of 17 April 2020 of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen applies.

Under strict conditions, the possibility of a presence at the ZMT will be gradually created, probably from 4 May onwards. This step will be implemented with all due caution, as the protection of health remains the top priority.

In the coming week, we, the Directorate, will be discussing with the heads of departments and the works council how to implement the new provisions at the ZMT in practice. It can already be said that access to the buildings of the ZMT will not be generally permitted, but will continue to be very limited. The relevant distance and hygiene regulations must still be observed. Our primary objectives remain the containment of the pandemic and the best possible organisation of operations at the ZMT under the respective circumstances.

We know that for many of you, this time is associated with great challenges.

Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Scientific Director, and Dr. Nicolas Dittert, Managing Director


I. Emergency Mode for Research Institutes and Universities

(1) The State of Bremen has decreed that all research institutes and universities are to be locked down and reduced to emergency mode. This period lasts at least until April 19 or further notice. Closure of institutes will be checked on by the authorities. For ZMT this means: We stick to our measures: Home Office, and only the vital functions of the institute will kept running at the ZMT buildings (also see below II. Instruction to move to Home Office). 
(2) Entering ZMT only allowed with special permit
A new regulation is that our colleagues who keep the vital services going for us (and who deserve a great deal of gratitude) need to carry a special permit with them that we have issued for this purpose.

All others cannot enter. If there are specific issues to deal with in this context, please send a message to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

II. Instruction to move to Home Office

The following applies to ZMT (staff, scholarship holders, guests, participants of congresses and conferences etc.):

From Tuesday 16/3/2020, Home Office is the regular working mode. Everybody works from home office, and exceptions are only the persons who are needed for vitally important tasks in the institute. Present will be some staff members from the administration (purchase, finances, human resources), MAREE, and house maintenance. Normal working hours etc. apply to home office, only the place of work is shifted to home during this time.

(3) Emergency staffing of ZMT Administration
The administration does not offer consultation hours from now on. Please communicate all requests via phone or email. The administration has organised an emergency service and partly also works from home office.

(4) Granting of special leave (Sonderurlaub)
All colleagues who have to take care of their children (minors) because of the shutdown of schools and daycares, and who do not have alternatives for their childcare, and who cannot do or not fully do their work in home office, are allowed to take special leave (Sonderurlaub). Please send your request to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. In these cases payment of remuneration/pay is continued.

(5) Research work of students and doctoral candidates

To all supervisors of student research, doctoral candidates, and other group members: When ISATEC students or others come back from field work in the next days, they will not be able to treat or store their samples as the labs are closed. The samples cannot be stored in private fridges. Please inform your group members that they have to contact the lab staff to organise a transfer of the samples into cooling storage at ZMT. Please make sure that the samples are labelled: first name, last name, workgroup, email, phone number, requested storage (temperature).

(6) ZMT internal meetings

In accordance with the regulations for working from home office, all meetings at ZMT are suspended.

This counts for:

- palaver
- department meetings
- programme area meetings
- steering group meetings
- workshops, schools

and the like until further notice. Please use digital options or conference calls for virtual meetings wherever appropriate.

II. Further Regulations for ZMT Staff Members

The following applies to ZMT (staff, scholarship holders, guests, participants of congresses and conferences etc.):

(7) Business Travel
No business trips will take place - business trips that have already been approved are prohibited until further notice. Exceptions are only possible with the special approval of ZMT management.
We recommend using means of communication such as telephone and or video conferencing.

(8) Those who come / return to Bremen from the current risk areas are subject to an isolation measure and not allowed to appear at ZMT for 14 days after leaving these areas.

You can find a list of the current risk areas here This list is updated regularly.

(9) Obligation of employees to inform / authority of the employer to issue instructions

- who have been in a country or area at risk, [...] or
- in a country or area with an increased number of cases of infection, or
- in whose close personal surroundings a disease caused by the corona virus is present or suspected...

...must inform the ZMT by telephone or email.

The same applies to intended private trips to the above-mentioned areas.

The employer is also entitled to send home employees who show flu-like symptoms.

(10) Employer's duty of care when dealing with risk groups
Employees at ZMT who are at risk due to a pre-existing illness can obtain information here:

We will take protective measures together!

(11) Employees who cannot come to ZMT due to an isolation measure will continue to receive their salary or remuneration unchanged during this period. As far as possible, the tasks under the employment contract are to be carried out at home.

(12) Medical certificate after five calendar days
In order to relieve the burden on medical practices, in cases with flu-like symptoms, a medical certificate is requested from the sixth calendar day onwards only. This regulation shall apply for the time being until the end of 31 March 2020.

Be vigilant about your state of health: Should you develop symptoms, contact your doctor – initially only via telephone – in order to clarify the further steps.

You can also get in touch with our company physician

Betriebsarztzentrum Bremen e.V.
Grünenweg 6
28195 Bremen
Tel. 0421 32277-0

Our company physician: Dr. Christian Broek
E-Mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Outside of your doctor’s office hours you can contact the after-hours service of the Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians of the City of Bremen (

The above measures also apply to people who are in close contact with people affected by an isolation measure (e.g. in a shared household).


Prof. Dr. Hildegard Westphal, Scientific Director, and Dr. Nicolas Dittert, Managing Director