TU Berlin Prepares for Another Hard Lockdown as COVID-19 Cases Increase

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, the education sector has continually been facing challenges.

Lately, increasing COVID-19 infections have been noted in Germany, which has pushed the country to announce another hard lockdown, including the closure of all schools and shops in order to control the virus spread, Erudera College News reports.

Fearful of the big surge in infections, Berlin Institute of Technology or known in German as the Technische Universität Berlin (TU) Berlin has decided to close its buildings, and it is also preparing for a total lockdown after Christmas holidays, university management has announced.

The latter stated that they are expecting to close the building again just like in spring, Tagesspiegel reported on Thursday.

This is linked to level 3 of the step-by-step plan unveiled by the university in October, which adapts to the university’s measures regarding Coronavirus and the infection risk.

The only exceptions are research projects which are related to the Coronavirus and system-relevant work yet under strict hygiene requirements.

The majority of employees, including those who work at administrations and committees, will have to switch to home offices. At the same time, face-to-face events are already being organized only in specific or exceptional cases at the TU, while most of the teaching has been taking place remotely.

After the holidays, online teaching will be cancelled until January 11, and as a result, lessons will begin later, meaning that there will be less time to prepare for the end of semester exams.

On Thursday, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Michael Müller announced that a hard lockdown could take place in Berlin on Thursday, presumably starting from December 21to January 10.

After a meeting held between Chancellor Angela Merkel and leaders of Germany’s 16 states, the Prime Minister of Bavaria Markus Söder told journalists that Coronavirus has gotten out of control in the country, noting “we are at five minutes to midnight.”

On Friday, Germany registered a record of about 30,000 new infections and 598 deaths from Coronavirus.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Germany has been offering financial support to affected students for several months in a row.

Recently, the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) has decided to extend the Coronavirus aid program and to offer students support from November until the end of the winter semester.

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