Measures concerning Coronavirus/Covid-19

The MFO is keeping a close eye on current developments and follows the instructions of the Federal State of Baden-Württemberg, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Robert Koch Institut (RKI) and the World Health Organization. New guidelines and recommendations may very quickly result in the adjustment of our measures. Please inform yourself regularly on our website.

Recent updates:

  • 16 September: New regulation in Baden-Württemberg linking participation restrictions to  the degree of capacity utilization in hospitals and intensive care units
  • 24 August 2021: Proof of vaccination, recovery or test required; travel restrictions to Germany


Information for invitees in 2021

Although vaccinations are now being used in many countries, we are still faced with the pandemic. On the other hand, the MFO is open since end of June 2020 again and in the meantime we could gather a lot of experience with necessary modifications and adjustments.

We are prepared that the activity in 2021 where you are invited could also be affected by measures described below (travel restrictions, realization as a  hybrid workshop, hygiene measures and restricted capacity). For details, please see the explanation below and the links given there. Please read these websites carefully as a lot of questions are answered there (e.g. concerning safety distance, travel restrictions, participation in person or online, new deadlines in the invitation procedure ...). Please keep checking our websites in the coming months, we try hard to keep all relevant links current.

As the pandemic recedes we will try to progressively move back to the traditional workshop format with an emphasis on in-person participation.

Visiting restrictions

We ask all our guests to make a responsible decision about their visit at the MFO!

In case that you have fever, or respiratory symptoms, or other symptoms of a contagious disease, or if you had contacts with an infected person in the last 14 days, we urge you to cancel your participation and to inform us by email to as soon as possible! The MFO is forced to withdraw invitations to participants showing such symptoms, or having known contacts with an infected person, as the MFO is not allowed to host such persons at the institute! 

A valid proof that you are vaccinated against Covid-19, recovered from a Covid-19 infection or tested against Sars-Cov-2 is required for your visit at the MFO. The test must have been carried out no more than 24 hours prior to you arrival in case of a rapid Covid-19 antigen test. In case of a PCR test, the test must have been carried out no more than 48 hours prior to your arrival. Kindly note, that the MFO is obliged to check the vaccination, recovery, or test certificates of all arrivals.

You can find testcenters in almost every city in Germany where these Antigen Schnelltest can be passed within 15 minutes. See e.g. or

Please consider: Since September 16, a new regulation has been in force in the state of Baden-Württemberg, which takes into account the degree of capacity utilization in hospitals and intensive care units when it comes to participation restrictions for non-immunized people. At the "warning level" negative PCR-tests will be necessary; rapid antigen tests can then no longer be accepted. At the "alert level" non-immunized persons need to be completely excluded from personal participation. The State Health Office announces the entry of the respective level by publication on the Internet. Please inform yourself prior to your arrival.

Travel restrictions to Germany

Due to the pandemic, restrictions for entry into Germany from many countries apply. Persons entering must complete a digital entry registration ( Depending on the place of departure, they also have to provide a negative test result or proof of immunity, and comply with quarantine regulations. Please check the current restrictions at the website of the Federal Foreign Office, directly before travelling.

The travel restrictions mentioned above refer to high risk areas and virus variant areas. Please note that the country of exit for the travel to Germany is relevant, not the affiliation or citizenship. See the website of the Robert-Koch Institute (RKI) for up-to-date information which also serves as an official list for the German government.

Please be aware, that the definition of high risk areas and virus variant areas may be changed very quickly, as well as travel regulations of the German government. All participants are urged to check these websites regularly, as the MFO has to reserve the right to withdraw an invitation to the concerned participants individually and at short-term, if mandated by the government. We kindly ask for your understanding.

General advice on travel arrangements

Please note that the MFO cannot foresee possible changes in future contact and travel restrictions by the government. Participants themselves are responsible to inquire about restrictions on travel to and from Germany; thus we strongly recommend to make travel arrangements flexible/refundable in case the Corona crisis continues or resurfaces in the future. We are sorry that we are not able to reimburse travel tickets which cannot be used because of force majeure. This also applies to grants. We would also like to inform you that currently many airlines and also the Deutsche Bahn offer free cancellation or rebooking of tickets (see the current list).

Oberwolfach Workshops in hybrid format

In accordance with the gradual opening of restrictions in Germany due to the corona crisis, the MFO is allowed to host research groups. The allowed total capacity is smaller than in former times and depends on current developments. In agreement with the workshop organizers, the MFO realizes workshops in a hybrid format (mixed personal/online) - please read the modifications in our invitation procedure there. A hybrid workshop can be realized with 15-30 participants in person and 10-20 online participants, for example. Because of the hygiene measures, the total capacity of the MFO is restricted to 30 participants in person for each workshop (15 for a half workshop, 10 for a mini-workshop). About the same number of online participations is possible, the original number of participants should not be exceeded. 

The concept of hybrid workshops works fine since June 2020 and the feedback of organizers and participants is consistently positive.

The new hybrid format does not intend to open the workshop online to the general public. As usual for Oberwolfach workshops, the organizers select and suggest international experts in the field who are personally invited by the institute's director. All talks and lectures are restricted to the invited participants and are not authorized for outside users. The mathematical community is informed about the content of all talks in our Oberwolfach Reports which are available open access as pdf on the wokshop's web site about 3 months after a workshop.

Although the precise further development of the pandemic remains uncertain with regard to new mutants, we are optimistic that we can progressively move back to our traditional workshop format with emphasis on participation in person during 2022.


Hygiene measures

In accordance with general government rules, the MFO has developed hygiene measures for hand desinfection, accommodation, lecture halls and individual meal services to make such an activity as safe as possible. In particular, please note, that masks are required in all public areas of the buildings, unless you are seated in a dedicated area (e.g. in the lecture hall or in the dining hall) with adequate distance.

For institutional travel applications we provide a summary of the most important measures (in German) together with a statement of our Scientific Advisory Board.

Because of the hygiene measures, the total capacity of the MFO is restricted to 30 participants in person for each workshop (15 for a half workshop, 10 for a mini-workshop), plus 10 persons visiting the MFO as long-term researchers (Oberwolfach Research Fellows, Research in Pairs or Leibniz Fellows).

Please note that our capacity for accompanying persons is very restricted at the moment and that the new hygiene measures do not allow to use the dining area as a lounge, unfortunately. Thus we recommend not to travel with an accompanying person to Oberwolfach.

Kindly note, that due to the current situation we are unable to accomodate families with children. Nevertheless, we can help to find a holiday home close to the institute for an accompanying person and the children. Unfortunately, until further notice it is also not possible to find a nanny. Therefore, our usual offers for children at the MFO are not valid until further notice and can only be requested again when the situation in Germany has normalized further. We kindly ask for your understanding.

Oberwolfach Research Fellows and small collaborations

In order to react to the current crisis the MFO offers in the period from July 1st, 2020 to end of 2021, the possibility to apply for an Oberwolfach Research Fellowship. Single researchers or groups up to four people can apply for a stay between two weeks and three months. Junior researchers and post-docs can apply for full scholarships and travel support. Read more...

Furthermore, the MFO invites applications from researchers who want to organize small scale, week-long interactive mini-workshops or seminars jointly between the MFO and their own institution. For example, a group of 4-10 researchers able to travel to Oberwolfach may team up with a group of similar size at an institution far away to run an activity combining intense personal interaction locally in each of the two places with a certain number of joint zoom lectures and discussions. Read more...