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:

  • 17 May 2021: German regulations unified, no special regulations for Baden-Württemberg
  • 26 April 2021: Change of test obligation by the MFO for vaccinated people
  • 19 April 2021: Change of quarantine obligations for vaccinated people entering Baden-Württemberg
  • 30 March 2021: Additional restrictions on air travel, regardless of the country from where the individual has travelled
  • 26 January 2021: Travel regulations for people coming from high incidence areas, virus variant areas, risk areas and all other areas (including Germany)


Information for invitees in 2021

Although vaccinations in some countries have started, the covid-pandemic could last during the first half of 2021. 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.

Of course, if the pandemic should be finished at the time of the workshop, we will be happy to go back to the traditional workshop format and procedures.

Travel restrictions and general advice

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, or coming from high risk areas, as the MFO is not allowed to host such persons at the institute! 

Information for travellers from Germany and other areas which are not classified as risk areas, high incidence areas or virus variant areas by the RKI

Due to recent intensifications of rules of the german government to higher risks of the new virus variants and in order to make a stay at the MFO as safe as possible we ask all our guests from Germany and also all other areas that are not covered by the three categories above to make a rapid covid-19 antigen test (Antigen Schnelltest) and email the result to the MFO prior to the stay. The test should be performed no more than 48 hours before arrival at the MFO.

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

A test is not necessary if it can be proved that the second dose of a vaccine (approved in the EU) has been received at least 14 days ago. In the case of vaccines that require more than one dose, the vaccination is considered completed also after one dose if the person concerned has previously been infected with the coronavirus and can prove this with a PCR test. Please note, that the entry regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany and the state of Baden-Württemberg apply regardless of this.

Informations for travellers to Germany  from (high) risk, high incidence or virus variant areas

Please note that the MFO is legally bound by rules of the German and state government concerning the pandemic, in particular travel from risk areas, high incidence areas or virus variant areas. Unfortunately, these rules can change quickly. Please check before travelling at the website of the Federal Foreign Office if the situation has changed. More details are given in the links below.

Travellers who have visited a risk area, high incidence area or virus variant area in the last ten days before entering Germany must register at before arriving in Germany and carry proof of registration with them upon entry.

Travellers who have been in a high incidence area or in a virus variant area in the past ten days prior to entry into Germany must carry proof that they have been tested for infection with SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus with them upon entry.

Travellers who have visited any other risk area (neither high incidence area nor virus variant area) during the ten days prior to entry into Germany must be in possession of a test result no later than 48 hours after entry.

The following links inform you on areas that are deemed to be high incidence areas, virus variant areas and other risk areas by government institutions. 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 risk areas, high incidence 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 regularily, as the MFO has to reserve the right to withdraw an invitation to the concerned participants individually and at short-term. We kindly ask for your understanding.

Additional restrictions on air travel

From 30 March 2021, all persons travelling to Germany by air must present a negative COVID‑19 test result before embarking on their journey. This applies regardless of the country from where the individual has travelled. The tests must be done at the relevant test centres abroad no more than 48 hours before entering Germany (time of the swab).

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 again. The allowed total capacity is smaller than in former times and depends on current developments. In agreement with the workshop organizers, the MFO will realize workshops in a hybrid format (mixed personal/online) now - 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 new 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.


New hygiene measures

In accordance with general government rules, the MFO has developed new 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. Please note, that in addition to the test obligations by German authorities for travellers from risk areas, high incidence areas or virus variant areas, we also ask all our guests from Germany and other areas to make a rapid covid-19 antigen test (Antigen Schnelltest) and email the result to the MFO prior to the stay.

Because of the new 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...

Activities which could not be realized because of the pandemic

Due to the dynamic development and change in travel restrictions several meetings until mid of June had regretfully to be cancelled. Some of them could be shifted to fall or winter 2020, the other meetings had to be postponed to 2022 in accordance with the organizers, provided the decision by the Oberwolfach Scientific Committee in October 2020. The program for 2022 will be fixed until the end of 2020 and then we can inform the invitees about the new date.

We are very pleased that the two cancelled workshops  

have organized an Oberwolfach Online Seminar for the invited participants.

For workshops in the second half of the year 2020 and in the year 2021, we offer the new possibility of hybrid workshops (see above). If a workshop should nevertheless be cancelled in a common decision by the organizers and the MFO, it has to re-apply for the workshop program 2022 or 2023 because of our restricted capacity, unfortunately. We hope for your understanding that a general postponement of activities is not possible.