COVID-19 is a very serious illness.
Many everyday activities have been restricted to protect people from being infected by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. Particularly here in Germany, these measures have helped to stem the wave of infections and to mitigate their impact. This means that we have reason to be cautiously optimistic.
In view of this, the German government has begun easing restrictions on public life, combined with rules for interacting safely with other people. We are very much in favour of these rules and are happy to follow them to the letter.
After consulting extensively with health experts and planning our rooms and processes in great detail, we are once again in a position to conduct real one-to-one interviews and mini-groups (with the necessary distancing measures in place).
While one-to-one interviews were already permitted because they only involved two people, we are now able to play host to small focus groups as well: groups with up to 5 participants and a moderator sitting at individual tables (with at least 150 centimetres between them) in freshly ventilated and disinfected rooms. Special guidelines for the moderators ensure that the processes are safe for all participants as well.
At the invitation and coordination stage, we advise our participants that they should not come to the interview if they have any symptoms of the illness. As in doctors’ practices, there are notices and posters on the doors of our building (including the front door) and in the lifts reminding our visitors to check themselves for symptoms once again.
We are well aware that COVID-19 can also remain undetected in its early stages – because of this, our measures are designed to reduce possible risks from the outset.
Needless to say, the general rules of conduct regarding hand-washing, physical distancing and sneezing etiquette apply in our interview spaces as well. These will be communicated clearly and demonstratively in all rooms as a constant reminder to all participants of how to conduct themselves. All visitors will be also provided with a medical mask for their mouth and nose free of charge. In this way, we can ensure that, even in the case of an undetected illness, the infection will not be passed on to others. In addition, all of our employees are not only well versed in adhering to the rules themselves but also in ensuring that everyone else conducts themselves appropriately.