After two and a half months, the hanns seidel foundation was able to open its doors on 30 june. May open again for seminar participants. Since then, there is again continuous activity in the conference center. The only days when the doors of banz monastery are normally closed are the days between christmas and new year’s day. "Over the calendar year we pay between 35000 and 40000 participant days, there are over 700 events per year", reports michael moslein, director of the hanns-seidel foundation. Seminars were held seven days a week – including weekends and holidays.
With the corona lockdown in mid march, the seminars could be held from one day to the next only online. "The building had to be shut down completely – we then immediately began to implement an extremely complex health and safety concept, in close cooperation with the relevant authorities", moslein remembers the days after the disaster was declared in bavaria.
Fewer guests on site
Before the outbreak of the corona pandemic, 150 people could be trained at the same time in ten different conference rooms at banz monastery. Now, the capacity limit is 60 people. "We can not accommodate more than 15 participants divided into four seminars. We want to maintain the regulation until the upcoming summer vacations", says moslein. A reduced number of participants, however, was better than a continued discontinuation of operations. "We are, after all, also a commercial enterprise, the house costs money and has to be maintained. Fearing for their jobs, the closure was also a psychological challenge for the employees."
Moslein sees a decisive advantage in the fact that the banz monastery is not frequented by the general public: "the participants register via the internet and are given direct guidelines on the conditions under which they can take part in the seminars", moslein reports. The health and safety concept already takes effect upon arrival at banz monastery, so there are different arrival times for the participants of the individual seminars. Among other things, distance markings were installed throughout the building and disinfection stands set up. In addition, masks are compulsory.
"Due to the size of our facility, we are able to shoulder it in such a way that each seminar is allocated a separate seminar room, two further separate rooms and a separate room area", the head of the hanns-seidel-foundation pays on. This is how it is guaranteed that the participants of the individual seminars do not come together. "As soon as a participant had to go into quarantine – god forbid – we didn’t have to shut down the entire company", explains moslein. The meals are also taken at different times in different rooms.
Interim balance after ten days
There are safety inspections not only for the seminar participants, but also for the 45 employees and 15 trainees. "We have formed two teams. The teams work alternately for three days at a time – when we were working normally, for example, the whole kitchen was shut down when a cook had to go into quarantine", says moslein. The foundation always wants to be ready for operation. The service employees are equipped with mouth-nose masks, visors and gloves. "There is no breakfast buffet at the moment, the guests choose what they want to eat and are presented with it by the cooks. At noon and in the evening the meals are served by the plate", tells moslein. The tablecloths were completely covered with glass foil and disinfected after each meal, salt, pepper, sugar and milk are not on the tables. "No money will be charged, all services will be booked directly to the rooms of the guests."
Ten days after the resumption of operations, moslein draws a consistently positive balance: "so far, there have been no incidents and no criticism, but a high level of gratitude from the participants." And moslein can only give this compliment to the seminar participants. "They want to be educated and their discipline is excellent – it wouldn’t do any good if we were the only ones doing the security checks and the guests didn’t follow them", so moslein. No one complained that the recreation area and the beer hall were closed. "We are on a good way. I hope that we will gradually be able to start up the conference business again."
Hanns seidel foundation
Foundation the hanns-seide foundation was established in munich in 1967 and is close to the CSU. The foundation’s activities include adult education, the promotion of democracy, the promotion of the gifted, development aid and the cultivation of international relations.
Conference center the banz monastery education center was opened in 1983. Every year over 700 events are held here, all of which are in the spirit of democracy. The participants come mainly from the whole of bavaria.