Readers of these TUM San Francisco news articles will remember that the role of TUM San Francisco liaison officer was unoccupied for the first six months of 2020. During these critical months, the Covid-19 pandemic took hold and the City of San Francisco went into a hard lockdown under the Health Officer’s Health Order . Only essential workers could venture out, and anyone who was able to work from home was required to do so.
This included the TUM San Francisco liaison office, so when I began my work for TUM, it was from my home office in Seattle. I had no chance to set foot in the office in San Francisco until the regulations in San Francisco would allow it. Luckily, I was able to provide the same service from a distance, since virtually no in-person meetings or events were happening during that time in Silicon Valley.
The City is opening
This quite restrictive time is now over. With a vaccination rate of 73% , San Francisco is opening up again. The mentioned Health Order was amended on September 10 to lift the Work from Home mandate. All employees may now return to their workplaces. Naturally, the masking and social distancing requirements still apply. Patrons of restaurants and bars may eat and drink indoors if they provide proof of full vaccination. Special rules apply for so-called “mega events” such as college and professional sports games, but the City is generally open for business.
The TUM San Francisco liaison office is also open for business. On September 16, 2021, I reopened the office in the German Hub at 101 Montgomery Street. The other members of the German Hub gave me a hearty, socially-distanced welcome. The office felt a bit like a time-capsule at first because it had been unoccupied for over 18 months, but I soon had everything in order and was ready to work.
Travel to the US is becoming possible again
On September 20, the United States announced plans to begin allowing fully vaccinated travelers from Europe to enter the country . This is long expected news for all TUM researchers cooperating with US partners and waiting to meet in person to talk about their joint projects. The TUM liaison office in San Francisco is ready for further cooperation planning, and I look forward to welcoming any and all visitors from TUM to California.