The autumn has arrived and unlike many of us expected in the spring, the coronavirus pandemic is still with us. This means that in order for it to be safe to work and study on campus, we all need to act responsibly and follow the guidelines given. This email contains a summary of the university’s key guidelines and definitions of policy relating to the coronavirus situation. Please remember that you can find more information in Kamu: https://kamu.uef.fi/en/student-book/coronavirus/
The foundation of all activities is to ensure that it is safe to work and study at the university.
During this autumn, staff members’ and students’ responsible behaviour will play an important role.
The main entrance doors of the campus buildings are open and, from 1 September onwards, all doors will be open as per normal.
All visitors (students, staff, guests) have to follow the following basic guidelines:
- Only come to the campus when you are healthy.
- The first thing to do when you arrive is to wash your hands. You should also wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Use hand sanitizer in situations where washing your hands is not possible.
- Keep a safe distance to others (1.5–2 metres).
- Wear a mask in situations where it is not possible to keep a safe distance to others.
- No handshaking, no hugging.
As much in-person teaching as possible will be offered to new students to ensure their commitment to the university and to their student community. Otherwise, the main mode of study this autumn will be online, except for courses that are impossible to organise online.
In-person teaching is organised with safety in mind. A maximum of 50 people, including the teacher, may be in the same room at a time, and with people keeping a safety distance of a minimum of 1.5 metres.
General exams continue not to be held, but it is possible for teachers to hold and supervise exams for small groups, while taking safety distances into consideration. The maximum number of people permitted in a room is 50 persons.
Safety distances can also be kept in all EXAM rooms of the university. Only some of the computers available in the rooms can be booked, and when students book a time, they will be assigned a specific computer on which to complete their exam. In other words, students can’t complete their exam on just any computer. The university will issue separate guidelines on the use of face masks in EXAM facilities.
UEF currently recommends the use of a face mask in situations where it is not possible to maintain safe distances (such as teaching taking place in a laboratory). The university has reserved face masks for both students and staff to be worn in these kinds of situations. In addition, face masks are worn in customer service settings where a protective plexiglass is unavailable. The university monitors the development of nationwide guidelines on face masks. Staff members will provide students with face masks in situations where they are needed. The University of Eastern Finland’s recommendation on the use of face masks: https://www3.uef.fi/en/koronavirus/-/asset_publisher/WOgTYSBNI8cW/content/ita-suomen-yliopistolle-kasvomaskisuositus
Students belonging to a risk group for a severe COVID-19 infection are recommended to not come to the facilities on campus nor to participate in in-person teaching. More detailed guidelines are available at https://www3.uef.fi/-/ohjeistus-vakavan-koronavirustaudin-riskiryhmaan-kuuluville-opiskelijoille-opintojakson-suoritustapaan-liittyvat-jarjestelyt-syyslukukaudella-2020
Registration for courses is mandatory in the autumn semester 2020. In addition, teachers must keep a list of students participating in in-person teaching.
The above-mentioned safety guidelines issued by the university are followed in new student orientation, tutoring and other events that bring students together. Tutoring will be organised in small groups and mainly online.
Instructions pertaining to teaching and studying can be found in Kamu: https://kamu.uef.fi/en/student-book/coronavirus/
Decisions on how teaching will be organised in the spring semester (including student exchange and entrance examinations) will made in early September.
The Joensuu Campus Library has opened on 17 August 2020 and the Kuopio Campus Library will open on 1 September 2020. Further information on the library’ services can be found on the library’s website: https://www3.uef.fi/kirjasto
Self-study facilities and IT classrooms, as well as Oppari’s customer service points and service desks in Joensuu and Kuopio, will be opened on 1 September 2020. Student and Learning Services’ customer service desks will open on 21 August 2020; more detailed information on the opening hours can be found in Kamu. Safety distances and the university’s guidelines on hygiene must be adhered to in all facilities.
Restaurant services available on the campuses will be opened to an increasing extent over the course of this autumn. Information on when each restaurant will open can be found on Yammer at https://www.yammer.com/uef.fi/#/Threads/show?threadId=796499118096384
For restaurant-specific menus, please see https://www.uef.fi/en/campus-restaurants
Take out lunch is available in all of the campus restaurants. Take out portions are chilled; warm take out lunch is available during the lunch hours.
The university’s cleaning services adhere to the instructions issued by the Finish Institute of Occupational Health: https://www.ttl.fi/en/cleaning-guidelines-for-the-prevention-of-covid-19-infections%e2%80%af/
Sykettä Sports Services have started operating (limited group sizes). Further information is available at: https://sykettä.fi
Student associations will start their activities in the autumn.
EVENTS ORGANISED AT THE UNIVERSITY
The number of people permitted in events organised in the university’s facilities by the university is limited to a maximum of 50 persons. The 50-person limit is also applied to events organised by the Student Union or a subject association. This definition of policy applies to all events, including teaching and public examinations of doctoral dissertations.
The university also accepts external facility reservations. The number of people permitted in events organised by external parties follows the national restrictions.
Continue to avoid unnecessary travel abroad. The Finnish Government reviews travel restrictions approximately every two weeks. The latest information on travel restrictions can be found on the Finnish Government’s website at https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/information-on-coronavirus/current-restrictions.
Those returning from abroad are to follow the self-isolation guidelines issued by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL. The self-isolation guidelines can be found here: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases-and-vaccinations/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates/transmission-and-protection-coronavirus/quarantine-and-isolation
A 14-day self-isolation period is not required from persons coming from countries for which restrictions on border traffic have been lifted. In addition, business travel to these countries is allowed, as are visitors from these countries. The same definition of policy applies to students’ training/internship periods or other studies-related travel abroad (such as field courses or other excursions). Student exchange, however, is cancelled for the entire autumn semester.
Necessary visitors from abroad (opponents, visiting researchers, students arriving from abroad, etc.) will be welcomed while observing the guidelines on self-isolation issued by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, THL. The latest information on the countries deemed safe for travel can be found on the Finnish Government’s website at https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/information-on-coronavirus/current-restrictions.
- Domestic travel and visits are allowed.
- It is prohibited to enter the campus for 14 days after returning from a “high-risk country”.
Coronavirus testing is done in public health care. In accordance with the Infectious Diseases Act, coronavirus testing is a task assigned to public health care, and public health care is also the only route via which contact tracing can be carried out, or any possible quarantines imposed.
The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare has a website where the symptoms of COVID-10 are listed: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases-and-vaccinations/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates/symptoms-and-treatment-coronavirus
The University of Eastern Finland recommends that everyone experiencing symptoms reach out to public health care and get tested as soon as possible.