The coronavirus situation has changed again. The epidemic area currently covers mainland China, Iran, South Korea and Italy, and now also Tyrol in Austria and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia in Germany. The epidemic areas are reassessed on a daily basis. Please see the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) for the latest information: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates
The university monitors the situation. An internal group of experts has discussed the following guidelines, under the lead of experts from Terveystalo and Kuopio University Hospital.
Travel to the epidemic area is prohibited, those returning need to stay at home for 14 days
Travel to the epidemic area is not allowed at the moment, not for business or for studying. People returning from the epidemic area (the university’s students and staff, and staff and pupils of the teacher training school) must study or work from home for 14 days. If you suffer any symptoms of a respiratory infection, contact your local health centre, occupational health care outlet or on-call clinic by telephone. You will receive more detailed instructions on how to proceed.
The same 14-day stay-at-home period applies to situations where someone you live with (a member of your family, roommate, etc.) returns from the epidemic area. In this case, too, you will need to study or work from home.
Travel in general should be carefully reconsidered at the moment. The instructions issued by THL and the travel advisories issued by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs need to be followed.
Trips that have already been booked should primarily sought to be cancelled or postponed.
The applicability of the university’s travel insurance policy to situations caused by the coronavirus has been explained in detail on Yammer (https://www.yammer.com/uef.fi/#/Threads/show?threadId=576256817569792). Students who discontinue their student exchange should primarily use their personal travel insurance. Further information can be obtained from the university’s Student and Learning Services.
No visitors from the epidemic area
At the moment, the university does not welcome visitors from the epidemic area. Visits that have already been agreed upon must be postponed or, if possible, held via videoconferencing solutions.
Meetings and conferences organised at UEF
At the moment, the university does not welcome visitors from the epidemic area. In addition, conference participants should follow the instructions issued by authorities in their home country. If it is possible to postpone an international conference, this is recommended. Videoconferencing solutions are also strongly recommended.
There is no need to impose any limitations on conferences or meeting aimed at domestic participants. However, it is wise to reserve the right to cancel, should the development of the coronavirus situation so require. In addition, it is wise to note and to remind people that they should refrain from attending public events when they are feeling ill or have symptoms.
Handshaking should be avoided at this moment.
There is no need to change the university’s practices relating to remote work. Employees who belong to the risk groups can contact the occupational health care to discuss their personal situation.
Teaching on campus and group work
Teaching on the university’s campuses continues normally. The facilities are cleaned efficiently, and hand sanitizer will be made available on the campuses. People who are feeling ill should not attend lectures (this concerns students and teachers alike).
THL has opened a hotline for questions relating to the coronavirus, tel. 0295 535 535. The hotline is open on weekdays at 8–21 and on Saturdays at 9–15. The hotline is intended for general queries about the virus; not for health counselling nor for referrals to care in case of acute symptoms.