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Coronavirus: updates

VU Amsterdam is monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus closely and will post updates here when they affect our education, research and business operations.

UPDATE: TUESDAY 20 JULY - 16.00 hrs

On 14 July, Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced new measures for working from home and ventilation during the corona debate in the Lower House. Below we indicated per part what this means for VU Amsterdam.

Working on campus 
Working from home is the norm again for the time being. Our message to all employees is to work at home unless there is no other option. Go to vu.nl/thuiswerken (working from home) for tips on how to do this properly and healthily. Discuss what this means for you with your manager.

Ventilation
The current rules for air ventilation in the Buildings Decree and the applicable national guidelines will continue to apply. The Dutch government has announced that there are no indications that adjustments are necessary. Therefore, there are no new rules for ventilation in buildings. Our systems comply with rules for ventilation in the Buildings Decree and with the RIVM guidelines. Our buildings are not all the same. One building is older than the other; the other is fully connected to an air-conditioning system, another is partially connected to an air-conditioning system. We apply other air treatment systems (for example in combination with fume cupboards) in laboratories and specific research environments than in offices and educational environments.

 You will find more information on ventilation in our buildings on our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Start academic year 2021-2022
On 13 August, the Dutch government will take a final decision on the measures at the start of the new academic year. On Monday 16 August, VU Amsterdam will explain and communicate the cabinet decisions. At that time a decision will also be made about the VU introduction days. Naturally, we follow the situation closely. 

An update will be posted on this page when new developments occur.



===

UPDATE: FRIDAY 18 JUNE - 19.30 HRS

The Dutch government has announced further relaxations of the corona measures. VU Amsterdam follows the guidelines of the national government. There will be a change in the following measures:

- Use of a face mask 
As of 26 June, wearing a face mask is no longer compulsory if a distance of one and a half metres can be maintained.

- Working on Campus 
The necessity criterion and the "working at home" advice will cease to apply as of 26 June.

- Preparations for education in the academic year 2021-2022 & VU introduction days. 
We have a green light for our educational activities in September without the one-and-a-half metre rule and without restrictions such as group size.

Use of a face mask as of 26 June
As of 26 June, wearing a face mask is no longer compulsory if a distance of one and a half metres can be maintained. VU Amsterdam has been set up as a one-and-a-half-metre university, which means that this distance can be observed everywhere. This applies to entrances, corridors, lifts, classrooms, and workplaces. The measure to wear a face mask is therefore abolished. Voluntarily wearing a face mask does not give any extra freedom, such as abandoning the one-and-a-half metre distance in lifts.

Working on Campus as of 26 June
The necessity criterion and the "working at home" advice for working on campus will lapse as of 26 June. This means that working activities - although still at 1.5 metres - can take place on campus. As long as the one-and-a-half metre rule applies, space will remain a limiting factor and - to prevent congestion - we will not be able to use all workplaces and facilities on campus at the same time. Discuss what this means for you with your manager.

Preparing for the introduction days & education in the academic year 2021-2022
It looks like we have a green light for our educational activities in September without the one-and-a-half metre rule and without restrictions such as group size. We assume that our campus can be fully used again for education and, with the flexible timetable that was put in place earlier, we are preparing for a scenario without limitations.

We have been working on a flexible timetable in which campus is fully used again for education, while possibly scaling up or down to a '1.5m timetable'. We have prepared various scenarios and campus space can be used as effectively as possible, while the safety and accessibility of the campus remains guaranteed.

On 13 August, the Dutch government will take a final decision on the measures at the start of the new academic year. A decision will also be made on the VU introduction days. It looks like the education/study-related activities can also take place without one and a half metres and without restrictions on group size. VU Amsterdam will of course monitor the situation closely.

In case of new developments, we will update this page.

Corona - FAQ

Read the answers

Archive updates

  • UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 21 APRIL - 17.00 HRS

    Starting April 26 corona measurements for higher education will be relaxed. For VU Amsterdam this means that starting April 28, we will be offering more physical education at one and a half metres, in addition to site-bound education (practicals). Unfortunately, for research and work on campus, there are no relaxations in the short term. The Dutch government has also announced that it will withdraw curfew. This also means that the adjusted opening hours of the buildings will lapse. Check the regular opening hours of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (starting 29 April) here

    Starting April 28, the following measures will apply:

    For students:

    • Besides online education, educational activities on campus will be possible again starting April 28. Check rooster.vu.nl and Canvas for information regarding your study programme. Exams take place online and will continue.
    • Site-bound education (e.g. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative will continue.
    • Students who do not have a suitable place at home to take an exam can request an exam place. 

      For employees:
    • Work at home, unless there is no other way.
    • Our campus is available to employees whose presence on campus is necessary for the organisation of physical educational activities on a one-and-a-half metre basis
    • (Site-bound) education that is timetabled on campus will continue
    • Site-bound research continues to be scaled down to the strictly necessary level
    • Studios for recording education are available

    For everyone who visits VU Amsterdam:

    • Follow the rules for working and studying at VU Amsterdam
    • Bring proof of registration or a student card
    • Employees must take their employee pass to enter our buildings
    • If you experience any symptoms, please stay at home and get tested at a GGD test location.

    Educational activities and internships 
    Starting April 26 corona measurements for higher education will be relaxed. For VU Amsterdam, this means that as of April 28, we will be offering a combination of online and on-campus education at one and a half metres, in addition to location-bound education. It goes without saying that all possible space on campus will be used to the best advantage of students. It has been discussed with the Dutch government that universities use timetables previously made for these education periods. In practical terms, this means that not every student can come to campus one day a week, as the government describes it. Check timetables.vu.nl and Canvas for information about your programme.

    Self-tests for students and employees at VU Amsterdam
    The basic principle is and remains: if you have any symptoms, stay at home and get tested at a Municipal Health Service (GGD) test location. In addition, the government expects that the large-scale use of preventive self-testing in higher education will help to further curb the spread of the virus. The government is organising the distribution of self-tests to students and staff centrally via www.zelftestenonderwijs.nl. The expectation is that you can order your test online from the beginning of May. This website also contains information on the use of self-tests.

    Taking a self-test is always voluntary and having a negative test result is not a prerequisite for students to gain access to education. It is therefore not compulsory and it is one's own responsibility to use a test. Students do not need to show proof of a negative test in order to gain access to the educational institution.

    For more information see:

    • Q&A's from the central government about Self-Testing in higher education– click here
    •  Website for ordering self-tests and information on how to use the tests. 

    Studying and taking exams on campus
    Our message remains the same for studying on campus: if you can study at home, then do so and don't come to VU Amsterdam. We assume that you make a careful assessment yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. The study places are available for individual study. Studying in groups is possible via the various online possibilities.

    Exams
    All planned exams will continue. For students who prefer to take their exam on campus, VU Amsterdam offers on campus exam places. These places have to be reserved

    Internships
    For internships, the rules that apply to the sector/industry in which the internship is done are leading. If these activities continue, the internship will also continue. VU Amsterdam does everything in its power to ensure that students are not delayed in their studies or are delayed as little as possible. That is why the research internships at our campus will continue.  

    Education outside VU Amsterdam
    Students who also follow education at other institutions than VU Amsterdam are advised to keep an eye on the information of both educational organisations. 

    Working at campus
    Working from home remains the norm. That is why we repeat our urgent appeal to all employees to work from home, unless there is really no other option. This call also applies to (study) associations and employee/student participationA number of study associations and FSRs have previously made agreements with the faculty about working on campus; they are asked - in light of the lockdown - to coordinate any necessary work on campus with the faculty. Check vu.nl/workfromhome for tips on how to do this in a good and healthy way.

    Recording and live streaming of education
    Teachers who want to record their online lessons or stream them live can still reserve the teaching studios for this purpose. The initial teaching rooms with hybrid facilities will also remain available - if reserved - for streaming and recording teaching.

    Research on campus
    Research activities on campus can continue if they are strictly location based. Research is scaled down to the minimum necessary level. Within this, the following prioritization applies on campus:

    • Interns, researchers and supervisors who are needed to make the internship safe
    • PhD students - priority within this group will be judged on the possibility of delay
    • Postdocs

    Meetings and events 
    Due to the current lockdown, it is still not permitted to organise physical events and all physical activities remain online that do not directly contribute to the organised education or site-bound research. This also applies to activities of study associations, promotions, orations, graduation ceremonies and farewell speeches; these can take place online or can be postponed.

    University Library
    Books and publications remain available for teaching and research. Check the UB website for more information.

    Please note! Students and employees of ACTA and VUmc follow the information they receive from their own faculties.

  • UPDATE: TUESDAY 13 APRIL - 20.00 HRS

    On Tuesday 13 April the Dutch government postponed the decision for the partial reopening for higher education for the end of April. This means for teaching, research and working on campus all existing measures will stay in effect. As soon as the Dutch government has made a final decision in reopening higher education more information will follow on this page. Students and employees will be informed by email.

  • UPDATE: WEDNESDAY 24 MARCH - 13.00 HRS

    The government announced on Wednesday 23 March that the lockdown will be extended until 20 April 4.30hrs. The measures for education, research and working on campus which were already taken to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will remain in effect. 

    However, there is the prospect that at the end of April, while retaining one and a half meters and with the use of self-testing, we can partially restart education on campus. In the coming weeks, together with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, we will investigate what this means for education on campus. Detailed information about the use of self-testing and rapid testing will follow soon. The start of education in period five (April – May) remains online for now, with the exception of location-based education. 

    On March 31, the curfew will start at 10 p.m. instead of 9 p.m. The opening hours of our buildings will then be adjusted. For now, the current opening hours will stay in effect. 

    Here you find a summary of the current measures:

  • UPDATE: THUESDAY 9 MARCH - 11.30 HRS

    The government announced on Monday 8 March that the curfew will be extended until 31 March 4.30hrs. The measures for education, research and working on campus which were already taken to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will remain in effect. A summary of all the current measures can be found in the previous update of 23 February.  

    In preview to April, the government indicated that there might be an expansion possible for higher education. Of course taking into consideration the developments on the number of Covid-19 infections. We follow this closely. We are very much looking forward to this, but nevertheless, we must continue to appeal to you to stick to the current guidelines in order to get the virus under control. This will increase the possibilities the relaxation for higher education can continue. The next press conference is scheduled for March 23. We then hope to be able to share more detailed information what these options will entail for VU Amsterdam.

  • UPDATE: THUESDAY 23 FEBRUARY - 20.00 HRS

    The government announced on Tuesday 23 February that the curfew will be extended until 15 March 4.30hrs. Unfortunately this means no relaxations. The measures which were already taken to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will remain in effect.

    Here you find a summary of the current measures: 

    For students

    • Online education and exams continue. Check Canvas for information about your study programme
    • Location-bound teaching (e.g. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative will continue.
    • Students who request an exam place can make use of this. These places are intended for students who do not have a suitable place at home. If an exam ends after 20:00, an exception applies to these students under strict conditions. They must fill in a ‘curfew statement’ from the central government. VU Amsterdam will also provide a statement to allow travel after the curfew starts. The students concerned will be informed of this, after they have registered for an exam place 
    • For internships, the rules that apply to the company where you do your internship are leading. If your internship requires you to walk the streets at night, you must discuss this with your internship company; they will provide you with an employer's statement 

    For employees:

    • Work at home, unless this is impossible
    • Location-bound teaching (e.g. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative will continue
    • Location-bound research is still scaled down to the strictly necessary level
    • Studios for recording education are available within the changed opening hours
    • Employees who need to be on campus during the curfew due to vital or business critical processes have received an employer's statement. This process is carried out via the corona coordinator of the faculty/department and is provided by the HRM Service Desk. It is not possible to request a statement independently from the HRM Service Desk. Please also note that you should bring a ‘curfew statement’ from the central government. This is your own responsibility

    For everyone who visits VU Amsterdam:

    • Follow the rules for working and studying at VU Amsterdam
    • Bring proof of registration or student card
    • Employees must take their employee pass to enter our buildings
    • Due to the curfew, our buildings will close at 20.00 hrs during the week and in the weekendsat 18.00hrs. Students and staff who need to be on our campus should take their travel time into account so that they can get home in time.

    Studying and taking exams on campus
    Our message remains the same for studying on campus: if you can study at home, then do so and don't come to VU Amsterdam. We assume that you make a careful assessment yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. The study places are available for individual study. Studying in groups is possible via the various online possibilities.

    Exams
    All planned exams will continue. For students who really can't take an exam at home or in their own environment, VU Amsterdam offers a limited number of exam places. These places have to be reserved. We assume that you will make a careful assessment yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. If an exam ends after 20:00, an exception applies to these students under strict conditions. They must fill in a ‘curfew statement’ from the central government. VU Amsterdam will also provide a statement to allow travel after the curfew starts. The students concerned will be informed of this.

    Educational activities and internships
    Remote education is the norm during lockdown. This applies to all education with the exception of location-based education (o.a. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative. Students will be informed on Canvas.

    Internships
    For internships, the rules that apply to the sector/industry in which the internship is done are leading. If these activities continue, the internship will also continue. VU Amsterdam does everything in its power to ensure that students are not delayed in their studies or are delayed as little as possible. That is why the research internships at our campus will continue. 

    Education outside VU Amsterdam
    Students who also take courses at institutions other than VU Amsterdam are advised to keep an eye on the information provided by both educational institutions.

    Working at campus
    Working from home remains the norm. That is why we repeat our urgent appeal to all employees to work from home, unless there is really no other option. This call also applies to (study) associations and employee/student participationA number of study associations and FSRs have previously made agreements with the faculty about working on campus; they are asked - in light of the lockdown - to coordinate any necessary work on campus with the faculty. Check vu.nl/workfromhome for tips on how to do this in a good and healthy way.

    Recording and live streaming of education
    Teachers who want to record their online lessons or stream them live can still reserve the teaching studios for this purpose. The initial teaching rooms with hybrid facilities will also remain available - if reserved - for streaming and recording teaching.

    Research on campus
    Research activities on campus can continue if they are strictly location based. Research is scaled down to the minimum necessary level. Within this, the following prioritization applies on campus:

    • Interns, researchers and supervisors who are needed to make the internship safe
    • PhD students - priority within this group will be judged on the possibility of delay
    • Postdocs

    Meetings and events
    Only meetings related to location-based education (o.a. practicals) may take place. Activities of study associations, promotions, orations, graduation ceremonies and farewell speeches can be given online or they can be postponed. These measures will remain in effect for at least the duration of the current lockdown.

    University Library
    Books and publications remain available for teaching and research. Check the UB website for more information.

    Please note! Students and employees of ACTA and VUmc follow the information they receive from their own faculties.

  • UPDATE: THUESDAY 9 FEBRUARY - 09.00 HRS

    The government announced on Monday 8 February that the curfew will be extended until 3 March 4.30hrs. The measures which were already taken to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will remain in effect. Due to the curfew, our buildings will close at 20.00 hrs during the week and in the weekends at 18.00hrs. Students and staff who need to be on our campus should take their travel time into account so that they can get home in time. 

    You can find a summary of the current measures in our previous update of 22 January.

  • UPDATE: TUESDAY 12 JANUARY - 19.30 HRS

    The government decided to extend the lockdown for higher education for at least until Tuesday 9 February. As a result, the measures which were already taken 16 December to restrict the spread of the coronavirus, will remain in effect. 


    The extension has not only an impact on our education and research, but also for us personally. It is obvious that the measures in general and the lockdown in particular, have an impact on the well-being of students and staff. Some of us have to combine study or work with the extra care for family members or the social isolation that we can unintentionally end up in. These are examples of situations where you can get stuck or perhaps need help. Then go to your manager or student counselor find more information on student wellbeing or working from home mentally healthy.

    Below is a summary of the current measures.

    For students:

    • Online education and exams will continue. Take a look at Canvas for more information on your study programme
    • Location-based education (a.o. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative continues
    • Students who have reserved a study place to take an exam can still make use of it
    • Study and examination places on campus are only available for students who do not have a decent study place at home
    • For internships, the rules that apply to the sector/industry in which the internship is done are leading. If these activities continue, the internship will also continue

    For employees:

    • Work from home, unless this is really not possible
    • Location-based education (o.a. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative continues
    • Research will stay scaled down to the strictly necessary level
    • Studios for recording education remain available

    For anyone visiting VU Amsterdam:

    • Stick to the campus rules for working and studying at VU Amsterdam
    • Bring your student or employee pass to enter our buildings

    Studying and taking exams on campus  
    Our message remains the same for studying on campus: if you can study at home, then do so and don't come to VU Amsterdam. We assume that you make a careful assessment yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. The study places are available for individual study. Studying in groups is possible via the various online possibilities.

    Exams  
    All planned exams will continue. For students who really can't take an exam at home or in their own environment, VU Amsterdam offers a limited number of exam places. These places have to be reserved. We assume that you will make a careful assessment yourself and only use these places if there are insurmountable obstacles in your private environment. Students who have already booked a place, can use it.

    Educational activities and internships  
    Remote education is the norm during lockdown. This applies to all education with the exception of location-based education (o.a. practicals) for which there is no suitable online alternative. Students who follow location-based education will be informed personally.

    Internships  
    For internships, the rules that apply to the sector/industry in which the internship is done are leading. If these activities continue, the internship will also continue. VU Amsterdam does everything in its power to ensure that students are not delayed in their studies or are delayed as little as possible. That is why the research internships at our campus will continue. Students who are doing an internship at VU Amsterdam will be informed about this.

    Working at campus  
    Working from home remains the norm. That is why we repeat our urgent appeal to all employees to work from home, unless there is really no other option. This call also applies to (study) associations and employee/student participationA number of study associations and FSRs have previously made agreements with the faculty about working on campus; they are asked - in light of the lockdown - to coordinate any necessary work on campus with the faculty. Check vu.nl/workfromhome for tips on how to do this in a good and healthy way.

    Recording and live streaming of education  
    Teachers who want to record their online lessons or stream them live can still reserve the teaching studios for this purpose. The initial teaching rooms with hybrid facilities will also remain available - if reserved - for streaming and recording teaching.

    Research on campus  
    Research activities on campus can continue if they are strictly location based. Researchers will be informed about this by their faculty. Research stays scaled down to the minimum necessary level. Within this, the following prioritization applies on campus:

    • Interns, researchers and supervisors who are needed to make the internship safe
    • PhD students - priority within this group will be judged on the possibility of delay
    • Postdocs

    Meetings and events  
    Only meetings related to location-based education (o.a. practicals) may take place. Activities of study associations, promotions, orations, graduation ceremonies and farewell speeches can be given online or they can be postponed. These measures will remain in effect for at least the duration of the current lockdown.

    University Library  
    Books and publications remain available for teaching and research. Check the UB website for more information.

    Please note! Students and employees of ACTA and VUmc follow the information they receive from their own faculties.