Due to the recent spike in COVID-19 infections throughout the Netherlands, the Dutch government announced new measures yesterday intended to halt the further spread of the novel coronavirus. The measures are far-reaching and will greatly affect our daily lives. Here at the university, we must also deal with stricter measures. We are writing to explain what will change and what will not.
You are expected to wear a face mask when you walk around inside university buildings. Once you have taken a seat, you may remove your mask, but if you get up and move around, you must put it back on. This is a stricter version of the previous urgent recommendation to wear a face mask.
The face mask rule applies not only at the university, but now also in other public buildings such as libraries, shops and train stations. Moreover, it applies to everyone aged 13 and over.
Activities on campus such as exams, practicals and tutorials can still take place. This also applies to graduation symposiums and ceremonies, these events may continue as long as only staff and students are in attendance (with a maximum of thirty people). Others are prohibited from coming to campus for this purpose.
The Dutch government has given the educational institutes a lot of freedom to allow teaching activities to continue. We are pleased with the recognition of the importance of education, but we also understand the tremendous responsibility that comes with this freedom. In recent months, we have been working hard to ensure that all rooms comply with the strict requirements for ventilation and social distance between study and work spaces. Changes have been made on campus and agreements reached to prevent crowds and busy flows of traffic.
We kindly ask you to do your part as well. Please do not come to campus unless strictly necessary. You should work and study from home unless there is no other way. If you do have to come to campus, please abide by the rules and follow the instructions given by members of staff.
The new measures affect the availability of facilities on campus. The restaurants will remain open, but are restricted to staff, students and other campus users. Due to the new restrictions for playing sports, fewer activities will be taking place in and around the sports centre in the coming period. Go to the website of the Sports Centre to find out which activities will continue, and which will be cancelled.
The success of the current restrictions hinges on how well people comply with the rules. The basic rules continue to apply: maintain social distance of 1.5 metres, avoid crowded areas, wash your hands frequently and cough and sneeze in your elbow. You should also wear a face mask as often as possible, adhering to guidelines for proper use. If you have any symptoms you must stay home and get tested. Do you have shortness of breath and/or a fever? Then you and all of your housemates must stay at home.
We understand that this is a very challenging time for everyone. Working and studying without physically being able to see and talk to each other is quite drastic and not always very pleasant. Stay in touch with each other and support each other so together we can make it through these challenging times.