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Coronavirus update 29 September 2020

The number of coronavirus infections in the Netherlands is currently rising quickly. In an attempt to halt the spread of the virus, the Dutch government has decided to implement additional measures. These new measures were announced yesterday and also apply to the University of Twente.

Education will continue according to plan

The measures announced by the national government clearly emphasise that education is exempt. That means that education will continue as planned in the foreseeable future. Activities such as exams, practicals and tutorials can still take place. This also applies to graduation symposiums and ceremonies, provided a maximum attendance of 30 persons is set. Needless to say, the applicable general rules for hygiene will continue to apply and we must remind each other to abide by these rules.

Research

Research that requires the use of on-campus facilities can continue on site. Of course the existing frameworks and rules will continue to apply. We kindly request that you do not come to the university for research that does not explicitly require the use of campus facilities.

Inaugural lectures and PhD ceremonies can also take place as scheduled in the coming period, on the condition that the restriction of no more than 30 people in attendance is observed.

Other work on campus

We ask you to be extra critical in deciding whether working on campus is necessary. For some work the decision is easy, because you require the use of on-campus facilities. Also staff members who are unable to work from home due to personal circumstance, may remain working on campus.

The decision for other activities is less black and white and you will need to decide together whether presence on campus contributes substantially to the quality of the work. Some training courses and teaching activities can take place online but some cannot. Please note that for the next three weeks we strongly advise against planning team building activities in person.

The 40 per cent occupancy of the campus buildings is still a guiding principle, as it reflects the capacity based on the 1.5-metre distancing rule.

Restrictions on social activities

The figures published by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) show that the number of infections among young people is rising faster than other age categories. The government has cautioned young people to take extra care and to comply with the existing guidelines. Not always an easy task.

The University of Twente asks that students act consciously and responsibly both on and off campus. This also means that activities that make it difficult to comply with the 1.5-metre distancing rule should not be scheduled.

Duration of the measures

The government has decided to impose these stricter measures intended to limit the spread of the virus for an initial period of three weeks. They will then be evaluated in terms of their effect. The better we comply, the greater the chance that the measures will be eased again in the near future.

All relevant updates from the national government can be found on their website. Information on testing in case you or someone you live with has symptoms can be found there.

L.P.W. van der Velde (Laurens)
Press relations (available Mon-Fri)