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Wearing face masks at the University of Twente

From Monday, 17 January 2022, Face masks are required everywhere in the UT buildings. Having to wear a face mask is an important condition set by the Dutch national government for the reopening of higher education. We are happy to be able to provide physical education on the campus again, for which we think it is important that the rules that go with it are properly followed. In this mail, we explain how the face mask obligation works for different situations.

Starting point: you wear the face mask always and everywhere

The primary starting point is: you wear the face mask always and everywhere in UT buildings. This applies when you move around, but also when you are sitting or standing still. The face mask is an additional measure to keeping your distance: where you can keep 1.5 metres distance, you do so. There are situations in which the face mask may be removed temporarily. These are explained in this email.

As stated in our earlier e-mail, the face mask obligation does not apply to people who are unable to wear a face mask due to a disability (visible or invisible) or illness. And should it not be possible to wear a face mask, for example, because of safety regulations in a laboratory, then it may be removed.

Face masks in education

Students also wear their face masks during educational activities and when using the areas for self-study. Obviously, you may remove your face mask - temporarily - if you eat or drink while sitting down, and you may also remove it temporarily if this is necessary in order to be able to communicate properly with another person (sitting down).

It can sometimes happen that students will need to sit inside for long periods at a time, for example during an examination. Should the prolonged wearing of the face mask be experienced as very unpleasant, it may be removed temporarily. We do ask you to be cautious with this and to do it only when it is really necessary. Naturally, we ask you to be extra vigilant in keeping your distance when you are temporarily not wearing a face mask.

The above also applies to teachers. A teacher standing in front of a group may also do so without a face mask, so that he or she can be heard clearly in the entire room. Please take extra care to keep your distance, wherever possible.

Face masks during other activities

The home working advice still applies. Face masks are still required during other activities and work that takes place on campus. In some other situations, it is permitted to temporarily remove the face mask. For example, an employee can choose to remove his or her mask while working at the workplace, if sufficient distance can be maintained. When moving, the mask must be put back on. But even in a meeting, removing the face mask can sometimes be important in order to communicate well with each other. In that case, you may do so. In this situation, too, we ask you to be extra alert to the 1.5-metre distance.

For activities such as PhD Defences, the PhD candidate can remove his or her face mask when giving a speech, and when answering questions from the committee. The audience in the room always wears a face mask.

Wear a type II face mask

The Dutch government advises not to use cloth mouth caps anymore, but disposable type II face masks. These are (medical) mouth caps that consist of multiple layers and offer better protection. This will be stated on the packaging of type II masks, and you will also find a CE mark.

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