How coronavirus affects the University

This article summarises the most important principles and guidelines, and it will be updated on a continuous basis. Updated on 15 April, 2021.

The development of the coronavirus epidemic will be followed continuously, and the instructions will be updated if necessary. We will prepare for possible sudden changes in the situation during the academic year, in which case we will react quickly and make updates on the university’s coronavirus guidelines. 

Important links

Most recents corona related updates:

  • Domestic travel allowed for staff as of 1 May  
  • New special permissions for allowing groups of over 10 people will no longer be granted.
  • It must be ensured that there are no close contacts in teaching.
  • The maximum number of people in concerts and performances is 10 people, in addition to which teachers who are acting as instructors or examiners of the participating students as well as members of boards and the required technical staff are also allowed in the space.
  • Only the doctoral candidate, opponent, custos and staff members who are necessary for the organising of the public defences or examinations of doctoral dissertations are allowed to be physically present on site.

Updated 15 April, 2021. Below you can find all of our COVID-19 guidelines, which have been updated based on the latest guidelines.

University’s on-call coronavirus coordinator

If you receive a positive test result in a coronavirus test, inform the university’s on-call coronavirus coordinator without delay:

  • call the number 02 9447 4100 (no text-messages)
  • korona@uniarts.fi

Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus-related guidelines

Restrictions concerning artistic activities, libraries and leisure-time activities do not concern Uniarts Helsinki’s units in Seinäjoki and Kuopio unless the hospital districts where they are located have entered the spreading stage of the pandemic.

Use of facilities 

Entrance doors to the university’s facilities will stay closed until 9 May 2021, and access is possible only with a personal access key.

During this time of stricter COVID-19 guidelines, our facilities are open only for carrying out studies, work and related support functions connected to the university’s education, research and artistic activities. Outside visitors who are taking part in the aforementioned activities must be met up with at the entrance of the building.

People in the facilities should avoid staying in the facilities without a valid reason. As a rule, everyone uses a face mask in the university’s facilities unless they have a health-related reason that prevents it. Everyone is expected to take care of the university’s safety guidelines and keep a safe distance to each other when visiting the facilities. 

Studies 

Students can study in the university facilities as long as they follow the safety guidelines.

Students who fall into high-risk groups must be ensured the possibility to complete studies remotely, when possible. The aim is to arrange teaching remotely also if a student’s close family member is at higher risk from coronavirus and the student feels that they cannot participate in contact teaching because of it. The decision on these kinds of arrangements is made by the head of the unit in charge of organising teaching (dean or the academic director of the Open Campus) or a person authorised by the head of the unit.   

Teaching 

In principle, teaching is organised completely remotely until 9 May 2021.

Teaching that is impossible or unreasonably difficult to organise remotely in order to complete the study attainment will be arranged on campus in accordance with the current permission policy. The maximum group size in teaching is 10 people, on top of which teachers that are acting as instructors or examiners of the participating students as well as members of the required technical staff are allowed in the space.  

However, if the permission has been granted before 8 March 2021, the dean may allow a reasonable deviation from the 10-person limit on a case-by-case basis while taking into account the size of the space and possibilities of arranging the course in alternative ways. New special permissions for allowing groups of over 10 people will no longer be granted, however.

When planning teaching, group sizes must be kept small and groups should be kept separate from each other.

It must be ensured that there are no close contacts in teaching. Close contact refers to physical contact or interaction face to face with someone or in the same space at distances of less than two metres for a period of over 15 minutes.

In teaching and artistic activities, students and employees must wear a mask, unless they have a health-related reason that prevents it. 

If complete avoiding of close contact and wearing of face masks prevent the attainment of learning objectives of a study unit, alternative health-related safety precautions must be considered for the study unit, and if they are taken care of, the dean may grant a special permission to allow a deviation from the general guidelines.

Support services are provided only for tasks that are connected with studies, e.g. performance examinations.

Individual practice sessions and independent artistic work related to studies are allowed in the university’s facilities.

Teachers will be ensured the possibility to teach remotely in situations where this is possible when considering the proper management of the job duties in question. Supervisors consider the learning objectives, nature of the job and safety guidelines and decide whether remote teaching is possible. 

Junior Academy studies at the Sibelius Academy are organised in accordance with the same principles that apply to bachelor’s and master’s studies.

Other work 

Other work will continue mostly remotely until 31 July, 2021.

The recommendation is that staff members working in the University Services have the possibility to work remotely some part of the week when this is possible considering the proper management of job duties. 

Uniarts Helsinki’s meetings will be organised remotely.

If an employee is not able to work in the university facilities, the work is performed completely remotely. Supervisors consider the nature of the job and the university’s guidelines and decide whether remote work is possible. Teams are encouraged to discuss work arrangements, duties and objectives regarding remote work so that a smooth and well-planned management of job duties is possible also if the coronavirus situation changes.   

When an employee works remotely, their duties may temporarily differ from their usual job duties. Employees discuss changes to the job duties with their supervisors. If it is not possible to perform the work remotely, and there are no alternative work duties that can be assigned, the HR team should be contacted concerning the matter.  

Artistic activities and invitational guests

Artistic activities in Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy will continue without outside people in the audience until 9 May.

A maximum of 10 persons can be present in the performance halls at a time, and this number includes the members of examination boards, examiners and required technical staff. If the total number of people in the event is over 10 people, the decision on the organising of the event is made by the academy dean, as has been the case so far, too.

At the Academy of Fine Arts, exhibition activities continue in accordance with the existing practices until 9 May 2021: a maximum of five persons at a time can visit the galleries’ exhibitions.

Artistic activities entail also artistic events that are related to teaching and research.

Uniarts Helsinki does not organise events with invited guests during the ongoing coronavirus situation.

Research 

Research will be carried out mostly remotely until 31 July, 2021.

Research personnel will be ensured the possibility to work in the university facilities in situations where this is necessary when considering the proper management of the job duties in question. Supervisors consider the nature of the job and the university’s guidelines when making decisions on remote work. 

It is recommended that research conferences and symposiums are organised remotely. Public defences or examinations of doctoral dissertations will continue to be organised remotely, and only the doctoral candidate, opponent, custos and staff members who are necessary for the organising of the event are allowed to be physically present on site. 

Visits and travels 

Travelling in Finland will be possible for staff starting from 1 May, if the supervisor of an employee has proposed the trip and the dean of the academy (or as regards shared units, vice rector) has then granted their permission for it. In domestic travel, the safest mode of transportation must be used, however, and the same safety guidelines that apply on campus must also be followed in work duties during the trip.   

Exchanges agreed for the spring term are carried out if the destination school or the student does not cancel the exchange. Applicants can participate in on-site entrance examinations in accordance with the safety plan of the application option. Applicants are personally responsible for following the instructions and requirements concerning entry into the country, testing and possible quarantine.

The university’s policy concerning travelling and inviting guests does not apply to applicants who are participating in entrance examinations. Applicants can participate in on-site entrance examinations in accordance with the safety plan of the application option. Applicants are personally responsible for following the instructions and requirements concerning entry into the country, testing and possible quarantine.

Leisure-time activities

Leisure-time activities of both individuals and groups in Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities will stay suspended until 9 May 2021. Study-related practice is not considered leisure-time activities. 

Organising joint recreational events in the university facilities

The preparedness team has decided that due to the ongoing coronavirus situation, using Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities for student events or other recreational events is not allowed.

We also recommend that staff and students refrain from meeting one another in joint recreational events indoors outside of the university’s facilities.

Library

Only Uniarts Helsinki students, researchers and staff members can use the libraries in Helsinki, and access to the library facilities is allowed only with a personal access key. This restriction will stay in force until 9 May 2021. The Academy of Fine Arts and Theatre Academy libraries will be closed due to renovation starting from 30 April, and they will reopen in autumn 2021. 

The restrictions do not concern the university’s library in Kuopio.

Restaurants

The following restrictions apply to Kookos and Tempo restaurants:

  • The seating capacity for customers in the restaurants has been limited, and the available customer seating is indicated with chairs. Moving the chairs is not allowed.
  • Visitors to the Kookos restaurant must follow the dining schedule of their specific student group. 
  • Everyone must wear a face mask whenever moving in the restaurants.
  • Everyone must maintain a safe 2-metre distance to other people.
  • Diners must leave the restaurant as soon as possible after eating.

The student restaurants at the Helsinki Music Centre and Academy of Fine Arts will remain closed until further notice.

Face masks

Students and employees should wear a face mask, unless they have a health-related reason that prevents wearing a mask.

Preparedness team and coronavirus team

In accordance with its preparedness plan, Uniarts Helsinki has a preparedness team led by Rector Kaarlo Hildén.   

To keep the university updated on matters involving the coronavirus, its members also include Vice Rector Lauri Väkevä, Director of Communications and External Relations Eveliina Olsson, Senior Head of Academic Affairs Sanna Kotajärvi-Söderholm, Senior Facilities Manager Antti Halm, Service and Personnel Manager Mikael Vänttinen and Vice Rector Jaana Erkkilä-Hill.

The secretary of the team is Occupational Health and Safety Manager Jyri Pulkkinen, who can also give further information on how to prepare for the coronavirus outbreak: jyri.pulkkinen@uniarts.fi050-5722058  

By decision of the Rector, Uniarts Helsinki has set up a new coronavirus team tasked with compiling hands-on coronavirus-related instructions that affect the university’s daily operations and artistic activities. The team is also responsible for making decisions on practical arrangements during the coronavirus epidemic. 

The team’s members are Senior Head of Academic Affairs Sanna Kotajärvi-Söderholm, Technical Manager and Vice Occupational Health and Safety Manager Marko Myöhänen, Technical Manager and Occupational Health and Safety Manager Jyri Pulkkinen, Facilities Manager Matti Rautio, Service and Personnel Manager Mikael Vänttinen, and Communications Planner Mirva Niemi. The team’s work is steered by the university’s emergency preparedness team.