Dear staff and students and friends of Uniarts Helsinki,
as you surely know, the COVID-19 situation in Finland has not improved during the first weeks of the year. Case numbers are still high, and the mutated coronavirus variant that spreads more easily poses a risk of rapid increase in infections.
We have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that the situation remains difficult this whole spring. This is unfortunate and I fully understand that it is straining for the whole community. The biggest hit is taken by our students, whose difficult situation has been brought to my and the deans’ attention this past week. A warm thank you to the Student Union for passing along the message and for your development suggestions!
We have also received a lot of feedback on how restrictions that are valid for short periods of time increase uncertainty and stress: there is a constant need to change our operations, and long-term planning is not possible.
After reviewing the situation as a whole, the university’s preparedness team has decided to extend the validity of the current restrictions concerning the use of facilities, teaching, studies, research, artistic activities and leisure-time activities until 9 May 2021. If the COVID-19 situation improves, we will gradually lift restrictions already before May. To alleviate the effects of these restrictions, we hope to find measures that support students in this stressful situation.
The current practices concerning travelling and inviting visitors will stay valid until 14 March 2021.
The restrictions concerning the use of the library will stay the same until 31 March 2021. The possibility of offering restricted opening hours in April will be looked into by the end of March.
Read more about the current restrictions below.
Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus guidelines
Restrictions concerning artistic activities, libraries and leisure-time activities do not concern Uniarts Helsinki’s units in Seinäjoki and Kuopio, because for the time being, the hospital districts where they are located have not entered the spreading stage of the pandemic. Artistic activities in Seinäjoki and Kuopio are organised in accordance with the regional restrictions on public events.
Use of facilities
The entrance doors to Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities will stay closed until 9 May 2021. Access is possible only with a personal access key, as has been the policy before, too.
In principle, teaching is organised remotely until 9 May 2021.
Contact teaching can be organised according to the currently valid guidelines on special permissions. The academies review their existing guidelines on contact teaching on a regular basis and update them if deemed necessary based on the situation and collected feedback.
Studying in the university’s facilities is possible as long as the safety measures are followed, as has been the case so far, too.
In principle, research is carried out remotely until 31 July 2021.
In its meeting on 12 February, the preparedness team decided that public defences of doctoral dissertations will be held remotely until 9 May 2021, and the only persons on site in the university facilities are the doctoral candidate, opponent, custos and the required service personnel.
Artistic activities and public events
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.
Travelling and inviting visitors
Granting of travel and visitor permissions has been suspended until 14 March.This suspension concerns both domestic and international work-related travelling.
However, trips to the university’s facilities in Kuopio and Seinäjoki are still allowed for the personnel.
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 31 March 2021. The possibility of offering restricted opening hours in April will be looked into by the end of March.
The restrictions do not concern the university’s library in Kuopio.
Leisure-time activities of both individuals and groups will stay suspended in Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities until 9 May 2021.
Study-related practice is not considered leisure-time activities.
The Kookos gym is open for a maximum of four users at a time. User data is recorded in order to track possible infection chains.
Campus restaurants Kookos and Tempo will be closed in week 8 (22–28 February). Otherwise, the restaurants are open on weekdays between 11:00 and 13:30. The campus restaurant on Elimäenkatu is open on weekdays from 11:00 to 13:00. The restaurant at the Helsinki Music Centre will stay closed until further notice.
Graduation ceremonies in the spring
Unfortunately, we will have to prepare for the possibility that the spring’s graduation ceremonies cannot be organised as open, public events. We will continue following the development of the pandemic, and the university’s preparedness team will make a final decision on graduation events by 16 April 2021.