Questions and answers about the coronavirus

Read answers to the questions our community has asked regarding the coronavirus epidemic.

Updated 30 March at 11.19

GENERAL

Does Uniarts Helsinki collect information on coronavirus infections?   

No, it does not. When discovering a positive test result, the healthcare personnel will give the patient instructions on whom to inform about the matter.

CLOSING UNIARTS HELSINKI FACILITIES

Can I come on campus to study, practise or work during the time when the university facilities are closed between 18 March and 13 April 2020?  

The university facilities will be available for work only for persons working in specific duties. It is not possible to study or practise in the university facilities. Teachers may contact the preparedness team via email and request the possibility to prepare materials for distance teaching in the university facilities. The deans will give their academies further instructions.  

STUDIES    

I am an exchange student at Uniarts Helsinki, but now my home university is asking me to return home. Will Uniarts Helsinki make it possible for me to finish my courses through distance learning if I cannot complete them here?  

Uniarts Helsinki will arrange the opportunity to complete a course remotely through distance teaching and guidance whenever possible. More information will be available from the teacher in charge of the course.     

How will the coronavirus situation affect teaching arrangements, such as camps and retreats?  

All university activities that involve camp or retreat-like teaching will be cancelled during the spring term.   

What is the policy concerning instruments and other equipment that are in shared use?    

It will not be possible to use the instruments that are in shared use when the university facilities are closed during 18 March–13 April 2020.  

Could diploma performances and other events related to thesis projects be organised for a restricted audience?  

We are obligated to follow the instructions given by the authorities, and the policy is that all contact with other people should be avoided. Once we receive more detailed information from the authorities, we will be able to review the possibility of making special arrangements.  

I have anxiety over the uncertainty caused by the coronavirus epidemic, where can I get help?

Uniarts Helsinki’s study psychologist and university chaplain provide their support for students in matters concerning studies and student wellbeing. Learn more about the services provided by the study psychologist and the university chaplain on Artsi and read Study Psychologist’s & University Chaplain’s greetings by Outi Rämö and Hanna Similä: When the world is shaken up by a coronavirus… The support centre for students Nyyti also offers its help.

ENTRANCE EXAMINATIONS

How does the coronavirus situation affect the entrance examinations and their schedules?

The Finnish universities have prepared a joint policy recommendation, which states that the universities’ entrance examinations will be arranged in the spring. Uniarts Helsinki will also aim to operate according to the universities’ joint recommendation.

Will Junior Academy entrance examinations at the Sibelius Academy be cancelled?

The Junior Academy entrance examinations have been rescheduled; they will take place in the autumn.

LIBRARY

Is it possible to return books to the library? What happens to loans that are overdue?

Uniarts Helsinki’s library facilities are part of the university facilities, which are all closed from 18 March to 13 April 2020. It is not possible to return books or other material to the library during this time. Loans will not become overdue when the library facilities are closed due to the coronavirus epidemic.  

Can I renew my loans?

Loan due dates have been moved until April 20. The loans can be renewed here.

Can I loan printed notes and books in the self-service library?

Self-service library is also closed. Unfortunately, it is not possible to borrow printed material.

How do I access e-materials?

Is it possible for me to get a library card when the library is closed?

Unfortunately, library cards cannot be made during closure.

How do I pay my overdue fees?

Overdue fees can be paid online

How can I contact staff?

Services and guidance are available via e-mail: lib@uniarts.fi 

Direct e-mails for library units:

  • Academy of Fine Arts library: lib.kuva@uniarts.fi 
  • Sibelius Academy library: lib.siba@uniarts.fi  
  • Theatre Academy library: lib.teak@uniarts.fi 
  • Sibelius Academy Kuopio library: lib.sibk@uniarts.fi 
  • You can also contact us personally via telephone. See library staff contact information

EVENTS

Will the performances, concerts, exhibitions and other events still be organised this spring and summer?  

All events at Uniarts Helsinki and the academies between 16 March and 30 June are cancelled. Some of the cancelled events will be postponed and organised later, and some will be arranged using a digital platform. 

Even though public events have been cancelled until the end of June for now, the university recommends that its units reschedule their international conferences for the year 2021 if they were intended to take place before September.

WORK AND HR AFFAIRS

How is working time tracked when telecommuting? 

When telecommuting, the service personnel will track their working time in the Promid time-tracking software, just like normally, using the online log-in. When beginning work, one logs in, and when work is over, one logs out. If an employee takes longer breaks during the workday, they log out; everyone can use “common sense” in this matter. 

During the pandemic, it has been agreed that the service personnel can implement flexible working hours. Employees may schedule their work day in a way that is best suited for them in their life situation: if necessary, it’s possible to start very early on in the morning or alternatively focus on working in the evenings. Despite this flexibility, tasks that require cooperation and reachability should be scheduled between 9 and 17, just like before. 

Are there changes concerning flexi leave?  

If a person has accumulated excess working hours in the working time bank and their work situation allows it, the employer encourages employees to go on flexitime leave during 18 March and 13 April 2020. Employees agree on flexitime leave in advance with their supervisor.

Are wellbeing hours in use also when working remotely?  

Wellbeing hours are in use as usual.

Can I cancel my annual leave if I need to cancel my trip due to coronavirus?

Yes.   

TRAVELLING

How can I cancel my business trip?  

In case your airline doesn’t cancel your trip, you should cancel it yourself before departure. You can find instructions for this on the Instructions for cancelling trips page.  

What happens to my salary if I’m placed under quarantine while on a business trip abroad?   

Uniarts Helsinki will pay for the salary during the quarantine period, and Kela will pay a sickness allowance to the university on account of an infectious disease. Uniarts Helsinki will also pay the per diem allowance. Time spent under quarantine is considered working time, and if the employee doesn’t have symptoms, they are required to telecommute, if possible.    

How long will the travel ban be in force?   

Currently, the travel ban extends from 12 March to 31 May 2020. It’s impossible to assess how long it will ultimately last. The situation is monitored on a continuing basis. We monitor the instructions, which are updated regularly by the authorities.  

Who will pay for the expenses if an employee that is on a business trip is charged with extra hotel and flight ticket expenses due to a quarantine in a country where the travel ban is not being enforced?  

Uniarts Helsinki will reimburse the costs related to changes in the travel arrangements.   

What does “a visitor from abroad” mean? Is a musician performing in a concert considered a visitor, for instance?   

This definition applies to all teachers, performers and other visitors arriving from abroad.     

Work and study-related trips abroad have been cancelled. What are the guidelines for domestic work and study-related travel?  

All work and study-related trips should be cancelled, also in Finland.  

Is it safe to come to work and study during the coronavirus? 

The university’s facilities are open as usual, but the university recommends that its employees primarily telecommute as of 16 March 2020. Teaching and guidance will be also arranged through remote learning as of Monday, 16 March, whenever possible. Even though teaching in the arts typically involves physical guidance, all physical contact must be avoided as instructed by the authorities, both in face-to-face teaching and in other activities. 

If you’re in a high-risk group, please contact Mehiläinen (personnel) or the FSHS and your teacher-in-charge (students) and ask about the possibility to go on sick leave. 

Given the circumstances, does Uniarts Helsinki recommend employees and students to work from home? 

The university recommends that its employees primarily telecommute as of 16 March 2020. We recommend that everyone takes their laptop, phone and all necessary documents with them when they leave work on Friday, 13 March 2020. The policy concerns all personnel. 

Group instruction and events with over 10 participants will be cancelled, and teaching will be arranged through remote learning, whenever possible. When a person is sick, they are not allowed to participate in instruction or other university activities. The degree programmes will be flexible when it comes to attendance policies for teaching. 

Employees and students returning from countries outside of Finland will have to work or study remotely for 14 days during the spring term. Those who have symptoms of an illness or are sick should stay home and follow the instructions given by authorities. Whenever possible, students and staff may continue their work or studies via remote access. 

If you have a basic illness and do not have the opportunity to work remotely, please contact the occupational healthcare provider so that the doctor can assess the health risk involved in working on-site and whether a doctor in charge of infectious diseases at a municipal hospital or within the Health Care District should also assess the risk. 

Will there be any measures to prevent the virus from spreading at buffet restaurants?  

We follow the instructions issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and so far, no special recommendations have been given on buffet dining.  Take care of good hand hygiene.  

How will the university handle its administrative decision-making during the coronavirus? 

For the time being, the university does not have a digital decision-making system in use. As a result, administrative decision-making will exceptionally be conducted via email. Meetings will be held over the phone, via the Teams service or by email. 

Studies 

I am an exchange student at Uniarts Helsinki, but now my home university is asking me to return home. Will Uniarts Helsinki make it possible for me to finish my courses through remote learning if I cannot complete them here? 

Teaching and guidance will be arranged through remote learning as of Monday, 16 March, whenever possible. When it comes to teaching, gatherings with over 10 participants should be cancelled and arranged through remote learning or in smaller groups, whenever possible. 

What are your instructions concerning interviews and other on-site assignments as part of entrance examinations? 

The universities are currently cooperating to prepare a decision on the organising of entrance examinations, and they will release information on this as soon as possible. 

What should I do if somebody has symptoms of a respiratory infection? 

Those who have symptoms of an illness or are sick should stay home and follow the instructions given by authorities. A student or an employee who has symptoms of a respiratory infection should therefore be advised to go home immediately and avoid contact with other people. 

Whenever possible, students and staff may continue their work or studies via remote access. 

What are the guidelines when a person who is feeling well and doesn’t have any symptoms has interacted with a person who has been placed under quarantine due to exposure to the virus (but who hasn’t been diagnosed)? 

The people who have interacted with the person who has been exposed to the virus aren’t placed under quarantine, because they haven’t been in close contact with the infected person, unlike the person under quarantine. People who have interacted with the person who is under quarantine and has no symptoms cannot spread the virus. Being infected by a person who has no symptoms is unlikely, according to the latest information. 

What are my rights and obligations in terms of attendance in teaching and artistic activities? 

The university advises teachers to apply more flexible rules on attendance to decrease the risk of infection among students and staff. Teaching and guidance will be arranged through remote learning as of Monday, 16 March, whenever possible.  

When it comes to teaching, gatherings with over 10 participants should be cancelled and arranged through remote learning or in smaller groups, whenever possible.  

Uniarts Helsinki has a strict policy on attendance, which usually serves the nature of instruction. In the current situation, they also expose students and staff to the risk of being infected. What is the university’s policy in this? 

The university advises teachers to apply more flexible rules on attendance to decrease the risk of infection among students and staff. Teaching and guidance will be arranged through remote learning as of Monday, 16 March, whenever possible. When it comes to teaching, gatherings with over 10 participants should be cancelled and arranged through remote learning or in smaller groups, whenever possible.  

How will the coronavirus situation affect teaching arrangements, such as camps and retreats? 

All university activities that involve camp or retreat-like teaching will be cancelled during the spring term. Foreign visitors (teachers or students) will not be hosted.  

A large part of Uniarts Helsinki teaching involves physical contact. This has resulted in a very social culture, where it’s normal to be physically close to one another in daily activities. What is the university’s policy? 

All physical contact must be avoided as instructed by the authorities, both in face-to-face teaching and in other activities. Uniarts Helsinki’s teaching and guidance will be arranged through remote learning as of Monday, 16 March, whenever possible. When it comes to teaching, gatherings with over 10 participants should be cancelled and arranged through remote learning or in smaller groups, whenever possible.  

What is the policy concerning instruments and other equipment that are in shared use?  

Because instruments and other work and study equipment that are in shared use involve a risk of infection, taking care of their hygiene in a thorough manner is critical.  

The use of wind instruments that are in shared use is forbidden until further notice. There are no restrictions on the use of percussion, keyboard and band instruments or harp. All those who play instruments are asked to wash their hands carefully both before and after use.

Travelling

The university’s students and staff should not travel abroad until further notice, and a trip is allowed only in special circumstances. Who will assess and decide on the matter when it comes to students? 

The academies’ deans will make the decisions regarding special permissions. 

What happens to my salary if I’m placed under quarantine while on a business trip abroad? 

Uniarts Helsinki will pay for the salary during the quarantine period, and Kela will pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease. Uniarts Helsinki will also pay the per diem allowance. Time spent under quarantine is considered working time, and if the employee doesn’t have symptoms, they are required to telecommute, if possible. 

How long will the travel ban be in force? 

Currently, the travel ban extends from 12 March to 31 May 2020. It’s impossible to assess how long it will ultimately last. The situation is monitored on a continuing basis. We monitor the instructions, which are updated regularly by the authorities.  

Can I cancel my annual leave if I need to cancel my trip due to coronavirus? Can I carry over these leave days to be taken later? 

Yes. 

Who will pay for the expenses if an employee that is on a business trip is charged with extra hotel and flight ticket expenses due to a quarantine in a country where the travel ban is not being enforced? 

Uniarts Helsinki will reimburse the costs related to changes in the travel arrangements. 

What does “a visitor from abroad” mean? Is a musician performing in a concert considered a visitor, for instance? 

This definition applies to all teachers, performers and other visitors arriving from abroad. Employees and students returning from countries outside of Finland will have to work or study remotely for 14 days during the spring term.  

When will this guideline be in effect?  

This guideline has been in effect since 12 March, but a more careful approach is recommended in unclear situations. 

Work and study-related trips abroad have been cancelled. What are the guidelines for domestic work and study-related travel? 

The university advises its members to avoid all work and study-related travelling, also in Finland. 

Facilities

What kind of instruments are available for hand wash in the university restroom areas? 

Soap dispensers are filled regularly. Both paper towels and towel rolls are available for the drying of hands. A careful drying of hands affects hand hygiene significantly and thus plays an important role in the prevention of the corona virus infection. Independent studies have shown that a disposable cotton hand towel is the most hygienic way of drying hands.

Will the university facilities be closed?

The facilities will not be closed at this point but their use will be limited. 

Has the university intensified the cleaning of classrooms and surfaces?

All cleaning firms operating at the university have a policy that provides special guidelines for cleaning under these exceptional circumstances.