The number of new cases in Finland has started to decline in the past few weeks. The issued recommendations and restrictions and the closing of restaurants have clearly been effective measures and prevented infections. The epidemic seems to be phasing down, but we still need to remember that the situation can worsen very quickly if there is a significant increase in contacts and if the virus is able to spread among the population more freely.
During the past few weeks, Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus team and preparedness team have worked on an exit plan to recover from the coronavirus crisis. We have decided to begin easing the current coronavirus restrictions according to a premeditated step-by-step plan starting from 10 May. The now made changes will be valid until further notice, and the preparedness team will make a decision on their continuation by the end of May.
Even though the university will begin to ease some of the restrictions gradually, it does not mean that we can suddenly stop following the established safety guidelines. Everyone who uses the university facilities must continue to follow the safety guidelines, and most importantly, everyone must wear a face mask inside all of our facilities, unless they have a health-related reason that prevents it. Everyone in the university facilities must maintain a safe distance to each other and take care of good hand hygiene.
A summary of the changes:
- The maximum group size in teaching is 30 people (previously max. 10 people). A permission granted by the dean upon application as well as a safety plan are required for groups of over 10 people.
- Teaching in a group of over 30 people can be organised only if the university’s preparedness team grants a special permission for this.
- A maximum of 10 people (previously: 5 people) can visit the exhibitions held in the Academy of Fine Arts galleries at the same time.
- It is possible to organise team meetings outside in groups of max 10 people.
- Kuopio and Seinäjoki Units have the possibility to welcome outside attendees to their events connected to artistic activities in accordance with the attendee limits set by the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus-related guidelines as of 10 May
Use of facilities
Entrance doors to Uniarts Helsinki’s facilities will stay closed, and access is possible only with a personal access key.
Everyone should still avoid staying in the facilities without a justified 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 follow the university’s safety guidelines, take care of good hand hygiene and keep a safe distance to other people when visiting the facilities.
- What will change: no changes to the previous guidelines concerning the use of facilities.
Teaching is organised remotely whenever possible with consideration to the competence requirements (e.g. lecture-based teaching). Contact teaching will be organised primarily through one-to-one or small-group instruction. More detailed instructions are provided by the academies.
The maximum group size in teaching is 30 people, in addition to which teachers who are acting as instructors or examiners of the participating students as well as members of the required technical staff are allowed in the space.
Teaching in a group of over 30 people can be organised only if the university’s preparedness team grants a special permission for this. The application for the permission must include a safety plan.
- What will change: The maximum number of people in contact teaching increases from 10 people to 30 people.
Artistic activities will continue at the Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy without outside attendees in the audience. There can be a maximum of 10 performers in concerts and performances of the Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy, 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.
At the Academy of Fine Arts, a maximum of ten people can visit the galleries’ exhibitions at the same time.
Kuopio and Seinäjoki Units have the possibility to welcome outside attendees to their events connected to artistic activities in accordance with the restrictions issued by the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Uniarts Helsinki does not organise events with invited guests during the ongoing coronavirus situation.
- What will change: The maximum number of visitors in the galleries’ exhibitions increases from five people to ten people. Kuopio and Seinäjoki Units have the possibility to welcome outside attendees to their events connected to artistic activities.
For the most part, other work will continue remotely until 31 July 2021.
Meetings and team gatherings will be held remotely or outdoors in groups of max. 10 people. No meetings will be arranged indoors.
- What will change: Staff can gather together outdoors in groups of max. 10 people.
Travelling and hosting visitors
Travelling and hosting visitors are still not recommended.
The university community does not make work-related or study-related trips abroad. Travelling in Finland is possible for staff if the supervisor of an employee has proposed the trip and the dean of the academy (or as regards the shared units, the vice rector) has then granted their permission for it.
Hosting foreign visitors requires a special permission granted by the dean (as regards the shared units, a permission by the vice rector in charge of the unit). Welcoming foreign visitors is difficult, because entry into Finland is only permitted for necessary and justified reasons, such as studies or family-related reasons. The decision to allow entry is made by the Finnish Border Guard during border checks. There restrictions will be in force until 25 May. Go to the Finnish Border Guard website for more detailed information and instructions. Finnish citizens always have the right to return to Finland.
- What will change: no changes to the previous guidelines.
Entrance examinations to be held on campus in accordance with the approved safety plans
The spring 2021 admissions process is currently ongoing at Uniarts Helsinki for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes. Most of the process will take place remotely, but on-site entrance examinations will also be arranged for some of the application options for bachelor’s and master’s education at the Sibelius Academy and Theatre Academy and for application options at the Junior Academy.
On-site entrance examinations are arranged according to a strict safety policy, and safety plans have been compiled for the entrance examination of each application option, and the plans have been discussed and approved by the university’s preparedness team.
During the dates of the on-site entrance examinations, it is best to avoid unnecessary moving around on campus.
Visiting the library
The libraries of the Theatre Academy and Academy of Fine Arts will be closed due to moves starting from 1 May 2021. The Sörnäinen campus library will open in September.
The Töölö campus library at the Helsinki Music Centre is open for the Uniarts Helsinki community but closed to outside visitors. The library will be closed in July.
The validity of the current guidelines concerning the Kuopio library will be extended until 31 May. Customer service will be available in the library on weekdays between noon and 14:00. Access to the library after the closing of the customer service is possible with a library card and a new four-digit PIN code. The library will be closed in June-July.
The following student restaurants will be open to a limited extent:
- Kookos: open Mon-Fri 10:30–13:30
- Tempo: open Mon-Fri 11:00–13:30
- Academy of Fine Arts: open Mon-Fri 11:00–13:00
The current guidelines concerning e.g. safe distances and the use of group-specific dining schedules will stay valid until further notice.
The following student restaurants are closed:
- Student restaurant at the Helsinki Music Centre
The opening hours of the restaurants may change in May. The most up-to-date information on the opening hours is available on the websites of each restaurant.
Spring graduation ceremonies
The preparedness team has decided that the academies that arrange graduation ceremonies during the spring term arrange them as remote events. The spring graduation ceremony of the Theatre Academy will be postponed until the autumn term. The decision on the autumn term’s graduation ceremonies will be made later. We will also look into the possibility of organising a big joint graduation ceremony for all the students who graduated during the coronavirus pandemic when the situation allows it.
Personnel’s coronavirus testing to be carried out in public health care as of 1 May 2021
Starting from the beginning of May, coronavirus testing is no longer part of the occupational health care service offered by Uniarts Helsinki. Personnel must seek coronavirus testing provided by their own municipality. The possibility of the occupational health care provider to start offering vaccinations is being looked into.