Coronavirus update 16 september ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
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Dear students and colleagues

A few weeks ago, we were excited to see whether the opening of higher education would work out well. The study associations did their best to make an attractive programme within the possibilities, and it was great to see our new students at the university. As a university, we are very proud of that. Fortunately, we can conclude that the introduction period and the opening of higher education did not lead to large clusters of infections. Our heartfelt thanks to thank everyone for their contribution.

On Tuesday, the cabinet announced new steps. As of 25 September, we in the Netherlands will no longer have to keep a 1.5-metre distance. This will put an end to the 'one and a half metre society'. We can meet each other again and move freely through the university buildings. For many of us, it will probably feel rather awkward to let go of this rule of conduct.

After all, the Covid-19 virus has not left us yet; this is something we have to take into account. It is still advisable to keep distance, although you are no longer obliged to do so. We therefore ask you to respect the wish of people who prefer to keep distance or choose to wear a face mask.

What is more, we will continue to request regular self-testing, even if you have no complaints and are fully vaccinated. If you have not yet been vaccinated yet, we advise you to do so. You can get your vaccination without an appointment at the GGD location in the Utrecht Science Park on Wednesdays.

Below, you will find information about how the relaxed rules announced by the national government are implemented at our university. The consequences for events and other gatherings at the university are currently being discussed by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the VSNU (Association of Universities). You will receive more information on this subject in the course of next week.

We wish you a pleasant continuation of the new academic year!

If you have any questions or remarks, please send an e-mail to:

Kind regards,
The Executive Board,

Anton Pijpers, President
Margot van der Starre, Vice President
Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus
Current state of affairs
1.5 metre distance no longer applies
As of 25 September, the 1.5 metre distance rule no longer applies, and you do not need to follow walking routes in the buildings anymore. However, teachers are free to make additional agreements with students, such as about keeping a distance between the teacher and students; keeping a distance in large(r) classrooms if possible; or entering and leaving the classrooms. We ask everyone to respect the distance when teachers, students or colleagues ask for it.
Maximum group size of 75 no longer applies
Also, the maximum group size of 75 persons per room will not apply anymore as of 25 September. However, in block 1 the current class timetables will remain in place, still based on a maximum of 75 people in a classroom. In block 2, all education will be scheduled without a maximum group size. For study places in the University Libraries, lifting the maximum group size means that all study places are available again from 25 September onwards. If you want to use a study place in a University Library, please reserve a place in advance.
No more face masks
As of 25 September, you will no longer need to wear a face mask when moving around in the UU buildings. It goes without saying that you are free to wear a face mask if it makes you feel more comfortable. We also ask you to respect students and colleagues chooses to do so.
Please note: the requirement to wear a face mask remains in public transport.
Working at home (only for employees)
The motto of the government is: work at home if possible and at the office if necessary. You already had the possibility to work at the office if circumstances or the nature of your work prevented you from doing so at home. You were also allowed to work on location if you were in a difficult situation at home. New is that there will be more room for everyone to work in the office. For the time being, the rule of thumb is that you can come to the office one or two days a week on average to consult, meet and work (together) in the office. How this will exactly look like, differs per faculty and service department. Faculties and service departments make their own arrangements guaranteeing a fair distribution of office occupancy throughout the week. You will be informed about the specific agreements by your faculty or service department.
Events at the university
The expiry of the 1.5-metre distance also has consequences for events and other gatherings at the university. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Science and the VSNU (Association of Universities) are currently discussing the exact details. We will inform you about the outcome in a following coronavirus update in the course of next week.
Employees and students with fragile health
Employees who are not yet able to come to work for health reasons but whose work does require them to do so, can seek a suitable solution in consultation with their manager. Teachers can turn to their education or study programme director. Students who have to miss classes with compulsory attendance due to health reasons, should discuss their situation with their study advisor. Please consult the Q&A about education for more information.
  • Am I allowed to go to university? Check the renewed corona check.
  • What to do if there is an infection? Read it here.
  • Take a corona test regularly, even if you have no complaints and you have been fully vaccinated. Order a set of free self-tests here.
  • Do you have corona complaints? Then get tested at the GGD, even if you have had the full vaccination.
  • Not vaccinated yet? You can get vaccinated on Wednesdays without appointment at the vaccination location in the USP (link to news item for employees) and (link to news item for students).
  • Take care of as much ventilation and fresh air as possible. Read what the UU does about ventilation.
  • Important also at the UU: Wash your hands and disinfect your desk and materials. Read more about hygiene measures on the website.
  • After 25 September, various corona-related materials will be removed from the buildings, such as stickers with walking routes. This will take some time.
Please stick to the basic measures:
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not shake hands
  • Open a window whenever possible

More information