This website features information about the arrangements caused by the coronavirus situation at the University of Eastern Finland. Information on studying, teaching arrangements and student exchange during the coronavirus pandemic can be found in Kamu.
The foundation of all activities is to ensure that it is safe to work and study at the university. This calls for responsible behaviour from us all.
All doors of the campus buildings are open as per normal. The following basic instructions on safety and hygiene on campus must be followed by everyone (students, employees, visitors):
- Only come to the campus when you are healthy.
- The first thing to do when you arrive is to wash your hands. You should also wash your hands regularly throughout the day. Use hand sanitizer in situations where washing your hands is not possible.
- Keep a safe distance to others.
- The general mask recommendation has been lifted, but masks may still be used according to personal discretion. See guidelines below.
- No handshaking, no hugging.
Important COVID-19 news and bulletins
Support channels for students and staff
Public health care is currently overwhelmed by the demand for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing. In many parts of Finland, Joensuu and Kuopio included, the health authorities have had to abandon large-scale contact tracing and imposing of quarantines. At the moment, testing mainly focuses on social and health care settings, and on people in at-risk groups. This means that not everyone will be able to get an official COVID-19 test and test result in public health care anymore. For them, an at-home coronavirus antigen test is a good alternative.
The most important thing is to stay home if you have any symptoms of a respiratory infection. If a person in an employee’s household is infected with COVID-19 (and the employee hasn’t been infected recently), it is recommended that the employee remains working from home, if this is possible in view of their work. If the employee doesn’t have any symptoms, there is no need to cancel in-person teaching. A person exposed to the coronavirus may come to the campus, but it is hoped that they exercise caution and stay at home if experiencing any symptoms, even minor ones. At-home testing is also recommended. If the employee has symptoms, they should not come to the workplace before the symptoms have clearly subsided. A person infected with COVID-19 must avoid contacts to people outside their household for at least five days from the onset of symptoms.
Documents pertaining to the health of a student shall be secret (Act on the Openness of Government Activities, Section 24).
In accordance with the Act on the Protection of Privacy in Working Life, data concerning the employee's health may only be processed by persons who prepare, make or implement decisions concerning employment relationships on the basis of such data. The employer shall nominate such persons or specify the tasks that involve processing of the data concerning health. Persons who process such data may not disclose any of it to a third party either during or after their employment relationship. Further information on sick leaves and on the processing of data concerning the employee’s health can be found in Heimo (UEF login required).
All restrictions on gatherings are lifted also at the University of Eastern Finland. The number of people attending teaching, exams and public examinations of doctoral dissertations is no longer limited.
The university’s facilities can be reserved by students and student associations for leisure time events, provided that safety instructions given by the authorities and the university are observed. The facilities can be used in the evenings until 10 PM.
The university also accepts external facility reservations. External facility reservations are accepted while observing national recommendations, recommendations issued by the regional coronavirus working group, and orders given by the Regional State Administrative Agency.
Facilities and facility reservation forms of the University of Eastern Finland.
The general recommendation to use masks has been lifted at the University of Eastern Finland with three exceptions, following the instructions issued on 14 April 2022 by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). THL recommends the continued use of masks in public indoor spaces and public transport
- for those seeking treatment or a test because of a suspicion of coronavirus infection
- for those with symptoms of respiratory infection, who nevertheless have essential reasons to move outside their home
- for those who know that they have been exposed to COVID-19 (for example, infections have been diagnosed in the family) and for whom close contact with outsiders cannot be avoided.
For those with symptoms, the primary recommendation is always to stay at home until the symptoms have passed. Despite the updated recommendations, each person may continue to use masks at their own discretion, for example, in indoor areas in which averting close contact is difficult.
In traineeships/internships the security guidelines of the training place (e.g. a hospital) must be adhered to.
THL press release: THL general mask recommendation is being lifted, but masks may still be used according to personal discretion
More information: COVID-19(at)uef.fi
The University of Eastern Finland's recommendation on remote work ended on 15 February 2022. The university's guidelines on multi-location work are available in Heimo (UEF login required).
If a person in an employee’s household is infected with COVID-19 (and the employee hasn’t been infected recently), it is recommended that the employee remains working from home, if this is possible in view of their work. If the employee doesn’t have any symptoms, there is no need to cancel in-person teaching. A person exposed to the coronavirus may come to the campus, but it is hoped that they exercise caution and stay at home if experiencing any symptoms, even minor ones. At-home testing is also recommended. If the employee has symptoms, they should not come to the workplace before the symptoms have clearly subsided. A person infected with COVID-19 must avoid contacts to people outside their household for at least five days from the onset of symptoms.
With regard to children under 10 years of age, the employee also has the right to temporary childcare leave in accordance with the terms associated with that leave (more detailed information on temporary childcare leave is available in Heimo, UEF login required).
Guidelines on remote work can be found in Heimo (UEF login required).
The restrictions and recommendations in force in Finland during the coronavirus epidemic can be found on the website of the Finnish Government.
Please visit the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare for information on the latest updates and symptoms caused by the coronavirus.
A national coronavirus helpline has been established and can be contacted free of charge by calling 02 9553 5535. The helpline is open on weekdays from 8.00 to 21.00 and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 15.00. The service is available in Finnish, Swedish and English. A chat function is also available. The service provides general information about the coronavirus, not advice pertaining to health in general. Read more about the national coronavirus helpline on the website of the Finnish Government.
In order to ease the load on health care services, staff members can go on sick leave for 7 consecutive days by informing their supervisor and obtaining their permission, and no visit to the occupational health care is required. The same also applies to situations where an employee’s child is ill.
Occupational health care at Terveystalo is normally available to those who are entitled to occupational health care also when they are working remotely from home. We have made the Doctor Chat available 24/7, so it is possible to contact a physician via the chat also on the weekends. In line with our agreement with Terveystalo, in-person appointments with physicians are not available on the weekends.
Terveystalo’s Nurse Chat is now also available to the staff of the University of Eastern Finland. The Nurse Chat is intended for taking care of medical issues that do not necessarily require the attention of a medical doctor. The chat is available 24/7.
The university hasn’t made coronavirus testing available via Terveystalo: Public health care takes care of testing according to its own policy definitions. Please remember that if you suspect having contracted the coronavirus, do not visit any health care outlet without calling there first. Because the situation is unusual, it is important to follow bulletins issued by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare and to understand the fact that occupational health care now serves patients in an order of priority. Let’s work together to make sure that those in need of urgent care also get it.
The coronavirus situation can cause anxiety. If this is the case, students can turn to the Finnish Student Health Service, and staff members can seek support from Terveystalo.
A comprehensive list of providers of help and support can also be found in Kamu.
Coronavirus vaccinations are only available through public health care.
According to THL's guidelines, a third dose of vaccine can be given to people in at-risk groups 3-4 months after their second booster; for others, 4-6 months after the second booster. A third vaccine is unnecessary if the person has received two doses of vaccine and has been infected with the coronavirus.
Staff members can get their vaccination on working time (both in public health care and in occupational health care).
To learn more about Finland’s vaccination programme and vaccination order, please see the website of the National Institute for Health and Welfare.
The services available on the campuses are open. Physical distancing and the university’s guidelines on hygiene must be adhered to in all facilities.
Information about the services of the campus libraries can be found on the library’s website.
Self-study facilities and IT classrooms, as well as Oppari’s customer service points and service desks in Joensuu and Kuopio are open. Student and Learning Services’ customer service desks are also open; more detailed information on the opening hours can be found in Kamu.
Campus restaurants are welcoming both students and staff. For restaurant-specific opening hours and menus, please see the websites of the campus restaurants.
The university’s cleaning services adhere to the instructions issued by the Finish Institute of Occupational Health.
Sykettä Sports Services' classes will be published on Sykettä University Sports Services’ own channels and on Yammer.
The University of Eastern Finland’s recommendation on online teaching ended at the end of of January 2022. On-campus teaching will be resumed gradually, while taking pedagogical viewpoints and restrictions into consideration. The university’s facilities, including the library and Exam facilities, are open normally.
The number of people attending public gatherings is no longer limited.
Student exchange will also be possible in the spring semester 2022 (exchange students and degree students, both incoming and outgoing) while observing the guidelines issued by the university, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as the guidelines of the destination countries and host institutions.
More detailed information on studying, teaching arrangements and student exchange is available in Kamu.
Rapid changes in the COVID-19 epidemic situation are still possible. For this reason, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, THL, recommends that all who travel abroad should be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before travelling. Further information on travel recommendations is available on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare.
Work-related travel to high-risk countries for COVID-19 must, as a rule, always be avoided. A business trip to a high-risk country is possible only for a very well-justified reason, and the necessity of the trip for the performance of the university’s duties must be carefully assessed with the supervisor. The university's travel insurance provider Protector has updated its travel insurance and employee secondment insurance policy. Falling sick with the coronavirus while on travel is now eligible for reimbursement under Protector’s travel insurance. Read more about Protector’s travel insurance and employee secondment insurance policy.
Visitors from abroad are welcomed while observing the authorities’ guidelines on entry restrictions and health security measures. Further information on entry restrictions and health checks is available on the Finnish Government website.
Staff mobility (both incoming and outgoing) is permitted in the spring semester 2022 while observing the guidelines issued by the university, the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare, and the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, as well as the guidelines of the destination countries and host institutions.
Do you have questions about how COVID-19 affects activities at UEF?
Please feel free to send your questions to one of the following email addresses. Do note, however, that your own supervisor or teacher is often the best source of information.
General questions about COVID-19, Occupational Health and Safety Manager Katri Hartikainen: katri.hartikainen (at) uef.fi
Questions relating to international affairs: international (at) uef.f
General questions relating to studying: opiskelu (at) uef.fi
In questions specific to your situation, please turn to your teacher.
Questions relating to technical issues: servicedesk (at) uef.fi