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The corona measures are gradually reduced: UiB- opens its doors to more people

The Norwegian Government has issued new guidelines for further reopening of the University of Bergen´s buildings.

UiB

“Together, controlled and over time” is the government´s strategy to keep control over the number of people  infected with COVID-19, while life in Norway returns to more normal levels. 

May 7, the Norwegian Government announced at their Press Conference new information about the, next steps in the opening of Norway’s universities, university colleges and technical colleges. These campuses have been under lockdown since March 13. Since then, universities, university colleges and technical colleges have only been accessible to a very few students, within some specific subject areas, who have needed access to things such as laboratories to be able to finish their study.

The Government´s new measures are good news for students who need physical access to the university´s buildings, to avoid delays in their studies. The new measures state that students who need university access to ensure study progression will be given access.. For example, the University Faculty libraries will open up their reading areas for use no later than May 18. 

Master students who had their work place at the department or students that need to use the department´s infrastructure, need to begin by sending a request to their supervisors and the department leadership. These requests will be managed the same way those from department employees.  

Employees who need to work on campus will be given access, assuming that local infection control measures are followed, and that they have completed the infection prevention course. The Government specifies that, in cities such as Bergen, opening up should not lead to an increased burden to public transport. Employees who are dependent on public transport must  primarily work from home. This also applies to employees in higher risk groups and employees who do not need to be on campus to perform their job.

The Government has adjusted the rule of how many people can gather indoors in groups, to 20 people. They need to ensure that there is a distance of one meter between them. 

Concerning issues relating to student exchanges, UiB will wait for further clarifications from the Government and DIKU. These are expected to be given after a national meeting May 8. and the government's updated travel advice May 15. 

The university leadership will prepare a revised plan for the autumn 2020 next week, based on what the Government communicated of its long-term measures. This will include a revised plan for the framework for the autumn semester 2020. Generally it is expected that all students will be able to start on campus at the semester start, but there will be a need for adaptations in the form of digital teaching and physical education in smaller groups.

UiB's further plans are in line with the information given at the Thursday Press Conference:
“We are having a tight dialogue with Universities Norway (UHR) and DIKU (Fagskolerådet) to ensure that the students who need it the most will have access for now. 

If we continue to follow the infection control rules, then I hope we can open up more within a few weeks. Our goal is that the semester start this autumn should be carried out with open doors to the educational institutions,” says Henrik Asheim, Minister of Research and Higher Education