New corona measures are ahead. Starting Saturday, November 6, all students and staff must again wear mouth masks in the hallways of university buildings. The rules will also apply to the University Sports Center. However, the UvA is not so fond of the idea of a possible introduction of a coronavirus pass at universities.
It almost seems like we’re having a flashback to those weeks just after summer, when we were advised to work at home and everyone had to wear a mouth mask in the UvA hallways. The measures, after being repealed about a month ago, will apply again now. But now there are no rules when it comes to maximum group sizes in lecture halls.
The corona pass will be required for catering establishments such as Crea and the Oerknal, like before, and it will also be required for anyone who wants to go to the University Sports Center. You will need the QR code for both indoor and outdoor sports, and even if you don’t play sports but simply want to support others, you have to show your code.
QR code for lectures
The government announced that it would investigate whether there should be a corona pass for universities and colleges. This would mean that only vaccinated students or students who tested negative on the coronavirus would be able to attend lectures on campus.
The UvA is not very fond of that idea, says a spokesperson. ‘The basic accessibility of education is important. Education is a right, we do not want to exclude anyone.’ He continues: ‘Practically speaking, the introduction of a corona check in education is virtually impracticable. Unlike a museum or swimming pool with one entrance door, the UvA has eighty buildings with a multitude of entrances and high peak loads that quickly create queues. The cost of checking the QR codes quickly runs to 75,000 euros a week.’
Digital and on-campus
Furthermore, this may lead to a demand for parallel digital education. And that means that teachers have to do double work, which is unfeasible given the current workload, says the spokesperson. ‘These major disadvantages must be weighed against the added value of the introduction of the pass, and this value is currently low.’ The vaccination rate among students and staff is around 90 percent, he says, referring to research conducted in Wageningen and at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.
The operational management is set up for extra cleaning and checks on ventilation, and the basic rules are well observed within the UvA buildings, he emphasizes. ‘We have not yet seen any coronavirus outbreaks originated at the university recently.’