Coronavirus – frequently asked questions for co-workers
(Updated 1 September 2020)
Many students and co-workers have questions relating to the coronavirus. We present here answers to the most frequently asked questions related to LiU. The page will be updated with further questions as they arise.
Keep up-to-date, follow the news reports, and make it a habit to check back here regularly.
Q: What are the guidelines travel related to work?
A: All international work-related travel is cancelled for as long as the recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs affect the planned travel.
Even if the Ministry for Foreign Affairs has not advised against the travel, an assessment is to be made in each case based on three criteria: whether it is necessary and appropriate to travel in the current circumstances, whether the travel can be carried out safely, given the restrictions that are in place, and whether it is possible to return to Sweden rapidly if this becomes necessary. This assessment is to be carried out in consultation with your immediate superior, and a final decision taken by the head of department.
For domestic work-related travel that is deemed necessary for operational reasons, the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden regarding the use of public transport are to be followed, or one of LiU’s rental cars is to be used. Everyone must take responsibility to maintain social distancing, and journeys must not be undertaken by anyone who is ill. Anyone displaying symptoms and planning to travel must arrange to be tested for COVID-19. Contact the 1177 medical information service telephone. (2020-08-12 15:36)
Q: I have questions about the cancellation of service-related travel or service abroad, cancellation insurance and insurance for service-related travel. Where can I find information about these topics?
A: More information is available on the LiU travel portal (log in with your LiU ID)
Q: What happens if I’m on service-related travel and can’t return home due to the coronavirus?
A: This is governed by Chapter 10, Section 2 of the agreements on terms of employment (Villkorsavtalen). This means that a salary reduction is not to be made, and that you have the right to subsistence allowance.
Q: I’m planning to travel on holiday. What applies in this case?
A: LiU encourages all co-workers who are planning private travel, both domestic and foreign, to consider carefully what travel they should undertake, given the risk of the spread of infection. LiU follows the recommendations of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs. Everyone must take responsibility to maintain social distancing, and journeys must not be undertaken by anyone who is ill. Commuting to and from work is currently not affected by the advice given above, given the fact that you are not ill.
Q: I have just come home from a region with an ongoing infection of coronavirus. What should I do?
A: LiU follows the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden. If you are not showing any symptoms, you can work as usual. If you notice any symptoms, you should submit a sickness notification and stay at home. If you develop any respiratory tract symptoms such as coughing, breathing difficulties or fever, AND have been in a region with ongoing infection, you should telephone the medical information service on 1177 for assessment and, where relevant, to arrange taking samples. If you have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed to have the disease caused by coronavirus, COVID-19, you should also telephone the medical information service on 1177 for assessment and, where relevant, to arrange taking samples.
Co-workers should contact their immediate manager before returning to the workplace, such that the manager can make a risk assessment based on the spread of infection.
Conference, seminar, meeting
Q: I am planning a conference/seminar/meeting. What should I do?
A: Groups that meet physically must not have more people than the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden for public gatherings. At the time of this decision (8 June 2020) this is 50 people. This means the principal rule is that meetings, events with overnight stays, conferences, seminars, trade fairs, and other events that gather more people than the recommended limit must be cancelled, postponed or held using digital methods.
Q: What does gradually increase physical presence mean?
A: Co-workers are to gradually increase physical presence at the workplace, following a decision made in consultation with their immediate manager. Physical distancing must be applied by all on LiU premises.
It will still be necessary to use some remote methods in the autumn, both to counteract the spread of infection in general, and to reduce the number of people on campus.
We will continue to follow carefully the recommendations of the Swedish government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden. If the recommendations are made more strict before the start of the autumn term, or during it, it may be necessary to carry out operations using remote methods to a higher extent than it was possible to predict. All managers and co-workers must be prepared for the eventuality that LiU must continue with operations in distance mode to a higher extent than planned.
Q: What general restrictions apply during the period after the start of the autumn term, as we gradually return to on-campus operations?
A: Physical and social distancing must be followed. This means that no more than half of the available area of premises should be used, and it must be possible to maintain a distance of around two meters between people. We will attempt to reduce the risk of linking different contact groups, and that entry and exit to premises takes place in a manner to ensure that as few people as possible interact when entering and leaving.
Groups that meet physically must not have more people than the recommendation of the Public Health Agency of Sweden for public gatherings. The current recommendation set by the Public Health Agency of Sweden is 50 people. This means the principal rule is that meetings, events with overnight stays, conferences, seminars, trade fairs, and other events that gather more people than the limit must be cancelled, postponed or held using digital methods.
These restrictions come into force at the start of the autumn term and will remain in force as long as they are justified. The final permitted date of validity, however, has been set to 31 October 2020 in accordance with to the current decision. But, the restrictions may be prolonged during the latter part of the autumn term. (2020-08-04 08:30)
Q: Where can I find the poster for tips and advice to prevent the spread of infection?
A: The poster Protect yourself and others from infection contains tips for preventing the spread of infection and is available in several languages. You can find it for printing on the Public Health Agency's website
Q: What applies when it comes to sickness notification? And what applies for me belonging to a risk group?
Q: Can I take equipment from my workplace home?
A: You can take your computer, monitor, docking station, mouse and keyboard to your home. This requires that you arrange transport yourself from the workplace to your home and back again when necessary. You cannot take your desk home with you. LiU will not pay for transport, neither can it provide transport. If your situation is such that you cannot work from home, you may continue to work at your normal workplace. Consult your immediate manager.
Q: When I am distance working. What applies to me?
A: We have published a web page with information. This page contains general recommendations for distance working, information about insurance and advice, and support for those who are going to attend or participate in a distance meeting.
Q: I belong to a risk group. What applies in this case?
A: Co-workers who are themselves members of a risk group are, after agreement with their immediate manager, to be given the opportunity as far as possible to work remotely if and when their duties permit. If this is not possible, and you are compelled to refrain from work, you can apply for temporary benefit from Försäkringskassan. This means that anyone who is a member of a risk group and must refrain from working in order to avoid infection can apply for benefit to cover a maximum of 90 days during the period 1 July-31 December. If you have been awarded such benefit, inform your immediate superior.
- More information about the allowance for members of risk groups is available at the Försäkringskassan website
Q: Am I covered by an insurance when I work from home?
A: All employees are covered by a contract that gives compensation in the event of personal injury. This contract functions as insurance, and gives compensation in the event of occupational injury. It is valid also for distance work – on the condition that you and your manager have agreed that the work is to be carried out at home.
It is your responsibility to take out home insurance that will give compensation in the event of, for example, fire or burglary.
Q: I have a document that my manager must sign. How can I arrange this in distance mode?
A: Each department, division, office or corresponding organisational unit is responsible for establishing procedures for the reception and signature of documents in distance mode. This may be, for example, that a manager travels to the workplace on certain predetermined days to sign documents that have been left in a prearranged place.
At the moment, LiU does not have established procedures or available technical solutions for secure electronic signatures, but work is ongoing in the Swedish higher education sector to develop these. This would make the process easier in distance mode.
In this context, it is important to point out that our operations continue in distance mode. Thus, for example, the internal post system at LiU is functioning as normal.
The regulations that apply in general for the management of incoming post are laid down by the decision Hantering av inkommande post – riktlinjer och rekommendationer (ref. no. LiU-2009-00697).
Incoming post addressed to an individual, for example, is to be given an arrival stamp but not opened by any other person. It must be forwarded to the addressee. Co-workers for this reason should be encouraged to officially authorise the registrar, their manager, or another person to open mail addressed to them, if they plan to be away from their place of work for a significant period.
External parties should be encouraged to address post, as much as possible, to the department/unit and not to a person.
Q: We have received enquiries for help with materials and premises. What should we do?
A: All enquiries from external bodies, such as Region Östergötland, about help with materials and premises related to the spread of the coronavirus are being coordinated by Irene Rydberg of the Properties Division, University Services. This will ensure that the enquiries we receive are dealt with in a coordinated manner, and that we have the resources needed to meet them.
Send email to email@example.com with “Corona” in the subject line.
Work ciritical for society
Q: How can I know if I perform a vital societal function and thus have the right to receive childcare if schools and preschools are closed?
A: Most of the co-workers at LiU are not covered by the regulations that the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) adopted on 26 March 2020 and that make it possible for a parent or guardian to receive childcare even if the government or accountable authority decides to close schools, preschools, after-school clubs or other teaching activities.
There may be some few functions at LiU that are covered by the regulations. LiU is currently drawing up a list of such functions. If you have not been contacted, but feel in doubt and need an assessment that you can use when in contact with a school, preschool, etc., contact your immediate manager.
As employer, LiU is responsible for assessing whether the operations its employees participate in can be counted as vital for society in the manner specified by the regulations, and whether they are necessary to maintain vital societal functions at an acceptable level.
Contact Region Östergötland if you have joint employment between LiU and Region Östergötland, and are wondering whether the work you do for Region Östergötland can be considered as vital for society in a manner that gives you the right to childcare.
- MSB - Föreskrift om omsorg för barn med vårdnadshavare i samhällsviktig verksamhet (document in Swedish)
Q: How can I know that everyone who is registered for the exam is a member of the course room in Lisam and will be given access to the exam?
A: Check that those who are on the list of registered students in the web-based examination registration system TAL are also registered in the course room in Lisam. If any of the registered students are missing, add them to the Lisam course room. If you don´t have access to TAL, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How can I find out how many students have registered for the exam and whether or not any students with special needs have registered?
A: When the registration period has expired, contact email@example.com to obtain information about the number who have registered and students with special needs.
Q: How can I report results in Ladok when the exam has been changed?
A: See updated information about Ladok at the Ladok för anställda-page
Q: Am I allowed to be on campus, even though students and co-workers are encouraged to study and work remotely?
A: During the autumn term, the university has gradually moved to on-campus operations with restrictions in place to prevent the spread of infection.
LiU card is required to enter all buildings. For students and co-workers with a LiU card the university premises are open weekdays, 05:00-23:00 (Campus US 06:00-22:00. Campus Lidingö weekdays 06:00-23:00 and weekends 08:00-18:00). Some entrances, however, will remain open during the periods that visitors and the general public have access. These include entrances to libraries and Info Centre.
(8 September 2020 10:00)
Q: Are the libraries on campus open?
A: Information about library opening hours and the borrowing periods is available at the link below.
Q: Will the campus buses continue to run, even though students and co-workers are encouraged to work from home?
A: The campus buses are operating but the maximum number of passengers on the Campus Bus will be halved until further notice, to increase distances onboard. It’s a good idea to have alternative travel plans ready.
Spread of infection
Q: How do you take care of the cleaning of toilets, for example?
A: Adapted cleaning efforts are made as needed. Already this spring, the cleaning services at LiU increased the cleaning of toilets from once a day to twice. Other surfaces such as door handles, lift-control buttons, staircase handrails are also cleaned more often and more carefully. This also applies to sinks in student kitchens and personnel rooms. We will continue to do so for as long as necessary or until other directives are received. (2020-09-01)
Q: I don’t really understand what distance we should be keeping from each other. A swan, a bike or two meters from the centre of where I’m sitting to the centre of the neighbouring place. What is the correct distance?
A: Physical distancing must be observed by everyone on LiU premises. We have taken as a guideline that not more than around 50% of the capacity of a room is to be used, and that seats should be separated by at least one arm length. If possible, a separation of approximately two meters should be used.
Also when meeting outdoors, we must remember to keep our distance – separated by a swan or a bike, i.e. approximately two meters.
(20 August 2020 12:00)
Q: I have read that soap and hand disinfectant are the best way to combat the coronavirus. Why hasn’t LiU purchased hand disinfectant and placed it in all toilets?
A: LiU has previously decided not to purchase hand disinfectant in the event of an epidemic or pandemic, since this is unnecessary when soap and water are readily available. The latter give effective protection against dirt, and dampen the spread of infection. Hand disinfectant can lead to other complications when used too liberally. Furthermore, we must protect ourselves from the risk that hand disinfectant is used for other purposes than the intended.
Q: How can I contribute to reducing the spread of infection?
A: Follow the guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Sweden:
- Wash your hands often
- Catch coughs and sneezes in the crook of your arm
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Stay at home when you are ill
Q: What has LiU said about the use of face masks to reduce the transmission of coronavirus?
A: We follow the recommendations of the Public Health Agency of Sweden, including with respect to face masks. The Agency maintains that, regarding the efficacy of face masks against the transmission of coronavirus, the scientific basis is weak. The Agency also states that an improperly used face mask can increase the risk of transmission, and lead to people with mild symptoms moving about in society.
Students are referred to Info Centre
Employees are referred to their immediate manager
You are also welcome to ask questions by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Managers are referred to Joakim Nejdeby, who leads LiU's central crisis management organisation, email@example.com
Region Östergötland (the authority responsible for health services)
- News about the coronavirus (only in Swedish)
The Public Health Agency of Sweden
Emergency information from Swedish authorities
Ministry for Foreign Affairs
Last updated: 2020-10-09