What changed on 29 September?
Well – at last it’s arrived. Today, many of the restrictions introduced during the corona pandemic have been lifted, and the recommendation that we work from home has been withdrawn. But what actually happens now? What will the autumn be like?
We won’t immediately return to the situation as it was before the pandemic. This is a summary of the current situation at LiU, as of 29 September. Joakim Nejdeby, team leader of the crisis management team, explains in more detail what it means in practice that many of the restrictions and recommendations issued by the government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have been withdrawn.
Are all students and all co-workers at LiU to return to campus now? Will remote teaching end, and will people stop working from home?
“No, not immediately. We are following the advice from the Public Health Agency of Sweden that return should take place gradually. At LiU, this means that the situation will differ between different operational units. It also means that the well-established advice is still valid: wash your hands, stay at home if you have any symptoms, and get tested if you suspect covid19 infection.”
Will our students return to campus at full strength? Will they come back to study, take exams and immerse themselves in student life again
“It’s true that we will see a whole lot more students on campus. And, in fact, when it comes to exams they are largely already carried out on campus. But for many people, the plans laid for the autumn term have not been changed, and elements of remote teaching remain. This is how it will continue for a while.”
And student life, with all the parties?
“We expect that this will increase. But throughout the pandemic our students have shown admirably good judgement, and I’m sure that it will take place in a well-organised manner.”
The co-workers at LiU: can they freely arrange conferences, undertake service-related travel, and hold physical meetings?
“Well, in principle, yes, but it’s up to the good judgement of each individual. We do, however, expect that people continue to act cautiously, by, for example, continuing to follow the recommendations from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and taking into account the situation in the country they want to travel to.”
“As I said, we will gradually transition to a greater physical presence on the campuses during the autumn. But it’s important at the same time to be prepared to reconfigure to a situation with more restrictions again, if the pandemic doesn’t develop as we are hoping.”
So when will everything be back to normal?
“In theory, when all the restrictions and recommendations have been withdrawn. But in practice, we know that we have learnt a great deal during the pandemic, not least about teaching using remote methods and working with the aid of our digital systems. We have gained knowledge and experience during the pandemic about what works well remotely, and what works best in physical meetings. In October, we are expecting a decision that regulates the possibility to carry out a certain amount of work using remote methods. More information will come as soon as the decision has been taken.”
Many people have valued the opportunity to work from home. Will they be able to continue to do so?
“This must be determined in consultation with the immediate manager. Many employers are open to increased possibilities to work from home, but at the same time it’s important for us that any change occurs in a way that does not negatively affect, for example, contact with our students. We’ll have to wait and see what the decision from the university management says about this.”
And finally – do you have an “pandemic advice” that we should still follow?
“Oh yes! Keep aware of the level of spread of infection, stay at home if you feel ill, wash your hands thoroughly and often, and – most importantly at the moment – get yourself vaccinated if you haven’t already done so.”
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2021-09-29