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After a month of higher education closures, there has been increased scope for on-campus activity since the start of this week. This update clarifies what has changed this week, looks ahead to the fourth study period and sets out what is currently known about the new obligation to wear a face mask.

As of 6 February: as much on-campus teaching as possible

The fundamental principle for the fourth study period (commencing 6 February) is as much on-campus teaching as possible. Some restrictions will remain in place – such as the maximum group size of 75 people – and no doubt some students and teaching staff will have to self-isolate. Hence we will still need to adapt and to adopt a variety of teaching formats. Your programme manager will issue information on this through Canvas or by email as soon as possible.

Booster vaccinations and self-isolating

The self-isolation rules have been relaxed. If you have had a booster jab at least one week ago or recovered from coronavirus within the past eight weeks, there is no need for you to self-isolate if you have been near someone who has tested positive. This is on the proviso that you are symptom-free, however. 

So if you not yet had your booster jab, it would be prudent to get one soon. In some cases you will not even need an appointment. Further information on vaccination centres can be found here. 

Face masks

One of the most significant changes is the extended obligation to wear a face mask: not just when walking around but also when seated, i.e. during lectures, seminars and exams.  

There are some exceptions. For instance, you may remove your face mask if: 

  • it impedes teaching or following a lesson; 
  • you are eating or drinking and have a set place to sit or stand for that purpose; 
  • you are sitting in the office, i.e. not at a teaching site, and are able to keep 1.5 metres away from others; 
  • you are unable to wear a face mask due to illness or disability, with the exemptions for this obviously remaining in force

The advice is wear a disposable face mask (preferably type 2) rather than a fabric face mask. If you forget to bring one, face masks will be available in various locations on-campus. 

What constitutes an ‘impediment’ and therefore justifies removal of a face mask for the purposes of teaching or following a lesson has yet to be clarified by the Ministry of Education. We expect to be in a position to provide more information on this at the start of next week. 


Only events directly related to education are allowed to take place, such as inaugural lectures, PhD ceremonies, graduation ceremonies, information events and lectures. Social activities such as leaving receptions and departmental drinks are not allowed.  

What else changed this week?

A summary of all changes is presented below: 

Working from home 

Unfortunately, the recommendation to work from home has not changed. Everyone is still asked to work from home, unless this really is not an option. It will however remain possible for staff who really cannot work from home to work on campus, in consultation with their supervisor.   

Difficult period 

For many students and staff, the corona period continues to be a difficult time that causes stress, discomfort and loneliness. That’s why we are asking everyone to continue to keep an eye out for each other. If you have a fellow student and colleague who is at the end of their tether, call them up, arrange to meet up or refer them to the different initiatives and options offered by the UvA for support during this period. 

Find an overview for students here.
Find an overview for staff of information for working from home here.

Rules surrounding quarantine and information on vaccinations and when you need to take a self-test 

Find more information on quarantine, vaccination and (self)testing here.

Measures on campus

If you are expected on campus, find out which additional measures are in place in order to ensure everyone's safety.

Other information

For answers to any other questions, see the FAQs on the coronavirus page.