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Questions and answers about the corona situation

Last updated 19 October, 2020, with information for students regarding exams in Silurveien.

Students

How do I book a reading room seat?

Seats in reading rooms are booked in TP: Room booking. Find out more about how to book a seat.

Whom can I talk to if I'm worried?

If you need to talk to someone, please contact SiO Health or a Student Pastor. All conversations are confidential and in accordance with the privacy policy, even when digital.

Should I wear a face mask?

  • The government and Oslo Municipality has made the use of face masks compulsory in public transport when it is impossible to maintain social distancing of one meter. Everyone should have face masks available when using public transport.
  • For medicine, dentistry, or other study programs entailing close contact with patients and clients, the faculties will issue orders for the use of face masks. In such cases, masks are made freely available to students and staff.
  • Note that face masks do not replace the distance rule, it is only a supplement.

I suspect I might be infected with Covid-19: What do I do?

  • If you suspect you are infected with Covid-19 you should get tested and enter quarantine to avoid infecting others.
  • All students at UiO can order a test at SiO Health. SiO Health has two test stations; one permanent test station located at Fredrikkeplassen, Blindern campus, and one mobile test station at OsloMet. You must book an appointment for testing in advance, see information on SiO's website. You can also book an appointment for corona testing via Oslo Municipality's corona telephone.

What to do if I feel sick?

If you have symptoms of respiratory infection, stay at home and avoid contact with others. If you suspect that you are infected with Covid-19, you should get tested. All students at UiO can order a test at SiO Health. SiO Health has two test stations; one permanent test station located at Fredrikkeplassen, Blindern campus, and one mobile test station at OsloMet. You must book an appointment for testing in advance, see information on SiO's website. You can also book an appointment for corona testing via Oslo Municipality's corona telephone.

What is UiO doing to prevent transmission in classrooms?

  • Students and staff must adhere to the social distancing rules both when entering and exiting classrooms and auditoriums, as well as when inside the rooms. Students and staff must clean their workstation before the lecture starts. Disinfectant tissues will be available.
  • The frequency of sanitation in common areas is increased from twice a week to daily. The sanitation includes all touch points such as light switches, door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, ect.
  • The frequency of sanitation in classrooms is increased from twice a week to daily. The sanitation includes all touch points.
  • More frequent sanitation of/checking on toilets and changing rooms – needs are considered continually, but minimum twice a day.
  • A hand disinfection stand and disinfectant is placed at the main entrance of all buildings.
  • In addition everyone must adhere to the general infection prevention rules, such as washing hands, staying home when sick, etc.

What control measures have been introduced in Silurveien for school exams?

UiO places great emphasis on infection control for examinations and has introduced several infection control measures in Silurveien. Learn more about these measures and instructions for the school exam in Silurveien for autumn 2020.

Students in the risk group for Covid-19 can contact their faculty for guidance. With documentation, you can also apply for special examination arrangements.

How do I register as a guest at open lectures at UiO?

In order to keep track of who has participated in physical lectures at UiO if contact tracing becomes necessary, everyone who is not a student in the course being lectured must register their participation.

I am in the risk group and must be extra careful – what can I do?

  • The University of Oslo places great emphasis on infection control for this autumn's teaching and exams, so that everyone feels safe. Most study programs offer a combination of physical and digital teaching.
  • If you still cannot attend classes due to the corona situation, you can contact the information center at your faculty to get guidance and apply for individual adaptation. An application are considered based on you needs and the academic requirements in the study.
  • If you are in the risk group for COVID-19 and can document that this prevents you from taking the exam in the ordinary way, you can apply for special examination arrangements

What do I do if I am in quarantine or isolation?

  • If there is a suspicion of infection spreading on campus, UiO will be notified by the infection detection team.
  • If isolation or quarantine affects participation in teaching or other study activity, contact your study program.

Staff

I suspect I might be infected with Covid-19: What do I do?

  • If you suspect that you are infected with Covid-19, you should get tested.
  • All employees at UiO can order a test at SiO Health. SiO Health has two test stations; one permanent test station located at Fredrikkeplassen, Blindern campus, and one mobile test station at OsloMet. You must book an appointment for testing in advance, see information on SiO's website.
  • SiO Health's test station is a supplement to Oslo Municipality's test offer. If there is no free time, you can also order corona testing via Oslo Municipality's corona telephone.
  • Inform the line manager in the usual way.
  • The health service has a dialogue with the unit for HSE and emergency preparedness and the faculty/unit for possible assistance with infection detection and relevant measures.

Should I wear a face mask?

  • The government and Oslo Municipality has made the use of face masks compulsory in public transport when it is impossible to maintain social distancing of one meter. Everyone should have face masks available when using public transport.

    For medicine, dentistry, or other study programs entailing close contact with patients and clients, the faculties will issue orders for the use of face masks. In such cases, masks are made freely available to students and staff.

    Note that face masks do not replace the distance rule, it is only a supplement.

What is UiO doing to prevent transmission?

  • Students and staff must adhere to the social distancing rules both when entering and exiting classrooms and auditoriums, as well as when inside the rooms. Students and staff must clean their workstation before the lecture starts. Disinfectant tissues will be available (supplied by The Cleaning Section in the Estate Department).
  • The frequency of sanitation in common areas is increased from twice a week to daily. The sanitation includes all touch points such as light switches, door handles, elevator buttons, handrails, ect.
  • The frequency of sanitation in classrooms is increased from twice a week to daily. The sanitation includes all touch points.
  • More frequent sanitation of/checking on toilets and changing rooms – needs are considered continually, but minimum twice a day.
  • A hand disinfection stand and disinfectant is placed at the main entrance of all buildings.
  • In addition everyone must adhere to the general infection prevention rules, such as washing hands, staying home when sick, etc.

How is information about quarantine and cases of disease treated?

Confidentiality and GDPR

Employee absence from work is subject to general confidentiality and GDPR. Therefore, the employer cannot, as a rule, provide information about individuals' absence and illness, either to employees or to others.

Information based on consent

The employee can give consent to the employer so that the employer can inform others about the reason for absence. It is important to ensure that consent is given voluntarily and that information is not shared beyond the scope of the consent.

Information about quarantine and illness within an institution

  • If an employee is diagnosed, the municipal health service will follow up the person and all contacts in accordance with current guidelines to ensure sound health care and infection detection.
  • The employer can provide information within the company that an employee is quarantined or infected, if this is deemed necessary to ensure a safe and healthy workspace. If the employer considers it necessary to provide such information in order to ensure a safe and healthy workspace, a specific assessment must be made in each case. Contact the HSE and emergency preparedness unit (e-mail) before information is released.​

How do I have access to buildings and services at UiO?

How does this affect my actual work situation? (home office, physical presence, transportation, etc.)

  • As a large company, UiO will facilitate for people being present while working from home to prevent infection. Oslo Municipality encourages everyone who can work from home to do so. Line managers are responsible for assessing who can work from home  and who should be physically present in order to take care of teaching and research. This is done in consultation with the employee and in line with UiO's infection prevention guide
  • In our current situation, with more short-term home office arrangements, an oral agreement between line manager and employee will suffice.
  • Please consult the guidelines for remote work at UiO for information on the policies regarding remote work (working from home). These guidelines apply for remote work both during the corona pandemic as well as during normal circumstances.
  • It is the immediate manager’s responsibility to consider whether an employee can be at work physically or if they should work remotely. This must be done in consultation with said employee, and according to UiO's infection prevention guide.
  • Staff in risk groups, or who live with people in risk groups, who are unable to carry out work from home should contact their GP for advice based on their specific situation. Also contact the immediate manager to discuss how work can be organized with a view to infection control. You cannot stay home from work without the absence being agreed with your manager or documented with a medical certificate leave.
  • For employees who are covered by the flexi-time agreement, UiO will facilitate a flexible practice of the core time regulations. Flexibility and exceptions to the core regulations also apply to those who do not work from home, but who must be physically present in the workplace. In order to avoid public transport during rush hour, it may be arranged that employees can shift the working day and for example get to work sooner or later. A shifting of the working day must be clarified with the immediate manager.
  • UiO does not cover expenses for employees who perform short-term or occasional work at home. If it turns out that you have had higher costs in connection with working from home, you may apply to have these expenses refunded later.
  • Basically, employees are insured against occupational injuries in the Government Pension Fund through the government's main collective agreement when work is performed at the home office. For detailed information and the terms that apply, see The Government Pension Fund´s information re. Covid-19 and clarifications on occupational injuries insurances (spk.no)

How do I work from home?

Home office: How do I register working hours in the HR portal?

  • When using a home office, ordinary working time regulations still apply, and those who register daily working hours should also register these when working from home. The working hours are registered with the code "Work time".
  • For those who work at home, there may be a need for flexibility with regard to splitting the normal working day of 7.5 hours. To facilitate home office flexibility when it is not possible to work continuously, the social partners have agreed to suspend the core period until 31 December, 2020. If you need to split work day(s), you must notify your manager. Thus, if you work from home, you can register your normal working day as from 08:00 - 15: 45 in the HR portal. The working hours are registered with the code "Work time".
  • Flexitime, extra work or overtime must also when working from home be clarified and approved in advance with your immediate manager.

Flexible working hours: What rules apply?

The starting point is that the ordinary working time regulations apply.

For you who have flexitime:

  • In order to facilitate flexibility during the pandemic period, the parties in working life have agreed to cancel the core time with presence in the period 09.00-14.30, for the time being until 15 September, 2020. This provides, for example, the opportunity to divide days in the home office, or avoid public transport during rush hour when commuting to the office. You must agree on such arrangements with your manager.
  • This does not involve any changes in the external working hours, which are from 06:00-21:00. Outside this framework, there is no opportunity to work flexitime. Make sure you get at least 11 consecutive hours off during the day.
  • You can not decide to add working hours to the weekend, but by agreement with your line manager, it is possible to work up to 5 hours on Saturday.
  • For some it may be convenient to work some longer and some shorter days, but you can not work more than 12 hours in a day.
  • The intention with the increased flexibility is that employees should have greater opportunities to adapt when the work is performed, not that you should work more. If you earn more plus hours than usual, you should have a dialogue with your manager about the distribution of work tasks and plans for time off.
  • Some people find it difficult to separate work and leisure when working from home. It may be appropriate to establish routines to clarify for yourself when you are at work. If you have agreed to work outside normal working hours, you can enter this in the calendar so that colleagues see when you are available. When you have free time, you do not need to check e-mail or the like.

For you who have a fixed agreed working time:

  • When a fixed working time has been agreed, this will usually be because there is a need for presence during this particular period. If you need to postpone the work to other times, you must enter into a dialogue with your line manager to assess whether this is possible.

Is it safe to use the new digital solutions?

Please refer to the webpage on safety tips for working from home (Norwegian) or the webpage with Q&A and good advice on security when using Zoom.

How does this affect the running of externally funded projects?

The coronavirus situation may lead to consequences for running externally funded projects. Here is some advice for project managers and partners.

    How should I deal with pending business travel?

    • UiO follows the guidelines of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health NIPH and advises against travel that is not strictly necessary and not to areas where it is discouraged.
    • Check the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs' travel advice (Norwegian) and assess the situation in the country you plan to travel to.
    • Everyone who arrives in Norway from abroad, with the exception of given areas, must remain in home quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine rules and advice for infection control when traveling are continuously updated. Especially before a trip abroad, it is important that you both familiarize yourself with the rules that apply in the country you are traveling to, and the rules that apply when you return to Norway. Update yourself on NIPH's infection control advice for travel and entry quarantine on arrival in Norway.
    • If travellers need to contact Egencia and their travel is not affected by this event, or if travel dates are not in the immediate future, they are encouraged to contact Egencia by email: customer_service@egencia.no. A slightly longer case processing time must be expected.

    What should I do if I currently am on business travel?

    What should I do if I'm on a long-term stay abroad?

    How should I deal with private travel?

    • UiO follows the guidelines of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health NIPH and advises against travel that is not strictly necessary and not to areas where it is discouraged.
    • Check the Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs' travel advice (Norwegian) and assess the situation in the country you plan to travel to.
    • Everyone who arrives in Norway from abroad, with the exception of given areas, must remain in home quarantine for 10 days. Quarantine rules and advice for infection control when traveling are continuously updated. Especially before a trip abroad, it is important that you both familiarize yourself with the rules that apply in the country you are traveling to, and the rules that apply when you return to Norway. Update yourself on NIPH's infection control advice for travel and entry quarantine on arrival in Norway.
    • Employees who plan a private trip abroad that may affect the work situation when returning to Norway must have a dialogue about this with their line manager.

    What happens when booked travel and events are cancelled?

    Refund terms will depend on whether you paid your stay / journey by credit card or invoice. The following terms and conditions apply for full or partial refunds:

    Cancellation of hotel accommodations and conferences

    • If you have booked a hotel accommodation or conference directly to the hotel via the procurement system PM, the person who made the procurement or your local purchasing officer should notify the hotel directly. Egencia should not be notified. The cost should be covered by the paying unit, the unit to where the invoice would have been addressed. Check the hotel's own website for latest updates on their cancellation policy. According to Egencia, many hotels have introduced flexible policies due to the current situation. 
    • If you have booked your hotel via Egencia, you can cancel your booking by calling +47-51444438 or send an e-mail to customer_service@egencia.no.

    Cancelling flights

    • If you have paid your travel with a credit card, UiO's credit card provider must be contacted. UiO has travel insurance included in its card. Travel where a minimum of 50 percent has been paid with this card is covered by this insurance. You can direct your refund request to Egencia, either by calling  +47-51444438 or send an e-mail to customer_service@egencia.no. In some instances and depending on the airline's conditions it is possible to cancel your travel via your profile. 
    • If you have booked your travel with an invoice profile, you can receive a partial refund. UiO is a self-insurer and must cover expenses from cancellations. However, we can be reimbursed for taxes and fees and any other expenses depending on the type of ticket. Egencia will issue a credit note for this amount, but the paying unit will be responsible for the remaining cost. Egencia will assist in clarifying which part of the ticket is refundable. Inform Egencia of cancellations via the following channels:
    • If you have covered costs related to your own business trips which have now been canceled, you can have these costs reimbursed by following normal reimbursement routines.
    • Also remember that you can find updated information on your Egencia profile (egencia.no) in regards to the latest news and the different contact points for inquiries to the travel agency.​

    Am I entitled to sickness benefits?

    What rules apply to me who must stay home with children?

    • All parents with the right to care benefit days have received a full annual quota for the last half of 2020 (from 1 July to 31 December). If you have to be at home with children due to closed schools or kindergartens, you can use these care benefit days.
    • Parents who must be at home with children due to special infection control considerations can use care benefit days even after the quota for such days has been exhausted. This requires documentation from a doctor. The arrangement applies until 31 December 2020.
    • Parents who have to stay at home with their children due to local closures of schools or kindergartens can use care benefit days even after the quota for such days has been exhausted. You can use such days as long as the school/kindergarten is closed. In such cases, the employee must provide a written confirmation from the school or kindergarten about the closure to the employer. The arrangement applies from 15 September 2020 until and including 31 December 2020.
    • It is possible to apply for care leave for whole or half days.
    • Employees can transfer family care leave days they have available, including the extra days they have been granted because of the corona situation, to another caregiver when both are entitled to family care leave days. Employees who apply to transfer family care leave days to another caregiver must submit an application to NAV themselves, inform their immediate manager of how many days are sought transferred and send a copy of the decision from NAV when available. When family care leave days are to be transferred to employees at UiO, the person transferring the days must submit an application to NAV. Employees must inform their immediate manager of how many days are sought to be transferred and send a copy of the decision from NAV when available. More information and application form (nav.no) (Norwegian). The scheme entered into force on 13 March, 2020, and will last until 31 December, 2020.

    • If the quota for family care days is exhausted, the employer will grant compassionate leave with pay.
    • If the employee has healthy children, who have an offer of kindergarten or school, you cannot use family care leave days if you choose to keep healthy children at home. 
    • The question has been raised about whether PhD and postdoctoral fellows may be granted an extension of their employment in connection with taking care of children due to closed schools/kindergartens. In principle, the regulations require two consecutive weeks of absence before extension is granted. Based on the special situation that has arisen, UiO will, as long as schools and kindergartens are closed, waive the requirement for continuous absence. Extension is granted to all PhD and postdoctoral fellows who are absent for 10 days or more during the period 13 March to 1 June. Employees are asked to send a message to the employer about this. Some PhD students/postdocs may have a larger number of days of absence that do not amount to two consecutive weeks even after 1 June. If this constitutes a particular burden of care that has hindered progression, an extension may be sought on the basis of Regulations on employment conditions for positions such as postdoctoral fellow, research fellow, research assistant and specialist candidate § 2-3 (6).
    • UiO realises that fellows are a particularly vulnerable group and therefore, has drawn up a policy to handle possible extensions of their fellowship period.

    Is it possible to change agreed holidays and off-time (avspasering)?

    Can I change agreed off-time?

    • If you become ill after you have agreed to take off-time, you can receive back the part of the flexible time balance that coincides with the medical certificate or self-certified sick leave.
    • If you want to change the agreed-upon off-time for other reasons, you must clarify this with your immediate manager. Whether the agreed off-time can be changed will be the result of a consideration between the needs of the organisation and the needs of the employee. If you agree, the agreed off-time can be changed.

    Can I change my holidays due to illness?

    If you have to cancel your holiday due to illness, you may request that a corresponding number of holiday days be postponed and granted as a new holiday later in the holiday year. The requirement must be documented with a medical certificate. Cancelled holidays are counted from the day you submit the medical certificate. You must enter into a dialogue with your immediate manager about the time for withdrawal of the remaining holiday.

    Can I change my holidays due to imposed quarantine?

    • If you can work from home during the quarantine period, you will be back at work and the remaining holiday can be taken out at a later date after further agreement with the manager. Cancelled holidays are counted from the day you are back «at work» (home office).
    • If you cannot work from home during the quarantine period, you can use self-certification (up to 16 days) or submit a medical certificate. You can then postpone the holiday days that have not been taken if you submit a medical certificate. Cancelled holidays apply from the day you submit the medical certificate.

    I am a foreign employee at UiO: What should I do?

    • If you are a UiO employee with foreign nationality who, in this situation, wishes to return to your home country, you should discuss the situation with your immediate manager. In addition, you should contact the authorities in your home country. Your country's embassy in Norway can help you with more information. Local authorities may continuously introduce travel restrictions or other measures such as quarantine. You should familiarize yourself with current entry rules for the country you are travelling to. The situation is changing rapidly and it is therefore important that you carefully examine the current conditions yourself.
    • International employees who are scheduled to take up their positions at UiO these days must adhere to current Norwegian entry restrictions (udi.no). Be aware that that everyone who arrives in Norway from abroad, with the exception of certain areas (fhi.no),  will have to remain in quarantine for 10 days, regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. There are special exceptions to travel quarantines when crossing borders between the Nordic countries and Norway in connection with work. If you plan to move to Norway to take up a position at UiO, this must be done in close consultation with your employer.
    • The Norwegian Government has closed the border for foreign citizens without a residence permit in Norway. They are expelled at the border on the basis of the Infection Protection Act.

    I am a doctoral research fellow: Can my fellowship period be extended?

    I am a post-doctoral fellow: Can I have my employment period extended?

    UiO has extended its guidelines for the extension of doctoral research fellows as a result of the closure of the university and the corona situation to include post-doctoral fellows, cf. UiO guidelines on extension for doctoral and post-doctoral research fellows due to closure of the university and the corona situation.

    Whom can I talk to if I'm worried?

    If you need to talk to someone, please contact the Occupational Health Service. All conversations are confidential and in accordance with the privacy policy, even when digital.

      Can I be laid off as a result of the coronavirus?

      There is no access to layoffs in the state according to current regulations, but if needed, employees can be redeployed to other tasks.

      How may I be affected by measures to maintain the necessary operations at UiO?

      If UiO experiences large absences due to the coronavirus, measures to maintain the necessary operations of the organisation in accordance with KMD's guidelines (employer.difi.no) may be put in place.

      Possible measures:

      • Redeployment of employees
      • Overtime
      • Change of holiday
      • Temporary appointments to cover absence
      • Healthcare personnel at UiO may be ordered to perform work in the health care system due to the corona situation.

      Which rules apply to events that are not related to teaching?

      The City Government of Oslo has banned events with more than 50 people in places without fixed seating. The limit to numbers of participants at public events (teaching events exempted) is reduced from 200 to 50 people. The new limits only apply for indoor events where there is no fixed seating allocation. The new limits will apply from 29th September at 12:00.

       

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      Published Mar. 6, 2020 2:44 PM - Last modified Oct. 28, 2020 8:18 AM