Working safely in the time of corona

UM wants to be a safe place for employees. In these times, extra measures are needed to achieve this. To make your working environment as safe as possible, we follow the general guidelines of the RIVM. Our buildings are equipped in accordance with the UM safety protocol. This means, among other things, that you can  work at a distance of 1.5 metres from others, that we take extra hygiene measures in and around the buildings, and that we do not (temporarily) allow anyone on campus who is at an increased risk of infection. As far as working at UM is concerned, the safety protocol can be summarised as follows: ‘Working from home in principle; on campus in specific cases'.

  However, your behaviour is a very important factor! So, take responsibility for your own safety and that of the people around you. Follow the rules and use your common sense. Only together can we get corona under control!

Your behaviour determines your own safety

and that of the people around you!

COVID-19 Safety protocol UM

UM wants to provide its students and employees with a safe working and learning environment during this pandemic. This protocol shows how (the possibility) of spread of COVID-19 at UM can be prevented as much as possible.​

  Read more about the COVID-19 Safety protocol


Recognise COVID-19

The main COVID-19 symptoms are:

  • Cold-like symptoms such as nasal congestion, runny nose, sneezing, sore throat
  • A light cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • High temperature or fever
  • Sudden loss of smell and/or taste without your nose being clogged
  • Headache

  • Muscle pain

  • Pain behind the eyes

  • Fatigue

  • Loss of appetite

Check your health before you come to UM

Can I come to UM or not? Ask yourself the following five questions. If the answer to any of the questions is 'yes', then stay at home.

  1. Have you tested positive for COVID-19? Of course you are not allowed to come to UM. You are obligated go or stay in isolation until you are free of complaints for 24 hours and you became ill more than 7 days ago.
  2. Has someone you live with or anyone else you have been in close contact with tested positive? Then the GGD requires you to go into home quarantine for 10 days. Get tested if you experience any COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. Do you have health symptoms related to COVID-19? Then get tested. The GGD has set up special testing sites for this in Maatricht, Landgraaf, Urmond and Venlo. The test is free of charge. Call 088-8805005 (not the national number) to make an appointment for a test. Also students who do not reside in Zuid-Limburg, but elsewhere (e.g. in other parts of Limburg, Germany or Belgium) can make an appointment. Stay at home as a precaution until you have the test results. If the results are negative, you can come back to UM. Do you test positive? Then you can only come back to UM after you have been free of symptoms for 24 hours and you became ill more than 7 days ago.
  4. Does someone you live with have shortness of breath and/or fever? Then go into home quarantine, you also have no access to university buildings until 24 hours after the symptoms have disappeared.
  5. Have you recently returned from a country or region with an orange or red status?
    You have to go into home quarantine for 10 days counting from the day of arrival in the Netherlands, before you are allowed to come back to UM again. You have to stay at home during this period and you do not have access to UM buildings. Check the colour codes of countries and regions here. There is an exception for border students and employees.

Check your health!

Do the health check! Use the click model below. Answer the questions with a simply clicking yes or no. 

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 recently?

Have you recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus? Report this to the UM as quickly as possible. Students can report this to their faculty’s Head of Education Office. If you are a UM staff member, you should inform your manager. Reporting a positive test result to UM is not mandatory, but will be appreciated in the interest of the safety of your fellow students or colleagues.

 Read more about UM's Protocol for COVID-19 infection

More information
This flowchart tells you more about the steps taken after a member of the UM community tests positive for the COVID-19 virus.

 Download the flowchart

Home quarantine and isolation

Under certain circumstances, you must be in home quarantine or isolation. You do both not only for yourself, but for others. UM considers it very important that everyone takes this responsibility. After all, health and safety come first. But when should you be in quarantine and when in isolation? What rules apply? And what exactly is the difference between the two?

  Read more about home quarantine and isolation

Safety on campus

With your behaviour, you contribute to the safety at UM. Each unit appoints its own employees who are charged with holding their colleagues accountable for unsafe behaviour. You do this for a short period of time in addition to your own work. You will receive written instructions with tips regarding what you should pay attention to.

Observe these general hygiene rules:
  Keep a 1.5-metre distance (two arm-lengths).
  Disinfect your hands upon entering buildings.
  Wash your hands often with soap and water. Always do this for at least 20 seconds. Then dry your hands thoroughly with a paper towel.
  Cough and sneeze into the inside of your elbow.
  Use a paper tissue to blow your nose and then throw it away.
  Do not shake hands.
  Avoid crowds.
  After use, disinfect materials/equipment that you share with others.
  Wear a face mask in publicly accessible indoor areas

Hygiene measures taken by UM

1.5-metre distance

We want you to feel safe in your working environment. At UM, the 1.5-metre distance is the norm. That is why we have arranged our buildings in such a way that keeping a distance of 1.5 metres is possible. For example, walking routes are marked and for all rooms we indicate how many people are allowed to use them at the same time. As a result of these measures, there is less room to move in the buildings and the number of seats in cafeterias or classrooms, for example, is limited.

Please observe this rule. If you notice that there are situations in which compliance with this rule is not possible, please report this by email: corona[at]maastrichtuniversity[dot]nl   

Scheduling—crowd management

To prevent too many people from being in the same place, we spread out the starting times of our educational activities. This has the advantage that the times that employees and students are using public transport are also spread out. For other work, teams will make their own schedules and appointments so that the maximum number of occupants is not exceeded. To avoid overcrowding, please don’t stay at UM any longer than necessary. For (educational) meetings with more than 100 people, a reservation in advance is required. Your attendance will be registered and your health checked.

Attendance registration

When you enter a building, you will sign in. There will be instructions regarding how to do this in front of the entrance—for example, using your UM card, a QR code or a sign-in sheet. This way, we can monitor the number of people in the building. This information can also be used for source and contact tracing. The GGD can then find out who an infected student or employee has had contact with.

Hygiene measures and means

More than ever, we are putting effort into good hygiene. Contact points such as door handles and handrails are intensively cleaned. The same goes for toilet areas and waste bins. We are keeping doors open as much as possible so that you need to touch them as little as possible.

The ventilation systems at UM meet all requirements and work with freshly-supplied outside air. They have all been checked to see if they work properly and their performance has been optimised. In places where there is no mechanical ventilation system, we indicate this so that you can ventilate these areas manually by opening windows. All meeting rooms should be ventilated for 15 minutes between meetings by the participants. Time will be planned for this when making the schedules.

There is a disinfection station at each entrance. In the toilets, there is always enough soap and paper towels available. In all rooms, there is a 'do-it-yourself' cleaning kit with spray and wipes. Before and after use, you should clean the table/desk, chair armrests and the materials that are there.

Face masks

Following the guidelines of the government and in anticipation of the legal mandate, we will make the use of face masks mandatory for students and employees. This applies to all situations in which you are moving around the university buildings, for example when you go to take a seat in a lecture hall or teaching room, when you walk from one workplace to another, or when you get a cup of coffee. In short, when you are walking or standing, you have to wear a face mask. If you are sitting at a work place or study place, you can take it off.

A face mask is not a substitute for the 1.5m measure. We would also like to remind you of the guidelines for correct use of face masks. Reusable face masks were offered by UM to all students and staff at the beginning of the academic year. Don't you have a face mask? Both disposable and reusable face masks are widely available online and in regular stores.

Education and research

Click here for more information on online education. For information about the organisation of lectures, tutorial groups, skills trainings, project assignments and exams, we refer you to your own faculty. Each programme has its own guidelines for this.

Here you will not only find more information about the additional safety measures for research with human subjects, but you will also read more about  possible solutions for the delay. In addition, you can read more about research funding and academic sessions in corona time. 

Attending & organising meetings

Within UM, meetings are organised according to the guidelines. Please refer to the UM Safety Protocol. If you organise a meeting yourself within UM, then you also need to adhere to these guidelines. Festive gatherings such as receptions are only permitted if fixed seats are available at a distance of 1.5 metres. Attendees are not allowed to mingle or walk near each other. Dancing is also not allowed.

You need to make participants from outside UM aware of the rules that apply at UM. It is preferable to do this in advance, in your invitation. If you organise a meeting at an external location, for example at the MECC, follow the UM guidelines as a minimum. If the location has stricter rules, please observe these.

Do you have questions about the UM buildings? This FAQ offers the answers to the most frequently asked questions concerning Services & Facilities during the corona-crisis.

Travelling or commuting for work

In the Netherlands

The RIVM asks you to use public transport (OV) as little as possible. If you are dependent on public transport, you undoubtedly know that it is compulsory in the Netherlands to wear a face mask when using public transport. Observe the generally applicable guidelines while you travel.

Going abroad

The Dutch government advises against travelling to areas, countries or regions with a code orange or red status. Red means do not travel. You can only travel to orange areas if this is absolutely necessary. Exceptions to this will only be made with the approval of the Executive Board (EB). The EB is very cautious about this.

Employees who live in Germany or Belgium are bound by the rules of their country of residence with regard to commuting.

Been travelling?
The RIVM urgently advises you to go into home quarantine for 10 days if you have visited an orange or red area. This also applies if the colour code changed from green or yellow to orange or red while you were there. You are not allowed to enter the UM buildings during this period.

 Read more on how and where to get tested
  Here you will find an overview of the colour codes per country.

Working from home

We have to work in very different circumstances than we are used to, at home or on campus, and this requires flexibility, adaptability and creative solutions. Naturally, health and safety at home and on campus is our first priority. In order to support you, here we provide you with information about working from home and tips to stay fit and healthy. Additionally, we give attention to online education and you can find information about the IT facilities and how you can use them safely from home.

High-risk groups
Do you belong to a high-risk group or provide care to someone at higher risk or are you pregnant?  Then you are not expected to come to a workplace at UM until at least 2021.

 Information on high-risk groups can be found here.