Coronavirus: Updates and FAQs

Last change on Wednesday 14 October: update on the new measures from the Dutch government

10/14/2020 | 5:15 PM

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- Frequently asked questions
- Information for international students
- Working in times of corona
- Studying in times of corona
- Exams with online proctoring
- Updates: archive


The flyers below give an overview of the rules that currently apply on campus for visitors, staff and students. Extensive protocols for teaching and research are published on VUnet.

Beeld campusprotocol - Welcome to VU Amsterdam
Visit the VU campus
Beeld campusprocotol - Working at VU Amsterdam
Working at VU Amsterdam
Beel campusprotocol - Studying at VU Amsterdam
Studying at VU Amsterdam


VU Amsterdam is monitoring the situation surrounding the coronavirus closely and will post updates here when they affect our education, research and business operations.



In recent weeks, the number of coronavirus infections has risen sharply and the pressure on the health care system is increasing again. The central government has therefore declared a partial lockdown in order to reduce the very rapid spread of the virus.

For the time being, little will change for the education sector and planned education on campus can continue.

We all have a great responsibility in reducing the number of infections more quickly. That’s why we’re doing an urgent appeal to our employees and students to work and study from home, unless there really is no other option. It is important that our education can continue and that our teachers and educational support staff who are needed for this can do their work safely.

The new measures enter into force today at 10 p.m. and will be in force for at least the next four weeks, and possibly even longer.

Wear a face mask in the university buildings
As of 10.00 p.m. today you will need to wear a non-medical face mask if you move around in our buildings at VU Amsterdam. It is important that you wear the face mask correctly. When you sit down, in a lecture hall or behind your desk, you may take off the mask. Even with a face mask on, you must keep a distance of 6 feet! The basic rules continue to apply.

Planned educational activities continue
For our education, the 6-feet distance rule continues to apply, not the maximum group size of 30 people. If, due to circumstances, the planned education on campus still has to be provided online, students will be informed via Canvas. Students who are also attending education at institutions other than VU Amsterdam are advised to keep an eye on the information from both educational organisations. Students have no travel restrictions to come to campus for the planned education.

Studying on campus
For students who, due to their home situation, are unable to study and take exams from home, study and exam places are available. For more information visit If you are able to study at home, you will do so at home. Do not come to VU Amsterdam.

Working and research on campus
We are once again making an urgent appeal to work from home, unless there really is no other option. Only for location-based work, such as giving and supporting education and doing necessary research, you are allowed to come to campus.

Meetings and events
All PhD defence ceremonies and orations will be online as of next Monday 19 October. The beadle will contact those involved. Click here for more information and the protocol. The ceremonies that are still planned on 15 and 16 October will take place as previously agreed with the beadle.

Orations will also be provided online starting Monday 19 October, farewell speeches will be postponed. For the next four weeks, there will be no on-site graduation ceremonies.

Facilities on campus
The impact of the new measures on non-educational facilities on university campuses, such as eating and drinking establishments and sports centres, is still being assessed. Further information will follow at a later stage.

Information for Medicine, ACTA and Science Faculty
If you’re a student at the Faculty of Medicine, take a look at the faculty website. For master's students and staff of the Faculty of Medicine, the guidelines and information of Amsterdam UMC on Tulipintranet apply. For ACTA students and staff, the guidelines and information on ACTAnet apply. Students at the Faculty of Science will find the guidelines that apply to them on VUnet.



Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Mark Rutte made an urgent appeal to wear a face mask in public indoor spaces. The guidelines for wearing face masks in the educational sector have now been elaborated and nothing will change for universities. Face masks will not be mandatory for higher education and there is no urgent advice from the ministry to wear face masks within universities. 

Wearing a face mask remains a personal choice
Therefore, in line with national policy, nothing will change at VU Amsterdam. Wearing a face mask within the university will remain a personal choice. Students and staff are free to wear a face mask on campus and we respect everyone's choice. If you choose to wear a face mask, you still have to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. Wearing a face mask does not replace the 1.5 meter rule.

Students and employees Amsterdam UMC and ACTA
For students and employees of Amsterdam UMC the guidelines and information on Tulip Intranet apply. For students and employees of ACTA the guidelines and information on ACTAnet apply.



Student exchange second semester
The Executive Board has confirmed the procedure for student exchange in the second semester. Due to global developments regarding the corona virus including the associated travel restrictions and health risks, the Executive Board has decided to cancel the physical exchange programmes for semester two completely. The forecasts offer little hope that the situation will change in such a positive way that student exchange will be possible. 

Outgoing students will be informed if a virtual exchange with a partner university is an option for the second semester, and will be informed about possibilities for (online) Summer Schools at partner universities. This timely decision gives VU students sufficient time to research alternatives for the coming semester. More information can be found on VUnet.

The Semester in the Amsterdam programme (fee-paying exchange) has not been cancelled. More information can be found here.



Yesterday, the central government announced new measures to reduce the rapid spread of the coronavirus. These new measures will enter into force today at 6 p.m. and will in any case be in force for the next three weeks. What does this mean for VU Amsterdam?

The planned education on campus can continue. We do, however, make an urgent appeal to study and work at home, unless there is really no other option.

Education at VU Amsterdam
Scheduled education on campus can continue and teachers and students may travel to VU Amsterdam to teach and follow education. Teachers can continue to use the available facilities for online education. The six-feet distance rule applies to the organisation of our education, not the maximum group size of 30 people. If, due to circumstances, scheduled education on campus still has to be given online, students will be informed via Canvas. Students who are also attending education at institutions other than VU Amsterdam are advised to keep an eye on the information from both educational organisations.

Research at VU Amsterdam
Research that cannot be done from home can be carried out on campus on the basis of emptyresearch protocols. For research, too, working from home remains the norm and we ask you to keep your presence on campus to a minimum. Researchers can consult with their manager about conducting their research on campus.

Studying at home remains the norm
A limited number of study places remain available for students who really are not able to study at home. If you come to study on campus, please follow the agreed basic rules at VU Amsterdam. If you are able to study at home, you will do so and not come to campus. Check for tips on studying at home.

Working from home remains the norm
There have recently been more opportunities to work on campus, but at this stage of the corona crisis, we are now making an urgent appeal to work from home, unless this is impossible. You can only come to campus for location-based work, such as teaching, educational support and carrying out necessary research. Employees who are unable to work from home due to their personal circumstances are also still allowed to come to campus. If you come to the campus, please adhere to the agreed basic rules. Consult with your manager if your presence is necessary. Check for tips on working from home.

Academic meetings at VU Amsterdam
PhD defence ceremonies, orations, graduation meetings and graduation ceremonies can be organised in small groups, with a maximum of 30 visitors. Unfortunately, the usual receptions cannot take place at VU Amsterdam afterwards. For other meetings and events, we will initially look at whether they can be postponed or whether they can take place in another form.

Mouth mask
VU Amsterdam also has to deal with regional corona measures. In addition to the national measures, mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam advised to wear a face mask in publicly accessible indoor areas. This does not apply to our university. Everyone is free to make a choice when it comes to wearing a face mask at VU Amsterdam and we will respect each other's choice in this.

The new measures are a nuisance, but they are necessary to prevent worse. We must continue our joint efforts to get the virus under control. Continue to adhere to the basic rules and the new measures that have been announced.



Contact and frequently asked questions
What are the consequences of the coronavirus for working and studying at VU Amsterdam? Read our frequently asked questions. The FAQ will be updated as soon as there is new information to share. If your question is not listed, employees and students of VU Amsterdam can contact their information points

Information about the new coronavirus
You can find the most up-to-date information about the new coronavirus on the website of the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The RIVM is monitoring the situation in the Netherlands and has a questions & answers page available about the coronavirus. VU Amsterdam is following the advice of the RIVM closely, together with other Dutch universities.

The central government has introduced an app that warns you after you've been near someone with coronavirus: CoronaMelder.

Travelling abroad
Consult the FAQ page if you have a question about travelling abroad on behalf of VU Amsterdam. Everybody is advised to visit the websites of the central government and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for general guidelines and travel advice before departing abroad.