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University of Basel

Information about the new coronavirus

3d rendering of a microscope close-up of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
3d rendering of a microscope close-up of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. (Image: Creativeneko/123rf)

The measures adopted by the university management are in line with the Federal Council’s instructions in consultation with the cantonal authorities. They are aimed at slowing down the spread of the coronavirus. The University of Basel is thus contributing to the protection of the population in Switzerland.

Comprehensive mask obligation and home office

October 18 2020. In addition to the new measures announced by the Federal Council October 18 2020, the President’s Board after consulting with our experts at the University Hospital, has decided the same day to tighten the university safety concept as follows

Duty to wear masks in class

  • A mask must always be worn in all publicly accessible rooms. The mask may not be taken off while seated. The obligation to wear a mask also applies immediately before and after lessons.
  • Eating and drinking during the lessons is prohibited. 
  • Lecturers must, whenever possible, teach with a mask and use microphones.
  • The mask may only be taken off in the cafeterias, refectories and public areas of the University of Basel while food and drink are being consumed and while sitting down.

Working at the University

  • All superiors are requested to implement home office whenever possible, starting immediately! The superiors have the task of working out solutions together with the employees and implementing them immediately. 
  • For positions that are essential for maintaining operations, superiors are requested to discuss this special situation with the employees.
  • In work rooms (laboratories, offices, stockrooms, meeting rooms, libraries, learning rooms), a general mask obligation applies if more than one person is present. The distance rule of 1.5 meters must be observed even with a mask.
  • Experimental research is not restricted and should be continued within the framework of current safety concepts.
  • Physical sessions are now only permitted with masks. This also applies even when only two people meet.
  • Aperos (parties) on the premises of the University of Basel remain prohibited.

The University of Basel has had so-called community masks made for their members. The masks are TESTEX tested, based on recommendations of the Swiss National COVID-19 Science Task Force and will be available at the SV-Service sales points from the end of September.

People at especially high risk 

The Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH) defines on its website who is among the people at especially high risk. Anyone belonging to one of these risk groups can have this confirmed by a doctor. The University of Basel has prepared the form Medical certificate template: Participation in teaching by people at particularly high risk in the fall semester 2020, on which a doctor can confirm that the person belongs to the group of people at especially high risk and suggest any necessary measures. The University endeavors to enable the persons concerned to take part in teaching within the framework of the existing possibilities in teaching as well as under the aspect of equal opportunities. However, participation in a desired course cannot be guaranteed in every case. Those who are not allowed to wear a mask due to a doctor's instruction are unfortunately not allowed to participate in classroom teaching (including internships), because access to the university buildings is only allowed with a mask.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19 or I am requested to go into quarantine?

Students and doctoral students who receive a positive test result or who have been requested by the authorities to enter quarantine should report this immediately to the Corona Task Force using this online form. The Corona Task Force will then contact the lecturers and discuss with them how to proceed.

Four Corona cases at the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health

7 September 2020: A request by the university Corona Task Force to the specialists at the University Hospital of Basel has shown that the safety concept of the University of Basel does not need to be adapted due to these incidents. 

1 September 2020: At the Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, four students tested positive for the coronavirus at the end of August. They had all taken part in a block week of sports practice. As a result, around fifty students had to go into quarantine. The examinations of the affected semester, which were planned for the beginning of September, were cancelled due to the incidents. The Department is in close contact with the Department of Health of Basel-Stadt and will continue to follow the protection concepts of the FOPH, the guidelines of the university and, with regard to sports practice, the protection concepts of the Federal Office of Sport (FOSPO).

Safety concept for classroom teaching in the fall semester 2020/21

25 August 2020: With this savety concept, the University of Basel wants to allow, as far as possible, the return to classroom teaching and the gradual opening of the university buildings and premises. The health of the members of the university and the users of the University Libraries has the highest priority. A central element of this protection concept is the compulsory wearing of masks. With this measure we not only protect ourselves, we also protect the others and thus enable attendance classes.

The detailed safety concept is available as a PDF file. Here are the most important points as well as measures that are still in force:

Obligation to wear masks

  • In the university buildings in which classes are held and in the University Libraries, masks must be worn in foyers, corridors, lifts, stairs and study rooms, effective 14 September 2020.
  • All members of the university will receive a certified fabric mask in the next few weeks, further masks can be purchased from SV Service.

Access to the university premises

  • Students and teaching staff, along with other university members and users of the university libraries, may only enter University of Basel premises if they are free of symptoms that indicate infection with COVID-19, if they do not live in a household with a person infected with COVID-19, and have not been in contact with such a person in the previous 10 days.

  • University members and users of the university libraries must always present their student, employee or library identification card whenever required.

  • The general public remains banned from entry until further notice.

Rules for attendance classes

  • Teaching will generally only be carried out in person where the applicable distancing rule of 1.5 meters can be enforced. 

  • There is no obligation to wear masks during classes, but students may do so if they wish.

  • Occupation of lecture halls have been arranged according to distancing rules; seats that are not meant to be used will be removed or labeled. 

  • Students are to wear masks on the way to their seats and again when they leave their seats.

  • Eating during lessons is prohibited. 

  • Students must clean their work surfaces before the start of the lesson. Cleaning products will be provided by the relevant facility managers.

  • Rooms with windows will be ventilated between lectures.

  • In exceptional cases, classroom teaching in practical courses, internships and similar learning formats may take place even in situations where the 1.5 meter distancing rule cannot always be enforced. The wearing of masks is mandatory also during the course. In this case, classroom teaching must be approved by the Vice President for Education.  

Distance between lecturers and students

  • Any teaching staff that do not wear masks or use microphones are obliged to maintain a minimum distance of 2 meters from students during classes.

  • Microphones are to be used in the larger lecture halls.

Contact Tracing and App SwissCovid

  • Presence lists are automatically generated by the obligatory registration for the course. You may only attend courses for which you have registered.

  • The university strongly advises its students, teaching staff and other university members to install the SwissCovid app on their smartphones. If the app suggests a potential transmission, follow the instructions indicated. 

People at especially high risk 

  • The University of Basel is currently developing separate guidelines for particularly vulnerable persons as defined by the FOPH.

  • Persons who consider themselves to be at risk are recommended to wear a medical protective mask at all times, irrespective of medical examinations and any protective measures that may be taken.

Returnees and guests from abroad

  • Persons who have stayed in a state or area with an increased risk of infection and are entering Switzerland at the start of the semester must be placed in quarantine.

  • The regulation described above applies to guests who enter Switzerland during the semester. 

  • The University Management recommends its members to avoid work-related travel as far as possible and to receive guests at the University of Basel only in important cases. Participation in larger conferences and meetings is strongly discouraged. Furthermore, the recommendations of the Swiss Confederation on cross-border travel must be followed.

  • Further information can be found on the FOPH's website.

Catering at the University of Basel

  • In university catering facilities (mensa, cafeterias), guests wear a mask on the way to their seat and put it on again when they leave the seat.

  • The ban on aperitifs in university buildings pronounced in spring will remain in force until further notice. 

Implementation of events

  • Until 30 September, 2020, no new room reservations for events outside of teaching will be made.

  • Already confirmed room reservations for non-teaching events will remain in place subject to feasibility (instructions from the Federal Council, the FOPH, the Canton of Basel-Stadt, as well as personal requirements for teaching and availability of own staff).

Regulations for sound and image recording in teaching

With a view to digital teaching in the fall semester 2020, the University of Basel has issued regulations for sound and image recording in teaching. These regulations apply to the operation of all sound, image and sound/image recording systems in teaching. The regulations include points such as the recognisability of the image and sound recordings, the storage and destruction of the recordings or the rights of use of the recordings. The regulations are available as a PDF download.

hese regulations will be adapted according to current developments.

Inquiries by email

Questions about study and research in the context of the spread of the new coronavirus can be asked at the e-mail address corona@unibas.ch.

Please send questions about online teaching in the context of the spread of the new coronavirus to corona-teaching@unibas.ch.

Current situation – Switzerland and international

Information on the current situation, federal government measures, recommendations for workplace and for travellers, and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the website of the Federal Office of Public Health FOPH.

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