Rector: In the coming weeks, each individual’s behaviour is critical

Coronavirus is spreading widely and the situation is alarming. It is everyone’s duty to avoid unnecessary contacts. As workplaces are important sources of infection in addition to schools and homes, we must reduce contacts also at the university and ask everyone whose duties allow that to work from home.

On 25 February, the government decided to tighten corona restrictions, including in education. From 1 to 28 March, students may come to study buildings only if they need educational support services or consultations to achieve learning outcomes, do practical training, take exams or tests or participate in Olympiads. In the largely web-based organisation of teaching and studies decided by the University of Tartu (UT) so far, classroom seminars can no longer be held. It is mandatory to wear a mask, people must be dispersed and the 2+2 rule applies outside classrooms.

The decision on the organisation of teaching and studies is made by the head of institute or college in coordination with the vice rector for academic affairs. The decision about April will be made in the second half of March.

The university library remains open, but there can be up to one hundred visitors in the building at a time. Visitors must wear a mask and keep their distance from others on the university’s premises. The library must not be used for social meetings. More detailed instructions are available on the library’s website.

From 3 to 28 March, the UT Museum, Botanical Garden and Natural History Museum are also closed to visitors. Work in the UT academic sports club has been reorganised.

Avoid gathering in coffee corners, rest areas and cafeterias of academic buildings. We strongly recommend avoiding joint lunches also outside the university buildings. Students are urged not to gather for joint activities, including parties, in residence halls.

Each university member must do their best to bring the reproduction number of coronavirus below one during the next four weeks. I am asking everyone to be careful and responsible during the critical time ahead. Our common goal is to return to normal living, work and study arrangements as soon as possible.


Toomas Asser
Rector of the University of Tartu