The press conference last night left a bitter taste. The coming four weeks, life will become a lot more boring, in hopes of us all being able to celebrate Christmas under the tree. How do the latest corona mitigating measures Rutte et al. have announced affect universities and student life?
As of 15 October, facemasks are compulsory inside all campus buildings. Education on campus will continue as planned, including self-study and exams. The 30-person limit per room does not apply to education facilities. However, self-study spaces must be booked through the Time Edit app. And bring your own snacks, catering will be closed for the next four weeks.
When attending outdoor activities such as field trips, you must be identifiable as a student, for example, through the use of WUR-branded clothing. The university advises us to make room for humour, so maybe funny hats or branded diapers will do the trick.
PhD defences can continue under the existing measures, as can ‘education-related’ gatherings. All other activities, such as job interviews and assessments, are limited to four persons.
Sports revert to an individual activity. As long as you can stay 1.5 metres apart, you can work out. So, weight training, yoga or BOSU can continue as normal, but football, squash and boxing are cancelled. Changing rooms and showers are closed, so you must come and leave in your gear. The maximum number of participants in any activity is limited to 30, and all outdoor sports are cancelled. Oddly enough, only 4 people can work out together in the open air.
Discussions are underway with sports associations to see if and how their activities can be adjusted to prevent us from becoming couch potatoes over the coming weeks. ‘You can always train your strength and endurance’, says SCB director Henri ten Klooster.
These rules do not apply to elite sports, so if you really miss working out, you may consider a career switch to professional sports.
At home, you are permitted no more than three visitors a day. Hanging out outside with more than four persons (including yourself) is also not done. However, you may chill with your housemates. Bars and restaurants are closed, but you can still visit the movies, market or a demonstration. How the student associations will apply the new measures is not yet clear, we will inform you tomorrow.
Should you want to have a beer with a few (no more than 3!) friends, note that the sale and possession of alcoholic beverages and soft drugs outdoors are prohibited between eight p.m, and seven a.m. It is unlikely that Prime-Minister Rutte now wants us to start day-drinking and blowing.
Keep an eye on the government website for the precise measures, and check wur.eu for updates on education.