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VUB in times of corona

VUB is counting on every campus visitor to follow the precautionary measures. This is the only way we can guarantee everyone’s safety. Do you have questions about the coronavirus at VUB? First consult the updates and the answers to the FAQs. Can’t find an answer to your question in the list? Email backtocampus@vub.be and we will reply during opening hours. Consult the student website and the staff portal for the latest news and updates.

Need medical advice?

You can use TeleMidi for a digital medical consultation and a referral for a test. It's free for everyone with a mutuality. We recommend to choose this option if you don't have an urgent medical request. Be aware that when you should go in quarantine, you only have to take a test at the 5th day, meaning that this is not an urgent test request.

Precautions

Wash your hands, keep distance and wear a face mask in places where it is mandatory and in busy public places: VUB closely follows the measures of the Belgian government. In addition, the university uses its own concrete guidelines. These can be found below.

Klik hier voor de informatie in het Nederlands

Strong together! Summary of some essential regulations

  • Face masks are obligatory on all campuses of the VUB. Outdoors as well as indoors. 
  • There is 1 VUB Safety kit for everybody.
  • Always keep to the right and move counterclockwise.
  • Priority rules for stairs and doors: 'leaving' has priority on 'entering', 'coming down' on 'going up'.
  • Follow all signage and instructions.
  • Only a limited amount of people in elevators.
  • Wash your hands and keep your distance.
  • Give feedback to each other and report unsafe situations.
  • Being on time is a safety measure. Everything takes more time than usual.

For everybody


Precautions by the Belgian government

Check the guidlines

For staff, services and departments


Precautions for a gradual restart of the university

Overview of all measures

For lecturers for oral exams


Guidelines for the practical exam organisation and examination

Practical tips

For students


Practical tips for study and exams in times of corona

You can do it!

Wear a face mask

Face masks are REQUIRED on the entire CAMPUS ZONE. This means:

  • Outside on all campuses:
    • a face mask is obligatory for everyone. 
  • Inside VUB buildings:
    • A face mask is obligatory.

The only situation in which you can take off your face mask:

  • You're alone in your office or work space.
  • You share an office space with colleagues, you sit at your desk, there is enough ventilation and: 
    • More than 7 m² space per present person available and more than 1.5 m distance between the different users of the room.
    • Or: there is 7 m² space per present person available and a plexiglass wall between the occupied work spaces.
  • During a meeting if 7 m² space per present person is available and at least 1.5 m distance between the present people.
  • You're hosting a lecture or you're teaching and the distance between you and the first row of attendees is at least 2 m. This is only possible when the teacher is always in front and the attendees stay seated in the same place.
  • As soon as you leave your seat and move around in a space with multiple attendees, and in situations other than those mentioned above, you have to wear your mask.

Teleworking becomes the norm again

On 27 July 2020, the National Security Council tightened the coronary measures. Following this, the VUB rolls back a number of previous relaxations: 

  • Teleworking is the norm for all departments whose work can be done off campus. 
  • All departments whose work requires physical presence can continue to work on campus in line with the scenarios approved by the prevention department. 
  • Everyone present on campus must register. The department where a person works, or on whose behalf they are visiting, must register via their system. 

Of course, the federal government's guidelines on social distancing, time distancing and (personal) hygiene of the VUB remain the basis.

Send your (updated) roadmap to preventie@vub.be if, as a result of the modification of the guidelines, the organisation of the department or service changes (e.g. because employees come to the campus more frequently). 

VUB Safety kit & material: Be on time, students!

  • Students can still get a face mask at the Security Service, the Student Information desk and the reception desk of the Sports Service in Etterbeek and the faculty secretariat in Jette.
  • Services get practical instructions by Prevention & Environment in the feedback on their safety script. Infradesk is responsible for events.
  • Everybody can download 'backtocampus' signage from the MAX VUB-style platform.

Follow the signage and keep to the right

  • Keep to the right in corridors, on stairways and campus paths.
  • Move counterclockwise in closed spaces.
  • Follow all signposts and instructions.
  • Avoid passing each other. If that is not possible, the person leaving the room has priority.
  • Only one person at a time may use the lifts. Take the stairs whenever possible.
  • On narrow stairways, the person coming down has priority.

Wash your hands regularly

  • Limit the number of people in washrooms according to the number of sinks. If this prevents people from maintaining 1.5m distance, limit numbers further. Wait your turn outside.
  • Flush the toilet with the lid closed.
  • Wash your hands before and after using the toilet.
  • Do not use electric hand dryers. Use only paper to dry your hands.
  • If paper or soap is running out, alert infradesk@vub.be right away.
  • There is an intensive cleaning of public spaces. Services keep their workspace clean.
  • Bring your own water. Fountains, and possibly vending machines, will be out of order.

To put on your face mask

  1. Disinfect your hands.
  2. Hold the mask by the elastic.
  3. Place the elastic over your ears.
  4. Make sure the mask covers your nose, mouth and chin. Wear it for max 8 hours.
  5. Avoid touching it. If you do touch it, wash or disinfect your hands again.

To take off your face mask

  1. Push your chin forward.
  2. Hold the mask by the elastic, remove from your face and do not touch the front of the mask.
  3. Place the mask with the dirty side down in a washable container until it can go in the washing machine at 60°C.
  4. Or wash it immediately at 60°C. (max 50 times).
  5. Wash your hands again with soap and water.

Adjust your behaviour

Everyone is responsible for ensuring that the virus is spread as little as possible, i.e. slowed down. Even if you're not sick yourself, you can spread the virus. The Vrije Universiteit Brussel therefore asks all students, academics and staff to adjust their behaviour accordingly and to observe the following prevention and hygiene rules:

  • Try to avoid body contact: keep a sufficient distance (i.e. one metre) from each other. Do not greet each other with a kiss or a handshake;
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly;
  • Cough in a paper tissue (and throw it away in a closed bin afterwards), or in your elbow.
  • Use paper tissues to blow your nose;
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands as much as possible;
  • Air the rooms frequently;
  • Stay at home in case of illness;
  • Teleworking is possible. To discuss with your head of department. Make sure your Skypeforbusiness is active/online so you can easily stay in touch with colleagues.

Do not hesitate

  • Are you sick? Don't hesitate: stay at home and consult your doctor immediately.
  • Did you have contact with a Corona patient? Don't hesitate: inform the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be, stay at home and consult your doctor.
  • Have you been diagnosed with the Coronavirus? Don't hesitate. Stay home and notify the VUB immediately via coronavirus@vub.be. VUB wishes you all the best!

 

VUB thanks everyone who adheres to the precautions and responds quickly. We sympathise with all Corona patients and hope for a quick recovery for everyone.

Studying in times of corona

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands

Questions about exams - for students

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about exams in the list below. More practical information can be found on the student website.

Many exams will be held remotely or taken in a digital format. If this is not possible, exams can be held on campus or external locations. Please regularly check Canvas for updates and announcements regarding the assessment of your courses. The address of the external locations will be communicated in a timely manner. You can use GoogleMaps to plan your route.

How do I keep a safe distance when taking public transport to and from exams? 

Distancing measures on public transport are the responsibility of the transport operators (MIVB, De Lijn, TEC, NMBS). On Brussels trams, seats that may not be used are clearly marked. Please follow the appropriate measures. For more information, consult the operators’ websites.

Do I need a declaration to go to the exam? Is taking an exam considered a necessary journey?

We are currently unable to answer this question. It will depend on the decisions of the National Security Council.

We are currently unable to answer this question. It will depend on the decisions of the National Security Council.

We will ensure that both students and lecturers remain at least 1.5m from each other at all times. The number of students in each room or auditorium will be strictly limited. Students will be spread out within the room. Locations will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected between exam sessions.

Yes, the hall will be cleaned and disinfected after every group exam. For oral exams, the desk will be disinfected after each exam. Lecturers will be responsible for disinfecting the office or exam hall for oral exams. They will receive clear instructions about safety and hygiene.

Yes. Every student will receive a bag containing hand sanitiser, face mask, lanyard and leaflet with clear instructions for use.

In accordance with the Flemish emergency decree for higher education, this is allowed. The university may exceptionally make changes to the modes of examination. Exam formats may be changed here and there. The exact exam format will be developed and communicated via Canvas as soon as possible. The final exam schedule will be shared online between 4 and 11 May.

How will you ensure all students are assessed fairly, when not everyone has the same exam format? 

Using learning objectives and a test matrix, the lecturer can offer an equivalent exam, even if it takes a different form due to necessity/force majeure.

Yes. This is considered a one-off essential journey. In Belgium, you do not need a declaration. If you are travelling from another country, you will need a declaration to cross the border. You can request this via coronavirus@vub.be.

Who can I contact with complaints about the education and exam organisation?

You can consult the reporting point which has been set up in your faculty for this purpose. We will continue to listen to your concerns about education and exams in the coming period! 

Questions about campus facilities during the exam period

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about the campus facilities during the exam period in the list below.

Working in times of corona

It is not easy to work in these circumstances. VUB thanks all their staff for their effort and resilience.

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands

Info for lecturers


WeAreVUB Staff Education & website Education & Student Affairs

Exams

Info for staff


WeAreVUB Staff, message board for staff

Stay up-to-date

Info for researchers


Sharepoint Research & Data Management

Keep researching

Health and wellbeing


Tips. Overview services. Want to talk to someone?

Find support

FAQ

Klik hier voor alle info in het Nederlands.

Below you'll find answers to more specific frequently asked questions (FAQ). Is your question not listed here? Feel free to send an e-mail to backtocampus@vub.be. And if, in your opinion, certain information or measures are missing, please let us know via the online web form!

Impact of government measures on the corona policy of the VUB

The Belgian government is constantly monitoring the corona situation and, depending on the state of affairs, is adopting new measures to control the coronavirus. The VUB closely follows the government's guidelines and adapts its corona policy as much as possible, taking into account its specific nature and always with a view to preserving the health and safety of both students and staff. In the section immediately below you will find the latest VUB measures, adapted to the most recent government guidelines.

Yes, the VUB is following the decision taken by the Flemish government on 27 October to insert a 100% digital 'corona break'.

This means that from Saturday 31 October onwards there will be NO activities on campus until Wednesday 11 November. In concrete terms, this means that temporarily at the VUB NO practicals, labs and activities for vulnerable student groups will take place on campus.

From Monday 26 Ocotber, working from home and digital education is the norm. But there’s a difference between this wave and the first one. We are not (yet) in a lockdown. And that offers us the space to mainaint certain activities and soften the blow for the most vulnerable people. 

Yes, you can. You can still be present on campus if necessary for the quality orcontinuation of the activities or because of your personal situation. As an employee, you do not need a certificate to come to work. Your VUB staff member card and an explanation are sufficient.

However, teleworking remains the norm.

Yes. As a result of the tightening up announced by the Flemish authorities on 27 October, there will be NO on-campus activities from Saturday 31 October until Wednesday 11 November.

In concrete terms, this means that temporarily at the VUB NO practicals, labs and activities for vulnerable student groups will take place on campus. 

From 12 November, it is our intention to resume contact moments for these activities and target groups and to move back to the measures listed below. 

To first-year students, we will try to offer some physical classes  (via work lectures, practical lessons and exercises) for their social contacts and psychosocial well-being during this start-up period at the university. We also try to accommodate international students as well as possible. 

For other students, digital classes are the norm. Sessions such as practica which need to take place on campus for reasons of equipment, necessary physical interaction... will continue on campus.    

Deans and other executives play the most important role to play in the operational practice, but everyone assumes their responsibility with common sense.

The new situation at the VUB, taken after the announcement of the tightening by the Flemish authorities on 27 October, will apply until 11 November.

After 11 November, we hope to return to the situation at the VUB taken after the announcement of the government measures on 16 October 2020 and which applies until the end of the calendar year, 31 December. With that, we secure the exam period in January.

However, we reserve the option to re-evaluate the situation periodically and relax certain measures.

Students check their class schedule and Canvas for information about educational activities. Here, teachers play a crucial role for concrete instructions. 

The  student restaurants in Jette and Etterbeek will stay in takeaway mode. There will be special places to eat. Food and eating in corridors and hallways is not allowed.

 For research and exercises as part of Master’s degree dissertations, the following conditions apply: 

  • at least 10m2 per person in the classroom
  • face masks are mandatory
  • ventilation must be sufficient. 

 Interviews with respondents for research are best conducted online: that way, the number of subjects on campus is limited. If you have any questions about this, you can send those to preventie@vub.be. More information about research will follow as soon as it is available.

The Jozef II location will continue to be used by class groups in observance with the applying corona measures.

We strongly advise anyone with a smartphone to download the Coronalert App. On campus you will register via the 'weave.ly' QR code, if you are asked to.

The VUB switched to code orange on Monday 12 October. This will remain so until Sunday 25 October. From Monday 26 October, the new measures taken by the VUB after the national government’s new measures of 16 October will apply. 

As a reminder: In code orange, lessons and practical lessons can still take place on campuses. However, the occupancy rate for lectures will be lowered to 1 in 5 instead of 1 in 2. For labs, this remains 1 on 2, provided the safety measures are guaranteed. This means: putting on face masks everywhere, keeping a distance, disinfecting hands, ventilating the rooms sufficiently.

Attention: some faculties and study programmes choose to go one step further. It is possible that some programmes and teachers prefer to teach online, which is permitted.

Questions about possible contamination

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about possible contamination in the list below.

A person who may be infected with the coronavirus is asked to stay at home and consult a general practitioner. We recommend avoiding social contacts.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in case of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times when the infected person was present and possibly had close contact: during certain lessons, when using campus facilities, participating in activities or at his workplace (if an employee is involved).

In addition, the general precautionary measures and guidelines of the Federal Public Health Department must be followed.

You inform the VUB by sending an email to backtocampus@vub.be. Your email will be followed up immediately.

If you are an employee of the VUB, you must report your sick days in TEO.

You notify the VUB immediately via backtocampus@vub.be if:

  • You are a student or employee of the VUB and you have been diagnosed with the coronavirus.
  • You are a student and you are staying at a VUB student room, and you go into quarantine (after high-risk contact or return from red zone abroad), or if you show symptoms of the coronavirus.
  • you are an employee of the VUB and may be infected with the coronavirus, for example after close contact with an infected person or in case of an infected family member.
  • you are not a student or staff member, but did come into contact with a corona patient and shortly afterwards paid a visit to the campuses of the VUB and an infection was diagnosed in you shortly afterwards.

If you are a student, your mail will be forwarded to the Infopoint. If you are an employee, M&O will handle your mail. If necessary, the first-line centre dispatches your mail to other services involved (e.g. infrastructure).

The VUB will treat all personal data you provide in your mail confidentially.

If you are a student, Infopoint will handle your report. If you are an employee, M&O will handle your mail. If necessary, other services involved can be contacted (Student Housing if you are in a VUB student room, the service you work for, ...).

In case of notification of contamination, the VUB follows the guidelines of the Federal Public Health Service, which state the steps to be followed in case of (possible) contamination.

In order to facilitate contact tracing in the event of effective infection, the VUB can draw up a list of the days and times on which the infected person was present and possibly had close contact: during certain lessons, when using campus facilities, participating in activities or at his workplace (if it concerns an employee).

Anyone who has been infected may not re-enter the campus until a doctor has declared him/her healthy.

Your colleague or fellow student will go into isolation as required by government guidelines.  Avoid contact with him or her. 

Avoid contact with your colleague. Be vigilant for the symptoms of the coronavirus (fever, cough, respiratory problems, sore throat, headaches, loss of smell or taste, and muscle aches). If you do not feel well, let the VUB know in time via backtocampus@vub.be and call your doctor.

Furthermore, all 'regular' precautions for the virus are of importance. You can read these here.

If you are at home or in a room in Brussels, do not have a regular GP and suspect that you are infected with the coronavirus, we advise you to contact telemedi.be for a digital consultation. If necessary, they will refer you for a test or take one in their own practice.

This is free of charge for those who are members of a mutual health organisation, but the service is not accessible to persons without a Belgian national number. 

If you are at home or in your kot in Brussels, you have no regular doctor and suspect you may be infected with coronavirus, call 1710. Via this number you will reach a helpline staffed by GPs, who will advise you and refer you if necessary.

The fixed VUB cooperation partners - the group practices UGP in Auderghem and Patio in Jette - are not testing centres. They provide advice, write certificates and can provide test prescriptions for the Brussels test centres. In special cases, they administer the tests themselves. The general practitioners do this in addition to their regular care.

For more information and the availability of the group practices, please see UGP Auderghem or Patio Jette.

If you do have a regular GP, you should of course call him or her. 

You notify the VUB by sending an email. We will follow up on your e-mail immediately.

  • As a student you mail to info@vub.be. If you miss compulsory classes during your quarantine, you must submit your medical certificate to the faculty secretariat.
  • As an employee of the VUB, send an e-mail to backtocampus@vub.be. You also report your illness in TEO.

Do not come to work, to classes or to activities, and adhere to the guidelines of the family doctor and the government regarding home isolation.
The VUB will treat any personal details you provide in the e-mail as confidential. 

Low-risk contact:

For the following kind of contacts, the risk of infection is considered "low":

  • You had more than 15 minutes of contact with a COVID-19 patient at a distance of less than 1.5 m, but you were both wearing mouth masks correctly (nose and mouth covered).
  • You had less than 15 minutes of contact with a COVID-19 patient at a distance of less than 1.5 m.
  • You had been in the same room/closed environment with a COVID-19 patient for more than 15 minutes, but respected the distance of 1.5 m. This includes, among others, people working in the same room, or sitting together in a waiting room.

You do not have to go into quarantine, but follow these guidelines:

  • You limit physical contacts as much as possible. Work at home if possible.
  • You keep at least 1.5 metres away from others for 14 days.
  • Wash your hands very often and thoroughly.
  • Wear a mouth mask when you leave your home.
  • Call your GP and stay at home if you develop symptoms.

This is the information the contact researcher will give you if you are contacted within the framework of contact research.

How to report it?

Close contact or high-risk contact:

For the following kind of contacts, the risk of infection is considered "high":

  • You had contact with a person who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus for more than 15 minutes and at close range (less than 1.5m), without wearing a mouth mask correctly by one of you.
  • You had direct physical contact with a COVID-19 patient (e.g. kissing, resuscitation, closed care work, ...).
  • If you have been contacted by a contact researcher or defined by the Coronalert application as close contact, then you should follow the following advice:
  • You go into quarantine for 10 days. If you don’t develop symptoms during that period, you no longer have to quarantaine yourself. If you DO develop symptoms, have yourself tested.
  • You will not take part in any educational or other activities and you will not come to work.
  • You contact your GP if you experience symptoms.

Attention: if you have not been contacted by a contact researcher but you know of a contact with a high risk of infection, you will contact your GP and follow the guidelines of your GP.

How to report it?

  • Notify via backtocampus@vub.be + doctor's certificate via TEO (for staff) or via the faculty secretariat (for students, when missing compulsory teaching activities).

The only indication for a second test is if the first test gave a "weak positive" or "non-conclusive" result.
A second test to "prove" that you are cured makes no sense. The test can remain positive for up to 1 month.

After a positive test you will go into quarantine for 7 days, followed by 7 extra days of caution. This is sufficient according to the current guidelines.

You can get tested at the GP or at one of the test centres in Brussels or elsewhere - see also here. A prescription for testing is necessary.

For this, contact your regular GP or surf to telemedi to make a digital consultation. You can also call 1710. This number will take you to a dispatching of general practitioners in Brussels, who will advise you and refer you if necessary. Always make an appointment, don't just go there.

The fixed VUB cooperation partners - the group practices UGP in Auderghem and Patio in Jette - are not testing centres. They provide advice, write certificates and can provide test prescriptions for the Brussels test centres. In special cases, they administer the tests themselves. The general practitioners do this in addition to their regular care.

For more information and the availability of the group practices, please see UGP Auderghem or Patio Jette.

If you do have a regular GP, you should of course call him or her. 

If you come back from abroad or had a high-risk contact, it is no longer compulsory to have yourself tested until 15 November. Go into quarantine for 10 days. 

Questions concerning access to buildings and infrastructure

Extensive information about access and opening hours of services and buildings on the campuses can be found under the tab 'Campus facilities' of this service.

For those who have to be on campus, the following guidelines apply:

  1. You wear a face mask everywhere, outdoors as well as indoors. You only take it off when you are sitting alone at your desk or doing sports alone, or when you are seated in a catering establishment.  
  2. Follow the signs
  3. Keep to the right
  4. When using the lifts, keep to the maximum number of people indicated. 
  5. On narrow stairs, give way to those who descend

For those staying at a VUB dorm, the following guidelines apply: 

  • Notify us of your stay in your dorm via this link.
  • Each VUB-unit is considered a household. With the people of your unit, you do not need to maintain social distancing. All other safety measures concerning the hygiene in your unit remain and must be respected at all times.
  • Attention, members of the same household may only have one so-called cuddle contact according to government measures.
  • According to the government's decisions of 16 October, a household may invite a maximum of 4 the same people every fortnight, and only if you can keep your distance. Regarding the VUB rooms we are stricter and you may invite a maximum of 3 of the same people every fortnight because otherwise you cannot guarantee enough distance in the communal areas.
  • Above all, make arrangements with your house mates so that everyone feels comfortable and keeps to the rules, even in private rooms. If you have any questions, you can always contact the housing department and your own landlord.
  • You should also be aware that commuting between your room and your home address is always risky. In this way, you always mix two home situations, so think carefully about this. Especially when you have contact with your (grand)parents and at-risk patients, you have to be careful, so keep your distance where possible.
  • It is not advisable to alternate between two households or contact bubbles, e.g. by commuting. Inviting visitors to the student houses therefore remains permitted in accordance with government measures (in the case of the VUB a maximum of 3 people per 2 weeks) and with the approval of your fellow students.
  • Make arrangements about who will be your joint bubbly. Do not invite people who do not belong to your bubble. Keep track of who is present when as a visitor - this can be important when contact tracing is needed. Scrupulously follow government measures and show respect for each other. The safe use of communal areas by co-residents of the unit is always a priority.
  • Always maintain a distance of 1,5 meter from people outside your unit.
  • Wearing a face mask is mandatory on all public areas on campus, both inside and outside. This includes the entrance hall, lift, garden, garage or foot bridge of your student residence.
  • Students who are returning from abroad may need to self-isolate for 14 days, depending on the country you are returning from. You can find more information here
  • Ensure proper ventilation of the areas. Frequently open the windows of both your room and the shared areas.
  • Do not share cutlery, cooking appliances or other objects. Wash those items after use with hot water and washing-up liquid.
  • Ensure proper hygiene and cleanliness in the dorms: wash your hands, clean all handles and surfaces in the common areas after using them, take out the garbage frequently, …
  • If you are showing symptoms such as fever, couch, runny nose or difficulty breathing, contact your general practitioner via phone or the University general medical practice or practice Patio in Jette (see student.vub). Isolate yourself and contact VUB immediately via backtocampus@vub.be – mention that you are staying in a VUB dorm. If necessary, Student housing will contact the necessary guidelines to the people from your unit.
  • In case of infection, a quarantine protocol will be put in place in your unit. If this is the case for your unit, you will be contacted.

 

Questions about mobility

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about commuting and travelling to and from the VUB in the list below.

Yes, but only in accordance with the instructions of the transport companies. That means that you use mouth masks in stations, buses and trams, and on platforms and at stops. Keep your distance where possible.  

Carpooling is possible, but the minimum distance of 1.5 meters must also be respected inside the vehicle. The number of people that can travel together therefore varies according to the type of vehicle. Regular airing and cleaning of the vehicle is recommended. 

No. Cycling and walking are largely done in the open air, where the risk of contamination is much lower.  However, make sure to keep a sufficient distance from other road users.

The VUB travel policy is based on the colour coding for travel advice used by the department of Foreign Affairs.  

The Belgian government regularly updates its travel policy to European countries. Consult their website to check the colour code of the country and region of your destination.  

The VUB is following the Belgian authorities. Travel to countries outside the EEA is not allowed.

You should also check which measures are in place to enter a particular country and which ones are in place with regard to, for example, quarantine and safety.

Green zones

  • There is no problem and there are no restrictions to travel; the exchange is allowed.

Orange zones

  • Orange type A
    The Belgian authorities are warning and asking for vigilance because, from a Belgian point of view, the level of infection in this region is high. There may be restrictive measures.  
  •     Orange type B
    The government of your host country of destination imposes measures for entry from Belgium as this may pose a risk. Restrictive measures are in place.  

In both types, the exchange is allowed but we inform students about the possible restrictions and measures. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

Red zones  

  • Red type A
    VUB does not allow travelling to these regions because the infection rate is too high and there are too many local restrictions. VUB does not allow these exchanges. Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.
  • Red type B
    The government of your host country prohibits entry from Belgium. The exchange will only be permitted if the host country makes an exception for entry for study purposes.  Group travel, fieldwork and excursions are not allowed.

If a country or region is on the Belgian government's red list, students or staff are not allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities.  

As the situation can change daily, it is important that students and staff travelling abroad consult the website of Foreign Affairs BEFORE purchasing travel tickets and booking accommodation.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Students who come to the VUB from EEA and non-EEA countries are welcome, and should follow the instructions on the website of Foreign Affairs strictly as well as those of their home country before travelling to Belgium. Once here, they must follow the quarantine and testing guidelines according to their country of origin. They must also be able to submit their contract or letter of acceptance to the VUB as proof.


Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Staff memebers who come to the VUB from EEA and non-EEA countries are welcome, and should follow the instructions on the website of Foreign Affairs strictly as well as those of their home country before travelling to Belgium. Once here, they must follow the quarantine and testing guidelines according to their country of origin. They must also be able to submit their contract or letter of acceptance to the VUB as proof.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Depending on their answers to the self-assessment questionnaire attached to the Passenger Locator Form, returning students and staff may be required to comply with a quarantine extended to 10 days.

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Students must follow the local guidelines of the country/region if there is a departure advice. Either the guidelines of the Belgian authorities are followed in case of a return advice. The International Relations Office can support students in case of an early return. See also 'Do returning VUB students from abroad have to be quarantined?

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Staff members must follow the local guidelines of the country/region if there is a departure advice. In other words, they must follow the guidelines of the Belgian authorities in the event of a return advice. The International Relations Office can provide support in the event of an early return. See also 'Do returning VUB staff from abroad have to be quarantined?

Consult the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

Staff members must apply for academic leave for all journeys (via TEO). If a country or region is on the red list of the Belgian government, it is not allowed to travel to these areas within the framework of VUB activities. 

VUB staff members who think they are eligible for an exception to the rules can send a motivated application to international.relations@vub.be.

For the latest updates on the federal government's travel policy and the colour coding, check the website of Foreign Affairs.

Please read the terms and conditions of scholarship providers for incoming international scholarship students at VUB

VLIR-UOS

Given the expanding travel ban worldwide, it is not advisable for ICP-scholars to return home. In case they choose to do so, they will have to cover all costs made themselves and make sure to inform the programme coordinators on their plans. The latter is also stipulated in the individual contracts of each scholar.

The scholarship allowance for master students is a lump sum totalling 12 (for the one year programmes) or 24 times (for the two year programmes) the foreseen monthly allowance. The allowance is paid to each scholar independent of the time of graduation. The scholars keep receiving their monthly allowance, even if they would not be in Belgium, allowing for a certain flexibility. The scholarship will not be suspended in case a scholar decides to return home, nor will it be extended.

China Scholarship Council

Students with an CSC scholarship who return home have to contact the Chinese embassy in Belgium. Scholarship matters will be looked at case-by-case. According to the general guidelines, students are entitled to one return flight ticket for their stay at VUB.

Erasmus scholarship

Erasmus students at VUB receive their scholarship from their home university. If you would like to return home, inquire at your home institution for scholarship implications. 

Master Mind scholarships

Information is not yet available.

Other scholarship schemes

Students with a scholarship from their own country or another scholarship should coordinate the possibilities to return home with their scholarship agency.

The following rules apply for outgoing Erasmus+ students whose exchange was impacted due to the Corona virus (Force majeure). To receive the full Erasmus+ scholarship or to receive a compensation for extra costs, you will have to send a signed declaration of honour to exchange.outgoing@vub.be. You will receive this document from us by the end of April. Please take a good look at the situations described below and don’t hesitate to contact the exchange team if you have any questions.

1.  Students who weren’t able to go on exchange

a. This only applies to students whose exchange has been cancelled because of the Corona virus, or who weren’t allowed to travel to their host institution.

b. If you made any expenses that you can’t (partially) reclaim via an insurance or if you aren’t able to cancel your flight ticket/rental agreement, you can apply for a refund via your scholarship. Please send us a proof of your costs and the inability to recover them.

2. Students who returned early

a. Students who had to return early due to the Corona virus will receive their scholarship for the duration of their stay abroad.

b. Students who fulfil one of the requirements below, will receive the full grant amount mentioned in the grant agreement:

i. The student partakes in alternative activities organised by the host institution (e.g. online classes), and physically stays in the host country.

ii. The student is unable to (partially) recover costs that are directly and exclusively connected to the cancelled stay (e.g. rent) and proves this with the necessary documentation.

3. Students whose exchange activities have stopped, but that stayed abroad

a. Students receive a scholarship for the period during which academic activities or internship activities took place.

b. Students will receive the scholarship for the foreseen period if they fulfil one of the following requirements:

i. The student partakes in alternative activities organised by the host institution (e.g. online classes), and physically stays in the host country.

ii. The student can’t leave because of government regulations (e.g. travel restrictions).

c. Students who are unable to return home at the end of their exchange period due to government regulations (local or in your home country), can apply for financial support for the additional time abroad.

Failure to comply with a VUB travel ban and/or the order to return to Belgium by the VUB results in the student in question not being legally registered for the programme components relating to the outgoing mobility and/or internship abroad, and consequently the student loses any right to participate in educational and evaluation activities abroad. As a result, the exam results obtained are considered as non-existent. More information can be found in the “OER” (the Education and Exam Regulations document).

Questions about insurance

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about insurance in the list below.

In case of early return of students from abroad: which costs will be reimbursed (rent, etc.) by the insurance?

Students should consult their personal insurance broker.

Does VUB intervene in the cancellation of travel & accommodation costs of staff members due to the coronavirus?

The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Actions that can be taken:

  • Please contact the travel agency. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they reimburse the expenses incurred.

My trip abroad within the framework of an externally financed project will not take place. To which interventions am I entitled?

In this case, be sure to contact the body financing the project or consult their website to see what intervention or solutions they might propose. The VUB BCS travel assistance insurer does not intervene in case of cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Actions that can be taken:

  • If necessary, the travel agency can be contacted. They may propose to cancel the trip for a limited cost or to rebook the tickets.
  • If necessary, contact the agency that cancelled the activity (for which travel & accommodation expenses were incurred) and check whether and to what extent they will reimburse the expenses incurred.

No.  If you, as organizer, took out an event/cancellation insurance yourself, we advise you to contact the insurer. However, there is little chance that the insurance will provide cover in the event of a pandemic.

In case of cancellation of an event you organized, please contact the registered participants, suppliers and other contracting parties.

When events are cancelled, this means that the registration fees have to be refunded to the participants (unless the event is rescheduled and the participant agrees to let the organizer keep the registration fees). However, damages, such as hotel expenses, transport, etc., cannot be claimed back by the participants, since the government has explicitly forbidden events since March 13th and therefore there is a case of force majeure. However, we recommend that you always check the contracts themselves, as situations of force majeure can be contractually extended/limited/...

Financial arrangements will also have to be made with suppliers, which may result in costs having to be paid. Suppliers must be able to provide proof of the costs they have already incurred (incurred before the force majeure situation, 13 March 2020). Only these costs will have to be paid by the organizer. Again, no damages can be claimed as a result of the dissolution of the agreement as there is force majeure at stake (again, read contract for any force majeure clauses).

However, we recommend postponing events (to a date to be determined at a later date) rather than cancelling them.

Vanbreda Risk & Benefits has taken a number of preparatory measures in order to continue to guarantee its services. They recommend using their digital channels: the Vanbreda Health Care app or their Health Care website www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ for the handling of claims (such as reporting hospitalisation and serious illness, filing medical expenses and other questions). Accessibility by telephone may be limited due to exceptional circumstances and mail distribution could be compromised.

Questions are best asked via the website

If you have not yet signed up for their digital services, you can find all the information you need to register at www.vanbreda-health.be/nl/ik-word-digitaal/. Download their app by scanning the appropriate QR-code:

Questions about personal well-being

Read the answers to frequently asked questions about personal well-being in the list below.

First of all: it is a normal reaction to experience feelings of anxiety, stress, insecurity and even panic when hearing and reading all the news, speculations and measures concerning the corona virus at the moment. Here are some tips to keep it in context and not to worry unnecessarily:

  1. Listen to experts: make sure you have correct facts and look at things from the right perspective. Don't search too much for information about the coronavirus on the internet yourself. Pay special attention to information from credible sources and experts. For example, there is a government website that offers useful and correct information. Also feel free to share this information with your friends and family. Of course, you will also find useful information on this very website.
  2. Stay connected. Maintaining social networks can promote a sense of normality. You can share and discuss feelings and concerns with each other, relieving your stress. Be careful because fear is also contagious. If you talk to a lot to people who are scared, you will become scared yourself. So look for people who are calmer. It will have a more positive effect on you.
  3. Seek additional help. If you are overwhelmed by fear or other long-lasting reactions that influence you negatively, it is best to seek help. You can contact the VUB for professional help by a student psychologist from VUB Student Counselling or an employee of CAW. International students can contact https://www.chsbelgium.org/en/ for a professional chat. VUB staff can contact BRUCC via brucc@vub.be (tel.: 32 (0) 476 600 130).

Feeling confused and anxious about the coronavirus situation? As a student, you can contact the student psychologists at the VUB with your concerns. You can schedule an appointment with a student psychologist via the student website. When making your appointment, you can use the online scheduling tool to indicate your preferred contact method.

The same working method applies to appointments with a Learning Path Counsellor or Study Advisor. If you are in guidance, you can contact your counsellor via email or online tool.

Questions about events

Read the answers to the frequently asked questions about events in the list below.

As of 6 July 2020 you can again organise events on VUB campuses. Please keep in mind the strict measures:

  • You can't organise receptions, cantuses or parties yet.
  • You can only organise sitting catering for max. 50 people, by respecting social distancing and service at the table. This is only possible in the open tent (Etterbeek), the restaurant with open windows (Jette) or in open air. You can also involve catering services on campus or elsewhere.
  • You have to create a script, also if you organise the event off campus. Download the template.
  • Events on campus are only allowed if they are requested and approved by Facility Services.
  • Events of external organisations need the approval of their template with safety measures by PRMI. You can still contact them by preventie@vub.be.
  • Find more detailled information in the guidelines events summer 2020 (in Dutch, but asap in English). 

All events not directly related to education or research have been cancelled or postponed until after 6 July.

Did you sign up for an event? Then the organizer of the event will contact you by email to confirm the cancellation. If in doubt, contact the organizer of the event.

The VUB has decided to cancel all non-digital student activities (TD’s, cantussen, rehearsals, meetings in kringlokalen….) until the 6th of July. This means that VUB will not provide facilities (classrooms, kringlokalen…) to organize non-digital activities.

Also, restrictive measures apply for any student activity one may want to organise after 6 July:

  • No receptions or parties may be organised.
  • Only seated catering for a maximum of 50 people is allowed, with respect for social distancing and service at the table, as long as it takes place in the open tent (Etterbeek), the restaurant with open windows (Jette) or in the open air.
  • Only those events requested by employees and internal services by Facility Services and approved by Facility Services are allowed.
  • In addition, external events require the approval of a plan of safety measures by the Prevention and Environment Service (PRMI).

Questions about the coronavirus

On the Sciensano site you will find most of the answers to your questions about the coronavirus. Below you will find actions of the VUB regarding the virus.

Right at the start of the crisis, we made sure that the welfare of laboratory animals did not suffer as a result of this epidemic. Animal welfare legislation could be complied with without interruption. Currently, the crisis has not stopped any research projects, but it has slowed them down. Also, compared to normal times, no more animals have been euthanised specifically due to this crisis. There is no abnormal trend in the evolution of the number of cages and experimental animals due to the crisis. The Animalarium is in full readiness to restart ongoing preclinical research and also to support new research on therapeutic avenues to help fight the global pandemic.

Yes, both within the UZ Brussel and within the preclinical research laboratories, research is being done into this pandemic. An overview of the research can be found here: https://vub.be/coronavirus/onderzoek. In the course of this year, projects will also be started in which, with the help of laboratory animals, possible treatments against the virus will be sought.

Quarantine and isolation questions

Please find the answers to quarantine and isolation questions below.

What does isolation involve?  

 

You go into isolation if you are infected with covid-19, or awaiting your test result if you show symptoms.

 

Isolation is like quarantine, but even stricter. You are not allowed to leave your place of residence.

 

Isolation takes at least 7 days (counting from the day of your test), but longer if necessary. You may only stop your isolation if you are declared healthy by a general practitioner. During your isolation, your housemates are in quarantine.

 

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into isolation at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back home or to your student room, in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Isolation in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity). 

 

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

 

Quarantine means staying indoors at a single place of residence. Currently the period is 10 days. You go into quarantine after close contact with an infected person, or after returning from a red zone, on the advice of the contact tracers, the general practitioner or following the general government guidelines.

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into quarantine at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back to your home or student home in order to prevent any further spread of the virus. Quarantine in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity).

It can also be an option to move (in a safe, secluded way) to another location where you will go into complete isolation (empty premises, hotel room, ...).

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

The most recent guidelines on quarantine can be found here.

Avoid contact with other people, also in your place of residence.

If unavoidable:

  • Always keep a distance of 1.5m and wear a face mask.
  • Do not share towels, bed linen and eating or drinking utensils with roommates. If possible, use a separate toilet and bathroom
  • Visits from external parties are not permitted
  • Working and going to school is not allowed. However, it is possible to attend telework or digital lessons.
  • Do not travel by public transport

If symptoms of COVID-19 occur, contact your local GP by telephone.

Do not leave your place of residence except for necessary groceries or urgent medical care, in which case always wear a face mask. Furthermore, observe all general guidelines concerning good ventilation and hygiene.

If the person in quarantine falls ill, housemates are considered close contacts.

If, during the period of quarantine, an infection is detected in you or a housemate, the 10-day quarantine period will start again. After 7 days of quarantine and a negative test, 4 days of extra vigilance and caution will follow, during which you will have to limit your social contacts.

You go into isolation if you are infected with covid-19, or awaiting your test result if you show symptoms.

Isolation is like quarantine, but even stricter. You are not allowed to leave your place of residence.

Isolation takes at least 7 days (counting from the day of your test), but longer if necessary. You may only stop your isolation if you are declared healthy by a general practitioner. During your isolation, your housemates are in quarantine.

If possible, VUB will ask you to go into isolation at the location where you are currently staying, and not to commute back home or to your student room, in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Isolation in an environment with an increased risk of covid is not recommended (e.g. 65+, people with serious underlying medical conditions or reduced immunity). 

If you go into quarantine in a student room, VUB Student Housing has developed a procedure to organise and support this as safely as possible. So always inform VUB via info@vub.be.

Quarantine is mandatory: 

  • If you returned from a red zone, according to government guideline
  • If you were in close contact with a person diagnosed with a covid-19 infection

Attention: If you have not been contacted by a contact researcher but know of a contact with a high risk of infection, contact your GP and follow his/her guidelines.

As a student, always inform the VUB via info@vub.be!

You may end quarantine if: 

  • you do not show any symptoms of covid-19. If you do show symptoms, go into isolation and get tested!
  • you have spent the entire period of 10 days in quarantine.
  • during the quarantine period, no infection is detected in one of your housemates or student room mates. If an infection is detected, the 7-day quarantine period will start again.

As a student, you should always inform the VUB via info@vub.be.

After the quarantine period, another 7 days will follow in which you will have to be extra vigilant and careful, and limit your social contacts!

If in doubt, contact your family doctor.

You go into isolation when:

  • You show symptoms of covid-19. In this case you will have yourself tested ASAP; you will remain in isolation awaiting the result.
  • You are infected with the covid-19 virus, meaning you tested positive or your GP tells you so.

As a student you inform the VUB via info@vub.be.

You may only end isolation if you have been declared covid-free by your GP.

As a student you must inform the VUB of this.