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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

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:

  • Avoid body contact: keep a 1,5 m distance 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 the norm. 
  • 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.
  • Give feedback to each other and report unsafe situations.
  • Being on time is a safety measure. Everything takes more time than usual.

Wear a face mask

Face masks are required on the entire campus zone, inside and outside. 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.
Put it on correctly
Put it off correctly

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.

Teleworking becomes the norm again

  • 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). 

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.

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 coronavirus@vub.be

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.

Important: The most recent updates on VUB decisions always appear on our websites for staff and students as well.

The VUB is currently taking into account the corona measures taken by the Flemish government in its corona policy.

Until further notice, universities are working in phase red.

This decision entails the following additional measures with regard to the VUB:

  • No more physical lectures will take place at the VUB. They will be replaced by digital education.
  • Only essential practicals and labs for which campus infrastructure is necessary to achieve the learning goals may still take place on campus.
  • Internships. These will continue as planned and according to the rules of the sectors, in mutual agreement between the internship site, educational institution and student.
  • Kot students are asked to make a choice between staying at their kot or going home.

UPDATE: On Friday, March 5, the Consultative Committee of the federal government decided to allow gradual flexibilisations in higher education starting March 15. While we look forward to seeing you again on campus, we will fill in this opportunity gradually and safely. By faculty. Students will receive the specific info through faculty communication channels such as Canvas and the timetable.

Teleworking is mandatory for all activities that can be performed from home.

Presence on campus is still possible, if necessary for the quality or continuity of the activities. This is the case, among others, for :

  • Admitted research activities that require specific VUB infrastructure.
  • The educational activities admitted under code red and the support necessary for them.
  • The facilities that are necessary for the functioning of our university, for example library and study rooms, restaurant, management of student rooms ... 
  • Necessary technical and logistic services: all kinds of techniques, cleaning, security and surveillance, the prevention and environment service, stewards, warehouse ...

As a staff member you do not need a certificate to come to work. A staff card and explanation are sufficient.

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

Yes. The student restaurants in Jette and Etterbeek will remain take-away. Places are provided for eating. Eating in hallways and halls is not allowed.

Also, for master's theses, all research activities will continue online whenever possible. However, under certain conditions, master's students may have access to the research infrastructure for the duration of the experiments. 

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

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 about student dorms and living in dorms

The latest guidelines and measures for students can be found on our website for students. Be sure to check it out if you are a kot student or if you're planning to move to a dorm.

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.

The following guidelines apply to those who need to be on campus: 

  • You wear a mouth mask everywhere and at all times, including outdoors. You only take it off when sitting alone at your desk, exercising alone, or when eating.
  • Always keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other people present.
  • Respect the maximum number of people in each room:
    • Sitting environments such as offices and meeting rooms: 1 attendee per 7 m2.
    • Environments where people walk around or eat, such as laboratories or lunch areas: 1 attendee per 10 m2
    • Outside: stand with maximum 4 persons with mouth masks and 1.5 meters from each other. Do not smoke if you wish to do so, you must remove your mouth mask.
  • Follow the signs as indicated.
  • Always keep to the right.
  • When using the elevators, stick to the maximum number of people indicated.
  • You are alone in your office or workspace.
  • You share a space with colleagues, you sit at your desk, there is sufficient ventilation and:
    • There is at least 7m² of space per person present and more than 1.5 meters distance between the different users of the room.
    • Or: there is a minimum of 7m² of space per person present and a Plexiglas wall placed between the occupied workstations.
  • During a meeting when there is a minimum of 7m² of space per person present and more than 1.5 meters distance between them.
  • When eating. Always maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other attendees. As soon as you have finished eating, put your mouth mask back on, even if you are still sitting down!
  • You exercise alone.
  • When specific protocols allow it, for example during organized sports activities of the sports service.
  • When you smoke, you refrain from smoking a cigarette. You cannot smoke a cigarette together!

As soon as you stand up and move around in a room with several people present, and in all other situations than those mentioned above, you put on your mouth mask.

Have you exceptionally forgotten your mouth mask? You can obtain a spare copy at the following locations, during their respective opening hours:

Ixelles:

  • Security - building X4, at entrance 6
  • Student Information - building D
  • Sports Department - building L
  • Faculty Secretariats

Jette:

  • Surveillance - near the student rooms & housing secretariat
  • Faculty Secretariat GF - building A

You can purchase additional mouth masks through the VUB web shop.

If you want to order mouth masks for your department or your employees, you can do so via a PKC number through the web store or through racsweb (surgical masks and disinfectants).

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, commuting to and from the VUB for work or study is possible. In most of our neighboring countries and in Belgium, it is currently not necessary to prove the essential nature of your work or study trip.

Students coming from the Netherlands to take exams in Belgium are allowed to do so, but should show this is an essential trip by carrying their exam schedule with them as well as their student card. The Passenger Locator Form only needs to be filled in if the students are staying in Belgium for 48-hours or longer.

In France, you do need a statement to justify that you are travelling for work or study purposes. Please contact international.relations@vub.ac.be for a "justificatif de déplacement professionnel" and more info. Students need to download the "attestation de déplacement dérogatoire" form and complete it for each study trip.

Please always consult also the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

The rules for incoming travelers to Belgium are tightened from 25 December 2020 onwards:

  • A recent (<48 hours) negative test result and a seven day quarantine are mandatory for all foreigners coming to Belgium from a code red zone. The quarantine can only be ended after a new negative test result. In the meantime, people should carefully observe all safety measures and be attentive to symptoms related to covid-19. 
  • A seven-day quarantine only is mandatory for those with a (temporary or permanent) residence permit; these people are exempt from the negative test result upon entry of the country. The seven day quarantine can however only be ended after a negative test result. In the meantime, people should carefully observe all safety measures and be attentive to symptoms related to covid-19.
  • Students commuting to Brussels for their exams, and traveling back home within 48 hours, are exempt from the quarantine and negative test obligations, but still must fill and submit the Passenger Locator Form each time within 48 hours prior to the arrival in Belgium.

All people entering Belgium must complete the Passenger Locator Form within 48 hours before arrival. More information on international mobility can be found on the website of the Belgian government.

The VUB asks all staff and students to take their personal responsibility regardless of government regulations if they have been in a high-risk situation. Do not expose your fellow students or colleagues to unnecessary risk.

Please always consult also the latest updates on the travel policy of the Belgian government on the website of Foreign Affairs.

The quarantine implies that you stay indoors for 7 days at the address you entered on the Passenger Locator Form. Please go to this address as soon as possible after arriving in Belgium. During the quarantine you can stay in your student room, guest house or permanent accommodation. 

During this period you should avoid contact with other people (i.e. keep a distance of 1.5 metres): 

  • It is forbidden to be physically present at social and work-related activities or school activities.
  • Towels, bed linen and kitchen utensils must not be shared with house mates. If possible, you should use a separate bathroom and toilet. Make realistic agreements with your landlord and house mates.
  • It is not allowed to have guests over. 
  • Public transport should be avoided, unless you cannot find a safer alternative to reach your location of self-isolation when arriving in Belgium. It is mandatory to wear a face mask at all times.
  • You must remain available to the health authorities throughout the entire period of self-isolation.
  • Only in the cases listed below can you deviate from this period of self-isolation. If you leave your place of residence in these cases, wearing a face mask is compulsory at all times:
    • medical care;
    • buying food and medicine if there is nobody who can help you with this;
    • arranging legal and financial matters; 
    • changing accommodation (see FAQ below).

If you need help during this period of quarantine, e.g. to make certain purchases, you can always call Brussels Helps, a municipal service set up for this purpose.

After seven days, you should get tested. The period of compulsory quarantine ends if the result of the test is negative. If the test result is positive, you will have to isolate yourself for an additional seven days.

For more information on 'quarantine and self-isolation' check the website of the federal public service.

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.

See also the mobility updates from January 2021 listed at the top of this FAQ series.   

Staff members 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

See also the mobility updates from January 2021 listed at the top of this FAQ series.

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

All physical events are prohibited until Monday 19 April. As soon as we have more news about any flexibilisation, we will communicate it through the various channels.

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.