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FAQs for staff about the coronavirus outbreak

Below is a list of questions and answers for staff about Lund University’s management of the coronavirus outbreak. These questions and answers are continuously updated.

General questions

What is Lund University doing to support the Swedish health care system? (23 March)

The Faculty of Medicine and Region Skåne (which is responsible for hospitals in our region) have reached an agreement that medical and nursing students in the later stages of their programmes will now be able to join the fight against the coronavirus. The students can be employed at hospitals and health care facilities in the region.

There are also researchers and teachers who normally combine their positions with clinical work. These individuals will be able to increase their clinical working hours as needed.

Other initiatives at the university include transfer deliveries of medical supplies to the hospital from our medical, science and engineering faculties.

Will the University close? (20 March)

The University will remain open. However, from 18 March, the University has switched to distance education to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. In the main, there will be no campus-based teaching or examinations.

The decision to start using on-line tools is based on solidarity and social distancing principles, as it is important we keep risk groups and our elderly population free of the virus as long as possible. According to the health authorities most people who are infected experience only mild respiratory symptoms (such as a cold, cough or fever) that will disappear on their own.

Will the University cancel large events? (16 March)
The University’s current general recommendation is that the University’s events are to continue as usual. Large events will be canceled. However, each organisation is to assess whether to cancel events, and is urged to make a Risk analysis as part of that assessment. People who have any symptoms of flu whatsoever are not to participate out of consideration for other visitors.

How is Lund University managing risks associated with the coronavirus outbreak? (5 March)

The University has formed a crisis management group that is meeting regularly in order to manage overall issues connected with the virus outbreak. They are monitoring other public authorities’ updates and following other higher education institutions’ handling of the matter.

An operative working group has also been formed to manage operational activities. If you have any questions, contact corona [at] bygg [dot] lu [dot] se.

How are staff being kept informed about the situation? (5 March)

All staff are urged to keep updated about the University’s information via the coronavirus web page on the Staff Pages. An email has been sent to all staff members. If you have any questions about the impact of the coronavirus on the University, check here or contact: corona [at] bygg [dot] lu [dot] se

Individual questions for staff


Do I have any insurance via Lund University? (24 March)

As an employee, you are covered by various insurance policies. Read more about Lund University's insurances at Staff Pages

Am I allowed to be outdoors to take a walk, cycle or go for a run? (23 March)

In Sweden, the national health authorities have recommended firmly that we all minimize unnecessary social contact. However, to go outdoors alone or with a friend is perfectly fine, as long as you are both healthy.

In some other countries there are stricter restrictions. Swedish experts have chosen not to take these measures at the moment.

I have mild flu symptoms, what should I do? (17 March)

The Swedish Public Health Agency (10 March) urges all those with mild symptoms of any kind (a cold, cough or fever) of flu to refrain from social contacts that risk spreading the infection. Lund University supports these recommendations.

If you feel sick and stay at home, you are to report your sick leave as usual to your line manager and in Primula, in accordance with the University’s regular procedures, read more under sick leave. You should stay at home for another 48 hours after you feel well again.

If it is possible for you to work from home, and you only have mild symptoms and feel able to work, contact your manager and discuss how to arrange this situation in the best way.

I have flu symptoms. How do I get medical attention? (25 March)

If you need medical attention you can read more at the Swedish Publich Heatlh FAQ or call the national help line on phone 1177 to get advice. The service is free of charge, open 24/7 and the staff speaks English. You should not go to a hospital or health center without being specifically advised to do so. Stay at home if you have symptoms to ensure that you do not spread the coronavirus or other disease. Read more at the Staff pages Read more at the Staff pages

How can I avoid being infected? (16 March)
All employees are urged to keep updated and closely follow the recommendations for infection prevention provided by the Swedish Public Health Agency’s FAQs (under Transmission paths/What can I do to avoid being infected?)

A family member is at home with mild symptoms of covid 19. Can I go to work? (6 March)

Remote work from home may be appropriate for preventing the spread of infection when a family member has fallen ill and there may be cause to suspect that the staff member is also infected. Always contact your line manager.

For teachers

When will education be conducted as usual again? (23 March)

Lund University will continue will distance education for as long as the Swedish government recommends it. How long that will be depends upon the whether infections continue to spread or begin to be controlled.

What kind of Support can I get to switch to distance education? (18 March)

There is support in Canvas on how to go from campus to on-line teaching, read more.

The division for Higher Education Development at LU has posted information about how to arrange lessons in such circumstances, read more here.

Can we change the form of examination in a course? For example, switching to a home exam even if the syllabus states that students should sit an exam? (18 March)

The university has decided to allow changes to approved course and programme syllabi regarding the spring semester of 2020 concerning the forms of assessment of student’s performance and for conducting teaching online, in those cases where it is possible to maintain the quality of the education. Decisions on changes are made by the same official who made the decision regarding the course or programme syllabus. The decision is to be documented with a statement concerning the reason for the change.

Conducting thesis defences remotely


Can thesis defences be conducted remotely? (27 March)

Yes, thesis defences can be conducted remotely. See statement by the UKÄ above.

How are we to issue a notification of the date of a forthcoming thesis defence

Through a notification on the start page of the public authority’s website and also on the public authority’s official notice board.

What information is to be included in the notification of a date for the thesis defence?

The following information should be included in the notification:
- Name of the doctoral student
- Topic of the thesis
- Title of the thesis
- Date and time of the thesis defence
- Venue for the thesis defence
- Link to livestreaming of the thesis defence

How do we fulfil the requirement of public access to the thesis defence?

In two ways:
A) The thesis defence is filmed and livestreamed via a link to which the public have access via private computers, and
B) The thesis defence is also filmed and livestreamed on a screen at one of the University’s venues to which the public is granted access. The faculty assigns a host, who will be present at the venue, receive the public and manage technical matters.

Regarding requirement B: The number of participants must be limited in accordance with government decisions. To reduce the risk of spreading the virus among the participants, the following general measures should be taken according to the Swedish Public Health Agency:
o    Carry out a risk assessment, in accordance with the Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations – each faculty is responsible for this.
o    Provide information in advance stating that people with symptoms of respiratory infection are not to attend the event.
o    Provide good capacity for satisfactory hand hygiene, either hand washing with soap and running water, or, if this is not possible, access to hand sanitiser.
o    Provide information on public hygiene advice (e.g. posters)
o    The venue should be adapted to enable participants and audience members to maintain an appropriate distance from each other.

How can we conduct the thesis defence remotely in practical terms?

By each one of the participants, doctoral student, supervisor, external reviewer, chair and other members of the examining committee being available via a video conference. The faculty has an obligation to ensure that there are technical staff on hand who can assist the participants to start up the video conference. This could be the same person acting as host at the venue to which the public is granted access to see the livestreamed thesis defence.

LU Conferences offer online solutions for thesis defences and lectures. LU Conferences can connect participants from other countries and can film lectures, making them available on demand or via livestreaming. Contact LU Conferences to find out more, +46 46 222 77 17 or richie [dot] gray [at] service [dot] lu [dot] se.

How do we identify the doctoral student with certainty?

In that the doctoral student is visible to the audience and examining committee, the doctoral student concerned can be identified with certainty.

How do we check that there is no cheating?

To check that there is no cheating, e.g. that another person out of shot is helping with answers, it is appropriate for at least one person representing the University as organiser of the examination to be physically present at the same place as the doctoral student. This role could be filled by the person appointed as chair of the thesis defence.

How do we provide copies of the thesis?

At the time of the notification of the thesis defence, the doctoral thesis is to be available at the University so that it is possible to review the thesis at the thesis defence. Copies of the thesis are to be available at the same venue where the video conference will be held at least three weeks before the scheduled date of the thesis defence.


Questions regarding insurances for foreign visitors, read more at the Kammarkollegiet's web site

Temporary ban on travel to the EU via Sweden due to COVID-19 (31 March 2020)

The Swedish Government decided on 17 March to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except those in the EEA and Switzerland so as to mitigate the effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the spread of the disease. The decision took effect on 19 March and will initially apply for 30 days. The entry ban does not affect travel from another EU country to Sweden, nor does it apply to Swedish citizens.

There is more information on the Government website in English

Questions regarding new employees/third-country nationals, with new residence and/or work permits, can be submitted via migration [at] er [dot] lu [dot] se.  

I have an international business trip planned. What restrictions apply? (17 March)
Lund University has decided to advise all staff against travelling. Business travel will not be approved in the present circumstances.

I have been abroad recently. Can I go to work? (17 March)

The Swedish Public Health Agency (10 March) urges all those with symptoms of any kind (a cold, cough or fever) of flu, even if mild, to refrain from social contacts that risk spreading the infection. Lund University supports these recommendations. If you don’t have any symptoms you can go to lectures.

I´m returning to LU from a trip abroad and my flight will land at Copenhagen Airport. Will I be able to take the train across the bridge to Sweden? (17 March)

Swedish passengers are allowed to arrive in CPH if they are going straight to Sweden via train or car. Please be aware that you will have to go through a checkpoint at CPH Airport with all other travelers.
For more information and details check CPH airports website.

I have plans for domestic travel, what restrictions apply? (24 March)

Until further notice only to authorise domestic business travel after consultation with the line manager and with careful consideration of the Swedish Public Health Agency’s recommendations for such trips. This does not apply to business trips between the University’s campuses in Lund, Malmö, Helsingborg and Ljungbyhed.

Visits from guests/students

We are to have guests/students from abroad. Should we still receive our guests/students? (16 March)

All visits of international guests are to be cancelled until further notice.

Q&A on corona

Questions? corona [at] bygg [dot] lu [dot] se

Sweden's news - The Local

Keep yourself updated at (information from Swedish authorities)

How to avoid infection?

  • avoid close contact with people who are ill 
  • wash your hands often with soap and warm water, for at least 30 seconds
  • cough and sneeze into your elbow or into a tissue
  • stay home when you are ill. Even if it is only mild symptoms.

Make yourself contactable!

All staff and students are encouraged to provide their mobile telephone number in Passport. We can then send text messages to you if we need to.
1. Go to the account management portal Passport
2. Log in as “User”
3. Select “Verification of contact information”
4. Follow the instructions.

Hold digital meetings

– instead of travelling. There are different solutions for this, e.g. Teams for which everyone has a licence.
Read more about digital meetings

On-line education

There is support in Canvas on how to go from campus to online teaching, read more.
The Division for Higher Education Development offers some support on Teach-online,read more.

Read more practical tips

Latest news

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FAQs for staff about the coronavirus outbreak

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FAQ for managers
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The University’s handling of the Coronavirus spread

The University’s handling of the Coronavirus spread

Telephone: +46 (0)46-222 00 00 (switchboard)
Mailing adress: Box 117, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Invoice adress: Box 188, 221 00 Lund, Sweden
Organisation number: 202100-3211

Site manager: staffpages [at] lu [dot] se

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