26 August update: responsibility for compliance with guidelines
A number of topics in this update concern individual responsibility with respect to compliance with coronavirus guidelines. Although it is not strange that people are starting to drop their guard, it is vital that we all continue to stay alert to this. We request that everyone ensures that this remains a high priority within your service or school. Keep your distance, wash your hands, stay home if you have symptoms, etc.
Face masks practical/skills education
Whether face masks should be worn at Avans is a current issue facing practical or skills education. This includes workplaces, laboratories and studios where it is sometimes difficult or impossible to guarantee 1.5-metre social distancing. We have given extensive consideration to the arguments for and against and have concluded that we will continue to follow national guidelines, or those of the sector association (for example, physiotherapy). This means that we will not make it compulsory to wear a face mask. This applies to the entire organisation, as well as to schools or study programmes that offer practical education (unless the RIVM [National Institute for Public Health and Environment] or the sector association introduces adjusted guidelines). We are not prohibiting the use of face masks, unless wearing a face mask introduces a security risk, for instance in practice-based education or treatments. In such cases, a school can prohibit the use of these.
Returning from a code orange area
In last week’s update, we informed you of the international travel policy and colour codes used by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This related to travel for study or a work placement. But staff and students will encounter this in their private lives, too, such as if they're returning from holiday. After a stay in a code orange area, you must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the Netherlands. If this applies to you, you should inform your study programme (students) or your supervisor (staff).
Code orange towns/cities
It is also possible that staff and students live in an area that has now been designated a code orange area. This currently applies to the Antwerp region, for instance. The government strongly advises against any unnecessary travel from and to Antwerp. Avans is following this advice. If you live in a ‘code orange area’, you should stay at home.
Keep your distance!
The new academic year has started, and we’ve noticed that many students are enjoying meeting each other ‘live’ again. And however impersonal and strange it sometimes feels, we still need to keep 1.5 metres away from each other. We completely understand how difficult this is – we find it strange too! – but please stay focused on this. And remind each other about this as well.