Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector of the University of Iceland, sent the following message to University staff and students today (8 January 2021):
Dear students and colleagues,
Happy new year and welcome back. Teaching has already started at some University of Iceland schools and will be back in full swing next Monday. I would like to welcome new students in particular and urge them to take a look at the detailed information on our website about taking your first steps at the University of Iceland and important services.
A new regulation from the Ministry of Health entered into force on 1 January, allowing teaching and learning to resume in all University buildings on the condition that students and staff keep at least 2 metres distance from one another and that the number of people in each classroom or study room does not exceed 50.
However, we will continue to focus on online teaching as we start the new semester. Schools and faculties will provide more detailed information on teaching arrangements and students are encouraged to stay up to date with announcements from their school and teaching staff regarding the organisation of individual courses.
Where it is not possible to respect physical distancing rules, such as in practical teaching and clinical training, teaching is permitted on the condition that students and instructors wear protective masks and take measures to reduce the risk of infection.
Where there is face-to-face teaching, students are not permitted to move between groups but staff and instructors may do so. Several University of Iceland buildings will therefore continue to be divided into infection control zones.
The University of Iceland will place emphasis on good ventilation and airing spaces out between groups. Common surfaces in classrooms will be disinfected between classes. Common equipment and surfaces will also be disinfected at least once a day.
Rules on mixing groups and limits on gatherings do not apply in common spaces at the University, such as entrances, toilets and corridors, on the condition that people use protective masks.
Events and other gatherings not falling under the definition of teaching or learning are forbidden within University buildings and visitors must be limited.
Háma cafeteria will be opened on Monday but food will only be available to take away.
Good luck and remember the importance of personal steps to prevent infection. I encourage you all to keep a good distance from one another, carefully wash and disinfect your hands and use protective masks.
Jón Atli Benediktsson, Rector