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Questions and answers for staff

Recent updates, last updated on 13 October 2021

(13 October 2021) Updated and new questions

  • I feel worried, how should I handle my feelings?
  • I'm in an at-risk group for severe COVID-19 or pregnant, what applies to me?

(5 October 2021) Updated question

  • How do I get tested for COVID-19?

(30 September 2021) All questions

  • Revision of all questions and answers for staff

Distance and face masks

What applies regarding distances?

The university’s recommendation is that reasonable distance must be maintained in all situations where this is possible. What distance is reasonable and possible varies depending on the situation. Umeå University’s guideline is to leave every other chair empty in lecture halls, meeting rooms, staff lunch rooms, study spaces and similar. The need to continue to keep distance to others is based on everyone still not being vaccinated.

The Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have lifted all limitations regarding number of participants. This means that the previously announced limit of 50 people per hall has now been removed in university premises. However, in the room booking system TimeEdit, the maximum number of people per room will still be adjusted to leaving every other chair empty until 1 November.

It is also still important that everyone, regardless of vaccination, continues to stay at home and get tested in the event of symptoms arising.

This applies until 1 November. From 2 November onwards, no limitation regarding seatings or maximum number of participants in university premises apply. Read the news item.

What applies if I’m not vaccinated?

Vaccination is the most effective way to avoid serious disease and the spread of COVID-19, and Umeå University supports the Public Health Agency of Sweden's recommendation that everyone who can should get vaccinated.

According to the Public Health Agency of Sweden's guidelines, individuals who have not been fully vaccinated must take particular care when meeting people in at-risk groups and people who are over 70. You must take precautions to prevent getting infected and prevent spreading COVID-19. This means that you should, when possible, maintain distance to other people, and particularly avoid close contact with people in at-risk groups and people above the age of 70.

These guidelines do not apply to people under the age of 18 or to people who, for medical reasons, have been recommended not to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Source: The Public Health Agency of Sweden

Should students and staff wear face masks?

In situations where people cannot avoid close contact, students and staff should wear a face mask.

Read more about the university’s recommendations on face masks

Working from home

What applies to work from home or work at the workplace?

From 30 September, university staff can gradually return to their workplace. Each manager must, in dialogue with their staff, plan how the return can take place depending on the needs of the department or office. The guideline is that the gradual return must be completed by 31 December at the latest. During this transition period, the recommendation to work from home no longer applies, but working from home is still possible if the manager has approved.

Those who are at the workplace must be careful to follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s guidelines and general advice to reduce the spread of disease and maintain a safe distance to others. Umeå University’s guideline for the period 30 September until 1 November is to leave every other chair empty, but what distance is reasonable and possible varies depending on the situation.

From 2 November and onwards the guideline to leave every other chair empty is removed and there are no longer any restrictions regarding the number of participants in each room.

Individuals who are not fully vaccinated must follow the general guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Sweden when it comes to distance to others. This applies for as long as the Public Health Agency of Sweden deems it necessary.

Read about distance and limitation on number of participants in premises

Read about Work environment when working from home (Aurora)

Does the work injury insurance apply if I work from home?

Unlike working at the workplace, injuries at home need to be directly linked to the work you are conducting. This means that you must have injured yourself whilst performing your work tasks.

Examples of this is if you

  • trip over the power cord to your laptop
  • are sat at your computer answering work-related emails
  • are sat at your computer talking to a colleague/customer on the phone
  • are walking around at home while having a work-related phone call on your work phone
  • are travelling between home and work for a work-related meeting
  • are travelling to work to collect equipment, a phone or a letter
  • are having a walk-and-talk meeting as long as the employer has approved this.

However, the insurance does not cover other types of general accidents in the home. If you, for instance, hurt yourself when making a cup of coffee in the kitchen, it does not count as a workplace accident, even if it happens during established working hours.

Read more about your insurance coverage on Aurora

Read more about injury insurance at AFA Insurance, in Swedish: Så fungerar försäkringen vid Arbetsskada

What happens if my work equipment causes damages to my home when I work from home?

Your home insurance should cover any potential damage that a burning device could cause to your home, for instance. Your work computer and phone are included in the university's insurance coverage. However, the university’s excess fees are very high, which means that computers and phones should be treated as uninsured property.

Meetings and events

What applies to meetings and other physical gatherings?

Meetings with physical attendance can be held.

There is no longer a maximum limit to the number of participants in meetings, lecture halls or similar. The university’s recommendation, however, is that reasonable distance must be maintained in all situations where this is possible. The choice of premise should also take into account the number of participants to ensure that distance can be maintained. What distance is reasonable and possible varies depending on the situation. Umeå University’s guideline is to leave every other chair empty. The need to continue to keep distance to others is based on everyone still not being fully vaccinated.

The Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have lifted all limitations regarding number of participants. This means that the previously announced limit of 50 people per hall now has been removed in university premises. However, in the room booking system, TimeEdit, the maximum number of people per room is still adjusted to leaving every other chair empty until 1 November.

What applies regarding events – public and non-public ones?

Events, public and non-public ones, can be implemented in university premises.

There is no longer a maximum limit to the number of participants in meetings, lecture halls or similar. The university’s recommendation, however, is that reasonable distance must be maintained in all situations where this is possible. The choice of premise should also take into account the number of participants to ensure that distance can be maintained. What distance is reasonable and possible varies depending on the situation. Umeå University’s guideline is to leave every other chair empty. The need to continue to keep distance to others is based on everyone still not being fully vaccinated.[1] 

The Government and the Public Health Agency of Sweden have lifted all limitations regarding number of participants. This means that the previously announced limit of 50 people per hall now has been removed in university premises. However, in the room booking system, TimeEdit, the maximum number of people per room is still adjusted to leaving every other chair empty until 1 November.

Business trips

Business trips can be carried out. The traveller must stay informed and follow international, national and regional guidelines and recommendations regarding travels.

What do I need to consider before an international business trip?

The traveller must stay informed and follow international, national and regional guidelines and recommendations regarding travels. Stay at home if you have symptoms of disease.

You may need to show a negative test result before entering the country you are travelling to. You may also need to take a negative test upon return to Sweden. If you are not a Swedish citizen, you may also be affected by potential bans on travelling into Sweden again.

Download the app UD Resklar early in your travel plans to learn what applies to visits to and entry into the country. Also check that the country you wish to travel to is not included in the countries the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against travelling to.

Useful links

Sweden abroad (Embassy of Sweden)

If you are planning to travel (the Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Recommendation for all travellers to get tested for COVID-19 after arriving in Sweden (The Public Health Agency of Sweden)

Travel to Sweden during the corona pandemic (The Swedish Police Authority)

There may also be other things to consider, so stay updated.

How do I get tested prior to an international business trip?

If you are travelling to another country, within or outside of the EU, you may need to show that you do not carry COVID-19 by taking a test and showing a certificate upon entry into the country.

The occupational health care services Feelgood offers PCR testing and antigen testing for those purposes. Both of these tests are designed to show ongoing infection but find out which one is accepted in the country you are travelling to. Costs for testing are not included in the institution-wide agreement. Instead, departments or offices must cover such costs.

PCR testing 

When a business trip requires a PCR test prior to travelling, you must order your test in ample time, at least five working days before travelling.

Antigen tests 

An antigen test is a so-called rapid antigen diagnostic test in which you receive your test results within 15–30 minutes. This means that the test can be booked shortly before the business trip and a certificate is issued in conjunction with the testing.

Important considerations 

If testing is needed, your department or office covers the cost of your test, but you are responsible for booking your test.

Contact the occupational health care services to order testing

Vaccination

How do I get vaccinated?

Learn more about vaccination against COVID-19 from the medical region you belong to. Umeå is located in the Västerbotten County and Region Västerbotten is the medical authority in charge of vaccination in the county.

Vaccination in Västerbotten (1177 Healthcare Guide)

Can I get vaccinated on campus?

Region Västerbotten’s drop-in centre for vaccination against COVID-19 on Campus Umeå is open to everyone in society.

Learn more about the Vaccination centre on Campus Umeå

I’m not a Swedish citizen, can I still get vaccinated in Sweden?

You can get vaccinated even if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number. You can use one of the drop-in centres in the county or book an appointment by visiting a health centre of your choice. Remember to take a valid form of identification, such as an LMA card or an EU card. If you have a coordination number issued by the Swedish Tax Office, take that with you too. Vaccination against COVID-19 is free of charge and available to everyone, citizen or not.

Information about booking vaccination (1177 Healthcare Guide)

Drop-in vaccination (umu.se)

More information from Region Västerbotten

Read the information sheet about booking vaccination, getting tested and finding a healthcare centre

Health information Region Västerbotten (380 kB)

May I get vaccinated during paid work hours?

Yes, the university is offering members of staff to get vaccinated during paid working hours. Ask your manager if you have questions regarding time reporting. Read the news item on Aurora.

Symptoms and testing

How do I act if I have a cold or other symptoms of disease?

You must stay at home even if you only have mild symptoms as you cannot tell if this could be COVID-19 or not. This also applies if you have previously had COVID-19 or if you have been vaccinated. The Public Health Agency of Sweden recommends that adults with symptoms of COVID-19 get tested for ongoing infection. This also applies if you have been vaccinated. If you have had COVID-19 in the last six months, you usually do not need to get tested.

Source: The Public Health Agency of Sweden

Discuss your opportunities to work from home with your manager during your period of absence. If you are too sick to work, you must report sick leave in PASS.

Learn more about sick leave reimbursements, qualifying deduction and medical certificates (Aurora)

How do I get tested for COVID-19?

Region Västerbotten is responsible for PCR testing in the Västerbotten County. Testing is free of charge.

Please note that for testing due to other reasons than symptoms or contact tracing, you need to turn to private companies. For instance, when you need a certificate of negative test result, see the Business travels section.

Identification needed

Taking a COVID test requires identification. Valid forms of identification is a Swedish personal identity number, a reserve number issued by the healthcare system or a coordination number assigned by the Swedish Tax Agency.

If you have a valid means of identification stated above:

Read how to get tested for COVID-19 (1177 Healthcare Guide)

If you do not a valid means of identification:

Please contact a health centre of your choice by phone to get tested for COVID-19 and ask for a reserve number to use in contact with the Swedish healthcare services.

UPDATE! The temporary identity number issued by Umeå University from the payroll unit, thus containing a U in the last four digits cannot be used to get tested for COVID-19. Only temporary identity numbers with a T in the last four digits can be used for this purpose. Getting tested using the university’s temporary identity number (umu.se)

Find a health centre

Here is a list of some health centres in Umeå you can contact if you need help to get tested for COVID-19, to book vaccination or need other medical assistance:

All health centres on the map

Mariehems hälsocentral
+46 90 785 44 44
Morkullevägen 9, Umeå

Ålidhems hälsocentral
+46 90 785 44 58
Tvistevägen 2, Umeå

Capio hälsocentral Dragonen
+46 90 785 91 48
Ridvägen 12, Umeå

Citymottagningen hälsocentral
+46 90 785 93 21
Nygatan 19B, Umeå

Ersboda hälsocentral
+46 90 785 44 57
Hälsogränd 3, Umeå

Hälsocentralen Husläkarna i Umeå
+46 90 785 93 88
Storgatan 28B, Umeå

Norrlandsklinikens hälsocentral
+46 90 785 93 22
Glimmervägen 5E, Umeå

Tegs hälsocentral
+46 90 785 44 56
Tegsplan 2C, Umeå

Central vaccinationsmottagning Umeå
Only for vaccination, will close in autumn 2021.
Nolia, Signalvägen 3, Umeå

Emergency Care Medicine
If you are seriously ill or have been gravely injured, you can seek help at the emergency care clinic (akutmottagning) at the University Hospital of Umeå (Norrlands universitetssjukhus).

Call the alarm number 112 if a person’s life is in danger and you need help straight away.

Do I need to report to my manager if I have tested positive for COVID-19?

You have no legal obligation to report to your manager if you have tested positive for COVID-19, but it is still recommended as the university can detect potential clusters or spot trends of increased infection among students and staff.

If you have been at your workplace during the period when you were suspected to be contagious, any potential people you had close contact with will be included in the contact tracing that you are obliged to do with the help of Region Västerbotten. And if that is the case, it is beneficial that your manager is notified of your positive test result in order to better handle any worries colleagues or students may have. Even if you have not been at your workplace, it could still be beneficial that your manager is informed so that you can get the support you need.

Your personal data will be processed confidentially.

My COVID-19 test results were negative, can I go back to work?

A negative PCR test result means that you probable did not carry the virus when the sample was taken.

You can return to work, school or start meeting others again as soon as you have no fever and you feel healthy.

However, if you start feeling worse, you must not return to work or see other people again. You may need to take another test.

Source: 1177 Healthcare Guide

Do I need to show a medical certificate if I’m ill?

From 1 October 2021, the Government has removed the exception that has applied regarding medical certificates during the pandemic. This means that employees need to show a medical certificate to their employers on day 8 of their sick pay period and to the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan) on day 15 when you apply for sickness allowance if you fall ill on or after 1 October 2021.

Learn about sick leave and medical certificates (Aurora)

Read about the Government decision to remove measures (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency)

What has happened with the qualifying deduction?

When an employee is absent due to sickness in Sweden, the first day of sickness is a so-called qualifying period for which the employee receives no salary. During the pandemic, employees have been able to apply for compensation for the qualifying deduction from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan). However, for sick leave from 1 October and onwards, this compensation will no longer be granted. This means that the salary deduction made for the qualifying period is reinstated according to regular rules. It is still possible to apply for compensation for days of sick leave that took place on 30 September and earlier.

Find out more about reimbursements during sick leave (Aurora)

Read about the Government decision to remove measures (the Swedish Social Insurance Agency)

Worry and support

I feel worried, how should I handle my feelings?

Talk to your manager if you feel worried or concerned. You can also turn to the occupational healthcare services Feelgood if you are in need of support or counselling.

Learn more on Aurora

I'm in an at-risk group for severe COVID-19 or pregnant, what applies to me?

Read the information on the page Risks and worries when returning to the workplace on Aurora.

Questions regarding teaching

Staff who have questions related to teaching and study administration due to COVID-19 can find out more on Aurora. Also, see the pages Teaching and Examination.

Study-related questions due to COVID-19

Questions and answers related to studies and study administration due to COVID-19.

Contact the University's Crisis Management Team

Please contact the Crisis Management Team using corona@umu.se with all questions related to COVID-19.