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Questions and answers for staff

Recent updates, last updated on 13 January 2021

(13 January 2022) Updated questions

  • What applies regarding work from home or work at the workplace?
  • What applies to meetings and other physical gatherings?
  • What applies regarding events – public and non-public ones?

(20 December 2021) Updated questions
(With reference to decision from 9 December)

  • What applies regarding distances?
  • What applies regarding work from home or work at the workplace?
  • What applies to meetings and other physical gatherings?
  • What applies regarding events – public and non-public ones?
  • How do I get tested for COVID-19?
  • What has happened with the qualifying deduction?

(3 December 2021) New question

  • Can Umeå University demand that students are vaccinated to participate in teaching or examination?

(24 November 2021) Updated links

  • Information about who is recommended testing is now available in English from the Public Health Agency of Sweden. Links are updated.

(22 November 2021) Updated questions

  • What applies if I’m not vaccinated?

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

(2 November 2021) Updated questions

  • What applies regarding distances?

  • What applies if I’m not vaccinated?

  • What applies regarding work from home or work at the workplace?

  • What applies to meetings and other physical gatherings?

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

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

  • What should I do if I have a cold or other symptoms of disease?

(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?

Those who visit university premises should maintain distance to others and avoid crowding. Beside that, the guideline to leave every other chair empty in lecture halls has been reintroduced. Large lectures (over 50 students) should, if possible, be conducted online to avoid crowding.

Unvaccinated individuals should avoid indoor environments where many people gather.
  particular responsibility to maintain distance to others and avoid places that are crowded, according to the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s guidelines.

What applies if I’m not vaccinated?

Preventing the spread of COVID-19

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 general guidelines, unvaccinated individuals should avoid indoor environments where many people gather. This is to avoid being infected.

These guidelines do not apply to people under the age of 18 or for those who have been advised against the COVID-19 vaccination on medical grounds.

Symptoms and testing

Everyone showing symptoms of a respiratory tract infection should stay at home. Such symptoms include a sore throat, fever, cough and a general feeling of illness. Both those who have been vaccinated and those who have not should also take a PCR test for COVID-19 if symptoms appear. These recommendations were updated on 22 November 2021.

Learn how to get tested (1177 Healthcare Guide)

Learn more about who should get tested and when (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 regarding work from home or work at the workplace?

Up until 31 January 2022, everyone who can is to work from home. Employees who must work from the workplace can do so.

Everyone showing symptoms of a respiratory tract infection should stay at home, regardless of vaccination or previous COVID-19 infection. Those who are recommended testing should get tested.

In brief, this applies to all staff visiting the workplace

  • Maintain distance to others and avoid crowding in university premises.
  • Unvaccinated people must take extra responsibility to maintain distance to others.
  • All meetings are to be held online.

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 for the work injury insurance to apply.

Examples of cases that could be covered by the insurance 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?

During periods when the spread of infection is high and employees are asked to work from home, meetings, events and other gatherings are to be conducted online or be postponed.

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

During periods when the spread of infection is high and employees are asked to work from home, meetings, events and other gatherings are to be conducted online or be postponed.

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, for instance the one on Campus Umeå, 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 on Campus Umeå (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.

Can Umeå University demand that students are vaccinated to participate in teaching or examination?

No. Umeå University cannot demand that students are vaccinated or request vaccination certificates to participate in teaching and examination. A student who has been admitted to a course or programme has the right to participate regardless of vaccination status. However, individuals who are not vaccinated are responsible for maintaining distance to others. Everyone in society is also responsible for following the guidelines issued by the Public Health Agency of Sweden and stay at home when you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Symptoms and testing

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

From 22 November 2021, the Public Health Agency of Sweden has issued new recommendations regarding symptoms and testing for COVID-19 stating that everyone, regardless of vaccination, should get tested when they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Everyone, both fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated people and those who have had a COVID-19 infection in the last 6 months should stay at home if they develop symptoms of a respiratory tract infection. Such symptoms include a sore throat, fever, cough and a general feeling of illness.

You should get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible if you have symptoms. This applies to both those who are vaccinated and those who are not.

If you have travelled outside of the Nordic countries, you are recommended to get tested.

If you work in medical and health care, you must follow special routines for testing.

Learn how to get tested (1177)

Learn more about who should get tested (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 visit the pick-up and drop-off station for COVID-19 self-testing on Gösta Skoglunds väg 8 in Umeå and ask for a reserve number. You will need to show proof of identification. Or for other destinations, 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.

Getting tested with the temporary identity number from Umeå University

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, these are issued to students. Learn more on 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 attendance:

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

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

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

Medical advice

Call 1177 or +46 771 1177 00 if you or someone else gets ill and you need to talk to a nurse for advice on what to do or where to go for help. The nurses speak Swedish and English. Help in other languages is sometimes available.

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?

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 period from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (Försäkringskassan).

This possibility was removed between 31 September until 7 December 2021. But the Government has announced that they intend to reintroduce the compensation. If you have been on sick leave on 8 December or afterwards, please save information of your sick leave and await more information from the Government.

You still need to report sick in PASS if you are absent from work due to illness.

Find out more about reimbursements during sick leave (Aurora)

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.

Questions and comments

If you have questions or comments about the university’s information or handling of COVID-19, please contact the Crisis Management Team on corona@umu.se.