Caution required at large gatherings
Take great caution at events with lots of participants, and take measures designed to reduce the spread of infection – these are the principles Linköping University (LiU) will adopt when new provisions related to the coronavirus pandemic come into force on 1 December.
The government has approved the measures proposed by the Public Health Agency of Sweden to protect against the spread of infection. They come into force on 1 December and impose conditions on how indoor public gatherings and events with more than 100 participants can be carried out with or without vaccination certificates.
“The provisions about public gatherings and events don’t affect the university substantially, but we still want anybody who arranges an activity with lots of participants to stop and ask themselves whether it’s possible to do so safely. Will it be possible, for example, for the participants to practise social distancing and avoid crowding?”, asks Joakim Nejdeby, a member of the working group set up by LiU to monitor how the pandemic is developing.
Teaching, holding exams and conducting research at higher education institutions are not defined as public gatherings or events. However, LiU has been carefully monitoring the development of the pandemic and the increasing infection rates across Europe. LiU believes that the university should exercise caution and increase preparedness for the possibility of new restrictions affecting university activities. LiU recommends, therefore, that caution be taken when holding indoor activities – such as meetings or events – with more than 100 participants.
“At the moment, it’s important to remember that vaccination is the best way to avoid serious disease and the spread of COVID-19. We advise anyone who is not vaccinated to get the jab. Those who have not been vaccinated should take care to avoid infection”, says Joakim Nejdeby.
What should we do about meetings with fewer than 100 participants?
Answer: We must continue to follow the currently valid advice and recommendations during all activities. Any activity that is not an indoor public gathering or event at which more than 100 people participate can take place. Consider carefully how to conduct the activity to avoid the spread of infection.
Why is LiU not demanding the use of vaccination certificates?
Answer: It is not possible to require vaccination certificates for most activities at LiU, since this requirement can be used only for public gatherings and events. We have not previously required vaccination certificates or negative test results from students or co-workers, and we will not start doing so now.
When will we be able to hold our conference? When will the restrictions be lifted?
Answer: COVID-19 is still classed as a communicable disease, and provisions imposed by official bodies to reduce the spread of infection will continue to affect our everyday life. The risks of an increased rate infection during the winter are currently being discussed. This makes it difficult to give a definitive answer about when a particular conference can be held.
What will happen with student fairs and meetings arranged by student societies, for example? Can they decide for themselves how they should act?
Answer: Student societies are independent of LiU and can themselves decide which measures should be taken. LiU has had a close and extensive collaboration with the student unions and societies during the pandemic, which has helped slow the spread of infection and offer vaccinations on campus. This dialogue will continue and will cover such things as student events on LiU premises.
What are the regulations for public gatherings with more than 100 participants?
Answer: Proposals from the Public Health Agency of Sweden are given here (in Swedish):
Translated by Benjamin Davies
Last updated: 2021-11-25