As of today, lectures, seminars, laboratory classes, and group consultations held at Masaryk University can be attended by a maximum of 50 people. Besides reducing the number of people who can meet for academic activities, the university also now requires students to report if they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are in self-isolation. The rector’s new emergency measures also forbid people with symptoms of viral infections from entering university buildings. These regulations are valid from 1 September 2020 until 17 January 2021.
According to Rector Martin Bareš, the university has limited in-class instruction and introduced other measures now, before there has been any fundamental change in the epidemiological situation, out of a sense of responsibility and an abundance of caution. “This spring Masaryk University demonstrated that it can react quickly and effectively and knows how to communicate, cooperate, and, above all, predict what will happen. And we want to continue doing so,” says Bareš.
The new academic year begins on 5 October 2020, and although administrators realize the reintroduction of online teaching may be necessary, they are primarily expecting face-to-face, classroom instruction to resume in the autumn. “Unfortunately, the epidemiological situation will affect the academic year, whether we like it or not. In issuing these measures, I have taken into account the experiences of foreign universities, and I aim to preserve classroom teaching to the extent that it is possible,” explains Bareš.
The university is also preparing its own coronavirus traffic light alert system, according to which teaching and other activities will be limited based on the threat level. By following these guidelines, which will be issued along with other recommendations this week after talks are held between university leaders and the Emergency Committee, Masaryk University will be able to avoid adopting school-wide measures and instead can implement measures at certain faculties, buildings, or offices where the epidemiological situation has worsened.