Information on coronavirus

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve at international and national levels. VIVES closely monitors the situation, always taking into account the advice of the government and in close consultation with KU Leuven. You will find the latest updates on this webpage.

Covid-19 approach - message from the managing director, Joris Hindryckx (16/09/2020)

The new academic year is fast approaching and therefore we would like to inform you about some practical guidelines within VIVES University of Applied Sciences in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts, the Flemish Interuniversity Council (VLIR) and the Flemish Council of Universities of Applied Sciences (VLHORA), in consultation with the GEES, have agreed on a framework for the organisation of the academic year 2020-2021. This academic year, we will work with different pandemic levels, striving for a feasible balance between educational activities on campus or in the professional field and distance learning. We can start the academic year in code 'yellow with great vigilance'.

We are pleased that colleges and universities can start 'reasonably normal' and we want to keep it that way. That is why we would like to ask you to respect social distancing wherever possible this year. Anyone showing symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive will stay at home and, if necessary, can look for an alternative form of education in consultation with the head of the programme / the ombuds. As a matter of mutual concern, you can report a positive test immediately via the attached link. Both internal reports and reports from the contact research call centre will always be handled with discretion. The prevention advisor will consult the occupational physician so that we can take appropriate measures.

If you belong to a high-risk group, you can apply for a special status via your student counsellor. Via this status you can, in consultation with the head of the programme and/or your ombudsperson, make use of a number of education and examination facilities.

You are currently required to wear a face mask in all classrooms, both during and between classes, and when you move around our buildings. This is not necessary during breaks in the open air or during sports activities. The teacher can only take off their mask during class if more than one and a half metres physical distance can be guaranteed. If you are carpooling with a fellow student who is not a part your social bubble, you are better off wearing a mask during the ride.

Everyone will be able to experience contact education during code 'yellow' on campus, but not at the same time. We pay particular attention to first-year students and graduate programmes. This will manifest itself in blended education, a mix of online and on-campus education.

In classrooms where theory lessons are given, one chair should be left empty between each student. The places where you may sit are always marked with a yellow dot. The other tables and seats must therefore remain free. Practical and computer lessons can take place as in normal circumstances, i.e. with the entire class group. It is very important to maintain good hygiene. That is why disinfectant and disinfecting wipes are provided in each classroom, so that you can disinfect your table yourself. Please note that this disinfectant is not meant to be used on computer equipment, screens and plexiglass screens, as this may cause damage. In some classes materials will have to be exchanged, but it is not always possible to disinfect everything. That is why we also ask you to wash and disinfect your hands regularly. We provide pumps with disinfectant gel in various places in all buildings. There are also certain classes, the content of which is adjusted so that they can take place safely. If wearing a mask is no longer required in theory classes, it would still be compulsory to wear a mask at all times during practical and computer classes.

The ventilation systems of our buildings are set up according to the latest guidelines, so that the spread of the corona virus through ventilation can be avoided. We would like to ask you to open the doors and windows as much as possible or to place them in a tilted position. This is also possible, for example, during breaks or between classes.

You will find the system of the yellow dots everywhere and in every campus: in the classrooms, in the library, in the student restaurants, in the social zones... So you can only sit down where there is a yellow dot.

Of course you can eat and drink on campus. This means that the restaurants, sandwich bars, takeaways, water fountains, Starbucks and other vending machines are available for you this academic year. In the restaurants you have to follow a few additional guidelines: there are separate entrances and exits, disinfect your hands on entry, follow the directional arrows on the way to your table, register your presence by scanning the QR-code on the table with your smartphone, only pay with a bank card and only sit where there is a yellow dot. Your mask may only be removed when you are sitting down. As in the classrooms, there will be disinfectant and disinfectant wipes so that you can disinfect your own spot. Or download the app 'B by Sodexo' to place and pay for your order in advance and pick it up later at one of the collection points.

If you are going on an internship, you will have to comply with the rules of that sector and of the internship placement. If you are going abroad temporarily, you must respect the safety and travel conditions of the countries concerned and of the foreign partners. Further information can be obtained via our International Office. If you return from a red or orange zone, you will be asked to complete the Passenger Locator Form and to respect the government's guidelines on quarantine and corona testing.

Although the exam period is still a couple of months away, we can say that exams and the bachelor thesis presentations will likely take place on our campuses. We will also work with the yellow dot system during examinations and we will provide plexiglass screens where necessary.

The new academic year will be different, but at the same time we hope - thanks to all these measures - that together we will be able to overcome the virus and go back to a more ‘normal’ situation as soon as possible. Nevertheless, we would like nothing more than for the new academic year to be safe, healthy and successful for you. That is what we are going for together, and we would like to thank you now for your commitment and perseverance.

During the academic year, we will provide regular updates on our COVID-19 approach.

Good luck in this academic year.

Information for incoming exchange students (21/08/2020)

TRAVELS TO BELGIUM

From the 1st of August, all persons who are planning to travel to Belgium are required to fill in a Passenger Locator Form in the 48 hours before arrival in Belgium. This online form, once completed, will be considered as condition for entry.

Link to the form: https://travel.info-coronavirus.be/public-health-passenger-locator-form

In Belgium we work with colour codes to indicate which measures apply to which travellers. There are 3 types of zones (RED - ORANGE - GREEN). The color codes do not apply to transit zones. 

RED: Mandatory quarantine and test on arrival. 

ORANGE: Quarantine and test are recommended on arrival.

! Important note ! VIVES has decided that also students coming from an orange zone have to go in quarantine for 2 weeks. 

GREEN: There are no restrictions. 

You can find an overview of the different zones on this website: https://diplomatie.belgium.be/en (under the title 'you are returning from ...'). Please note that the list on the website may change on a daily basis.

All non-essential travels from countries who are not part of the EU or Schengen area are prohibited. This travel restriction do not apply to third-country nationals who are in possession of a residence card or D-visa (such as students). 

If you come from an orange or red zone, we advise you to arrive 2 weeks before the welcome day to go into quarantine. If arriving earlier isn't possible, please inform the international office ([email protected]) and we will look together for a solution. 

Which rules should I respect during my quarantine or self-isolation?

TEACHING ACTIVITIES

We are planning to resume face-to-face teaching activities as much as possible from the beginning of autumn semester. At the same time, we will be ready to run our study process remotely in case the situation becomes worse.

We will start autumn semester as planned on the 14th of September in Kortrijk and on the 15th of September in Brugge. 

DAILY LIFE IN BELGIUM 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

  • If you are using public transport (bus, tram or train), wear a face mask covering your mouth and nose.

SHOPS

  • You must wear a face mask in all shops. This is mandatory.
  • All shops are open. Go shopping alone and do not take longer than 30 minutes.

PUBS AND RESTAURANTS

  • Pubs and restaurants are open until 1:00 a.m.
  • It's best to make a reservation.
  • You can go to bars or restaurants only with you family (or the people you live with) and your 5 stable contacts. 
  • Stay seated at the table.
  • You must wear a face mask. This is mandatory. If you are sitting down at a table, you do not need to wear a face mask.
  • You must leave your contact details.

SOCIAL CONTACT

  • Each family (or anyone living together with others) may meet up with a maximum of 5 people. These must always be the same people. 
  • If you can respect the distance of 1.5 meters, then you can do activities with a maximum of 10 people, for example walking or cycling. 

SPORTS AND LEISURE

  • All locations have reopened, e.g. libraries, theme parks, indoor playgrounds and casinos.
  • You must wear a face mask. This is mandatory in the following places: shops and shopping malls, shopping streets, crowded places, public buildings, markets, public transport, libraries, cinemas, museums, theatres, concert halls, conference halls, auditoria, fairgrounds, religious buildings. 
  • You need to give your contact info when you go to wellness centres, sports lessons in a club, swimming pools, casinos, party and reception rooms. 

What is not yet allowed?

  • Discotheques or night clubs are not yet allowed to reopen.
  • Big events (such as festivals) are not allowed.

Preventive measures

What can you do yourself to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (and other diseases such as flu)?

  1. Be sure to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly (40 to 60 sec.) with soap and water.
  2. Do you have to cough? Put it in a paper handkerchief or in the inside of your elbow.
  3. Use paper handkerchiefs when sneezing or sniffing and throw them away in a lockable bin.
  4. Avoid giving hands. Greet each other with a wave or elbow.
  5. Be sure to stay home when you are sick. Don't go to work or school.
  6. Avoid close contact with sick people yourself.
  7. Try to be careful not to touch your face with your hands as much as possible.

More information