On Thursday 12 March, the government of the Czech Republic declared a State of Emergency for 30 days and settled strict measures, including a travel ban for foreigners to enter the Czech Republic (apart from foreigners with permanent residence or temporary residence over 90 days) and restriction of free people movement
All measures and recommendations by the government and by Masaryk University are available at the website of Masaryk University www.muni.cz/en/coronavirus. It is also important to follow measures by specific faculties of Masaryk University, and to read your university e-mail and the notice board in Information system of MU.
– All foreigners are prohibited to enter the Czech Republic from Monday 16 March. The only exceptions to entering the country are foreigners with a temporary stay over 90 days or permanent residence. International students who don’t have a visa to the Czech Republic (that means EU citizens, UK, students here with less than 90 days) will not be allowed to enter the Czech Republic during the State of Emergency, if they decide to leave the country. If these students are currently in the Czech Republic they can remain. Please find more info here www.muni.cz/en/coronavirus.
– International carriers are banned from transporting more than 9 people across the borders. Even though foreigners can always leave the country (but some of them will have troubles to re-enter), it is hard to do so, as international carriers (trains, busses, etc.) are not operating. One of the possibilities is to leave the Czech Republic in a (borrowed) car.
– The government has suspended issuing visas and residence permits during the time of State of Emergency. Students who were legally in the territory of the Czech Republic, may remain in the territory for the duration of the State of Emergency, even if their visa will expire. Upon the end of the State of Emergency, students must resolve their status immediately.
- Free movement of people is restricted, you can mainly go to work and go shopping for food, medicine, animal food etc. You can also go to medical facilities, arrange urgent official matter, go to nature or to parks, however these walks should be done alone.
– All contact teaching is cancelled until 13 April, but distance learning continues with the use of electronic communication tools. The aim of all measures is to reduce physical contact, but it is possible do consultations and exams by electronic tools, such as Microsoft Teams which are free for university students thanks to a licence for Masaryk University.
– Students in internships or practical training may continue to do so if the provider agrees. Cancelling of contact teaching or restriction of people movement do not apply to practical teaching.
– Practice at the Faculty of Medicine of MU is permitted, only students of the 6th year of General Medicine and the 5th year of Dentistry will be available for clinical pre-graduate internships. Students of Faculty of Education are allowed to do assistant practice of tutoring in families.
– Deans of individual faculties and guarantors of individual subjects gradually approach to postponing certain deadlines for submission of theses, exams and so on.
Decisions regarding postponing of certain deadlines such as submission of theses, exams, etc. are up to individual deans and programme guarantors. Please look for communication from them regarding these decisions. Find more information on the websites of faculties and departments, to follow your university e-mail, or to contact your supervisors. Please be patient in this time as the situation is changing rapidly.
– Students living in dormitories can still stay there, however students must follow the new regulations. Also, university canteens and cafeterias (operated by the Accommodation and Catering Services of MU) are still operating, but not all of them. Please note that you need to order your food online in advance. Canteens are opened only for students and employees, not for public. The opening hours are adjusted. Situation may change in the future, so please see the updates at www.muni.cz/en/coronavirus or www.skm.muni.cz/menza?en.
– Students, and in particular doctoral students (who have an employment relationship at MUNI), can, as well as employees, go to work when it is necessary. However, it is ideal when employees agree with their superiors on home office or vacation. Employees over the age 70, pregnant workers, employees after transplantation or employees with other serious medical indications should stay home on home office.
– All buildings of Masaryk University are closed to the public and students. Students will be admitted only if they have a work contract with MU, if they have practice in the building or they come to help as volunteers.
– If you have the time and desire to help with the coping of the coronavirus epidemic, Masaryk University is looking for volunteers and offers volunteers to institutions and individuals as well. Find more info here www.muni.cz/en/coronavirus#volunteering. Volunteering is an exception to the restriction on free movement of people, so you will be able to carry out your activity.
Please read regularly www.muni.cz/en/coronavirus. If you do not find an answer there, you can write to email@example.com.
(Originally published in M magazine)