City centre campus recovery plan from the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus

Page updated on June 1st 2020.

Phased start of operations on the city centre campus

Everyone now works remotely as a rule at the city centre campus, and this practice will continue until the beginning of the next academic year.

Work is staggered to ensure the continuity of research and the progress of projects and theses, as well as to reduce the financial risks of research projects. The work is planned according to given instructions so as to minimise physical encounters. The goal is that the number of users does not exceed the given assembly limits or cause unnecessarily dangerous situations. Properties must not be congested in a way that endangers, for example, the maintenance of safe social distancing.

The city centre campus follows the instructions of the Government and the recovery plan approved by the University's crisis group

The University has instructed that time-critical necessary research activities can be launched gradually, provided that the given rules are followed, physical contact between people is minimised, proper hygiene is carried out, and no one comes to the campus if they have symptoms of an illness. All activities take into account the existing national safety guidelines. The instructions may need to be revised or cancelled on short notice if the general situation so requires. The response centres of the faculties and independent institutes of the city centre campus will provide more detailed instructions if necessary.

Gatherings of up to 10 people in one place are allowed.

General information on campus

  • As a rule, telecommuting will be continued.
  • The National Library is launching lending services for limited self-service use on 14 May (see the National Library website for more detailed instructions).
  • The lending activities of the University of Helsinki Library will continue in accordance with the exceptional conditions as before (see the Helsinki University Library website for more detailed instructions).
  • The operations of the training schools will start on 14 May in accordance with the guidelines from the Government.
  • If necessary, a quick visit to the University’s premises is still allowed.
  • Each visitor is responsible for adhering to safe social distancing, carrying out hand hygiene and cleaning all surfaces after using social facilities (break rooms, kitchens).
  • The use of the facilities is monitored through the electronic keys.


  • Remote teaching will continue.


  • Research will be conducted remotely until the end of May.

Gatherings of up to 50 people are allowed.

General information

  • Telecommuting will generally continue at least until 16.8.2020.
  • If necessary, a quick visit to the University’s premises is allowed.
  • Each visitor is responsible for adhering to safe social distances, carrying out hand hygiene, and cleaning all surfaces after using social facilities (break rooms, kitchens). 
  • The management of the faculty and independent institutes can monitor the use of facilities through spot checks to ensure that assembly restrictions are not exceeded. The University also monitors the use of facilities through the electronic keys.
  • As a general rule, meetings are still to be held remotely. Small-scale meetings can be held on the University's premises if safe social distancing and other instructions are followed. The number of people is entered in the facility reservation system.
  • In work processes (other than teaching and research, see below), priority is given to tasks that absolutely cannot be done remotely (agreed with the supervisor and reported to the reservation system). Working on University premises is allowed only in exceptional cases; staff must always agree beforehand with their supervisor about work to be performed on the premises (the supervisor will notify the relevant sector director of such employees) and then make a room booking in the booking system.


  • As a general rule, remote teaching will continue, but examinations and field courses that are critical for graduation can be arranged in accordance with safe social distancing and meeting restrictions, as well as other instructions. The response centres will make these decisions.
  • Notifications can be made to the faculty response centre about critical exams and field courses.

Doctoral defences


1. Research or other work on the University’s premises

Starting from 1 June, any necessary research or other work which cannot be carried out remotely or postponed will be commenced on the University’s premises. In addition, it is recommended that priority for working on the University’s premises be given to those whose telecommuting conditions are poor. (Poor telecommuting conditions here mean, for example, that telecommuting is not undisturbed or that a person has to share the same telecommuting point with someone else, or that the person feels that telecommuting is exceptionally burdensome for another reason.)
The aim is that the number of users in the premises of the city centre campus does not exceed the given instructions (e.g., the Government's guidelines for simultaneous gatherings of 50 people), taking into account safety and health guidelines. No visitors from outside the University (incl. participants in research projects) are allowed on the University premises at this stage.

In this case, the following procedure is to be followed: Researchers notify the response centre of the start of their research/work and, after obtaining permission, reserve a work space from the facility reservation system for their workstation/work location.

These steps are defined as follows:

  • Notification: Researchers are requested to notify the response centre about the start of their research work using the e-form. The research cannot be started until permission to begin has been granted.
  • Approval: The unit's response centre approves or rejects the request for permission to start research, or requests additional clarifications.
    • Information on the research activities to be started and their schedule will be stored in the Flamma’s Covid19 crisis working group area in the response centre’s data.
    • The response centre notifies the TILA division and the IT Centre's Helpdesk service of the restored operations at least two working days in advance in order to ensure the proper condition of the premises and functional telecommunication connections.
  • The reservation system monitors the utilisation rate of the premises:
    • The researcher makes a reservation using the online form. (Online form can also be found at Flamma workgroup: Workspace reservation City Centre Campus). Each building has its own facility reservation form.
    • The form is used to make a reservation for the days on which the work will take place on the University's premises.
    • The purpose of the reservation system is to coordinate the use of the premises in order to minimise physical encounters on the premises. The properties on the city centre campus are divided into zones formed by floors and wings, which can accommodate a maximum of 50 people at a time between 1.6 and 31.7.2020, taking into account safety and health guidelines. In addition to teaching and research staff and other staff, this quota of 50 people also includes all occasional visitors to the properties and, for example, any technical maintenance staff on the premises.
    • Shared workrooms: Employees agree on work shifts in shared workrooms and make a reservation on this basis.

The response centres of the faculties and independent institutes of the city centre campus will provide more detailed instructions if necessary.

2. Research conducted outside the University

At present, the University does not, as a general rule, recommend commencing research outside the University which does not comply with the safety instructions given for safe social distancing. If necessary, contact the response centre of your unit.

The University will later issue separate instructions for initiating research in the humanities and social sciences, which is directed to persons or organisations outside the University (e.g., acquisition of field materials, interviews outside the University and observation) and which will be carried out outside the University.

It should be noted that the Government and the municipalities have compiled guidelines for some research objects that restrict the initiation of research (e.g., for schools and early childhood education). In this case, observation in kindergartens, for example, is not possible.

  • Work arrangements will transition towards normal activities, i.e., all work can be done on the University’s premises (no public or mass events exceeding 500 people).
  • Telecommuting will still be an option.
  • Teaching and other activities will begin, with the exception of mass teaching events, and online teaching will still be an option.
  • Self-study facilities may be used on a limited basis (a maximum of 500 people) if the crisis management team so decides.
  • Operations will begin according to the new normal.