University of Eastern Finland issues mask guidelines

The university will provide masks for staff and students to use in situations where safe distancing is not possible.

File photo from University of Eastern Finland. The mask recommendation takes effect from Wednesday. Image: Sami Takkinen / Yle

The University of Eastern Finland (UEF) has rolled out a mask recommendation for students and personnel that takes effect immediately.

The institution is recommending that masks be used in working and teaching situations where it is not possible to make arrangements for safe distancing or where it is not possible for people to maintain a safe distance from others.

The masks are therefore to be used during laboratory work, for contact teaching or counselling, in compulsory meetings or in customer service work where a protective plexiglass shield is not available.

The university said that it will provide masks to staff and students for use in such situations.

"We are prepared to begin mask distribution on campuses immediately," UEF administrative manager Tuomo Meriläinen said.

Meriläinen said that the university did not yet have a clear idea of how much it would cost to provide the masks, nor could it say whether or not it would receive government funding for them.

"The recommendation will be in force for as long as is needed, as required by the coronavirus situation," Meriläinen noted.

He added that the university’s coronavirus team meets every Monday to assess the situation.

UEF is also recommending that masks be used by people commuting to and from its campuses on public transport. However it will not fund or supply masks used for this purpose.

Students in traineeship or internship programmes have been advised to comply with safety guidelines issued at their places of work.