Working from home and Christmas lunches based on new COVID measures

9 December 2021

Umeå University must make it possible for employees to work somewhat from home. It is up to each line manager to decide what tasks, if any, can be conducted from home. The University discourages large gatherings of staff, but Christmas lunches may be possible.

The wordings of the Government's action plan against COVID-19 that took effect on 8 December states that "employers must make it possible for employees to work from home to some extent". For this reason, Umeå University will postpone the gradual return to the workplace that was planned for the turn of the year.

This applies from 8 December

Work tasks that need to be performed at the workplace, can continue to do so. When it comes to other work tasks that can be conducted from home, each line manager decides to what extent staff are given the opportunity to work from home.

The purpose of providing staff with extended opportunities to work from home is to ensure that those who need to be at the workplace can maintain distance in the university's premises, both in the office and in break rooms.

Be clear that everyone with symptoms stay at home and get tested

As a manager, it is important that you keep informing your staff about the importance of staying at home in the event of symptoms arising. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 must also get tested using a PCR test. Also, please remind your staff of the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID-19 during working hours and of the vaccination centre in Universum.

Avoid large gatherings with over 25 people

Umeå University discourages Christmas parties and large gatherings of staff. However, a seated Christmas lunch can be held if distance can be maintained between groups and crowding can be avoided. The organiser is responsible for assuring that distances can be maintained.

Small meetings can be implemented with physical attendance if distance can be maintained, but larger meetings and events such as public lectures should be conducted online or be postponed.

A guideline from the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten is to limit group sizes to 25 people. When it is possible to maintain distance, the formerly used "every other chair" principle can be adopted, but Umeå University will not issue any strict guidelines regarding distances at this point.

For teaching and examination, no limitations to the number of people or distances apply. However, students should maintain distance before and after lectures, exams and similar to avoid crowding. At written hall examinations, there are special guidelines in place regarding distances between students. The Examination Services ensure that these are maintained. In situations in which reasonable distance cannot be maintained, face masks should be used.

Questions or comments

If you have questions or comments about the university's information or handling of COVID-19, please contact the Crisis Management Team on

Learn more

Read the decision for Umeå University

Åtgärder mot covid-19 från 8 december (the Public Health Agency of Sweden, their English information has not yet been updated)

Åtgärdsplan för införande av fler smittskyddsåtgärder från och med 8 december 2021 (Government Offices of Sweden)

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