Coronavirus (COVID-19)



By Aoileann Ní Bhroin

Posted: 13 May, 2020

For information for International Officers about COVID-19, please click here.

15 May 2020

Latest news from Portugal:

In Portugal the reopening of trade and services will be gradual and will operate in three phases: the first started on May 4 and spaces up to 200m2, small shops, hairdressers, barbers, car stands, conservatories, individual sports, libraries, archives and bookstores opened; the second phase, if all goes well, will start on 18 May and spaces up to 400 m2, restaurants, museums, cafes, terraces, palaces, daycare centers and schools (11th and 12th years) will reopen; the third phase, if everything goes well, will start on 1 June and spaces with more than 400 m2, stores, citizen’s stores, shopping centers, cinemas and theaters with restricted capacity and collective sports will open.

13 May 2020

Latest news from Luxembourg:

The strict measures taken by the government have led to slowing down the spread of the virus and the schools can gradually reopen.

The Ministry of Education, Children and Youth has tried to strike a balance between the safety of teachers and students on the one hand and the fundamental missions of schools on the other hand, which are to ensure that everyone has the best chances to succeed and also to ensure an effective and smooth ending of the school year.

This is the reason why on May 4th senior classes of secondary education resumed. On May 11th classes, secondary schools will reopen for all other students (classes 7ième to 2ième) and on May 25th , fundamental schools, day-care centres and out of school centres will reopen.

All the necessary measures are being taken in order to guarantee that teachers and students are safe and that at the same time high quality teaching is ensured. Class sizes will be halved, teachers will teach the same lessons during two weeks. The students will receive home-work and assignments to work on during the week they will not be in school.

Additional information on the latest news relating to Covid-19 in Luxembourg and the deconfinement strategy can be found here.

7 May 2020

Latest news from Spain:

The state of alert in Spain has been extended by a further two weeks (until 24th May). The Spanish Government has approved the Plan for the Transition, a de-escalation plan which will gradually be implemented until the end of June. The plan will be implemented in four phases and the de-escalation will take place according to the control of the epidemic in each province and to the extent that the health situation in that area allows. You can find more information in English about this plan here.

The schools in Spain will not reopen before the next school year, meaning September 2020. Education will continue online until June 2020, with some exceptions for those regions that will enter Phase II (not before 25th May):

– nursery schools will open for children (0-6 years old) whose parents have to return to work
– students that have to prepare for official exams that give access to further studies (groups of more than 15 people will not be allowed)
– students in need of extra support lessons (groups of more than 15 people will not be allowed)
– students of special needs education centres

Latest news from Slovakia:

The Slovak government has decided to accelerate the lifting of restrictions (merging originally planned 2 phases into 1), which means that all shops are open (with the exception of larger shopping malls), churches, museums, outdoors tourist attractions, body-care services, taxi services, short-term stays at hotels etc. There are still some exceptions and some measures are still in place.

People are still obliged to wear a face mask in the public. The schools remain closed; however the exams can be carried out either virtually or physically under strict hygienic measures.

29 April 2020

Latest news from Slovakia:

The government in Slovakia is planning to gradually lift restrictions. Face masks are still mandatory. Schools at all levels remain closed until further notice. It is unlikely that they will re-open by the end of the academic year 2019/2020.
The Higher Education Act in Slovakia was amended in order to reflect the possibility of distance learning(e-learning). There is also the possibility to take a state examination virtually.
The majority of incoming students have returned home. Those who stayed in Slovakia did so for safety reasons or they were unable to return home due to travel restrictions. For outgoing students, the majority of students have returned to Slovakia. The majority of students are continuing their studies through some form of distance learning.

28 April 2020

Latest news from Lithuania:

In Lithuania, the situation is getting better. Nevertheless, the lockdown is extended till May 11th with some exceptions such as shopping centres, outdoor catering services, some beauty services, parks, sports facilities (with many restrictions) are open. Social distancing and masks in public areas are still compulsory.
Pre-school establishments for parents who cannot opt to telework are also now open.

Latest news from Romania:

For the moment, in Romania there is still an emergency situation, with many restrictions imposed (including circulation limitations). Some relaxation of measures has been announced for after the 15th of May, but meetings between more than 3 people will remain forbidden for a longer period of time (perhaps the beginning of Autumn).
It has been announced that schools (almost all levels, including kindergartens) will remain closed until September. The Romanian NA are waiting for an announcement in relation to Universities. .
The pupils in the last grades before national exams (8-th grade and 12-th grade) will come to school for 2-3 weeks at the beginning of June, before the national exams, that will take place in special safety conditions at the beginning of the Summer.

Latest news from Belgium:

The National Security Council has published the following exit strategy for Belgium:

Phase 1 – probably 04/05/2020
Face masks are highly recommended in public. In public transport however, all passengers from the age of 12 upwards are obliged to wear a mask.
Industry and B2B services will restart their activity under strict observation of all security measures. Home Office will continue to be the standard. Shops and restaurants will remain closed, with very few exceptions. Outdoor contact-free sporting activities will be allowed.

Phase 2 – probably 11/05/2020
Shops will re-open under observation of security measures. Businesses that require direct contact (f. ex. hair dressers etc.) will remain closed.

Phase 3 – probably 18/05/2020
Teaching in schools will start progressively, not all pupils/students simultaneously. Each community will present its own implementation plan.
It is still under investigation if businesses with direct contact (f. ex. hair dressers) will be allowed to re-open at this point in time. Museums might re-open (probably with a ticketing system). Outdoor training for team sports will be allowed, limited to sports clubs under strict observation of security regulations.
It is also still under investigation if private reunions, weddings and funerals and travelling within the country will be permitted from this point in time onwards.

Phase 3 – probably and at the earliest 08/06/2020
The following points are still under investigation:
Re-opening of restaurants first, then cafés and bars – all under very strict conditions.
Summer activities like travelling abroad, youth camps, holiday activities, tourist attractions, smaller outdoor events.
Bigger events like festivals will be banned until 31/08/2020 at the very least.

Decisions about Phase 3 will be made by the end of May.

This plan of action is only preliminary and could be changed if the situation in Belgium deteriorates.

Latest news from Croatia:

Public transport, libraries, museums non-food shops, tailors and shoemakers are open for business.As of 4th May, hairdressers and similar are being opened.

From 11th May, shopping centres, parks, restaurants and coffee bars are being opened. Also, intercity travelling will be possible. Primary schools for the first four grades will open as well as some parts of study programmes in higher education (traineeship classes in smaller groups).

Latest news from Spain:

In Spain the state of alert has been extended until the 10th May (more information can be found here). Educational institutions remain closed until further notice, only online educational activities are allowed.

The Spanish NA continues to update the Covid-19 section of their website with the current situation of Covid-19 in Spain and in the other Erasmus+ Programme countries here.

24 April 2020

Latest news from Spain:

The Spanish National Agency are collecting information about the current situation in relation to Coronavirus here.

Latest news from Slovakia:

In Slovakia, the state of emergency still applies. All schools (at all levels of attainment) are closed until further notice (i. e. no specific date has been determined yet), matura, entrance examinations etc. were either postponed, modified or completely repealed.

There is compulsory quarantine for all incoming individuals (Slovak citizens only), either at state premises or at home, mobile operators will cooperate with state administration regarding the monitoring of individuals. Shops are closed except for groceries, pharmacies and shops for animals People must not move in the public without face masks.

Latest news from The Netherlands:

In the Netherlands, all measures have been prolonged until the 28th of April.

Latest news from Finland:

In Finland, measures will remain in place until at least the 13th of May.

Latest news from Slovenia:

In Slovenia, three scenarios have been outlined by the Ministry for Education:

1. A return to school after May 1st
2, A return to school after June 1st
3. July 1st; meaning, that the end of school year will be done at home.

Latest news from Malta:

The schools in Malta will not reopen before the next scholastic year, meaning September/October 2020. Education will continue on-line until June 2020. There are special arrangements for exams which will take place on-line where applicable and in certain circumstances these will be postponed to a date after September 2020.

Latest news from Liechtenstein:

In Liechtenstein, all public and private educational institutions will be closed until at least the end of April.

Latest news from Luxembourg:

In view of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Luxembourg and following a reassessment of the situation by the Health Directorate, the Government has decided to extend the period of suspension of activities in the school and education sector at least until 4 May 2020.

(Additional information regarding the Covid-19 situation in Luxembourg can be found here)

Latest news from Latvia:

All education institutions in Latvia will not reopen before the next scholastic year, meaning September 2020. Education will continue on-line until June 2020.

There are also special arrangements for exams which will take place on-line where applicable and in certain circumstances these will be postponed to a date after September 2020. Centralised general education graduation examinations are cancelled. If they wish to, Universities are allowed to introduce specific matriculation exams.

17 April 2020

For information for International Officers and COVID-19, please click here.

Latest news from Portugal:

In Portugal the state of emergency has been extended until May 2.

Latest news from Germany:

In Germany the take measures of travel and contact restrictions have been extended until the May, 3rd.

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, the regions of the Federal Republic of Germany (the Länder) have agreed on a common approach for organizing the summer term 2020. The aim is to create the necessary framework conditions for universities to run teaching and research as smoothly as possible in the 2020 summer semester.

In the event that more far-reaching decisions regarding the design of the summer semester 2020 and the scheduling of the application and admission procedure for the winter semester 2020/2021 become necessary due to current developments, the German NA requests that the following key points should be taken into account:
• The semester times for the summer semester 2020 will not be postponed.
• The lecture times for the summer semester 2020 can be arranged flexibly.
• The dates for the application and admission process for undergraduate courses for the winter semester 2020/2021 will be adjusted.
• Lectures at universities and universities of applied sciences are to begin in the winter semester 2020/2021 on November 1st, 2020.

14 April 2020

For information for International Officers and COVID-19, please click here.

Latest news from Spain:

In Spain the state of alert has been extended by a further two weeks, until 26th of April. Educational institutions remain closed and educational activities continue through online learning.

20 March 2020

Latest news from Croatia:

  • All education institutions have already been closed for two weeks until 30 March, but yesterday it was announced that this measure is prolonged to at least 19 April
  • All services (shops, bars, restaurants, museums, libraries, etc.) are closed since yesterday – only food shops, pharmacies, bakeries and pet shops are open
  • All public gatherings are banned
  • All public service institutions are teleworking as of yesterday including our NA
  • We are of course available online and are happy to receive news from you

Portugal

In Portugal, we are now in state of emergency, it has been declared yesterday, for two weeks, and subject to evaluation.

Everything shops, bars, restaurants, museums, libraries, etc are closed, only food shops, pharmacies, bakeries and pet shops are open also.

19 March 2020 – the following advisory has been issued to the Irish higher education sector 

As you will be aware one of the consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak has been the closure of higher education institutions both in Ireland and overseas.  This obviously has a very significant impact on programme delivery and assessment affecting all students – mobile and non-mobile. 

This interruption in study programmes is a cause of concern to all students who naturally are worried about a possible negative impact on their studies and their ability to successfully complete the course they are pursuing.    

The HEA recognises that academic recognition/accreditation falls outside the remit of the Authority, but it is nevertheless keen to assist in ensuring that the student experience is not compromised and that all reasonable measures are taken to ensure that they can successfully complete their programmes.

As a general practice, the HEA would like to advise that institutions liaise closely with Quality and Qualifications Ireland https://www.qqi.ie/Articles/Pages/COVID-19—Updates-from-QQI.aspx who are the competent national authority in this area.

In relation to students who have had an Erasmus+ study or traineeship curtailed or cancelled, the HEA and the Erasmus+ National Agency supports the European Commission’s request which has asked that “NAs strongly encourage their beneficiaries to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible to minimise any negative impact on their participants and, as regards students, to help facilitate the achievement of the learning outcomes indicated in their learning agreements.  This can be done through alternative means such as digital tools for example, in particular for those students who already started their mobility period abroad.”   

Since the EC has no competence in the area of academic accreditation/recognition, the level of credit awarded to students who have had their mobility curtailed or cancelled will be determined by the home Irish HEI in partnership with the host HEI and/or QQI.

There seems to be some misunderstanding about the principle of force majeure as communicated by the European Commission in recent days.  This relates to operational matters only e.g. extension of grant agreements, costs, deadlines etc.  In this regard, the EC will regard “remote studying arrangements” as acceptable activities under the programme.

18 March 2020

Please see the latest communication from the Erasmus+ NA at the HEA and the Department of Education and Skills here: Advisory to the Sector regarding Student and Staff Mobility under Erasmus 16 March 2020

Please see the latest General COVID-19 Travel Advistory from the Department of Foreign Affairs here.

We have received many queries in relation to COVID 19 and Erasmus+ mobility and have compiled the following FAQ document:
Irish HE NA for E+ COVID 19 FAQs 11.3.2020

Please consult this list. It is not exhaustive but should answer some of the most common queries in relation to Erasmus+ HE mobility and COVID-19.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at erasmus@hea.ie if you have any further queries.

16 March 2020

Please see the latest communication from the Erasmus+ NA at the HEA and the Department of Education and Skills.

Advisory Note

Please download the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade App for the latest information.

Advisory to the Sector regarding student and staff mobility (Higher Education)

13.3.2020

Please see the below for guidance in relation to Erasmus+ and COVID19.

The below measures shall be considered fully applicable to any mobility in affected areas of programme and partner countries where the virus is detected, and which are considered at risk.

Beneficiaries are instructed to contact individual participants who already are in or are planning to leave for the affected areas within the coming days or weeks. Participants should also be reminded of the assistance that can be provided by embassies, consulates and honorary consulates in the country of their stay.

The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates their website with the most up to date advice in relation to the security status of each country. Please see the following link for travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs

Please also see the following link for Updated Travel Advice on the Coronavirus from the Department of Foreign Affairs.The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App and to register with their Citizen’s Registration service. The Travel App once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country. All Irish citizens abroad should register with the Citizens’ Registration service, particularly those travelling to high risk destinations.

It is for participating HEIs and individuals to decide on the course of action to take in the light of national travel advice and repatriation schemes. An individual who is returning from an affected area should adhere to the guidelines issued by the HSE.

The National Agency will apply the force majeure clause to activities taking place in any affected area as well as to incoming mobility from these areas, as foreseen in the template of the grant agreement between the NA and beneficiaries and as defined in the programme guide and other contractual documents. The National Agency will therefore cancel, postpone or move activities planned in such regions in the most flexible way, notwithstanding the respect of the general legal framework applying to Erasmus. Given the exceptional circumstances, the same principles can be applied also to any incoming mobility from the affected regions. Justified repatriation costs will be accepted as exceptional cost – normal reporting requirements will apply.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at erasmus@hea.ie if you have any further queries.

16 March

As from midnight (16 March), Lithuania is “closed”: no travelling from/into the country is allowed for at least two weeks (exceptions foreseen).

All public entities and most of business are closed, only food shops and drug stores continue to operate. Travelling within the country is not restricted.

Morocco

We would like to inform you about the following in the light of what’s happening regarding the COVID-19. Morocco has undertaken the following measures:
• According to the Moroccan Ministry of Health, 29 cases infected by COVID-19 so far.
• The Moroccan government has decided to suspend all international air routes to and from its territory until further notice.
• Morocco’s government and health authorities still consider the COVID-19 outbreak in the country to be in its first phase, as the majority of patients became infected abroad.
• Morocco has cancelled gatherings of more than 50 people to stop the coronavirus spreading.
• The Ministry of Education decided to suspend all school activities until further notice due to the spread of the virus, the ministry announced yesterday, March 13th, the closures will affect vocational training centers and universities as well as public and private schools.
the closure will take effect starting Monday, March 16th, the ministry said in a statement.The suspension of classes is not a vacation : lessons and classes will be replaced by remote educational activities, allowing students to stay at home and continue studies. This decision is part of nationwide plans to guarantee that all students and teachers are safe and to avoid the spread of the virus.
• Starting from 16/03/2020, all public coffeeshops, restaurants, cinemas, theater clubs, gyms, hamams, mosques will be closed until further notice.
• It is recommended to stay at home as much as possible as a self-quarantine measures.

Given the circumstances, the National Erasmus+ Office Morocco has decided to adopt the following actions;
• Adopt the telework for all its employees until the epidemic situation get stabilized.
• All the project’s Monitoring are posteponed.
• All NEO-Morocco activities (cluster meetings, EU Campus Tour, SIAM, TAM…) are posteponed or canecelled until further notice.

We would appreciate if you consider the situation with cancelation/postpone/change of the events, study visits and other related expenses to be applied to the Erasmus+ projects caused by the unforeseen situation as a case of the Force Major Circumstances.

Serbia

There are restrictions on the entry into Serbia from several countries that are most hit by this disease.  On the other hand, all the education institutions are still open.  All face to face events planned by the NA for March and April are cancelled or will be held online by the NA.

Sweden

The situation in Sweden is as follows:

Pre-schools, schools, universities and other educational institutions remain open
Children, students and staff are strictly told to stay at home if any signs of not feeling well.
New regulations have been introduced to make it possible for individual schools or school education authorities/corporations to – if and when necessary – organise education more flexibly or temporarily close down.
Universities are encouraged to use digital tools as much as possible
Public events (cultural and sport events) can be carried out if fewer participants than 500.
The NA still runs its service at its premises but we have been alerted that with short notice be asked to work from home. Some already do . We postpone or cancel meetings at least until April 30 or carry them out digitally.

Portugal

The Portuguese Prime Minister has adopted the binding decision to suspend school and Universities teaching activities in the whole country up to April 9 and to forbid all school trips, traineeships and study exchanges/stays for studentswhile school leaders and Universities activate online teaching arrangements for the overall suspension period.

Starting from 16 March  restrictions were imposed all over the country while, in affected areas, the population was advised to stay at home and allowed to go out only for duly justified working, necessity situations and health reasons.

The related restrictions were subsequently extended to the whole national territory and further strengthened starting from today with restrictions on the number of people in shops/commercial activities providing non essential services while professional and production activities are recommended to ensure and provide, as much as possible, their services online.

Estonia

The government of Estonia declared an emergency situation in the country on Thursday night, March 12.

The emergency situation will continue until May 1, 2020, unless the government decides otherwise.

The emergency situation concerns the following:

All public meetings are prohibited.
Starting on Monday, March 16, usual study activities in education institutions must be suspended and activities switched to distance and home learning format.
In universities and research institutions research and development activity will continue.
Study activity in schools for special needs students will be addressed separately.
The work arrangement of kindergartens and childcare will be decided about by the municipality or other keeper or the kindergarten.
Provision of hobby education must be suspended starting Monday, March 16.

Such arrangement of education will continue until a change in the situation. The necessity of the measures will be assessed every two weeks.

France

The French government decided yesterday (12 March) to close all schools and HEIs as from Monday 16th and until further notice.

Latvia

State of emergency is declared throughout the national territory of the Republic of Latvia from yesterday evening (12 March) to 14 April 2020 with a view to restricting the spread of COVID-19.

During the state of emergency:

1) On-site learning shall be terminated in all educational establishments by providing remote training from 13 March 2020 (exceptional conditions and rules for pre-schools)

2) Learning shall be interrupted in all programs of cultural, sports, vocational and interest-related education programs (trainings, competitions and rehearsals).

3) State and local government institutions shall assess and ensure, as far as possible, the remote provision of on-site services.

4) All public events, meetings, demonstrations and pickets involving more than 200 people shall be cancelled and banned from 13 March 2020.

5) Business trips and missions to the countries and territories affected by Covid-19, which require special precautions after returning, shall be cancelled, postponed and not planned for now.

6) The individuals shall be called on to refrain from foreign trips.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, institutions in all educational sectors remain open.  HEIs are requested to organise online education instead of large-scale lectures, as meetings of more than 100 persons are prohibited.  People are requested to work from home, when possible. Therefore, the NA staff will work from home with immediate effect.  The NA will not organise any external meetings in the period up to and including March 31.

Turkey

The Turkish Government has announced today (13 March) a package of measures concerning the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus in Turkey:

The primary, secondary and high schools will remain closed for two weeks starting from the 16 March. However, during the second week of closure (between 23 and 27 March), the students will continue their education through online teaching and learning tools provided by Ministry of National Education.
All higher education institutions will remain closed for three weeks starting from 16 March.
All sports competitions will be played without spectators until the end of April.
Public officials will not be allowed to travel abroad unless there is an extraordinary situation. The remaining part of the Turkish society are strictly advised not to travel abroad.
Turkish citizens who return to Turkey from abroad must stay home for 14 days by having them checked, that is, put them under quarantine.

Croatia

In Croatia, all kindergardens, primary and secondary schools and higher education institutions are ceasing with teaching activities as of Monday 16 March 2020 for the next two weeks.

Iceland

The Icelandic Government announced today (13 March) that upper secondary schools and universities will close and move into distance teaching from Monday, 16 March 2020, for four weeks – effectively until after the Easter holidays. There is also a ban on public gatherings for groups more than 100 people. Primary schools and kindergartens will remain open, but with special precautionary measures.

Liechtenstein

The Liechtenstein Government decided today, Friday 13 March 2020, to close all public and private educational institutions, as well as outside childcare facilities and playgroups as an urgent measure to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The measure will apply from Monday, 16 March 2020, until the Easter holidays.

German-speaking community, Belgium

In the German-speaking community, as in all of Belgium, the following precautionary measures have been taken:

For the period 13/03/2020 until 03/04/2020 (begin of the Easter holidays), schools will remain closed.
All public events, irrelevant of size and type, have been cancelled. There will be neither cultural nor sporting activities.
Cafés and restaurants are closed, shops will remain open during the week but will be closed during weekend days.

12.3.2020

Ireland

From 6pm today (12 March 2020), the following measures are being put in place. They will stay in place until March 29th.

Schools, colleges, and childcare facilities will close from tomorrow. Where possible, teaching will be done on-line or remotely. Cultural institutions will close.
Our advice is that all indoor mass gatherings of more than 100 people and outdoor mass gatherings of more than 500 people should be cancelled.
Arrangements are being made to ensure that everyone entering Ireland through our ports and airports is fully informed and self-isolates if they develop symptoms.
You should continue to go to work if you can but where possible should work from home. In order to reduce unnecessary face to face interaction in the workplace, break times and working times should be staggered and meetings done remotely or by phone.
Public transport will continue to operate.
The shops will remain open and we have plans to ensure that supply chains will not be interrupted.
We need the public and businesses to take a sensible and level-headed responsible approach.
Restaurants, cafes and other businesses can stay open but should look at ways that they can implement the public health advice on social distancing.
As a general rule, outside of work people should seek to reduce social interactions as much as possible.

Norway

Norway has decided to close all pre-schools, schools (primary level as well as lower and upper secondary levels) and higher education institutions, effective tomorrow (13 March) and through March 26.  Public employees are strongly encouraged to work from home, and this also applies to Diku, NA for Education and Training.  Norway is also cancelling planned events and all travel plans been now and Easter are suspended. However, we are operative and NA staff are available via e-mail and telephone.

Also please note that any person arriving from abroad into Norway will be quarantined for two weeks, regardless of nationality and of whether s/he has any symptoms of a medical situation or not.

Poland

The Polish government has decided that all educational institutions (including HEIs) will be closed till 27 March.

Lithuania

The Lithuanian government has announced, that:

all educational entities (childcare facilities, schools, universities, colleges, VET institutions) will close from 16th till 27th of March. Only distance learning programmes may be offered
in the capital Vilnius all educational institutions will be closed till 17th of April starting 13th of March (order of the Mayor)
indoor (applicable to gatherings of more than 100 persons) and all outdoor events and activities (sports clubs, theaters, museums) cannot be held as from 13th of March.
people coming from officially infected areas must follow the mandatory quarantine rules
people are strongly advised to cancel/postpone business trips for a month, at least
trips to the higher risk countries must be canceled
employers are encouraged to ensure conditions for distance working (where possible)

Denmark

In Denmark, the Government has announced that all upper secondary and higher educational institutions will be closed for two weeks from Friday 13 March 2020 and all day-care centres and primary and lower secondary schools will be closed for two weeks from Monday.

All public servants will from Friday work from home for two weeks, except public servants employed in functions like healthcare, police, the Prison Service etc. Private employers are encouraged to let their staff work from home, take time off in lieu or go on holiday. There will be a ban on indoor events with more than 100 participants and there will be more restrictions on entry into Denmark.

The Danish NA have decided to cancel or postpone all meetings and arrangements in March and April or to hold them via SKYPE etc. when possible

Slovakia

The Slovakian NA has reported that “from 12 March a state of emergency has been declared in Slovakia.  The ministry of education has issued a directive prohibiting not only outgoing mobilities, but also “foreign visits”.  Schools (all levels) remain closed.

Further information

Croatia

The Croatian NA has issued the following advisory.

The Ministry of Science and Education has instructed all educational institutions to stop outgoing mobilities while for incoming mobilities we only have a recommendation to postpone them. However, at border crossings all passengers from affected areas are turned back from entering Croatia or they have to go into quarantine for 15 days.

As of 13 March 2020, all educational institutions in one north region – Istria (the closest to Slovenia and thus Italian land border) are being closed.

The Ministry has instructed all other educational institutions in Croatia to start preparing for closure and on-line teaching mode.

A recommendation is expected to cancel all events bigger than 100 participants although some regions in Croatia are already banning all types of events, outdoor or indoor. Majority of Presidency events are being cancelled daily.

Malta

The Maltese NA has announced  that Higher Education Institutions and Schools in Malta are still operating normally. This may change in the coming days. Malta has halted all travel between Malta and five countries: Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Spain in an attempt to contain the spread of coronavirus infections. Those returning from these countries, as well as China, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Iran, South Korea, must follow the mandatory quarantine rules.

Hungary

The Erasmus+ NA in Hungary has advised:

As of 12 March 2020, the state of emergency and the special legal order has been officially declared for an indefinite period:

There is a complete travel ban for persons coming from China, South Korea, Iran and Italy. Border control is re-established at the Slovenian and Austrian border.
Higher education institutions are closed as of today – only distance learning programmes may be offered
All school excursions, camps and transnational mobility programmes are stopped – schools, however, remain open for the time being
Indoor events with over 100 participants and outdoor events over 500 participants cannot be held

Slovenia

The Slovenian NA has issued a notice that all Slovenian educational institutions (pre-primary, primary, secondary, higher) will be closed for 14 days from Monday 16 March 2020.

Germany

The German NA (Higher Education) has announced that all Baden Württemberg Universities will delay the start of the summer term 2020 to 20 April 2020.

Further information

11.3.2020

Greece

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education have announced additional urgent measures for tackling the spread of the coronavirus.

All schools at any level of formal education, universities, public vocational institutes and all organizations providing non-formal education and training have closed until the 24th of March, waiting for a further notice.

As a result, many NA activities are being postponed as there is a formal prohibition of conferences and events. Other exceptional measures are being taken by the competent authorities in several sectors such as sports, health, justice, etc. Also, NA staff , until further notice isn’t allowed to travel abroad, as decided by IKY’s Board of Directors, also until further notice.

Czech Republic

Message from the Czech Republic NA – in the Czech Republic, new measures aimed at combating the spread of the new coronavirus were introduced by the Czech government yesterday morning (10 March).

Pupils at elementary, secondary and tertiary vocational schools, apprentice schools and university students take special leave from Wednesday, 11 March until further notice. Schools and universities are advised to use online forms of teaching and learning. At present we expect all classes to be interrupted for at least 2 weeks, more likely 1 month.

All events with an expected participation of more than 100 people are currently banned in the Czech Republic.

Moreover, following the decision of the Ministry of Interior and the state secretary of the Ministry of Education, there are other exceptional measures in place which affect the activities of the NA. Until further notice, we are forced to cancel all foreign business trips and limit the number of international events hosted in the Czech Republic (with less than 100 participants) to the necessary minimum.

Bulgaria

The situation in Bulgaria concerning the prevention of the spread of Coronavirus is as follows:

Since Monday 09/03/2020 our Government has decided to suspend until second disposition: all of cultural and indoor events and mass cultural events and events on the territory of the country. Schools, some Universities and other types of educational institutions will remain closed till 16/03/2020 in the cities with detected cases of Corona virus. Other Universities, schools and educational institutions in the country will open from tomorrow 12/03/2020. The Ministry of Education and Science has forbidden all the learning mobilities (outgoing and incoming) until second disposition.

Spain – Message from Erasmus+ NA – SEPIE

We would like to inform you that on 9th March 2020, the Council of the National Health System in Spain, agreed to put in place measures in the educational field, starting on 11th March and during 15 days, for the region of Madrid and the cities of Vitoria and Labastida in the Basque Country.

The measures in the educational field are as follows,

Suspension of classroom teaching activity at all educational levels (Higher Education and Universities, Secondary Education, Infant and Primary Education, Nursery, VET and others).
Suspension of complementary and extra-curricular educational activities.

For more information about these measures, please click on this link.

Additionally, the Government of La Rioja has recently confirmed the above-mentioned measures starting from tomorrow and during 15 days for the whole region of La Rioja.

Furthermore, we would like to inform you that direct flights from any airport located in Italy to any airport located in Spain from 11th March until 25th March 2020 have been forbidden. This information has been published today in the Spanish Official State Gazette (BOE): https://www.boe.es/boe/dias/2020/03/10/

This information will continue to be updated and will remain available to those interested through our usual channels of communication and in the new section of our website: http://sepie.es/coronavirus.html

Germany – Message from Erasmus+ NA (Higher Education) – DAAD

The Erasmus+ National Agency (Higher Education) in Germany – Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) – German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) has announced that in the context of the coronavirus in Germany, the regional Bavarian authorities have decided to delay the start of the summer term 2020 at Universities of Applied Science and at Art and Music Universities to April 20th 2020.

All other Bavarian universities start their summer term regularly on 20 April 2020.

Further information

All Berlin Universities have also delayed the start of the summer term 2020 to April 20th 2020.

All students and staff having been in a risk area as defined by the Robert Koch Institut (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html) are asked to stay for 2 weeks in self-quarantine and not coming to the campuses.

Further information

6.3.2020

Dear all,

The latest instruction from the European Commission and the Department of Foreign Affairs is outlined below.

We have received many queries in relation to COVID 19 and Erasmus+ mobility and have compiled the following FAQ document:

Irish HE NA for E+ COVID 19 FAQs

Please consult this list. It is not exhaustive but should answer some of the most common queries in relation to Erasmus+ HE mobility and COVID-19.

28.2.2020

The below measures shall be considered fully applicable to any mobility in affected areas of programme and partner countries where the virus is detected, and which are considered at risk.

Beneficiaries are instructed to contact individual participants who already are in or are planning to leave for the affected areas within the coming days or weeks. Participants should also be reminded of the assistance that can be provided by embassies, consulates and honorary consulates in the country of their stay.

The Department of Foreign Affairs regularly updates their website with the most up to date advice in relation to the security statues of each country. Please see the following link for travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs

Please also see the following link for Updated Travel Advice on the Coronavirus from the Department of Foreign Affairs

The same page allows you to download the DFA Travel App and to register with their Citizen’s Registration service. The Travel App once downloaded, can provide alerts in relation to the selected country. All Irish citizens abroad should register with the Citizens’ Registration service, particularly those travelling to high risk destinations.

It is for participating HEIs and individuals to decide on the course of action to take in the light of national travel advice and repatriation schemes.

The National Agency will apply the force majeure clause to activities taking place in any affected area as well as to incoming mobility from these areas, as foreseen in the template of the grant agreement between the NA and beneficiaries and as defined in the programme guide and other contractual documents. The National Agency will therefore cancel, postpone or move activities planned in such regions in the most flexible way, notwithstanding the respect of the general legal framework applying to Erasmus. Given the exceptional circumstances, the same principles can be applied also to any incoming mobility from the affected regions. Justified repatriation costs will be accepted as exceptional cost – normal reporting requirements will apply.

Please ensure that all staff and students on or going on mobility are aware of the above information.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at erasmus@hea.ie if you have any further queries.

Kind regards,

International Education Section / Rannóg Oideachas Idirnáisiúnta
Gerry O’Sullivan – Head of International Programmes / GOI Academic Mobility Programme
Dr Aileen Marron – Erasmus+ Programme Manager
Aoileann Ní Bhroin – Communications / Mobility Tool
Dr Sharon Tighe-Mooney – Erasmus+ Finances / Erasmus+ DELTA
Mary Dunne – Events / Government of Ireland scholarships
Mikolai Hughes – GOI International Education Scholarships, 2020 Call

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