Full lecture halls allowed again, masks no longer required
After more than a year of restrictions, full lecture halls are allowed again. The government released a statement on Tuesday evening, announcing an end to the cap of 75 people for indoor spaces.
Starting on September 25th, all lecture hall seats can be occupied again; the striped ribbons blocking off seats will be a thing of the past. Additionally, wearing masks indoors will no longer be mandatory. This announcement follows the earlier scrapping of the 1.5-meter social distancing regulation.
That means that students in Nijmegen will be able to encounter each other on campus again. Spokesperson Mathijs Gerritsen is very pleased with the good news. But despite the lifting of the restrictions, a part of the lectures will continue to be hosted online, rather than on-campus. Something that will continue for the foreseeable future. ‘Scheduling classes takes months of prep time; restructuring all of it when they are already underway is not possible. This means that not everything will be back to normal on September 25th,’ Gerritsen warns. ‘While the lecture halls can be used to full capacity once again, that sadly doesn’t necessarily mean that every student can be accommodated.’
Concert hall de Vereeniging as well as the Municipal Theatre were used to accommodate students after the summer of 2020. These buildings allowed large numbers of students to attend lectures while keeping a 1.5-meter distance from each other. Faculties can make use of the same locations this year, as a rental agreement has already been signed.
However, there is still much that remains unclear regarding the new corona policy. The government has announced that showing a coronavirus entry pass or negative corona test results will be mandatory in the food service industry. But does this also apply to the Refter, the Cultuurcafé and the various other cafeterias? And if theatres are required to check attendees’ vaccination cards, will the Radboud Reflects programme have to follow suit?
Gerritsen: ‘I think it is likely that the maximum group size for food services will go away. However, we are still waiting for the exact details of the new governmental regulations. We expect to be able to communicate this information at the beginning of next week; perhaps sooner, if possible.’