“It would be unjustifiable and undesirable to deviate from the recommendations issued by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) and bar specific students from participating in educational activities like lectures and seminars,” writes Smits in an e-mail to staff members about the coronavirus.

According to a university spokesperson, Smits wrote this in response to lecturers asking whether they are allowed to refuse admission to students who went skiing or snowboarding in Northern Italy over the spring holidays, for example. The spokesperson could neither confirm nor deny whether any students had actually been turned away.

Mass of questions

Both at the faculties and within the central organisation, teams are taking stock of the coronavirus’s impact on education and research activities. In addition, a mass of questions about the virus have come in from staff members and students.

The university is adhering to the recommendations formulated by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The institute also offers up-to-date information about the virus on its website. Although EUR won’t be making any changes to its travel policy for students and staff members for the time being, it does keep a close eye on current risks. In the case of trips abroad, the university advises heeding the recommendations issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As always, students are strongly advised against travelling to areas that are under a level orange or red travel advisory.


The university also recommends taking various precautions to control the spread of the disease, such as regularly washing hands with water and soap, coughing and sneezing in a tissue, handkerchief or sleeve and regularly cleaning frequently-touched surfaces. The university also advises staying in if you show any signs of illness.

A lot of questions have come in about students who have travelled from China to Erasmus University over the past weeks. In some cases, these students were ordered by the Chinese authorities to enter quarantine after getting off the plane in the Netherlands. According to the university, this measure is completely unnecessary.

Corona hotline

The university has set up a special ‘corona hotline’ to field staff members and managers’ many questions. The telephone number and answers to frequently-asked questions can be found on the university website.