Wednesday 11 March 2020

UW response and information on COVID-19

Civil protection distress phase due to COVID-19

As previously announced, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has declared a civil protection distress phase in consultation with the Chief Epidemiologist and the Directorate of Health. 

Students and staff at the University Centre of the Westfjords are reminded of the importance of following instructions from the Chief Epidemiologist; the latest information is always available on the Directorate of Health website. You can also read questions and answers about symptoms and other information on the coronavirus and COVID-19


The absolute best defense against the spread of disease is to wash your hands well and regularly, cf. the following publication. Extra emphasis is placed on cleaning the UW-building. 

High-risk areas / travel

Students and staff are asked to stay up to date with the latest information about areas that have been defined as high risk. People should not travel to these areas but if it is unavoidable, they must quarantine themselves in accordance with instructions from the Chief Epidemiologist and the Directorate of Health.


It is crucial that anyone experiencing symptoms of illness or who has potentially been exposed to infection, e.g. due to travel, calls the phonenumber1700 for guidance. Students are also welcome to contact staff. Those experiencing symptoms must remain at home and under no circumstances attend class.

People at greater risk

People at greater risk, e.g. older people and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, lung diseases or immunosuppression may consider to work from home, avoid unnecessary gatherings of people and practise good hygiene. Students at UW belonging to this group should let staff know of their background.


No ban on mass gatherings has been declared at this point, but this might change. There are no mass gatherings expected this spring at UW. We shall inform registered participants in the Conference on Icelandic Society in April specially.

Teaching and learning

Students may expect courses to be taught via distance teaching in case a teacher is unable to attend in person because of COVID-19. At this point, this is only a theoretical option, but we prepare for it. 

Should a ban on mass gatherings be declared or the University Centre be closed, all effort will be made to continue teaching remotely in order to avoid disruption to studies as far as possible. Practical teaching, excursions and the like may be temporarily suspended in that case.

Students attending single courses this spring, may seek advice for their individual case. UW is guided by goodwill and is reviewing its refunding policy for single courses in spring term 2020.


Basic services to students and staff will continue to be available in the event of a ban on mass gatherings or closure of the University. However, they might only be available by phone or remotely.