Information for staff and students regarding COVID-19

[Updated 2021-06-17] This information is addressed to staff and students at Karolinska Institutet. The page will be updated when new recommendations and important information are added regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff and students are urged to keep themselves informed daily in order to find out about and act upon the latest recommendations.


  • The Swedish Public Health Agency has extended the general advice on everyone's responsibility to prevent the spread of COVID-19 until 30 September, including staying home in case of symptoms of COVID-19, limiting new close contacts, working from home as often as possible and keeping your distance from others and avoid crowded environments.
  • KI follows the Public Health Agency's general advice that everyone who can should work from home until 30 September 2021 (previously 15 September). More information here when the recommendation is updated.

Read more under headline Information about Autumn 2021

As always:

  • Research and education will continue, keeping in mind the recommendations and guidelines below.
  • It is everyone’s responsibility to create and maintain a safe environment on university campuses and in society at large. Out of respect and concern for other persons and their well-being in society, it is important for everyone to be careful and follow the recommendations and guidelines.

Recommendations at KI

All staff and students are expected to know and follow the detailed recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Sweden, Folkhälsomyndigheten (FOHM).

An internationally oriented medical university face special challenges in some aspects. Therefore our recommendations complement those issued by FOHM as per below.

Find more detailed information on KI as a workplace during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Information about Autumn 2021

Based on the assessment that the spread of COVID-19 continues to decrease and that the vaccination effort progresses as planned and that compliance with other rules and recommendations remains high, KI is planning for a return to campus-based education.

On 23 April the president has decided that campus-based education will resume starting in the autumn semester, 30 August 2021.

KI follows the government authorities' regulations and recommendations. This decision may be adjusted if recommendations change due to the spread of infection.

The following applies to the planning of teaching on campus:

  • Congestion in classrooms must be avoided; restrictions on the number of available spots in classrooms may be introduced into the booking system.
  • Examination rooms may not be filled more than 50 percent.

More detailed recommendations regarding teaching during the autumn semester will be available at a later time.

KI follows the Swedish Public Health Agency's general advice that all employees who can should work from home until 30 September 2021 (previously 15 September). More information here when the recommendation is updated.

icon with a house and a fence
Stay at home if you feel ill.

Stay at home if you or someone in your household develops symptoms

  • If you are an employee you must stay at home, and can work remotely if you are not sick yourself. 
  • If you are an employee and your work cannot be done from home, you must come in to the university; your immediate manager will take necessary measures to prevent transmission of the virus.
  • In the event of absence from obligatory educational activities, students are to be offered alternative tasks where possible. Decisions are to be taken by an examiner.
Icon of hands washing
Wash your hands with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.


The university has introduced expanded cleaning and sanitising procedures on campus.

Routines and safety measures in KI's facilities due to covid-19

Use face masks where physical distancing is hard to mantain

Face masks are recommended where physical presence is necessary and physical distancing hard to achieve. Disposable masks and user instructions will be made available at the departments.

Face masks should not replace other safe practices, such as working from home, physical distancing or staying home if you feel unwell.

Download instructions on the proper use of face masks (pdf). 

Work from home if you can

In response to the Public Health Agency’s tightened general recommendations on December 18, 2020, everyone who can work from home is required to do so. You need to have the consent of your immediate manager. You will receive salary as usual if you have the approval of your manager to work from home. Internal and external meetings and conferences shall take place digitally as far as possible.

Testing for COVID-19

KI encourages students and employees to get tested. See what the testing situation is like – availability varies.

If you have a positive test result for COVID-19, follow the instructions on 1177 vårdguiden's webpage.

Student information

This information briefing to Karolinska Institutet’s students is updated continually.

For teachers

This information briefing to Karolinska Institutet’s staff is updated continually.

For doctoral students and supervisors

This information briefing to doctoral students and supervisors is updated continually.

Doctoral students are equated with

  1. staff when they work with their research project
  2. students when they participate in courses

Staff with combined appointments and students with clinical placements

Staff with combined appointments and students with clinical placements are to comply with Region Stockholm’s recommendations (in Swedish) when engaged in clinical activities.

External staff

The recommendations for KI staff also apply to external staff (e.g. cleaners and restaurant workers) working on the KI premises. Responsible manager for the particular service should inform the supplier about the recommendations and obtain as much assurance as possible that the company is following them. It would not be practical to make the same demands on service personnel who are only here for sort periods of time.


Official travel will be allowed for very exceptional reasons only.

Changes to the advisory against travel.

Find more information on Sweden abroad and on

Certain nationals and people with essential need or function in Sweden will be exempted from the entry restriction. This includes for example researchers in the field of health care and people who travel for the purpose of studying.

It is the responsibility of the enforcing authorities (primarily the Swedish Police Authority) to determine in each individual case how the exemptions are to be interpreted and which decisions are to be made. Please visit the Government website for detailed information.

The Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked the Swedish universities to inform our foreign students that some Swedish foreign missions/Embassies may be closed due to the pandemic. They intend to open as soon as the situation permits, and will do their best to allow the students to get their residence permit in time for the start of the semester, but unfortunately cannot guarantee that this will always be possible.

Updated information for international staff and students on travel, visa and permits.

Person holding a tea mug while using a laptop.
KI urges everyone who can work from home to do so. Photo: Pexels

Temporary healthcare work – staff and students

KI is happy for any contribution by our healthcare-trained staff and students to help doctors and nurses deal with the current crisis. Anyone interested in temporary work within healthcare can sign up with Region Stockholm.

KI recommends personnel managers to have a generous approach on granting leave of absence. Should such leave be granted, it is to be reported to the departmental HR office. 

Students and staff with a healthcare training are recommended to take Karolinska Institutet’s Covid-19 training for care providers and medical staff to learn about the most important principles and challenges as regards preventing the spread of COVID-19, with a focus on hygiene principles and the use of personal protective equipment.

KI’s crisis management

The KI crisis management team, led by the University Director, have created a continuity plan on the basis of which our departments and equivalent make operational risk assessments to maintain a long-term pandemic preparedness to protect the university's activities, especially those that are sensitive or vital.

KI’s resource teams

University management has set up a number of resource teams within different areas of expertise to support the university and society at large, especially with respect to rapid-response actions.

Information and support contacts

Extra support and advice for employees, doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers/fellows and guest researchers is available from the occupational health service Avonova. Please note that Avonova is n

Internet-delivered Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.

On 1177 vårdguiden's webpage, you can find English information about national recommendations. 

If you have any questions, please contact your immediate manager or student counsellor/advisor.

Managers and counsellors/advisors with general questions about staff and students are to contact the head of the Human Resources Office (Mats Engelbrektson) or the Head of the Education Support Office (Åsa Nandorf).