In light of the recent UK government updated guidance on COVID-19, I want to reassure you of the steps we are taking to ensure your safety and wellbeing, whilst minimising any disruption to you and your experience.
The UK government is clear on the critical importance of not disrupting your education. Guidance for higher education is that campuses will remain open and in-person teaching, research and student support will continue.
January exams and assessments will also continue, as will our plans for Semester 2. You will not have to show an NHS COVID pass to attend lectures or other teaching, learning or research activity on campus.
We are confident that our campus is as safe as possible and we will continue to act in line with any UK government guidance and regulations, as we have always done. We ask students, as we do staff, to report any confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the University.
We have continued with our safety measures throughout Semester 1, including enhanced cleaning and ventilation. Face coverings are already mandatory across campus in indoor settings and are freely available at building entrances. The safety of our students and staff will always come first.
We encourage you to get vaccinated. The majority of you already are, and returners in the new year can also get vaccinated for free. We also encourage everyone on campus to get regular COVID tests, by collecting free testing kits from campus or ordering them to their home address. Find out more about vaccination and testing on campus.
Following expert clinical advice and the successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine programme, people previously considered to be particularly vulnerable or clinically high-risk are not being advised to shield again. If you were previously considered as clinically high-risk, you should continue to follow all COVID-19 safety guidance, along with any other precautions your specialist or clinician may have advised.
We will update our student coronavirus FAQs in due course, as more information becomes available.
While there is little change for us here on campus arising from the Plan B guidance, we understand that the current situation may make some students feel anxious. We are always here to support you, and encourage you to reach out to our support and wellbeing services if needed.
Professor April McMahon
Vice-President Teaching, Learning and Students