Following the UK Government’s announcement last week which confirmed that most Plan B measures would expire on 26 January, we have reviewed the new Department for Education guidance and discussed our COVID-secure measures with Manchester’s Director of Public Health.
We have continued to see a generally improving situation nationally and across Greater Manchester in terms of COVID-19 infection rates, which is encouraging.
In line with the latest guidance, all scheduled in-person activity will go ahead on campus next week (31 January), with Semester 2 teaching beginning on 7 February. If you are experiencing difficulties in returning to campus, you should already be in touch with your School through our mitigating circumstances processes – you can find further information about this in our student COVID frequently asked questions.
Safety measures on campus
While restrictions have lifted and a sense of normality is returning, we are still in a pandemic, and it is important that we move forward with caution to protect ourselves, each other, and the most vulnerable in our society. This means:
- We strongly recommend everyone wears a face covering while moving around indoors on campus. We expect that you will wear face coverings in lecture theatres and large teaching spaces, and they may be required in other areas – this will be indicated by clear signage. Face coverings will be available in all teaching spaces and other locations around campus. This recommendation regarding face-coverings will be reviewed in the week beginning 21 February.
- Social distancing is no longer legally required, however please continue to follow any safety signage and guidance you receive from staff, both in teaching settings and elsewhere around campus.
- Wash hands and use hand sanitiser regularly. Sanitiser dispensers will still be available at key points around campus.
In addition, we encourage you to:
- Get vaccinated if you can: A recent student survey told us that 95% of students are already either fully or partially vaccinated, but if you’re still looking to get your first or second jab we can support you.
- Get tested twice a week (even if you have no symptoms): Testing kits will be available from catering outlets on campus. If you have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, you’re legally required to self-isolate. Find out more in our self-isolation guidance for students.
- Celebrate safely: As exams come to a close we know you’re itching to break free from Blue 2, but it’s important to do so in a way that keeps each other safe.
You can find more information about our COVID-19 guidance and staying safe on campus on our Health, Wellbeing and Safety webpage.
Advice and support for the clinically vulnerable
Although there is no longer a requirement to shield, if you are considered clinically vulnerable and concerned about the lifting of measures, you can talk to your School Support Teams, our Disability Advisory and Support Service, or Occupational Health about adjustments and support available.