Lifting lockdown | Arrangements for the summer term

Email sent to all staff on 14 April 2021 from Roger Gair, University Secretary.

Dear colleagues, 

Following the Government announcement that England will move to step 2 on the roadmap out of lockdown. I am writing to you with an update on what this means for Leeds in the coming weeks and with an update on arrangements for the summer term.  

Our overriding priority continues to be the provision of safe working environments for staff and students, and I have provided below an update on our planning and next steps at Leeds. A similar communication is being sent to students.  

Teaching in the summer term  

The Government has confirmed that the current policy for students returning to campus remains in place until at least Monday 17 May. In practice this means that face-to-face teaching will continue into the summer term for those students on practical or practice-based courses who were notified last term that they should return to study on campus, and for all other students teaching and learning will continue online until at least Monday 17 May. 

As previously, there may be exceptional circumstances that make it necessary for students to be on campus, for example if they need access to University facilities in order to be able to study or if it is better for them to be in Leeds for their health and wellbeing. 

Services reopening on campus 

In line with step 2 on the Government roadmap, on Monday 12 April indoor leisure, gyms, personal care, libraries, community centers and non-essential retail reopened alongside outdoor hospitability. In line with this the following facilities and services are therefore being made available on campus. 

From Monday 12 April  

  • Brotherton Library and the Special Collections Research Centre reopened, providing additional study space in the Library, along with limited in-person research in the Special Collections Research Centre. Opening hours at other campus libraries have also been extended. Covid-safety restrictions continue to be in place along with the click-and-collect service. Library study space and sessions at the Special Collections Research Centre must be booked in advance 
  • The Edge reopened for pre-booked gym and swim sessions. While Government guidelines mean that indoor classes won’t resume until Monday 17 May at the earliest, a series of outdoor fitness classes will be offered until Sunday 16 May. 

From Monday 26 April  

  • Further study spaces open* 
  • Student Information Points open 
  • Common Ground cafe opens for takeaway 
  • Extra external catering van adjacent to Chancellors Court  
  • Nero LUBS opens for takeaway 
  • Leeds University Union returns to seven-day trading 
  • Old Bar outdoor space reopens. 

*we are expecting to open further study spaces for students throughout the next few weeks, in preparation for the assessment period.  

Working on campus  

In addition to the activities already taking place on campus executive deans and heads of school, institutes, divisions and services have been reviewing what additional academic or service activities need to be delivered on campus and have been contacting colleagues who may now need to return to campus. However, the Government’s key principle remains that up to Monday 21 June (step 4 on the Government roadmap), we should continue to work from home wherever possible.

We know that for some staff home working is not possible, either because of the environment they are working in or for reasons of personal wellbeing. For those colleagues, the arrangements that have been in place since last autumn for exceptional access to campus for work will continue during this period. Please speak to your manager if you feel like your situation has changed and you would like to request to work on campus. 

Professional services colleagues, including those located in schools and faculties 

For professional services colleagues who are asked or need to work on campus, please note that you may be asked to work from an alternative covid-secure office space. 

We will also be providing socially-distanced meeting spaces that will be available to book for occasional team meetings, and some rooms will have multi-mode capability. We will share further details and guidelines soon. 

Postgraduate researchers 

The position for Postgraduate Researchers remains unchanged. Where possible they should continue to work from home. Where this is not possible, they may access campus facilities in accordance with the arrangements already in place.

Guidance if you are working on campus 

Most staff will continue to work from home for the time being unless you are notified that you can come onto campus. 

Before coming onto campus there are several steps to take, including completing the HR return to campus questionnaire (which will be sent to you) and booking a lateral flow test. 

For more information and details of the safety measures that are in place, read our working on campus guidance. Further updates are being made to this and will be circulated soon.  


Free covid-19 lateral flow testing is now available to everyone in England not showing coronavirus symptoms. All staff, students and postgraduate researchers are asked to take two tests each week to help prevent transmission of the virus. You can get rapid tests to do at home from your local pharmacy, a PCR test site or you can get them sent to your home

Staff, students and postgraduate researchers working on campus can book a free test at our campus test site.

If you are showing symptoms, you must not book an asymptomatic test. Instead, you must book a test through the NHS Test and Trace Service

If you test positive at any time for covid-19 please remember to let us know so we can support you  


If you have had a covid-19 vaccination and have a question in relation to this please see our vaccination questions and answers  

Changes to parking on campus 

Free parking on campus during core hours will end from Monday 3 May and the temporary ‘interim permit’ system introduced last year will be reinstated. Follow the guidance on the car parking webpage if you’re working on campus and need a permit. Existing interim permits will be reinstated automatically. 

Looking ahead 

The summer period 

During April and May we are expecting to see published further guidance on the next steps in the Government’s roadmap which will enable us to consider the further opening up of campus and the return of staff from June until September. This will also need to be a managed process, and we will be working on an approach as soon as we are able in light of the Government’s guidance. 

The autumn term – moving towards new ways of working 

In parallel with the return to campus activity being led by the COVID Group, the University, in its new strategy, is looking at the longer term changes we can make to our existing ways of working to deliver best-practice working environments – underpinned by our commitments to the student experience, sustainability, staff wellbeing and equality. A steering group coordinating this activity has been established and we will share further updates with you in due course. 

Your comments and questions   

We are using Microsoft Forms to capture and consider feedback on the re-opening process. Please use this form, rather than email, to share any comments and questions you have relating to re-opening. Whilst we will not be able to respond to individual questions using this mechanism, your feedback will help to shape the process and future communications. 

With best wishes, 

Roger Gair 

University Secretary 

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