Covid-19 | New temporary precautionary measures on campus

Email sent to all staff on Tuesday 30 November 2021 from Roger Gair, University Secretary.

Dear colleagues, 

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of new temporary precautionary measures in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant in the UK, we are revising our Covid-19 safety guidance to students and staff. 

From today (Tuesday 30 November) the government requires that: 

  • All international arrivals take a Day 2 PCR test and self-isolate until they receive a negative result. 
  • All contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate, regardless of their vaccination status. They will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. 
  • Face coverings are compulsory in shops and on public transport. 

These measures are being implemented nationally for the next three weeks and the Department for Education (DfE) has issued new guidance to universities with additional recommended temporary measures. 

Following this advice, as a precaution, we now expect staff, students and postgraduate researchers to wear face coverings in all communal areas on campus, including corridors, staircases and reception areas, and when moving around libraries, offices and study spaces. We do not expect individuals to wear face coverings when they are seated in offices, study spaces or libraries, provided that they are able to maintain a safe distance from others.  

We also expect staff and students to wear face coverings in teaching spaces. Teaching staff are not required to wear face coverings while teaching if they are able to maintain a safe distance from students. 

These rules do not apply to people who are exempt from wearing face coverings. Please remember that there can be hidden reasons why people cannot wear face coverings, so please continue to be considerate to others while these temporary measures are in place. 

These precautionary measures will be reviewed as the situation develops and when scientists know more about the impact of the Omicron variant. We will be sharing this updated guidance with students and postgraduate researchers today and will continue to share any updates as the situation progresses. 

It’s important to remember that face coverings are only one aspect of our approach to Covid safety. The other measures we have in place include ensuring good ventilation and setting out rooms in a way which allows individuals to maintain a safe distance. For your part, you can help by continuing to maintain good hand hygiene and by taking a twice-weekly lateral flow test. Please do not come to the University if you feel unwell and take a PCR test if you have any Covid symptoms.  

We support the Covid vaccine programme and encourage staff and students to take the opportunity to get a booster vaccine where applicable. Visit our vaccinations webpage for more information.  

As always, thank you for you continued support in keeping our community safe. 

With best wishes, 

Roger Gair 

University Secretary 

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