COVID-19: Lockdown update 4 November 2020
Further to my email on Monday, I can now share a further update regarding the University’s response to the short period of lockdown announced by the Government.
The University has remained open throughout the pandemic and it is important to stress that this will continue to be the case for this short period of lockdown. Our planning for this period has been informed by the Government’s guidance for universities and our continued level of close engagement with our local Public Health teams and leaders in the local region.
The Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan, has also made clear what is expected by universities in this letter to students (pdf), and this has also shaped our planning for this period.
Since the Government’s announcement, each School has been reviewing its plans for course delivery and you should by now have heard from your school to confirm what this will mean for you. In many cases we believe that lockdown will not change current academic delivery, and critically we are confident that the lockdown will not impact on the achievement of your learning outcomes.
Similarly, the majority of University services will remain open. However, as a result of Government guidance in relation to sport and hospitality we have had to make some changes for the duration of this lockdown period.
Our libraries will remain open. And I am very pleased to say that, in response to feedback from students from the recent Check in survey, we have lengthened the period of time you can book for individual study. This also applies to both Study Space and PC Bookings. Again, more details are available in the FAQs.
As a reminder, the Government has confirmed that, during lockdown, students should not move between their permanent home and student home. University accommodation will remain open and those of you in halls will continue to be supported by our Residential Life team.
Two other important things have changed and will require strict compliance during lockdown. The first is that for this period of national lockdown the new rules no longer allow social gatherings and the ‘rule of six’ also no longer applies. I understand that this is difficult but I ask that, when you have completed your on-campus studies, you do not gather in groups outside of your household bubble. You are, however, permitted to meet with one other person outside who is not within your household as long as you also maintain social distancing. Secondly, the wearing of face coverings is now mandatory in all educational settings. You can find out more about in our FAQs.
For all of us, our physical and mental wellbeing is a key priority. Our Wellbeing services are available for all, and if you have any personal concerns or questions or on behalf of your friends, I would urge you to use the wellbeing resources on our website.
Please do take care and continue to follow the Government’s guidance on staying safe, and we will continue to keep you updated.
Professor Debra Humphris,