I want to thank you for your resilience and the care you’ve shown one another during this pandemic. I recognise that our community has seen a great many changes whilst navigating the pandemic and trying to look after ourselves and one another in the best possible way. We have seen significant changes to the national picture in England as the UK Government lifts remaining restrictions and moves to their plan to live with Covid.

Given the significance of the changes in guidelines, I recognise that we will need the spirit of co-operation and empathy that has typified our community as much as ever. We all welcome the falling case rates nationally, but I recognise that while some members of our community may greatly look forward to the absence of restrictions, others may be anxious about the withdrawal of services like free testing or the removal of the legal requirement to self-isolate following a positive Covid test. Support is available from Student Services and the SU Advice service if you need it.

What do these changes mean for our University community?

  • Availability of Covid tests:

    • universities are no longer authorised to continue routinely distributing the NHS Covid tests. We understand that it is still possible to order rapid tests online or to pick them up from some pharmacies until the end of March.
  • Sickness and what to do if you are ill:

    • if you have cold or flu symptoms our advice is to rest and recover at home
    • between now and 31 March 2022, if you have Covid symptoms or test positive for Covid we are asking you to follow public health advice and to not attend University sites for 5 days
    • while Covid tests are still available until the end of March, if you test positive and need support to self-isolate, please email quarantine@bath.ac.uk
  • Face masks:

    • we continue to recommend face coverings are worn when moving around indoors and in teaching settings.
  • Other public health measures:

    • hand sanitiser stations will remain
    • perspex screens will stay in situ where these have been installed
    • you are still advised to keep windows open in teaching and study spaces for good ventilation where possible
    • Enhanced cleaning within offices and general teaching areas will continue.
  • Updating information and advice:

    • we are in the process of reviewing and simplifying the dozens of webpages containing Covid advice and information for students. We plan to have key changes made by Monday 7 March - thank you for your patience
    • we will be publishing statistics about Covid cases until the end of March 2022. Thereafter, both symptomatic and asymptomatic testing is being withdrawn for the general public so this information will not be available.

We will continue to work closely with local public health authorities, including on matters such as the vaccination clinics currently running on campus.

We will ensure that all this information is also available on the Covid information for students webpages as soon as possible, for ease of reference.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for the consideration, resilience and kindness you continue to show each other in this extraordinary period we are navigating together.