The following information is based on the latest advice and guidance from the UK Government and may change as the situation develops.
The UK Government has published new guidance for universities in England covering testing, student travel for the Semester 1 break and moving all teaching online in early December.
Learning and teaching
Our Bath Blend approach lends itself to a natural ‘staggered’ end of in-person sessions, finishing on 8 December, with flexibility for certain Departments to fit in key content before students leave. All teaching will move online by 9 December, in accordance with Government guidance.
In-person learning and teaching will resume in Semester 2.
Lateral flow testing programme
The UK Government plans to offer a programme to utilise lateral flow devices (LFDs) to universities in England.
We are keen to take part in this programme in principle. However, we understand testing will be targeted to those areas that meet certain criteria. We are waiting to hear whether the university of Bath will be included in the testing programme.
If we are included in this programme, it will entail very significant logistical and communications programmes and we are planning these in advance so we are as prepared as possible.
Looking after our students who remain in Bath
We know that a significant number of our students will remain here in Bath over the Semester 1 break, for a variety of reasons.
This has been at the centre of our plans and the Student Experience Project Team is working closely with The SU on enhanced plans and Covid-secure activities, as well as ensuring these students have access to the services and support they may need.
Depending on the Covid rules in place at the time, activities may include board games afternoons, film nights, decoration and mince pie making and, of course, a Christmas meal for our students in University accommodation and others who may wish to join us. In January, we’ll be planning activities which will help support study, health and wellbeing as we enter revision week and assessments.
Students leaving Bath to travel elsewhere
There is a host of information on travel guidance for students in the Government guidance, but some of the key points are:
The Government is asking that students return home once the national restrictions have been lifted, in a “student travel window” lasting from 3-9 December, as long as they have not tested positive for Covid-19.
Please read the Government’s ‘Safer travel’ guidelines
Students travelling by public transport are asked to book ahead where possible and to:
- wear a face covering unless exempt
- keep your distance from people from other households when they travel, where possible
- wash or sanitise your hands regularly
- avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour
- download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters
If you are travelling overseas, you should consider the restrictions on entry to the country in question, such as whether you would need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country, and whether you would need to self-isolate when you return.
Returning students travelling from countries not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days.
Our students living in University accommodation on campus will receive further information from Ahs about arrangements if a family member or friend is picking them up from campus in a private vehicle.