Dear Bath students,

We are looking forward to warmly welcoming you to university for the start of the new academic year, whether you are returning after the summer break, or just beginning your studies with us. We are so glad to have you as members of the community in Bath, and want to do all we can to ensure that you have a very happy and successful year.

This year is very different to last, thanks in large part to the successful roll out of vaccination programmes in the UK and beyond. Getting fully vaccinated is the best protection against Covid-19 and we know many of you have already had your jabs. If you haven’t yet had your vaccines, both universities are working with local public health authorities to provide opportunities to do so on our campuses. We encourage you to book your appointment without delay.

Covid is a serious public health threat and, even with the success of the vaccination programme, we cannot be complacent. It remains our collective responsibility, as good citizens and neighbours, to act considerately to help protect each other. Both universities have been making extensive preparations over the summer, from organising access to regular Covid testing for students and staff, supporting quarantine arrangements, risk assessing all our spaces, implementing changes to occupancy limits on our rooms and establishing enhanced cleaning regimes.

It is wonderful that your student experience in Bath will be more varied this year and we know that we can count on all of you to be considerate in your behaviour towards one another and the wider community. This means acting in a way that will not only keep you safe, but also those around you. This includes taking sensible precautions such as wearing face masks when on public transport or in enclosed spaces, taking regular Covid-19 tests and following the ‘Isolate, Test, Tell’ rules if you have any Covid symptoms.

We are all lucky to be able to call the wonderful city of Bath our home and we all want to be good neighbours and citizens. By continuing to be mindful of each other’s safety, including that of Bath’s permanent residents, we can nurture an atmosphere of mutual respect and understanding.

Thank you for following the guidance we have issued to all our students. By following these simple rules, and working supportively together, we can look forward to a successful and enjoyable year ahead.

With kind regards,

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor of University of Bath

Professor Sue Rigby, Vice-Chancellor of Bath Spa University

Annie Willingham, Students’ Union President, University of Bath

Marianne Evans, Students’ Union President, Bath Spa University