The UK Government is bringing in further measures outlined in their Covid-19 plans for Autumn and Winter (you may have heard it referred to as ‘Plan B’). This page outlines what these new rules mean for you as a student.
The new government guidance is that Universities should continue face-to-face teaching. Therefore, our timetabled in-person teaching, including labs and practicals, should continue as planned. Unless the situation changes, our expectation is that we will approach Semester Two using the same model for teaching as Semester One.
Face coverings and health and safety
In line with the guidance, face coverings will now be required in study spaces including the Library from Monday 13 December, in addition to teaching spaces and all other indoor spaces when moving around, unless an exemption applies. This includes in the STV unless training, and in our cafes when queuing or moving around, but not while seated to eat or drink.
Please follow all other health and safety measures, including on testing and travel.
Essential campus services will continue to be open and available during term time. You can read the opening hours for the campus food and retail outlets over the next month and Student Services is continuing to provide support. Please call 01225 383838 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
Changes to isolation rules
Self-isolating for Omicron contacts has been replaced on Tuesday 14 December by daily lateral flow diagnostic (LFD) testing for those who are fully vaccinated.
The rules for international students and self-isolation are also due to change. Any student whose vaccine is recognised at the UK border will follow the same rules as anyone vaccinated in the UK. This will mean, for example, that as for UK students, international students who have been fully vaccinated will not have to isolate for 10 days if contacted by track and trace provided they take a daily lateral flow diagnostic and this is negative.
Events and the Covid pass
From Wednesday 15 December, certain large events and specified venues such as nightclubs now require the use of a Covid pass or proof of a negative test in the last 48 hours; please check the rules online to find out more. Thanks to colleagues in The SU for ensuring student events are organised in line with this guidance.
Keeping yourself and others safe
Getting fully vaccinated against Covid-19 is the best way of protecting yourself, your family and friends and the wider University community. Find out how to get vaccinated and stay safe and reduce the risk of coronavirus infection at the University.
Support for international travel
The University will make a limited number of self-administered Randox PCR tests available, free of charge, for International students travelling home for the winter break. These can be collected until Thursday 23 December from the West Accommodation Centre, in Polden on the West side of campus. You will be responsible for taking the tests at the appropriate time and delivering them to a Randox Drop box for collection. If you require a test, please fill in this form.
Unfortunately we can’t offer any different types of tests or reimburse you if you’ve already bought outward travel tests. We can’t offer return tests or provide financial support for self-isolation on or off campus.
Additional guidance to postgraduate research students
The guidance specifies that researchers can continue in-person activity. Therefore, staff and students doing research can continue using specialist equipment and accessing laboratories in the usual way. Heads of Department or their delegates should check their latest risk assessments for specific activity in laboratories. Face coverings should be worn if the risk assessment requires it. In most cases, existing mitigations should be sufficient.
If you need to work on campus to access computers, or for wellbeing and mental health reasons, you should do so, and if you have teaching responsibilities, you should continue to work on campus and your timetabled in-person teaching, including labs and practicals, should continue as planned. Otherwise, Government guidance is that if researchers and doctoral students can work from home, then they should do so.