A new period of stricter national restrictions are in effect in England from November 5 until December 2 2020 to tackle rising levels of Covid-19 transmission.
The Government has been clear that universities should remain open during these restrictions to support students' education and wellbeing. As such, the University will remain open but some changes will come into effect.
Our goal is to do the very best we can for our students and staff at this time despite the difficulties we are all facing. We recognise that individuals’ personal circumstances vary, and as a result cultivating a community of care and compassion is more important now than ever.
We will of course continue to monitor the situation carefully and update our community when appropriate.
Learning and Teaching
In line with new Government guidance for Higher Education, face coverings will now be required in study spaces as well as in-person teaching. These rules apply from November 5, although existing exemptions remain.
We will continue to make available study spaces for which there continues to be good availability. Over the lockdown period, booking individual study spaces is still allowed, and following feedback our online study space booking system has been updated to remove the limit on the weekly number of hours you can book. We’re also looking at increasing the amount of study spaces available in the run up to assessments.
We will continue our blended approach of in-person and online learning, strictly following our Covid-secure rules on social distancing, wearing face-coverings, and operating enhanced ventilation and cleaning regimes.
We have already been looking at what we have learned over the last few weeks in relation to learning and teaching, including through student surveys. We are exploring how we might evolve our approach to maximise student experience and deliver our commitments, whilst giving additional flexibility. We will be working closely with Departments on our approach.
Our research laboratories will remain operational wherever possible, strictly observing Covid-secure measures and risk assessments.
Research remains a core part of our mission and researchers, including staff and doctoral students, who need to use campus facilities to carry out research effectively and cannot do so at home, should continue to do so. Detailed guidance for researchers is available here.
Support for students and staff
We will continue to lay great emphasis on mental health support, for staff and for students. For students, we will continue to deliver both in-person and online wellbeing services.
It’s only natural that changing our ways and living with restrictions can cause tension, frustration and anxiety. Working and studying virtually also has its challenges. Now more than ever, we need to talk.
Please be aware that a mental health crisis is specified as a valid reason for leaving your home, and we would urge anyone having mental health problems to seek support from our services specified below.
If you're a student, you can contact:
- the Wellbeing Service
- the students' union (SU) Advice & Support Centre
- your tutor or supervisor
- the Chaplaincy
- your Student Living Ambassador if you live in University accommodation by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Be Well - Talk Now provides access to support from an adviser by phone or live chat 24 hours a day.
- Don’t forget, our Security team is here to help out of hours in an emergency and you can find emergency numbers on our webpages.
If you're a member of staff, you can:
- talk to your line manager
- talk to your HR advisor
- use the Employee Assistance Programme
- talk to your Trade Union representative
- the Chaplaincy
University services and facilities
Key student facing services and core operational staff will continue to play their critical role in supporting our students on campus and in University buildings, again stringently following our safety measures.
Colleagues not involved in key student-facing services, in-person teaching, research or other essential operations on campus should work from home if they can do so effectively. However, we remain open and colleagues who need to work on campus should continue to do so.
Extension of furlough
With the new restrictions in place from 5 November, there are some posts that will unfortunately have to be furloughed.
The University will use the Government furlough scheme that has been extended to support staff in these roles. To find out more about this please read our furlough information pages.
During this period, you can still exercise, or visit outdoor public places, with the people you live with, your support bubble, or one person from another household. For members of our community living in Bath and on campus, we are fortunate to have a beautiful city and a spacious, green campus and there are a number of local walks and the Bath Skyline walk which you may wish to explore, safely, over the coming weeks.
In line with the new restrictions the Sports Training Village will be closed. However, you will be able to access fitness, dance-themed and yoga-based classes run by the Team Bath trainers via this weekly timetable.
We are also making sports equipment such as frisbees available so students can exercise, either in their households, or with one other person, in the green spaces on campus. The SU is also offering equipment rentals, an exercise buddy scheme and more to help students keep active.
Student support groups organised through the SU can continue to meet in groups of 15 or fewer, which we know are important to those students’ wellbeing. You can attend medical appointments including to get vaccinations. You can attend places of worship for individual prayer. You can also, of course, continue to shop for essential items at our grocery shop on campus and get take away food at our catering outlets.
We are currently reviewing the guidelines to see what else we can safely deliver during this period of lockdown.
The Government has been clear about travel for University students. If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term for Christmas.
You can only travel in a car with your household or with someone you have formed a support bubble with, unless you are travelling for legally permitted reasons.
All members of our community must continue to follow the basic ‘Be Safe’ rules of ‘Hands. Face. Space’.
Students who have symptoms of Covid-19 or who are self-isolating for any other reason must follow our ‘Isolate. Test. Tell’ guidance.
Staff who have symptoms or who are self-isolating must follow our guidance for staff.