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Close contact

Find out how to mitigate against viral transmission via close contact with infectious individuals.

Close working with others

Wherever possible, close contact face-to-face working should be avoided; side-by-side or back-to-back working should be implemented. If face to face contact is unavoidable, such as at reception desks or service points, screens should be retained. In office situations, the use of modesty screens may help.

Face coverings 

The University has provided full guidance about face coverings on the Be Safe webpage. Central stores have a large supply of free reusable face coverings that they will provide to departments on request.

The University will continue to support people to wear face coverings in other situations if they choose to do so. The only exception to this is where wearing a face-covering poses a significant risk to the user or others. 

Meetings and appointments

  • It is okay to hold infrequent, ad hoc or short duration scheduled meetings in offices and other workspaces. There should be no meetings in internal offices or meeting rooms where there is no fresh air supply. Meetings should be kept as short as possible. If meetings are for long periods of over an hour, then an alternative venue should be used. Even with short meetings, use larger rooms if available. Alternatively, outdoor walking meetings may be an option.
  • If you are unable to find a meeting room big enough for all your attendees, you should consider running your meeting on Microsoft Teams or an alternative platform.
  • If a meeting is held in a meeting room, then the number of attendees should not exceed the stated room occupancy. This will be published shortly. If the meeting room is naturally ventilated, windows should be kept open during the meeting. Windows do not have to be fully open all the time; having the windows, including high-level windows open, even a little will provide fresh air.
  • When meeting in an office, the office occupant should try to open windows at least 10 minutes before scheduled short informal meetings and leave open for at least 10 minutes after the “visitor(s)” leave(s). Doors should be left open where possible – if the matter is confidential then you might want to consider if you can consider holding the meeting elsewhere
  • Wherever possible, try to maintain a distance between attendees. If you can, avoid close contact, especially if sitting or standing face to face. Alternatively, if you can sit side-by-side then you should do so.
  • Visitors to offices and meeting rooms should make use of local handwashing or hand sanitiser provision before visiting and on leaving. Sharing of materials should be discouraged, otherwise but if that can’t be avoided then local cleaning procedures should be carried out, if viable. 
  • Microsoft Teams and other platforms continue to be available and can be used to host meetings if suitable spaces are not available. 

One-way traffic flows in buildings

We recognise that one-way systems have presented some operational difficulties to some departments and that these may require some alteration. Departments will have the best knowledge of how their buildings are used, so we are asking that individual departments propose where one-way systems and other arrangements can be removed.

When making your proposals on one-way routes in your buildings you should consider: 

  • Likely largescale movement of people at the same time, such as at the end of lectures or large meetings
  • Pinch points in corridors and areas where people are likely to come into close contact
  • Operational requirements to move materials, equipment, and other items around site
  • Which signs should be removed or retained

Once you have completed your proposal, this will need to be shared with Estates for consideration and to action any alteration to the signs. If departments require assistance in determining whether one-way systems are necessary, they should contact the health and safety team for advice. You can get in touch with both teams via the CSR TopDesk tile. 

Study spaces, including the Library

  • We will expect/recommend users (unless exempt) to wear face coverings when moving around the building and when in a timetabled teaching session. The University is not requiring that face coverings should be worn when seated in study spaces.
  • However, we will create clearly designated study and library space for those who prefer to study with a face covering and would prefer others around them to do so too
  • Hand sanitising and desk cleaning materials will remain, and their use will be encouraged
  • One-way systems to enter and exit the library have always been in place and will operate as normal
  • Student group work is permitted whilst encouraging students to maintain an appropriate distance where practical. Signs will be displayed in study spaces to remind students of good practice.

Please note that there may be restricted access to some parts of the Library leading up to the start of the academic year to allow recommissioning of some of its spaces.


If you have any further enquiries, please get in touch via the CSR TopDesk tile.