How does social distancing work in classrooms and on campus?
We have taken a number of steps to protect your health, including:
•installing directional signs across campus;
•creating one-way flows around campus and buildings;
•designating entry and exit doors for many buildings;
•staggering class times to reduce the numbers of people moving around in one building at the same time;
•reducing class sizes by providing core course content that would usually be delivered through large lectures online and organising interactive face-to-face teaching in smaller groups.
We have published induction information to outline what steps you should take to protect your health and that of those around you in different buildings and areas of campus.
You must maintain a 2 metre distance from other people outside of your ‘household’ whenever possible. Around campus, indoors and outdoors, you must follow guidance about face coverings in confined spaces where you cannot maintain a 2 metre distance. This includes retail spaces, take-away venues, museums, places of worship and on public transport, as well as any other areas such as teaching spaces and the Library.
What hygiene measures are there in buildings and around campus?
We have increased the frequency of cleaning of classrooms and all areas of the campus, including toilets. We provide hand hygiene opportunities across campus and cleaning stations are positioned so you can wipe down shared spaces and equipment as you need to before and after use (e.g. in computer labs). We recommend you should also carry your own hand sanitiser.
Why do some venues ask me to leave my contact details?
For some venues we are legally required to keep a log of visitors in case we are contacted by NHS Test & Trace to say that someone who visited has tested positive. This would enable the NHS to contact anyone who had come into close contact with that person. In these venues you must either scan the QR code with the NHS COVID-19 app or, if you prefer not to use the app, provide your details using the alternative at that venue. If you do not do so, we may have to refuse you entry to the venue.
What is the University policy on face coverings?
The University supports the government’s advice that face coverings can be used as a precautionary measure to protect others and advises that we “Protect our Community: Wear a Face Covering”.
There are three main points for both students and colleagues to remember:
1. All legal requirements about face coverings apply on campus. For example, you must wear a face covering in shops, takeaway food outlets, on public transport, places of worship and in our museums.
2.In line with government guidance, you are expected to wear a face covering where social distancing is difficult to maintain, including:
•in enclosed spaces including classrooms, lecture theatres and the Library, or where social distancing of 2 metres is not possible (this includes corridors and outdoor spaces
•where you come into contact with others that you do not normally meet.
If wearing a face covering interferes with teaching and learning (for example, for practical and/or performance disciplines) the member of staff responsible for the session may advise that face coverings are not required, provided that a 2 metre distance can be maintained at all times and this measure is addressed as part of the risk assessment for that teaching session. However, if a student wishes to continue to wear a face covering, they are permitted to do so.
3. You do not need to wear a face covering if you can work 2 metres from others, so you may choose to remove it when you arrive at your desk or workstation outside a classroom setting (if you are more than 2 metres away from other people) although you should put it back on to move around inside buildings.
It is important to note that some people are exempt from wearing face coverings. This can be for a wide range of reasons, including hidden disabilities. If you see someone wearing a sunflower lanyard, this indicates that they have a hidden disability. However, wearing one is a personal choice and not everyone affected by a hidden disability will choose to do so.
Students living in our Halls of Residence do not need to wear a face covering inside their house/flat. Students may wish to wear a face covering in communal areas inside halls where it is not possible to maintain social distancing of 2 metres.
You need to have your own face covering and you will be able to purchase them at various outlets on campus. Face coverings can take a variety of forms but should cover the nose and mouth areas. There is helpful advice on using and disposing of face coverings on the UK government website.
Members of staff working in reception areas, catering outlets and support areas, where a high degree of interaction is likely, are supplied with appropriate face covering if a risk assessment indicates that this is necessary. Staff delivering face-to-face teaching can request a face visor, which can provide reassurance for both staff and students as well as allowing easier communication.
We are a diverse community and we wish to take a position that is consistent with government advice and that feels as safe and reassuring as possible for everyone. Please be courteous, respectful and patient towards all members of our community.
Our Accommodation team have also published a video with further information about what you can expect when you move in to halls.
What happens if a student doesn’t adhere to the University guidance?
Our health and safety measures are in place not just to protect you but all members of our community, including those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19. It is essential that students and members of staff can safely study and work alongside one another.
We will take breaches of these arrangements seriously and major or repeated breaches, following investigation, may lead to disciplinary action being taken under our Student Disciplinary Procedures. Repeated or very serious breaches may result in the matter being escalated to Serious Misconduct under section 7 of these procedures.
What if I am worried about the impact of other students’ or staff behaviour on my health?
If you do not feel the arrangements in place are suitable to protect your health, you should speak to a relevant member of staff (for example, your Module Convenor if it concerns behaviour in a teaching session, or the Halls Hotline if it is something related to Halls of Residence).
If you have previously been advised to shield, as you are extremely clinically vulnerable, and you are worried about current arrangements, you should speak to our Disability Advisory Service, who will be able to explore with you further support that might be available.