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New government guidance on students returning to campus in the spring

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The following message has been sent to all colleagues from Professor Julian Park and Professor Dominik Zaum, Co-Chairs of the Major Recovery Team. 

Dear colleagues,

As you will likely already have seen reported in the media, yesterday afternoon we received guidance from the government about their plans for students returning to university campuses in the spring term. Institutions have been asked to:

  • ‘stagger' the return of students to campus, prioritising students on programmes with practical elements or placements;


  • provide Lateral Flow Tests for non-symptomatic students when they return to campus.

We are working our way through this new guidance and developing plans for this staggered return. We will write to all colleagues and students before the end of term to let you know about testing arrangements and how a staggered return will be implemented.

We can confirm, however, that our spring term will start as planned on Monday 11 January for most students, noting that a small number of programmes will start before that. Programmes will start online for many students initially, as we transition back to face-to-face teaching in a phased way by early February, in line with the new guidance.

We are still planning to reopen our Library, catering services and campus facilities from 4 January after the Christmas closure.

We will shortly be sending this email to all students with similar advice.

Non-symptomatic testing on campus

Bookings are now open for our free on-campus rapid COVID-19 testing for those who do not have symptoms. Testing is available for all undergraduate and postgraduate students, including PGRs and students on placement, and for those staff who have been working on campus in the 14 days prior to the test.

We will write again next week when we have further information about plans for the spring term. If you have any questions, our COVID-19 support line remains available on 0118 214 7813 between 9am and 5pm on weekdays and 11am and 4pm on weekends. 

Best wishes, 

Julian and Dominik 

Professor Julian Park (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Education and Student Experience) and Professor Dominik Zaum (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation) 

Co-Chairs, University of Reading Major Recovery Team 

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