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Christmas closure 2020: everything you need to know

Christmas closure 2020

The University of Reading will close for the festive period from 22 December 2020 and will reopen on 4 January 2021. The pay date for this month will be 22 December 2020.

If you have been working on campus this term and do not expect to come in over the closure period, please switch off all non-essential electrical equipment and make sure your workspace is safe and secure before you leave:

  • Secure all windows, close blinds and lock all doors. Where possible, move valuable items away from windows.
  • Lock away as many valuable items as possible (including keys) and bank all cash.
  • Thieves can be deterred by items that have been marked in some way, such as an address label or UV pen marking. It may not prevent theft, but can help deter potential theft if an item bears some kind of identification mark.
  • Building managers should ensure alarms are in good working order and set for the duration of the closure period.
  • Remove all equipment from University vehicles before parking them in car park 5. Please leave vehicle keys with Security, and ensure they are collected by 09:00, 4 January 2021.
  • Update Security with any changes to your emergency call-out arrangements.

Accessing buildings over the closure period

If you must come into work over the closure period, please inform Security when you arrive and when you leave. You must give Security prior notice if you intend to come in - no access will be granted without this. 

Please ensure you familiarise yourself with our Health & Safety policies on working outside of normal hours (Safety Code of Practice 7) and working in low occupancy buildings during COVID-19 (Safety Note 75).

You may also wish to check the COVID-19 Staff FAQs for the latest COVID-19 recommendations.

Campus services

You can find details of how student services will operate during the closure period on this Essentials page.  Campus services and facilities, including the Library, study spaces, some catering outlets and student support services, will reopen as planned from 4 January, subject to the relevant government restrictions in place at the time.

Key things to note:

  • We will continue to offer take-away services in our catering outlets, although there may be a reduction of some services. For example, some facilities may move to ‘residents only' to prioritise resident students who have no alternative access to dining facilities.
  • The Co-Op on campus is closed until 4 January. The Marketplace at Park Eat will remain open, offering food and other essentials. You will need your Campus Card to enter. 
  • The Library will close at 17:00 on Monday 21 December and open again at 08:30 on Monday 4 January 2021. Opening hours can be found online.
  • The IT Service Desk in the Library will close on Monday 21 December at 17:00. Telephone lines (6262) will close on the same day at 18:00. The services will be available again from Monday 4 January 2021, the IT Service Desk in the Library at 09:00, and other at 08:00. All visits to the Library IT Service Desk must be made by pre-booked appointments - please use this form to book. The DTS team will be able to accept enquiries by email and via the Self Service Portal during the closure period, but these will not be responded to until after the Christmas closure period. You can find more information on this page.

COVID-19 hotline

During the closure period, the University's COVID-19 hotline will be an email service only.  For urgent COVID-19 related questions that cannot wait until we return on 4 January, such as access to testing or self-isolation support, email

We will check the inbox daily, apart from 24 - 26 December and 1 January, to respond to urgent queries only. The phone service will resume on Monday 4 January.

Out of Office message

To make things simpler before you finish up for Christmas, we have prepared an Out of Office message you may wish to use. Feel free to tweak it to fit your own circumstance, such as being on annual leave before the closure officially begins or working on a limited capacity.

Thank you for your email. The University is closed for Christmas between 22 December 2020 and 4 January 2021.

I will not be checking emails during this time and will respond to messages on my return.

If urgent, please contact [INSERT RELEVANT CONTACT DETAILS].

If your enquiry is a request under Freedom of Information or the Environmental Information Regulations then please redirect your email to

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.


Useful contacts and links

You can also read more about the start of the spring term and COVID-19 testing in January.

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