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Staying COVID-safe for festive celebrations

06 Dec 2021

Guidance for COVID-safe social activities over the festive period

*This message was updated on Wednesday 15 December in line with the updated government guidance

The University has reviewed the updated government guidance issued on 8 December 2021 and the specific guidance for Higher Education received yesterday.

The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students continues to be our main priority and the following measures have been guided by the latest advice from the government and Public Health England.

Whilst there are no requirements in the latest government guidance for Christmas parties and gatherings to be cancelled, all work-related social events on campus have been cancelled and we strongly advise against having work-related social events off-campus.

We would advise considering a virtual gathering as an alternative.

We are closely monitoring the situation over the Omicron variant of COVID-19 and it would be sensible for all of us to take precautions but particularly if you are clinically vulnerable or live with someone who is.

We strongly encourage you to take all measures available to reduce risk. This includes wearing face masks indoors or in crowded outdoor spaces, regular self-testing for COVID, getting vaccinated against COVID and flu when you are invited to do so, social distancing where possible, and regular hand washing and sanitising.

You should not come on to the campus or attend a social gathering if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. Please follow NHS isolation guidance and arrange for a PCR test. If you test positive, you MUST self-isolate and let us know through your line manager and our website.

If a gathering is taking place in person, you are legally required to wear a face covering when using public transport and we strongly encourage you take a lateral flow test before attending.

No one should feel compelled or obliged to participate in any social events - you should only do so if you feel comfortable.  

All hospitality venues should have conducted their own risk assessment to keep customers safe and should readily provide this information to their customers on request. Event organisers should check with the venue if they remain open and Covid secure. 

Staff and students may be even more concerned at this time of year about the risk of having to isolate, so please look after yourselves and each other and continue to follow all COVID-19 related guidance.