Update for staff following government announcement – 10 December
10 Dec 2021
Campus will remain open and in-person teaching and research will continue
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.
The UK government is clear on the critical importance of not disrupting education and as such, guidance for higher education is that campuses will remain open and in-person teaching will continue.
The guidance says that colleagues deemed critical to the continuation of in-person teaching and learning should continue to work as normal. This includes:
- People involved in face-to-face teaching for example: lecturers or academic staff
- Those that support teaching and learning for example: lab technicians or specialist technical staff
- Essential student support services – medical, mental health, wellbeing as well as direct teaching and learning such as library staff
- Campus facility staff
Colleagues should discuss with your line manager as to whether your work can be carried out at home. Any changes take effect from Monday, 13 December.
Clinically high-risk staff
Those previously considered to be clinically high-risk are not being advised to shield again. Anyone previously identified as being clinically high-risk is advised to continue to follow all COVID-19 related safety guidance. In some circumstances, colleagues may have received personal advice from their specialist or clinician on additional precautions to take and they should continue to follow that advice. Please discuss any concerns you may have with your line manager.
Christmas parties and gatherings
Whilst there are no requirements in the latest guidance for Christmas parties and gatherings to be cancelled, we would advise caution and to discuss these in your teams. Such events which are due to take place in University-run venues will be postponed. If your Christmas party is taking place in an external venue please make local decisions. Please see the current guidance on holding safe Christmas parties.
No one should feel compelled or obliged to participate in any social events - you should only do so if you feel comfortable.
We are confident that our campus is a safe environment and we will continue to act in line with any UK government guidance and regulations, as we have always done.
Whether you work from home or on campus, our advice to colleagues continues to be as follows:
- Get vaccinated - We encourage all staff and students to get vaccinated as soon as you can, and to get your booster when eligible. Vaccinated people are much more unlikely to get serious COVID-19 or be admitted to hospital, and there is growing evidence that vaccinated people are less likely to pass the virus to others.
- Get tested - Take a lateral flow test twice a week, isolate immediately if you test positive. You should not come on to the campus 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.
- Wear a mask - Face coverings are mandatory on campus and are a legal requirement in some public spaces including public transport and shops. Please continue to wear your face coverings if you are able to do so.
The full understanding of the impact of Omicron remains unclear and we will continue to update you when there are further developments.
Our staff and students have continued to show great resilience and flexibility, and the role we are all playing in following the rules and guidance means we continue to keep ourselves and our campus as safe as is possible.
Vice-President for Social Responsibility and chair of the Campus Management Group