Update 5 January
On 4 January the Prime Minister announced that England would enter a national lockdown from 5 January to help stop the spread of Covid-19.
In line with Government guidance, the semester will start on 25 January with online teaching for the majority of students. Face-to-face teaching for most courses will not now commence until 14 February at the earliest. However, there are a number of previously announced exceptions to this and these specific courses will commence face-to-face learning as planned. Programme Teams will be in touch with students on these courses to confirm arrangements. Students on these courses should book and take two rapid Covid-19 tests, three days apart, upon arrival or self-isolate for ten days before commencing face-to-face study.
The Government has advised that all other students should remain where they are and start the semester online, studying from your current residence, where possible.
How will our campuses be affected by the announcement?
In line with Government guidance, the semester will start with remote teaching for the majority of students. Face-to-face teaching for most courses will not now commence until 14 February at the earliest. However, there are a number of previously announced exceptions to this and these specific courses will commence face-to-face learning as planned.
Our libraries remain open and our student support services are available online. Our accommodation remains open for those students already in place and for those for whom face-to-face teaching will take place and for those who are unable to stay in their vacation accommodation.
We may need to make further changes to the way that some of our communal spaces on campuses operate, such as cafes and study areas. If so, we will communicate this to students and staff at a later date.
Can I still travel home over the Christmas period?
The Minister of State for Universities has recently written to all students confirming that they may still travel home within the UK for Christmas, including those travelling from or to a Tier 4 area. Any student can travel home once during the period 3 December 2020 and 7 February 2021.
The restrictions will be kept under review by the Government and we will continue to update students. If you have any concerns, please email firstname.lastname@example.org (please note that the Covid Response Team will be checking the email@example.com inbox from 29-31 December. All enquiries will be reviewed by the team and high-priority requests will be responded to. All other enquiries will be followed up from 4 January 2021).
Can I travel back to University?
We understand that many of you may have already made arrangements to return to university. If you cannot change your travel arrangements and/or it is not feasible for you to remain where you are, (e.g. you do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities or studying space, or if you decide it is better for your mental health and wellbeing), you may return to your university accommodation. The University Accommodation team will shortly be in touch with all students in University-managed accommodation to provide more information on this. Where possible, we will ensure that essential services continue to be provided. If you do decide to return, you should not then move back and forth between your permanent home and student home during term time. If you have previously booked a rapid Covid-19 test and will not now be returning to campus, please remember to cancel your test as soon as possible.
If you need to return to your term-time accommodation, please pay careful attention to the guidance below, in relation to what you are allowed to do, and who you are allowed to see. Any breaches of the new regulations may put other students and staff at risk, and could result in action being taken by the University, or the police.
Students living outside the UK are reminded to check the latest FCDO travel advice for their country of residence.
What are the lockdown rules?
The Government has published full guidance on the new national lockdown - you should make sure that you understand and act in accordance with the guidance. You are reminded that with effect from today:
You must not leave your home unless it is for one of the purposes set out by the Government, which include, but are not limited to:
● work, where you can't reasonably work from home
● accessing education and for caring responsibilities
● visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments
● buying goods or services that you need, keeping to your local area wherever possible
It is against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.
If you need to travel you should stay local – avoid travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.
You should stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household (meaning the people you live with) or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering).
You must wear a face covering in many indoor settings and on public transport, unless you are exempt.
● by yourself
● with the people you live with
● with your support bubble (if you are legally permitted to form one)
● in a childcare bubble where providing childcare
● or, when on your own, with one person from another household.
Exercise should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.
If you need to travel, walk or cycle where possible, and plan ahead and avoid busy times and routes on public transport. You should avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or your support bubble. See the guidance on car sharing. If you need to use public transport, you should follow the safer travel guidance.
I’m clinically vulnerable - what do I do?
The Government has advised that those who are clinically extremely vulnerable could be at higher risk of severe illness from Covid-19 and should not attend work or university, and should limit the time spent outside the home. You should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. If this applies to you, please update your Covid Learning Status on Student Information to inform us that you are shielding.