Extended bank holiday break announced

March 25th, 2020

The Vice-Chancellor has announced three days of exceptional leave to be added to the Easter Bank Holiday to thank staff on our UK campuses for their hard work. The break will now run from Thursday 9 to Wednesday 15 April inclusive.

“I remain immensely grateful for your professionalism, support and patience as the University and the country as a whole face this latest set of challenges,” said Professor West. “The response from both our staff and students these past ten days has been nothing short of remarkable.

“I hope you will all spend this time away from any non-essential work and email and focus on your wellbeing, family and friends, while observing the new social distancing restrictions. I continue to wish you and your loved ones the best of health and all good fortune.”

The University has now moved to full online teaching, and remote working for all but essential on-campus roles.

The government has announced that, for at least the next three weeks, everyone must stay at home except for very limited purposes such as shopping for food or medical supplies, daily exercise, or travel to and from essential work – and then only where absolutely necessary.

Non-essential shops and community spaces are closed, and public gatherings of more than two people are banned until at least the first review of the measures in three weeks’ time. You can read the full detail of the government restrictions at this link for guidance on staying at home.

“It is of course essential that we all follow these restrictions – as individual citizens as well as members of a University community,” Professor West added. “When we reduce our contact, we reduce the spread of the infection.”

Our Estates team is preparing to publish a list of buildings that will be closed formally at the end of Wednesday 25 March, with access by named personnel only for essential purposes. We will review this position in line with the government’s review of its restrictions in three weeks’ time.

The only exceptions to this rule – which Professor Jessica Corner is carefully considering with Faculty Pro-Vice-Chancellors – are the areas of science and research which the government has asked to be continued as they are either critical for tackling the coronavirus or for national security, or where pausing would affect the care of animals or store of hazardous materials.

Any essential staff who do remain on campus will observe strict social distancing measures at all times.

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