Face coverings on campus

July 24th, 2020

Face coverings are to be made compulsory for staff, students and visitors inside buildings on campus.

The new policy [Workspace login required] has been introduced as part of the University’s Recovery programme, following consultation with the COVID-19 Expert Advisory Group, and will come into effect on Monday 27 July.

The University will be providing face coverings for use at key points throughout some buildings and at key entrances from the start of term/session, but it is expected that in the majority of cases students and staff will wish to purchase their own coverings.

The University policy applies to all buildings including lecture theatres, laboratories, corridors and teaching rooms. It  creates an additional layer of protection in situations where maintaining the 2m social distancing rule is difficult, builds on our existing health and safety measures and may help us increase teaching capacity in the future.

A number of exceptions apply. This includes those with personal health requirements, including hidden conditions such as anxiety, those working in single occupancy offices or at workstations which can be set 2m apart from others or have a screen around them, and while eating.

There may be other specific exceptions, where a risk assessment has been completed to demonstrate that a face covering is not required.

It is particularly important to wear a face covering when you are working closely with others, such as in a one to one discussion, working in small groups, or when working together on a single piece of equipment. In such cases, in addition to face coverings, careful attention should be taken to ensure that surfaces are cleaned after touching, and that hand hygiene is observed.

We are currently exploring the provision of transparent face visors to minimise the impact of wearing face coverings on the communication between those who use lip reading to support their understanding of conversations.

While social distancing and good hygiene practices remain the most effective ways of stopping the spread of the virus wide-spread use of face coverings has been shown to limit the spread of infection.

The policy offers further information including a list of scenarios and further guidance.

We will be communicating this in more detail with students over the summer as we continue to share messages about the start of the Academic Term.

This policy will be kept under review and we will take our lead from UK Government Policy and Guidance, seeking the input of our experts throughout

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