June 15th, 2021
A message from Professor Andy Long.
Last night the Government confirmed that the easing of all remaining Covid-19 restrictions will now end on 19 July 2021 (although this could be brought forward should infections decrease). This means step three restrictions remain in place. You can read more about the announcement here.
As you know many health and safety measures have been introduced at the university over the last 14 months as part of our status as a Covid-secure campus.
We will now await guidance from the Department for Education, due week commencing 28 June, to ensure that where we modify or remove any Covid-safety measures we do so in a safe and considered way, with appropriate risk assessment. I will write to you again once we can confirm what will be changing and how.
For those staff and PGRs who have not already returned to campus, the Government ruling on working from home is expected to end on 19 July. Opportunities remain in place for you to book space to work on campus if needed – do speak to your line manager or supervisor to arrange this.
Return to Campus Principles have also been supplemented by Hybrid Working Managers Guidelines.
These will support managers in the planning and preparation of return to campus activities in the short to medium-term. These guidelines are contained within the Return to Operations Managers Guide: HR. PGRs returning to work on campus should liaise with their supervisors and schools on the local arrangements for supporting their return.
Many people will have mixed emotions about returning to campus, especially as restrictions are relaxed. The Leadership & Management Academy has launched a series of webinars for leaders, managers and supervisors to provide support to their teams as they navigate their return. More information can be found here.
Although restrictions are due to be lifted next month, the situation is still volatile and there are concerns about potential spikes or waves in the future. With this in mind, we have developed a flexible approach with everyone’s health and safety at the forefront of our planning. This includes supporting vaccination and our comprehensive on-campus Covid-19 testing programme and being prepared to reinstate social distancing measures if instructed by the government or health authorities.
Timetabling in Semester 1 is designed to facilitate this, and some Covid signage and security will remain in place in offices, corridors and other shared spaces to assist this process.
We are confident that this approach will allow us to return as safely and swiftly as possible to more usual working practices on our campuses, while enabling us to make adjustments to our activity as required, depending on the course of the pandemic.
We will still expect staff and PGR students to be tested regularly and to follow the established reporting and isolating guidelines should they test positive. If you are symptomatic you should not come onto campus and should isolate, notify the university and arrange to have a confirmatory test.
We expect staff and PGRs on campus to continue taking asymptomatic tests at least once a week. There is no need to book unless you want to – you can simply turn up at a number of sites across our campuses. We will also be encouraging everyone eligible to take up the offer of the vaccine when invited, with 23 and 24-year-olds able to book their first doses from today. We have two vaccination sites on our campuses at Cripps Health Centre and Kings Meadow Campus and you can find out more about the vaccination programme on our website including details of how to book and other FAQs.
I will write again with more details on changes to university restrictions as soon as the information is available from Government.
Professor Andy Long, FREng
Provost & Deputy Vice-Chancellor
University of Nottingham
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