Trent building from Highfields Lake

Monday 19 July – lifting Covid restrictions


July 14th, 2021

The Department for Education has now published its guidance for universities following the government announcement on the lifting of Covid restrictions from Monday 19 July. We have carefully considered this, alongside the risk assessments and safety measures we have introduced during the past 15 months, to ensure that our campuses continue to be as safe as possible for everyone.

Actions we are taking in response to the Department for Education’s guidance can be found below. Specific information for students can be found on the Coronavirus webpages.

Please be respectful and considerate of both our University and city communities, understanding some people will feel more comfortable with the lifting of restrictions than others and that health vulnerabilities remain.

This update includes information on:

Vaccines

The university actively supports the roll out of the vaccine and is encouraging all those who can to take up the offer of the vaccine. Two doses are needed to ensure the vaccine is most effective, but they don’t have to be taken in the same location.

From Monday 16 August those who are fully vaccinated will not have to isolate if they are a contact of someone who tests positive for Covid-19- see information below on testing and isolation.

More information about the vaccine, how to book and other FAQs can be found on our Coronavirus webpages.

Resources are available for staff to help share the message to students to encourage them to arrive in Nottingham fully vaccinated – as at July, more than 60% of our students have received at least one dose. You can find out more about the resources and other FAQs.

Test, trace and isolation

All staff and students spending any time on campus will be required to continue taking asymptomatic testing at least once a week which can be performed quickly and easily through the Asymptomatic Testing Service. Those who experience Covid symptoms should isolate immediately, notify the university and book an NHS confirmatory swab test.

The Government has now confirmed that from Monday 16 August contacts of those who test positive no longer need to isolate if they have had both doses of the Covid vaccination or are under 18, unless told otherwise by NHS ‘Track and Trace’ or if they begin to experience symptoms themselves. Contacts should begin daily testing supported by the Asymptomatic Testing Service to ensure they are not at risk of transmitting the virus.

If you are not fully vaccinated and are identified as a close contact of a positive case, you will need to isolate in accordance with government guidelines. More details on support during your isolation can be found on our Coronavirus webpages.

Social distancing

In line with government guidelines social distancing measures are no longer mandatory, however, please be respectful and considerate of everyone in our university and the communities in which we live. Please continue to follow good hand hygiene measures and give people space where it is sensible or requested – be mindful at all times that some people will feel more comfortable with the lifting of restrictions than others, and health vulnerabilities remain. Campus signage on social distancing and one-way systems will begin to be replaced with safety messaging over the summer.

Face coverings

Whilst government guidelines mean that the wearing of face coverings is no longer mandatory, the government expects and recommends that you wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces. This helps you to reduce your risk to others and helps others to reduce their risk to you. Face coverings may be reintroduced should there be local outbreaks or a rise in cases.

Covid-19 personal safety measures

Please continue to observe rigorous hygiene practices, particularly regular handwashing.

Working from home

The government instruction to work from home where possible is now lifted and colleagues may begin a phased return to working on campus from Monday 19 July. Hybrid working should be explored for all staff in roles where it is not essential to be on campus all the time. This enables and supports colleagues in spending part of their working time working remotely and part of their time on campus. Managers should help staff prepare for return, complete the appropriate online training, and understand what will be expected of them.

Teaching and learning

Wherever possible classes, seminars, labs and tutorials will be delivered in-person from the start of the academic year, however, in line with most universities, large-scale teaching will continue through a blended approach in Semester 1. Our intention is to resume in-person in Semester 2, subject to the course of the pandemic. This is in part due to the complexities of timetabling more than 100,000 teaching sessions, but also offers contingency in the event of autumn outbreaks. Local Directors of Public Health have powers to reimpose social distancing requirements in the event of outbreaks – by being cautious now, we can be more flexible later.

There will be an extended two-week welcome period to help re-acclimatise students to living and studying on campus.

University research facilities

The increase in research activities made possible in facilities by the lifting of restrictions will be re-planned and will therefore change will be gradual and carefully planned. We encourage wearing of face coverings where there are several people working closely together in laboratories and other research facilities.

Sport and social events

There are no Covid-19 restrictions on the numbers of people attending or participating in sporting or social events. Attendees should make an informed decision on risk and make a judgement on social distancing and wearing face coverings, mindful of the government’s expectation and recommendation that face coverings are worn in crowded and enclosed spaces.

Catering and bars

In line with government guidance, catering outlets, bars and restaurants on campus will open as usual with no requirements for table service.

Travel

The government has implemented its traffic light system for international travel, established by the Global Travel Taskforce, which sets out the measures applying to arrivals from Red, Amber and Green countries. Please be aware of the status of the country you intend to travel to or from before making your journey, so that you understand testing and quarantine requirements for your destination and return.

The University’s current Travel Policy remains in place for travel by staff and students travelling on University business. These will be adapted in response to changing travel guidance. Please continue to refer to documents on the Health and Safety Workspace for the most up to date information.

Health and safety

Do take time to review the latest documents and policies in the Health and Safety workspace pages. A revised master risk assessment has been created in light of changing restrictions. This can be found on the Health and Safety workspace pages.

A new way of working

The government’s lifting of national restrictions does not mean that the risks from Covid-19 have disappeared. It simply marks a new phase in the government’s response to the pandemic where the population is urged to manage risks to themselves and to others. The university has created a new policy which supports a new way of working during this period.

Our university values include inclusivity and respect. We have regard for each other’s rights and feelings, and demonstrate this in our behaviour, treating each other with kindness. As we begin this transition into a new phase of living with the pandemic please do remember and embody these values.

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