A message to all staff
I write to update you on some of the additional health and safety measures you can expect to see if you are returning to campus, and on measures that will come into effect from September as we welcome students and our footfall increases.
Our over-riding priority continues to be the provision of safe working environments for staff and students, and a great deal of work and planning is being carried out on each of our buildings before they are reopened.
Prior to reopening, each campus building and area will be given a full thorough clean and safety check, and plans will be put in place to ensure work can be carried out in a way that is consistent with social distancing requirements. This will include new ways of working and directives, such as one-way systems on busy stairs and corridors and reducing the number of people in buildings and moving around campus at the same time.
New rules will be in place for lifts, kitchens, toilets and working spaces to help us all keep our distance. You will also see increased cleaning activity on site and the provision of hand sanitisers, soap and paper towels.
Additional measures will be introduced from the beginning of the academic year, as the numbers on campus increase. Specifically, there will be access to free and fast covid-19 testing on campus to support a test and trace approach to containing the virus. We recognise that, as the campus starts to become busier, some people may wish to wear a face covering or face mask, and washable face coverings will be available for everyone, with advice about how to use them.
These measures and additional safety procedures, specific to new and returning students – covering arrivals, international arrivals, registration, induction, teaching and accommodation – are also being shared with prospective and returning students via email, relevant websites and through social media later today. You can access an advance copy of the email they will receive and view the dedicated web page that summarises the safety measures. Please note, you will be prompted to login with your staff username and password to access these documents.
It goes without saying that our planning recognises that the course of the pandemic is unpredictable and that there might be further measures introduced, or further relaxation of existing restrictions; our practices are therefore likely to change over time. You can read more about our approach to planning our return to campus in communications issued on 7 May and 4 June.
It is also worth restating that, while the requirement for social distancing remains in force, we are expecting the majority of staff to continue working at home and follow government guidance. Staff asked to carry out work on campus or able to resume research on campus will receive appropriate notification.
In deciding whether to make any request for a member of staff to return to campus we will, of course, factor in personal circumstances, such as known underlying health conditions. Any member of staff who is asked to return to campus and who has concerns about that should discuss these with their line manager and/or HR representative.
With best wishes,