Message to all students - updated Coronavirus precautions in the UK – 10/12/2021

On 8 December, the UK Government set out its “Plan B” approach to additional measures to help control the spread of Covid, and in particular the new Omicron variant.  The Government has continued to focus on the importance of ensuring that any disruption to education: teaching, learning, research and the wider student experience is minimised, and that it will prioritise keeping all education settings open.

While there is only a short period before the Christmas vacation there are some important updates that we would like to share with you.

Teaching, learning and research

The clear expectation from the Government guidance, and our priority, will be to continue to provide face-to-face teaching. Over the next week, until the Christmas vacation, you should expect that any scheduled teaching and learning activities will continue as planned. The University campus will be open for teaching, learning and research activity, and other events that support the wider student experience, including field trips, assessment support week and “Countdown to Christmas” will go ahead.  All University facilities, including the Library, study spaces, catering venues, shops, and the Sports Centre will remain open.

We also expect that there will be no change to arrangements for the New Year and that assessments should go ahead in January as planned.  All January exams that are currently scheduled to be on campus have an alternative if required.  In person teaching should also resume in Semester 2 and we will provide you with any updates if the circumstances change. 

We are updating our advice on the wearing of face coverings

We now expect that all students, staff and visitors will wear a face covering in all indoor settings on campus. We have spare supplies of face coverings in most teaching rooms, Main Library, and other reception areas if you forget your own or need a replacement. Face coverings are not a requirement in student residences or in catering venues.

We recognise that some students may be exempt from wearing a face covering for various reasons. Anyone who is exempt from wearing a face covering is encouraged to wear a sunflower lanyard which can be collected (FREE) from the Aston Webb Student Hub.

Take regular tests

We continue to strongly recommend that all students take a regular lateral flow device (LFD) test at least twice a week.  In line with the Government guidance we would also recommend and encourage you to take a lateral flow test before leaving Birmingham (if you are travelling out of the area for the Christmas vacation) and to please take a test again the day before you travel back to Birmingham in January.

You can collect a supply of FREE lateral flow tests to see you through the holiday period from any of our collection points on campus or via the Government website here.

If you have any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste), even if they're mild, do not come onto campus. You should get a PCR test as soon as possible and follow national guidance. Please also report any positive tests to the University.

And finally

For information about our Countdown to Christmas programme next week, visit the event page on the student intranet.

If you are looking for information about Assessment Support Week and resources to help you prepare for the main assessment season, visit our UoBe Ready page on the student intranet

And if you want to know when the Library is open over Christmas, what’s open when and how to get in contact with us for urgent support, visit our Christmas opening times page on the student intranet

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