The Vice-Chancellor and the Chair of Council have taken the decision to move to the Sustained level of COVID protection from Tuesday 27 July.  This move in protection level has been carefully considered. By 27 July, the majority of undergraduate teaching on our campuses will have finished and most of our students will be on their summer break.

The University’s protection levels are set out in our University COVID-19 Business Continuity Plan. The plan sets out four different levels of protection – Advanced (the most stringent), Enhanced, Sustained and Targeted.

Sustained Protection allows for more elements of on-campus activity to resume than within Enhanced Protection. The move represents a cautious step in opening up our campuses now that the Government has removed legal restrictions following completion of the steps in their roadmap out of lockdown. It will allow us to increase the level of on-campus activity in a controlled way, as we monitor the impact of the removal of national restrictions on our campus community.

During the period of Sustained Protection, staff attendance on campus will remain subject to limits. In most cases, this will mean that no more than half of staff in Departments and Sections are working on University premises at any one time. This will help ensure that our operations remain resilient as the impact of the removal of Government legal restrictions becomes clearer.  Colleagues who are medically vulnerable should continue to follow the guidance on our website, including on how to seek advice on their individual circumstances.

The latest details of all you need to do to be safe to return to campus are regularly updated on our COVID pages for staff and for students. Please make sure you have updated yourself on the current content of these pages.

As we look forward to welcoming new and returning students onto our campuses in October, the move to Sustained Protection allows us to take a measured step in opening up the University in a way that continues to allow us to keep our campuses COVID secure. We want to say thank you in advance for your continued support and cooperation while we navigate our way through this enduring pandemic. Please continue to show your Essex spirit and do all you can to keep our campuses and our communities as COVID-19 secure as possible.

We will share detailed communications as and when further changes happen. If you have any questions, please contact