We have reviewed the COVID-19 restrictions in place on our campuses in line with the government’s decision to remove all legal requirements. To make sure there is a managed transition that balances the protection of our community with creating a vibrant life on campus for everyone to enjoy, some restrictions on campus will continue for the time being. 

These revised arrangements will remain in place from 24 February until 25 March 2022. We will then review the situation with a view to lifting the remaining on-campus restrictions if local infection levels remain low.

For the rest of Spring Term we are:

  • Strongly encouraging face coverings in teaching events and in larger gatherings such as meetings, sports and theatre events, but relaxing the advice to wear a face covering in communal or outside areas. For zero distance teaching events the current mitigations will remain.
  • Relaxing the requirement on filtration units in teaching areas being at maximum where this impacts on the learning and teaching experience; units to be set at a minimum of “medium” (level 3).
  • Increasing capacity in Lakeside Theatre to enable more activities to take place and starting a phased return to in-person committee meetings.
  • Encouraging testing at least twice a week, with supported testing continuing on campuses.
  • Asking anyone who tests positive to stay away from campus facilities (or self-isolate on campus) whilst infectious or for up to seven calendar days.
  • Vaccination clinics will also continue; please email covid19@essex.ac.uk to express an interest.

No one who is unwell should feel that they need to work or study. If you feel unwell, please take a test and report your sickness and positive covid test result to the covid19@essex.ac.uk inbox. This allows us to continue to monitor infection levels and provide students and staff with clinical advice and other support where required. If we do have any increased infection levels in specific cohorts or teams, we may also ask you to take additional precautions in the short-term, such as daily testing. 

Students who are unable to attend teaching due to illness should follow the usual process for reporting absence. Self-isolation support will continue to be provided to students. 

From 25 February 2022, staff sickness absence due to COVID-19 will be recorded alongside other sickness absence under our standard procedures rather than separately as currently. Paid special leave will continue to be available in certain circumstances, for example, if you test positive and are well but unable to work from home.

Occupational Health will continue to provide support to members of staff who may be feeling anxious about returning to campus or who have underlying health conditions. Please discuss this with your line manager in the first instance, who can seek advice from OH as needed.

We expect that during the Summer Term we will see a return of even more face-to-face engagement with the reintroduction of pre-Covid room capacities. We will be reviewing our arrangements again and will let you know before the end of term what to expect for life on campus for the final term of the year.