How to come onto our campuses

The University Health and Safety procedures set out a framework that is committed to providing a safe and healthy University, ensuring our community take a proactive approach to health, safety and wellbeing; and to embedding health and safety as a core value in everything we do. We are already operating at full capacity for the majority of spaces and events, with appropriate ventilation in place, and with all staff back at work on campus either for all their working time or in a hybrid way.

Face coverings

From 3 May 2022 it will be a matter of personal choice whether to wear a face covering and signs around campus will be updated or removed over the next few weeks.

Disposable face mask dispensers remain available around our campuses. Please contact stores@essex.ac.uk if you wish to arrange for collection of additional masks.

Social distancing

The University will no longer be marking which desks can be used. It is expected that staff will take a pragmatic approach (i.e. windows should be open enough to allow air flow where practical). Ventilation systems remain adjusted to maximise “fresh air” input and minimise/remove air circulation.

PPE

If you require any PPE please contact your department's representative. In instances where this option is not available, PPE can be collected from Central Stores.

Outside of this process, there are other considerations being made to support a safe return to our campuses including provision of hand gel, wipes, face masks and face coverings.

Sanitising units

Wall-mounted hand gel units located throughout the academic and administrative buildings. These are checked each morning and replenished as needed. Should a unit or dispenser need replenishing during the day, please email ems-helpdesk@essex.ac.uk.

Wipes

Sanitising wipe individual packs are held within Central Stores. Staff working in office and reception areas should have access to individual packs of sanitiser wipes so that you are able to keep your work stations and areas sanitised each day. To arrange collections of individual packs of sanitising wipes, contact stores@essex.ac.uk

Hand gel

A stock of alcohol hand gel are available from Central Stores.

Face coverings and face masks

We have installed disposable mask dispensers around our campuses.

Please contact stores@essex.ac.uk if you wish to arrange for collection of additional masks.

FFP2 and FF3 masks (staff only)

Where preferred face masks, rather than face coverings, may be used to provide protection to the user.

FFP2 / FFP3 Masks are only effective if worn correctly and fit tested to the individual covering the nose and mouth, fitted snugly, and kept clean.

Whilst not designated as PPE in this instance, FFP2 or FFP3 face masks will be available for staff to elect to use but these can be individually face fitted to ensure that they are effective. Face fitting will be available for those who choose to use FFP2 or FFP3 masks where these items have been issued by the University.

This test is to ensure you use the mask that best fits your face to ensure it provides a good level of protection.

For a face fitting session you will be required to be clean shaven and bring a bottle of water with you. Face fitting sessions are available to book by emailing safety@essex.ac.uk

COVID-19 testing, vaccination and travel

Regular testing will no longer be recommended, and tests will only be provided by the University in exceptional cases or where a risk assessment by Occupational Health suggests that these are needed.

The University asks that anyone who tests positive stays away from campus facilities (or self-isolate on campus) whilst infectious or for up to five calendar days. Please follow the University’s advice on testing positive for COVID-19.

The University of Essex supports and strongly encourages, staff and students, who are eligible, to take the COVID-19 vaccination when available.

Testing

Our COVID test centres and test collection points on our campuses closed at the end of March 2022. The University would reinstate these in following circumstances:

  • in support of staff who are travelling overseas on University business;
  • to respond to specific work-requirements that might warrant testing (e.g. in the nursery or zero distance teaching in HSC and SRES);
  • in the case of an outbreak on one of our campuses;
  • should we require them during the Autumn/Winter of 2022

Testing positive for COVID-19 or experiencing symptoms

If you test positive for COVID-19 or start showing symptoms we ask that you consider the following advice to help reduce the transmission of the virus on our campus.

  • Email covid19@essex.ac.uk to report symptoms or positive test results
  • Stay/study at home if you feel unwell
  • Avoid all teaching events and stay away from all University facilities for either up to 5 days whilst the virus is known to be most contagious, or until you have a negative COVID-19 test
  • Limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19
  • Inform any close contacts that you have had over the last 48 hours since getting symptoms or testing positive, so they can be vigilant for symptoms and continue to carry out twice weekly COVID testing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash hands regularly and wipe down touched surfaces with cleaning wipes or products

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However if you develop severe symptoms you can seek advice from NHS 111 or request that a University clinician calls you. Please email covid19@essex.ac.uk if you would like a telephone call from one of our clinicians.

Vaccination

The Coronavirus vaccination is now available and as university students we want to support you to get vaccinated in order to protect yourself, fellow students and the campus community you live and study within.

Research shows that vaccines:

  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19
  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • protect against COVID-19 variants

NHS Ask the Expert event

In December we held a virtual Ask the Expert event for Health and Social Care students with staff from NHS North East Essex. Watch a recording of the event to find out more about the local vaccination programme.

Booking an on-campus COVID-19 vaccination or seeking advice

If you are a student of the University of Essex you can contact our COVID-19 Test and Trace team for vaccination advice and for assistance.

Vaccination clinics

Colchester

We have a vaccination clinic available on campus on Wednesday 26 October. To book an appointment please email our COVID-19 inbox at covid19@essex.ac.uk providing the following information:

  • The campus you are studying on
  • Number of vaccine doses you have received so far (regardless of the country of origin)
  • The name of the vaccine you have received
  • The date of your last vaccine

Regular vaccination clinics are available in the Colchester area on the Suffolk and North East Essex Vaccination Service webpage.

Southend

The local vaccination centre for Southend is based at the Southend Civic Centre, Victoria Avenue, Southend-on-Sea SS1 9SB. To pre-book an appointment, please call 0344 257 3961. Walk-in appointments are also available.

Loughton

The local vaccination centre for Loughton based at St Margaret’s Hospital is not available as a walk-in clinic and should be booked in advance. The address for this location is St Margaret’s Hospital, Spencer Close, The Plain, Epping, CM16 6TN

Further information about other local vaccination clinics and any popup sites are available on Herts and West Essex COVID-19 website.

Further information about the vaccine can be found on the NHS website.

Vaccine verification

If you have you had a COVID-19 vaccine outside of the UK and want to get this verified to create your NHS COVID pass, Colchester campus is hosting a Vaccine Verification clinic on 26 October. You can book an appointment by emailing our COVID-19 inbox at covid19@essex.ac.uk but must read the requirements below prior to attending.

This clinic will enable the NHS in a face to face appointment securely check your identify and vaccination evidence to update your vaccination records and from this the COVID pass can be generated. The clinic will be able to verify 4 approved vaccine types only: Astra Zeneca (Vaxzevria), Pfizer (Comirnaty), Janssen and Moderna (Spikevax). Face-to-face appointments are necessary to ensure that evidence can be matched with a passport or UK Driving Licence and properly validated.  If they cannot confirm your identity or vaccination documentation, they will be unable to update your record.

You must therefore attend in person and have the following for your appointment:

  • Passport or UK Driving Licence as photographic ID
  • Your NHS number
  • Evidence of the vaccination to be recorded, such as a vaccination card or certificate (See requirements below). 

The types of vaccination evidence required are a Vaccination card (typically issued when a dose is received), Vaccination post-event email/notification that includes name and the vaccine type information Vaccination certificate (electronic or paper) Vaccination records and certificates from any country can be accepted. To enable this, the evidence will need to provide the following information:

  • Government or site name of where the certificate was issued
  • Name of individual who received the vaccination
  • Date of vaccination for each dose
  • Vaccine product name/brand
  • Number in a series of doses (i.e. 2/2 etc.)
  • Country in which vaccination took place

COVID-19 travel information

Please follow the latest guidance from the UK Government regarding to the UK and when travelling to other countries, including the legal requirements for getting tested for COVID-19.

When you travel to England, you:

  • do not need to complete a UK passenger locator form before you travel
  • do not need to take any COVID-19 tests before you travel or after you arrive
  • do not need to quarantine when you arrive

Strategic approach to COVID-19 Safety

The University’s guidance on COVID-19 safety on campus is driven by the COVID-19 Strategic Risk Assessment which outlines the main measures in place to minimise transmission risks to our community.

COVID-19 risk assessments

Assessing risks associated with COVID-19 for activities and events will be incorporated into the standard departmental/activity risk assessments which follow standard approval mechanisms.

These can be updated at the next review due and will require approval by the relevant manager in the department.

COVID-19 and face-to-face meetings

A generic COVID Risk Assessment for face-to-face meetings has been produced to cover most meetings. Departments are not required to produce a separate risk assessment for standard face to face meetings. Staff must familiarise themselves with the content of the document prior to the start of the event to ensure that they are aware of the University requirements.

Please note that non-standard or very large meetings (over 150 participants) may require a supplementary COVID-19 risk assessment, to be decided by Head of Department or Section.

COVID-19 and teaching

The COVID-19 Standard Teaching Risk Assessment has be updated in line with the controls reflected in the updated University COVID-19 Strategic Risk Assessment (.pdf). This now covers all teaching events except zero distance teaching. Therefore, a separate COVID-19 risk assessment for a teaching event will no longer be required.

Non-standard events, such as events involving close contact activities (such as research with human participants), very large events (over 150 participants), large sporting events, or any other event or activity which is deemed by the Head of Department/Section to present an increased risk of COVID-19 transmission, may require a supplementary COVID-19 risk assessment. The need for a separate risk assessment will be decided by the Head of Department/Section.

COVID-19 travel

Risk assessment templates and guidance have been produced for overseas travel.

Travelling within the UK

Travelling within the UK will only require a formal risk assessment where the risk of COVID-19 transmission is deemed higher than normal for any reason. This decision will be made by the Head of Section/Department.

Travelling overseas

A COVID-19 Risk Assessment will be required for all overseas trips. This risk assessment will be needed in addition to the standard overseas travel procedures, as the COVID-19 restrictions, vaccination rates, transmission rates and variants will vary with different destinations. Heads of Departments will retain responsibility for approving overseas travel Covid-19 risk assessments.

COVID-19 risk assessment for travel overseas (.docx)

COVID-19 returning to Campus

Where staff express concerns over returning to campus due to Covid-19 and their individual health vulnerabilities, managers should ask staff to complete the COVID age assessment and refer to the Occupational Health for an OH assessment.

After completing the COVID age assessment, staff will inform their line managers whether they fall into the green, amber, yellow or red category based on the score obtained. Staff that fall into the red category should be referred to Occupational Health team.

Working from home

If you are continuing to work from home, follow our general working from home guidance. DSE and other office items can be provided to support staff at home and prevent the onset of DSE related illness.

If you are continuing to work from home, here is the IT information you need to know.

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