With national COVID infection levels reducing, Government COVID restrictions have come to an end. The University is therefore now in a position to move from the Targeted Protection level we have been in since September 2021, and into Steady State.
Steady StateSteady StateSteady State is defined as the operational model where the risk to the University and its community is considered low enough to allow emergency COVID-related restrictions on campus to be lifted. Under Steady State the University would operate without reference to time-limited measures in place, save where these are part of the ongoing management of COVID. This means that the University will be operating under standard arrangements, developed through its usual processes and approval routes. Some of these arrangements will differ from those that were in place prior to the pandemic, to accommodate the continued existence of COVID-19 and potential future variants.
Ending COVID restrictions
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.
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.
Standard sickness absence reporting, recording and sickness absence pay rules will be fully effective again from 3 May 2022.
If you receive a positive COVID result, there is no legal requirement asking you to isolate but it is likely that you will be infectious to others. We are asking therefore that you avoid contact with others for five days after the day you took the test.
Staff and students who have a respiratory infection, a high temperature or do not feel well enough to go to work or to study should stay at home and avoid contact with other people until they no longer have a temperature or feel unwell.
If there are future COVID outbreaks in particular areas, the Occupational Health team may recommend additional infection control mitigations. These could include face coverings, testing and making additional recommendations for individuals depending on their circumstances. This is similar to arrangements we would put in place for any other public health and safety concern and would be based on an appropriate risk assessment and clinical advice.
We are also asking people to continue with frequent handwashing or using hand sanitiser where available (handwashing is a good basic infection control mechanism rather than preventing transmission of COVID). People who have mild cold or other symptoms may also wish to wear a mask.
Questions and Support
The COVID inbox will remain open for the remainder of the Summer Term, and Heads of Department and Heads of Section should notify the inbox if they have absences in their area that they believe may constitute a COVID outbreak or new variant.