Friday 7 August 2020

All staff and PGR students email

Face coverings policy and campus safety information

Dear colleagues,

As we continue to open up more of campus in preparation for September, we wanted to give you some more information about the safety measures being put in place.

Your Head of Department/Professional Service and/or your Covid-secure Lead will keep you informed on plans within your area, but for now, please don't return to work on campus until you are invited to do so.

When you do return to campus, you will find a number of safety measures in place, including:

  • One-way systems and reminders of social distancing

  • Increased space between desks

  • Perspex screens where appropriate (eg at reception points)

  • Hand sanitiser points

We also need your support to ensure the safety of all staff, students and visitors. In brief, this will mean:

  • Wearing a face covering in enclosed spaces (unless you're exempt)

  • Keeping your hands really clean

  • Respecting other people's space

  • Self-isolating if you have symptoms of Covid-19

  • Encouraging your students and/or team members to follow these guidelines too

We've provided more detail online about staying safe on campus.

Face coverings

A University policy on the use of face coverings has recently been approved by UEB. This reflects government guidance that face coverings reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets - when you wear a face covering, you protect the people around you, just as they protect you by wearing theirs.

In summary, we're asking everyone on campus to wear face coverings when they're in any enclosed space, with a few exceptions including:

  • If you’re exempt from wearing a face covering for health reasons

  • If you’re in a sole occupancy office

  • If you’re eating or drinking

  • If you're communicating with someone who lip-reads (note that face coverings with transparent panels and transparent face shields are available on request)

We hope that all staff and students will be supportive of this policy, and understanding of those who are exempt from it. All relevant risk and equality impact assessments have been undertaken to support the implementation of this policy, and the campus Trades Unions have been involved in the process. Staff and students will be provided with two washable face coverings each, and there will be vending machines selling disposable face coverings on campus. Alternatives such as face shields and face coverings with a transparent panel to assist lip reading will be available on request.

If you are not exempt and choose not to wear a face covering when required, you may be denied admission for activities such as meetings or areas on campus like the Library. Where possible you'll be offered a face mask, advised on where to buy one or directed to an alternative option, eg an online meeting or the Library Click and Collect service.

If any staff member or student continues to refuse to wear a face covering, this will impact on their ability to engage with their work/studies and they may be subject to University disciplinary procedures.

We know that these are still uncertain times but we are confident that we have taken a thorough approach to developing Covid-secure workspaces. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus in time, and to working with you to ensure the health and safety of our community. When we get closer to the start of term, information about campus safety and face coverings will also be sent to all students.

Best wishes,

Jo Horsburgh