Monday 29 November 2021

Email to all students and postgraduate researchers

Important Covid update and end-of-term arrangements

Dear all,

I am sure many of you will have seen the UK Government announcements over the weekend about the latest Covid-19 variant (now known as Omicron).

The Prime Minister has confirmed new temporary and precautionary measures, with face coverings now being compulsory in shops and on public transport.

Below is further advice for students (including postgraduate researchers) to follow, including:

  • Campus safety measures

  • End of term test and travel

  • Knowing about support for those staying in York

  • Vaccinations

  • Keeping yourself informed

Campus safety measures

Our campus measures have played an incredibly important role in keeping you, your friends, your lecturers and staff safe this term, and our Covid-19 cases have remained low.

Please keep following our existing Covid policies and measures on campus, which strongly recommend wearing face coverings during teaching sessions and when moving around buildings.

The Department for Education has also strongly advised students to do this, and new UK Government measures also include mandatory use of face coverings in shops and on public transport for everyone.

As we approach the end of term, please follow all advice so you can have an enjoyable winter break and a safe return to studies in the New Year.

End of term test and travel

Thank you for taking regular Covid-19 tests this term. I cannot stress enough how important this is, and if you haven’t taken a test recently, the UK Government is now recommending that you take an LFD test before any large social gatherings.

We strongly encourage you to continue testing during the festive season, as well as ready for returning in the New Year.

This is why we want everyone to take LFD tests before leaving and again before travelling back to University in January, so make sure you take enough with you if you’re leaving York over the winter break.

If you are travelling outside of the UK over the holiday period, or arriving in York for the first time in January, you will now need to take a PCR test within two days of arrival to the UK, and you must also isolate until you have received your result. We are here to support you with this period of isolation.

If you are staying in York over the break

For those staying in York, the Wentworth College symptom-free rapid testing centre remains available and there is plenty of testing support over the winter break. You can see opening times, as well as how to collect home testing kits, or how to access help and support if you test positive.

Rest assured, if you need to isolate, our comprehensive support continues, including vouchers for food and support for your mental health and wellbeing. You can also speak to the Student Hub or your College welfare team.

Vaccinations

Thank you to everyone who has been getting vaccinated throughout the term. We know that the vast majority of students are now fully vaccinated.

But if you are still due your second jab, or have not had your first, the vaccination centre at Askham Bar in York will be open throughout the holidays, and if you’re away from York elsewhere in the UK you can also get vaccinated at a vaccine centre near you.

Finally, please check email over the winter break

We continue carefully to manage and assess our policies so that our Spring Term can continue as planned, including our commitment to in-person teaching. We will of course keep following UK Government guidance to inform our decisions.

We know the UK Government will review their current measures every few weeks. So please check email over the break so we can keep you updated and informed of any new action to take.

Thank you, once again, for following advice and looking after those around you.

If I don’t email again before your winter plans begin, I hope you have a well deserved, restful and healthy break over the holidays. I look forward to seeing you in January.

Best wishes

Charlie