COVID-19 – Important update 18 March

Following the Prime Minister’s press conference on Monday and the revised advice from Public Health England, we have been reviewing the steps we need to take to keep our staff and students safe.

The latest advice is clear that non-essential contact with others should stop. For this reason, we have taken the decision to substantially reduce activity across our Liverpool and London campuses.

Health advice

If you feel ill and are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate at home and advise your line manager accordingly. Any colleagues with pre-existing medical conditions which put them at greater risk if they contract COVID-19 and staff who are over 70, pregnant or are in any of the vulnerable groups identified by the Government, should work from home with immediate effect and inform your line manager if you have not already done so.

University operations and safety

Whilst some parts of the University must remain open to continue to support our students or maintain vital services, we are looking to substantially reduce the number of staff, across all areas, who will be required to come into the office. We will move quickly to minimise activity on campus and introduce arrangements similar to those over the Christmas holidays by Friday, 27 March, but with those staff who aren’t needed on campus working from home wherever possible.

Managers in every area of the University are looking at this urgently and you can expect to receive direction about how this affects you. Technical advice from Computing Services on working from home is available here. Detailed guidance from Human Resources is also available here.

Receptions at all campuses will be closed and signs will indicate we are not accepting visitors at this time.

The library will continue to operate for the time being, although additional social distancing measures will be introduced.

Catering outlets (except in Vine Court) and the Sports Centre have now closed.

The London campus will remain open with a reduced service for the rest of this week and will be closed fully from next week.

The Guild of Students has also taken the decision to close.


The employee assistance programme, Validium, remains open.

For students, Student support and wellbeing services, including counselling and mental health advisory services, will continue to operate and the Alsop building (in University Square) will be open from 10am-4pm during the week (Monday – Friday). Additional phone and email-based support will also be available to students between 9am and 5pm and they can continue to access Big White Wall 24 hours a day.

Social distancing

For those colleagues who continue to need to come into the office during this period, a number of further measures will be introduced. Already, our decisions to move teaching online, cancel or postpone public events and cancel all but absolutely essential travel have supported the principle of social distancing.

In this next period, we will support those who remain on campus to further support social distancing. No later than Friday, 27 March, we will reduce our active office space to a number of identified locations where new cleaning regimes and social distancing measures will be in place.

Internal meetings should immediately default to taking place online rather than people gathering in meeting rooms.

Car parking is now free of charge (barriers will remain down so swipe access will be required) for those who are able to drive, as a preference to using public transport.

The Senior Leadership Team is adopting a rota which will ensure there will continue to be an SLT presence in the Foundation Building throughout this period, notwithstanding any impact from further changes in Government guidance.


Although we will be moving the large majority of staff to work from home as far as possible, we recognise some people may be unable to carry out their normal duties in this period. We would like all staff to be assured that they will continue to be paid by the University during this time. Please can all colleagues remember to provide your manager with up-to-date contact details (preferably a mobile number) and please continue to check the university website for updates, in particular our FAQ pages.

University-owned student accommodation

Student accommodation will remain open. Some students may choose to return home, but we know that some will not be able to do so and others, for personal reasons, would strongly prefer not to at this time.

Students who are currently based in University of Liverpool-owned student accommodation who opt to leave their accommodation and return home by 31st March will not be charged for the ‘after Easter’ term and, where applicable, the remainder of the academic year.

Students who need to remain in our accommodation will be supported to do so. However, they may be asked to move into a different hall so that we can support wellbeing, enable social distancing and support staff who will remain on campus to ensure the safe running of our accommodation.

Information on visa implications for international students who would like to return home can be found on the student FAQ page.


We have taken the difficult decision to cancel the summer graduation ceremonies.

All final year students will be supported in receiving their formal qualifications in order to progress academically or into future careers, and we will offer an alternative form of celebration at a later date.

We know this will be deeply disappointing for our students but we need to take all necessary measures to protect the health of our staff and student community.

Moving forwards

This is clearly a very fast moving situation and we really appreciate your understanding as we continue to implement new measures.

Yesterday’s virtual Leadership Forum is available to watch online here (please note you may need to log in to Stream to view this video).

Our focus will remain on responding to the changing situation in the best interests of the whole University community and we are trying to provide as much relevant information to you as quickly as we possibly can.