COVID-19 Update – 19 March 2020

Many staff will be impacted by the decision to close schools to all children except for those of key workers and the most vulnerable children. If you are affected, please discuss this as soon as possible with your line manager.

The University will be as flexible as possible to accommodate colleagues, including enabling people to work at hours that are not their regular or normal hours or on different days of the week. There are many different roles across the institution and more detailed advice and guidance is being developed – in the meantime please continue to check our FAQs regularly.

Universities UK

The University is working closely with Universities UK and the Russell Group and they are in regular contact with the Department for Education as well as other departments and agencies. The Government understands that universities must continue some essential services and cannot fully be locked down, given students living on many campuses and some areas of research that cannot be left unmonitored.

The announcement yesterday from the Education Secretary that exams will not go ahead this summer has prompted widespread concern. Universities Minister Michelle Donelan is writing to universities with further guidance.  We will update you when we learn more on the Government’s planned approach and how this may impact on university admissions. UUK is working closely with UCAS, Ofqual and others on this issue.


As Government guidance has been updated, the decision has now been taken to close our library buildings. The Harold Cohen Library will close to users from 5pm on Friday, 20 March and the Sydney Jones Library will operate a reduced weekend service, closing at 5pm on Saturday, 21 March and opening 9am to 5pm on Sunday, 22 March – with remote help available online – and will then close to users from 5pm on Monday, 23 March.

The Library will continue to develop and enhance its capacity to support and enhance the online and remote services offered to users. In addition, services such as Get It For Me remain fully operational and KnowHow and Writing@Liverpool sessions will continue be delivered online – this provision will be further enhanced.


As the situation in London is changing particularly quickly, the London campus has been closed until further notice. All London students have already been informed and the student experience team remain available via email or telephone.

A very small number of staff and students have now tested positive for COVID-19. The University is in touch with each individual and providing them with support. Following the government’s decision to move from the containment to the delay phase, Public Health England is no longer tracing contacts of those who tested positive for COVID-19. As we become aware of a new diagnosis, we are working with the staff member or student to understand whether this presents a risk to our on-campus population. If we become aware of a risk to a specific group of students or staff, we will contact those affected to let them know and to offer support.

Colleagues across the institution continue to support their local communities and the national effort during this crisis, offering expertise, equipment and facilities.  A short film was broadcast on BBC Breakfast earlier this week, interviewing final year students from our School of Medicine who are volunteering their skills in hospitals.