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This week the Prime Minister outlined a new three-tier restrictions system to try to tackle the rising number of coronavirus infections in the UK.
The Liverpool City Region, with one of the highest rates of infection, has been placed on the tightest restrictions (tier 3) after reporting a ‘very high’ alert status.
From today (Wednesday, 14 October) you will not be allowed to socialise with anyone outside of your household (or social bubble) indoors or in private gardens. The Rule of Six applies in open public spaces like parks and beaches.
Pubs, bars, gyms, fitness and dance studios, sports facilities, leisure centres, betting shops, adult gaming centres and casinos will be closed. We are currently working through what this means for our Sports Centre operations and catering outlets on campus and we will provide more information soon. In the meantime, please continue to check our Student News webpages and the FAQs on our website.
Public health advice strongly encourages all those, including students, living in the Liverpool City Region (Liverpool, Halton, Knowsley, Sefton, St Helens, Wirral) to avoid travelling or staying overnight outside the local area other than for work, education, accessing youth services or to meet caring responsibilities.
This means that, where possible, you should remain in your current accommodation. It is, of course, essential that those who are self-isolating continue to do so.
More detailed information about regional restrictions is available here. These measures will be kept under constant review, including a four-week sunset clause for interventions in “very high” areas.
Under the new restrictions, schools and universities will remain open and last Thursday we communicated the decision to begin the semester fully online, except for essential delivery for students in clinical, laboratory and other practice-based disciplines and that which is required for professional accreditation.
This decision remains in place and, as originally communicated, teaching arrangements will be reviewed on Friday, 23 October on the basis of the latest public health insight and working closely with our neighbouring universities and with the Director of Public Health for Liverpool, as well as other key partners in the City Region.
Further details of the measures we have in place to keep everyone safe on campus are available on our campus safety hub.
This is a hugely challenging time for everyone in our community and providing appropriate support for our students and colleagues remains an absolute priority. We are aware of the sense of isolation many students may experience without any face-to-face teaching and we are working with local partners to provide support and ensure that our students have a positive experience while living and studying in Liverpool.
If you, at any point, have to self-isolate whether it be with symptoms, as a result of a positive test result or as an identified close contact, we will contact you as part of our contact tracing process to check on your welfare and offer practical and emotional support.
Any self-isolating student households will be supplied, where needed, with food packages and essentials, free of charge. We are also working with the Liverpool Guild of Students to put in place a range of opportunities for you to get involved in outside of your academic endeavours. More information is available on the Guild website and we will update our Student News pages with more details of partnerships and events soon.
Please remember there is a wealth of support services available to all students, including mental health, wellbeing and counselling services. We are currently investing in additional resource to boost these support services and this increased capacity will enable us to contact students who are self-isolating, as well as those who are finding it difficult to engage with their studies. It will also support student administration and communications so that we can respond to queries and concerns as swiftly as possible.
COVID-19 infections at the University over the last few weeks have risen steadily in line with the rise in infections in the wider region and on Friday, 9 October we doubled the capacity in our testing centre. You can find the latest data from our University of Liverpool COVID-19 Testing Centre here. All those who have tested positive, together with their close contacts, have been informed that they need to self-isolate.
Our testing centre facility represents a significant investment from the University to keep our campus and wider community safe, while supporting NHS labs to run more tests. It remains vital that we trace and contain COVID-19 affecting staff and students in each of the region’s universities. Please remember that if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, you will need to immediately self-isolate and you will then be able to book a test. You can access testing whether you are working on campus or at home.
We will continue to keep you updated with as much information and guidance as possible. Please do the right thing and play your part in keeping everyone – especially those who are most vulnerable – safe in our city.
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