Update regarding Prime Minister’s 19 July announcement

Following the latest Government update which set out plans for the final stage of the roadmap in England, including the lifting of most COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions, the following is an update on what this means for the University.

In this week’s update the Prime Minister will be announcing that England will move to step 4 of the UK Government’s roadmap from 19 July. This latest update confirms the removal of long-term national restrictions, including social distancing and the wearing of face coverings, and sees a shift from an approach whereby measures such as these are legally mandated, to one based on personal responsibility.

It is clear from the Government’s guidance that while these measures will not be legally enforced from 19 July, individual businesses and organisations should continue to conduct risk-based assessments and advise on how best to keep people safe. The Department for Education (DfE) has also this week released updated guidance for Higher Education Institutions, which reiterates that universities must continue to operate in a way that minimises COVID-19 transmissions.

The safety of staff and students is, as always, our first priority. As such, we all have a personal responsibility to help keep ourselves and our wider community safe. We are therefore maintaining some safety measures on campus, including social distancing and the use of face-coverings in indoor locations, over the summer period. All of these measures will be subject to review and revision as appropriate, in the context of any changes nationally or locally, as we approach the start of the new academic year.

We will continue to keep our staff and students informed as we plan for our return to campus.

Public health guidance for over the summer period

Although COVID-19 restrictions are lifting, there are still cases of in England and there is a risk you could catch or pass on the virus, even if you are fully vaccinated. The Government are encouraging all of us to continue exercising caution and consider the risks in our daily lives. While no situation is risk free, there are actions we can take to protect ourselves and others around us. These include:

  • Testing

We advise all students to continue to take regular, twice-weekly tests over the summer. Students who are in Liverpool can take a test or collect at-home test kits from our on-site asymptomatic test centre based in the Stanley Theatre, Liverpool Guild of Students. Students anywhere in the UK can order tests online, over the phone or collect from a local pharmacy. Please remember, if you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 you must self-isolate and book a PCR test, either at our ‘symptomatic’ test centre, or via the Government webpages.

If you test positive for COVID-19 while in Liverpool, please remember to inform the University by completing this form.

  • Safe travel

If you are travelling over the summer period, please follow safer travel guidance at all times. This includes avoiding public transport, wherever possible, wearing a face covering and socially distancing at all times, and getting tested prior to travel. We’ve put together some tips for you to read through, however, the Government has also issued detailed guidance about how to travel safely.

Any students planning to travel outside of the UK should also refer to the latest international travel guidance.

  • COVID-19 vaccinations

All those aged 18 and over are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination, and if you haven’t already, I would encourage you to accept a vaccination if offered one or book directly on the NHS website.

Please note, international students studying in the UK are eligible for the vaccine while in the country. Please remember that you need to be registered with a GP before you can get your vaccination, or any medical treatment, so we encourage you to register as soon as possible if you haven’t already, to avoid potential delays.

‘Delta’ variant

The Government has published this list of named areas where the Delta variant is spreading fastest, and updated its guidance for people living in these areas, which currently includes Liverpool City Region.

If you are living in Liverpool or any of the other areas listed, please make sure you adhere to this updated guidance. This includes meeting outside rather than inside where possible, taking particular caution when meeting anyone outside your household or support bubble, minimising travel in and out of the area and participating in regular testing, including surge testing where offered.

Support available

If you are worried about going back to a more ‘normal’ life, there is information from the NHS on how to cope with anxiety about lockdown lifting.

Please also remember that regardless of where you are spending the summer break, we have a range of support services in place, all fully accessible via our digital channels. This includes support with your studies through KnowHow, online access to our library services, help identifying and pursuing your chosen career, and access to advice and guidance on everything from mental health to money issues.