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The UK Government has announced new measures to restrict the spread of the newly identified Omicron variant of the coronavirus responsible for COVID-19.
Further details about this have been made available on our Student News site this week.
Please make sure you keep up to date with the latest national coronavirus guidance on the UK Government webpages.
The Government’s latest announcements included a tightening of national guidance on the use of face coverings in universities, affecting all students, staff and adult visitors (except those who are medically exempt).
This does not change the expectations of members of our University community, as we already require face coverings to be worn in University buildings and to maintain a 1m social distance from others in all spaces. These measures have proved effective in preventing outbreaks and allowing teaching and other activities to continue with minimal disruption. All current measures will remain in place, as planned, until the end of the semester.
If any staff or students have any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, it is vitally important that they obtain a PCR test (not a ‘no symptoms’ Lateral Flow test) and isolate until the result is known. Tests for people with symptoms of COVID-19 can be booked here.
The UK Government has confirmed that it is now a requirement for contacts (those that have been close to) suspected Omicron cases to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of vaccination status.
To minimise the risk of transmission amongst our University community during this period of uncertainty, we have decided to take a slightly more cautious approach to this by asking anybody who has been in close contact with a positive case (whether it is known to be Omicron or not) to access a PCR test immediately and to avoid coming to campus until a negative result is received. If the PCR result is positive, staff and students should follow the relevant isolation and reporting procedures outlined on our campus safety webpages.
If any student or staff member are informed by the NHS that they are a positive Omicron case, it is vitally important that they notify the University via the University’s Case Management System to allow us to offer support and identify any close contacts.
The latest developments in the UK and internationally highlight the responsibility we all have to remain vigilant and uphold public health measures to reduce the spread of infection. We will continue to keep our approach to teaching and safety under regular review in light of the most recent guidance and communicate with you should any of our policies on campus change.
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