See what measures we have in place to ensure our campus is a safe place to study, socialise and shop while the Covid-19 situation is ongoing.
How we’re protecting you
We are closely following guidance from the government and taking comprehensive steps to make sure our campus remains a safe and welcoming place for you to live, work and study.
Important: If you have Coronavirus symptoms or receive a positive test, you will need to self-isolate.
You’ll be told the exact number of days to quarantine by the NHS. It’s critical you stick to this. All the people in your household will also need to self-isolate.
We’ve put in place measures including those related to:
- face coverings
- cleaning regimes for campus buildings and spaces
- physical distancing on campus
- Covid-19 reporting
- communal areas on campus
- student support.
As part of this, we have guidance on using teaching spaces.
Face coverings can significantly reduce the spread of coronavirus, including reducing transmission by people who have Covid-19 but don't realise it.
In the UK it’s the law to wear a face covering inside shops, supermarkets and banks – including those on our campus.
It’s also important they’re worn in our campus cafes when you buy food or drink to take away.
To keep everyone safe, you should also wear a face covering in communal indoor spaces where two-metre social distancing cannot be achieved.
This means all students should wear a face covering in:
- seminar rooms
- other teaching spaces, including computer clusters
- the Library
- meeting rooms or offices where you’re attending an appointment with a member of staff, for example an advisor or counsellor.
These areas are clearly signposted. We provide face visors for teaching staff to wear during classes.
There are different kinds of face coverings you can use, as long as they cover both your nose and mouth – for example, masks, scarves, bandanas, other cloth coverings or religious garments.
Some people do not have to wear face coverings – see government exemptions on face coverings. People may choose to signify this in some way, or just will be happy to explain when asked. This is a personal preference.
Some people will choose to display something, such as a card or sign on their phone. Cards may be displayed on a lanyard – and people wearing a sunflower lanyard to indicate a hidden disability may choose to attach theirs to that. Sunflower lanyards can be collected from the Students' Union reception in Falmer House.
The University is also providing yellow lanyards to anyone wanting to use that to signify exemption – so if you see one please recognise that’s what it means, and if you’d like one they will be available from School Offices and reception points across campus.
Our advice is based on the changing UK government guidance on face coverings, as well as University considerations and we’re taking your views into account at all stages.
You’re also required by law to wear a face covering when you travel to or from campus on public transport (such as by bus or train).
Regular and thorough hand-washing is one of the most effective ways of killing germs and reducing the spread of coronavirus. All members of the Sussex community will need to follow clear guidelines relating to washing hands and the way they interact with others.
There will be clearly labelled hand sanitiser stations across campus.
Our new cleaning task force is active daily in our campus buildings, sanitising ‘high touch’ areas such as reception and foyer areas, door handles, table tops and shared spaces. Our cleaners work to sanitise and prepare buildings every day for use by staff and students.
Cleaning materials will be provided during taught sessions for you to wipe down your desk when you arrive and leave.
Physical distancing on campus
Studies show coronavirus transmission increases the closer people are to each other, so it’s vital you follow social distancing guidelines when on campus.
We will use rooms across campus for face-to-face teaching in small groups, with safe social distancing.
To help manage numbers in high-traffic areas, we operate one-way systems in the corridors of buildings on campus.
To avoid congestion, we limit the numbers of people allowed in each building or room.
Special rules apply in confined spaces, such as cafes and toilets, to make physical distancing as easy as possible.
To reduce congestion on campus, staff who are not teaching you or providing services continue to work mostly from home.
Some facilities (for example, sadly, social areas in the Students’ Union building) will remain closed for now because our focus is on safety. We will let you know when these re-open. In the meantime there will be lots of opportunities for socialising virtually so you don’t miss out.
Reporting Covid-19 cases
According to UK law, if you are showing symptoms of Covid-19 you will be asked to take a test and may have to self-isolate; those who have been in contact with you will be identified and will also be asked to take a test. We understand this may be frustrating, but self-isolating is one of the most effective ways of reducing the rate of transmission and saving the lives of others.
Download the NHS Covid-19 app to help the NHS keep control of Coronavirus and protect everyone. It is part of the Test and Trace service in England.
The contact-tracing app notices and logs other app users nearby. If any of those users later test positive for Covid-19, you’ll receive an alert with advice.
The app will also ask you to scan a barcode-like QR code at particular locations, so you can be alerted if any location is subsequently linked to multiple infections.
At Sussex, QR codes have been posted at various campus locations where people congregate, such as lecture theatres, the Library and cafes. Scan the codes if they are on display in buildings you enter.
Some users of the app have reported receiving a message notification titled ‘Covid-19 exposure logging’. This FAQ from the NHS explains why, and what this means.
Our Student Life Centre team will be offering a mixture of online, telephone and face-to-face services, which will be tailored to reflect the current circumstances and to meet your needs.
We have installed screens at reception areas so you can still see someone face-to-face if you need to.
Positive cases at Sussex
We will keep you updated on the number of Coronavirus cases among our community.
We want to be open with you. We have published a dashboard, which we are updating twice a week, so you can check cases at Sussex. This is to make sure there is no misinformation about the number of cases.
To protect the welfare of other students and our staff, we won't share details on the identity of individuals or the location of residences if they are on campus.
If the number of cases rises to a point where we need to restrict movement around campus, such as reducing the number of indoor spaces where people mix (even with face coverings on), we will do that.
We have a clear plan for a range of changes, in line with guidance from the government.
Our campus community
We care passionately that the University of Sussex environment, both online and on campus, is a warm and welcoming place where everyone feels safe, supported and included, and that all our students are treated with dignity and respect.
At the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, before lockdown measures were introduced and the campus was full, the support for everyone in our community was extremely strong – especially those students who had recently travelled from other parts of the world.
We will continue to emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. We will not tolerate inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind and ask that this is reported to our Student Life Centre without delay – and action will be taken, as well as support offered to anyone who has concerns.
Our community understands that some students prefer to always wear face masks and we welcome students to do what feels best for them.
Following the rules
Many students are in the local area or staying on campus following the rules (and the law).
We have the ability to issue on-the-spot fines (starting at £50) for those who show significant disregard to the health, safety and wellbeing of those around them. Hopefully we won’t need to do this.