New government Covid-19 restrictions – information for students
Posted on behalf of: University of Sussex
Last updated: Tuesday, 3 November 2020
On 3 November, Student Communications emailed all students with further information following the government announcement on stricter Covid-19 measures being introduced from 5 November. You can read the email in full below.
Dear all students,
On Saturday evening the Prime Minister announced further significant “lockdown” restrictions to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which will be introduced in England from Thursday this week, 5 November. These measures have been introduced to reduce the significant increase in the virus’ transmission.
We know this is a really difficult time for our students and we will be looking at additional ways the University can support you during this period.
This email contains important information for all students about these new restrictions. Please read all of this message.
The Prime Minister stated that one of the Government’s top priorities is to keep people in education and so Universities including Sussex will remain open.
The Government has also made it clear that students should not move between their permanent home and student home during term time and that students should only return home at the end of term (Friday 11 December). Further guidance about the end of term and the winter vacation will be provided by the Government in due course. As soon as we receive this guidance we will be in touch with you. Please continue to read this message to the end as it contains more important information.
Teaching and learning
We will continue to offer in-person teaching on campus as part of our blended learning offering. We will of course continue to maintain all of the health and safety measures that we have put in place and will keep reviewing all of our services on campus in line with any new Government guidance. Our key focus will be to take into account the needs and concerns of our students and staff.
Abiding by Covid regulations and guidance
All students must abide by these new Covid-19 regulations and guidance from the 5 November. This requires you to remain in your residence ‘bubbles’ and not receive any visitors. Please be aware that this applies to students who live both on and off campus.
Under the new restrictions you may meet one person from another household outside, making sure that you keep to the social distancing regulations at all times.
What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms, test positive or someone you’ve been in close contact with tests positive
If you have Covid-19 symptoms, test positive, or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 please fill out the Covid-19 symptoms or self isolation reporting form. This enables University staff to contact you and offer the support you may need, including the self-isolation financial payments we are providing to students. You can find out more details of the support on offer to students who have to self-isolate here.
The University has a supply of home testing kits and one will be offered to you if you’ve filled out the University’s reporting form and you live on campus. Otherwise tests should be booked through the national booking system: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.
Taking responsibility for each other and the whole of our community
Following the Government’s guidance during the pandemic is a legal requirement. We know the majority of our students are taking this very seriously – but some unfortunately are not. Over the past few days, Sussex Police have had to visit our campus to deal with some serious incidents. There have and will be consequences for students who have broken the law: students who organise parties can face fines of up to £10,000 under the Coronavirus Regulations. This is because by not following the guidelines you are putting other people’s lives at risk. This includes vulnerable people in our society, the elderly and those with medical conditions. It simply can’t continue. The University will institute disciplinary proceedings and other measures to address instances where people have broken the University’s regulations and may impose sanctions as a result.
The Library remains open
The Library will continue to be open, please note: If visiting the Library you will first need to make a Click & Study or Click & Collect booking. Find out more about the Library’s digital services. Of course, please don’t forget to wear a face-covering unless you are exempt.
Our laboratories continue to remain open enabling students who need access to them to do so and to ensure that our valuable research continues.
Student Support services are open to all students
All of our student support services continue to operate and details of these services can be found on this Student Hub page.
Students who live on campus will continue to be supported by our Residences and Estates staff and details of these services can be found here.
University Catering and the on-campus Co-op remain open
Catering services continue to provide fresh and hot food for all on campus to takeaway - you can find out where to buy food here. The on-campus Co-op supermarket also remains open.
During the lockdown there is no restriction on the amount of time that you can spend exercising outside (with one other person). So whether that’s walking, running or cycling there are plenty of green spaces and coastal areas to enjoy. If you prefer to stay inside, Sussexsport will continue to host its excellent Stay Home with US programme of online classes, blogs and downloadable home workouts during the next few weeks.
Arrangements for January and the start of the Spring term
We know that many students will be looking ahead to the start of the Spring term.
As soon as we have more information and guidance from the UK government we will share this with students. At this time we expect the University to remain open and continue to offer a blended teaching and learning experience in the Spring term.
Students who are impacted by international travel restrictions
If you live overseas and are unable to travel to Sussex next term we will continue to offer remote learning opportunities and support for you.
We understand that many of you will be disappointed by these latest restrictions on how we all have to live our lives, and you may be concerned about how this will affect you and your loved ones. The University is here for you and if you need additional advice, support or practical help please do reach out to the University’s support services.
Please sign our Community Pledge
More than 4,000 students and staff have now signed our Community Pledge - it’s a really important way of demonstrating our shared commitment to look after ourselves and each other. By signing up you are showing your support to each other, acting with mutual respect and care, and upholding the Sussex values of Kindness, Integrity, Inclusion, Collaboration and Courage.
Finally, please be assured that we will continue to keep all students informed of any developments as they occur.
With best wishes