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As we begin to look ahead to the new academic, we wanted to let you know about some of the updates we’ve made throughout the summer, in line with the requirements set out by the government, to ensure we can continue operating as a Covid-safe university.

As a responsible employer and education provider we have a continuing duty of care to ensure that all those who work, learn or visit our campus Stay Safe at St Mary’s. With this in mind we have outlined below information on how we will continue to uphold this duty.

Advice for international students

Learning and teaching safely at St Mary’s

In June we communicated to academic colleagues and students the plans for learning and teaching next academic year.

At a high level the aim is to adopt a face-to-face plus model. This means that face-to-face on campus contact is at the heart of the student experience while the 'plus' reflects the enhanced use of complementary online elements, such as pre-recorded lectures, live Zoom sessions, recorded lectures using Panopto, online ‘drop-in’ Q&A sessions.

To support this approach and still ensure that we are mindful of our duty of care we are operating a one-metre distancing approach in all our teaching spaces.

Both these elements (face-to-face plus and one-metre distancing) have already been incorporated into our timetabling for semester 1 which is due to be released in the coming weeks.

Sports and events

From Monday 19th July events and sporting activities will start to increase in terms of capacity/numbers of those participating. These changes will be managed through our risk assessment process.

COVID-19 safety measures

While the majority of COVID restrictions have been removed across the UK, we have kept a number of safety measures in place to help you Stay Safe at St Mary’s which we strongly encourage all students, staff and visitors to follow;

  • take up the opportunity to get a COVID-19 vaccine
  • wear a face covering in crowded spaces, in hallways and in eateries
  • wash or sanitise hands frequently
  • keep left in corridors
  • open windows to keep occupied spaces well ventilated
  • undertake regular asymptomatic testing at our on-site, walk-in testing centre, your local walk-in testing centre or by using a home test kit (available from any test centre, pharmacy or via NHS online) - even if you are fully vaccinated
  • If you show any symptoms, are contacted by track and trace or test positive requiring self-isolation, please follow the NHS guidance and notify the university via the self-reporting form
  • use outdoor spaces for meetings or socialising if possible

COVID-19 guidance

From Monday 16 August, the Government guidance surrounding self-isolation will change; this means that members of staff who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks since their second vaccine dose, and those under the age of 18, are exempt from mandatory self-isolation if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 and are not displaying symptoms. Whilst not a legal requirement, you are advised to take a PCR test if you have come into close contact with someone who has COVID-19, but will not be legally required to self-isolate while awaiting the results, as per Government guidance. You can order a PCR home test online or by calling 119, or going to a local test site. However, anyone who does test positive will still need to self-isolate regardless of age or vaccination status.

Please remember that should you need any mental health or wellbeing support our Student Services team has put together a full list of resources that are available for common wellbeing concerns, including stress, and anxiety, and worries caused by COVID-19.

When do I need to self-isolate?

You must self-isolate for 10 days if you:

  • test positive for Covid-19
  • arrive from a red list country (Mandatory quarantine process applies)
  • arrive from an amber list country (under-18s and fully vaccinated people using the NHS Covid Pass in England and Wales, or equivalent schemes in Scotland and Northern Ireland, are exempt)

Thank you once again for your continued support throughout what has been a challenging time for everyone.

Further information