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Campus safety

The University campus will remain open under the new lockdown rules. We will, however, be taking steps to limit the number of people on campus to those who are there for permitted purposes, including attending for essential on-campus teaching, learning, research, services and facilities. This is necessary to ensure we limit the risk of infection and help stop the spread of the virus, while the government rolls out the vaccine programme nationally.

If you need to attend campus for any of the purposes above, you should also obtain a COVID test from the University COVID asymptomatic testing site. All students without COVID symptoms should book appointments to be tested in advance of returning to the campus. You should book two tests three days apart. Please book your tests as close as possible to your return date. You can book a test appointment online.

You should try and book your two tests in advance of your expected return to campus. If you cannot book both tests before you are due to return, you can return to campus after your first test if it is negative, but you must still get the second test, and if this is positive you must then follow the guidance on getting an NHS test and isolating.

The purpose of this testing is to make sure that should you need to self-isolate, you have the opportunity to do so, keeping everyone as safe as possible on return to campus.

What we’re doing to keep us all safe in a Covid-secure campus

We have extended our online teaching and learning until 26 March 2021, except for some exempt programmes. If yours is not one of the exempt programmes, please remain where you are and avoid coming onto campus if possible. If your programme is exempt and requires on-campus teaching, we've worked hard to make our campus as safe as possible for you. Like everyone, we've had to make some changes to the way we use and move around the campus.

A member of staff cleaning the inside of a lift with antibacterial spray
A gloved hand cleaning a wall mounted hand sanitiser dispenser

What's changed?

All these changes are for your safety and that of our University community. We have introduced:

  • A mix of online and offline learning and teaching
  • Social distancing measures across campus
  • Our teaching schedule means fewer people will be moving around campus at the same time
  • One-way systems with clear signage to help you navigate your way around
  • Hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes widely available across campus, as well as disposable face masks in some areas
  • Protective screens where appropriate
  • An enhanced cleaning programme in all our buildings to ensure the highest levels of hygiene
  • We are also working closely with Public Health England and the local authority to ensure we have a clear test and trace process in place


Essential services and facilities available on campus

The University campus is open under the current lockdown rules. However, students who are not on exempt programmes of study may only be on the campus to access essential services and facilities to support their learning. When on campus you must wear your staff/student ID and follow the safety rules.

The main services and facilities which are currently available on campus, and their opening times, are shown below. You must not gather socially anywhere on campus during the current national lockdown.

  • Richmond Atrium and F42 – Open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to allow access to catering outlets, but you must not gather here socially.

  • JB Priestley Library – 09:00/17:00 - Monday to Friday. A click-and-collect service is available, and you are able to book study spaces in the library.

  • Student Central – 09:00/17:00 - Monday to Friday for access to attend specific appointments. You must not gather here socially or for social activities.

  • Institute of Cancer Therapeutics (ICT) – For permitted research only.

  • Norcroft Building – For permitted research only.

  • Post Graduate Research (PGR) Lounge – 09:00/21:00 - 7 days a week.

  • Chesham C3 – 10:00/19:00 - Monday to Friday.

  • Horton D 2.05 – Access for Informatics/media tech students only – Monday to Friday 10:00/19:00.

  • Prayer Room – Daily 06:00/21:00.

  • Food and essential retail outlets are available on campus, providing takeaway only in catering outlets for staff and students who are on campus for an essential reason. You must not gather socially around these outlets or anywhere else on campus during the current national lockdown.

  • Student counselling and mental wellbeing support services are available both online and on-campus.

  • Student support services staff are maintaining a presence on site to help any students on campus.

  • The laptop loan scheme is available so that you can obtain a device on which to access your online learning.

  • The University gym is closed and all indoor and outdoor sports activities are suspended.
Black bollards with red tape outside the entrance of the shop in the Ricmond building atrium
A member of staff dispensing hand sanitiser from a pump bottle at the entrance to the Richmond building

Test and Trace

As part of our preparations to keep you safe on campus, we have introduced a Test and Trace Procedure for students, staff and visitors. The Test and Trace scheme is a key part of the UK’s ongoing response to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Our COVID-19 symptoms section sets out what you need to do if:

  • You experience COVID-19 symptoms; or
  • You receive a positive test confirming that you have COVID-19 symptoms; or
  • You are notified by NHS Test and Trace or by the University that you are a contact of someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19.

These measures are necessary to limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading on campus, should anyone test positive for the virus. They will also help us to support you if you are unwell or need to self-isolate.

If you have any questions or concerns please email

Your responsibilities on campus

Each and every one of us has a responsibility to keep each other safe whilst we are on campus. We have worked hard to make sure our campus is COVID-secure, but we also need your help.

Social distancing

Social distancing is an important way in which we can reduce the risk of infection transmission within our community. Make sure you follow one-way walking routes around campus and adhere to new rules set out for physical teaching sessions and laboratories.

Two students wearing face masks are seated at a table in the Richmond building atrium


One of the biggest contributions you can make to your safety and that of others is to follow guidelines on best hygiene practice. Wash your hands regularly and make use of the hand sanitisers that have been installed across the campus.

A person dispensing hand sanitiser from a wall mounted unit

Face coverings

We do expect you to wear face coverings in indoor public spaces on campus, including shops, communal areas, corridors, and teaching spaces. It’s for your own and everyone else’s safety.

We’ll provide all staff and students with one reusable face covering when you arrive on campus and we’ll be providing face shields to teaching staff to use in student-facing sessions.

Of course, you’ll still need to follow other health and safety practices, such as being tested when displaying symptoms, self-isolating when unwell or advised to, and washing your hands regularly.

Student wearing a facemask

We know that some staff and students are not able to wear a face covering. They may have a (possibly hidden) disability or wearing one could cause severe distress to the individual. The University is signed up to the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme. Wearing the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower lanyard discreetly indicates to people around the wearer that they may need additional support, help or a little more time. It can also alert others as to why someone may not be wearing a face covering.

If you would like a Sunflower lanyard (a limited amount of badges, pins and wrist bands are also available) or have any questions, please email for more information.