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Face-to-face teaching - UK Government update April 13

Official updated UK Government guidance on COVID restrictions for universities issued late on Tuesday, April 13 states that the remainder of students (those who have not yet been allowed back this year) will be permitted to return for face-to-face teaching no sooner than week commencing May 17. This is outlined in a letter addressed to you from the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP.

For those still waiting to return, we know that this is not the news you were hoping for and it's not what we wanted for you either, but throughout the pandemic, we have been adhering to the UK Government guidance, asking that you do the same and you have been brilliant in supporting us to remain COVID secure!

Which students ARE allowed back on site(s)?

  • Those students on courses which were identified by the UK Government as being able to resume for face-to-face teaching on March 8. This was communicated to you on February 24 in an email from our Registrar and in follow up information from your Faculty/Department following that email.
  • International students who have arrived in the UK (even if their teaching is wholly online at the moment) or who have remained in their University accommodation.
  • Exceptions are still being made for those of you who have difficulties continuing with your studies without access to sites, for example:
  • if you have no alternative accommodation with appropriate facilities or space for studying
  • if you have health or wellbeing concerns
  • if you are a postgraduate research student, whose work cannot be reasonably conducted from home.

If you are returning to University from your Easter break, you should have a negative test result BEFOREHAND, either through home testing or a community testing facility.

Using on-site facilities

If you are already living at your term-time address, or returning for the reasons above after your Easter break, you should make full use of the academic resources available in our libraries and specialist facilities.

  • Conduct

Maintaining a COVID-secure campus is everyone's responsibility. We were all made aware at the start of the academic year of the University's Statement of Expectations. Please download this again to remind yourself what we all need to do as responsible citizens to help keep sites safe for each other.

For example, we should wear a minimum three-layer face covering (unless you are exempt.) You can pick up two reusable masks on campus, with disposable ones also available.

  • Routine testing without symptoms

If you are accessing the University routinely and do not have COVID-19 symptoms, you must have two tests a week at or near our facilities - view the latest opening times here. Further details will be announced shortly about future plans for testing.

  • Testing if you are ill

If you are feeling unwell, do not visit campus. You should self-isolate and book a PCR test online or by ringing NHS 119.

For all students

Keeping you informed

We will keep you updated as and when we receive more details from the UK Government about:

  • Home testing: How using the home-testing kits mentioned in the Universities Minister's letter will work alongside our established asymptomatic testing centres and community testing from May onwards. For now, please keep using the testing in place through the University if you are accessing site(s).
  • Hardship funding: How you can access the University of Chester's allocation from the new student hardship funding mentioned in the Minister's letter.

In addition, we will contact you again by the end of April with the University's plans for teaching and learning during the next academic year (autumn 2021 to summer 2022.)

Following this latest update, should you have any queries about what this means for your specific learning, please contact your Faculty/Department or PAT. The Office for Students has a useful FAQ page about returning to University.

Thank you for your patience and we hope to see you all as soon as the easing of COVID restrictions allows.​

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Testing programme

You must get tested every week if you are using site facilities (accommodation, teaching spaces, catering, work spaces, libraries etc.) Twice weekly testing will help to break chains of transmission, identify asymptomatic infections ​​and help ensure safety on campus. The tiles below provide specific updates​.

How to book your tests

If you have symptoms

Tested positive?

  • ​YOU MUST tell covidstudent@chester.ac.uk as soon as you find out even if you're living off site (including at your permanent home address!)

You must now show proof of your negative test result (text message)​

  • When collecting food/refreshments from our catering outlets.
  • When asked to do so by a member of staff, including those from residences, portering team, academic departments.  

Is your phone number up to date on our records?

We need students' contact details to tell them if they need to self-isolate. Please check that we have both your term-time and permanent addresses and current phone mobile number. Check your records now!

Questions, answers and keeping updated

We have produced a set of FAQs about the testing which is available on portal. Please read through them. We will be keeping you informed as required so please do keep checking your emails, portal and our website for updates.

Staff 

Our facilities are COVID-secure, but following the Government advice, any staff who can work from home should do so, with the agreement of their manager. Staff who are supporting the University’s ongoing programmes - whether Faculty staff or Professional Services - are considered as key workers for travel and children’s education.

Commercial Occupants

Business located on University sites, please visit here for latest updates.