Update as of Friday 25 September
Update on fines, face coverings and marshalls
In response to the global pandemic, over the summer, colleagues from across the College and the Students’ Union put in place a raft of measures designed to create a covid-secure campus and support your student life during this most unusual year.
Our number one priority was and continues to be the health and safety of our whole community. During a pandemic, this currently means following the Rule of Six, keeping to household bubbles, washing your hands, maintaining social distancing and wearing face coverings. The Government has designated that certain requirements are ‘legal rules’ (which means a fine will be imposed e.g. for breaching the Rule of Six) and at present, other aspects of their messaging are best practice guidelines (e.g. washing your hands). Ultimately all of these are designed to help protect you, your family and friends and our whole community. We all have to play our part.
Across the country, infection rates are rising and there have been significant outbreaks at some other universities, leading to large numbers of students being required to self-isolate. Many of you are playing your part and following the rules and guidelines, unfortunately not everyone is. Irresponsible behaviour makes life difficult and uncomfortable for others, and as a College we must do everything we can to help everyone to feel safe on campus. In response to some of the behaviours we’ve seen over the last week, we’ve made some changes that you need to be aware of.
Changes to face covering requirements
Given this week’s Government announcement on the extension of the use of face coverings, we have reviewed our approach; face coverings must now be worn indoors unless you have a reasonable reason not to.
If you are not able to wear a face covering, you are encouraged to display the sunflower symbol or wear a yellow lanyard. Indoors includes when moving around inside buildings and in face-to-face, on campus, teaching and learning support sessions. There are some very limited exemptions to this which you can read here.
Face coverings are also to be worn outdoors in places where it may be difficult to maintain social distancing such as crossing the footbridges, when waiting to enter a building or when queuing for the bus. Face coverings must be worn on the bus. All students and staff can be provided with two face coverings. These are available at the Hub, Little Café on the Square and Café on the Square.
Fines and penalties
Many of you are following the rules, thank you. For students who are not taking the health and safety of our community seriously, and are not following the legal rules, we are amending section seven of the College’s Covid-19 Code of Conduct & Community Responsibility Agreement to introduce fines and penalties specific to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Where there is a breach of the national legislation (currently the Rule of Six, but these legal requirements might be extended) then the College will impose a financial penalty on students as follows:
First offence - £50
Second offence - £100
Third offence - £200
These financial penalties will be in addition to any other sanctions that might be imposed as a result of the behaviour or conduct also being in breach of our other regulations or codes of conduct.
You will see a higher presence on campus of our security colleagues. Their role is to explain the guidelines and encourage everyone to play their part in keeping campus covid-secure.
Marshalls will be outside some buildings to help everyone move around safely. If you do not follow the rules and guidance, they will have the authority to fine or report you.
The requirement to use face coverings indoors, the introduction of new fines and the need to have marshalls to help maintain social distancing are not steps we have taking lightly. However, we have a responsibility to ensure that the actions of a minority do not put our whole community at risk. I hope that we will all follow the legal rules and guidelines, they are designed to keep you safe. I wish you a safe and successful start to the academic year.
Professor Paul Layzell,
Update as of Wednesday 23 September
Ensuring our safety – introducing fines and penalties
The health and safety of our community is our top priority. During the pandemic, this means things like following the Rule of Six, keeping to household bubbles, washing your hands, social distancing and wearing face coverings.
This guidance and legal requirements are designed to help protect you, your family and friends and our whole community, and we all have to play our part.
Thank you to everyone who is following the rules, but not everyone is, and when it comes to Covid-19, when you take a risk, you put everyone at risk.
We want everyone on campus to feel safe and so we will be introducing new fines and penalties in specific response to the pandemic, in addition to the disciplinary sanctions we already have. These fines and penalties will include, but may not be limited to breaches of the ‘Rule of Six’. Watch out for more details this Friday.
You can find out more about playing your part to keep yourself and others around you safe, on the student intranet.