Supporting our students and keeping our community safe
February 2022 saw an end to COVID restrictions in the UK, with an end to NHS provision of testing from April 2022. The government has published a “Living with COVID” plan and updated guidance for universities, and the Vice-Chancellor has communicated with us all about how the University will adapt within this new framework.
New government guidance for people with COVID-19 and their contacts has been published. Despite changes to legislation, advice remains the same so if you develop symptoms you should stay at home.
For many of us at Hughes, this is a welcome move and long-awaited start to returning to normality. However, after two years of restrictions and rules these changes may seem daunting for some. Just as it took us a long time to get used to wearing masks, not shaking hands and being socially distanced, so there will be a learning curve in the opposite direction. That said, we all know COVID remains prevalent in our society and there are vulnerable individuals amongst us so the precautions we have been taking, such as keeping to ourselves when we are unwell, remain important for many reasons.
In line with the rest of the country:
- We are no longer legally required to isolate if we have symptoms; and contact tracing has ceased
- Face coverings are no longer mandatory in public settings
- The provision of Lateral Flow and PCR testing by the University is discontinued
- And, the provision of free universal testing by the NHS has also ceased
In line with Hughes Hall’s spirit of mutual respect and sense of community:
- If we feel unwell or think we may be infectious, we should avoid company and stay at home
- If we feel more comfortable wearing a mask, we should do so
- Room capacities may still be used to help gatherings remain inclusive
- If we are unwell and staying in, College can still help to deliver food and essentials (email@example.com)
And remember, our enhanced welfare support provision remains in place:
- If you have concerns or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact your tutor or the Senior Tutor
- If you would like to talk to someone else about your health and wellbeing, our nurse and counsellor are available too
- There is a great deal of welfare advice on our website
- The University provides comprehensive help and support too.
As we all get back to business as usual, there will be bumps along the way, there may be unwell friends or colleagues, and others anxious about what the changes mean for them. Perhaps the most valuable lesson we have learnt over the last two years is how our actions affect (and sadly infect) others. Whilst it is right that we adopt a position in line with the rest of the country, any collective stance is underpinned by our commitment to each individual in our community.
Please do tell us if you need support, and let’s all keep an eye out for those around us who might need a helping hand or a sympathetic ear.