Bournemouth University Covid-19 Statement: Monday 13 September 2021
I hope you’ve had a good summer, and welcome back to those of you who are already in Bournemouth ready for the start of the new academic year.
I am writing to provide an update on the measures in place to protect against Covid-19 on campus as we return for the new year. I know this message is long, but I wanted to be as thorough as possible.
As you may know, the government confirmed that it is no longer placing restrictions on teaching and learning in higher education, including the need to keep physical distance. As a result, effective from this week, we are no longer operating with a two-metre distancing rule on campus. However, your safety and that of our staff and visitors remains our top priority and therefore our updated risk assessment includes some Covid-secure measures which will remain in place for the next few months. You can play your part too and help us to protect the BU community. By following our Covid-secure measures, we’ll all reduce the risk of transmission on campus and therefore the risk of having to return to remote teaching and learning.
We will require the wearing of face coverings in all seminar and lecture settings (including when seated), and in all indoor spaces. This will be a mandatory requirement unless you have an exemption, are seated at a desk or workstation, or are eating or drinking. We appreciate this is additional to the current government guidance, but this is an important safety measure so that we can reduce the risk of infection with no social distancing, protect our staff and avoid disruption to your studies.
Where entry and exits routes are different and where practical, one-way flows will be utilised in lecture spaces. There will be signage to indicate these flows. You will also see that timetabled sessions will start 10 minutes past the hour (or scheduled start time) and finish five minutes before the hour (or scheduled finish time). This allows time for staff to enter the room, set up kit, complete multi-factor authentication, and for you to leave the room in line with ventilation requirements at the end.
We will increase access to hand sanitisers throughout campus, as well as promoting our messaging about good hand hygiene. Please ensure you do both regularly.
As a reminder, before coming to campus, you need to be regularly testing yourself for Covid-19, twice a week, using home test kits, as this will help to keep our community safe. I would also strongly encourage you to take up the offer of vaccination and get both your jabs, if you haven’t already done so.
Enhanced cleaning continues to take place on campus every day, often early in the morning, and we are doing all we can to ensure that all rooms are well ventilated, exceeding required levels, with CO2 levels monitored regularly. These measures, though they are often not seen, are taking place and are vital in helping to keep campus safe and clean. Please be assured our teams will work hard to ensure this is done for us.
We understand that returning to campus may cause anxiety for some of you and we ask you to be mindful that some of your fellow students, or some of our staff, may wish to continue to keep a distance. Lanyards will be made available for any student or staff member who wishes to use one, which will make clear their desire to continue to keep physical space from others as much as possible. More information about these will follow next week. Please respect anyone who you see wearing one of these lanyards.
If you have any concerns about returning to face-to-face sessions on campus, please get in touch with your programme team. Our range of student services – from Student Wellbeing to Faith & Reflection and Additional Learning Support (ALS) – are on hand to help you and you can always contact AskBU for guidance.
We can’t wait to see you all back on campus for the start of our new academic year and have a programme of events and activities planned to celebrate. You can find out more on the ‘What’s on’ web page.