University preparations and precautions to reduce risk of COVID infection

The University is continuing to make the campus as safe as possible for staff, students and the local community. We all have a part to play by following the latest guidance, but nonetheless, we are still likely to see cases of COVID-19.

We have be working with Public Health England and have robust plans in place to take action and support staff and students if we do see infections.

A key part of our preparations has been to make sure students are clear on the COVID-19 guidance in place for Greater Manchester. They have been sent regular messages and we have dedicated webpages in place to provide advice and guidance.

We are working in partnership with Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Police, Manchester Student Homes and all Greater Manchester Universities to get messages to students through social media and door knocking campaigns. This group is also keeping the local community up to date on activity taking place.

We know the vast majority of students are behaving responsibly and are sticking to the COVID-19 restrictions and we have been very clear that students must respect social distancing rules and other restrictions to keep themselves and the local community safe. If students do not comply, they will face disciplinary action from the University, which could lead to fines or expulsion, and we will not hesitate to involve the police if necessary.

The measures we are taking are robust and in a number of cases exceed what is expected by government. On campus we are maintaining two-metre social distancing and have mandated the use of face coverings indoors, unless recognised exemptions apply. All lectures are being held online but staff and students will be on campus for small group teaching, practical classes, sports and using our library and study spaces. In many of our buildings we also put in place one way systems, cleaning stations and hand sanitiser throughout our buildings, and in our residences students have been assigned to specific households.

We very much hope that this reassures you that should outbreak plans be needed they are in place and we are working with Public Health England on a daily basis to monitoring outbreaks and put in place the appropriate measure on campus and in our residences.

Prof Nalin Thakkar, Chair of the Campus Reopening Group, and Vice-President for Social Responsibility

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