Arrangements for September 2021
Whether you’ll be arriving at Keele for the first time in September, or returning to us after the summer, we’re ready to welcome you to campus. The safety and wellbeing of the Keele community is our highest priority.
We are currently planning for campus to be fully operational in the new academic year, in line with Government guidance. This offers the clear prospect of a fuller and more ‘normal’ campus experience for our students and staff. Of course, we’ll also be flexible and ready to react to any further national restrictions as we have done over the last 18 months or so.
In terms of academic arrangements for 2021/22, we have learned a lot over the last year about how some aspects of our education delivery have been enhanced by incorporating more digital elements, and our plans are based on a return to face-to-face teaching being at the core of all our programmes, whilst making best use of the new digital approaches we have developed during 2020/21.
Here’s how you can continue to protect yourself and others when you're on campus:
Wear a mask when required
Including Including in and outside lecture theatres, seminar rooms, laboratories and the library, and in crowded corridors.
In other areas, many staff and students may choose to continue wearing their mask to help protect others.
Continue to get tested
Covid-19 testing is now widely available and all students and staff who are coming onto campus should continue to get tested twice a week.
Help yourself to hand sanitiser
Good hygiene is very important – please help yourself to the hand sanitiser stations around campus.
Stay home if you’re unwell
If you have any symptoms of Covid-19 then you should stay at home and follow national guidance.
Be considerate of others
We’ll be keeping our occupancy levels in certain spaces reduced; be considerate and make space for those around you.
Everyone over the age of 18 can now access a vaccine against Covid-19 - and we expect that all eligible staff and students will be vaccinated.
Here at Keele, we have taken a cautious and measured approach over the summer, in readiness for the new academic year in September.
From September 1st we moved to Operational Level 2.
At this level, the following principles will guide how we operate:
- We expect that all eligible staff and students have been (or are in the process of being) vaccinated as the primary and most significant mitigation to reduce serious illness as a result of Covid-19 infection.
- We will maintain a requirement for all staff and students attending campus on a regular and frequent basis to avail themselves of available Covid-19 testing twice weekly (e.g. using NHS test kits that are available to order online, at pharmacies, or through the LFD Collect service on campus) in line with current guidance from the Department for Education.
- We will restrict room occupancy levels and require the use of face coverings (or alternative PPE) in lecture theatres, seminar rooms, laboratories and the library. Face coverings will not be required in non-educational settings but you may of course wear them as you wish or where a specific risk assessment requires it.
- We will maintain our established approaches to ensuring good levels of ventilation via established mechanical and passive means, good levels of personal hygiene, supply of hand sanitiser, and enhanced cleaning regimes.
- We will support agile working, to reduce the number of staff and postgraduate research students in buildings and using campus facilities.
- We expect staff and students to stay at home or in their on-campus residence if they become unwell (in any way) and not to attend any in-person activities with other staff or students, and to immediately leave educational sessions and school buildings if they become unwell whilst there.
- We will support those staff and students who need them to assess an individual risk assessment and reasonable adjustments in order to support everyone in being able to attend the workplace.
- We will maintain risk assessment procedures following guidance established by the Covid Secure Group.
- We will permit different infection control measures relating to educational delivery in the Faculty of Medicine & Health, as appropriate or required, to align with those of our NHS partners. This may include different measures with respect to room occupancy levels, vaccine status, social distancing, and the use of facemasks or other PPE.
- We will comply with prevailing legislative requirements, government guidance and industry best practice in all catering, retail, hospitality, independent study space, sports facilities, places of worship and all other amenities.
The Department for Health and Social Care has confirmed that twice weekly testing for students and staff will continue until the end of September, when this will be reviewed.
On arrival at university, students should take two Lateral Flow tests (3-4 days apart) using either home test kits (LFD Collect) or an on-site testing facility, and test twice a week thereafter until the end of September.
Testing arrangements after September will be reviewed in response to public health advice.
Students can travel by private vehicle or public transport but should make sure they follow safer travel advice.
International students who are not already staying on campus should follow the guidance on new and returning students from overseas detailed here, and contact our International Student Support team for support and guidance.
Please remember that we are offering a support package for new and returning international students for the 2021/22 academic year, starting from September 2021.
Please contact Immigration Compliance and Support if you have any questions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students must follow the rules on international travel. The following guidance is provided by the UK Government. If you are a student coming to the UK, BEFORE you travel (regardless of where from) you must:
- Take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result within 3 days of your travel. You could face a fine of £500 if you cannot provide proof of a negative test.
- Complete a passenger locator form.
- Book and pay for a day 2 and – in some circumstances – a day 8 test
The following regulations apply, which vary depending on whether you are travelling from a red, amber or green-list country:
- If you have travelled from or through a red list country 10 days before arrival, you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. This applies to students who are British or Irish nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK, e.g., international students. You must pre-book your quarantine package in advance, or you could face a fine of up to £4,000.
- Or; If you have travelled from or through an amber list country only 10 days before arrival, you must quarantine in your own accommodation for 10 days and take 2 PCR COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 after you arrive in England, unless you are exempt (see below). The day 2 and day 8 tests must be booked and paid for prior to arrival in the UK from any of the providers detailed on the UK Government list of testing providers. University asymptomatic testing does not mean you are exempt from the day 2 and day 8 tests - these tests are not accepted by the UK Government. You will receive calls from NHS Test and Trace to check that you are quarantining. You may also receive a visit from NHS Test and Trace staff, who are conducting Covid compliance checks to ensure that you are quarantining at the address provided on your passenger locator form. If NHS Test and Trace staff suspect that you are not quarantining, your case may be referred to police who can issue a fine of up to £10,000.
- Those who are fully vaccinated through the UK vaccination programme, or who have been fully vaccinated in the USA and many European countries, do not need to quarantine when returning to England from an amber list country or take a test on or after day 8. Passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status to carriers in advance of travel. Pre-departure testing and day 2 testing measures remain.
- Green list arrivals do not need to isolate or enter managed quarantine, but must still complete a passenger locator form, provide evidence of a negative test and pre-book a day 2 test.