Email to all staff: Local COVID alert level and impact on the University

Email issued: Thursday 22 October 2020
From: Internal Communications
Subject: Local COVID alert level and impact on the University

Dear colleagues,

There is speculation that Leeds, along with other parts of the country, may move from a local COVID alert of ‘high’ (tier 2) to one of ‘very high’ (tier 3).

If this happens, the impact on the University will be minimal. Government guidelines remain the same for universities in a tier 3 local COVID alert level as they are for tier 2.

  • Our approach to the delivery of teaching and learning will continue as currently: only if it is safe, practicable and pedagogically advantageous or necessary, should teaching be delivered face-to-face, rather than online.
  • The default position remains that colleagues should continue to work from home, unless they are required to carry out work on campus.
  • Study spaces, libraries, computer clusters etc. will remain open, as per the current arrangements.
  • Essential student services will remain open and accessible to students and will be accessed either face-to-face or online.
  • Research activity will continue as per the current arrangements, i.e. research will be carried out on campus if it cannot be conducted from home.
  • There will be changes to some catering services provided on campus. In particular, bars will only remain open if they operate as restaurants and serve substantial meals. Alcohol will only be served as part of such a meal.
  • We understand that universities will have some control over how they manage the provision of indoor sports and exercise. We are planning to put in place our own measures based on risk assessments, Sport England and national governing bodies of sport guidelines and government guidelines (including the rule of six). At present, we expect sport and exercise activities run by clubs and societies to continue as they do currently based on these agreed risk assessments. We will continue to operate gym, pool and group exercise based on the covid-secure measures already in place in all our indoor and outdoor campus facilities. Outdoor sport will continue as per the current arrangements.
  • All spaces that are open on campus (including cafes, libraries, study spaces, gyms and teaching, learning and research spaces) are covid-secure and our Working Together to Stay Safe Guidelines still apply. Please watch the ‘a safe environment at the University of Leeds video for more information about how campus has been made covid-secure.

In the event of a change to a local COVID alert of ‘very high’, the government may agree additional measures in consultation with local authorities. If this were to happen, we would assess the measures as soon as possible and be in touch to share the impact they would have on the University.

Finally, thank you to all colleagues and students for following the guidelines; we’re encouraged by the most recent case figures but we can’t be complacent regardless of the tier we are in.

A similar message is being shared with all students today.

Best wishes,

Roger Gair

University Secretary

See also

Read copies of email communications issued to staff (from 11 March 2020) which have included coronavirus advice or updates.