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Staff - What you need to know and do before you come to campus





Planning is underway to enable the return of more colleagues to on-campus working, this will be managed carefully to ensure everyone is protected and remains safe.

Managers - please read our dedicated guidance for managers for information and actions.

Staff - Please read the information below carefully and undertake any actions required. 

Section 1 - What you MUST do before / when you come to campus for the first time

We understand individuals may be affected by COVID-19 in different ways and there may be some people who are more vulnerable than others to this infection. Before coming to campus you must complete the COVID-19 Age Individual Vulnerability Risk Assessment and share your ‘COVID-19 age’ with your line manager.

If you have a High or Very High COVID-19 age or have answered 'yes' to any of the health questions please also complete the COVID-19 Personal Risk Assessment.

Please ensure you read the 'My safe return to Campus' working guidance before you complete the COVID-19 age Individual Vulnerability Assessment tool.

» COVID-19 age and Personal Risk Assessment information

Before coming to campus you must take half an hour to complete our mandatory online training course – 'Introduction to your Covid-19 Secure Workplace mandatory training'. Information on how to access this course can be found in our useful 'how to' document.

Stay at home, self-isolate and request a test

You can book a HALO/PCR COVID-19 test via our Rapid Response Hub, find out more on our dedicated Rapid Response Hub webpages



Whether you are coming to campus for a day, or regularly work on campus, you must book LFD COVID-19 test. If you regularly work on campus please book two tests each week, to enable us to keep everyone safe. You can book your tests at any of our test centres or drop into our test pod in the Forum - molre information on our dedicated testing webpages.

If you are travelling overseas either to or from the University, you must read the international travel guidance on testing and quarantine - everything you need to know can be found on our international travel webpage

We have created a Digital Health checklist to help you if you are returning to campus to work. As the date of return will vary across each team, please ensure you follow the guidance outlined by the University and your line manager.

The Digital Hub was here to help you when you started working from home - we are here for you when you start working on campus again.

Find the detailed checklist on The Digital Hub.


Section 2 - The safety measures we have in place

A number of measures remain in place on our campuses to ensure the safety of our colleagues and students. These include:

  • Enhanced cleaning
  • Reduced occupancy in rooms, including teaching rooms and study spaces
  • Supporting robust hand hygiene with plenty of hand sanitiser points
  • Booking systems for resources to optimise safe access and availability
  • Provision of three layer re-useable face coverings to staff and students
  • Campus test centres and the ability to collect home test kits
  • A Rapid Response Hub set up for all staff and students to contact if they have any symptoms, however mild.
  • Support for students who are ill to self-isolate in their own accommodation – whether that be University or private accommodation

In addition to this, we have a friendly ‘Here to Help’ team who will be available to help guide you around campus and answer any queries you might have. Look out for them in the blue t-shirts. Please treat them respectfully and follow any instructions they might have on the safe use of the spaces.

Our cleaning strategy matrix provides additional details of the cleaning support being delivered in Exeter. Penryn colleagues can also view our Cleaning service frequently asked questions - Penryn.

Face coverings will no longer be required in outdoor areas. However the University has a strong expectation that students and colleagues will continue to wear face-coverings in shared indoor spaces to lower the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Government guidance is that face coverings remain mandatory in healthcare settings. This will apply to colleagues and students using our RILD building and other hospital sites in Cornwall and Exeter. Please also be mindful that there may be different guidance in place if you are in a shared setting, such as an NHS building.

Please also remember and be sensitive to the fact that some members of our community are unable to wear face coverings.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms and you are travelling to one of our test sites to take a test, you must wear a face covering at all times, keep a safe distance from others, use sanitiser gel on your hands and avoid touching surfaces.

In summary, guidance is as follows:

  • All persons are strongly recommended to wear a face covering inside the buildings.
  • There is a strong expectation that we will continue to wear face coverings where we cannot keep a safe distance from others.
  • If you are in an individual office you do not need to wear a face covering  but you are strongly recommended to do so if you’re moving around your building or wider campus.
  • You are asked to test yourself before coming to work as this is another useful way to control infection and protect others
  • Face coverings will continue to be made available to all staff, students and visitors  from the face covering stations. Transparent face coverings and visors are also available from University receptions.
  • Some tasks, based on the local risk assessment, may require staff who will be required to work in very close proximity to other staff, students or members of the public, to continue to wear a face covering for the time being. 
  • In the event of a change in government policy or local outbreaks requiring public health intervention, at the request of a competent body, all staff, students and visitors will be required to wear face coverings if requested, unless exempt.

Face coverings remain available from the following locations:

Streatham Campus: Forum Street (entrance to Devonshire House, and Sanctuary / Blackwell’s foyer); Building:One; Peter Chalk Centre; Old Library

St Luke’s Campus: X-Keys café; InfoPoint

Penryn Campus: Glasney Porter’s Lodge; Masters suite (for Masters students only); ESI reception (for staff only)

Some members of our University community are exempt from wearing face coverings. The reason may not always be obvious however, whilst not being a requirement, these members can request exemption cards or badges to highlight their exemption. Obviously, whilst we should all strive to respect everyone’s privacy.

Exemption cards, lanyards and badges available for colleagues and students who choose to use one and these are available from:

· University Main Reception, Streatham Campus
· Info@St Luke’s
· Cornwall: Glasney lodge for students, ESI reception for staff
· Our campus Here2Help team (Exeter) and Marshalls (Cornwall)

“Please give me space” cards and badges are also available at the above locations.


SafeZone is an online app that helps us to help you whilst on campus, if you request it. The app is available for all colleagues and students to download and sign into if they wish.

In the event of an emergency, we’ll be able to keep you updated, via text messages, should you need to be aware of any vital location-based information. Once installed if you press Emergency, Help or First aid, your location will be sent to relevant staff on campus and allows us to keep you updated, via text messages, and relevant information relating to your emergency.

To download the app please go to: and follow the instructions for your device. You will need to register with your University of Exeter email address and review the permissions for the app to enable the app to be aware of your location, by using the transmitting signals on your phone. You should also allow push notifications, to enable the University to communicate with you if you raise an emergency alert.

Colleagues can now also download SafeZone to their University laptop or PC desktop.  To do this, please search 'Software Centre' in the start bar; then search 'SafeZone' on the applications page; then click on the install button.  If you are logging in using the desktop application, please note "(DESKTOP)" before your room number when checking in.

You can read more information about the SafeZone app online.

In addition to the existing University-wide COVID-19 secure measures we have in place, we’re asking all colleagues, students and visitors coming to campus to support any Public Health England tracing requirements.

Across our campus, you’ll see QR codes on display in locations such as teaching spaces which you will need to scan on arrival. You will then be given the link to complete the short form. The details collected will be used to support tracing if required in the event of a case/outbreak of COVID-19.

This information will be stored securely for 21 days, in line with data protection laws, and will not be shared with anyone else other than NHS Test and Trace. We will also not use your data for anything else.

You can also download the NHS COVID-19 app which works by actively scanning your location, and alerting you if you have been near other app users who have tested positive for COVID-19. More information is available on the NHS website

Section 3 - Teaching safely on campus

Providing a safe working environment for colleagues and students is our highest priority, and we’ve been working closely with teaching staff to develop our framework for COVID-19 secure teaching.

In addition to the wider safety measures put in place to support a safe return to campus working, we’ve now finalised our On-Campus Education Principles [pdf] to govern all on-campus teaching, along with our Safe Teaching Guidance (old) [pdf]. There is also a Safe Teaching Guidance Summary [pdf].

The Safe Teaching Guidance (old) contains detailed safety guidance for how to teach in each of our seven main teaching spaces: from small teaching spaces to large lectures and from science and technology labs to drama studios.

The aim is to ensure you feel fully equipped and confident to teach safely, and know how to deal with any potential issues.

We’ve broken the guidance down into step-by-step checklists for each of the seven teaching spaces. These outline the actions to take before your session starts, during your session, and at the end of your session – as well as what to do if anything goes wrong. You can download these checklists by clicking on the links below:

We’ve also created a short slide deck on COVID Behaviours for you to go through with your students at the start of each teaching session.

The Location Logging Guidance outlines how students should use QR code scanning in classrooms on Exeter campuses to allow the University to collect contact details to support NHS Test and Trace. A similar QR code scanning process is in place at Penryn.

The University will use the details supplied to get in touch with campus users if an outbreak is identified, to help us to break the chain in transmission and keep infection rates at bay. The information we collect will be used solely for the purpose of contact tracing and be stored securely for 21 days, in line with data protection laws. It will not be shared with anyone else other than NHS Test and Trace.

Seminar Room A in the LSI Building (Streatham Campus) and LT5 in the Peter Lanyon Building (Penryn Campus) are now available for academic colleagues who need to make essential recordings of teaching material for this academic year.

Timeslots are available to book using the online form. An overview of the COVID-19 secure measures in place within these buildings is included within the booking form. Contact details for any on-site queries will also be provided.

Although not mandatory, we are also strongly recommending all students book COVID-19 tests for as soon as possible after returning to their term-time accommodation, and before starting any in-person teaching, or using study or social spaces on our campuses.

Details of when in-person teaching starts will be released to students via MyTimetable. Further information on how students can book their tests can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 student testing webpages

We expect students to abide by our ‘Safe Community Charter’ which sets out the personal commitments we must all make, alongside the University’s commitment to managing the risk presented to us all by COVID-19.

Please read our Safe Community Charter for our campuses in Exeter and Cornwall:

The University has prepared its teaching areas in liaison with Public Health officials and with careful consideration of UK Government Guidance. Further mitigations have also been put in place such as comprehensive building and task based risk assessments, staff training and local inductions covering all safety mitigations. We are taking a number of measures to keep everybody safe during face-to-face teaching:

  • Wipes and cleaning material will be available for students to wipe down their space before sitting down (in addition to hand sanitiser available in all buildings).
  • Rooms will be well-ventilated – academic colleagues should open windows prior to the arrival of students, unless the room is mechanically ventilated. Posters will be clearly visible on all openable windows to let you know.
  • Face coverings must be worn in all University buildings, unless you are exempt. This includes in all teaching sessions.
  • Teaching staff will typically teach from within a two-metre zone. Because of this, face coverings aren’t compulsory, but they will put on a face covering if they leave this two-metre zone briefly at any point.
  • Location logging means that you will be asked to scan a University of Exeter QR code using the camera on your at the start of every teaching session – this means the University can get in touch with you if a COVID-19 outbreak is identified, which will help us to break the chain of transmissions and keep infection rates low. If you don’t have a phone with a camera, you can directly log your location by visiting the website
  • We are also asking all students to download the NHS COVID-19 app, so that you can be alerted if you come into contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

For more information, please see our “safe teaching” animation.

We are asking all students to scan our University location logging QR codes, which are present in every teaching space.  Please note, they should not do this using the NHS app – instead, they simply scan the code with their phone’s camera when they arrive – this will take them to an online form.  In Exeter, if they are unable to scan the code, they can complete the location logging process via the website:  In Cornwall, if students are unable to scan the code, a web address for the individual teaching space will be printed next to the QR code.  We are asking all students to get into the habit of doing this at the start of every class – if you are a teaching colleague, please take a moment to remind your students to do this at the start of every session.

We are using the location logging to support with the identification of close contacts. Because teaching will predominately take place from within a designated two-metre zone under our safe teaching guidance, using this space would not fall into the definition of close contact. If a member of teaching staff is situated in a part of the room other than the safe teaching zone, they should wear a face covering and ensure 2m distancing (other than for very brief periods). In addition, the NHS COVID-19 App can be operated as a method of notification if they have been near other app users who have tested positive for COVID-19.

Section 4 - Our campus facilities and how to access support

The Here to Help team is available on our Streatham Campus to answer queries and support. They are based in the Forum but walk around other areas supporting on campus activities including Campus Tours, and the use of teaching and study spaces.

Here to Help can advise where to find services, about COVID-protocols and can signpost staff and students to digital and telephone help services. The friendly and approachable teams have a presence on campus Monday to Friday from 0900 – 1700hrs through the summer holidays.

If you have any questions then please contact the team via email:

To help reduce touch points on our campuses, and reduce the risk of infection, we introduced ‘cashless’ systems in all University operated catering and shopping facilities at our Exeter and Cornwall campuses in September 2020. We will be supporting card and/or contactless payments and anticipate this arrangement is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. 

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