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Prime Minister announcement - update for students 15 June 2021

Dear Students,

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced that there would be a delay to the further easing of the national COVID-19 restrictions. There will now be no further lifting of the current restrictions until 19 July at the earliest.

As the Prime Minister explained, the decision to delay further easing has been taken due to the concerning rise in cases linked to the lifting of restrictions over recent weeks, including the spread of the Delta Variant of COVID-19. Any further easing will be dependent on case numbers and hospitalisations reducing and on the continued progress of the vaccination programme. The Prime Minster set out plans to ensure that all those over 18-years old would be offered at least one dose of vaccine before 19 July.

It therefore remains critical that we all play our part in helping to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 by sticking to the guidelines, including by reducing unnecessary contact between people and households where we can, and by engaging with testing and vaccination programmes whenever we are invited to.

This announcement does not require any significant changes in our University plans for the period until 19 July.

Over the last two weeks we have seen an increase in cases amongst students in Exeter and Cornwall. These cases are associated with increases socialising and mixing of households. It is important that we recognise that whilst mixing with others may be allowed under the guidelines, it still carries with it an increased risk of catching COVID-19 and spreading it to vulnerable members of the community. There are many ways to enjoy the next few weeks, including spending time with friends and loved ones, but where possible we must all do so in ways which reduce the risks of onward transmission.

Remember to follow the basic hygiene measures at all times:

  • Wash your HANDS.
  • Cover your FACE.
  • Give other people SPACE.
  • Meet in the FRESH AIR

Testing and tracing
When you are making plans to meet people from outside your household, take an LFD test before you head out and, when you meet others, remember that you should still maintain social distancing wherever possible.

If you are planning to travel to other parts of the UK, or if you are forming a new household during the summer period, please take an LFD test before you depart to reduce the chances of taking any infection to other areas. If you need to access testing to travel abroad, you can use our HALO testing by booking an appointment here.

If you are contacted by the University Rapid Response Hub Team or officials from the NHS Test and Trace programme, either to ask you to take a test or as part of the contact tracing process, please engage fully by providing as much information as you can. Playing your part will help to stop the spread.

Self-isolating

If you are instructed to self-isolate it is critically important that you remain in isolation for the full period. Self-isolation is a legal duty and breaking these rules can result in significant fines.

If you are a close contact, or member of a household where there has been a positive test, you may be offered a HALO (PCR) test, or asked to continue with your LFD testing during self-isolation. In these circumstances, a negative LFD or HALO test does not permit you to leave your 10 day self-isolation.

We will support you throughout your period of self-isolation, including by extending accommodation terms free of charge for those self-isolating in University residences, and by offering additional support to those living in private residencies.

Vaccinations

The continued progress of the national vaccination programme is vital to the further easing of restrictions. From today, those aged 23-24 can book their vaccination and the Government has stated that vaccinations for 18-23 year old age groups will follow very shortly. If you are invited to get vaccinated, please take up the opportunity as soon as you are able to. You can find out all you need to know in our vaccination FAQs for students.

You can find out everything you need to know about guidelines, testing, and the University’s response to COVID-19 on our dedicated webpages. Finally, please remember that you can also access Wellbeing Support at any time. Full details are on our website.

Best wishes

Mike

 

Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary