Reducing the risk of catching coronavirus

University of Exeter expert in Communicable Disease Control and Infectious disease management, Dr Bharat Pankhania discusses how we can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19).

How to reduce your risk
Wash your hands
Self Isolation

Staff (Exeter and Cornwall)

Latest update – Monday 15 June 12:00

Restrictions currently remain in place across all our campuses. The health, safety and wellbeing of students, colleagues and the wider community is our top priority.

We have launched a new webpage, detailing the work being undertaken to ensure the safest and most rewarding campus experience for 2020/21.

The UK Government has introduced new regulations on what you can and cannot do in England, including: ‘support bubbles’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children, and the gradual reopening of some shops, schools and places of worship. For detailed guidance please visit the Government webpages.

Please continue to check the FAQs below for updated information and guidance.

Revised arrangements for attendance and absence

See our Guidance for Managers and Staff in the event of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Frequently asked questions

The frequently asked questions are arranged in the following themes:

Our community ¦ Questions on returning to your workplace ¦ Health, wellbeing and work ¦ Information if you are self-isolating, shielding, or in a vulnerable group ¦ Travel and transport ¦ Information from Human Resources ¦ Updates and actions

For FAQs related to exams and assessments, please see our dedicated webpage.

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly as there are ongoing updates to the Government guidance.

Our community

We know that outbreaks can take place anywhere in the world. Internationally, nationally and locally there have been incidents of xenophobic and racist behaviour and abuse.

We emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. Inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. This is a hate crime and is against the law.

If you experience, or are witness to, any behaviour of this type, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out web pages. We will investigate this and, where necessary, disciplinary procedures will be followed.

If you are feeling anxious during this time, further support is available via our wellbeing webpages.

We have signed an open letter with partners across Exeter on tackling hate crime and racism in our community, particularly in light of recent incidents in relation to coronavirus. This is a time when we must work together and support each other - not create more division and hurt. Read the letter in full​

The Government has released guidance on how to safely help people that are self-isolating or shielding. There are a number of points on how to help somebody, for example by delivering food and medicine to them, however if you are doing this, you must:

• stay outside their home if you do not live with them, especially if they are at a higher risk from coronavirus or have symptoms
• limit the time you spend outside your home for example by picking up their food or medicine with yours
• stay 2 metres (6 ft) away if you do not live with them
• not share a car with them
• regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds

If you do not follow this advice, you could put yourself at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others. If you or someone in your household starts to show symptoms, or if you are at high risk of severe symptoms yourself, then you must stay at home.

If you would like to offer your help volunteering in Exeter or Cornwall, visit the Exeter City Council pages, or the Cornwall Council website for further information.

Your safety is the priority. We recognise it’s not possible for everybody to volunteer at the moment, remember, everyone following the Government social distancing measures is staying alert to control the virus and save lives.

The significant changes to daily life caused by Covid-19 will impact on a number of religious observances including, but by no means limited to, Easter, Passover and Ramadan.

This year, Ramadan began on Thursday 23 April. During Ramadan communities come together in prayer, acts of worship and celebration. The current restrictions in place will no doubt have an impact on religious observance for many people all over the world. Gatherings central to many faith-based practices and religious observances will be restricted or prevented, but support is available to help alleviate the subsequent sense of isolation and grief which individuals may experience.

The WHO has issued guidance for safe Ramadan practices in the context of Covid-19, as well as more general guidance for religious leaders and faith-based communities which includes advice on supporting mental health and resilience, hosting virtual faith activities and safe burial practices.

We have produced a SWAY booklet on the possible impact of COVID-19 on Ramadan celebrations, including detail on health and wellbeing, work considerations and guidance for peers and colleagues.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms, however mild, please follow official guidance to self-isolate and arrange a test. This applies even if you are displaying only mild symptoms i.e. you have any of the following:

• a high temperature
• a new continuous cough
• a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

Check the NHS website if you or someone you live with has symptoms.

Remember to wash your hands more often than usual for 20 seconds using soap and water. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Check the UK Government website for the latest advice on what you can and can’t do under current COVID-19 restrictions.

The UK Government has published advice for smokers and vapers. COVID-19 symptoms may be more severe if you smoke.

The WHO have a short video with information on the protective measures that we can all take to protect ourselves and others.

Questions on returning to your workplace

You should not return to the campus unless you have been given specific authorisation to do so from your Pro-Vice-Chancellor. We need to ensure that staff working in specialist areas can be protected and have a clear Risk Assessment in place before any work can commence on campus.

We understand that colleagues may wish to come onto campus to collect equipment or materials that were left behind when we entered lock-down. For the time being, colleagues are asked to continue to work from home and not come onto campus until issued with specific instructions from your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. We recognise that this means home work stations may not be the same as your normal working environment. It is therefore good practice for those working at home to follow the guidance provided and also complete a homeworking self-assessment (COVID-19 version). These documents have useful advice and information about setting up a home workstation and helps to identify any additional needs. Where you require the use of specific equipment currently located at your work station OR you require specialist equipment to undertake specialist COVID-19 related work, please follow the guidance below.

1. For colleagues requiring essential equipment following a DSE assessment - please contact your Director or Director of College Operations for their permission and, once obtained, please contact Transport@exeter.ac.uk with the following details:

• Name
• Office location and any access arrangements
• Items to be collected
• Home address
• Contact number

Please be mindful there will be a maximum of two collections a week depending on demand and staff availability.

Colleagues on our Penryn campus will need to contact the campus Director of College Operations, Amie Fulton, providing the same information as above.

2. For colleagues undertaking COVID-19 related work, please contact the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Neil Gow.

We know that many colleagues will wish to return to their office to work. We are working on a plan to reopen our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice. This will include measures to help protect our staff including allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. Until these preparations have been made and you have been authorised by your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor, colleagues must remain working from home. Thank you for your patience.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough leave) is has now been extended to October 2020.  The University will continue to review the situation and will contact all workers prior to the current end date of to provide an update. More detailed information is available on the website, including FAQs and guidance for managers. If you have any questions that are not covered, please do contact your manager for advice.

We are unable to allow colleagues to retrieve items stored on-site or in offices until further notice. This decision has been made taking into account government guidance on essential travel and serves to protect the welfare and workload of our essential on-site colleagues. There are two exceptions to this, which are detailed below:

1. If you have an Occupational Health DSE assessment, which details the use of specific equipment which is currently located at your work station. For these colleagues, best endeavours will be made to deliver small sized portable items to you; dismantling of desk and complex IT set-ups will not be possible. If you fit into this category and need anything urgently please contact your Director or Director of College Operations for their permission and, once obtained, please contact Transport@exeter.ac.uk with the following details:


• Name
• Office location and any access arrangements
• Items to be collected
• Home address
• Contact number

Please be mindful there will be a maximum of two collections a week depending on demand and staff availability.

2. Colleagues who are undertaking COVID-19 related work. For access under this criteria please contact the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research & Impact, Professor Neil Gow.

The University is currently looking at the possibility of longer term home working for some staff. Further information will be available on the HR webpages as soon as more detail is available.

Access to our campuses remains restricted so please do not travel to campus unless you are authorised to do so by your line manager. We are working on a plan to reopen our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice. This planning will involve a gradual and controlled restart of activities and careful risk assessments will be undertaken. This will include measures to help protect our staff including continued working from home, allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work.

Our response to restarting our activities and working arrangements, will consider all campuses and University buildings as follows:

Exeter

• Streatham
• St Luke’s
• Heavitree Clinical Skills Resource Centre (RD&E Heavitree site)
• RILD North and South (RD&E Wonford site)
• Mireille Gillings Neuroimaging Centre (RD&E Wonford site)
• Cardiovascular Building (RD&E Wonford site)
• V-Simulator (Exeter Science Park)
• University of Exeter Enterprise Zone Office & CALT offices (Exeter Science Park)
• Exeter IT (Regus @ Exeter Business Park)

Cornwall

• Penryn Campus (including IIB Office TIC Centre)
• DMac at Falmouth Docks
• Knowledge-Spa (RCHT Treliske site)
• ECEHH Office in Innovation Centre (RCHT Treliske site)

London

• College of Medicine & Health Office – Regus @ White City
• College of Medicine & Health Office - Halkin @ Paris Gardens
• University of Exeter Business School Office – Halkin @ Paris Gardens

Social distancing means keeping a safe distance from other people, to help control the spread of disease. The Government has published requirements on staying alert and safe (social distancing) for people in England. Please check this information for the latest guidance. 

Everyone must follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Health, wellbeing and work

All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia.

Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. For further information please visit the GOV UK Pages.

 

Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus - a persistent cough, fever or a sudden loss of taste or sense of smell - will have to isolate for seven days. Anyone else in the household will need to isolate for 14 days.

In addition, everyone with symptoms should ask for a test online or call 119 to arrange a test.

If the test comes back negative, everyone in your household can go back to normal.

If the test comes back positive, the NHS Test and Trace team will get in touch - via text, email or phone call - to discuss whom you have come into close contact with.

Please be aware the test is an ‘antigen test’. It tests if you currently have coronavirus. The test to tell if you’ve ever had coronavirus (‘antibody test’) is not widely available yet. Please therefore only apply if you meet the following criteria:

• tests need to be carried out in the first 5 days of having symptoms
• it’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange
• when applying for a test, use the self-referral option, the University is not currently completing referrals

As the health and safety of our students and colleagues is paramount, we would encourage everyone to follow these guidelines. Find out more online.

Students

Following our decision to ask students to go home where possible, we are no longer collating information on absence from face to face teaching.

If you are self-isolating, or remaining, in student accommodation: either on campus, in an external student accommodation provider or in privately owned student accommodation, please notify us by email on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk giving the following details:

1. Full name
2. Student Number
3. Address - including if you are living in Exeter or Cornwall
4. Period of self-isolating - start and end date
5. Contact telephone number

These details will then be passed to the relevant staff who will contact you to ensure you have access to the support you may need.

Staff

Please use the staff online form to let us know if you are self-isolating. You should also follow the guidance in the Staff FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?”

Information about pay arrangements can be found online.

Contact details for emergencies and out of hours help are listed below:

- Exeter: contact Estate Patrol on 01392 723999 (24 hours)
- Cornwall: contact the Living Support Team on 01326 255341 or via email: ls-team@fxplus.ac.uk (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or the Security and Night Support team on 01326 253503 (evenings 5pm to 9am and weekends)

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation, but please contact us using the details above. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency always dial 999.

The Government has set out that people must wear a face covering whilst using public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

We are therefore recommending that all colleagues and students wear a face covering when inside University buildings. To support this, we are providing three re-usable face coverings to all colleagues and students on their return to campus. Please do not return to campus, unless you are a staff member authorised to do so, or a student living in University Accommodation.

If you are currently working or living on our Exeter campuses you can access disposable face coverings in the reception area of the building you are working / living in. If your building does not currently have a supply of face coverings, or has run out, please let us know via the following contact points:

Streatham campus: fmlogistics@exeter.ac.uk
St Luke’s campus: stl-porters@exeter.ac.uk
Penryn campus: a.watson@exeter.ac.uk

If you are working or living on the Cornwall campus you can collect face coverings from Glasney Lodge.

It is important to note that face coverings do not replace social distancing and that you need to use them properly i.e. wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off and ensure your mouth and nose are covered.

Make sure your contact number is accurate and up to date in Trent so we can contact you with any important updates. Please continue to check your emails for updates and information. 

Students

Your wellbeing is extremely important to us and we would like to highlight the resources that are available to support you, if needed. This includes our self-help tool, SilverCloud and our Wellbeing Services at both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses.

Staff

There are a number of support services available to staff during this period. Our self-help tool, Pro-Counselling, can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal, as well as a range of well-being resources and guides. You can also talk to your line manager if you have any queries.

For students

For students - our AccessAbility team is available for you to discuss any concerns you may have around your disability. You can find information on how to access this team on our website.

For staff

A guide has been developed specifically for disabled colleagues working from home which addresses some of the challenges faced by those who need to self-isolate and maintain prolonged social distancing. The guide also provides signposting and guidance towards additional support. If you are contacted by your manager about returning to work on campus, you should discuss with them whether any additional adjustments are required. If you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or vulnerable please see the sections above and refer to government advice regarding shielding. If you require additional support or advice please contact your line manager who can arrange a referral to occupational health or contact a disability adviser in confidence.

As part of our planning to safely reopen our campuses, the University will follow all government advice regarding protection measures and social distancing in order to protect our students, staff and visitors at the University. This planning will involve a gradual and controlled restart of activities after careful and thorough risk assessments have been undertaken. This will take some time - please do not return to campus until you are authorised to do so by your Service Director, Director of College Operations, or Pro-Vice-Chancellor.  If you have specific concerns, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.

We know this will be an anxious time for many colleagues. There are a number of support services available to you during this period including the Pro-Counselling service, which can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal. Details of all the support available including our online cognitive behavioural therapy programme, Silvercloud, can be found on our website. Support is also available from the NHS talking therapy services. You can discuss any concerns that you have with your line manager who can support you with adjustments to your work or make a referral to Occupational Health if further advice is needed. If you are experiencing significant symptoms you should contact your GP for advice and treatment if required.

If you are pregnant please follow the government advice on social distancing measures. Managers will continue to offer maternity risk assessment meetings for all pregnant staff - using Microsoft Teams is a very effective way - please ensure you carry out a new risk assessment to cover the working from home element and keep this updated regularly. The safety of pregnant staff alongside all other colleagues, will be considered as part of the planning for reopening our campuses and returning to work. This will take account of all government advice.  More advice is available online.

We know that with the current lockdown measures the risk of domestic abuse is increasing.  We have a series of Domestic Abuse Support webpages with guidance for support options including risk assessments, as well as detailing where to access help should you need it. We encourage you to disclose the domestic abuse to your manager or a Domestic Abuse Champion, support and adjustments at work are available. Please be reassured that we will support you throughout this time and help you get the support that you need.

We know this may be an anxious time for many colleagues. Whilst we want to reopen our campuses, we must ensure that this is done safely and that our staff, students and visitors are protected. We are currently developing plans that include a phased return to work and this will be communicated to staff as soon as possible. Please do not return to campus unless you are authorised to do so by your manager. There are a number of support services available to you during this period including our Pro-Counselling service, which can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal.  Details of all the support available including our online cognitive behavioural therapy programme, Silvercloud, can be found on our website.  Support is also available from the NHS talking therapy services.  You can discuss any concerns that you have with your line manager who can support you with adjustments to your work or make a referral to Occupational Health if further advice is needed.  If you are experiencing significant symptoms you should contact your GP for advice and treatment if required.

We understand that people have caring responsibilities and that this may continue as we look to safely and gradually reopen our campuses. At this time, restrictions remain in place and you should not return to campus unless authorised to do so by your line manager. At such time when you are asked to return to campus, people with caring responsibilities should discuss their circumstances with their line manager and look at any alternative arrangements that could be made. This could include sharing caring responsibilities or where this isn't possible, continued working from home, or possible changes to working patterns to accommodate your caring responsibilities.

If you are not able to do any work, in recognition of these exceptional circumstances, to give you a longer period to make alternative arrangements, the University has extended its paid emergency leave to 10 days (pro-rata for part-time staff). If you use this leave, please keep in touch with your manager and follow the guidance on recording your absence.  Guidance for managers and staff on absence and pay arrangements related to COVID-19 is available online.

The University is committed to ensuring that we do everything we can to protect our whole community and we recognise our duty of care to all colleagues and students regardless of background or ethnicity. We are working on a plan to reopen our campuses safely to all, in accordance with government advice. This will include measures to help protect all staff including allowing staggered start and finish times and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. We remain clear about the need for respect, kindness and compassion for all. If you experience or witness any inappropriate behaviour, harassment or violence, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out webpages. More information for BAME colleagues can be found on our website.

It is now expected that all staff will be working from home, apart from where an alternative agreement has been put in place with your Service Director, Director of College Operations, or Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

It is important that staff are able to work safely and effectively at home. The Homeworking Guidance contains information on DSE assessments, IT guidance, and specific FAQs on homeworking at this exceptional time.

The Information Governance Team have created guidance on how we can complete our work safely, securely, and in line with our data protection policies. This guidance includes: remote access, file storage, file sharing, communication and more.

Information if you are self-isolating, shielding, or in a vulnerable group

Public Health England (PHE) is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following staying alert and safe guidance. The Government has identified those that are classified as clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they’re in this group or been told by their GP. Further information is available online:

Guidance on those who are at increased risk of severe illness
Guidance on who is classified as extremely vulnerable

If you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, you can use the NHS 111 online tool or contact your GP for further advice.

If you are a member of staff, you can talk to your line manager about being in a vulnerable category.

If you are a student, you can contact your GP or relevant health professional for advice. If you would like Wellbeing support, you can contact Wellbeing Services.

We understand that some people will need to undertake shielding, in order to protect themselves at this time. If you have received a letter from the NHS, or been told by your GP that you are vulnerable or extremely vulnerable to coronavirus and you are therefore required to shield, you will not be expected to return to work on campus and should remain working from home for the period stated. Please inform your line manager if you have not already done so, so that the correct support can be put into place. Further information and guidance is available on the Government webpages.

If you feel you need to undertake shielding in order to protect yourself but have not received a letter from the NHS advising you to shield, you should discuss your concerns with your GP or hospital clinician. Information and guidance on who is extremely vulnerable and who is at moderate risk can also be found on the NHS website. If you are advised to shield, or you feel you fall into either of these vulnerable categories, you will not be expected to return to work on campus and should remain working from home, following the relevant government advice. Please inform your line manager if you have not already done so, so that the correct support can be put into place.

Please follow the comprehensive PHE guidance. This provides a range of information on items such as washing, sharing household items and covering your face.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. If you are living with someone who is self-isolating, you should ensure they are separate from everyone else in your home, as the virus can easily be transmitted at close quarters. This means not socialising with that person and where possible using a separate bathroom. If this is not available, then regular cleaning is required. You should also avoid sharing household items, such as dishes, glasses, cups, utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you are self-isolating, we ask you to consider the actions you can take to keep our community safe. This includes staying away from vulnerable individuals, for example the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible. Please try to stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible, and sleep alone if you can.

 

Ensure you follow the guidance from Public Health England (PHE). If you or the person you live with/care for become symptomatic then ensure you follow the PHE guidance on living with someone from a vulnerable group.

With the exception of staff providing essential services, staff are now working from home where they are able to do so. If you or anyone you live with is within a vulnerable group, as outlined in the PHE guidance above, please speak to your manager to discuss how your work can be best managed.

If you are self-isolating, please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – when and how do I report absence?

Information about pay arrangements can be found online.

If you have any further queries email us on humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

We know for some that coronavirus is of increased concern. Those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, may feel particularly vulnerable. If you have an existing or underlying health condition and you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, we would encourage you to use the NHS 111 online tool.

The NHS have contacted around 1.2 million people at the highest risk of complications, such as patients having treatment for cancer or people on immunosuppressant therapy; they have been asked to isolate at home for 12 weeks to protect themselves. They will receive special guidance from the NHS.

If you, or anyone you live with, has any relevant underlying health conditions we need to be aware of, please inform your line manager (staff only) and let us know by emailing coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Travel and transport

Access to our campuses remains restricted so please do not travel to campus unless you are authorised to do so by your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. We are working on a plan to reopen our campuses safely and in accordance with government advice. This will include measures to help protect our staff including continued working from home, allowing staggered start and finish times so that staff can travel at less congested times, and the implementation of social distancing measures for those at work. If you are authorised to return to work, you should speak to your line manager to review working times which work best for you and your team's requirements.  Safer travel guidance is available online.

In accordance with government advice, colleagues should still not travel to any other location for work unless this is deemed essential and has been authorised by your manager. For the majority of colleagues this means that you should remain working from home until otherwise instructed by the University.

We are currently considering options around parking on our campuses and will update colleagues as soon as we have more detail on this.

All parking related salary deductions have been suspended with effect from 17 March.  This will be reflected in March payslips as a reduced amount and will disappear from future salary payments until further notice. 

Parking enforcement has been suspended across our Exeter campuses, including pay and display payments, and a valid permit is not required.  This will enable colleagues who have had to change their means of travel to attend work. 

From 1 April 2020 charging for car parking in Penryn will be suspended until further notice.

All colleagues are reminded to park responsibly and within marked bays to ensure continued access for essential vehicles and emergency services personnel.

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

There remains in place a COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel. Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.

UPDATED UNIVERSITY TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

The University has made the decision to temporarily suspend all international travel for work or study purposes. This means that no international travel should be booked, even if this is planned travel in the medium to long term future. There is uncertainty over when travel will become feasible again. It is therefore a reasonable assumption that any travel booked carries an increased risk of being cancelled. For this reason, insurers will not currently provide cancellation or curtailment cover for trips booked at this time.

The safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance, therefore we suggest you complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form before considering any travel; including personal travel or travel within the UK.
You will know that the situation is changing all the time. Please check the Foreign Travel Advice website and your emails for updated information.

Trips already booked, where departure is due within the next month should be cancelled now. Once the trip has been cancelled please let your supervisor or line manager, and the insurance team (insurance@exeter.ac.uk) know that you are no longer planning to travel.

If you are currently overseas for work or study purposes and would like to return to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Advice for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. The Government continues to advise individuals to return to the UK now if currently travelling abroad, and information on contacting relevant Embassies or High Commissions and how to book flights (where these are still available) is published on the FCO webpage. There is also a webpage with dedicated guidance on protecting yourself and others on your return.

Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.

UPDATED UNIVERSITY TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

If you are currently abroad for work or study purposes and would like to consider returning to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.
Staff and Postgraduates must have completed the online travel form via: www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/
Students must have arranged appropriate insurance, either via the University undergraduate travel insurance provider (www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/undergraduatetravelinsurance/), or a provider of their choice.

For staff and postgraduate students

Staff and postgraduate students are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for business reasons (however far into the future) until further notice. This is because insurance cannot currently be arranged without proof of exceptional circumstances, and that the travel is essential and unavoidable. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

Future International Travel – exceptions process

If there are exceptional circumstances meaning that international travel is essential and unavoidable, the following steps must be taken:

1. If research related, refer to the DVC Research for approval of the trip as essential and unavoidable. If not related to research, refer to your manager for this approval. This must include a completed coronavirus travel risk assessment form, which should also consider quarantine arrangements on your return.
2. Should the DVC Research (or your manager if not research related) approve the trip as such, a referral will be made to the Registrar and Secretary for formal University approval
3. Following formal University approval, details will be passed to the insurer, who will make the ultimate decision on whether cover can be provided
4. The trip must be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel, who will require confirmation of the University and Insurer approval

Please note – if cover cannot be provided, the trip must not go ahead. For this reason, please do not book any travel or accommodation until final approval has been confirmed.

If you make your travel arrangements now without following the above process and incur costs for a trip in the future, we will be unable to arrange any travel insurance as it is foreseeable the trip may be cancelled due to the coronavirus. Therefore any losses will need to be absorbed within your College or service. Insurance can only be purchased where an event or incident is unforeseeable.

For undergraduate students

Students are being are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for study or placement purposes until further notice, in accordance with the Government advice not to travel internationally. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

 

 

Please complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form for your own benefit before considering any trips.

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly. There remains in place a Government COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. This has links to detailed advice for every country/territory, and you should make sure to check the ‘Summary’ and ‘Health’ sections. There is also a facility to sign up for email alerts for particular countries/territories.

Provided you have completed the online travel insurance form to register for the University of Exeter travel insurance policy, a claim may be considered by insurers if:

The FCO advice on travel to your destination changed to advise against all travel, both after the date of booking travel and after the date that the trip was registered for insurance.

If an event which you were due to attend was cancelled by the organisers as a result of Coronavirus prior to your departure, provided you are able to provide documentation and a claim form demonstrating the full circumstances of the situation, a claim can be presented to Insurers for their consideration.

If a University (College or Directorate) decision has been made to cancel a trip to a location for which the FCO advised against travel after the date that the trip booking was made, then a claim for the cost incurred to the University can be submitted to the travel insurers for their consideration.

How to claim

A claim form will need to be completed and returned with the required supporting documentation to the insurance office for onward transmission to the insurer for their consideration:

http://www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/claims/

Please note we cannot guarantee that a claim will be successful as this decision rests with the travel insurer based on the circumstances of the loss at the time, and in relation to the travel insurance policy documentation. We will of course do everything that we can to ensure that genuine claims are successful.

Exclusions where claims will not be available

If a decision has been taken not to travel to a country where the FCO (at the time of the trip) had not advised against all travel or all but essential travel, the Insurers will not consider a claim, as this is considered to be disinclination to travel.

There is a standard exclusion on our travel insurance policy that claims arising from government directives are excluded by the policy. Therefore if any Government, including the UK or destination countries implement travel bans that cause the cancellation or curtailment of a trip, cover will not be in place to reimburse costs incurred.

Future travel

If a trip was booked prior to any advice against travel to the destination by the FCO, a claim may be made as set out above.
For trips booked now for future dates, it is unlikely that financial losses other than emergency medical expenses will be covered by the Travel Insurers. Please see FAQ 'I’m planning on travelling abroad for work/study, what do I need to do?' for more detail if you are planning a future trip.

Information from Human Resources

If you are not able to work for any of the following reasons please report your absence from work to your line manager, or in their absence the nominated manager, as soon as possible - either by email or telephone. You should state the reason for your absence, for example:

• Sickness (any reason where you are unwell and unable to work as normal, including relating to coronavirus)
• Self-isolation: In all cases, employees should follow the latest Government guidance
• Emergency leave (e.g. childcare)

Information about pay arrangements can be found online.

Your manager will record your sickness absence in the usual way via iTrent – more details are available on the sickness recording web page.

In cases where you are self-isolating, you should record the absence via the self-isolation absence notification form.

During this time, it is important that you remain in regular contact with your line manager and/or supervisor, as well as those you manage, even if you are not working in your normal workplace.

If you are a manager and you become ill, please let your team know so they are aware of who they can liaise with in your absence, for example your line manager or another appropriate member of staff.

If you have a specific concern or query about being absent from work please email: humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

If you work and get paid via eClaims or the Temporary Resourcing Unit, you should notify your manager and e-Claims@exeter.ac.uk if you are unwell or unable to attend work for any reason connected to coronavirus.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from the first day of your illness. If you are not unwell but are self-isolating under Public Health England advice, the University will, as an exceptional measure, pay you for any work that has been agreed and scheduled. Similarly, while the University is closed for all but essential activity, you will be paid for any work which has been agreed and scheduled. Please claim any hours through the eClaims system in the normal way for your manager to approve. Where possible, arrangements will be made for you to undertake the scheduled work at home.

The University’s sick leave and pay allowances will continue to if you are prevented from working because you are unwell for any reason. Please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?” for further guidance.

You must advise your line manager and report that you are in self isolation, using the self-isolation absence notification form. Please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?” for further guidance.

If you can continue working while you are self-isolating, this will not be recorded as sickness. If you are not able to work, then this will be treated as sickness absence. Please refer to pay arrangements for further information.

If you have any further queries on this, please contact your line manager or the HR Team.

 

Postgraduate Teaching Assistants will continue to be paid if their work is cancelled or rescheduled, and should claim for their hours in the usual way via Trent. Please contact the manager who normally assigns work to you, to clarify the expectations of your role and whether you can undertake work from home.

PHE has published advice for healthcare workers which includes all students on BMBS, Medical Imaging and Nursing programmes in the UK.

For anyone else in the College of Medicine and Health who does not work in a clinical setting, please follow this advice.

Staff

Please use the staff self isolation notification form to let us know. If you have any queries email us on humanresources@exeter.ac.uk

Contact details for emergencies and out of hours help are listed below:

- Exeter: contact Estate Patrol on 01392 723999 (24 hours)

- Cornwall: contact the Living Support Team on 01326 255341 or via email: ls-team@fxplus.ac.uk (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or the Security and Night Support team on 01326 253503 (evenings 5pm to 9am and weekends)

If you, or anyone you live with, has any relevant underlying health conditions we need to be aware of, please inform your line manager.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

You are returning to work in unprecedented times. All staff, other than essential teams are being asked to work from home. It is unlikely that you have all your equipment to be able to do so. Firstly, we would ask you to be in touch with your manager using the method you have been using during your maternity leave. We will then need to ensure you have equipment you need to work from home, please discuss this with your line manager.

To facilitate working from home the University has migrated to using “Teams.”

There are useful guides available on using tools such as Teams and Office 365. We would recommend you take a look at these and speak to your manager about any needs you might have that are not covered here.

Updates and actions

Please go the Research Toolkit to read further guidance from our main research funders and frequently asked questions.

We also have useful information for PGRs from the Doctoral College, this is available online.

All library buildings on the Exeter and Penryn campuses are closed until further notice. The library continues to give you access to the resources and support you need digitally and library staff are working remotely to support you.

Further information for students and staff at an Exeter campus can be found here: https://libguides.exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus 

Further information for students and staff at Penryn can be found here: https://library.fxplus.ac.uk/current-service-updates

The various works on our campus, undertaken by the University and our partners, are continuing in accordance with the most recent Government advice, issued on 26th March and the Secretary of State letter on 31st March.

The Government has advised that construction activities can continue, provided contractors comply with social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning measures. All contractors who continue to operate on campus are following the recently published Site Operating Procedures from the Construction Leadership Council.

The University is working closely with our partners to ensure this guidance is followed, and we are putting into place additional measures as appropriate. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and will provide any further updates here.

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes.

The Government has advised that pregnant women are clinically vulnerable so it is very important that you follow the advice on social distancing.

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists pregnant women do not appear to be more at risk of becoming severely unwell than other healthy adults if they develop coronavirus. However, a small proportion of pregnant women with coronavirus have required admission to hospital for treatment. Please ensure you read the FAQs that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have published and the NHS information about pregnancy and coronavirus.

If you are working from home then please plan to carry on, following the Government guidance and information from the NHS.

We request that managers continue to offer maternity risk assessment meetings for all pregnant staff, using Teams is a very effective way. Ensure you carry out a new risk assessment to cover the working from home element and keep this updated regularly.

We understand for parents and carers, with the announcement of school closures this is an unsettling time. If you have been affected by school closures, or your normal childcare arrangements are not available, please consider what arrangements you can put in place to enable you to continue to work, such as:

• Any alternative caring arrangements you can make
• Sharing caring responsibilities
• Whether you are able to continue to work around your childcare responsibilities – for example by working at different times to your normal working pattern (e.g. evenings/weekends)
• Whether you are unable to work

If you are not able to do any work, in recognition of these exceptional circumstances, to give you a longer period to make alternative arrangements, the University has agreed to extend its paid emergency leave to 10 days from Monday 23 March (pro-rata for part-time staff).

Please keep in touch with your manager and follow the guidance on recording your absence

The University campuses are open only for essential services. In line with latest advice, we are planning our response to the Government’s working safely during coronavirus guidance. For now, all restrictions remain in place.

If you are currently working at home then you must continue doing so until you have explicit notice from your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. If you have been working on campus during the restrictions to provide essential services, there will be no change to your current arrangements.

We ask everyone to follow the staying alert and safe guidance set out by the Government.

Most University events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Where possible we are moving events online. The Events Team have put together a toolkit for staff and students running online events.

The sports facilities on all campuses are also closed.

Third parties and contractors should seek advice from their line management.

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England (PHE) update the UK’s COVID-19 information on a regular basis.

PHE have created a blog ‘Novel Coronavirus: what you need to know’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have also created a dedicated website for information and guidance. 

To find out more about what the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and what it plans to do next, please read the  Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK.