Phased return to campusThursday, 17 September 2020
September has seen the return of some of our colleagues and students back onto our campuses.
Colleagues in the Institute of Education resumed teaching earlier this month, and over the coming weeks, many more will return to our Whiteknights, London Road and Greenlands campuses as teaching for the wider University begins on 28 September 2020.
Many of you will probably be excited about the prospect of seeing colleagues in person, but after such a long time away from campus, you may also have some concerns. Please be patient and kind with others and with yourself. We will all be learning how to work in different ways, and it is really important that we support each other.
Safety of colleagues and students is the main priority guiding our phased return plans. There are new measures in place all around our campuses to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These include the installation of advice signs, hand sanitiser stations, protective screens and one-way systems - this short UoR - COVID Ready video highlights some of the safety measures in place.
There are four key principles guiding our phased return:
- We are guided first and foremost by the safety and wellbeing of colleagues, students and visitors while ensuring a high-quality student experience.
- A phased reopening of buildings may require some people to work temporarily somewhere other than their normal location.
- Where buildings are re-opened, access will not be automatic and will be agreed with Heads of Schools and Functions based on priority activities and needs.
- Where feasible, we will facilitate continued working at home in line with Government advice.
Updated phased return roadmap
Our phased return roadmap has been updated to include plans for the autumn term. This works towards a full return to campus from January 2021.
The roadmap provides details on how teams will transition back to campus. It breaks down how key aspects of the University - e.g. teaching, grounds and buildings maintenance, food production - will operate over the coming months. The plan will be guided by government advice and will be revised as needed should things change.
The Major Recovery Team is also working with local government and health authorities to develop detailed plans for a response to an outbreak of COVID-19 in Reading or on campus. These will be shared before term starts.
Please take a few moments to review the plan, and if you have any queries, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.
There are lots of wellbeing and mental health resources available on our Wellbeing website, including how to manage anxiety when returning to work and other COVID-19 topics. If you are feeling anxious about returning to campus, please don't hesitate to speak to your line manager.