Covid and campus life information

Working together to keep our campus and Winchester safe

The continued health, welfare and safety of our students, staff and global community is our number one priority as we all continue to tackles the challenges brought about by Covid-19. The information below is designed to provide information to our current and future students, staff, and the wider community.

We are continuing to work closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and our local authority partners.

The University is continuing to respond to the Government’s latest guidance and therefore information and guidelines are subject to change. 

Page last updated: 17 January 2022

Covid information

Covid cases

As at 11am on Wednesday 26 January 2022:

  • There are 104 current cases of Covid-19 linked to the University.
  • In the past 24 hours there have been 27 new confirmed cases.
  • 45 of the individuals had been on campus in the period before testing positive.
  • When a student or staff member tests positive who has been on campus, we complete an internal Track and Trace process.
  • Since September 2021, 386 cases have completed their self-isolation and have recovered.
  • Between September 2020 and August 2021, 243 previous cases completed their self-isolation and recovered.

 

Report symptoms and self-isolation or quarantining

If you are a student or staff member experiencing any Covid symptoms, or are required to self-isolate because someone you live with has symptoms, or you have been instructed to self-isolate by the University or NHS Track and Trace:

  1. Please immediately self-isolate
  2. Report your symptoms to us using this form
  3. Get a test
If you are a quarantining student: 
 
If you are arriving from outside the UK and are required to quarantine please complete this form.

Vaccinations

We strongly encourage all staff and students to get your Covid vaccines as soon as possible to protect yourself and others. The vaccine is the best protection against serious illness, hospitalisation and death.

You can book your vaccines on the NHS national booking system here. You may find it helpful to look at the NHS FAQs on vaccinations for students. 

While we do not require proof of vaccination to engage in University life, there is the expectation that you test twice a week.

Do I need to self-isolate if I've been vaccinated?

Fully vaccinated contacts of someone with COVID-19 should take rapid lateral flow tests every day for 7 days. If you test positive or develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 5 days (you may stop self-isolating if you test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature).

Face coverings

From Monday 6 December the following will apply:

  • Face coverings are required to be worn indoors on campus, unless a medical exemption applies, including:
    • in teaching rooms during in-person teaching sessions (including seminars) -the academic delivering the session is advised to wear a face visor, to restrict their movement (face visors will be available from the Faculty Office)
    • in any University buildings when engaged in non-teaching activities such as Activity Group sessions.
    • in our libraries
    • in face-to-face support sessions
    • in communal areas and when moving around buildings
    • when circulating or in a queue in a food outlet
    • in University vehicles
  • You do not have to wear a face covering when you are:
    • seated to eat or drink
    • taking part in performance activities in our performance teaching spaces
    • taking part in physical activities in the Gym or Sports Hall.
    • undertaking high risk activities in Laboratories (see specific Laboratory guidance for exceptions)
  • All members of staff are required to wear a face covering when moving around University buildings and office spaces. Face coverings are not required to be worn when at desks in offices, as long as all members of staff located in the office are testing at least twice a week.
  • All residents living in Halls are required to wear a face covering when using lifts, stairwells and any communal space outside of their designated house, flat or specific corridor or cluster of study bedrooms which constitutes their Household.
  • Some staff and students will be exempt from wearing a face covering. Proof of exemption is not required and should not be requested.
  • Care and common sense should be applied when the wearing of face coverings hinders communication, for example when communicating with people who rely on reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Face covering dispensers are located around campus. 

Risk assessments are being updated to take into account these new measures and to continue to ensure appropriate ventilation is in place.

Lateral flow tests

Our expectation is that staff and students take two lateral flow tests each week, ideally 3-4 days apart, and report results via the Government website.

Where can I collect free tests from?

You can collect Covid lateral flow test kits from the following locations on campus – please remember to report your results via the NHS Covid app:

  • King Alfred Centre Main Reception, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

  • West Downs Centre Main Reception, 9am-5pm Monday to Friday

  • Martial Rose Library, 8am to midnight Monday to Thursday, 8am to 8pm Friday, 12 noon to 6pm Saturday and 12 noon to 11pm Sunday

Anyone in the UK can order free home test kits via the Government website.

Regardless of your vaccination status you should take a test twice a week at home. You should get a result in 30 minutes which you then report online. When reporting, please search ‘University of Winchester’ or ‘SO22 4NR’ to register your test with our institution.

What do I do if I have a positive test result?

  • If you test positive or develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 5 days (you may stop self-isolating if you test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature). From 16 August, you may not be required to self-isolate if you are notified that you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, for example if you are fully vaccinated. There is further information on when you may not be required to self-isolate later in this guidance.
  • Please report to us that you are self-isolating using this form, so we can support you.
  • You should book a free confirmatory PCR test through the NHS as soon as possible to confirm your positive test result but do not need to take a confirmatory PCR test if you are asymptomatic. You may leave your house for this test. If your PCR is negative you and your household can stop self-isolating providing no one has symptoms of Covid. 

If you live with someone awaiting PCR test results

  • You are not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone who is awaiting a PCR test result unless you have been told otherwise by NHS Test and Trace
  • Fully vaccinated contacts of someone with COVID-19 should take rapid lateral flow tests every day for 7 days. If you test positive or develop symptoms, you need to self-isolate for 5 days (you may stop self-isolating if you test negative on both day 5 and day 6 and do not have a temperature).

Higher-risk categories

If you are a student and you believe you are in a potentially higher-risk category and are concerned or anxious about this, please contact our Student Services team directly on studentservices@winchester.ac.uk   

All staff who are in categories that may mean they are at higher risk should complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Staff in Higher Risk Categories ahead of any return to on campus working.

What is the guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable staff and students?

Please see the relevant 'Staff support' or 'Student support' section below for more information.

What is the guidance for pregnant staff and students?

The NHS has specific information on pregnancy and coronavirus.

Women of childbearing age, or those who are pregnant or breastfeeding may like to also read Public Health England's guide on Covid-19 vaccination.

Access to Student Union venue and events

  • Face covers
    • We are strongly advising all users of our spaces to wear a face covering at all times, as practicable. This is in line with University guidance. Hospitality settings, such as bars and nightclubs are currently (at this time) omitted from mandatory face coverings, so we will not be requiring customers to wear face coverings in these settings, but to promote safe campus spaces and general safety we are strongly encouraging all space users to wear a face covering where practicable.

Ventilation

Ventilation plays a key role in reducing the spread of any virus, including Covid-19. We expect everyone to keep windows open.

We know this may challenge our heating systems and, of course, we want to curb emissions wherever we can. You are encouraged to dress appropriately for cooler learning environments, to enable windows to remain open.

 

Track and trace

We are continuing to work closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and our local authority partners.

We are communicating directly with those who need to change their actions in relation to potential contact with confirmed Covid cases. If you do not hear from the University or from NHS Track and Trace there is no need to change your behaviour at this stage.

If you are contacted through the NHS Track and Trace scheme, please do follow any and all guidance that you are given. We encourage everyone to download the NHS COVID-19 app to assist with the national contact tracing scheme.

If you need to self-isolate based on the guidance of Track and Trace, please do complete the forms above as appropriate in order to inform the University.

What is the University’s duty to provide Track and Trace support to NHS and other national bodies?

The University is required to be in a position to provide contact tracing support to Public Health England, NHS or local authority bodies dealing with cases of Covid-19 within our community. As the University campus is large and to ensure comprehensive coverage the University is using data collected by our network of WiFi beacons.

  • As one of your devices connects to Eduroam your email address, date/time stamp and beacon ID is collected. This data is encrypted and held in a secure database which can only be accessed by two people, the Network Team Leader and the Senior Systems Specialist.
  • The data, to comply with other requirements including PREVENT, is held for 180 days but only accessed for specific purposes.
  • If a request or advice from PHE (or other relevant authority) is made the Health, Safety and Business Continuity Manager will require that the Track and Trace process is initiated.
  • The search looks at the location of the wireless logins for the period of 48 hours before symptoms were first recoded (the period of time someone can be contagious). It will extract the email addresses of all others who were also using that wireless beacon at the same time.

Information collected will be limited to user email addresses and times and dates connecting to the Eduroam network. It will only be used as part of the University’s efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and will only be retained for as long as is necessary The University is collecting this data under the lawful basis of public task as defined under Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR where processing is being carried out in the public interest. 

If you have any technical questions regarding how the system works, please contact Fiona Greig, Director of Library and IT Services Fiona.Greig@winchester.ac.uk.  If you have any questions regarding data compliance, please contact Stephen Dowell, Compliance Officer Stephen.Dowell@winchester.ac.uk.

Teaching

Business as usual

All campus services will be open as normal from 4 January including the libraries, face-to-face support offerings, catering outlets, gyms, and sports facilities.

Assessments and teaching will continue face-to-face from 10 January, with some teaching and placement activity taking place this week in some Faculties. Students should continue to attend teaching in-person (with the exception of those on courses that are validated as distance learning[1] ).

We continue to encourage all students and staff to get tested regularly, and we will support you both academically and pastorally if you have to self-isolate. We encourage all students and staff to ensure they are vaccinated.

Students who are pregnant will be supported on an individual basis through the  Pregnancy, Adoption and Becoming a Parent While Studying Guidelines. Such students are strongly advised to consult with their GP and to liaise with the Student Life Team in Student Support and Success.

Please keep an eye on this page for further updates and, as ever, seek support from staff within Student Support and Success, your Student Support and Success Adviser in your Faculty, or the Student Union Advice Centre if you feel you need it.

If the government require us to do so for public health reasons, we are ready to convert to a combination of face-to-face and online teaching or online teaching only.

***

[1] With the exception of those courses that are validated as Distance Learning. Our Distance Learning courses are: MRes Sport and Exercise, MRes Health Science, MSc Global Health, MA Death, Religion and Culture, MA Mission, MA Reconciliation, MA Reconciliation and Peacebuilding, MA Philosophy of Education, and Doctor of Theology and Practice.

Self-isolating students and staff

What happens if my lecturer has to self-isolate?

To continue to provide you with teaching, your sessions will be online in the event of staff self-isolation.

What happens if I have to self-isolate?

If you are required to self-isolate please inform us using this form.

When you complete one of the Covid related forms for testing positive or self-isolating, your Programme Administrator will be informed.

Recorded lectures and seminars

All tutor-led teaching sessions will be recorded and will be available to all students on Canvas after each session. This is to support your learning, not to replace your experience. You are still required to attend face-to-face (unless you're on a distance learning course) and record your attendance via the University app.

Attendance

Attendance will be monitored via the usual attendance software so that we can support you if needed. Please continue to register your attendance via the University app.

Meetings and tutorials

Students can choose whether meetings and tutorials are online or face-to-face.

Ventilation of teaching spaces

Good ventilation is a key element of helping to keep us all safe. We have reviewed the ventilation of all spaces on campus and have made adjustments where necessary. The opening of windows is key to ventilation so please do if there are open windows in a room, please keep them open. You may want to bring along an extra layer so you're able to stay comfortable while letting the fresh air in. We are producing more guidance on this and will be releasing this soon.

Group working

While there are no social distancing measures in place, you can work in groups and use equipment collaboratively. Please continue to use hand sanitiser and wash hands regularly.

Placements, field trips and study abroad

Can I still go on my field trip?

If you are going on a UK field trip, subject to the usual health and safety requirements, your field trip should be able to go ahead. Individual cases may vary, please check with your lecturer.

Can I study abroad this year?

Given the changing restrictions and complexities around international travel we have unfortunately decided to pause all international study abroad options for this year (2021/22).

Is my placement going ahead?

Please contact your programme to ensure you have the relevant placement information.

Face coverings

From Monday 6 December the following will apply:

  • Face coverings are required to be worn indoors on campus, unless a medical exemption applies, including:
    • in teaching rooms during in-person teaching sessions (including seminars) -the academic delivering the session is advised to wear a face visor, to restrict their movement (face visors will be available from the Faculty Office)
    • in any University buildings when engaged in non-teaching activities such as Activity Group sessions.
    • in our libraries
    • in face-to-face support sessions
    • in communal areas and when moving around buildings
    • when circulating or in a queue in a food outlet
    • in University vehicles
  • You do not have to wear a face covering when you are:
    • seated to eat or drink
    • taking part in performance activities in our performance teaching spaces
    • taking part in physical activities in the Gym or Sports Hall.
    • undertaking high risk activities in Laboratories (see specific Laboratory guidance for exceptions)
  • All members of staff are required to wear a face covering when moving around University buildings and office spaces. Face coverings are not required to be worn when at desks in offices, as long as all members of staff located in the office are testing at least twice a week.
  • All residents living in Halls are required to wear a face covering when using lifts, stairwells and any communal space outside of their designated house, flat or specific corridor or cluster of study bedrooms which constitutes their Household.
  • Some staff and students will be exempt from wearing a face covering. Proof of exemption is not required and should not be requested.
  • Care and common sense should be applied when the wearing of face coverings hinders communication, for example when communicating with people who rely on reading, facial expressions and clear sound.

Face covering dispensers are located around campus. 

Risk assessments are being updated to take into account these new measures and to continue to ensure appropriate ventilation is in place.

Student support

Wellbeing

Our Student Support and Success team is here to support you with all aspects of your welfare and general wellbeing both on campus and online, including through individual appointments and a huge range of resources. You can see the support available and how to book an appointment on winchester.ac.uk/ask

All teams are offering scheduled appointments, both in person and online. Do reach out if you feel we can support you with your mental wellbeing, academic skills development, or other specialist support. If you are in Winchester you can book an appointment by dropping into the Zone between 10am and 3pm, Monday to Friday, or the team can be contacted by calling 01962 827341. If you know what service you would like an appointment with you can complete our request an appointment form. Appointments can be either online or face-to-face.

We know that many of you are delighted that the country is out of lockdown, but we also know that for some of you this may be causing you some anxiety. As well as support from our Student Support and Success team, don’t forget you can access the Fika Mental Fitness app, free of charge, to support you in developing the 7 skills of Mental Fitness. The app can be downloaded from Google Play, or the App Store. You can also access support via Togetherall, which provides a safe community to support your mental health, 24/7.

Following research and consultation, a new team of Student Support and Success Advisers have been appointed to replace the Faculty Wellbeing and Engagement Tutors.

Financial support

Our Student Support Fund exists to support students who find themselves in unexpected financial hardship. 

Email studentsandmoney@winchester.ac.uk for more information about our Student Support Fund.

Covid Commitment 2021-22

The University has made a Covid Commitment to protect students due to graduate at the end of the 2021/22 academic year. This is to ensure that your final award calculation will not be impacted by Covid-19.(1)

Please click here for full details of the Covid Commitment 2021-22.

(1) The Covid Commitment may not apply to programmes which have PSRB requirements or other external body accreditation or to degree apprenticeships. Programmes with external accreditation will be in touch with students directly.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable students

The previous scheme that allowed the University to consider cases of online teaching only on medical grounds has been replaced and updated to comply with current NHS guidance. If you are clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) click here to see the guidance. There may be particular short-term arrangements for international students who have arrived here from amber or red-list countries, and these students will be advised separately. 

If you are not designated as CEV but have an illness which is impacting your study please speak with your GP and the Student Support and Success team in order to ensure that you receive appropriate support to allow you to engage in standard on-campus studies.

Staff support

Wellbeing

Please be assured that we continue to follow Government guidance and best practice with regards to health and safety on campus. Let us work together to follow guidance and respect the needs and choices of others across the University community.

Employee support offered by the University includes the employee assistance programme, Care first, which is available 24/7 and offers a confidential service of specialist support and information about a range of areas, such as life management, personal support and health.

Nikki Bellerby is our Staff Wellbeing Officer and you can speak to her about any wellbeing issue, contact her at nikki.bellerby@winchester.ac.uk

The significant contribution, commitment and creativity of staff enables us to continually grow and achieve. One of our core values is 'individuals matter' and we are committed to your wellbeing and development. 

We have a range of free benefits, discounts, sources of support, development and wellbeing events available to you, to support you both within and outside of our University. Examples of previous workshops include; Relaxation, Mindfulness and Nutrition,  Supporting Colleagues with Cancer, Coping with the Menopause, Laughing Yoga, Art Workshops, and Resilience. All the activities are advertised on the staff intranet noticeboard. 

Meetings

To minimise gathering of people who do not regularly mix, for the remainder of the calendar year. we are updating our Meetings Policy to the following:

  • Meetings/work events of six people or less can continue face-to-face if all those meeting are testing regularly, and the face coverings policy is being followed (face coverings do not need to be worn when seated in the meeting)
  • Meetings/work events of seven or more should be run via Teams

.

International travel

Please note that the Interim International Business Travel Policy and the Guidance on international travel in a personal capacity have been updated. These detail the conditions under which the University will permit international business travel and the constraints relating to personal international travel in the light of Covid-19.

Clinically Extremely Vulnerable staff

We are operating as business as usual where teaching is face-to-face on campus.  

The University’s requirement is that academic staff will teach on campus.  The same requirement to attend campus applies to professional services staff, subject to the operation of the Hybrid Working Framework. 

The advent of vaccination against COVID has led to the ending of the previous shielding requirements, enabling those staff classified as clinically extremely vulnerable to work from campus as required - putting any mitigations in place as advised. The University is following government guidance and is supporting all staff back to campus. We recognise that some clinically extremely vulnerable colleagues may feel anxious about returning to work on campus. Line managers are expected to have supportive conversations with these colleagues. Advice can be found here Protect vulnerable workers - Working safely during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic (hse.gov.uk) and from HR. Support in the case of any risk assessments that need to be carried out is available from Health & Safety. 

The University will not agree to requests to work solely from home from clinically extremely vulnerable staff on a self-declared basis. Where a member of staff believes they have exceptional medical circumstances that could prevent their return to campus it is their responsibility to raise this with their Dean or Director as soon as possible and no later than Friday, 27 August. This will normally lead to a referral to the University’s Occupational Health Physician for advice.  

Staff are reminded of the strenuous efforts that the University has made to ensure that the campus is a safe working environment. 

Please note that this guidance only relates to employees of the University who are classified as clinically extremely vulnerable. Regrettably the University cannot consider representations relating to the health situation of other members of an employee’s household. 

Travel and International Guidance

International students

As the effects of Covid continue to influence travel plans and the latest guidance on travel, there may be changes to Government guidance which impacts your plansOur advice to all our students is to regularly check the latest UK Government Covid guidance for entering England.

We are strongly encouraging all students to undertake a lateral flow test before travel.

You may need to consider the costs of additional PCR testing, travel and accommodation. The University is not able to fund these additional costs; however, if you are in financial hardship please do make contact with our students and money team (studentsandmoney@winchester.ac.uk) to discuss your personal circumstances.

You are responsible for following the latest advice relevant to you.

Arriving in England from abroad

Please bear in mind that what you must do when you arrive in England from abroad depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive.

We are continuing our enhanced cleaning regime next year, and support all students and staff who wish to continue wearing a mask in communal spaces on campus. We continue to encourage all students and staff to get regularly tested, and we will support both academically and pastorally you if you must self-isolate. We encourage all students and staff to ensure they are vaccinated if possible.

Please continue to check the latest Government information on arriving into EnglandThis information can change at any time and you are responsible for following the latest advice relevant to you. If you have any questions, please contact student.advice@winchester.ac.uk - we will be happy to help.

Campus life

Facilities

All of our campus facilities will be fully open this academic year. Please follow any guidance relevant to individual spaces.

Screens will remain at catering outlets and individuals can request that staff lower face coverings when having a discussion.

The Careers and Opportunities team will continue to offer webinars.

Safety measures

We continue to follow the latest Public Health England and government guidelines. While restrictions have been lifted, many of our safety measures are still in place across our campus, including:

  • Enhanced cleaning systems
  • Widespread hand sanitiser and cleaning stations
  • Face covering guidance

It is really important that all staff and students take all safety measures seriously. In order to protect us all, ignoring or refusing to follow government guidelines and regulations will result in disciplinary action, including potential suspension of studies for students.

We all need to:

  • Follow all government, NHS and University guidance and regulations. All University guidance is subject to change in line with the latest government advice. Visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus for the latest government advice.
  • Get regularly tested, twice a week
  • Wear a face covering when in University buildings in any crowded areas, where ventilation is poor or when moving around buildings. 
  • Wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Remember that socialising and having a fun and safe student experience is still important. Visit the Winchester Student Union events calendar and explore a range of extra-curricular opportunities

Personal space lanyards

Yellow lanyards are available to collect from main reception, West Downs reception and the Faculty offices.

These are to indicate that you would appreciate people respecting your personal space and prefer not to have physical contact.

Winchester Student Union

Events

Do I need proof of a negative test or double vaccination to attend an SU event?

Whilst you do not currently need proof of a negative Covid lateral flow test to attend Student Union events it is the Union’s expectation that you will have complied with the request to test yourself twice weekly. As such the Union may request to see proof of such from time to time. You will also be asked to ‘check in’ at our venues using the NHS Covid-19 app. You must not attend any events if you are displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

In England, plans for mandating Covid vaccine passports to enter nightclubs and large venues is no longer going ahead, but will be kept in reserve in case they are needed this winter. Winchester Student Union events do not require a vaccine passport at this stage.

Further information about Covid-19 and our venues can be found on the Union’s website.

Can I get a refund if I have to self-isolate?

If you test positive and are unable to attend a Student Union event that you have a ticket for, a refund will be issued. Please contact the Student Union via su_comms@winchester.ac.uk in advance of the event.

Sports teams, societies and representation networks

We are delighted to be returning to a normal delivery of all our fantastic activity groups and sports fixtures from September. 

Advice Centre appointments

Appointments are available in person or via MS Teams. Advice and support can also be provided by phone and by email. The Advice Centre offers free, independent and impartial support and guidance on a range of issues that may be impacting upon your overall University experience. Specialising in supporting students through academic processes, the Advice Centre can also provide support on issues covering wellbeing, housing, and money. Visit www.winchesterstudents.co.uk/advice to find out more.

Our Community

Working together to protect Winchester

We are proud to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. We provided campus accommodation this spring and summer to frontline staff who were unable to stay in their own homes and car parking spaces to those working at our neighbouring Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

We also donated acetate sheets to the Hospital which were used to make single-use face guards for HHFT staff. Read more about our support for the NHS here.

We are working closely with our community partners, including Winchester City Council and the Police the city to ensure that we have a coordinated approach to our students and staff following all public safety guidance, including social distancing.

We are in regular communication with our students and have outlined that ignoring or refusing to follow government guidelines and regulations will result in disciplinary action, including potential suspension from studies.

Public events are continuing to happen online and we would love for members of the community to attend.  Please keep an eye on the events page of our website for the latest events listings.

 

Get in touch

Contact information

If you can't find the information you are looking for, or you would like some more clarity, you can contact us in the following ways:

  • Call our Reception team on 01962 841515
  • Email ask@winchester.ac.uk
  • Contact your Faculty if you are a student or a member of staff
  • Reply to the weekly University Roundup email if you are a student or a member of staff