Route out of lockdown update – important information for students
We last updated you about your return to campus, following the government’s announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, in February.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed outdoor hospitality and non-essential retail can re-open from Monday 12 April 2021, after the government’s four tests to move to the next stage of the roadmap to unlock have been met.
This communication contains further details of the latest information, and how it applies to you.
STUDENTS WHOSE COURSES HAVE ALREADY RESUMED ON-CAMPUS DELIVERY
The latest government announcement will not affect the delivery of courses that have already resumed some on-campus, face-to-face teaching and learning during January and March 2021. Delivery will continue as scheduled, and you should continue to get tested regularly using our LRV Swabbing Centre or lateral flow rapid test provisions in your area.
STUDENTS WHOSE COURSES HAVE NOT YET RESUMED ON-CAMPUS DELIVERY
Unfortunately, yesterday’s announcement from the Prime Minister did not include any details on the return of students who have yet to resume studies on campus.
With a route out of lockdown mapped by our government and the vaccination rollout continuing, Staffordshire University wishes to see all our students return to campus as soon as is allowed and is feasible. As soon as the government provides more clarity on this matter, we will communicate a further update to you to explain the next steps. In the meantime, the sector is in active discussions with the Government to progress this.
NEW AND RETURNING STUDENTS TRAVELLING FROM OVERSEAS
The UK Government has advised international students whose courses are not yet due to resume on-campus teaching and learning, to avoid travelling to campus until a decision has been made on the return date of their subjects.
Further information about international travel is available on the MyStaffsUni app.
NEW AND RETURNING STUDENTS STUDYING WITH PARTNER INSTITUTIONS
The information included in this update relates specifically to the latest guidance issued by the UK Government, as applied at Staffordshire University. If you are studying with one of our Collaborative Academic Partners, you should seek guidance about local arrangements from your partner organisation.
CHANGES TO UNIVERSITY FACILITIES FROM 12 APRIL
Non-essential retail, gyms and spas can reopen from Monday 12 April 2021 in England, with restaurants allowed to serve outdoors. This includes our on campus facilities as follows:
Reopening night at The Verve
On Monday 12 April 2021, the Students’ Union will be hosting an outdoor reopening night at The Verve on the Stoke-on-Trent campus. Full details on how to book your table can be found on their website. This event is reserved for Union Team Members but students can book from Tuesday 13th onwards.
From Monday 12 April 2021, the Students’ Union will be running "Great Outdoor" evening events each week on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 7pm to 11pm at Verve. Tables of six will be available to pre-book online. All orders placed must be made through an order to table app and food. Prebooking's for tables will soon be made available via the following website: https://www.staffsunion.com/venues/verve/
Leek Road Shop
The Students’ Union Shop on Leek Road remains open seven days a week however from Monday 12 April 2021, will change opening hours to 8.30am to 4pm (Monday to Friday) and from 12pm to 4pm (Weekends)
Ember Lounge and College Road Shop
The Ember Lounge and Students’ Union Shop on College Road will both remain closed until further notice.
The Squeeze Box will reopen on Monday 12 April 2021 from 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday.
Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, Stoke-on-Trent campus
From 12 April, the Sir Stanley Matthews Sports Centre will be open from 7.00am to 7.00pm Monday to Friday and from 10.00am to 4.00pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Leek Road Site:
Brindley Food Court, Café Cadman and The Coffee Lab remain open. All venues are currently operating with outdoor seating only. There will be some additional seating outside of Brindley Food Court. If you wish to use our outdoor seating spaces, you will be required to complete the NHS Track and Trace App in line with current UK Government guidelines.
We will be offering a cook to order delivery offer that can be ordered through mobo2go from 7.00pm -9.00pm on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday evenings depending on weather. This will run in conjunction with the Students’ Union ‘Great Outdoors’ offer outside Verve and will run for a period of nine weeks.
Centre of Excellence for Healthcare Education Stafford:
Dudley’s remains open for takeaway only from 8am to 3pm and is accessible via our brand new entrance doors situated facing the main road on Blackheath Lane. You can place orders for food and beverages from Dudley’s via our Click and Collect Service.
From Monday 12 April 2021 the Thompson Library on our College Road site in Stoke-on-Trent will be resuming its 24/7 opening hours.
Please remember that current rules regarding social distancing, face coverings and Staffordshire University student and staff entry remain in place within our Libraries.
For more information please visit MyStaffsUni and the Library website.
Staffordshire University students can access mental wellbeing and counselling support via one combined Student Wellbeing service.
Student Support and Wellbeing services continue to be open Monday to Friday and the service is delivered via a blend of virtual and face-to-face.
For more information on the range of support available, please visit: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/student-life/student-support
IMPORTANT: YOU MUST GET TESTED FOR COVID-19 AND REPORT IT TO US
Wherever possible, you should take a lateral flow rapid test in your locality before returning to your term-time address or our campuses. This will ensure that you are safe to travel and help to minimise the risk of unknowingly infecting other students on campus. If you are unable to access local testing facilities, please take a test as soon as you arrive on campus before using any University facilities or attending face-to-face sessions. To book a lateral flow rapid test at our LRV Swabbing Centre on our Stoke-on-Trent campus, please follow the instructions below:
Students returning to our Stafford or Shrewsbury campuses should take advantage of the local lateral flow testing facilities now operating in their areas. You can use the following sites to find your nearest swabbing centres in Stafford and Shrewsbury. Alternatively, if you would prefer to travel to our Stoke-on-Trent campus, you can book a slot at our LRV Swabbing Centre.
Separate arrangements will be communicated to students based at our London campus.
Lateral flow rapid testing is only available to individuals who do not display COVID-19 symptoms. Anyone with symptoms should book a PCR test via the NHS portal and, if positive, should not leave their current locality until their period of self-isolation is complete.
TEST REPORTING IS ESSENTIAL
Once tested, it is vitally important that you report your status to the University before attending any on-campus sessions, by completing our very short confidential survey.
We require all students to get tested regularly – twice weekly - to help maintain our COVID-secure campuses and to protect each other. By doing so, we can ensure that we do not hold up the return of other students to in-person, face-to-face teaching.
We are aware the government has announced the roll out of home testing lateral flow kits, which we will also encourage students to undertake. As soon as more details are made available by the government we will communicate further on this matter.
FACE COVERINGS ON CAMPUS
It is vitally important that we all work together to keep our campuses COVID-secure. We require all staff and students involved in face-to-face teaching and learning sessions to wear a face covering.
Face coverings must be worn inside all University buildings (including moving through buildings), and during face-to-face learning on campus. Face coverings are also required whilst moving through all University buildings and when undertaking individual study in University libraries.
Students living in University-managed accommodation must wear face coverings when moving through communal areas such as stairwells. However, students do not need to wear face coverings when inside their individual flats or rooms.
Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings, and we expect staff and students to be sensitive to those needs. Supporting a safe and inclusive Staffs experience, Staffordshire University and Staffordshire University Students’ Union support the Sunflower Lanyard scheme.
Further guidance on face coverings can be found on our website.
Staffordshire University’s dedicated COVID-19 Support and Response Team is committed to supporting all students who are required to self-isolate. If you test positive or are required to self-isolate, you must report this to the University by following the steps outlined on our coronavirus webpages.
If you require additional advice or support, please contact our team by writing to email@example.com.
Further details of the support available to Staffordshire University students is available here.
We appreciate that some of you may have additional questions regarding how the latest government update will affect your studies, and we will continue to work with the Students’ Union to provide answers as further details emerge.
For the latest information concerning our University’s response to the pandemic, please continue to check the MyStaffsUni app.
Finally, and most importantly, we’d like to thank you for your continued support and cooperation – we very much look forward to seeing all our students back on campus in the very near future.
Chief Operating Officer