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The University of Southampton

Working on Campus

COVID-19 roadmap

The University is following the government roadmap and guidance to open up the campus to more students and staff as the year 2021 progresses.  
Changes in local case transmission and other risk factors will impact some control measures such as social distancing and the use of face coverings, but these changes will be reflected in the guidance. 
Please access the Healthy & Safety during COVID-19 SharePoint site for detailed guidance documents.

Returning to work on campus

The Health & Safety during COVID-19 SharePoint site houses key documents and guidance, and is updated regularly. All staff, whether currently working on campus or looking to return, should bookmark the page and check it regularly.   

Staff looking to return to work on campus for the first time since the pandemic began should contact their Line Manager in the first instance. Specific information is available for managers in relation to agreeing any potential return to campus.  
At University level, a COVID-19 Return to Work Guidance Induction eLearning module has been created, which staff must complete. In addition, there is likely to be a local induction process for an area’s respective staff. Please discuss local processes with your Line Manager.  
The risk minimisation framework introduced in 2020 is relevant for those continuing to work on campus, and for those returning for the first time since the pandemic began, although most measures will already be in place.

Staff working at home

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our priority. We will continue to support staff working from home during this time.

Current measures:

  • You should continue to speak to your manager if you need to access your office for any reason (e.g. to pick up equipment to assist you with working from home).
  • While some parts of the University have reopened (where they are deemed business critical and it is safe to do so), most offices have restricted access and staff should continue to work from home, where possible.
  • Health and safety homeworking guidelines should be followed during any period of working from home
  • Usual staff-related activities (e.g. management, appraisals, recruitment etc.) should be continued, as far as possible, in line with our strategy and current guidelines

Staff HR guidance

Holding COVID-secure meetings

Please note that each of our buildings will require different processes/provisions to be taken. Staff should familiarise themselves with the risk assessment for each respective building that they are looking to enter.

Detailed guidance on holding COVID-secure meetings

Information on COVID-secure buildings

Detailed guidance on COVID-secure buildings, including examples of specific signage and equipment now in place, is available.

Information on COVID-secure buildings

Our commitments during COVID-19

We expect everyone in our community to:​

  •  Behave responsibly, and treat fellow students and staff with dignity and respect​
  • Abide by all University and public COVID-19 guidance – which may change at short notice​
  • Self-isolate if showing symptoms or if asked to due to contact with someone infected​
  • Practice physical distancing​ (currently 1m+)
  • Wear face coverings
  • Follow directional signage​
  • Regularly wash hands and use hand sanitiser​. Please note: hand sanitiser should not be used as a replacement for washing your hands, but instead used when you cannot immediately wash your hands.
  • Wipe down surfaces after use

Current measures:

We each have a social responsibility to care for one another in our community, which includes making sure we keep our work areas clean, practise physical distancing, wash our hands regularly and wear face coverings (unless you are exempt).

It also includes demonstrating trust and respect for your colleagues, our students and wider community.

Suitable face coverings should be worn at all times when you are indoors and at all other times where applicable (student guide to Coronavirus on campus) with some exceptions:

  • If you are alone in a private office
  • If you are exempt

If a colleague or student is exempt from face covering requirements, they may choose to apply for hidden-disability lanyards which will be available from the University or to print off an exemption card from the Public Health England website.

Associate Deans of Faculty will be in charge of allocating face coverings for staff members. We have a variety of reusable, disposable, and transparent face coverings as well as visors. These will be allocated according to need (e.g. transparent face coverings for those who work with or teach individuals with hearing impairments).

Testing our students and staff

We are testing our students and staff, in order to keep the infection risk low in Southampton and give confidence to colleagues, our students and our local communities.

Current measures:

  • Students and eligible staff are strongly encouraged to take a saliva test, with prompts sent via text message
  • Students can opt in to take part on the Southampton City Council site or by following the link in their invitation email
  • Staff who have not yet registered, can check their eligibility on the COVID-19 staff testing page

Delivering teaching excellence safely

We will support you in delivering excellent quality teaching to your students, either remotely or on our campuses. Please note; we're currently in an assessment period.

While teaching is paused, we will be carefully reviewing government guidance as it emerges and updating this section accordingly.

Support for students

If one of your students needs support, please direct them to the Student Support Hub. This is the first point of contact for students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Students can access the Student Support Hub 24/7 via telephone: +44 (0)238 059 95 99 or by emailing:

Between 10:00 and 16:00 Monday-Friday, students can also use online chat. 

Catering arrangements on Highfield campus

Please visit the Catering webpage for more information.

A free app is now available offering order ahead services at University catering venues, as well as a loyalty scheme. You can download the free Upay app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or visit UPAY. Enter Site Affiliate ID: UOS to set up your account.

Payment methods

To help limit contact with surfaces, the University is no longer accepting cash as a form of payment. Payments across all our campuses can be made using a variety of methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless as well as the worldwide capabilities of both Visa and Mastercard. All students have been informed of this change.

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