Safety at Herts: what we need from staff and students

We all have a shared responsibility to protect ourselves and others.

What to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19

Students who develop COVID-19 symptoms or test positive, must not attend the University. If you are already on campus, please return to your accommodation. If you are a commuting student, please return home. You then must notify our Dean of Students team by emailing Deanofstudents@herts.ac.uk. You can also call 01707 284451/50 or 01707 281010 out of hours.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and any other members of your household must self-isolate, while you obtain a test with the NHS.

If you test positive for COVID-19 you must follow the advice given by the NHS Test and Trace Service or the Dean of Students Office at the University. Current guidance is that if you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate for 10 days and your entire household group must self-isolate for 14 days. Read more about what to do on here.

Members of staff at the University must notify their line manager and should not come into their place of work.

Wear face coverings 

Wearing a face covering has become part of our daily lives, in shops and on public transport, and this will be the same when you come to Herts this year. We will provide every student and member of staff with a reusable and washable face covering.

Students and staff will be required to wear face coverings when in a room for 15 minutes or longer, where it is not possible to maintain a distance of two metres. This will include lecture rooms, seminar/tutorial/lab rooms and any other enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible. Face coverings should be worn as a precautionary measure by students, staff and visitors where social distancing is difficult to maintain, such as in corridors and communal areas.

Our lecturers can also wear face coverings or face shields in teaching spaces, and you will see members of staff at receptions, in our catering outlets and other key areas across the University doing the same.

If you think you cannot wear a face covering, please read our FAQs about exemptions.

Follow social distancing guidance

We expect everyone to keep up to date with the latest Government guidance, adhere to social distancing, and follow on-campus signage and navigation routes. Please keep a two-metre distance where possible and wear a face covering when in a room for 15 minutes or more, where it is not possible to socially distance.

Practice frequent hand washing and good hygiene

You should wash your hands often, with soap and hot water before drying thoroughly. Hand sanitisers are available on campus and these should be used when you enter buildings or where you have had contact with surfaces.

Shared Commitments to Learning and Teaching

As a campus-based University, our emphasis is on face-to-face teaching and this will continue, while ensuring we are following national safety guidelines to provide a COVID-19 secure environment. Where required, we will also be using technologies to deliver rich and high-quality teaching through guided-learning, live interactive sessions or pre-recorded content to give the best possible student experience. Our goal is to provide you with our unique on-campus community experience which puts your health and wellbeing first. To do so, we are introducing some additional safety measures to your face-to-face learning experience. Timetabled sessions will still start promptly on the hour, so you will need to arrive five minutes before to make sure you are there on time, and you will need to leave the teaching spaces by ten to the hour. This will allow time for a smooth changeover between classes and prevent crowding outside of the rooms. It will also allow time for cleaning to take place.

All staff and students have a personal responsibility to follow our recommended cleaning practices, observe social distancing requirements and adhere to instructions displayed on safety signage around the campus. More information is available here.

Your visitors to the University’s non-residential areas

We ask that you keep visitors to the University’s non-residential areas to the minimum necessary and ensure all visitors are registered. You may gather in groups of up to six people from different households outdoors in the University grounds, green spaces and community gardens, but your group must maintain a distance of at least two-meters from other groups or individuals. In indoor communal areas, including the LRC’s and Chapman Lounge, please look out for and observe local social distancing instructions. Face-to-face meetings with visitors in non-communal areas should only take place where absolutely necessary and must be held in line with the University’s risk assessments for the venue.

Your visitors to or from households in accommodation areas

On campus rules

If you live in halls of residence you will form a household bubble with your new housemates. You will not need to practise social distancing with those in your household bubble, but we do ask you to be mindful in the first 14 days after moving in.

We currently have a no guest policy in place, but this will be reviewed over time.

‘Social bubbles’ in University accommodation

You will have heard of 'social bubbles’, which allow a single person household to connect with a second household – enabling closer contact between individuals without social distancing. In the interests of safety and fairness to all members of a shared household, people living in University accommodation will not normally be allowed to operate social bubbles in this way.

Visitors to on-campus accommodation with social distancing

Households may, however, host a visit from one other household at any one time provided social distancing is maintained and the total number of people does not exceed six. Please work as a household to minimise the number of visitors to your accommodation areas. It is important to avoid having visitors from multiple households visit your own household at the same time; consider using group-chats to coordinate visits – especially for larger households. Where practical, please meet people outdoors – this is safer as the fresh air provides better ventilation.

Visitors to off-campus accommodation with social distancing

If you live in off-campus private accommodation, please follow the same guidance as on-campus visits with social distancing. You will also be responsible for retaining a list of your visitors for 21 days in case this is needed for Test and Trace purposes.