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COVID-19 Update: Updated Safety and Wellbeing Measures – 17th September 2021

With the return to campus well underway for the new academic year, and a majority of Covid restrictions having been lifted across England, Scotland and Wales, Unite Students has adapted its approach to Covid for the year ahead.

The safety and wellbeing of students who live with us is our highest priority, and fundamental to their success at university. Over the past 18 months, we have put in place a comprehensive set of measures to combat the spread of Covid-19 and keep students and our employees safe. We’ve also shared details of these with our university partners to ensure they remain informed about how we are responding to the pandemic.

As we enter the 2021/22 academic year, restrictions have largely been lifted across the UK, and many students have been vaccinated against the virus. However, we have reviewed all the government guidance currently in place, and believe it is best practice to continue to operate with the majority of measures still in place for this academic year.

This includes:

  • Ensuring a safe arrival by asking students to book a check-in appointment via the MyUnite app, to manage the flow of students;
  • Keeping protective screens at our reception desks;
  • Encouraging our teams and residents to continue to wear masks in public areas of the buildings and maintain social-distancing whilst moving around the building; and
  • Maintaining the ‘Clean+’ specification for our cleaning procedures, including the regular use of fogging machines in public areas of our buildings.

We are asking students to undertake a lateral flow test prior to arrival in our properties and encouraged regular testing throughout their stay. Additionally, we have encouraged them to – where possible – get two vaccinations ahead of move-in, as well as signposting them to where they can do this. However, we are not asking for proof of this ahead of their arrival.

Once again, we are asking students to notify us using the MyUnite app if they are asked to self-isolate.. Students are provided with a self-isolation guide as part of their welcome comms, and the latest guidance for self-isolation is also available here on our student-facing website, The Common Room.

Students from amber-listed countries are required to self-isolate on arrival and have been offered three weeks’ free stay prior to the start of their core tenancy if they wish to arrive early to do so. Once they’ve moved in, all students who are required to self-isolate will do so in the room in which they have booked and, where a student tests positive in a shared flat, we will notify the rest of the flat and advise them of the guidance around their requirement to self-isolate if they aren’t fully vaccinated.

While many of our measures remain in place, we will look to ensure as normal an experience as is safely possible within our properties. For example, our common and study spaces will remain open unless a localised outbreak of Covid-19 means we need to close them.

Whatever the situation over the course of the current academic year, we will continue to review all measures in accordance with the latest government guidance and keep our university partners informed of any major adjustments to our Covid response.