Oxford University plans to safely return students during the spring semester.
In line with government directives, most teaching will be conducted in person at the university with a range of measures in place to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Safety measures including students being tested for COVID-19 before and after returning to Oxford, increased use of face coverings, and regular testing throughout the semester.
It is expected that employees who are able to work from home will continue to do so wherever possible. However, some staff members are expected to work on site to support personal teaching, research, and the University’s broader operations.
All faculty and students were required to wear face coverings when moving around university buildings, and face coverings are now mandatory in university teaching and assessment settings, as well as in libraries and departmental study spaces.
Students are strongly encouraged to take the LFD before returning to Oxford, on the day of their arrival, and again three days later. The University will continue to encourage all staff and students to participate in regular examinations throughout the semester, and the Early Alert Service PCR testing facility will remain open.
Professor Martin Williams, Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Oxford said: “We are delighted to be able to welcome students back to Oxford, to safely resume their courses. Our additional health measures will help limit the spread of COVID-19. We continue to monitor the situation carefully and will respond accordingly. as appropriate for local and national guidelines and guidance, as well as advice from our clinical academics.”
Chancellor Susan Brown, President of Oxford City Council, said: “With COVID rates both locally and nationally at so high levels, this is a worrying time for students and residents alike at Oxford. We are pleased that the University of Oxford continues to take important steps to reduce risks to everyone in the city through its rigorous approach. On testing and the strong uptake of the vaccine among students. We particularly welcome the fact that all students are getting tested before returning to Oxford. We will continue to work closely with the university as well as our local NHS and social care partners to do everything we can to keep people safe.”
Ansaf Azhar, director of public health for Oxfordshire County Council, said: “We know that the University of Oxford has put in place procedures and practices to handle the safe return of students and that the students themselves are in good habits and routines in terms of testing. We have every confidence in the preparations that have been made and we will act as is. Always with the university in any way possible in the coming days and weeks.”