Update from UCL on the UK Government’s plans to ease lockdown restrictions

An update from UCL following the UK Government’s four-step roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England, including guidance for universities.

On Monday, the UK Government announced a four-step roadmap to ease lockdown restrictions in England, including guidance for universities.

Under this plan, from 8 March 2021 UCL can resume in-person teaching for students on practical or practice-based courses (including creative arts) and who require specialist equipment.

Departments are now working to confirm which programmes can restart face-to-face teaching. This will be introduced in phases, as the Government is seeking to avoid large numbers of students travelling at the same time to minimise the spread of infection. Students whose courses can be delivered online will not be asked to return to campus at this stage.

If you are currently studying remotely, you should remain where you are and not return to UCL until face-to-face teaching resumes for your programme. If your programme requires some in-person attendance, your department will contact you with details.

Some students are already on campus because they are studying one of the Government’s exempt courses. Other students have returned because personal circumstances mean that they need to study here at UCL, and Postgraduate Research students who require specialist facilities can also continue their work onsite.

If you are currently in London, you must get tested for COVID-19 twice a week. You can find more information about keeping safe on campus on the UCL website.

UCL will continue to follow the Government’s guidance as it develops for all students and when you will be able to return to campus, including our webpages for international students.

The number of COVID-19 cases remains high and wherever you are studying, it is important that you continue to protect your community and follow the safety measures in place in your area. In the UK, this includes washing your hands frequently, wearing a face covering around others and staying at least 2 metres apart. For now, it remains against the law to meet socially with family or friends unless they are part of your household or social bubble.

The Government is being cautious and there will be at least five weeks between each step of the roadmap, with progress being kept under careful review. However, this announcement is a sign of hope for the future and the beginning of a return to a more normal way of life this summer. Together with news of the speed and success of the vaccine rollout so far across the UK, there is much to be optimistic about.

Thank you for your patience as we respond to these fast-moving developments. If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about how the pandemic is affecting you, please contact UCL’s Student Support & Wellbeing Team.


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