Safe Campus Community
Since March 2020 we introduced some measures on campus to keep those on campus safe and secure.
Find out about the protective measures currently in place and the commitments we share as we continue to look after ourselves and each other.
As we prepare to welcome back students and staff for a fuller return to campus for the 21/22 academic year, these will be regularly updated to reflect emerging public health guidance.
Our individual and collective commitment, consideration and vigilance can make all the difference as we work together to stay safe.
Please talk to your line manager, or Director, People and Culture or our Trade Unions and USSU with any further questions or concerns that you may have.
We all have a responsibility to one another and must play our part to keep our entire Ulster community safe, as together we keep working and keep learning.
Working together to keep you safe on campus
The health and wellbeing of our staff, students, families and the wider community is our top priority. As we welcome you back to campus, things may look a little different.
With robust risk assessments in place, we’ve introduced measures to support the safe, phased return to campus so that you can enjoy a safe and comfortable place to work and study.
We each have a personal responsibility, to ourselves and those around us. We need your support and participation, as we look after each other during this transition.
If you are worried that you have symptoms of COVID-19, please inform your manager or course director straight away by phone or email and follow public health guidance.
Arriving & Moving Around Campus
We have put in place directional signage, introduced one-way systems and implemented a one-person limit in all lifts.
We ask you to allow one parking bay between cars, where possible, and to follow the signage on arrival, departure and as you move around campus.
We will supply face coverings for all staff and studentsand additional face shields for lecturers and other staff,where required. We ask all staff, students and visitorsto wear a face covering on campus, to protect others.
We ask you to be respectful and kind to others,since wearing a face covering may be difficult for some people and the reasons for not wearing aface covering may not always be visible.
We are overseeing the capacity on campus to enable social distancing. Where queues form, you will find distancing markers to guide you.
We ask for your support in following our social distancing guidelines throughout the campus.
This means remaining 2 metres apart where possible.
Teaching, Research, Study & Office Spaces
We are taking steps to prepare specialist teaching areas such as labs and studios, research facilities, adjusting office workstation layouts and ensuring fresh air flow where possible. We are opening our libraries for study spaces and offering a reserve and collect service.
We ask staff to practice a safe, clear desk policy when on campus. We ask our library users to ensure opportunities for others, and be considerate in this shared study space.
Cleaning & Hand Hygiene
We have enhanced cleaning in areas of high traffic and touch points, using a highly protective and persistent decontamination system in all areas. You will find hand sanitiser stations at the entrance to campus buildings, as well as soap and water in all usual locations.
We ask you to use the hand sanitisation stations as you enter campus, to continue to wash or sanitise your hands well and often, and to avoid touching your face with your hands. If you sneeze or cough please catch it, bin it, kill it.
Facilities & Services
We are operating our sports facilities within public health guidelines, and some catering outlets are open, offering reduced menus – all with additional cleaning in place.
We ask you to comply with the “knock and call” protocol for use of multi-occupancy toilet facilities, to ensure access for only one person at a time. We ask you to be considerate of fellow staff and students when taking part in team or individual sports and fitness activities.
Stay Safe: Save Lives
The health and wellbeing of our staff, students, families and the wider community is our top priority.
To protect others and to support a safe University community for all, face coverings and 2m social distancing are required at all times in all campus buildings.
We respect that in exceptional circumstances the wearing of face coverings will not be possible for some.
Working together we can keep our campuses safe.
We will supply reusable face coverings for all staff and students, and strongly encourage you to use these face coverings as they are made to a high standard.
You may of course wish to wear your own. Disposable masks are also available if required.
For those staff or students wearing disposable face coverings, please ensure that used items are placed in the internal and external bins on campus.
About face coverings provided by Ulster
- A 3-layer face covering with polypropylene filter and comfortable cotton liner (OKEO-TEX)
- Face coverings combined with other preventative measures, such as frequent hand-washing and social distancing, help slow the spread of Covid-19 virus
- The face covering is washable at a minimum of 40C
- Do Not Iron - mid-layer polypropylene fabric
The right way to wear a face covering
- The top edge sits on the bridge of your nose
- The bottom edge sites under your chin
- It's snug, no gaps between the covering and your face
- Wash your hands before and after you take it off
Face covering mistakes
- It doesn't cover your chin
- It sits below your nose
- It covers only the tip of your nose
- It's too loose
- You keep touching it
- You keep taking if off and on
Those unable to wear face coverings
We recognise that there are circumstances that may make it difficult for people to wear face coverings. In these cases, there are acceptable reasons for not wearing a face covering, including for medical considerations or those with hearing loss who rely on lip-reading to communicate with others.
We ask our University community to be respectful of others, and mindful that the reasons for not wearing a face covering may not always be apparent or visible.
Face shields will be supplied to be worn in customer facing roles including by lecturing and teaching staff when presenting and by staff during practical classes, in conjunction with a face covering. These additional measures will be kept under review and the University will be responsive to circumstances, with appropriate safety and wellbeing measures in place at all times.
We each have a personal responsibility, to ourselves and those around us in our University community. We need your support and participation in the wearing of face coverings, as we look after each other during this transition.
Symptoms and self-isolation
Covid-19 Steps to take
Get COVID-19 advice and guidance for Northern Ireland from PHA NI
Be alert for the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):
- a high temperature: this means a person feels hot to touch on the chest or back (there is no need to measure their temperature) or
- a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) or
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste: this means they have noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If you develop COVID19 Symptoms on campus
- Inform your Course Director without delay and arrange to leave for home straight away.
- Avoid touching anything unnecessarily.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or cough/sneeze into your arm.
- Put on a face covering if not already wearing one.
- Try to maintain a minimum of 2m social distance from others as you leave the campus.
When to self-isolate
You must stay at home and self-isolate when any of the following criteria are met:
- You have any symptoms of coronavirus
- You have tested positive for coronavirus
- You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
- Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
- You have been told by Public Health Agency NI Test and Trace (either by phone or StopCOVIDNI App) that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19.
- If you have tested positive previously and are identified as a Close Contact on a further occasion, you must self-isolate again for 10-days from last contact with the Positive Case
- If you are identified as a close contact and test negative you must still complete the 10 day isolation period. Only request a test if you have symptoms.
Who to inform if you need to self-isolate
Please complete the online COVID-19 Notification Form and inform your Course Director if you meet any of these criteria and are therefore self-isolating.
If you are in University Accomodation within a cluster apartment or in private rented accommodation off-campus, you and those you are living with are considered as an individual household, or bubble.
You won’t need to socially distance from others within this household but once you have established this social bubble, you can’t change who is in it. If anyone in the household develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID19, everyone living there needs to self-isolate.
If you are moving into University residences, comprehensive guidance is available at the Residents Life webpage.
We’ve introduced protective measures and requirements in our student accommodation so that our residents are safe and comfortable in their student home from home.
What to do if you test positive for COVID19
Please inform your Course Director and complete online the COVID-19 Notification Form
You will need to complete the close contact section in relation to any recent attendance on campus and to collate University close contacts only. Confirmed close contacts within the University community will be contacted by the Employee Wellbeing or Student Wellbeing team and advised to self-isolate.
On confirmation of a positive diagnosis the University will liaise directly with the Public Health Agency and forward all collated information on close contacts within the Ulster University staff or student community.
Contact tracing undertaken by the PHA is vital in helping to prevent further spread of the infection. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to completing the University’s notification form including your University close contacts ( UU staff and fellow students), you can now share your wider community contacts quickly and easily online by using the PHA Digital Service
What is a Close Contact
Within the 48 hours preceding the start of self-isolation, a Close Contact is:
- a person who has been within 2 metres of you for more than 15 minutes either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day
- a person who has travelled in a vehicle with you
- a person who has had face-to-face contact with you:
- being coughed on
- having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
- having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
- contact within one metre for one minute or longer
What is not considered Close Contact
- Keeping more than 2 metres away or short indirect contact such as passing in corridors.
- Being within 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes but with effective mitigations in place such as separated by a screen/partition or using PPE.
Guidance if you are returning to your studies after travelling
Take care to follow the travel guidance if you are entering or returning to the UK following travel.
The regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 10 days if you return to Northern Ireland from a country outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) unless you are travelling from, or transiting through, a low to medium risk country that is exempt.
You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland if you're returning from certain countries.
The exemption details are continually reviewed in line with public health guidance.
If you’ve been abroad and you're required to self-isolate on your return from travel, you should:
- head straight home or to your accommodation which is the address you provided on the contact form.
- self-isolate in one place for the full 10 days
- not come onto campus for study
- not go into public areas
- not go shopping – ask friends or family for support, or use online delivery
- only use public transport if you've no other option and be sure to follow all guidance for public transport
We have put in place self-isolation 10-day packages for students joining us from overseas or who are returning from travel.
How we will support your learning if you are affected by COVID19
We will support you to continue to learn and progress in your programme if COVID affects your studies.
Students who are self-isolating will be able to access course materials and participate in class activities remotely.
All our support and wellbeing services are fully accessible online, and our Student Wellbeing team is on hand to provide additional support to deal with self-isolation, wherever you live – on campus, off campus or at your family home.
What to do if are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session because of COVID19
If you are unable to attend a scheduled class on campus because of local restrictions where you live, or because you are symptomatic or have been advised by the PHA that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19, here’s what to do:
Let your Course Director know straight away by e-mail, telling us:
- the nature and timing of self-isolation/restrictions
- the date and time of the campus-based teaching session(s), the associated module/course and module coordinator.
- any pending campus-based assessment deadlines that may not be achievable. If you have to miss this campus-based assessment deadline then please complete and submit an EC1 form
What to do if you are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session that includes an assessment, because of COVID19
After sharing details with your Course Director, you will be asked to complete an EC1 form for extenuating circumstances.
Your Course team will aim to provide you with another on-campus session later in the semester. It is possible that an alternative date may have to be offered in semester 2 or 3.
In this case, you will simply defer the assessment in semester 1 and progress into the next semester(s) carrying the assessment deferral.
Download the StopCOVID NI App
Developed by the Department of Health, the Northern Ireland STOPCOVID NI app helps to speed up the process to identify people at risk of catching the virus and slow down its spread. Using the app along with existing public health measures will help the public to stay safe when they meet up, socialise, work or travel.