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Covid-19 update – 18 March 2021

An update on student travel over the Easter vacation, which staff should be returning to campus, the importance of Covid-19 testing, and vaccination bookings.

Easter vacation

According to the latest Government guidance, students already back at their term-time address are permitted to travel home to their permanent address during the Easter vacation. As the Government is still trying to reduce travel where possible, students should only do so if it is necessary.

Any students wishing to travel during Easter should get tested at our on-site Asymptomatic Testing facilities before they leave. They should then be tested at a community facility, if possible, before they make their return journey to campus. Any students that test positive should self-isolate for 10 days and not travel until after their isolation period has been completed.

Working on campus

In line with the Government’s current guidance, all staff should continue to work from home unless they are deemed Business Critical or Essential workers. This means that staff must only return to work on campus when they have received a formal letter from HR advising they can do so. All staff returning to campus will have a Risk Assessment and Concern conversation with their line manager in advance of their first day.

The Government intends to complete a review of social distancing and how other safety measures have helped to halt transmission of Covid-19. This review will inform guidance for staff returning to the workplace, which is planned to take place at Step 4 of the Government’s roadmap. For now, all staff should continue to work from home where possible and should discuss with their line manager any support required to do so effectively.

Covid-19 testing

We have launched a new campaign to encourage staff and students to get tested for Covid-19. From this week, anyone being tested at the Canterbury Asymptomatic Testing Site will receive a loyalty card allowing them to claim a free coffee after their second test and free lunch after their eighth test. We are currently looking at how we can provide an incentive to staff and students being tested at the Medway facility.

All students and staff accessing campus facilities should be tested twice every week. Staff may get tested during their working hours.

Regular testing is such an important step to help us keep Covid cases low among our community and ensure we can get back to the life at Kent we all miss.

Covid vaccinations

For any staff invited for their Covid-19 vaccination, we would strongly advise you to take up the opportunity if you are able.

It is important to attend your vaccination appointment at the earliest possible opportunity. If it is not possible to book your appointment outside of working hours or doing so would significantly delay you receiving the vaccine, you can request time off at full pay. Please speak with your line manager for further information.

A new FAQ concerning staff Covid-19 vaccinations has been added to the Staff Coronavirus website.

Professor Richard Reece | Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Chair of Covid-19 Silver Command