COVID-19 update: Our response to government announcement on Monday

Gradient design blue to purple, with student image overlaid. Text in white: Our response to government announcement on Monday. Logo UoR

The Prime Minister announced yesterday that the government intend for most COVID-19 restrictions in England to be lifted from Monday 19 July. A final decision about whether Step 4 of the roadmap will go ahead as planned will be announced on Monday 12 July.

National restrictions

The government are planning for the following from Monday 19 July:

  • All remaining limits on social contact (currently 6 people or 2 households indoors, or 30 people outdoors) will be removed and there will be no more additional COVID-19 legal restrictions on how many people can meet in any setting, indoors or outdoors.
  • The legal requirements to wear a face covering will be lifted in all settings. To help reduce the spread of COVID-19, published guidance will advise that wearing a face covering will reduce your risk and the risk to others, where you come into contact with people you don’t normally meet in enclosed and crowded spaces.
  • Social distancing rules (2 metres or 1 metre with additional mitigations) will be lifted. The government advise that you should continue to consider the risks of close contact with others, particularly if you are clinically extremely vulnerable or not yet fully vaccinated.
  • It is no longer necessary for the government to instruct people to work from home. Employers can start to plan a return to workplaces.

A full summary of the proposed changes is published on the government website.

The government will confirm whether these changes will come into effect from 19 July next Monday 12 July. We will keep you updated when we know more.

Restrictions on campus

We have always said that protecting the safety of our community is our top priority and, at times, we have implemented additional control measures beyond those required or recommended by the government.

As such, we are currently undertaking a review of our current control measures this week following the announcement yesterday. In making these decisions, we are mindful that case numbers in Reading remain high, as well as the fact that many of our students have not yet received their first dose of the vaccine.

This means that social distancing and wearing face coverings may still be a requirement in some parts of campus. We will provide an update next week, ahead of the planned government changes from 19 July, to confirm what health and safety arrangements will continue to be in place on campus initially.

Regular lateral flow testing

As announced last week, case numbers in Reading among young people are currently high and it is very important that you continue to take steps to minimise the risk of catching or transmitting the virus.

We strongly encourage you to take a lateral flow test twice a week, even if you have been vaccinated. Home test kits are available to collect from the Library Café between 10:00 and 16:00 on Mondays and Thursdays. Anyone in England can also pick up home test kits from their local pharmacy, or order kits for home delivery from the NHS website.

Remember – if you test positive, please let us know as soon as possible using our online form, so we can support you and your close contacts.

Walk-in vaccination centre in Reading extended to Friday 9 July

It’s not too late to get a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Reading as the walk-in clinic has been extended to Friday 9 July.

The walk-in service is open to all adults aged 18 and over who live, work or study in Reading and who have not yet had any doses of a vaccine, including UoR students and staff. The clinic is open every day 9:30 – 17:30 until Friday

No appointment is needed but you must take your Campus Card as proof of ID.  You can check Reading Borough Council’s Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates.

Alternatively, you can book your vaccine at a centre near you on the NHS website.

Please continue to exercise judgement and care with regards to your own health and safety, and those around you. Many people may continue to take additional precautions to protect themselves and others, and we ask everyone to be respectful of these choices.

We will provide an update next week when we can share more about what health and safety measures will be in place on campus after 19 July. Please keep an eye on your University email account and Essentials for any important updates. You can also use the UoR Student App to stay up to date with everything happening at the University.

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