UCL’s response to new Government national restrictions from 5 November 2020
2 November 2020
A message to UCL staff from the Provost.
I know that many of you will have questions following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 31 October, so I wanted to write to you to let you know how we are planning to respond to the Government’s decision to impose a second national lockdown, up to 2 December 2020.
One of the main differences between this lockdown and the first earlier this year is the intention for schools, colleges and universities to remain open. We are currently seeking more detailed clarification about this government policy to determine what this means for our community and will be writing to you in detail in the next few days.
At this point, our intentions are as follows:
UCL will remain open, continuing to operate in a COVID-secure way.
Our libraries, study spaces, halls of residence and catering facilities will remain open and we are reviewing urgently what further measures we can put in place to support our key worker staff who will be required to keep these facilities open.
Our laboratories, including those involved in the national effort, will remain open and researchers will be able to continue their important work onsite.
UCL’s core teaching is already online, and this will continue so that students can achieve their course learning objectives. We will, however, be reviewing the amount of face-to-face provision we are able to deliver in light of the new Government guidance – carefully balancing the concerns and needs of our students and staff.
We are working closely with the Students’ Union to support them with delivering an enhanced provision of social and physical activities on campus to support students develop communities and friendships and to reduce student isolation. We hope to make a further announcement about this provision in the next few days.
I have to be honest with you: it feels hard to enter into a second national lockdown. I recognise that many of you will be concerned about loved ones and anxious about how they too will cope. What I am proud of, however, is the resilience that you have already shown throughout this pandemic. Our ability to pivot so successfully into different ways of working has served our community well in the last few months and I know we will be able to do it again.
Thank you in advance for your continued support. I will send a further message in the next couple of days following consultation with colleagues, the Students’ Union and our trade unions.
Professor Michael Arthur
UCL President & Provost