A message to students and staff about the University's guidance on when face coverings should be worn.

Dear students and colleagues,

Following Monday’s message on the use of face coverings in University and College buildings, we write again to provide additional detail on the University’s current position. This is consistent with the Safety Office’s now-updated Guidance on easing of COVID-19 restrictions

The key points are as follows: 

1.     Face coverings are expected to be worn in all internal multi-occupancy spaces and when moving around and through buildings except: 

  • When eating and drinking in indoor spaces, with a degree of social distancing. 
  • If an individual cannot wear a face covering due to physical or mental health need and an individual risk assessment has been completed. 
  • Where a staff member is delivering teaching e.g. a lecturer who is comfortable to remove their face covering and there is a degree of social distancing from the audience.  
  • In specifically risk-assessed areas/situations (identified as low-risk) where mitigating factors have been identified and documented, and agreed by staff/students in those areas. For example:  
    • In a well-ventilated area, with a degree of social distancing; or  
    • When sitting in group meetings/open-plan areas (including open-plan offices) that are well ventilated with a degree of social distancing, ensuring that consideration is given to others (face coverings should only be removed if all present agree – people should not feel pressured into removing them).  

In single-occupancy spaces, face coverings are not required so long as this is physically separate from other spaces and does not have shared natural/mechanical ventilation.  

2.      Face coverings are not required when outdoors.  

3.      Face shields can be used for presenting/speaking. However, these will not be as effective as face coverings at minimising aerosol dispersal.  

4.      For regular close person to person contact work (15 minutes or longer) respiratory protective equipment is strongly recommended (eg FFP3 fitted disposable respirators).  

5.      Notices should be displayed to encourage continued use of face coverings. 

Please follow specific guidance from your College for accommodation and College spaces, and continue to follow the rules of each building you enter. 

Thank you for helping to reduce the risk of further disruption and illness. 

Best wishes, 


Professor Graham Virgo 

Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) 


Professor Kamal Munir 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (University Community and Engagement)