Updated advice

On October 15th 2020, the University's Gold Team, which oversees the response to the pandemic, recommended the use of face coverings for indoor meetings and teaching sessions lasting longer than 15 minutes even where it was possible to observe the appropriate social distance (2m). This updated advice complements the joint statement.


University and Colleges joint statement on face coverings

It is vital that we all feel comfortable, confident and safe at Cambridge. We continually monitor the latest public health advice, and we take account of the science.

The University and Colleges expect members of the Cambridge community to wear face coverings in any work or study setting, at a minimum, unless it is clear that social distancing can be maintained at all times, or someone has a medical exemption. Therefore, we should carry face coverings with us and wear them where asked to do so by College or University authorities or when it would be a courtesy to others.

In University buildings, we expect staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering where it is not possible to maintain social distancing of at least two metres.

In Colleges, since each one has different spaces and buildings, the specific rules may be stricter in some than others, but we will all follow these basic principles. Special arrangements will be in place in locations where face coverings are not required while keeping them as safe as possible.

Are there any exemptions?

You do not need to wear a face covering if you have any of the following:

  • Pre-existing breathing difficulties and/or other respiratory conditions not related to suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection
  • Mental-health conditions such as anxiety or panic disorders exacerbated by wearing a face covering
  • Non-visible disabilities that would be exacerbated by wearing a face covering
  • Visual impairments, with a restricted field of vision, particularly if any residual vision is at the lower edge of the normal field of view
  • Impairments that would make it difficult to put on or take off a face covering safely, accurately, consistently or without pain.

See also: guidance for when to use face coverings in University buildings [available to staff on the SharePoint site via Raven login]