Staff Portal

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice & Guidance

Updated 13 April 2021

Latest UK Government advice

Some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed on 29 March. However, many restrictions remain in place. Find out what you can and cannot do here.

 

London-based students

The University has made the difficult decision not to offer any face-to-face teaching for the rest of the spring 2021 semester. This is in line with announcements by the UK government and further information from the Universities Minister on COVID-19 restrictions and the return to on-campus teaching. Universities are advised that face-to-face teaching in most subjects should not resume until after 12 April 2021. This means all further teaching and exams will operate online only until 30 April 2021. 

The University hopes to offer all Summer and Fall classes face-to-face (as well as remote for students who are unable to travel due to Covid restrictions) starting on 24 May 2021. This is, of course, is subject to change as the UK works through the easing of the National Lockdown. 

Our facilities will remain open to support residential students living on campus and local students who may require study space and access to resources. Please remember that if it is your first time coming to campus this term, you must book a personal health check with Student Affairs at studentaffairs@richmond.ac.uk 

As of 15 March 2021, the hours will increase to:

  • Richmond - 8:00-22:00, 7 days per week (Library, Psychology Lab in Red House) 
  • Kensington - 10:30-15:30, 5 days per week (37 High Street Kensington for postgraduate students only)

Registry Services are offering remote support via email at registryservices@richmond.ac.uk or at +44 208 332 8201. 

Our Student Affairs Team also continue to offer in person and remote support at studentaffairs@richmond.ac.uk or at +44 208 332 8208.

From 12 April 2021, the gym will be open with limited capacity restrictions (3 at a time) 7am-10pm, 7 days per week for residential students only.

We have also resurfaced the outdoor sports court to make it more accessible to residents.

The Richmond Borough Rapid Covid Testing centre has closed and moved to at-home testing kits for all local residents. We are still recommending self-testing twice per week. Testing kits can be collected from the Richmond Civic Centre on weekdays 9:00-4:30. See here for details.

As always, we will keep you updated on any changes to guidance as they become available.

 

Returning and Prospective Students – update on Fall 2021

We are looking forward to the gradual reduction in COVID-19 restrictions and a return to on-campus and in-person teaching.

We are currently planning to provide in-person teaching for Fall 2021 and hope to welcome students back on campus from the start of September. We have all learnt that the situation with the virus can change, so we have put in place precautions and contingencies should circumstances change and a different approach be needed to keep everyone safe.

This may include a blended approach to learning with a combination of in-person teaching and online learning, and we will take appropriate steps if certain countries have restrictions placed on travel by the UK government, and where necessary by other governments. We will also continue to provide our wide range of social activities and personal support, to deliver an all-round student experience.

 

Should it be necessary, our online teaching is delivered in a variety of formats. Students are able to access recorded lectures, engage in live webinars and workshops, asynchronous active work, and video-conferencing faculty members through tutorials or one-to-ones. This year we also implemented informal sessions to allow us to get to know students better.

We have taken all the appropriate steps to ensure you will be safe at Richmond, and we have in place mitigations should things change. Your learning and your well-being remains our priority.

 

Roadmap out of lockdown

From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offers a route back to a more normal life. See here for more details.

Travel corridors suspended

Travel corridors were suspended 4am, 18 January 2021.

If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.

More information can be found here.

 

Important update for resident students at Richmond

To protect your health during the National Lockdown, we still encourage you to stay within your residential zone as much as possible in line with current government guidance.

Given our most recent isolation period, we may require all residents to isolate again if another positive case of Covid-19 is reported on campus and mixing between zones has occurred. Please keep in mind - this is to protect you and every other member of our community.

 

If you start to have symptoms (a high fever, a continuous cough, loss of taste or smell) please contact us in Student Affairs and book a PCR test through the NHS here.

Please contact us in Student Affairs if we can help further, studentaffairs@richmond.ac.uk.

What’s happening at Richmond

Travel advice for new and returning international students

Based on government guidance, we strongly encourage international students who are were planning to arrive in the UK for Spring 2021 semester NOT to travel due to the current health-related risks associated with international travel. 

If any students who are taking university accommodation have already paid housing fees and decided not to move in this semester, your housing fees will be refunded.  If you wish to move in later in the semester, you can pay for just that specific period of residence. Please contact studentaffairs@richmond.ac.uk for more information.  

If you do intend to travel please be aware that because of the national lockdown restrictions: 

  • All teaching will be online for the remainder of the semester 
  • We are limited in the offer we have for student life on campus, but are dedicated to supporting you with your academic studies and mental health and wellbeing 
  • In residing in the UK, you will be required to adhere to all national lockdown rules and regulations and we encourage you to take part in our asymptomatic testing scheme to protect yourself and the other members of your community. 
     

Residential students requiring quarantine need to allow for 10 days of isolation. This service is being offered only to residential students who have signed a housing contract to live in University halls of residence for the Spring 2021 term. Housing and meals during the quarantining period are being offered free of charge to all residents.

During the 10-day period, residents receive daily food deliveries, are offered essential services like post/package deliveries, health and wellbeing support and access to all of the University's remote services. Residents, who can go outdoors within the walled campus, are housed in zones where they share a common space as well as toilets and showers. This allows residents the benefits of living with others as within a household (some social interaction to protect mental health and wellness), but mitigates the risk of living amongst a larger population.

During the Fall 2020 isolation period, almost 40 residents were quarantined and no cases of Covid-19 were reported.

 

Advice for international students who remained on campus/in the UK during winter break

Similarly, we encourage international students who remained on campus/in the UK for the holiday period NOT to travel home due to the current health-related risks associated with international travel. Our Richmond campus will remain open and we will support you through your online studies.

We promise you an excellent quality of teaching, even if we adjust the way we teach. We remain committed to providing the best possible online learning experience for our students, which will include digital resources such as videos, podcasts and interactive content, personal teaching support, plus engagement with fellow students from around the world. Any student who chooses to study online for the rest of the academic year will not be negatively impacted by this decision.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) undoubtedly presents universities across the globe with challenges. Please be assured we are working hard to maintain continuity for you and are fully committed to providing the best possible academic experience in 2020/21. We are closely monitoring the wider Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will continue to update you.

Thank you for your understanding and patience in these unprecedented circumstances.

Important Information

 

While we will make every effort to provide all of our students with any updated information, the COVID situation may change quickly, and the advice above is subject to change on the basis of UK Government policy.

 

For students on campus

  • We have been informed of 7 employees who have tested positive for Coronavirus
  • We have been informed of 22 students who have tested positive for Coronavirus – one of these students has been on campus this semester or last semester

These are cumulative figures for positive tests among employees and students since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

 

Update on campus services

  • In person services including catering, security and cleaning will remain available this semester
  • Student Affairs provision will be unchanged. In-person Student Affairs support is available at Richmond
  • Registry Services will continue to be available on email and phone, and Zoom and in-person appointments with any members of the team can be booked on request
  • Library service hours on campus have been reduced but online support services remain available. Please refer to the Library calendar
  • Finance Department is available to contact via email fees@richmond.ac.uk or via telephone Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm on +44 (0) 20 8332 8209. Details on how to pay can be found here.
  • Other offices and departments will be available both in-person and online

We would like to thank all of our students for their perseverance and persistence during these very challenging times. We are all looking forward to a change in the COVID situation in 2021, and the University will respond and adapt accordingly. The education of our students and their safety remain our top priorities.

 

Safety measures

We have made a number of changes on campus to keep students safe. These measures include:

  • Mandatory face coverings in transit areas and common areas where 2 metres social distancing is not possible plus face coverings to be worn in all classrooms
  • On-campus accommodation: students are being housed in zones which will operate as a household with some shared facilities and common space. This is a response to Government guidance about limiting contacts while in larger residential areas
  • Hand sanitiser at every entrance, in computer labs, library and offices
  • Unique entrances and exits to each building
  • A marked traffic system to ensure social distance
  • Stepped up cleaning on high touch areas and public toilet facilities
  • All guests must sign in and out at our reception desk and must follow our guest guidance to comply with NHS Track and Trace
  • Students visiting offices must adhere to social distancing requirements and must wear face coverings. Room capacities will be posted at each entrance. These capacities cannot be exceeded
  • Chairs and tables have been spread out in the dining hall, in the library and in common areas to ensure social distancing and capacities are reduced to make it easier to manage crowds. Both the dining hall and the cafes offer take away options at every meal
  • Anyone experiencing any symptoms: fever, cough, loss of smell/taste, etc will be required to isolate for 14 days. If in residence halls, we will place students in isolated housing, for off- campus students, they'll need to stay at home. The students will need to liaise with Student Affairs concerning attendance, missed assignments, etc

See here for more details.

 

Testing

  • For details of how to get tested for Covid-19 in the Richmond area see more information here.
  • For details of how to get tested for Covid-19 in the Kensington area, see more information here.

How to get tested

If you need to get a test to check if you have Coronavirus, understand your test result and find out what to do if you're contacted by NHS Test and Trace, visit the NHS website.