Read a message from Claire Morgan sent on the 21 September regarding recent changes to government guidance and health and wellbeing support.
I hope this email finds you well, and despite the pace of change around us all, you are feeling positive about the term ahead. For those of you who have already returned to Cardiff then I hope the transition has gone smoothly.
I am acutely aware of the challenges and uncertainty that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented – and trust that we can work together as a university community to overcome these. I want to reassure you that we will continue to review and revise our approach to teaching and your wider student experience to ensure that we provide you with an enjoyable and rewarding experience during these unprecedented times.
Recent changes to government guidance
I realise of course, that the topic of safety, and the measures we’re putting in place, are something I’ve written to you about frequently. However, given the ever-changing nature of government guidance – in Wales and the UK – in this message I want to draw out some of the key, recent changes.
Many of you may have already seen the recent UK and Welsh government restrictions, including one known commonly as the ‘rule of six’. This limits social gatherings to groups of no more than six people indoors, with exemptions for teaching and learning in universities.
As you move into your accommodation for the new year, be it our Residences or from a private provider, please remember those you live with will form your ‘bubble’, or extended household. Welsh government guidance currently states:
“The general rule is that you cannot meet socially with people who aren’t in your extended household indoors. In addition, as of 14 September, meetings or gatherings indoors even within your extended household must be limited to 6 people (not including any children aged under 11). This applies in places like pubs and restaurants as well as in people’s homes.
Gatherings of up to 30 people are permitted outdoors. Adults and children should continue to maintain social distancing whenever possible from people outside their household, or extended household if they have formed one.”
Since I last wrote to you, the Welsh government has also confirmed that face coverings are now compulsory in indoor public spaces (e.g. shops). This works well with our earlier decision to require face coverings in all our buildings, as part of a wider range of safety measures on campus.
Please keep up to date with the changing government(s) guidance – as well as helping you understand how 2020/21 will look, it’s a key requirement for all our students (and staff), as set out in our Community Commitment.
Your wellbeing and available support
I don’t believe there is anyone out there who is not struggling in some way to make sense of the pandemic – personally, professionally, or perhaps both – and if you are experiencing difficulties, please remember you are not alone. There is a great range of information, support services and events, available to help you manage your emotional, mental and physical health.
Should you need any support, don’t forget you can do so via our Student Connect service in three ways:
- ask the chatbot your questions 24/7 when you see the blue and white chat button on the bottom right hand corner of your screen – search ‘Student Support and Wellbeing’ on the intranet
- email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- phone: +44 (0)29 2251 8888.
Finally, all our staff have gone to great lengths to prepare for your safe return and although the first weeks will be different, I hope you are able to settle into a new routine for your education and broader student experience at Cardiff.
I will write to you again in early October, which for many of you will be the official start of term, and until then do stay safe.
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Education and Students