Last updated 03 September 2021


From the 7th August the Welsh Government confirmed that Wales has moved to Alert Level Zero. Preparations and planning are well underway for the new academic term and we are looking forward to welcoming students back and maximising in-person learning opportunities now that Covid restrictions have been eased.

Staff have been using the transition period over the summer months to adjust to new ways of working. From September, we will see an increased staff presence on-campus aligned with an increase in face-to-face learning. We want to ensure that our campus-based community continues to thrive and learn from what has worked well during the past year or so.

Our top priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students, therefore the University will be moving away from Covid restrictions in a reasonable and measured way, adopting a risk assessed approach. It remains important that we all continue to look after ourselves and those around us.

Please check this website regularly to keep up to date with latest advice. 

For staff related queries not covered by these FAQs please speak to your line manager or email Cyfathrebu-Communications@uwtsd.ac.uk

Student related queries should be directed to the Hwb hwb@uwtsd.ac.uk


Current Guidance

Current Guidance

Detailed information and guidance relating to the current situation can be found on the Welsh Government website. Advice for England can be found on the Westminster Government website.

Where can I find the latest information and advice on Covid19?

You can continue to check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:


Working on Campus

What measures have been put in place to make working on campus safe and what is expected of me as a member of staff?

A number of safety measures have been implemented on campus during the pandemic and the University will continue to adopt a risk-assessed approach to ensure a safe working environment as we increase our staff presence on campus over the coming weeks. An enhanced cleaning regime has been implemented. One-way systems are to remain in place in certain areas. Limits on capacity and the number of people who can be in certain spaces will continue to be determined according to the assessment of ventilation.

Staff are also encouraged to get vaccinated and to take regular lateral flow tests if coming on to campus. We would also ask that you take every opportunity to make use of our sanitation stations and to wash your hands on a regular basis. It remains important that we all continue to look after ourselves and those around us.

There are sanitisers on at least every entrance and exit and all communal rooms will have biodegradable surface wipes so you can keep your equipment and workspace clean through the day.

In any shared spaces, such as IT Suites or open PC areas, you should continue to follow the hot desk guidance in relation to self-cleaning. This includes the communal printers and shredders.

The use of face-coverings will also be required in certain situations and spaces, and you can find out more by watching a short and updated ‘Covid Safety Measures’ video for staff and students here.

Hand hygiene

Staff are responsible for their own personal hygiene. There will be sanitisation stations at the entrance/exit of every building which staff should use upon arrival and leaving. We would recommend staff regularly wash their hands during the day. This will also give staff a break from their computer monitor. The guidance states that washing hands with soap and water is more effective, so don’t solely rely on the hand sanitiser stations. Please also report any empty dispensers as soon as possible, we are expecting high level use and the team will obviously check these regularly, however, we may need your support to help monitor these throughout the day. You can report this and any other issue to operations@uwtsd.ac.uk or by calling 0300 323 0313.

Toilets and kitchens

All toilet rooms have been assessed and social distancing measures have been applied. There will be no use of hand driers in the toilets. Paper towel dispensers are installed in every toilet, and paper towels can be used to open doors and minimise contact with surfaces. The number of people allowed in the toilet at any one time is dictated by the number of cubicles.

A ‘maximum room capacity’ will be placed outside all kitchens, staff will need to wait if by entering they exceed this limit. There is signage on-site to remind all building users of this.

In kitchens, ensure you only use your crockery and cutlery and clean and store it properly after use. There are cleaning products available for your use and you should ensure you maintain excellent hand hygiene and avoid touching your face when using equipment (such as kettles and microwaves) that may be shared by others.

Emergency procedures

We will continue to test the fire alarms each week. In the event of an alarm lasting more than 15 seconds, staff must evacuate to their assembly point for their building. All staff are responsible for familiarising themselves with their nearest fire exits and where the assembly point is for the building they work in.

Additional guidance and the provision of additional PPE will be provided for First Aiders to administer First Aid whilst following COVID-19 controls.

Use of photocopiers and printers

The printing facilities are available for use, and again these are accessible to many. There are alcohol wipes near every printing station and you should use these before and after use. You should also ensure that you sanitise or wash your hands after using them.

Will the University require me to continue to wear a face covering?

Face-coverings are required in certain situations and spaces including publicly accessible areas such as Receptions, including for those who have had two doses of the vaccine.  Where face coverings are deemed mandatory there will be clear signage in place.

In addition, the University may deem face coverings are a necessary measure arising from its risk assessments for certain higher risk activities or spaces. 

Face coverings are available at Reception if you forget to bring your own.

 

Do I still need to register my attendance on campus in advance?

No, this registration procedure is no longer required.

How do I check-in to the NHS app when I arrive on campus?

The University has registered our buildings to enable those who have downloaded the NHS COVID-19 App to check-in when on campus. If you have access to the NHS app you should continue using the NHS app as this will enable us to ensure that accurate and timely information is available. When on campus please check-in using the QR codes displayed. The app allows you to record when you visit a venue by “checking-in” when you arrive, using the venue’s QR code. It records the time you spend at the venue without recording any personal information. You will receive an alert, if you have recently visited a venue where you have come into contact with Coronavirus.

Find out more about the NHS app, information about what it does and how it protects your privacy here: https://gov.wales/nhs-covid-19-app 

What testing arrangements are in place when I’m working on campus?

Testing

The University is strongly encouraging staff and students to carry out regular Lateral Flow tests, which are being offered by the University and may be collected as set our below.  Further guidance on lateral flow testing is available from the Welsh Government here.

The purpose of voluntary testing is to reduce the risk of anyone who is asymptomatic but carrying the virus, unintentionally infecting other staff members and students.

UWTSD staff are now able to collect Coronavirus home test kits from Monday to Friday between, 9am and 2pm from the following sites:

  • Lampeter – Canterbury Reception
  • Carmarthen – Dewi Reception
  • Swansea – IQ and Dynefor Reception
  • Cardiff – Registry
  • Centre for Advanced Welsh and Celtic Studies

**There is no need to book a slot to collect the home test kits

Colleagues in London and Birmingham should make use of local community testing facilities.

These tests are only if you are NOT showing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you test positive or develop symptoms, however mild, you must follow the government self-isolation guidance here (for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England). You should arrange to have a NHS test to see if you have COVID19.

Please let us know if you test positive using the online Staff Self-Isolating Form, so that we can offer support and further advice. You should also notify your line manager immediately and keep them updated of your health status, including your test outcome.

Will there be any catering facilities available on campus?

Please refer to the catering website here for up-to-date information on the catering facilities available at each of our campuses. The catering team will be ready to serve you through the Blasus App, which is available to download from your Google Play and Apple App Store. Payments will be by card payment only and if using the Blasus App, online payment will complete your order. Staff can get a discount by entering STAFF10 in the discount code section.

Everyone must follow the guidelines whilst using any of our outlets. This includes the one-way systems in place and hand sanitising before entering the area and leaving the area. We will be taking all customer contact details when you visit any of our catering outlets to support the NHS Test, Trace, Protect system.

I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to adhere to Covid safety measures when working on campus?

Even if you have been vaccinated, you may still be able to transmit the virus on to others who have not yet been vaccinated. It is therefore essential that you continue to follow basic safety measures to keep yourself and others safe.

Please continue to:

  • wash your hands regularly
  • wear your face covering where required
  • self-isolate if you have COVID-19 symptoms
  • self-isolate if you have been identified as a contact and advised to self-isolate by Test, Trace, Protect
  • report your symptoms or requirement to self-isolate to the University using the Staff Self-Isolating Form.
  • follow the guidance on safety measures provided by the University.
If I’ve had the vaccine, do I still need to get regularly tested for Covid-19 if I’m working on campus?

Yes, even when you’ve been vaccinated you could still pass Covid on to others, so it’s important that staff working on campus continue to get regularly tested.

What should I do if I test positive for Covid or start to feel unwell when working on campus?

If you test positive or develop any of the Coronavirus symptoms whilst at the University, however mild, you must:

  • Apply a face covering and return home without delay. 
  • Ensure you follow the relevant government guidance and social distance from others. Self-Isolation guidance is available here (for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England).
  • Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of your self-isolation and notify your line manager immediately
  • Apply for a test here for people living in Wales and here for people living in England.

If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and normal sickness absence procedures will apply. If you test positive for Coronavirus during this period you should notify your line manager and update the Staff Self-Isolating Form.

What should I do if someone in my household tests positive or starts to display symptoms of Covid?

If someone you live with develops any of the Coronavirus symptoms, however mild, or tests positive for Covid, you must:

  • Apply a face covering and return home without delay if you are working on campus. 
  • Ensure you follow the relevant government guidance and social distance from others. Self-Isolation guidance is available here(for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England).
  • Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of your self-isolation and notify your line manager immediately
  • If you develop symptoms, apply for a test herefor people living in Wales and here for people living in England.

If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and normal sickness absence procedures will apply. If you test positive for Coronavirus during this period you should notify your line manager and update the Staff Self-Isolating Form.

What do I do if I am concerned about working on campus?

Your safety and wellbeing is important, and you need to feel comfortable that you are able to raise any individual issues or concerns through your engagement and dialogue with your line manager. The approach will be different for each unit and subject to the available space and the risk assessment. We will take a reasonable and measured view that is appropriate in all the circumstances whilst ensuring equity in our approach and also ensuring that the University continues to deliver for our community. 


Working from Home

What support is be available to me when I work remotely?

Please refer to the University’s temporary working from home policy published on MyDay accessed here.

Our Information Technology & Systems (IT&S) team have produced a dedicated site containing relevant information regarding accessing IT Services whilst working from home.

Staff can access a range of online training and learning resources via the Staff Development Hub here, including access to LinkedIn Learning and MyMentor (an online self-development toolkit)

How do I access UWTSD IT Services off campus?

IT&S have provided further information and guidance on working from home on their dedicated site. This provides information for you on how to obtain access to key IT systems you need to work from home.

If you need any further advice or support please visit the IT Service Desk pages for contact information, or visit https://www.uwtsd.ac.uk/its/ for more general information on the IT Services offered.

Health & Safety tips for working from home

For information on Health and Safety tips whilst working from home see here

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and working from home.

Introduction

In these difficult times, remote working is the recommendation however it presents both significant benefits but also potential risks.  Whilst staff may have remote access to information held on secure campus servers, this is without the physical protections available on site and the protections provided afforded to the network by firewalls and access controls.  There is also a much greater risk of unauthorised access to, and loss or destruction of, data whilst working in this way.

Does the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) apply if I am working from home?

Yes, if you are processing any identifiable personal data of any living individual as part of your directed duties then this must be done is accordance with GDPR, this includes paper based data.

What should I do when I am working from home?

When working from home you must ensure that that your computer is properly protected with the latest anti-virus and anti-malware software installed.  Do not write down your Username and Password so that they are easier to remember. 

Do not to leave the screen on when you are no longer using the computer as this could allow sensitive data to be seen by others.  Where possible you should use a secure connection such as a Direct Access, VPN or Citrix (if provided) to access and save files. 

When you have finished working make sure that you fully close down all applications that you have been using, especially the secure connection that you might have previously established.

Where should I work from when I am working from home?

You should ensure that you maintain a similar level of privacy whilst working from home to that which you would when working in your own work space.  You should ensure that your screen is not visible to anyone else at all times where possible. 

I need to send a file which contains personal data to another member of staff, what should I do?

Rather than sending the data file it would be better to use an application such as Microsoft OneDrive or Teams to provide access to the file in-situ.  If you cannot do this, do not send the data file to a personal email address as this would be considered a data breach and ensure that the file is encrypted before it is sent. 

What should I do if I receive an email that includes an attachment which includes Personal Data?

Before opening any file you must be certain that it has been sent from a genuine source.  Special care should be taken to ensure that when the data is no longer required it is deleted from your local device.  This includes any files that have been saved automatically as part of the download process.

I suspect a Data Breach has occurred whilst I have been working from home, what should I do?

If you suspect a data breach has occurred whilst you are working from home you should report the suspected data breach to your Data Protection Officer.   The suspected data breach will then be investigated and you are likely to be contacted again during the investigation for further information. 


Symptomatic testing and self-isolation 

I have developed symptoms of Coronavirus, what should I do?

If this is when you are away from University premises you must:

  • NOT come to the University or go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • Follow self-isolation guidance from government here for people living in Wales, and here for people living in England.
  • Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of your self-isolation and inform your line manager
  • Apply for a test here for people living in Wales and here for people living in England.

If you develop any of the Coronavirus symptoms whilst at the University, however mild, you must:

  • Apply a face covering and return home without delay. 
  • Ensure you follow the relevant government guidance and social distance from others. Self-Isolation guidance is available here(for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England).
  • Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of your self-isolation and notify your line manager immediately
  • Apply for a test here for people living in Wales and here for people living in England.

If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and normal sickness absence procedures will apply. If you test positive for Coronavirus during this period you should notify your line manager and update the Staff Self-Isolating Form.

If I test negative for Coronavirus, when can I return to work?

You should update the Staff Self-Isolating Form of your negative test result and inform your line manager as soon as you get the result.  You may return as soon as you feel well enough.

I have tested positive for Coronavirus, what should I do next?

You must:

  • Use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report details of your positive test result and self-isolation and notify your line manager immediately
  • Keep your line manager updated of your health status
  • Follow self-isolation guidance from government here for people living in Wales, and here for people living in England.

Your line manager will then contact you to discuss your recent movements and any interactions you’ve had with others on campus, including the date you became symptomatic and the date you were last on campus (if appropriate).  This will inform the University’s procedures as well as the Test, Trace, Protect process and means swift and appropriate action can be taken to protect others.

The Test, Trace and Protect team will also contact you to establish this information and will then contact directly your close contacts (at home and work) to provide self-isolation advice. Visit Test, Trace, Protect: your questions for more information (for people living in Wales) and Test and Trace: how it works (for people living in England).

If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and the normal sickness absence procedures will apply.

When can I return to work on campus after receiving a positive test for Coronavirus?

You must follow the government self-isolation guidance here (for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England). If you have had a positive test, then you must stay at home for at least 10 days.

You should keep in regular contact with your line manager during the self-isolation period to keep them updated of your health status. Your line manager will hold a return to work discussion with you to check that you are well enough to return to your duties and whether you require any further support. 

What do I do if I am contacted by the Test, Trace, Protect Team or I was in close contact with someone who has symptoms or a positive test for Coronavirus?

You should follow the relevant government self-isolation guidance available here (for people living in Wales) and here (for people living in England).

If you are required to self-isolate, you should use the Staff Self-Isolating Form to report your self-isolation and notify your line manager. If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and the normal sickness absence procedures will apply. If you test positive for Coronavirus during this period you should notify your line manager and update the Staff Self-Isolating Form. For more information, visit Test, Trace, Protect: your questions (people living in Wales) and Test and Trace: how it works (people living in England).


Health and Safety 

Will the University be carrying out fire drills given Coronavirus social distancing requirements?

The University’s obligations to have sufficient Fire Safety controls remain in place. As such the University will continue to carry out planned Fire Drills to ensure effective evacuations can take place in the event of an emergency. During an evacuation people are not required to follow social distancing requirements and stay 2m apart as this may impact the speed at which the evacuation can be successfully achieved. Once persons have evacuated to the outside it is expected that persons will try and maintain 2m social distancing in moving to and congregating at the fire assembly point. When persons are permitted to re-enter the building this will be on a staggered basis to support social distancing requirements. The University requests all staff and students positively support Fire Drills by evacuating the building calmly and effectively. Further information can be found here.

What should I do if I hear a fire alarm sound?

The University will continue to test the Fire Alarms weekly in each of our buildings where it will sound for approximately 15 seconds before stopping.

In the unlikely event of the Fire Alarm sounding for more than 15 seconds DO NOT presume it is a planned fire drill or a false alarm. It may be a real emergency so ensure you:

  • Leave the building by the nearest available escape route
  • Do not delay your escape but if you can, turn off equipment / close doors and windows as you leave.
  • During a building evacuation people are not required to follow social distancing requirements and stay 2m apart as this may impact the speed at which the evacuation can be successfully achieved. Once persons have evacuated to the outside it is expected that persons will try and maintain 2m social distancing in moving to and congregating at the fire assembly point. When persons are permitted to re-enter the building this will be on a staggered basis to support social distancing requirements.
  • Go to the building fire assembly point and await further instruction. Details of University building fire assembly points can be found here.
  • Do not re-enter the building until told to do so by one of the University Operations team or the Fire Service.

The University requests all staff and students positively respond to Fire Alarms by evacuating the building calmly and effectively.

Can First Aid be safely administered given Coronavirus risks?

The University’s obligations to have suitable First Aid provision remains in place. Given Coronavirus risks, however, the administering of First Aid will require a different approach. The University has considered this and will provide additional information and suitable PPE for First Aiders. Where local First Aid is deemed insufficient the University will ensure paramedic assistance is always sought.