We recognise that this latest national lockdown has brought ongoing challenges and we’re all wishing for a return to normal soon. However, we must remind all of our students of the importance of always adhering to government social distancing guidelines and lockdown restrictions
to limit the spread of the virus. By doing so, you will protect yourself, your flat mates, your family members and the wider community.
You must not hold house parties or visit other households – even if you’re living in the same accommodation block. Failure to abide by the law means you could face police action resulting in substantial fines and/or disciplinary action from the university.
Fines you could face if you break the rules
The police can take action against you if you meet in larger groups. This includes breaking up illegal gatherings and issuing fines (through fixed penalty notices).
You can be given a fixed penalty notice of £200 for the first offence if you attend a small gathering, doubling for further offences up to a maximum of £6,400. If you hold, or are involved in holding, an illegal gathering of more than 15 people, the police can now issue fines of £800 to every participant. £10,000 penalties can be, and have been, issued to organisers of any illegal gatherings of more than 30 people.
Also, anyone who chooses not to pay a fine will be summoned to the magistrates’ court, which could lead to more severe legal action being taken and result in even bigger fines.
As you may have seen in the media, police across the UK are regularly monitoring and breaking up gatherings to disperse people, fining organisers and participants, often following alerts raised by members of the public. We want to make it clear that it’s not worth the risk to attend an illegal gathering. More importantly, it’s imperative we all continue to fulfil our moral and legal obligation to limit the spread of a virus that is still killing more than 1,000 people in the UK every day.
Your DMU Safety: A reminder of our Shared Commitment to each other
We encourage you to regularly check our Your DMU Safety website for the most up-to-date DMU health-and-safety information and updates.
It is also extremely important that you familiarise yourself with our Shared Commitment. This outlines both the university’s duties to you, and the behaviours that we expect from staff and students in order for DMU to remain an inclusive and safe community.
We know that many of you are currently not on campus, but for those who are on campus for face-to-face teaching (as approved by Government guidelines), we ask that you:
- Respect each other and take reasonable care – for ourselves and for those who use our campus who may be affected by our acts or omissions.
- Keep each other safe by abiding by any current Covid-19 guidelines and regulations, including, for example, wearing face coverings when expected and able to do so and observing social distancing and restrictions on gatherings/parties.
- Respect our differences, including acknowledging that wearing face masks is not possible for all.
- Act in a way that enriches your own educational experiences and that of others.
- Feel empowered to resist peer pressure and reject behaviours that are not in keeping with our values or relevant Covid-19 guidelines, but only when it is safe to do so.
- Commit to a considerate way of working that enables shared use of space in accordance with university and other relevant health-and-safety requirements.
- Follow the student code of conduct, including observing health-and-safety policies.
Our aim is to provide a safe and secure campus, and therefore if any of our students behave in a way that adversely affects the comfort and safety of others, we will take action to protect the wider university community.
The UK is at a critical point in the pandemic. There is hope – with hundreds of thousands of people being vaccinated every day and overall cases falling, but it remains critical we all continue to adhere to the national guidance to protect each other, our NHS and to save lives. That way we can all look forward to restrictions being eased more quickly.
Thank you for all your hard work so far in making sure you follow these guidelines. It is only by acting responsibly and following Government guidance that we can combat the spread of Covid-19 and hopefully head towards a future where we are all on campus together again.
Posted on Wednesday 3rd February 2021