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24 February: DMU's response to the lockdown review; more student groups to return from 8 March and read a letter from the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP to all students

Last Monday (22 February), the Prime Minister announced the outcome of the Government’s review of the current lockdown measures which, hopefully, will see the removal all national restrictions by 21 June.

As a first step, the Government will allow the return of students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects, or require specialist equipment and facilities to resume in-person learning from 8 March.

In line with this government guidance, DMU has released a list of additional courses that should now resume teaching on campus from 8 March (confirmation if your course can return will also be able to view on Blackboard from Friday). If your course is on this list you will be able to return to campus from 1 March specifically to undertake mandatory Covid-19 lateral flow tests (see below) prior to recommencing your in-person learning.

The Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan, has also written directly to all students with further details of the Government’s decision-making and the continued need to take a cautious approach.

Key points to note from the Minister’s letter and the latest guidance are:

  • Every student returning to campus must undertake two Covid-19 lateral flow tests – the first immediately upon their return and then again three days later. Students will then continue to be offered testing twice weekly thereafter. Testing is available to book at The Watershed in Upperton Road. Students are also encouraged to be tested before they travel back to university, in areas where community testing facilities are available.

  • Students not on the courses listed to return to campus from 8 March and who are not already on campus for in-person teaching will continue with online learning and must remain in their current accommodation until further notice.

  • The government will review the options for return of remaining students at the end of the Easter holidays. Students will be given a week’s notice ahead of any further return. Please keep a look out for communications during week commencing Monday 12 April.

  • Once students in the new list of courses have returned to their term-time accommodation they must remain living there and must only travel home where they have a legally permitted reason to do so. This means all students who are back from 8 March or who’ve remained on campus should not return home for the Easter holidays and should await further guidance from the Government on travel restrictions.

  • Students travelling from overseas whose courses have been prioritised for return should carefully check the additional entry requirements and restrictions that have been introduced before travelling to the UK, including checking whether the country you are travelling from is on the UK’s red list and whether you will be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days. Students arriving from countries not on the red list should follow the guidance available. We will be sending a separate email to international students soon so keep a look out for that. Please note that the on-campus NHS Lateral Flow tests will not be accepted at the UK Border as a replacement for the travel test package that travellers must book directly through the UK government website. If you arrive in the UK and have not booked your travel test package through the UK government-linked web portal you ​could face a penalty of up to £2,000.

Your DMU Safety

If you are able to return to campus from 8 March, please ensure you adhere to our safety guidance to keep yourselves, your loved ones and the wider community safe. We have recently updated this to make it as easy and quick to access the information you need to follow including:

  • How to use the DMU Safe Trace app.
  • Mandatory wearing of a face covering in all teaching, study spaces and common areas indoors no matter the layout, unless there is a legitimate medical or personal reason for exemption.

Buildings and facilities on campus

As a result of the above, as from 8 March DMU will be opening up more university buildings and facilities. Please visit the campus facilities webpage for the latest information on building opening dates and times.

Financial and health and wellbeing support

Support remains available for you at DMU – this includes access to the Office for Students (OFS) Covid Impact Hardship fund and the DMU Support fund for financial help.

The HealthyDMU Hub provides you with information about staying well, and how to book appointments with the Student Welfare Team. All of DMU’s welfare services are available online should you need to access them. This includes counsellingmindfulnessmasterclasses and Single Point of Access (SPA) appointments

Although we’re very happy to accommodate the return of more student groups to campus and we’re encouraged to see a roadmap to normality over the next few months, we understand that this remains a difficult time for lots of you as we further navigate changing circumstances. You are encouraged to seek help through your Student Advice Centre should you need support. The Student Gateway is also available online.

*The information provided in this email bulletin is for students studying a DMU programme that is being delivered at DMU. Students on programmes that are validated by DMU, but are delivered by academic partner institutions (such as DMUIC, Leicester College, etc.), should refer to their institution/college for confirmation of local arrangements.*