Weekly update from the Vice-Chancellor - 07/01/2022

Posted in: Weekly Update

Dear colleague,

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very happy New Year. Hopefully we have all had some time for rest and relaxation over the winter break. We know that this year will have its fair share of challenges, but there will also be many opportunities for individual and collective achievement. I very much look forward to working together to support a safe, enjoyable and successful 2022 for all in our community.

New Year’s Honours
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate most warmly those at Bath who have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

Sincere congratulations to Professor Lorraine Whitmarsh, Director of CAST and environmental psychologist, for being awarded an MBE for the significant contributions she has made in relation to the climate crisis, behaviour change and public engagement.

I am also delighted that a number of Bath-based athletes have been awarded MBEs, including one of our students and members of our alumni community. Swimmers Freya Anderson, Tom Dean, James Guy, Calum Jarvis and Matt Richards, pentathletes Joe Choong and Kate French, and wheelchair fencer Piers Gilliver are among those sportspeople recognised for their outstanding gold-medal achievements at Tokyo 2020 last summer. Congratulations to them all!

Plan B and key changes
As you will have seen, the UK Government is continuing its Plan B measures but has made a few changes to testing and travel arrangements. You can read the full guidance online, but these are some of the latest changes:

  • From 11 January in England, people who receive positive lateral flow device (LFD) test results for Covid-19 will be required to self-isolate immediately and won’t be required to take a confirmatory PCR test. LFD tests are for people without symptoms. However, if you develop one or more of the three main Covid-19 symptoms, you should stay at home and self-isolate and take a PCR test. In this scenario, you must self-isolate if you get a positive PCR test result, even if you have had a recent negative lateral flow test.
  • Self-isolation guidance has changed. If you’ve tested positive or have symptoms, it is now possible to end self-isolation after 7 days, following two negative LFD tests taken 24 hours apart. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day. Full government guidance and a useful diagram is available online.
  • There are changes to testing requirements for fully vaccinated people travelling to England which come into force today and on Sunday (9 January). For full details on the latest rules, see the Government’s online guidance on tests and quarantine rules for travel.

In terms of arrangements for Higher Education:

  • It is really important that staff and students take a lateral flow device (LFD) test before returning to University to work or study, and twice weekly thereafter if you are working in University buildings. You can order these online and some pharmacies also have them available. Packs are still available for free on campus and at the Virgil building in town.
  • We are writing again to our students today to remind them about testing, travel and Plan B arrangements before the Semester begins again.
  • We continue to follow the enhanced Plan B arrangements we set out at the end of 2021, but we are keeping these under active review at Gold and Silver Emergency Management Team (EMT) meetings.

In common with many other sectors, Omicron is having an impact on our University operations too. Therefore, please keep this in mind when requesting a service or using our retail and hospitality outlets. Kindness and mutual support is going to be more important than ever over the coming weeks.

Sporting success
It has been a very positive winter so far for Bath-based athletes, and I would like to add my congratulations to Ben Proud for winning the 50m freestyle gold at the FINA World Short-Course Championships at the end of last year.

Finally, many congratulations to members of the Bath-based British Bobsleigh team, Mica McNeill, Adele Nicoll, Brad Hall, Greg Cackett and Nick Gleeson for winning silver medals last weekend at the Bobsleigh World Cup in Sigulda, Latvia.

With best wishes,

Professor Ian White
Vice-Chancellor and President

Posted in: Weekly Update

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