Face coverings policy FAQs

Face coverings policy 

It is the law to wear face coverings in most indoor public places and on public transport, include taxis. 

There are some exemptions. You do not need to wear a face covering in hospitality settings such as cafés, restaurants and pubs. This is because it is not practical to keep removing face coverings to eat or drink.

You do not need to wear a face covering in nightclubs or certain other night-time venues, including dance halls and discotheques. This is because it is not recommended that you wear a face covering while exercising or during strenuous physical activity, including dancing.

Settings which are exempt from wearing a face covering include:

  • Restaurants, cafés and canteens
  • Bars and shisha bars
  • Gyms & exercise facilities
  • Photography studios
  • Nightclubs, dance halls and discotheques

 

In indoor settings where a face covering is not legally required, you should still continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with other people you do not normally meet.

For latest government guidance click here

Please wear a face covering in internal public spaces in the College when you are moving around.

Face coverings must still be worn whilst queuing and moving around in the Buttery/Bar, Hall and other dining spaces. Catering staff may choose to continue to wear face coverings in these spaces. Rules pertaining to Fellows' dining spaces can be found on the Fellows' homepage.

Face coverings should be worn in areas where social distancing and ventilation precautions cannot be implemented, primarily in indoor public spaces.

In meetings, where the risk is low, good practice will be for the Chair to check that all are comfortable to remove face coverings before the meeting starts.

In shared spaces (meeting rooms, offices etc.) please be considerate to your co-workers and ensure that everyone is comfortable before masks are removed.   

Face coverings should be worn by students in lectures and supervisions.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in outdoor spaces.

College policy on face coverings is kept under regular review by the College’s Covid Silver group in line with the public health advice, our experience within College, and approaches across the University.

Why is the College asking people to wear face coverings in some circumstances?

The face covering policy is informed by advice from the government, senior clinicians and public health experts. Wearing face coverings when sharing spaces indoors can reduce transmission of coronavirus from an infected person to others because they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection.

The wearing of face coverings when required is to be considered a social responsibility for members of the collegiate University who can wear them, with the aim of reducing risk and providing increased reassurance to all, including those most vulnerable to serious illness.

Face coverings are not a substitute for hygiene and safety measures such as being tested when displaying symptoms, self-isolating when unwell or advised to, social distancing, enhanced cleaning regimes, and regular hand-washing, and these primary mitigation measures should always be followed.

What are the exemptions?

The requirement to wear face coverings in certain College indoor settings will not apply to those who have a legitimate reason.

Exemptions include:

  • not being able to put on, wear, or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
  • if putting on, wearing, or removing a face covering will cause severe distress
  • where interacting with someone who uses lip reading to communicate, or who has social communication impairments
  • children aged under 11 years.

Do I need to provide evidence that I am exempt from wearing a face covering?

There is no requirement to provide evidence that you have a legitimate reason not to wear a face covering, or that you may require others to briefly remove theirs so that you can understand them (eg to lip read).

Some people may feel more comfortable showing something that says they do not have to wear a face covering and the government has provided printable resources for people who prefer to have something to show people. This is a personal choice and it is not required.

It is not appropriate to challenge someone who is not wearing a face covering. It should be assumed that there is a legitimate reason why they cannot.

Where am I required to wear a face covering?

Please wear a face covering in internal public space in the College when you are moving around.

Face coverings must still be worn whilst queuing and moving around in the Buttery/Bar, Hall and other dining spaces. Catering staff may choose to continue to wear face masks in these spaces. Rules pertaining to Fellows' dining spaces can be found on the Fellows' homepage.

Face coverings should be worn in areas where social distancing and ventilation precautions cannot be implemented, primarily in indoor public spaces.

In meetings, where the risk is low, good practice will be for the Chair to check that all are comfortable to remove face coverings before the meeting starts.

In shared spaces (meeting rooms, offices etc.) please be considerate to your co-workers and ensure that everyone is comfortable before masks are removed.   

Face coverings should be worn by students in lectures and supervisions.

Face coverings do not need to be worn in outdoor spaces.

If you are in any doubt – wear a face covering until you have confirmed that one isn’t required.

What should I do if I am concerned that someone is not wearing a face covering?

It is important to remember that some people have legitimate reasons why they are not able to wear a face covering. Some of these reasons may be hidden and people should not be asked if they have an exemption, or the reasons for it.

How long will this policy be in place for?

All policies are reviewed regularly by the Covid Silver Group.

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