Cambridge plans for full return to in-person teaching next term

Vice-Chancellor Stephen J. Toope sent an email to all students about new regulations

On Wednesday (23/02), Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope sent an email to all students regarding the relaxation of Covid-19 guidelines by the UK government. Most notably, it included plans for a full return to in-person teaching in Easter Term.

Additional relaxations included the removal of the mask mandate in teaching settings. However, Professor Toope informed students that the University would “encourage” students to “continue wearing face coverings in public University settings.”

There is also no longer a requirement to take part in regular asymptomatic screening processes. He asked anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 to get tested, mentioning that the University’s testing pod on Fen Causeway will remain open as of now.

He also reminded students that they were “strongly encouraged to report their result to the University’s COVID Helpdesk” if they tested positive, to gain “access to authoritative advice and help us monitor any outbreaks.”

Toope maintained that the University will also “continue to strongly encourage anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 to follow advice on self-isolation, and minimise their risk of transmission to others.” This comes after the removal of self-isolation requirements for people in England, effective from 24 February.

The Vice-Chancellor stressed that to return to normal, we must “continue to behave responsibly, and be mindful of others.” The University of Cambridge will seek to follow “government advice while continuing to recommend caution and considerate behaviour.”

Individual colleges have begun lifting Covid-19 restrictions as well.

On Thursday (24/02), students from Trinity College received an email detailing new regulations in college. This included the marquee in Nevile’s Court being taken down, the Covid email address being shut down (and replaced by advice on the website) and self-isolation orders ending.

Guests and tourists will also soon be allowed into College, with a return to pre-Covid rules about socialising in college. Trinity also urged respect for students who wished to continue to wear a face mask or socially distance.

They hope to “cautiously look ahead to the future with optimism.”

Feature image credits: Keira Quirk