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Cardiff Uni will ask staff and students to wear masks and carry out Covid-19 tests

Regular tests will be carried out before arriving onto campus

Vice-Chancellor Colin Riordan has revealed that students and staff will be “expected to wear masks inside”, and carry out regular  Covid-19 tests before coming on campus next term.

Explaining what the campus may look like next term, he said there would be no large lectures but there would be face-to-face teaching and people would be tested to see if they have, or have previously had the virus.

He said “there will be sample testing of staff and students from September,” the plan is to test people before they come on campus, “both for anti-bodies and antigen. They will be sample tests which will give us a very good picture and sense of security.”

It is unclear how many tests will be distributed or how often. However, he has confirmed tests will take place on campus, with the uni sourcing their own supplies, adding “clearly there is a cost.”

The Vice-Chancellor has emphasised that testing is “not a silver bullet,” and only serves as one element in their strategy which also includes “hygiene and social distancing.”

He also urges any students planning to go to university this year to stick to this plan.

Speaking to Wales Online, he said: “I am of the opinion we will have students on campus and have face-to-face teaching”, and though nobody can legislate what the virus will do, by “the way things look at the moment I would say I am confident we will be able to do more than we think at the moment.”

The Cardiff Tab reached out for a comment from the university, with a Cardiff University spokesperson saying they are “undertaking detailed planning to ensure that we can reopen our campus and protect the health of our staff and students.”

Referring to the Vice-Chancellor’s statement, one of the ways they can prevent the spread of the virus is by asking staff and students “to wear face coverings inside where they are with people not from their household.”

The university are also making provision to establish their own testing facility, saying that if they are able to either “screen or sample students and staff who come on campus, we will have a much better chance of protecting everybody’s health and detecting any outbreaks in time to contain them.”

An expert group on testing has been convened, “chaired by Professor Andrew Westwell of the School of Pharmacy, who have drawn up a detailed plan and are working closely with government officials on this.”

The spokesperson has said that “once the details are finalised we will be writing to all staff and students with an update.”

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