Durham University enforces mask wearing next term as ‘the socially responsible thing to do’

Durham University this afternoon shared their ‘effective and flexible health and safety plans’ surrounding the wearing of masks for the new term

An email circulated this afternoon by the Pro-Vice Chancellor (Global) at Durham has provided an update to the University’s Covid-19 Management Plan with regards to their face covering policy.

From the 14th September onwards, the wearing of masks is required for all staff, students, visitors, contractors and members of the public, unless somebody is exempt on medical grounds.

The University states that face coverings “form a physical barrier that when used as part of a holistic approach to health and safety can help contain the spread of respiratory droplets”.

An extract from page 23 of the University’s Covid-19 Management Plan

The new mask policy therefore dictates that masks must be worn for all face-to-face teaching, but also extends to movement within University buildings, chapels and prayer rooms. Other activities for which a mask is compulsory include browsing or circulating in the library, during queuing and collection at catering outlets, in corridors and in other communal areas in colleges, academic and other buildings. However, the usage for face coverings in labs is still under review.

The new policy also marks a change to the original plan of supplying each member of the University community with two face masks. Instead, the University will provide “a small number of reusable face coverings to support their use in University buildings.”

The email also informed students of University plans to work on ventilating campus buildings, as well as providing additional guidance on how to manage risks from University activities.