University of Northampton staff and students told they must wear face masks in lectures again

Rules changed as a precautionary measure three months after Freedom Day scrapped requirement

By Kevin Nicholls
Monday, 25th October 2021, 10:13 am
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 10:14 am

University of Northampton staff and students have been told they must wear face coverings in all communal areas again from Monday (October 25).

The message was issued on Friday as a precautionary measure with concern increasing nationally over a growing number of Covid-19 cases.

A UoN statement said: “As a precautionary measure and in response to the changing local and national picture, the use of face coverings will become mandatory in all University buildings, with the exception of non-communal space in halls of residence and sport and activity venues such as the Sports Dome.

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University chiefs have told staff and students they must wear face coverings in teaching settings and communal areas

"Face coverings must be worn in all teaching room settings, in addition to working areas where it is not possible to maintain distance from another person.

"Mandatory face coverings in University buildings is to protect students and staff and not in response to a localised outbreak or significant increase in cases.

"It is instead to reduce the spread of the virus, protect students and staff, and safeguard the teaching and learning experience that we all hold so dear.”

Public Health Northamptonshire is under growing pressure to budge over recommending extra measures to combat Covid-19 in the county's education settings after Suffolk and Cambridgeshire both deviated from the government line.

Suffolk told its schools have been told to mask up from next week after revealing children in the county lost 26,264 days of education in classrooms during October.

Cambridgeshire came out with similar recommendations at the start of October.

In Liverpool, workers have again been asked to work from home where they can.

All three areas have Covid-19 case rates lower than Northamptonshire yet the county's Director of Public Health has stopped short of similar recommendations.

Lucy Wightman says its important that "pupils adhere to any requests made by head teachers for the use of face coverings where infection risks are identified and/or outbreaks occur."

The government scrapped rules for mandatory mask wearing in public as part of its July 19 'Freedom Day' changes.

However, it recommends people wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces.