A statement issued by UEA this afternoon (29th November) has reintroduced the enforced wearing of masks in the majority of university managed spaces, in the wake of Government announcements about changes to Covid restrictions.
In an email sent to staff and students, it was confirmed that from today, all staff and students will have to wear masks, with the exception of “ Those who are unable to wear a face-covering for medical reasons, [in] practical classes or research facilities where the risk assessment suggests that wearing a face-covering introduces additional risk, when eating or drinking, when undertaking sport and physical activity in the Sportspark and UEA accommodation household groups while in their flat.” These restrictions will remain in place until the end of the semester unless Government advice indicates otherwise before that point. Students who have medical exemptions are able to access sunflower lanyards and pins from the university to show this.
In addition, new advice from the JCVI indicating all over-18s should be eligible for a booster jab three months after their second dose has been accepted by both the UK and Scottish governments in the last hour. This means all double-vaccinated students will be eligible for a booster dose in the coming months, though these will be made available in reverse age order.
These developments come after 11 cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in the UK, with five in England and six in Scotland, with some linked to community transmission and not a direct result of travel from southern African countries. The government have issued travel advice and re-established mandates for mask wearing in shops and on public transport from 4am tomorrow.