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The following guidance and information applies to all staff, students, visitors and contractors who are on the University premises, either in Hunter and Jenner Wings, the Halls of Residence and the Sports centre.

The Government moved to step 4 on the roadmap on 19th July 2021  (Government Guidance and guidance for higher education.)

In order to protect yourself and others, the Government has advised that face coverings should be worn in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you don’t usually meet.   

 As the UK’s specialist health university, St George’s is co-located with the university hospital and, as such, we have a duty towards patients, as well as to staff, students and visitors. The University wishes to continue to make efforts to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and to ensure that its staff and students are protected to the highest possible standards particularly in the light of variants of the virus.  

Therefore, following the University recommendation, all staff and students must wear Type II face masks when in communal areas (including the Library), in clinical and lab settings and in crowded areas which could include lecture theatres if they are at capacity. If you wish to wear a face mask anywhere else on site, for example in open plan offices, please feel able to do so. 

If you are medically exempt from wearing a face mask, in order to provide some protection to yourself and others, we recommend that you wear a visor while on the University site. These are not an equivalent alternative to face masks. They may protect the wearer in specific circumstances but are unlikely to prevent the escape of smaller respiratory particles and should always be cleaned appropriately. 

Face masks and visors will be provided and can be collected from the following points on site: Hunter Wing, Reception Desk (staff, students and visitors), Hunter Wing, Library (staff and students), Jenner Wing, Site Services (Staff).

When applying or removing the covering/mask, it is important that you wash your hands first and avoid touching your face.  If you remove your mask, it should be placed in a sealable plastic bag.

Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn, and the face covering should be replaced carefully. Staff and students may consider bringing a spare face mask to wear if their face mask becomes damp during the day.

Used face masks and visors must be disposed in clinical waste bins at the main entry and exit points to the University and hospital. 

Public transport 

You must wear a face covering on the Transport for London network, in stations, and for the whole of your journey. If you do not, and you are not exempt, you could be refused entry, denied travel or told to leave stations and services.

Hospitals  

All visitors must wear face coverings whilst on a hospital site.  All hospital staff are now required to wear surgical masks.  

If you use a hospital entrance and walk through the hospital, you will be seen as a visitor and will be required to wear a face covering.  Type II surgical masks are available for collection at hospital entrances.

University students and staff entering clinical facilities for work/placement purposes will be required to use surgical masks. 

Shops

Face coverings/masks are not legally required in shops and where food or drink is purchased at a take-away outlet. However, the Government and University recommendation is that all staff and students must wear Type II face masks when in communal areas and crowded areas. 

St George’s University areas – Hunter and Jenner Wings  

St George’s University recommends that all staff and students must wear Type II face masks when in communal areas that may be entered by the public, NHS Trust staff and University staff, and in clinical and lab settings and in crowded areas which could include lecture theatres if they are at capacity. 

Public areas 

  • The Government has advised that face coverings should be worn in crowded places to help protect others. Whilst on the University site, all staff and students must wear Type II face masks when in communal areas, in clinical and lab settings and in crowded areas which could include lecture theatres if they are at capacity. 

  • Face masks do not need to be worn when outdoors.

Learning environments and laboratories

  • The University recommends that all staff and students must wear Type II face masks when in communal areas (including the Library), in clinical and lab settings and in crowded areas which could include lecture theatres if they are at capacity.  If you wish to wear a face mask anywhere on site, please feel able to do so. For some Laboratory spaces specific operating procedures will be put in place and this may include additional face masks/PPE requirements.  Staff and students should ensure that they have read and adhere to the guidance for these areas.  

Office environments

  • Where the area meets room occupancy recommendations (assessed on ventilation requirements) you do not need to wear a face mask. Room occupancy is indicated on the door and in the local area risk assessment. However, we encourage all staff to act with caution particularly in shared office spaces. If you wish to wear a face mask in open plan offices, please feel able to do so.

After travelling, especially on public transport, it is essential that you wash your hands thoroughly before starting work. 

Face masks and face coverings

Face visors

Face visors or shields can be worn by those exempt from wearing a face covering but they are not an equivalent alternative in terms of source control of virus transmission.

They may protect the wearer against droplet spread in specific circumstances but are unlikely to be effective in preventing the escape of smaller respiratory particles when used without an additional face covering. They should always be cleaned appropriately.

Face coverings

In the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face.

Face coverings intended for use by the general public are not PPE or medical devices. As such they do not carry a CE mark and should not be sold or donated as PPE or medical devices.

Type II Surgical (medical) face masks

These are mainly designed to be worn in medical settings to limit the spread of infection. They are resistant to droplets of fluids and splashes. These masks are manufactured to a recognised standard. They must meet the design and safety requirements of the Medical Device Regulations (MDD/MDR) and be CE marked before they can be sold in the UK

Type II surgical face masks can be collected from the following points on site: Hunter Wing, Reception Desk (staff, students and visitors), Hunter Wing, Library (staff and students), Jenner Wing, Site Services (Staff). 

Face masks as personal protective equipment (PPE)

For some specific activities on site, face masks are required as personal protective equipment and need to meet the regulations covering PPE products. They will need a notified body to verify the relevant requirements are met. They are not medical devices.  Where PPE is required, the type of face mask will be delineated in the SOP/ local rules /risk assessment associated with the activity.

We will keep this guidance under review. 

Updated: July 2021

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