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Dear Students,

The senior leadership team have been meeting regularly over the last couple of weeks to develop contingency plans for the impact of the Covid-19 outbreak. The situation continues to evolve, but we hope to provide as much clarity as we can and allay some of the uncertainty this is generating for you all.    

Please note the following updated health advice.  

If you are feeling unwell with either   

  • A new continuous cough   
  • A high temperature   

You must not come into University and you should remain at home for at least seven days. Further NHS guidance can be found here. You should notify your course team of your absence following usual procedures. Your well-being, and that of others is the over-riding priority, and you should not be concerned about the impact on any learning or assessments.   

Course staff are looking into arrangements for studying remotely if you, or someone you live with, may be at risk of more severe effects of the virus (e.g. due to a pre-existing medical condition). Please await further information.   

Our priority is to ensure that we can keep our community as healthy as possible while also enabling students to satisfy the requirements needed to be able to graduate and join their profession, as well as progress with their studies.  

The Government yesterday announced that the UK is formally moving into a different phase of its strategy to manage the outbreak. In line with the Government advice, based on scientific modelling, we remain open as a university.   

However, due to the current local pressures on healthcare providers, which have led to the withdrawal of some clinical placements, all clinical placements are cancelled from today (Friday 13 March) until at least Monday 23 March. Please see further details below. 

We also recognise that teams across the University are needing to prioritise so that activities critical to our education and research mission can continue over the months ahead. As a result, some non-essential activities may stop or be postponed.

We anticipate that the position will change in the coming weeks and we are making plans accordingly. Below is our latest guidance on activities at St George’s. 

Communications and updates   

  • We will be keeping in touch with you as the position evolves with any urgent messages and regular updates.
  • The FAQs on the website will continue to be updated regularly. Please refer to these in the first instance for answers to any questions you might have. There is also an online form you can use to ask any questions not covered in the current advice.

Clinical placements 

  • Clinical placements are cancelled from today (Friday 13 March) until at least Monday 23 March. The pause will give placement hosts the opportunity to make plans in a changing environment and evaluate the circumstances in which students can pursue educational opportunities. Further updates on plans for clinical placements will follow.

Teaching and assessment

  •  In future it is likely that we will need to change our model for delivering lectures and other face-to-face education activities. We are working on preparations for remote and online working.  
  • Advice on any changes to assessment activities will be provided at the earliest opportunity. A principle of the planning processes underway is that we should do everything possible to ensure that students can graduate in the expected timeframe.


  • We know that many electives have already been affected and we will be giving further guidance as soon as possible.

As the outbreak develops, as members of the St George’s community, we all have a responsibility to help minimise the risk of transmission within our community.    

I would urge you to also continue to follow Government advice to continue to wash your hands regularly – or use hand sanitiser – and to follow the guidance above.    


Best wishes, 

Professor Jenny Higham    


St George’s, University of London    


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