Important Covid Update for Staff and Students
Master and Deputy Principal, Professor Lorna Milne, and Vice-Principal Education (Proctor), Professor Clare Peddie, emailed all St Andrews staff and students today (Wednesday 23 February) with an important Covid update following the Scottish Government’s confirmation that it intends to lift all legal Covid restrictions from 21 March.
Dear Staff and Students
We’re writing with an important update to teaching and working arrangements, and the management of Covid-related risks during the remainder of Semester 2, as Scotland continues to take steps to exit the pandemic safely.
This week, the Scottish Government confirmed that it intends to lift all legal Covid restrictions from 21 March, including the legal requirement to wear masks indoors. The Government says that it will continue to recommend that masks are worn indoors after 21 March, but that this will no longer be enshrined in law.
In response, in St Andrews we will:
- Increase the amount of in-person teaching you receive from Week 6. Around 90% of scheduled teaching hours will be delivered in-person after the current mid-semester break. Students, please check your personal timetables for details of how this increase affects you.
- Ask you to continue to observe the Covid regulations in force in Scotland until 21 March – wear face-coverings indoors, test regularly, and self-isolate if you test positive.
- Review our arrangements for mitigating Covid risks after 21 March, and keep you fully informed of how any national and local policy changes will affect you.
Increased in-person teaching activities
In October 2021, we set out how we planned to deliver around 90% of our teaching hours in person in Semester 2. The emergence of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 necessitated a change to plans and Semester 2 started broadly the same as we finished Semester 1.
We can now confirm that we will proceed as planned to deliver in-person teaching to larger class sizes from Week 6 (Monday 28 February). Updated information will be made available to you in your personal timetables in due course. Around 90% of scheduled teaching hours are due to be delivered in-person after the February break. Several classes with more than 35 participants – including lectures – will now be delivered in-person for the first time. Lectures will continue to be recorded and recordings will be made available to all students on a module. Teaching is planned to allow 1m voluntary social distancing to be maintained wherever possible, and to take account of ventilation standards required by the Health and Safety Executive.
In order to make this possible, all very large classes (over 155) will continue to be delivered online for the remainder of this semester, as will some smaller classes.
Students who need to study online for the rest of Semester 2 do not need to request permission to do this, but you are required to keep your study status details up to date on MySaint. Online study is not possible for a small number of programmes, including Medicine and certain lab-based subjects. If you need further clarity on whether your programme can be delivered online, please get in touch with your School’s Director of Teaching.
Continued easing of public health measures
Scotland is moving from the management of Covid by legally enforced rules to a culture in which we will all be expected to take personal responsibility for our health and the health of others around us.
Please continue to observe the Covid regulations and the St Andrews Covid Code which will remain in force without changing until at least 21 March. We will be reviewing all our Covid protocols and policies, and we will keep you informed about any changes taking effect after legal restrictions are lifted in March.
We appreciate that many members of our community will welcome the removal of legal restrictions, while some others, including those with pre-existing health conditions, will feel more anxious about this, and the return to more in-person activities. We again encourage you all to treat each other with consideration, respect and compassion. Our teaching settings allow for 1m voluntary distancing wherever possible, so for the remainder of this semester at least, please respect the fact that some people may need or prefer more space and distance than others.
If you have further questions about Covid public health measures, vaccination, self-isolation or testing, please contact the Covid Helpdesk at [email protected] or at 01334 46 4146. Please email if you do not get an answer by telephone. In an emergency contact the Security and Response team on +44 (0)1334 46 8999.
Professor Lorna Milne
Master and Deputy Principal
Professor Clare Peddie
Vice-Principal Education (Proctor)
Email to all staff and students from Master and Deputy Principal, Professor Lorna Milne, and Vice-Principal Education (Proctor), Professor Clare Peddie, on Wednesday 23 February 2022.
Issued by the University of St Andrews Communications Office.