Three day lockdown, 18 person households and no visitors at colleges: Durham University updates Covid regulations

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Durham University has updated its Covid-19 regulations for the upcoming academic year in line with new local lockdown restrictions in Durham put in place by the government last week.

The University announced that all livers-in who arrive at college by the weekend of September 25th will have to remain in college for a three day period. Other announcements include the creation of 18 person households and a ban on livers-out and family members from visiting colleges, until the end of teaching week one. 

Students arriving at college this week will be required to remain in their College grounds from Sunday 27th September until the morning of Wednesday 30th September.

Several Durham University colleges announced in an email this morning that students arriving at college this week will be required to remain in their College grounds from Sunday 27th September until the morning of Wednesday 30th September. This is in order to mitigate the risk of cross-infection as students arrive at University from different locations. 

Exemptions will be made for organised college induction events, academic commitments or employment purposes. 

The email also revealed that colleges have been given approval by Durham County Council to form households of up to 18 people, and that households may be divided into sud-households to limit the amount of people using kitchen or bathroom facilities within that household. If a member of a household is experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, the whole household will be required to isolate together for a two week period. 

Catered livers-in will dine in college as a household during organised time slots, which will be staggered to avoid multiple households from being able to enter catering facilities at the same time. There will also be no self-service facilities. Colleges will be permitted to hold formals and open college bars within government guidelines

Who can enter colleges will also be restricted: the email confirmed that livers-out will not be able to enter any colleges during freshers week or in the first week of term, including their own college. An email to St. Mary’s students also stated that friends and family will not be allowed to help livers-in move into college accommodation. 

At least one person has been fined £10,000 for hosting a house party. 

However, Freps, Welfare Officers and staff will be allowed to enter college accommodation for specific purposes, and livers-out will have access to external college sport facilities if they have pre-booked. However, organised University Sport trials and training, face-to-face Performing Arts auditions and rehearsals, face-to-face meetings of Students’ Union Clubs and Societies and face-to-face volunteering projects will all be put on hold until the end of the first week of term.

These new rules come as the government introduced new lockdown restrictions across the North East last week. These include a ban on the mixing of households indoors and outdoors, and a 10pm curfew on leisure and entertainment venues.

An email to University College students revealed that some Durham residents have been fined £100 for failing to follow these rules, and at least one person has been fined £10,000 for hosting a house party. 

Image: Valentina Perzolla via Flickr

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