Covid -19 has had an unprecedented effect on everyone’s lives, forcing the vast majority of events, plans and shops to stop. With the reopening process now in full swing and cases slowly falling many students are now looking ahead to September and how campus will look in a social distanced world.
While all the plans put in place are subject to the continued case numbers falling, both returning and new students can expect a campus where most facilities are open but social distancing is enforced throughout.
The University has committed to “blended learning” for the entirety of the 2020/21 academic year. As part of this announcement, the University confirmed that all classes that include more than 25 people will be moved online for the duration of term 1.
There will still be in person teaching delivered in term 1, such as small seminar groups or lab sessions. Lectures will be moved online, as well as “the majority of assessments”.
Face coverings are now compulsory in all Univeristy and Student Union buildings.
Individual academic departments are set to release specifics for each course in the coming weeks before term begins on the 5 October.
The library currently remains closed, but has launched a “click and collect” system for students to take out books while the library is closed.
Both the Rootes Learning Grid and the University House Learning Grid have reopened, with reduced hours of 9am-17:45pm Monday to Friday
First year students and other students who have been allocated on campus accommodation will be welcomed onto campus as normal. An FAQ list released by Warwick Accommodation specifies that students will be able to freely interact with fellow students who use the same kitchen without the need for social distancing.
The frequency of cleaning for shared areas such as the kitchen and bathrooms has been increased, and “touchpoints” such as door handles and light switches will be cleaned at an even greater frequency.
Additional hand sanitiser stations and social distancing wall and floor signs have been installed throughout campus, including in on campus accommodation.
Certain terms of on campus accommodation contracts have been extended to facilitate students they may need to cancel their contract at late notice due to government imposed travel restrictions. For students that contract COVID-like systems while in on campus accommodation there is a 24 hour hotline available and a outlined process to follow.
Students will no longer be able to host house parties in on campus accommodation, and will also be prohibited from receiving visitors for overnight stays. Warwick Accommodation recommends that students socialise in “the many open spaces and places open on campus”.
The organiser of competitive inter university sport, BUCS, has announced that the 2020/21 season will not feature promotion or demotion for any team, in order to facilitate a potentially disrupted season. This also means that no new teams can be entered and compete in BUCS tournaments until the 2021/22 season.
Warwick sport reopened the sports centre in line with new government guidance. Currently gym, swimming and class space must be booked in advance. Water machines are currently not available and gym users are not permitted to bring a towel.
Changing rooms are available but have a reduced capacity with some completely closed off.
Memberships have been reactivated after being frozen when the Sports Hub closed in March. Every membership has been extended by 125 days, the length of time that the Sports Hub was closed for. Finalists that will not be returning to Warwick will be granted access to a refund for the period of time when the Sports Hub was not open.
Sports teams will be allowed to train outside as normal, with indoor training planned to resume in November.
Eating and Drinking facilities
Only the Rootes Grocery Store and the NAIC café are currently open on campus, with the other outlets directly owned by the University such as the Library and Fusion Bar remain closed but are due to open when term begins.
Facilities owned by the Student’s Union (SU) such as the Terrace Bar, Dirty Duck and Canopy also remain closed. The SU have not released specific information about when these facilities are expected to open. It is likely that they will undergo a safety review at a similar time to the University owned facilities and be open in time for Welcome Week.
The Copper Rooms will remain closed as nightclubs are still not permitted to open as per government guidelines.
Societies and socialising
The Student’s Union is currently encouraging societies to plan outside events as room bookings “will be hard to come by”. Currently there are restrictions on the maximum number of people allowed in a room, with some rooms no longer able to be booked for society events.
The Copper Rooms, the