Page updated: 15 September 2020

Return to campus

We’ve been busy behind the scenes to prepare the campus for September. 

Our ‘4 C’s’ approach is based around minimising crowds and close contact, while taking extra measures in confined spaces and extending our cleaning programme. As part of this you'll find information below on the use of face coverings on campus and the additional cleaning measures we've put in place.


Some of the specific things we’re doing include:

  • We are designing new layouts in classrooms and facilities to support collaborative learning in a safer environment, this includes laboratories and specialist facilities such as our Clinical Skills Suites.
  • We will be timetabling courses in line with social distancing guidelines, so there will be fewer students in rooms than usual. We’ll do this by making full use of the teaching day, including scheduling classes in the late afternoon and evening.
  • We are introducing one-way traffic flows around buildings and have produced signage to guide people around our campuses and buildings.
  • There will be hand sanitiser stations in every building and outdoor handwashing facilities around the campus.
  • We are preparing additional outdoor seating areas, which can be used for informal learning and socialising
  • We will continue with our enhanced cleaning programme, including a greater frequency of cleaning in commonly used areas in buildings, such as toilets.
  • We can’t do this alone, and we will need our students to follow guidelines designed to protect their own safety and wellbeing and that of others, both inside and outside University premises and to follow government guidelines with regards to social distancing and use of face coverings.

Guidance on the use of face coverings on campus

In line with Government guidance in England, face coverings are mandatory in some University settings, including our library (which is a Joint University and Public library) and the Campus shop.

Students and staff are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed indoor spaces on campus, particularly when they are moving around.

We have also implemented a range of other mitigating measures, such as increased ventilation, to help minimise the transmission of the virus and ensure that Worcester is a Covid-19 coldspot.

You can find detailed guidance below on our approach to the use of face coverings.

Why are you recommending the use of face coverings on campus?

While social distancing and good hand hygiene remain the key ways to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, face coverings are particularly helpful in minimising the transmission of droplets in situations where social distancing at 2 metres or more is not achievable.

Along with enhanced cleaning regimes, increased ventilation, detailed signage, revised seating plans and many other measures, the use of face coverings will ensure we keep our community as safe as possible. We are making this recommendation to reassure and protect our students and staff while on campus.

We have a shared responsibility for the safety of ourselves and each other. Your face covering may protect others. Their face covering may protect you.

Where do I have to wear a face covering? (UPDATED - 15 SEPTEMBER

In line with Government legislation in England, face coverings are mandatory in some University settings, including our library, which is a Joint University and Public library. It is also mandatory to wear a mask in shops, which includes our Campus shop.

We are strongly recommending that students and staff wear a face covering in all other indoor settings, particularly when you are moving around campus or cannot maintain social distancing.

Here are some examples:

  • You would wear a face covering when purchasing lunch in the canteen and walking to your table. Once seated, you can remove your face covering to eat your meal.
  • In a classroom, you should keep your face covering on if you are taking part in close group work, but might remove it if you are able to maintain social distancing.
  • When seated and working at a desk in a staff office, you shouldn’t need to wear a face covering unless it is your personal preference, but you would put one on to collect papers from a communal printer.

How do face coverings help prevent the spread of Covid-19?

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or speaks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Face coverings may help reduce the transmission of these droplets and help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others.

Recent studies show that a significant portion of individuals with COVID-19 lack symptoms (are “asymptomatic”) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (are “pre-symptomatic”) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms, which is why it is important to wear a face covering, even if you feel well. 

What is a face covering?

A face covering is anything that covers your mouth and nose while allowing you to breathe comfortably. It can be as simple as a scarf or bandana that ties behind your head, or if you usually wear a religious covering such as a niqab this is also suitable.

The Government advises against using a surgical mask or high grade personal protective equipment as simple face coverings are sufficient for people in their day-to-day activities, and they want to ensure there is enough stock available for professionals such as health and care workers who need them.

Will the University provide face coverings?

It is already mandatory to wear a face covering in a range of settings, including public transportation and in shops, so most people will already own a face covering.

Whichever your preferred option, it is your responsibility to ensure that you have an appropriate face covering while you are on campus.

A small stock of complimentary non-PPE face coverings and face shields will be available from the St John's main reception during the beginning of September. 

Will everyone be wearing a face covering?

There will be a small number of staff and students who will not be wearing a face covering for health reasons.  Please be sensitive towards any student or member of staff who is not wearing a face covering as we want to ensure we are respecting the health of all members of our community.  

There are also scenarios when you may be asked to remove a face covering, for example, to be identified by an exam invigilator or to facilitate communication with someone who relies on lip reading. 

Where can I find out more?

This information is based on Government guidance and best practice. For the latest guidance please visit:

 Additional cleaning measures

What additional cleaning measures have been introduced on Campus?

  • There are hand sanitisers at the entrances to all buildings
  • Each kitchen will have hand roll dispensers, virucidal cleaning spray and hand sanitiser.
  • All classrooms will have cleaning stations consisting of hand sanitiser, paper towels/rolls and virucidal cleaner for personnel use. 
  • Classrooms will be sanitised every evening with an electrostatic sprayer which also uses virucidal cleaner.
  • We are increasing the frequency of cleaning
  • We will clean high touch points (door handles / banisters etc.) regularly

How will you clean teaching space if they are being used more frequently?

All classrooms are to be Sanitised daily (overnight) using an Electrostatic sprayer.  Classrooms will also have self-cleaning stations for students and staff to use as and when they feel necessary. All lecturers will be issued wipes for their keyboards etc.

Will the staff kitchens still be in use?

Kitchens will be in use however all towels and some items where cross contamination can occur have been removed. Kitchens will have blue roll, cleaning products and hand sanitiser. 

How often will you be cleaning the toilets / kitchens?

Toilets are high priority areas and will be cleaned twice daily. A separate Janitor team is being set up specifically for this role.

The cleaning team will aim to clean kitchens throughout the week depending on usage. Toilets and kitchens will be sanitised with an Electrostatic sprayer at least once per week.

Due to the nature of the virus, staff are advised to clean areas after each use and not leave items lying around on the kitchen tops. 

Will my office get cleaned and how often?

Offices, especially low occupancy offices, will not be a high priority at this time though the cleaning team will attempt to clean individual offices once a week.

Colleagues occupying offices are asked to self-clean themselves on a regular basis.

Cleaning products are available in all kitchen areas and from on request. Plastic Bin Bags will be provided for offices for disposing of wipes.

What products are you using? (For those with allergies)

The cleaning team will be using a virucidal disinfectant on all surfaces. Please contact for further detail. 

Can I bring my own cleaning products in to clean my desk?

Bleach products are not permitted on site – please do not bring them in.

We prefer colleagues to use our recommended / provided products however if you feel safer using other products then please discuss with the Cleaning Services Manager (  as we will need to assess the compatibility / safety of any brought in products. 

What do we do if we have a cleaning problem?

If you have any concerns please either email of if the issue is urgent call 3344 for assistance.