Enhanced hygiene and environmental cleaning arrangements
- personal hygiene
- cleaning and disinfecting the workplace before reopening
- Legionella testing
- regular cleaning
- wearing appropriate PPE where necessary
- providing regular reminders and signage to uphold hygiene standards
- providing hand sanitiser at multiple points, in addition to washrooms
- setting clear use and cleaning to ensure they are kept clean and physical distancing is achieved where possible
- enhancing cleaning of touch points in busy areas
- taking special care with cleaning of portable toilets
- providing more waste facilities and frequent rubbish collection
- providing either paper towels or electrical driers for drying hands
- setting clear use and cleaning guidance for showers, lockers and changing rooms to ensure they are kept clean and clear of personal items and that physical distancing is achieved as much as possible
- restricting the number of people within the changing areas at any time
- enhancing cleaning and sanitising of facilities regularly throughout the day
- an assessment for all sites, or parts of sites, that have been closed, before restarting work
- cleaning procedures and providing hand sanitiser, before restarting work, in line with any requirements for reopening after prolonged closure
- checking whether you need to service or adjust ventilation systems. Advice can be sought from your heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) engineers or advisers. See HSE guidance on air conditioning and ventilation during the coronavirus outbreak and the most recent CIBSE COVID-19 ventilation guidance for more details
We published guidance on the use of face coverings , which provides a definition of face coverings (which should not be confused with PPE). Use of face coverings in the circumstances set out in this guidance should be seen as just one mitigation within a package of measures. The other mitigation measures in this guidance, including 2m physical distancing, environmental cleaning, personal hand and respiratory hygiene remain vitally important. Face coverings should not be used for the purpose of reducing physical distancing requirements.
Anyone wishing to wear a face covering in a college, university or in student accommodation should be permitted to do so, if it is safe.
Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings. Further information on exemptions can be found in the above face coverings guidance.
Face coverings should also be worn in the following circumstances (except where someone is exempt from wearing a covering):
- where people are moving about in institutions in corridors and indoor communal areas (including toilets) as well as other areas of campus where 2m physical distancing cannot be guaranteed
- in line with the current arrangements for public transport, where adults and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on public and dedicated college and university transport
- in corridors and indoor communal areas in student accommodation. This includes toilets, common rooms and laundry rooms
Face coverings should not generally be required when people are interacting face-to-face with others within their household, for example in a cluster flats or other private space.
Subject to 2m physical distancing between people of different households, enhanced cleaning and other mitigations such as rota systems being in place, face coverings do not need to be worn in kitchens and bathrooms shared by multiple households.
Face coverings have been mandatory on public transport since 19 June 2020 and in shops since 10 July 2020. From 8 August 2020, face coverings have been mandatory in wider range of settings including libraries, museums and places of worship as set out in regulations, except where a person is exempt from wearing a covering.
Face coverings may also play a particularly important role if prevalence rises, and their use may then be increased in specific local contexts on the basis of risk assessments and local factors, including as follows:
In making any such local decisions on the stepping up of use of face coverings, it will remain vitally important to consider the potential impact including via the appropriate use of Equality Impact Assessments. The impact of wearing a face covering for students or staff with additional support needs, including any level of hearing loss, should be carefully considered, as communication for many in this group relies in part on being able to see someone’s face clearly. Individuals who may not be able to handle and wear face coverings as directed (those with additional support needs or disabilities) should not wear them as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
It is vital that clear instructions are provided to students and staff on how to put on, remove, store and dispose of face coverings in all of the circumstances above, to avoid inadvertently increasing the risks of transmission. The key points are as follows:
- face coverings should not be shared with others
- before putting on or removing the face covering, hands should be cleaned by washing with soap and water or hand sanitiser
- make sure the face covering is the right size to cover the nose, mouth and chin
- when temporarily storing a face covering (e.g. during classes), it should be placed in a washable, sealed bag or container. Avoid placing it on surfaces, due to the possibility of contamination
- re-usable face coverings should be washed after each day of use at 60 degrees centigrade or in boiling water
- disposable face coverings must be disposed of safely and hygienically. Staff and students should be encouraged to place their face coverings in the general waste bin. They are not considered to be clinical waste in the same way that used PPE may be.
There should be regular messaging from institutions to staff and students about these instructions.
It is reasonable to assume that most people will now have access to re-usable face coverings due to their increasing use in wider society, and we have made available a video on how to make a simple face covering. However, where anybody is struggling to access a face covering, or where they are unable to use their face covering due to having forgotten it or it having become soiled/unsafe, institutions and providers may wish to take steps to have a contingency supply available to meet such needs.