Message from the University Secretary – COVID-19 update
Dear Students and Colleagues
Thank you all for your incredible response to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. Acting responsibly and following the latest guidance continues to minimise the risk posed here at the University and in the wider local community.
As the country experiences a new spike in this pandemic, I want to reassure you that the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our number one priority.
Access to your studies, our library and other services on the campus remains unchanged
As you will be aware, the Scottish Government has announced a range of temporary nationwide and localised restrictions to control the spread of COVID-19. As the University is located in Forth Valley – one of five health board areas facing additional localised restrictions due to higher infection rates – I want to provide you with an update on how the changes affect us on campus. The new measures in full.
The new measures will be introduced at 6pm Friday 9 October and remain in place until, and including, Sunday 25 October. Please note, however, that access to campus, your studies, the library and many other services remains unchanged.
Travel to the University campus for work and study reasons is permitted.
In the five areas with heightened restrictions, you should avoid using public transport unless it's absolutely necessary, such as travel to work or study. Our campus is a hub for the Nextbike and Forth Bike bicycle sharing schemes, which provide a low cost and convenient way to get around Stirling. Access to Nextbike is currently free for students and staff. For details, and further guidance on the safe use of bicycle sharing facilities, please visit the links above.
Anyone living in the five areas is also advised not to travel outside of their health board area if they don’t need to. Likewise, people living elsewhere are advised against non-essential travel to those five regions.
Hospitality and retail
In Forth Valley, Ayrshire and Arran, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire and Lothian, all licensed premises – including pubs, restaurants, snooker and pool halls, indoor bowling alleys, casinos and bingo halls – will be closed. Cafes will be able to open until 6pm, however won’t be permitted to serve alcohol, while takeaways will remain open.
Hotels will remain open for residents only and cannot serve alcohol and outdoor live events are not permitted.
In line with the latest guidance, Studio bar in the Students’ Union will close at 10pm tonight (October 8) for the duration of the restricted period. However, a range of catering options remain available on the University campus:
Scran, the Atrium
Opening times (takeaway and delivery):
Monday – Sunday: 9am – 10pm
Free delivery on campus: 5pm – 10pm every day
Refresh at Willow Court
Opening times (sit in and takeaway):
Monday – Friday: 8.30am – 10pm
Saturday – Sunday: 10am – 10pm
*Please note alcohol is not available and, after 6pm, Refresh is only open to student residents. After this time, student identification will be required before service is provided.
The Pod at Pathfoot
Opening times (takeaway):
Monday – Friday: 8am – 3pm
For those living outside of the five areas with heightened restrictions, licensed premises will be permitted to serve food and non-alcoholic drinks between 6am and 6pm. Alcohol can be served outdoors only (e.g. in a beer garden) up until 10pm.
Nationwide, meetings in hospitality settings remain limited to six people from two households. Shops are required to reinstate two-metre physical distancing and other measures are also to be reintroduced, including one-way systems in supermarkets.
A new on-campus Co-op supermarket will open in the Atrium on Thursday 22 October.
In the five areas with heightened restrictions, contact sports for people aged 18 and over is suspended, except for professional sports. Indoor group exercise activities are also suspended, however, gyms can remain open for individual exercise.
The University gym remains open for individual activity, however, all fitness classes have been suspended and additional online provision for some of those will be made available soon. Details on how the restrictions will impact on student sports programmes will be communicated via the University of Stirling Sport app and through the website.
Comprehensive support is available to all of our students, including those living within University-managed accommodation, and we have committed to the Consistent Core of Care for Students, along with all universities in Scotland.
Restrictions remain in place preventing visits between households and the Scottish Government has stressed that this is the single most-effective measure in stopping the virus moving from one household to another.
In University-managed student accommodation, this means: only those who live in your flat are allowed in your flat; guests must not be invited to your flat; and overnight guests are not allowed.
An extended household may be formed where a person living alone forms a bubble with one other household. A household should not form an extended household with more than one other household.
The Scottish Government advise that you should remain in your student accommodation and not visit family at home. If you have to visit home – for example, in the case of a family emergency or for wellbeing reasons – and you reside in University-managed accommodation, please advise our Accommodation Team, who will support your safe return.
Health, safety and wellbeing
In keeping with Scottish Government guidance, while on campus it is mandatory to wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where physical distancing is not possible, unless an exemption applies. We are asking everyone to commit to the Stirling Campus Pledge which includes wearing a face covering.
Outdoors, or in a hospitality setting, no more than six people from two households should meet together; always maintain two-metre physical distancing; and minimise the number of meetings with other households each day.
Please continue to protect yourself and others by following the latest Government guidance: wear a face covering, avoid crowded places, clean hands and surfaces regularly, stay two-metres away from other people and self-isolate and book a test if you have COVID-19 symptoms – a new continuous cough, fever or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste.
I realise that this is an anxious time for us all. The support each of us gives to our family, friends and colleagues at this moment is especially important. I am impressed, as always, with the Stirling community coming together at this time.
The University additionally has support mechanisms in place to help you cope with any concerns or problems you may have. Please remember a range of services are available to you. Students can contact our Student Support Services team and also access the anonymous online wellbeing platform togetherall. Colleagues are able to use the University Employee Assistance Programme, which is available 24/7.
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
COVID Response Lead