15 Dec 2021: COVID-19 update
Yesterday in Parliament, the First Minister outlined new guidance and additional protective measures to tackle the spread of the Omicron variant.
Staying safe and protecting others this winter
It is vital we all continue to follow the latest government and public health guidance. Evidence shows that the new, highly transmissible Omicron strain of COVID-19 can infect those who have been vaccinated, or previously infected.
While the government advises that getting fully vaccinated remains the best protection against COVID-19, the First Minister has also asked that in the run up to Christmas and in the period after, we all limit our social contact, restricting gatherings to no more than three households. Additionally, avoiding crowded places and shopping at quieter times is recommended. In view of the First Minister’s statement, for the rest of this semester please try to limit social get togethers or move social plans online.
Even if you don’t have symptoms, taking regular lateral flow tests - available on campus, from pharmacies and online- especially before mixing with other people, remains important to keeping yourself and those around you safe. If you do have symptoms, you must self isolate, book a PCR test and please advise the University by completing this form.
The Chief Medical Officer will write to those at highest risk with further advice and guidance.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine booster dose will help heighten the protection you gained from your first two doses and give you longer-term protection. Please note an NHS vaccination centre is running in the Pathfoot Building. To find out more and to book an appointment visit the NHS Inform website.
As Omicron cases rise around the world, the UK government advises that restrictions targeted at specific countries on the international travel red list are no longer as effective and the red list has been scrapped from 4am today (Wed 15 Dec). All international passengers arriving in the UK must however continue to take a pre-departure test before travel, as well as taking a PCR test on or before day 2 of arrival in the UK, self-isolating until a negative result is received.
If you intend on leaving the UK to travel overseas over the winter break, you should consider plans carefully, check airline requirements, review regulations at your destination and in any countries you may pass through. Please also follow Scottish Government travel guidance, as advice on travelling to the UK may be subject to change.
As planned, the teaching timetable for the spring semester will issue this Friday (17 December) via the ‘Timetable’ tile on the University of Stirling app and through My Module Timetable Checker. Please check regularly for any updates to personal timetables.
We are of course carefully monitoring advice in relation to the Omicron variant and, should the Scottish Government introduce any new guidance which could impact on our teaching plans, we are ready to respond and adapt.
We will continue to keep you updated if new information becomes available, so please keep an eye on your emails and the student portal in the new year, and in the lead up to the beginning of the spring semester.
In the meantime, please take care of yourself and look after those around you.
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer
COVID-19 Response Lead