Study spaces such as those in the libraries and Graduate School, and work areas such as office spaces have already been set-up so that social distancing can be maintained. It is therefore not mandatory for face coverings to be worn when you are at your work or study station, unless normally required as part of your role (for example in a lab or clinical setting). Similarly, one way systems and other appropriate measures have also been applied so that it is not a requirement for face coverings to be worn when moving around University buildings, for example along corridors and in stair wells. However, if you are in communal spaces such as lobby areas of buildings, social spaces and shared facilities where people tend to gather and it is not possible to maintain social distancing of 2 metres, then it is mandatory to wear a face covering from Monday 10 August.
The only exceptions have been specified by the NI Executive as follows;
There are also a small number of work settings where the mandatory use of face coverings also does not apply and staff in those areas have been made aware of this.
This reinforces the previous University position of maintaining 2 metres social distancing or 1 metre plus mitigation that was already in place. For clarity, in addition to the public/shared spaces outlined above, the wearing of a face covering may, in some instances, be one of a range of mitigations used to facilitate work to take place where social distancing of 2 metres is not possible – this is referred to as 1 metre plus mitigation.
It is not possible to be prescriptive about every potential scenario on campus where it may be necessary to wear a face-covering. All members of the community are asked to apply their common sense and act responsibly in line with public health guidance to protect themselves and those around them by wearing a face covering if social distancing cannot be maintained.
It is appreciated that many staff and students will choose to wear a face covering beyond those areas where it is mandatory as outlined above and the University fully supports this position. You should also bear in mind that for personal and health reasons that are not visible, some members of our community will not be able to wear a face covering. All staff and students are expected to respect each other’s choices in this regard.