Covid-19 guidelines - for students

Covid-19 guidelines - for students

Email to students sent from the Academic Registrar

Dear Student

As already advised yesterday, the University of Malta is pleased to welcome you back on Campus for the Academic Year 2021-22. Our priority is to safeguard the health, safety and wellbeing of all students and staff whilst delivering high quality education and training consistent with its normal standards. The aim of the University is to achieve a balance between mitigating the COVID-19 related risks and ensuring that UM students can experience the appropriate educational journey on campus without the distress and social disruption that the pandemic has bought about.

The cooperation of everyone on campus is solicited: and even when in the community is essential to mitigate as much as possible the risk of transmission. The need to adhere strictly to the directions given by the Public Health Authorities at all time cannot be emphasised enough. It is important to remember that persons who are vaccinated can still carry and transmit the virus and be themselves infected by others even though the consequence for vaccinated persons are normally much milder than those suffered by unvaccinated individuals.

The following are the protocols that will be observed on all campuses of the University. All students are required to adhere to them at all times. These protocols may be revised to reflect any national directives that may be issued from time to time.

This is considered as the main measure which mitigates against viral transmission. Student-student and staff-student physical interactions need to be limited to what is essential and necessary. Virtual meetings are preferred to physical meetings and any queries can be addressed to the specific email address of your Faculty, Institute, Centre or School. In the lecture rooms and during short on-campus meetings and encounters in offices, hallways and in open spaces a distance of 2 metres should be kept between students and staff. Students should avoid crowding especially inside hallways, foyers and other areas, both indoors and outdoors. Desks in lecture venues have been placed at a distance of 1 metre from each other and should not be moved. During online teaching, it is mandatory to switch on the camera on your laptop/computer and leave it on for the duration of the session.

Wearing of face masks and/or visors in closed community spaces for a considerable amount of time is mandatory. Therefore, the wearing of masks and/or visors on campus is mandatory at all times including in lecture rooms, laboratories, clinics, workshops, etc. It is also strongly recommended that masks are also used in open spaces.

The University is undertaking more frequent cleaning of rooms, etc. However, it is essential that students use hand sanitizers placed near the lecture venues before entering the room and to wipe the desk and chairs they use before and after use with alcohol wipes. May I remind you that hugging, shaking of hands etc are to be avoided.

Doors and windows should be kept open throughout the day to allow for cross ventilation.

If you feel unwell please do not come on campus. If you test positive for COVID-19, you are required to inform the COVID-19 Student Contact Person on Tel No 2340 4000 and be asked to provide information on the locations visited as well as the people with whom you may have had close contact. You can return to campus only when you are certified by the Public Health Authorities and will need to provide proof of this on the day that you first return to University.

Hubs have been set up on campus so that all student and staff have their temperature taken every day. Anyone with a temperature of 37.2˚ or higher will be asked to leave the University. Students will be provided with a wristband to indicate that they have undertaken the necessary temperature check. Students without a mask and not wearing a wristband will not be admitted to lecture venues, the Library or any other University building.

Students who are found to have a high temperature on entering Campus will be refused entry and are to immediately inform the COVID-19 Student Contact Person on Tel No 2340 4000. In this case you are to call a medical practitioner for follow up and to stay home until 24 hours after symptoms resolve or as directed by the Public Health Authorities, if applicable. A document from Public Health Authorities is required to be provided to the Faculty Manager when returning on Campus.

In order to keep a distance of 1 metre between students, all lecture venues, the Library, IT Services and other locations can accommodate a limited number of students. The University has set up a number of marquees, with desks placed at the appropriate distance for students to have a place where to study. No group work will be allowed and students will be monitored to ensure that the University Guidelines are adhered to at all times.

Should students not follow the University Guidelines and the instructions given in this email, the University reserves the right to take disciplinary action.
The full version of the UM Advice and Guidelines to Staff and Students can be accessed through this link.      

Wishing you all a safe journey through the coming academic year.

Colin Borg
Academic Registrar