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Home>About the University>Together York>Covid-19 Community Charter

The Together York Community Declaration sets out our principles and expectations. Together, we are a community built on respect, fairness and compassion for all.

Since the start of the pandemic, this Covid Community Charter has supplemented the responsibilities and expectations set out in the Together York declaration, for both staff and students, and across University and college policies.

The charter has evolved as the Covid response has evolved. It continues to outline how we can work together to keep each other safe, what our community can expect from the University, and what the University expects from its staff and students. 

Whilst you may have your own thoughts about our recommendations and guidance, we ask you to understand that many members of our community remain concerned and may be vulnerable, and so ask you to respect the preferences and comfort levels of those around you when making decisions about Covid-safe behaviours. 

As we move into this new academic year, together with the City of York, we are asking you to Protect, Respect and Be Kind to one another.  By continuing to take responsibility to follow the guidelines as individuals, we are collectively helping to create a safe community for us all.

Together we will:

  • Act in ways that keep our campus and the wider York community as safe as possible, looking after ourselves and each other.
  • Respect the different comfort levels, concerns and requests to engage in safe practices from those around us.
  • Be polite when asking those around us to follow advice or guidance to make ourselves feel more safe, raising concerns in a calm and informative manner.
  • Continue to implement safe practice where we are able, to protect ourselves and those around us, including:
    • Get tested regularly - Test yourself twice per week, three days apart. You can pick up self-tests from College receptions, or for those regularly on campus, testing is also available from Vedge Cafe in Wentworth College on Campus East or Ron Cooke Hub on Campus West.
    • Wear a face covering - Unless exempt, we’re asking you to wear face coverings in busy indoor spaces and while moving around buildings on campus. Keep an eye out for signage about when and where we recommend wearing them. 
    • Get vaccinated - We strongly encourage you to get fully vaccinated as soon as possible. 
  • Follow current Government and University guidance to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

You can expect the University to provide:

  • Clear signage and guidance for moving around campus and using resources.
  • Regularly sanitised research, teaching, learning and study spaces.
  • Accessible support, guidance and wellbeing services.
  • Hand sanitising stations on campus.
  • Access to regular, free rapid result testing appointments on campus.
  • Regular clear communication and guidance.

For our students, you can also expect the University to provide:

  • Adaptable student spaces for socialising
  • Emotional, social and financial* support during self-isolation.
  • Welcoming accommodation, with measures in place to help keep you safe.
  • Opportunities to participate in sports, clubs, societies and community networks, in collaboration with the Students' Unions.

*More information on self-isolation support packages can be found on our Covid-19 webpages.

Regular clear communication and guidance: an example of a digital screen from our 'Protect. Respect. Be Kind.' campaign.

As a member of the University community, you are expected to:

  • Follow national and local public health and University guidelines.
  • Self-isolate if you have Covid-19 symptoms and inform the University immediately by completing the staff reporting form or the student self-isolating and shielding reporting form (for undergraduate and postgraduate students).
  • Follow test, track and trace procedures, and get a test immediately if you have Covid-19 symptoms.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water, and use hand sanitising facilities available to you across campus.
  • Wear face coverings where specifically encouraged to do so.
  • Be respectful and sensitive to others, including individuals who are exempt from wearing a face covering.
  • Be respectful and mindful of others’ potential worries or concerns about safety.

Initiating conversations

When meeting with others - for study, work or social activities - we ask you to consider others' behaviours and approach mutual situations in a polite and positive way.

  • Don’t make assumptions about the comfort levels of those around you, or lead with an opinion that creates an atmosphere where an individual has to speak out against the majority. For example, you could ask, “Would people prefer us to wear face-coverings? I’m happy to do so”, rather than, “I don’t wear mine, so let’s take these off?”
  • Remember that all of us are still adjusting to changing behaviours and actions, and that some individuals may either be unable to take part, or may have forgotten or misunderstood in the moment. Rather than approaching a conversation as a confrontation, try clarifying or sharing information, and offering resources where appropriate. Examples of starting these conversations could be, “Do you need a face covering?”, “The hand sanitiser is over there” or, “In case you didn’t know, we are encouraging people to wear face coverings in this area”.

We all have a responsibility to help reduce the spread of Covid-19. If you see someone behaving inappropriately, remind them to follow University advice and guidelines.

Don't make assumptions about others' comfort levels. Please be supportive and respect requests to wear a face covering.

Raising concerns

As (most) legal restrictions have been removed, we understand that many behaviours are now a personal choice, but we can encourage those around us in a respectful and considerate manner. If you see someone deliberately behaving in an inappropriate manner, you can report your concerns as follows:

  • For staff, in the first instance, you can raise concerns with your line manager or your Covid-secure lead, who may be able to assist on some Covid-19 related matters, or ways to initiate difficult conversations with those around you.
  • For students, our University Report and Support tool is available for you to voice concerns on any issue.
  • To report concerns around campus and space arrangements (such as room set-up, ventilation, sanitiser stations etc), staff and students can complete our University Covid Safety Form.