STUDENTS at the University of York are being warned that they could risk being excluded if they fail to follow coronavirus rules.
As more than 20,000 students arrive for the start of the new term tomorrow, Vice-Chancellor Charlie Jeffery has appealed for them to abide by guidance aimed at preventing a rise in Covid-19 cases.
He said in an email to all students that there had been significant outbreaks – and subsequently even more restrictions- at other universities over the past week.
“If we do not all play our part and follow the guidelines, there is a risk that Covid-19 rates will rise and that the restrictions we face could be increased,” he said.
“At the moment our city continues to have lower infection rates than other parts of the UK. We need to do all we can to keep it that way.”
He said the rules included being respectful and sensitive to students, staff, neighbours and the public, keeping two metres away from people who are not part of their household and not hosting or attending house parties, on or off campus.
All students needed to complete an online Covid-19 Community Safety Module, which gave clear information and advice about keeping up-to-date with government, local and university guidance, explained the Covid-secure measures put in place by the university and detailed what was expect from students.
“We know that the vast majority of our students have a strong sense of community and will do all they can to protect others. That’s why our focus is on building a clear and shared understanding, as well as creating and managing Covid-secure social spaces on campus.
“We also know that most of you will already be following the guidance, and we know the rules are restrictive. This isn’t easy, so thank you. The more we all follow the rules, the less likely we are to see further restrictions.
“Any student, however, who does not follow the rules – many of which now have legal force – may find themselves facing university disciplinary action including sanctions ranging from warnings up to exclusion from the university.
“And, as we have seen in the media, the police have been issuing penalties to students who don’t comply with government restrictions. This includes fines for those who breach legal limits on social gatherings.
“So, I urge you to complete the online module and to follow all the Covid-19 guidelines to the letter. Doing so will protect not just you, but those in the community around you. Let’s all stay smart, supportive and safe.This is a difficult time, but we are here to support you.”