The University of Manchester has taken the decision to make face coverings mandatory in all indoor spaces on the University campus starting from today, Monday 29th November.
In an email sent to all students this morning the University explained it was “closely monitoring the situation over the Omicron variant of COVID.”
The University went on to say that they “don’t yet know the risk that this variant poses” and that the action taken was a “precautionary measure.” However, they were quick to clarify that this did not apply to solo use spaces, but was required in offices and study spaces, unless social distancing of two metres was in place.
The measure is in line with new government guidance from Tuesday 30th November, which will require individuals to wear a face-covering when on public transport or in shops. This guidance comes after the Scottish government confirmed this morning that six cases of the new variant had been identified, and over the weekend three had been identified in England.
The University stressed the importance to take all other measures in order to protect yourself against Covid-19, including getting vaccinated with regular washing and sanitising of your hands.
A second year Engineering student said, “Is this just the start before we go back to everything being online?”
Whereas a third year Economics student supported the measure, saying: “This is probably better than letting it spread too much and missing more Uni.”
The measures will remain in place until further notice, taking precedent over any other messaging provided in buildings, with face coverings available for free around the University campus.