I hope you have been enjoying some well-earned rest this week in the final few days before Christmas.
I know Saturday’s new Government guidance for the festive period has been disappointing for many of us. However, there is comfort in knowing that the action we are all taking now will help to keep our families, friends and wider communities as safe as possible while we await the roll-out of the vaccine.
Given the rapidly changing situation with the new strain of Covid-19, I wanted to update you on how Strathclyde is responding.
The First Minister has announced that from 26 December, all of mainland Scotland will be placed into Protection Level 4 for three weeks until 16 January. This has implications for Strathclyde over that period; however, the careful planning and hard work of colleagues across the University over the last few weeks means we are well-placed to deal with the changes.
During the last Level 4 restrictions, the Government recognised the importance of the work carried out by universities and the effectiveness of our responses to those challenging circumstances. As a consequence, we will remain open to deliver essential research activities through the period just announced by the Scottish Government.
As already planned, teaching commences online from week beginning 18 January and will continue online for the following three weeks.
Importantly, the Andersonian Library will remain open; however, for safety reasons, only Library staff will be able to access the bookshelves – students and staff customers cannot go to the shelves to retrieve a book themselves.
Unfortunately, the Level 4 Protection Level restrictions now mean that Strathclyde Sport has to close from 4pm on Wednesday 23 December until Sunday 16 January 2021 (inclusive).
Consequently, as has been the case since March, working from home will continue to be the default position for the majority of staff.
You will recognise that these are very fluid circumstances and please be assured that the Executive Team and I are continuing to monitor the situation very closely, and we will update you further as required.
I know many of you will have had your plans for the festivities affected by the latest public health measures, but I hope you will still be able to enjoy the break over the Christmas period.
Please take care and stay safe.
Best wishes, Jim