Staff Update: transition to the Winter break and updated guidance on travel

Staff Update: transition to the Winter break and updated guidance on travel

Message to staff November 19, 2020

Dear colleague, 

On Tuesday the First Minister announced that both Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire are to remain in Level Two under current Covid restrictions.   

This is welcome news, and we would like to thank you all for the part you have played in putting in place and supporting the blended learning approach we have taken so that we can continue to provide students with their learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue with blended learning until the end of the day on 9 December, at which point in-person teaching will cease to ensure that everyone planning to travel prior to the Winter break will be able to do so, even if they need to isolate from that date. Teaching and assessments will continue online until term ends on 18 December.  

In order to continue to protect our community we must all play our part by following the FACTS guidance: face coverings, avoiding crowded places, cleaning our hands regularly, keeping a two-metre distance and self-isolating and book a test if symptoms develop.  

This is particularly important to ensure safe departures over the Winter break and we will update you on our planning to help deliver that as soon as we can. 

Updated guidance on travel 

From Friday, previous travel advice will become law. This means that:  

  • People living in level three or level four areas must not travel outside their own council area, except for certain essential purposes.  

  • People living elsewhere in Scotland must not travel to level three or level four areas, except for essential purposes.  

  • There must be no non-essential travel between Scotland and other parts of the UK.  

Both education and work are exempt from these restrictions, where that cannot be done from your home or where teaching is not provided remotely.   

We will continue with our blended learning approach to minimise numbers on campus and home working will remain the default position until such time that this advice might change. We expect our current approach on blended learning and home working will continue in January – subject to Scottish Government guidance. 

Teaching timings 

To help us all manage our workloads during these testing times, please also remember that meetings and teaching sessions should finish promptly to allow people to move safely around campus or to have time to gather their thoughts for online sessions.    

We would like to take this opportunity to thank you all once again for the way we have all pulled together to deliver our first half session.  

It has been heartening to see such a collective effort which stands us in good stead as we plan the transition to the Winter break.   

Best wishes  

Karl and Debbie 

Professor Karl Leydecker  
Senior Vice-Principal


Debbie Dyker  
Acting Director of Operations


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