AS students get ready to return to Oxford this weekend, Covid safety measures have been put in place by both Oxford University and Oxford Brookes to minimise the spread of Covid-19.

Their return will help the city get back to a more normal rhythm of life for many businesses and organisations, as students form a key part of the Oxford economy and our communities.

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With the new academic year approaching, both universities will continue to have measures in place to manage the Covid risk, and as many students are now vaccinated as well as local residents, Oxford City Council says the risk this year is lower.

Students are being encouraged to get vaccinated before they arrive at university if they can; pop-up vaccination centres will be provided at both universities for those who have not been able to get vaccinated; students will be urged to get tested before they arrive, and to keep home testing twice weekly throughout the term.

Oxford Mail: Oxford Brookes

Many larger lectures will take place online, with smaller sessions going ahead in-person and appropriate safety measures in place.

PCR testing for symptomatic cases is available on site at Oxford Brookes and Oxford University.

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Professor Anne-Marie Kilday, Pro Vice-Chancellor Student and Staff Experience at Oxford Brookes University, said: “We have been planning in detail for the return of students to Oxford in September, and are confident that we will continue to protect the health and safety of the local community, our staff and students.

"Even though life is opening up, we remain vigilant, continuing with some safety measures such as face coverings, and online teaching for larger groups.

“We also have high expectations of our students in terms of their behaviour, and will be writing to all residents in areas largely populated with Oxford Brookes students, reminding them of our procedures.”

Oxford Mail:

Oxford Brookes arrivals are this weekend, while Oxford University students will arrive from early October. International students arriving will have to follow the same quarantine rules as any overseas arrivals.

Throughout the first semester, student community wardens from Oxford Brookes are prioritising visits to students in private rental properties.

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Case rates in Oxford are currently around the national average.

Ansaf Azar, Oxfordshire Director of Public Health, said: “Cases in Oxfordshire are on the increase in line with the picture we are seeing across the rest of the country, and we expect numbers to increase further with the return of schools and universities.

“We are working closely with the universities to ensure that we have all the measures in place to limit transmission of the virus and provide support to those who might need to self-isolate.”

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