Returning to campus

See our plan and guidance to keep our community safe during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Four-step approach

We are following these four steps in line with the Government’s roadmap:

  • Step 1 – 8 March: Academic teaching staff and support staff on certain practical and practice-based courses outlined above returned to campus to provide in-person teaching and support as required to the students who can return
  • Step 2 – 17 May: Students allowed back on campus. Depending on what is allowed from this time, we will plan for a wider opening of campus to allow staff and students to return for the final weeks of the term, in line with our previous arrangements about staff returning to work on campus
  • Step 3 – From August onwards, it is anticipated that a fuller return to campus for all staff will be allowed, in adherence to our health and safety guidelines about social distancing
  • Step 4 – For the new academic year 2021/22 we anticipate there will be a full return to campus with in-person teaching resumed, again linked to Government guidelines and continuing health and safety measures.

Coming back

The Government has indicated that the current roadmap for a much broader relaxation of restrictions is on course for 19 July.

To give ourselves time to respond to any new measures required, we plan to start welcoming staff back to campus from August.

This will give you the opportunity to enjoy being back on campus and familiarise yourself with the benefits of working with colleagues in normal surroundings as we move towards a full return for the start of the new academic year.

From now, you can start returning to campus. More staff are beginning to do this, if only for one or two days a week.

Make sure you have the agreement of your line manager. This helps us understand the number of people in buildings and offices.

You can download specific guidance on working in offices [PDF], using labs [PDF] and working in teaching spaces [PDF].

From 17 May

Government Covid-19 restrictions are still in place. Find out what you can and cannot do.

From this date:

  • students can return to university
  • restaurants, cafes and pubs can serve people sitting inside
  • holidays abroad may be allowed
  • indoor gyms can reopen (you can only go alone or with people from your household).

For Sussex staff this means:

  • staff should continue to work remotely unless they are delivering in-person teaching, or are in essential roles, working in core campus services (such as the Library and shops) which support our students or those involved in the smooth running of campus (such as facilities or technology servicing roles)
  • returning to campus – currently the Government advice is to work from home where possible, so do get the approval of your line manager before coming back to work on campus
  • health and safety guidance – visit the Covid-19 Health & Safety resources page which has information on testing, ventilation and the wearing of facemasks
  • sports and activities – the Sport Centre and Falmer Sports Complex fully reopened for both indoor and outdoor sports including the fitness facilities and classes based on Covid-19 restrictions. Sports clubs are also able to train and compete subject to their specific national governing body guidelines. Visit Sussexsport for full details and opening hours
  • catering on campus – see our catering venue opening times, including the Arts Piazza cafe is open (9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday), serving coffees and sandwiches
  • shops on campus – opening hours for the Co-op store in Bramber House.

From end of July (19 July onwards)

From this date (at the earliest), the Government says:

  • remaining social contact restrictions will be lifted
  • large events can take place.

At Sussex this phase means:

  • from August – staff can continue to return to campus (within guidelines, to be set out by the government and our own health and safety measures)
  • assessment – the resit assessment period in August will be online
  • sport and activities – no restrictions will apply. Visit Sussexsport for full details and opening times
  • catering on campus – see our catering venue opening times

September 2021

We are optimistic the next academic year will be close to normal for students returning to Sussex, with a full return to working on campus with a new Remote Working Framework in place (to support a hybrid model of working).

This means:

  • staff return to new ways of working (hybrid model)
  • teaching – we are aiming to return to mainly campus-based teaching and learning in September 2021, while recognising that some students may need to study remotely
  • assessment – this will be online for the academic year 2021/22 (although there may be exceptions, for example if required by accrediting bodies)
  • sport and activities – Sussexsport plans to return to a normal pre- Covid service. Visit Sussexsport for full details and opening hours
  • catering on campus – Sussex Food catering will resume their main operations.

The above will depend on the government’s Covid-19 advice for England.

This phased campus re-opening is informed by medical advice and government guidance. It is prioritised around:

  • ensuring the safety of students, staff and visitors.
  • supporting students’ education.
  • enabling research to continue.


If you are returning to campus you might be wondering about:

Security passes

If you’ve not been back on campus for some months, then you may need to reactivate your security card. Contact your Facilities Manager.


Parking charges are currently suspended until further notice but you will need to register your car with the Transport team if you plan to park.

Travelling to campus

Staff are encouraged to consider active travel options that enable social distancing, such as walking and cycling to and from campus. See our Transport pages and read the Goverment guidance on travel.

Face coverings

Hands, face and space is still applicable, so it’s important to wear face masks in communal areas and when walking around offices, buildings and corridors. Any meetings and workspaces must be socially distanced and you should make sure desks and tables and sanitised after use.

Getting tested before you return

All staff working on campus should get weekly Covid-19 tests at our on-site testing centre in Bramber House or using the home testing kits that are easily ordered from the website.


See new guidance on vaccinations – including arrangements for vaccine appointments and sickness absence.

The University strongly endorses employees to take part in the vaccination programme against Covid-19, in line with government guidance. We understand that it is ultimately each individual’s personal choice, but we request all of our employees to make a fully informed decision on whether to accept the Covid-19 vaccination by reading literature published by official sources.

Health and safety guidance for your return

Guidance for staff returning to campus is available on our Health and Safety pages.

Using your desktop computer back on campus

For most people, you can use the computer you used prior to working from home, but check with your line manager that no one else is using your machine that day.

Using different campus equipment to what you had before

We will be analysing the IT needs of all staff to enable hybrid and flexible working. None of the existing desktops will be removed and will be available for use for people working on campus. The ultimate aim for the technology will be mobile first (i.e. portable) and will encompass more than just laptops – e.g. additional monitors, keyboards, mice, connecting hubs etc. Understanding everyone’s needs is a complex task and will need to be carried out over the coming months

HR guidance

We want to ensure you have the information you need to return to campus safely. Make sure you are familiar with our future working advice for staff, managers and the Remote Working Framework.

What’s open on campus

Shops and eating places on campus are operating under restricted open times. Check opening hours for the Co-op store in Bramber House and our catering venue opening times.

Visit the Sussexsport pages for the latest information about facilities, what they are offering online and how to contact the team.

Coronavirus cases on campus

You can view the Covid-19 reporting dashboard to keep up-to-date with cases.

Using the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app

Download and use the NHS Covid-19 contact-tracing app which is the fastest way to see if you’re at risk from coronavirus.


If you have more questions about our plans, email

We have a hotline for students and parents to call if they have questions about our response, plans or support: 01273 876500.

You can also read about how Sussex is responding to Covid-19.