Covid-19 guidance for staff

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

Returning to campus

Following the latest Government guidance and the lifting of current restrictions, in addition to in-person teaching in BSMS and ESW (which started in January), we can resume some in-person activity from 8 March for certain courses with practical elements in the following Schools and departments:
  • Life Sciences;
  • Engineering and Informatics;
  • Media, Arts and Humanities

Schools will be in touch directly with academic and professional services staff who will be asked to return, so that we can provide guidance to our students on the courses that this relates to. See how to book your Covid-19 tests and more about Semester Two.

All other academic teaching staff on non-practice-based courses will need to continue teaching online, and Government will review the options for when they can return by the end of the Spring vacation.

We will let you know more as soon as we can after that date and the Government has committed to giving universities a week’s notice ahead of any further reopening.

Professional Services colleagues, working with Schools, are co-ordinating plans for how students and staff will continue to return to the University of Sussex campus in stages.

Last term we held a series of webinars about our plans for a phased return to campus which are now available online with answers to questions asked by staff.

We will soon be holding more webinars about the current lockdown and what it means for staff.

If you do have any questions about our phased return to campus you can email

It is clear that a number of lockdown arrangements may be in place for some time. Social distancing and travel restrictions, in some form or another, will likely be in place for several months.

You can read the government coronavirus guidance.

Find out how you report symptoms.

See our dashboard for Covid-19 reporting and information to follow the number of cases in our campus community.

The likelihood is that we will follow a 4-step approach 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 will be able to return to campus to provide in-person teaching and support as required to the students who can return  

  • Step 2 – Following the Spring vacation (at the end of April), the Government has stated it will review the guidelines.  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 1 July 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 H&S measures. 

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

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

Liaison with key partners – including Chartwells, Interserve (via Sussex Estates and Facilities), the Co-op, Balfour Beatty and many more – will be a key consideration at all stages.

The Health and Safety Committee, chaired by Chief Operating Officer Tim Westlake, has trade union representation and is meeting every two weeks.

If you have 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.

Read about how Sussex is responding to Covid-19.