School of English and Drama: Covid-19 Good Practice Guidance

This document covers the measures we are taking for everyone’s safety and the behaviours we encourage from our staff and student body. As government guidance regarding Covid-19 continues to change we all need to act in a responsible way to help protect the vulnerable among us, and help to keep our community safe.

University level information can be found on the main QMUL website.

  • General
  • Vaccination
  • Testing
  • Hygiene
  • Self-isolation
  • Symptoms and Testing Positive
  • Cleaning Protocols
  • Face Coverings
  • Face Coverings and Covid-Secure Performance Practice in Drama
  • Exemptions
  • Ventilation
  • Moving around and activities on Campus
  • Drama Practical Work Additional Precautions

We know that many staff and students remain cautious and we feel it is important to continue to act with additional consideration for the safety of others.  

We are guided by the latest official government and Public Health England guidance and will update this document if this advice changes in the coming months.

Being fully vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself and others against Covid-19. It also means you can get an NHS Covid Pass, which you may be asked to show to travel abroad, or to enter some public events and venues. You can find more information and book your vaccinations on the  NHS website.

Vaccination centre on campus

From Monday 13 September, there will be a vaccination centre on our Mile End campus in the Temporary Building in Geography Square. 

  • You don’t have to get your second vaccine or booster in the same place you got your first.
  • There is a vaccination centre on our Mile End campus in the Temporary Building in Geography Square. You can book an appointment or walk-in.

You can find further details on this page

          


Students and staff  are encouraged to take a Covid Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test at least twice a week, even if they have been vaccinated. 

More information, including how to order test kits, can be found here.   

  • Make sure that you  wash your hands regularly with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time.
  • Ensure you wash your hands as soon as possible upon arrival to campus, after contact with high touch surfaces (e.g. lifts, shared desks or equipment, reception desks), before and after eating or drinking and after travelling on public transport.
  • If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand. Dispose your tissues into a bin and immediately wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser.
  • Avoid touching your face including your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • There will be hand sanitisers and multi-surface cleaning wipes for you to use in common areas, as well as plenty of hand-washing facilities.

The legal requirement to self-isolate has been removed, however anyone with COVID-19 should still adhere to the requirements (i.e. stay at home and avoid contact with other people, not attend work) at  https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-contacts/covid-19-people-with-covid-19-and-their-contacts

Find out more about the steps the University is taking in Queen Mary Halls for your safety and security in our  Living Safely document. Please contact  residences@qmul.ac.uk for further guidance or visit their website here.

If a student or member of staff is struggling to support themselves whilst self-isolating, they should notify the university via the  studenthealth@qmul.ac.uk  or staffhealth@qmul.ac.uk email address.

If you or any member of your household develop symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive you should follow the NHS advice here.

Symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new cough where you keep on coughing. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more episodes of coughing in a day
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

Further information on the 21 symptoms of Covid (largely since emergence of Delta) can be found here.  

Further information on the symptoms of the Omicron variant can be found here

If you are worried about your symptoms and are not sure what to do get help from NHS 111 online In an emergency call 999.

Students who receive a positive test should inform studenthealth@qmul.ac.uk immediately.

Staff who receive a positive test should inform staffhealth@qmul.ac.uk immediately.

The University has enhanced hygiene and cleaning procedures in place across the campus. Perspex screens will also be used across the campus in reception and service areas where any in-person interaction occurs.

There will be hand sanitisers and multi-surface cleaning wipes for you to use in common areas, as well as plenty of hand-washing facilities.

Please wipe down shared equipment and desks both where possible.

From 27 January 2022, guidance from the Government and University advise that face coverings are no longer mandatory.  In consultation with students and staff the School of English and Drama continues to recommend that you wear a face covering in all indoor spaces. 

We recommend that you wear a face covering during classroom teaching. A face visor or shield only provides limited protection compared to a face covering. This is because they do not adequately cover the nose and mouth, and do not filter airborne particles. We recommend that wearing a face covering becomes part of your daily routine.

It is understood that wearing face coverings all day can be uncomfortable and present barriers to communication, therefore we encourage you to take breaks from wearing your face covering if the environment you are in allows you to do so. However, if you wish to continue wearing a face covering when on campus in all environments, you may continue to do so.

A face visor or shield only provides limited protection compared to a face covering. This is because they do not adequately cover the nose and mouth, and do not filter airborne particles. Special arrangements may apply in practice-based workshops in Drama.

We will continue to monitor our recommendations on face coverings, informed by public health guidance, and we will review the policy regularly.


Exemptions

Please remember that some people are exempt from wearing face coverings. In line with our values, please treat anyone who is exempt with respect.

For those with a non-visible disability that prevents them from wearing a face mask individuals have the option to wear a lanyard to let others know they have a non-visible disability. For those who wish to maintain social distancing at all times, SED is also supporting the government backed ‘please give me space’ initiative. If you are a student who needs to lip read, please inform the School (sed-information@qmul.ac.uk) and your teachers.  If a face covering impedes communication, you can remove it.  

You do not need to wear a face covering when outdoors, or in QM residences, cafes, bars, sports facilities and restaurants, but are of course free to do so if you wish. 

We will continue to monitor our recommendations on face coverings, informed by public health guidance, and we will review the policy regularly.

Change to face covering policy

We recommend that staff and students wear face coverings in practice-based settings in Drama (e.g. during practical classes, Student-Led Practice, rehearsals, etc.). You may remove face coverings when you are undertaking practical activities (e.g. exercises, performances, assessments), though you should seek to maintain a minimum of 2 metres distance between each other during these times. If you are observing others undertaking practical activities you should continue to wear a face covering.

All practical activities should also be seen through a Covid-secure lens and designed accordingly. For example:

  • Keep physical contact between participants to a minimum;
  • Keep sharing of physical objects (e.g. technical equipment, props, costumes, stage furniture) to a minimum. If you use these, clean them afterwards;
  • Avoid activities that are likely to involve increased aerosol transmission (e.g. shouting, singing, running, group speaking, etc.), or move them temporarily to a more suitable location (e.g. outdoors);
  • With the consent of all participants, you may remove face coverings, and not maintain social distancing, if all participants are members of the same household and no other people are present in the room;
  • Leave spaces and equipment clear and clean after use


Those with a diagnosed condition or personal circumstances that prevent them from wearing a face covering have the option to wear a lanyard to let others know they have a non-visible condition. For those who wish to maintain social distancing at all times, SED is also supporting the government backed ‘ please give me space’ initiative.

If you would like to print out an exemption from face covering badge you can do so here, mobile phone version here.


A ventilation survey and assessment has been completed to ensure adequate ventilation of indoor teaching spaces. Rooms that have not been validated have been removed from the timetabling system for 2021/22 and will not be used.

  • Ensure you follow any booking systems required for study space.
  • Follow any seating plans as marked, do not use seating marked “out of use” or “do not sit here”.
  • Follow any one-way and entry/exit systems as directed.
  • Be considerate of other people and their personal space.
  • Avoid crowded spaces where possible.
  • Open doors and windows, if you can.
  • If you start to feel unwell with possible coronavirus symptoms, please go home and take care travelling home keeping as physically distant from others as possible, and wearing a face covering if you have one with you. If you need assistance whilst on campus, call 0207 882 3333 from your mobile and state what assistance is required.
  • Only use lifts if you really have to.
  • Keep LEFT in corridors and on stairs unless signage instructs you differently.
  • Do not to stop on stair wells or congregate in corridors.
  • You'll find important safety information in the form of posters, floor graphics, stickers and digital screens around the University to help minimise the likelihood of Covid-19 transmission.

When making performance work, avoid practices that might increase the risk of transmission (e.g., touching, shouting, singing, spitting).

Use of certain technical equipment might require additional care so always consult with a member of Drama’s Technical Team before using it.