The council is working with the University of Portsmouth and Hampshire Constabulary to minimise the risk of coronavirus in the city.
On campus at the university
In line with government guidance, teaching at the university remains online with the exception of critical health and social care courses, teacher training and a number of practical courses authorised by the government.
Students not studying one of the exempt courses have been asked to follow government guidance and stay where they are wherever possible. For students who need to return to university, a small number of services and facilities remain open on campus
The university has made significant changes to its campus:
- Within buildings there are one-way systems, signage and floor markings to help everyone social distance properly
- Except for exempt individuals, masks must be worn inside buildings
- All large group teaching has been moved online
- Temperature scanning is mandatory inside key buildings and there are hand sanitising stations around the campus
- The university has conducted a room-by-room review of ventilation to ensure that no areas are provided with recirculated air
- Rooms with inadequate ventilation will not be used
- Detailed risk assessments have also been completed for all its buildings and activities
University COVID-19 testing
The university is hosting a Department of Health and Social Care-run testing centre in its Eldon Building car park on Bedford Street. Tests are for any resident exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. Appointments are available through the national booking portal.
The university is also funding a separate testing facility for its staff and students who are not exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. The university is strongly advising regular testing and expect staff and students to follow self-isolating guidelines where necessary. It is right that the university does what it can to monitor and reduce the spread of COVID-19, particularly among students. The testing will enable the university to quickly identify whether infection rates are increasing and respond rapidly. We believe that this testing facility will help the city-wide fight against any rising infection rate.
Anyone testing positive automatically enters the NHS’s ‘test and trace’ scheme and is required to follow the same quarantine procedures as everyone else.
Each week, the university publishes the number of positive COVID-19 cases at the university on their website.
Individual responsibility off-campus
The majority of students have not returned to Portsmouth due to national lockdown restrictions. Those that have are expected to take personal responsibility for their own and others’ safety. Like everyone else, the vast majority do this.
The university’s role – as well that of its partners – is to support students to act responsibly and to take any necessary steps against those who do not.
There are regular communications with students asking them to follow government rules and outlining the potential consequences if they do not. These include fines from the police, as well as university penalties for misconduct ranging from temporary suspension to permanent exclusion.
Hampshire Constabulary has been granted greater enforcement powers to break up social gatherings, issue fines and ensure face coverings are worn where required. Whilst the police’s approach remains to support students and the public in following the regulations, officers will continue to engage, explain, encourage and, as a last resort, enforce.
The council, the Police, Public Health officials, the university and the Students’ Union are also in regular communication, sharing information and identifying any issues that need to be addressed.
We ask landlords to remind student tenants who have to self-isolate that support is available to them from the University’s ResLife and Wellbeing teams. The ResLife team can be contacted by email on firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 023 9284 3789, 023 9284 4578 or 023 9284 3924. Welfare services, such as the Student Wellbeing Service, can be contacted on email@example.com or 023 9284 3466.
Landlords can contact the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord’s Association on https://pdpla.com/.
If residents have concerns, what do they do?
If residents are concerned about a social gathering or other disturbance, they should first report a breach of COVID regulations on the Hampshire Constabulary website or by calling 101. Please do not use 999 except for emergencies.
Resident complaints about student behaviour can be made to the University’s Student and Neighbour Liaison Service which can be contacted on 023 9284 3214 or on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Working together to support the city
Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth and Hampshire Constabulary are working in partnership to ensure a joined-up approach to do everything possible to ensure the safety of our whole community.