College has announced this morning that timetables for students will be made available in mid-September, ahead of the teaching term beginning on September 28.
In an email to students, Provost Patrick Prendergast thanked students for their “patience” with the delay in timetables, and claimed that College will have “as accurate information” on health guidelines by the time of their release.
The email, which was signed by the provost and Professor Áine Kelly, claimed: “On Wednesday evening we received confirmation from the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science that ‘the reduction in the permitted size of indoor gatherings (i.e. from 50 to 6) is not intended to apply in the case of the re-opening of higher education’.”
College confirmed that in light of this, they continue to plan “for as much face-to-face small group teaching and learning as possible”, while adhering to the public health guidelines and social distancing measures.
The email also said that “while students are expected to attend” all in-person classes, students with underlying medical conditions that might put them at risk should contact their tutor. Requests to move some or all of these classes online “will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis.”
The Provost also laid out some of the health and safety measures that will be in force when classes resume. The wearing of masks will be mandatory for all “internal public spaces” on campus, as well as in classes and all libraries. Teaching staff “have been asked to wear visors where possible instead of face coverings while teaching” in order to “reduce the impact on communication.”
Students will continue to have to scan their college ID cards on entry and exit to campus, and Front Gate will remain closed except for after-hours access.
The email went on to “remind” students that government advice is to avoid all non-essential travel, and if you travel outside of Ireland, “you are expected to restrict your movements for 14 days immediately following your return”, and students who do travel will not be permitted on Trinity campus.
The email stated that students are “required to be available to attend College” from the beginning of term, and urged students to not return from overseas travel any later than September 13.
If students do travel abroad, they are not permitted to come to College or “any of its associated venues”, or meet with fellow students during the self-isolation period.
The email continued: “For the health, safety and well-being of the college community of students and staff we must insist that you adhere to these travel restrictions and, as far as the College is concerned, it is a mandatory requirement of attending teaching and learning activities in this university.”
“It is by strict adherence to the guidelines that the safest possible opening of the College for academic activities can be ensured, and every individual member of the College community must all play their part in this,” it added.
Access to all Library facilities opened last week for staff and students, with limited access to the Sport Centre and outdoor sports facilities resuming last week with reduced opening hours.