Students returning to campus for classes this week for the first time since the closure of all schools and colleges in March have been instructed to “keep right and keep moving” in corridors and not spend casual time inside buildings.
Meanwhile, the majority of students are starting the new term with classes entirely or almost entirely online as Trinity reopens for the 2020/21 academic year.
Last minute adjustments to timetables, caused by new Level 3 restrictions imposed in Dublin, saw many of an already limited number of face-to-face classes cancelled, with students in the faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences (AHSS) in particular seeing classes moved online.
Meanwhile, this year’s Orientation Week for Junior Fresh students is taking place alongside the start of classes for the rest of College. Orientation will happen without the usual Freshers’ Fair dominating Front Square.
Those students who make their way onto campus will find their movements tightly restricted. Only three of College’s entrances will be opened, and students will have to present their ID cards before entering at either Nassau Street, the Science Gallery or Lincoln Place Gate.
Students and staff will be required to collect from the entrance a bottle of hand sanitizer which can be refilled at various points around the campus. Face coverings will also be mandatory inside all campus buildings.
Students are also to be asked to keep a log of all the people they come into contact with, alongside a record of their seat number in each lecture which they attend.
Speaking last week at a welcome event for new postgraduate students, Provost Patrick Prendergast warned that restrictions that have the potential to impact how Trinity operates this year “can change day-to-day”, noting that this situation is “extremely challenging”.
College’s major emergency management team have further warned that an outbreak of the virus in Trinity, defined as two confirmed cases in the same area, is “very likely” and that College should “ plan for an increase in cases or an outbreak associated with our buildings”.