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What Will Campus Look like in 2020?

What Will Campus Look like in 2020?

by Newcastle University

Much has changed so far this year, so you’ll be wondering what our campus might look like from September 2020.

Our teams from across the University have been working hard, putting extra measures in place, to ensure our community is kept safe and our campus is ready to welcome us back this September.

So, what safety measures can you expect on campus in 2020?

Safety Packs

New Safety Pack Image

To help keep our community protected, all staff and students will receive a digital thermometer, reusable and washable face covering and a refillable hand sanitiser bottle, together with instructions on how to use them. Personal hand sanitisers included in the packs can be refilled, free of charge, from the many wall mounted hand sanitiser dispenser units across campus.

Colleagues and students will be asked to closely monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, including checking their temperature and reporting their symptoms via our app. If symptoms are apparent, you will be able to report this via the student app. The data received will be analysed to try and identify trends that may point to an outbreak in the University community.

One Way System, Deep Cleaning & 2m Rule

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In order to ensure the wellbeing of our colleagues and students is a top priority, we are implementing a 2 metre physical distancing rule across our campus unless it is impossible to do so. In these situations, we are implementing a ‘1m plus’ rule which will include a number of additional mitigations such as the mandatory use of face coverings and screens.

To help with this, we have marked out one-way systems in our buildings, laid 2m markers out on the floors, installed signs and posters to remind everyone to keep a safe distance and for the first few weeks, Campus Helpers will also be available to help you navigate around campus and in buildings safely. Additionally, all teaching rooms, laboratories and study spaces have been arranged to maintain 2m distancing and we are also are in the process of marking out walkways across campus to help us all keep the safe distance of 2m apart.

We have thoroughly cleaned all buildings prior to reopening and have a targeted cleaning regime focusing on regular cleaning of high traffic touch points such as door handles, lift buttons, handrails, and communal spaces to reduce the risk of infection. We have also limited access to our toilet blocks with a ‘knock and enter’ system in place.

In line with government advice, all catering units on campus are closed. They will reopen when it is safe to do so. The Co-op Store in the Newcastle University Students' Union is open 9am-5pm to offer supplied to staff and students who are on campus. 

Face Coverings & Screens on Campus


Face coverings must be worn anywhere that you are not able to maintain the 2m physical distancing, as well as anywhere you are coming into contact with large groups of people you might not usually meet. However, the national guidelines around face coverings are changing rapidly so we will continue to monitor Government advice and update you accordingly if anything changes.

We have installed clear screens at all reception desks and where necessary are installing them between benches in our labs, studios, library and shared office spaces, as well as ensuring all building ventilation systems have been set to full fresh air removing any re-circulation systems, thereby reducing the risk of infection.

SafeZone App & Early Warning System


We are developing a simple Covid-19 Early Warning system to help us monitor where Covid-19 symptoms are being reported amongst our community. Using the system, any colleague or student will be able to quickly and easily report their symptoms to us and we will use this information to identify potential outbreaks and investigate immediately.

At the first sign of a potential outbreak a site specific dynamic risk assessment will be carried out by the University’s Emergency Management Team, working with NHS Test and Trace and local Health Protection Teams, to determine the necessary next steps, including reviewing the Covid-19 risk assessment for an area, decontaminating a space, asking individuals or groups to self-isolate or temporarily switching to remote working/teaching etc..

We are asking everyone to be vigilant and monitor their health closely for Covid-19 symptoms. Remember: If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms you must contact the NHS Coronavirus 119 service and stay at home.

In addition to the new Early Warning System, SafeZone is a free app for all students and staff that connects you directly to our University Security Team whenever you’re in need of urgent help while on campus. We recommend you Download SafeZone now.

Click and Collect Library Service


The library has introduced a Click and Collect service so students can still safely access our print resources. You can request items which are available on the shelves online via LibrarySearch, and library staff will retrieve them and issue them to your account. We will email you when your items are ready to collect, along with a link so you can book a 10-minute slot to pick up the items you’ve requested.

Learn more about Click and Collect.

Additional cycle support

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The best way to get around campus and Newcastle City Centre is by walking – Newcastle is a compact city with almost anything you need within easy walking distance of campus and most student accommodation. For a quicker trip or longer journeys, cycling is also popular and the University offers support for those who ride.

Routes for cycling and walking into the City Centre and onto campus are being enhanced to support social distancing, so look out for new dedicated cycle lanes and be aware of other road users. Be conscious of those walking while you’re moving around with your bike on campus and in the city – it’s safest (for you and others!) to dismount and walk your bike in busier areas.

There are more than 2000 cycle parking stands located across campus where you can lock your bike, and most University accommodation offers bookable cycle storage for holding your bike for longer periods of time or overnight. Our Security Team can provide a free secure D-lock to offer the best deterrent for thieves while your bike is parked – visit the Security Control Centre at Barras Building (No. 2, K4 on the University Campus and City Map) with your University smartcard and email address to request one.

Once your academic year begins, look out for announcements from the University’s Sustainability Team for ‘Dr Bike’, offering free on-campus maintenance checks and on-the-spot repairs – and for free security tagging with BikeRegister (a national cycle database that can help you recover your bike if it’s stolen).

Planning to cycle to campus regularly? Consider joining the University’s Bicycle Users Group for updates and discussion with fellow University cyclists. As the University looks to bring forward further events and support for cycling, being a member of ‘BUG’ is the best way to be kept informed.


Due to the changing nature of the pandemic, these commitments are subject to change.We are regularly updating our Covid-19 FAQs to provide you with the latest information on our response to the pandemic.
Learn More about Your 2020 Student Experience or What Our Student Accommodation Looks like in 2020.

Read our latest COVID-19 FAQs