Bristol University labs planning for June reopening


By Patrick Sullivan, Co-Editor-in-Chief 2019/20

University management hope to open some research facilities again for use from 1 June, but have promised only to do so for ‘COVID-secure’ spaces.

The University of Bristol are planning to open some research lab spaces from 1 June after the UK government started to ease lockdown measures on workplaces last week.

All University facilities on campus, apart from halls of residence, have been closed since 24 March due to the effects of COVID-19.

The University is not yet able to confirm which specific labs will reopen, and have developed ‘COVID-secure practices’ to assess whether spaces are safe to use. Clear walkways and the ability to work while two metres apart are two examples of what will determine whether a lab can be reopened next month.

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Staff and postgraduate students will be informed directly ‘in due course’ if their lab will reopen on 1 June, and ‘should continue to work from home’ until told otherwise.

A spokesperson for the University of Bristol said: ‘Extensive planning is underway to examine how the government’s latest guidance can be implemented across our estate as lockdown gradually eases.

‘We firstly need to ensure all essential services in our buildings, such as the water supply, are safe to use.  Then we need to build upon this to ensure they are COVID-secure, which includes marking walkways and ensuring all users understand their own roles in keeping themselves and others safe, such as maintaining social distancing protocols.

‘We will very shortly be piloting our COVID-secure practices, with the target of reopening some research lab spaces from 1 June. It’s too soon to confirm which ones but we will be communicating this directly to staff in due course.

‘The health, safety and wellbeing of students, colleagues and the wider community is our top priority. In line with government guidance, staff who are currently working at home should continue to do so.’

Featured image: University of Bristol

When do you think labs should look to reopen? Let us know.


Patrick Sullivan

Epigram co-Editor-in-Chief 2019-20, now digital puzzles connoisseur. EngD student researching sustainable composites, entering my sixth year at UoB (somehow).