Coronavirus (Covid-19): Latest updates and information
Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Should I wear a face covering on campus?

Face coverings

All students, staff and visitors are now asked to wear face coverings on campus.

When you’re out and about off campus, you’re expected to follow the rules on face coverings set out by UK Government and local businesses.

At Warwick, we’re going further: we require face coverings to be used when working, studying or moving around our indoor spaces. This will help to keep everyone in our community safe alongside the other protection measures we have in place like social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and increased hand sanitisation points.

A free, reusable face covering was made available to each member of staff and students attending campuses at the start of the new academic year and are available again in Term 2. Disposable face coverings are also available for staff working on campus and will be provided through their department.

Face coverings and visors

Although the Government has recently changed its guidance to say that a visor on its own does not constitute a face covering, as a University, we recognise our obligations to be proactive to anticipate the needs of disabled people under the Equality Act 2010. As such, we will continue to issue and allow the use of visors on their own for service provision activities in combination with existing additional measures that we have in place on campus, such as social distancing, asymptomatic testing and transparent barriers as specified in local risk assessments. Examples of relevant service provision activities include teaching, customer service and direct communication with people who rely on lip reading or the interpretation of facial expressions.

A polite reminder that not all disabilities are visible and some people may be exempt from wearing a face covering either due to their disability or to aid communication with a disabled person.

How to collect your free face covering and thermometer

You can visit student reception in Senate House to collect your free face covering and thermometer, but please try to collect at quiet times to keep footfall to a minimum.

If you're a staff member, your department will be organising these for you.

Exceptional circumstances where face coverings aren’t required on campus:

In some personal circumstances:
  • If you can’t put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a disability or long term physical or mental health condition
  • If using a face covering would harm or injure you or others
In certain spaces:
  • In uncrowded, outdoor spaces
  • If you’re alone in a room or vehicle
  • If you’re in shared student accommodation with your allocated kitchen group
For certain activities:
  • If you are eating or drinking
  • If you are trying to take medication
  • If a police officer or other official asks you to remove it for identification purposes
  • If you are with someone that has trouble understanding you with your mask on
  • Where departmental risk assessment deems it is appropriate not to wear a face covering and where other control measures are in place, such as research labs and the Sports Hub.

FAQs

Yes. We have carefully reviewed the arguments for and against the wearing of coverings and have decided it is the right thing to require of a community like ours, with the noted exceptions.

We recognise that there’s a careful balance to be struck between expecting members of our community to play their part in following University and local public health requirements to keep people safe, and enforcing these behaviours. If you see anyone behaving contrary to guidance, you can raise your concerns with them in a constructive and sensitive manner. Alternatively raise your concerns with a member of staff, line manager or HR. We have set out our Community Responsibilities and what happens if people break the Covid-19 rules.


A face covering is something which is close fitting and safely covers the nose and mouth, and which can be securely fitted round the side of the face. A face covering can be either disposable or a reusable cloth covering - either way it is recommended that face coverings consist of three layers, ideally including a middle layer of non-woven polypropylene.

The disposable and reusable face coverings available through the University are of a high quality and are preferable to most others obtained from other sources.

If you intend to obtain and use your own face covering, please ensure it has three layers, with either a non-woven polypropylene middle layer or at least one layer that is a high cotton count: a thread count of 600 or higher is preferable (such a cotton would not feel flimsy nor appear thin).

The following are not effective at stopping the spread of airborne droplets and must not be worn as face coverings:

  • Masks containing exhalation valves
  • Bandanas, scarfs, snoods or similar
  • Coverings consisting of a single layer of fabric
  • Coverings consisting only of multiple layers of thin or flimsy fabric

There is no requirement to use medical respirator masks reserved for frontline medical or care workers, or personal protective equipment (PPE) used to manage risks like dust, fumes, and vapours.


Yes. Students attending teaching sessions will be expected to wear a face covering, and those involved in teaching are recommended to wear a face covering in the form of face shield unless there are exceptional circumstances as outlined above such as where departmental risk assessments demonstrate that it is appropriate not to wear one and other safety measures are in place.


Yes, unless there are exceptional circumstances as outlined above such as where departmental risk assessments demonstrate that it is appropriate not to wear one and other safety measures are in place.


When moving through your residence, for example on stairwells and reception areas within your accommodation block, you should wear a face covering. If you are in your allocated kitchen group, within your own home, it will not be necessary.


To wear a face covering properly it needs to cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably, fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face, be secured to the head with ties or ear loops and be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton. The UK Government website gives more information on wearing one, removing and looking after face coverings.


Whilst you might not be asked to provide written evidence for not wearing a face covering, you may feel more comfortable showing something that says you do not have to wear one. This can be in the form of an exemption card or badge which can be downloaded from the UK Government website.

Members of staff who feel that they have an acceptable reason for not wearing a face covering at work should discuss this with their line manager and provide suitable evidence so that the appropriate risks and control measures can be assessed and adjusted accordingly. This is so that the line manager can take the appropriate action to ensure the health and safety of the individual and their colleagues. Referral to Occupational Health might also be requested in certain circumstances.

If you have a disability that means that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can find out how the University is supporting the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme here.