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Last Covid-19 restrictions dropped at Welsh universities

Welsh government removes rules on masks and social distancing on campuses

The final Covid-19 restrictions have been scrapped at Welsh universities, bringing them into line with other businesses and employers in Wales.

Welsh education minister Jeremy Miles announced on 9 May that Covid-19 protection measures that were still in place in universities and colleges, such as a requirement to wear masks on campuses and social distancing restrictions, have been dropped.

Announcing the change, Miles thanked university and college staff and students “for their tremendous efforts throughout the pandemic in not only supporting students to keep learning, but also their leading role in the fight against coronavirus”.

“We are now in a Covid-stable scenario and the public health risks for higher and further education have reduced significantly,” he said. “Therefore, the continuation of additional public health measures is no longer proportionate and we have asked institutions to formally remove their infection-control frameworks from today.”

The removal of the sector-specific infection-control framework for universities and colleges means that higher education institutions will follow the same public health guidance as businesses and employers.

Those organisations have been advised to prepare “control measures that could be implemented to reduce the risk of transmission” of viruses such as Covid-19 and the common cold, removing stricter measures such as the requirement to carry out Covid-19 risk assessments.

During the earlier stages of the pandemic, Covid-19 restrictions forced universities to move their lectures and seminars online.