COVID-19 MEASURES FOR AISR PROGRAMMES
Updated 16 July 2020
The safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors are our highest priority. To help keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 outbreak, we have moved teaching online, closed non-essential facilities and cancelled or postponed on-campus events. For the latest information, read the UK government's response and the National Health Service's advice.
AISR is hoping to run on campus courses in 2021, subject to changes in government measures. Below we have detailed the measures we intend to take to maximise student and staff safety in light of Covid-19.
We are constantly monitoring updates from the UK government. At the time of writing, the measures and practices described below are in accordance with what we believe to be the best possible interpretation of social distancing and other Covid-19 advice from the UK government. This will be constantly reviewed and updated as the situation changes.
Please note that these measures are intended to minimise the risk of spreading and / or contracting Covid-19. AISR cannot guarantee that students will not be exposed to Covid-19, and parents and students must understand that they travel at their own risk.
Who can attend these courses?
Only students travelling from designated travel corridors based on UK government advice will be able to attend our programmes. Any student who has been in a country outside of the listed countries in the two weeks before they travel will not be allowed to join the programme. If they arrive in the country and are required to quarantine because they have been in a country outside of this list, parents will be liable for the full cost of the accommodation and any extra quarantine measures required from AISR.
AISR will not allow any student (or staff member) with underlying health measures to attend the programme. These must be declared on the booking form, and the current list of students who would be considered at risk include:
Anyone with a lung or respiratory condition such as asthma or bronchitis
Anyone with an existing heart condition
Anyone with diabetes
Anyone considered clinically obese with a BMI of 40+
This list is not exhaustive, and AISR recommends students consult with their doctor if they are concerned about any underlying condition.
A private bus transfer will be provided only for those students at no extra cost from Belfast and Derry-Londonderry Airports, who attend our Summer School (Transport from Dublin airport will incur extra costs). Our bus providers will be vetted to ensure they meet student welfare requirements and have appropriate Covid-19 safety measures in place. Students will be required to wear face masks on the bus at all times. Students will be required to handle their own luggage at all times (unless they need assistance due to age or health reasons).
Students attending our Summer School will be housed in dormitory style houses in Derry-Londonderry. All accommodation practices will be in line with UK Government Advice, NHS and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
At the Campus
A one-way system will be in place for all areas used by students as well as social distancing markers that must be followed. A specific risk assessment is in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 throughout the campus.
Depending on total student numbers, mealtimes may be staggered to limit student’s interaction. Serving staff will have appropriate PPE. Students and staff will be required to wash their hands.
We will try to run the activities as normal as possible with social distancing measures in place. Depending on government advice sports opportunities may have to be limited. Where shared equipment is used, all stationery and classroom facilities will be disinfected before use. Full information about the social programme will only be released a week in advance. The current timetable includes activities AISR believes will be possible to run in accordance with social distancing advice currently recommended by the UK government.
Class size will be limited to no more than 10 students per class. Desks will be distance to allow at least 1 metre between students, with all students facing in the same direction. Students must use dedicated pens for the duration of their course, and not share them with other student. We advise students to bring as much additional stationery as they think they might need to avoid sharing equipment with any other student.
Excursions will only be to open-air destinations and travel will be by private coach only. Students will not be able to sit next to each other to allow for suitable distancing whilst travelling. Students will be split into smaller groups when on the excursion to further distancing measures. If the weather does not allow for outdoor walking tours, AISR may rearrange excursions and planned activities to another day if the timetable permits. The daily schedule will be constantly reviewed and updated.
Masks & hand sanitiser
Hand sanitiser stations will be set up in all accommodation, teaching rooms and the cafeteria. Regular hand washing will also be encouraged throughout the day. For younger students this will be monitored and mandatory. AISR recommends all students to be familiar with hand washing procedures as recommended by the WHO before they travel: WHO Hand washing Advice.
Students will require masks to travel on the plane, and on the bus before arriving to the campus. Therefore, students must provide and bring their own face masks. AISR will have disposable masks available if a student loses theirs, but we strongly recommend students use their own. At the moment, AISR will not enforce the wearing of face masks either at the centre, or while on excursions using private transport. However, this may change depending on government advice. It is advisable to assume that face masks may well be required throughout the programme.
Social & ‘free’ time
Students will be able to mix socially with other AISR students on their course. However, social distancing measures should still be maintained at all times to minimise any risk. Staff will monitor students throughout the course to ensure social distancing is observed.
Students will not be given free time on excursions.
All staff on the course will be trained in how to deal with suspected COVID-19 cases. Staff will keep up to date with all governmental, and appropriate body, advice to ensure guidance is followed. Staff will maintain social distancing measures with all students as much as possible, although student well-being and safety will always take precedence over social distancing if required.
If a student falls ill
All students must complete a health declaration before departing to join the course. Students will need to confirm that they have had no symptoms of corona virus or been in contact with anyone who has either had corona virus, or symptoms, for 14 days prior to their departure date. If any student travels and does not declare this information they will be liable for any costs incurred to quarantine and care for themselves or any other AISR student or staff member.
If any student displays symptoms whilst they are on the course the entire class will have to isolate and the student who has symptoms will be taken for a test. Should the test come back positive, the programme will cease immediately, and the entire class will have to self-isolate for 14 days at the local self-isolation centre. If the test returns negative, the programme will resume.
If students are required to isolate for a 14-day period (based on current UK government advice), accommodation and meals will be arranged by AISR and parents will be invoiced for the extra costs. We will assume duty of care for all students while they remain with AISR. However, it is the parent or agent’s responsibility to rearrange all flights and travel arrangements out of the UK.
Students must have their own travel and health insurance.
For further official advice about Covid-19 and up-to-date safety measures, you may wish to consult some of these sources:
All students and staff on the AISR programme must sign a statement and a waiver declaring that they understand the risks involved in a residential programme, and that they choose to travel at their own risk.