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Update from Provost to staff and students

12 March 2020

Dear Students and Staff, 

I’m writing following the decision to close universities and schools today (March 12). I would like to begin by thanking all staff for their hard work over the past few days which has now put us in a good position to continue teaching and research while looking after the safety of the Trinity community.

The Government’s decision today is effective until March 29 but it would be wise to allow for the possibility of a longer closure. We have taken a number of major decisions today. At the heart of all these decisions is the welfare of students and staff.

Access into the College

The campus will now be effectively closed to students unless they are residents. Identity cards will be necessary to gain access to the campus for these students.

The entrances at Science Gallery, Nassau Street and Lincoln Gate will be open but other entrances will close. Buildings will be closed but staff will be able to gain access with identity cards (assuming the card is up to date) and security staff will be present inside many buildings.

Staff will be able to enter and leave the campus. Postgraduate students who need to be here for critical research projects will be able to enter the campus if they can show email permission from their supervisors. Business critical services will also be able to gain entry.

People with underlying illnesses should not come on campus in any circumstances and work remotely where possible.

Academic activities 

Staff will be able to enter and leave the campus. Academic and research staff may come into College on an occasional basis if they need to do so to maintain continuity of academic activities, such as to prepare online lectures/tutorials/seminars/labs, or to continue research activities. If academic and research staff do come in there should be no congregating in groups and social distancing protocols should be maintained. Those in leadership roles may need to attend the college on a more continuous basis and it is permitted to do so but such attendance should be minimized and remote working is the preferred mode. 

Professional activities 

Managers will decide how to deliver business critical work with the remaining available staff. Home working and staggered work patterns will be used to minimise face-to-face interactions in the workplace. It may be necessary to recall and/or redeploy staff to support critical work across the college.

Critical services such as the call centre, payroll, some parts of academic registry, health, counselling, disability services, IT Services, support services for online teaching and learning, security, cleaning, internal post, and reduced catering will all continue to operate. All sports facilities and the day nursery will close. IT Services intends to run courses this weekend for staff who will begin teaching online on Monday. Please look out for a staff email from IT Services in the next hour or two.


The College Health Centre will do telephone consultations in most cases. If your condition is acute, you should consult a GP in the community. There will also be telephone consultations with the student counselling service for students in distress. Please use both these services judiciously as demand is strong. 


All of the University’s libraries will close. Off-campus access to licensed electronic resources (books, databases and journals) is available to registered students and staff. We are liaising with academic staff to ensure the availability of additional, online texts to meet remote learning requirements

Catering and events

The Buttery will be the only catering venue open on campus. All other catering outlets and the Pavilion Bar will be closed. 

All events planned on or before March 29 on campus must be cancelled. Clubs and societies are strongly recommended to cancel meetings, trips, outings and other events. 


A separate email will be sent this evening to all students in college accommodation on campus, Trinity Hall, the Binary Hub and Kavanagh Court. 

We will continue to provide updates by email, via and the University’s main social media channels.

Please stay safe in these difficult times.

Patrick Prendergast