Monday, 6 July

06 July 2020


The University of Cape Town (UCT) has developed a COVID-19 Return to UCT policy framework to guide faculties and departments on how the university will achieve its phased-in return to campus.

This framework document does not signal a return to business as usual – in fact, it signals just the opposite. The framework provides a way for UCT to work in the COVID-19 Cape Metropolitan “hotspot” area. Staff and students are encouraged to work or study from home and only return to campus when invited to do so.

The COVID-19 Return to UCT policy framework will help us take individual and collective responsibility for managing the impact of COVID-19 on our working and home lives.

The Department of Properties and Services and the Department of Student Affairs will work in collaboration with faculties, departments and units across the university. Every head of department will need to discuss the following with their team members:

  • Can staff members and students continue to work remotely?
  • If it is necessary to return to the office, what challenges will people face in terms of physical distancing, the use of common areas and public facilities, and hygiene practices on frequently touched surfaces?
  • What changes need to be made to UCT facilities and how we use them across campus?
  • How will we need to change how we behave on campus?

This framework provides guidelines for our responses when someone does contract the virus while on campus.

The only way this framework can succeed is if each of us shares responsibility for following it. The university urges each of you to commit to taking that personal and collective responsibility as we adjust our home and work lives through this pandemic.

Read the COVID-19 Return to UCT policy framework.

Read the related process flows to help us manage our daily personal risks on the return to UCT campuses.

Please visit the Coronavirus Disease 2019 page on the UCT News website for more information.

This audio newsbyte was prepared by the Communication and Marketing Department.

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UCT’s response to COVID-19

COVID-19 is a global pandemic that caused President Cyril Ramaphosa to declare a national disaster in South Africa on 15 March 2020 and to implement a national lockdown from 26 March 2020.

UCT is taking the threat of infection in our university community extremely seriously, and this page will be updated regularly with the latest COVID-19 information. Please note that the information on this page is subject to change depending on current lockdown regulations.


Frequently asked questions


Commemorating a year of COVID-19

At midnight on 26 March 2020, South Africa went into the first nationwide hard lockdown. A year later, we remember those who have died and those who have been affected by COVID-19, as well as the pandemic’s effects across society and campus. We are especially grateful for the front-line health workers who have done so much for so many.

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In an email to the UCT community, Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng said:
“COVID-19, caused by the virus SARS-CoV-2, is a rapidly changing epidemic. [...] Information [...] will be updated as and when new information becomes available.”


We are continuing to monitor the situation and we will be updating the UCT community regularly – as and when there are further updates. If you are concerned or need more information, students can contact the Student Wellness Service on 021 650 5620 or 021 650 1271 (after hours), while staff can contact 021 650 5685.