Tuesday, 22 September

22 September 2020


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng recently wrote to the university community about the role that each of us can play in limiting the spread of COVID-19 as we move to lockdown Level 1.

As students and staff members begin to return to campus, there is a natural tendency to assume that life at the University of Cape Town (UCT) has returned to normal – that is not the case.

It is important that we use every available opportunity to remind people how critical it is to follow the three basic protocols of wearing a face mask, social and physical distancing and washing/sanitising hands and surfaces.

Please refer to the UCT health and safety protocols and procedures document, which provides useful information about returning to campus.

Read the COO’s Desk.


The University of Cape Town (UCT) writes to inform staff and students that its top priority is the health and safety of every person who enters campus property. For this reason, only those who have received written invitations or letters of authorisation may return.

We all need to follow the basic rules for reducing the chance of spreading infection:

  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times when outside of your private room or workspace.
  • Keep a distance of 1.5 m from other people. Staff members must maintain this distance at their work areas.
  • Regularly wash or sanitise your hands (sanitisers are available at all building entrances).

Everyone who returns to campus at this time will need to observe all public health and safety protocols.

Catering operations will resume from 1 October for students in residences who have meal plan options. Students undergoing compulsory quarantine can collect daily meal packs at a designated point within their residences. Students will only be allowed in the dining halls after they have completed their compulsory quarantine and must comply with the dining hall protocols.

Cleaning materials and refuse bags will be provided to residence students to freshen up their rooms and dispose of refuse. Students will remain responsible for their room hygiene.

In an effort to prevent persons who may be infected with COVID-19 from entering the university and transmitting the infection, Campus Protection Services colleagues are under strict instruction to check all people coming onto campus. You must complete a daily COVID-19 symptom checklist using the Higher Health app.

You must be able to show the Green result of the Higher Health app every day, along with your letter of authorisation.

Read the VC Desk.

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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.