BREAKING: University of Leeds Libraries Have Closed

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The libraries at the University of Leeds announced via Twitter that they will remain closed until they have assessed their service “in light of the latest government advice on COVID-19”. The Galleries and Special Collections have now been closed until further notice.

To keep updated on the latest news from the library, go to their website by clicking here.

The news came after Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a press conference that everyone in the UK should avoid “non-essential travel” and reduce contact with other people.

There are new measures that have been put in place by the government. This includes:

  • Everyone should avoid gatherings and crowded places, such as pubs, clubs and theatres
  • Everyone should work from home if they can
  • All “unnecessary” visits to friends and relatives in care homes should cease
  • People should only use the NHS “where we really need to” – and can reduce the burden on workers by getting advice on the NHS website where possible
  • By next weekend, those with the most serious health conditions must be “largely shielded from social contact for around 12 weeks”
  • The UK is now “three weeks” behind Italy – the worst-hit country in Europe
  • If one person in any household has a persistent cough or fever, everyone living there must stay at home for 14 days
  • Those people should, if possible, avoid leaving the house “even to buy food or essentials” – but they may leave the house “for exercise and, in that case, at a safe distance from others”
  • Schools will not be closed for the moment

As of 9 am on 16 March 2020, 44,105 people have been tested in the UK, of which 42,562 were confirmed negative and 1,543 were confirmed as positive.

According to the BBC on 16th March 2020, 55 people have since died in the UK and the number of cases is estimated to be somewhere between 35,000 and 50,000.

There is currently no news over whether the sports facility on campus, The Edge, will continue to remain open. In other moves, the Joint-Honours Visit Day scheduled to take place on Wednesday 18th has been canceled. Welcome Committee and Henry Price key shifts have now been canceled too.

An Accommodation Viewing Day on Saturday is still due to take place, though the University said that a decision on whether or not the event will still take place will be made by the end of today. This was in an email to student ambassadors.

Leeds University Union’s services remain open though there will be an emergency meeting on 17th March between senior leadership to respond to the government’s new recommendations.

An earlier version of this article included a claim that final year students doing dissertations were able to email the library and reserve books. This was incorrect.