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Covid-19: University of the West of England makes masks U-turn

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image captionFace masks are now compulsory inside UWE buildings

A university has reversed a decision not to make face coverings compulsory inside its buildings.

The University of the West of England (UWE) in Bristol had said social distancing and good ventilation meant masks were not needed.

Staff members said they did not feel safe and that managers were "trivialising" their concerns.

The university said the new approach followed discussions with staff and students.

With cases on the rise, one staff member had accused the university of "gambling with people's lives" by not making masks mandatory.

On 29 October UWE's own figures showed 275 positive coronavirus tests recorded in the previous seven days among students, staff and visitors - up from 249 the week before.

image captionUWE's main campus is in Frenchay in north Bristol

In response to staff concerns, vice-chancellor Prof Steve West had said all UWE's buildings had been deemed safe by Public Health England and that 2m social distancing and good ventilation was "all that's required".

But in a statement on Friday a university spokesman said face coverings were now compulsory inside all campus buildings.

"This is in addition to our existing Covid-secure requirements of 2m physical distancing, and the following of government, Public Health England and university rules and guidelines," the spokesman added.

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