This page gives key information for researchers physically coming for experiments in CLF.
Responsibilities of visiting researchers and their employer / host institution
Whether you are visiting CLF from the UK or overseas, your employer remains responsible for your health and safety while you are undertaking work at CLF, notwithstanding the duty of care CLF owes to you to provide a safe working environment. You should ensure that your employer has pre-prepared plans to support you should you become ill while working at CLF, whether COVID-19 related or not. However, if you develop Covid-19 symptoms during your work at CLF, CLF will arrange provisions for self-isolation in STFC accommodation, ask you to take a Covid-19 test and, if necessary, your continued self-isolation in STFC accommodation if you are tested positive for Covid-19. For overseas visitors, it is up to the employer to ensure that you are adequately covered by insurance in the event that medical treatment is necessary in the UK (whether Covid-19-related or not). Your employer may wish to see risk assessments for your visit to CLF, and the User Office can provide these. You should consider doing your own risk assessments for your travel to and from CLF.
STFC will not provide quarantine facilities if it is a requirement for researchers from overseas to isolate for 14 days once they enter the UK. Researchers must check immediately prior to travel the quarantine status of the bridge between their home country and the UK, and if they choose to travel to the UK under these conditions, they must arrange their own accommodation for quarantine and cannot visit CLF until the quarantine period is over.
Overseas travellers should cancel their travel plans if showing symptoms of Covid-19 before travel. In the event of a visitor becoming ill whilst in CLF, and / or testing positive for Covid-19, then we will allow the visitor to remain in their booked accommodation (at Ridgeway House or the Cosener's House). We will cover all living expenses incurred as a result of the CLF visitor having to self-isolate in a STFC accommodation.
Please see the section below for more detailed instructions on what to do if you feel ill whilst at RAL.
Health and Safety is our key priority
We have introduced new systems and ways of working to help protect staff and visitors at STFC facilities during the Covid-19 situation. These include 1-way or prioritised routes around buildings; hand sanitiser readily available; signs and notices to remind everyone to socially distance at 2m; occupancy limits on cabins, experimental areas, etc. Face coverings on communal areas (eg. corridors, kitchens, toilets, restaurants etc.) are now mandatory on all STFC sites
You will be required to watch the STFC training video (link coming soon) in advance of your visit to site (this training has been updated in the 3rd week of October reflecting recent changes on site). You are required to watch the latest version and take the test even if you have done this before. you will not be allowed on site until you have seen this and completed the short on-line test. You will also be required to have facility-specific training, and will receive further guidance from your local experiment contact.
You will have a risk assessment and method statement for your experiment which will include matters related to Covid-19. Please remember that all the normal hazards found at STFC facilities still exist and should be carefully considered in your work, in addition to Covid-19.
If you choose to travel off the RAL site during your visit, e.g. shops or a pub, you should observe all precautions (face coverings, social distancing) that are required, along with regular hand-washing and use of hand sanitiser.
Booking visits to RAL
The CLF User Office remains in operation (although staff are working from home for most to the time), and can be contacted through the normal email addresses. The process must be followed in order to visit RAL for experiments until further notice:
- All visits to CLF must be authorised by CLF management. CLF will inform the Facilities User Office of your visit – this is required at least two weeks in advance of your visit, so it is essential to discuss your visit with your facility contact as early as possible.
- The User Office will then send you an invitation email.
- Following this, you should submit the details of your visit through our online visits system at least one week in advance of your visit. Please do not do this until you have had an invitation from the User Office.
- Once the online visit request has been received, and it has been confirmed that all relevant safety training has been completed, the User Office will issue a site pass for you to collect from the RAL Security lodge.
It is very important that you do not come to RAL without having arranged your visit through the User Office and completed the online training – you will not be allowed on site if you have not done this.
Restaurants, and Ridgeway and Cosener's House
The Restaurant at RAL
From Thursday 5th November, the seating areas will be closed and only take-away meals will be available. There are two separate routes through the restaurant – one for hot food, one for cold. Only card / contactless payments are being taken – no cash. The coffee lounge and café in building R1 are currently closed. Vending machines in the experimental halls are being checked and stocked regularly.
You can see a short video showing what the R22 restaurant is like at the moment here.
Coseners House and Ridgeway House
The Coseners House will close until 2nd December. Ridgeway House will remain open for essential business use and to support our user operations.
If you become unwell whilst at an STFC site
If you become unwell during your stay, and particularly if you show symptoms of Covid-19, you should follow the procedure below:
- You should inform your home institution, your local STFC local contact (by phone) and your accommodation provider.
- You should self-isolate in your accommodation straight away. You should inform the accommodation reception team by phone. If you have not checked in to your accommodation you should contact the User Office to arrange a room for you to self-isolate in. Talk with your local contact if you are not sure how to do this, or contact the CLF group leader for the facility
if your local contact isn't available.
- You should make arrangements via NHS 111 (you can find details of the NHS 111 service here ) to arrange a Covid-19 test through the UK NHS. Users can request an NHS home test kit to be delivered to the accommodation.
- You can remain at STFC accommodation for the period of self-isolation.
- The CLF local contact will identify and inform the other team members that may also need to self-isolate.
- The CLF local contact will have regular contact with you by phone or video to check if you need further assistance.
- If symptoms worsen then your circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional.
and will be left outside the room door, and disposables will be used for cutlery, etc. Fresh linen and towels will be provided as required and will be left outside the bedroom door. Linen bags and additional waste bags will be provided for used linen and rubbish, and all should be retained in the room until a negative Covid test or checkout when it will be left for 72 hours before cleaning or disposal.
Due to the extra procedures in place during the Covid-19 situation, and because not all facility staff will be on site as normal, you should plan for tasks to take longer than normal to perform. Facility staff may not be available to solve problems as quickly as normal, and a greater degree of flexibility may be needed around what is possible when running your experiment. We ask that you be as understanding and patient as possible if things are not able to happen as you would normally expect.