COVID-19 FAQs

COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Christmas and New Year Break and Overseas Travel Advice

Christmas and New Year Break

What do I need to do if I am to travel home? 

Can I travel after the ‘student travel window’ ends on the 9th December 2020? 

I’m staying in Halls but not feeling well, what should I do?

I’m staying in my student house but not feeling well, what should I do?

I have recently travelled home but not feeling well, what should I do?

Do I have to self-isolate again if I have previously tested positive and completed the 10 days isolation period? 

How do I avoid spreading coronavirus to people I live with?

Who can or should I contact if I need help or support?

What support is available to me after December 18th?

January 2021: Returning to University

Lateral Flow Testing


International and European Travel Advice 

Can I travel overseas before the university moves all its teaching online on 9th December?

What about COVID-19 testing? Do I have to be tested before I can leave the university/the UK?

How do I know what COVID-19 rules are in place in other countries?

How do I arrange a COVID-19 (PCR) test to travel abroad? 

What other things do I have to consider when planning my travel? 

What support is available for students staying on Campus from 9th December onwards? 

What if I am unable to return to the UK for practical assessments/work placement or when the teaching starts in 2021?

 


What do I need to do if I am to travel home?  

Please refer to the current guidance relating to travel: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers  

You may also find this checklist for safer travel useful: 

Plan your journey 

  • for travel from, and including, 2 December have you checked the local restriction tiers that apply to the areas you pass through when travelling? 

  • can you walk or cycle to your destination? 

  • have you checked the latest travel advice from your transport operator? 

  • have you booked your travel ticket online, bought a pass or checked if contactless payment is possible? 

  • have you planned your journey to minimise crowded areas and allow for delays? 

  • are you taking the most direct route to your destination? 

  • have you downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app, if you have a smartphone? 

What to take with you 

  • a face covering – for longer journeys, take more than one face covering and a plastic bag for used face coverings 

  • a plan for the journey 

  • tickets, contactless payment card or pass 

  • phone, if needed for travel updates, tickets, contactless payments 

  • hand sanitiser 

  • essential medicines 

  • tissues 

Information adapted from: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers 01/12/2020 

 

Can I travel after the ‘student travel window’ ends on the 9th December 2020? 

Yes, but keep in mind that the Government strongly recommends that you travel between the 3rd and 9th December.   

You are, of course, welcome to stay at the University after the 9th December but if you stay and contract COVID-19 or are identified as a contact of a positive case, then you will have to complete a period of self-isolation. Which means there is a risk that you may not be able to get home in time for Christmas. The full advice is available through the OfS website - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/higher-education-reopening-buildings-and-campuses/student-movement-and-plans-for-the-end-of-autumn-2020-term 

If travelling outside of the UK and for International and European Students, please refer to the advice available in the International and European Travel Advice sections.

 

I’m staying in Halls but not feeling well, what should I do?  

If you are feeling unwell please contact 111 for advice, this is especially important if you are clinically vulnerable. In an Emergency dial 999.    

Please also contact Accommodation@chi.ac.uk so they are aware you are unwell and Covidreport@chi.ac.uk for support related to COVID-19 symptoms and testing. 

Should you have any concerns that you are suffering from any COVID-19 symptoms there are bookable walk-in test centres adjacent to both campuses. In addition, home-tests are available for those with symptoms. These tests can all be booked through the government website - https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.  We would like to remind you that a negative result can only indicate that you are negative at the date the test was taken and that you can still develop Covid-19 after this. 

 

I’m staying in my student house but not feeling well, what should I do? 

If you are feeling unwell please contact 111 for advice, this is especially important if you are clinically vulnerable. In an Emergency dial 999.    

Please also contact Covidreport@chi.ac.uk for support related to COVID-19 symptoms and testing. If you need help with food and supplies please contact Accommodation@chi.ac.uk for advice.

Should you have any concerns that you are suffering from any COVID-19 symptoms there are bookable walk-in test centres adjacent to both campuses. In addition, home-tests are available for those with symptoms. These tests can all be booked through the government website - https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.  We would like to remind you that a negative result can only indicate that you are negative at the date the test was taken and that you can still develop COVID-19 after this. 

 

I have recently travelled home but not feeling well, what should I do? 

If you are feeling unwell please contact 111 for advice, this is especially important if you are clinically vulnerable. In an Emergency dial 999.    

If you have developed any of the symptoms of Covid-19 within the 48 hours since you travelled home, please contact Covidreport@chi.ac.uk for support related to COVID-19 symptoms and testing and to assist us with any contact tracing that may be necessary. 

If you have developed any of the symptoms of COVID-19 after the 48 hours since you travelled home, then please engage with your local and national support services (for example 111). You do not need to notify us unless you receive a positive result and / or your self-isolation period will delay your return to the University in January 2021, in which case please contact Covidreport@chi.ac.uk

Should you require a test these can be booked through the NHS App or through the government website - https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.  

 

Do I have to self-isolate again if I have previously tested positive and completed the 10 days isolation period? 

Even though you have already had COVID-19 this does not mean you cannot get it again. 

The guidance for people following a positive test is as follows: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#after-the-isolation-period-has-ended 

The guidance states that you must isolate again even after a positive test if someone in your household develops symptoms/tests positive, and this also applies where you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Because some people are clinically vulnerable to the disease and could become seriously ill if they catch it, it is very important that we keep to the Government guidelines.  

 

How do I avoid spreading coronavirus to people I live with?

If you are self-isolating because of coronavirus, there are things you can do to reduce the chances of spreading any infection to the people you live with. 

You should stay away from other people you live with as much as possible. 

If you can: 

  • stay on your own in one room as much as possible and keep the door closed 

  • avoid using shared spaces (such as the kitchen) at the same time as other people – eat your meals in your room 

  • use a separate bathroom; if this is not possible, use the bathroom after everyone else and clean it each time you use it, for example, by wiping the surfaces you've touched 

How to reduce the spread of infection in your home 

Do 

  • wash your hands with soap and water often, for at least 20 seconds 
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available 

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze 

  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards 

  • clean objects and surfaces you touch often (such as door handles, kettles and phones) using your regular cleaning products 

  • consider wearing a face covering when in shared spaces 

  • keep windows open in the room you're staying in and shared spaces as much as possible 

Don’t 

  • do not share towels, including hand towels and tea towels 

It's especially important to try to avoid spreading the infection to anyone who's at higher risk from coronavirus (such as people who are 70 or over, pregnant or have a weakened immune system). 

If you live with someone at higher risk, try to arrange for them to stay with friends or family while you're self-isolating.  If you have to stay at home together, try to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from each other. If possible, try not to share a bed. 

Information adapted from: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-to-avoid-spreading-coronavirus-to-people-you-live-with/ 01/12/2020 

 

Who can or should I contact if I need help or support? 

If you have concerns or require support please contact: 

  • Covidreport@chi.ac.uk for support related to COVID-19 symptoms and testing and also for student wellbeing over the Christmas holidays (will be monitored daily for the whole Christmas holiday period)

  • Wellbeing@chi.ac.uk for wellbeing or mental health issues (not between 19 December and 3 January)

  • Accommodation@chi.ac.uk for housing and food support (not between 19 December and 3 January)

  • Studenthealth@chi.ac.uk for non-emergency health issues  (not between 19 December and 3 January)

 

What support is available to me after the 18th December? 

The Covidreport@chi.ac.uk account will continue to be monitored over the Christmas break but on a reduced basis.  Do continue to contact the team both for support related to COVID-19 symptoms and testing and also should you have any wellbeing or accommodation issues.  

Campus catering will be closed from 19th December to 3rd January. There are always some students, some of whom are from overseas, who regularly stay with us over Christmas so the campuses will remain open with regular visits by the security team.

 

January 2021: Returning to University

Please check your University e-mails regularly across the Christmas holiday to keep in touch with your tutors and for the latest guidance from them on when you should return to the University.

 

Lateral Flow Testing

The University is currently making arrangements to carry out lateral flow testing of returning students following government guidelines.  Once these arrangements have been finalised guidance will be sent to all students in early January.  Please check your University email regularly for notifications.

Please also see our page on Lateral Flow testing FAQs


International and European Travel Advice

 

Can I travel overseas before the University moves all its teaching online on 9th December? 

If you need to leave the UK earlier than 9th December due to flight availability/cost, you should discuss this with your academic department. Your academic department can explain how they can support you to study remotely.  It is important that you have access to a reliable internet connection and PC/laptop as you need to continue to engage in your studies online.   

We advise you to check the government’s ‘Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance and also the guidance on ‘Entering the UK’ to ensure you are able to plan your return. If you travel overseas, you should consider the restrictions on entry to the country in question, such as whether you would need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country, and whether you would need to self-isolate when you return.  

You should not travel if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are in a household with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

 

What about COVID-19 testing? Do I have to be tested before I can leave the University/the UK? 

The University is not currently planning to introduce mass testing of asymptomatic students. You do not need a test before you leave the University. Please check the latest information relating to this on our website “Communication to students, applicants and staff: https://www.chi.ac.uk/search/course-search/support-health-wellbeing/novel-coronavirus 

If you are travelling overseas, you may need to arrange a private COVID-19 (PCR) test. See more information below. 

 

How do I know what COVID-19 rules are in place in other countries? 

Some countries may require you to have obtained a negative COVID-19 test before you enter the country. Check the Government’s 'Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)’ before travelling. You can find more details on the Government's Foreign Travel Advice webpage.  

You should also check the guidance on ‘Entering the UK’ which may affect your return. 

 

How do I arrange a COVID-19 (PCR) test to travel abroad? 

It is very important that you check the rules regarding entry to your destination country, to see if you are required to take a test for COVID-19 before travel (this may be called a PCR test).  It is also very important that you check the rules regarding re-entry to the UK as you may need to self-isolate on your return. 

 If you are not currently required to take a test, you should continue to check daily until your departure in case the rules change (which is happening frequently). 

 If you are required to take a test, it is important that you understand what type of test you need and the specific timeframe you have to work within. This will be different for different countries. For example, some countries require you to have been tested no more than 72 hours before travel and others no more than 48 hours before travel. 

 The UK Government clearly state that NHS testing cannot be used for the purpose of travel, and that a private test must be obtained. It is also important to note that the NHS test is not dated, so will not meet the requirements of all countries. No local test centre will test anyone who is asymptomatic (not showing any symptoms). 

 Private tests cost between £100 - £300. It is important to do your research and make sure you use a reputable company, through a lab approved by Ukas (the UK’s National Accreditation Body). It is likely you will need to travel to London to take a test so please factor this into your travel plans. 

 If you fail to meet all the requirements of your destination country, you could be refused entry and/or fined, even if you are a national of that country. Therefore, it is vital you do your research in advance to allow you time for the appropriate testing. 

  Not all countries require a test, and others will test you on arrival at the destination airport, where you either receive a result within an hour, or have to isolate in a hotel for 24 hours whilst you wait for the result.  You should also investigate what will happen if this test comes back positive. 

 

What other things do I have to consider when planning my travel? 

If you test positive for COVID-19 or need to self-isolate with your household, you will need to self-isolate and will not be able to travel on a plane or other form of public transport. It is important to note that travel insurance may not cover your costs if you cannot take a pre-booked flight owing to a positive COVID-19 test. 

You are therefore advised to book refundable, cancellable, or flexible travel options where possible to make sure that you do not lose out if you are required to self-isolate. Check the terms and conditions of any bookings carefully and, if you do have insurance, check to see whether you are covered in the case of a positive test result. 

 

What support is available for students staying on Campus from 9th December onwards? 

The University will remain fully operational until 18th December and students staying on campus throughout the winter break will be informed of what support is available during the University closure between 21 Dec 2020 and 1 Jan 2021. 

 

What if I am unable to return to the UK for practical assessments/work placement or when the teaching starts in 2021?  

If you experience delays in returning to the UK due to COVID-19 related travel restrictions and /or if you cannot attend any face-to-face sessions because you are required to self-isolate on arrival, you should get in touch with your academic department as soon as possible to find out how they can support you to study online on a temporary basis and/or put in place alternative arrangements for your assessments. If your request is authorised by the department, you must fully engage in your studies, so that you don't fall behind.  

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