FAQs for students arriving in the UK after 15th February 2021
UKCISA advice for students travelling to England
Before planning your return to the campus/UK, you should check the latest guidance given by the Vice-Chancellor and your academic department. Unless you are advised that your course is going to be delivered on campus, you should continue your studies online. The next government announcement will be made on 12th April and we will find out more about the plans for the rest of the semester.
If you’re arriving in England on or after 15 February 2021, there are new rules. If you have travelled from or in a country on the banned travel list (sometimes called the ‘red list’) in the last 10 days, you will need to quarantine (self-isolate) in a government quarantine hotel for 10 days. You will need to book your hotel before you travel and book 2 COVID-19 tests to take during your quarantine.
If you’re coming from a country that is not on the banned travel list, you will need to quarantine at home for 10 days.
You do not need to quarantine in England if you’re travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man and have not been in any other countries in the last 10 days.
More information for international arrival is available on the UK Government website.
To stop the spread of potentially harmful variants into the UK, more stringent measures are in place for people who have travelled from or passed through a country on the list where travel to the UK is banned (the ‘red list’) and you must quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel.
You will need to agree to pay for, and book, a quarantine package before you complete your passenger locator form (PLF) and board start your journey.
The package includes the costs of transport from the port of arrival to the designated hotel, food, accommodation, security and other essential services and testing.
The cost for a single adult in one room for 10 days (11 nights) is £1750.
All package prices will be reviewed before the end of March and may change.
If you have not arranged a quarantine package prior to your arrival in England, you face a penalty of up to £4,000 and will still have to pay for your quarantine package on arrival.
If you’re required to quarantine in a quarantine hotel you can only arrive in England at certain ports of entry. Currently these are:
- Heathrow Airport
- Gatwick Airport
- London City Airport
- Birmingham Airport
- Farnborough Airfield
Other ports of entry may be added in the future.
If you’re required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel and do not arrive in England at one of the designated ports of entry, you may face a penalty of up to £10,000 and will be charged for the cost of transportation to the nearest designated port or entry.
When you arrive in England you will need to provide your completed passenger locator form to Border Force officers alongside your passport and negative COVID-19 test result.
You will be escorted through the airport with other passengers who need to quarantine at a managed quarantine hotel. Your ‘quarantine package’ includes transport to your quarantine hotel (and back to the airport at the end of your quarantine).
You must only travel to your managed quarantine hotel by the transport specified in your quarantine package and not by public or private transport.
At the end of the quarantine period you will be transported to the airport you were collected from when you arrived in England. You will then need to make your own arrangements to travel to the university.
When you arrive at the managed quarantine hotel you will be required to quarantine in your room for 10 days. The managed quarantine hotel will provide your meals.
It is not possible to select a particular room at the managed quarantine hotel or to seek a higher standard room upon arrival.
You cannot have visitors in quarantine, including friends or family.
If you have items delivered to you during the quarantine period, they will be brought to the door of your room by the managed quarantine hotel staff. Staff will try to bring the items to you in a timely manner. However, given the need to maintain compliance with COVID guidelines, deliveries may not be able to be brought to your door immediately when they arrive at the hotel.
Use this UK Government Portal to book the hotel quarantine:
For more information click here
Before travelling to the UK, everyone must:
- take a coronavirus (COVID-19) test and get a negative result during the 3 days before you travel
- book and pay for a travel test package, which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on day 2 and on day 8 of your quarantine
- complete a passenger locator form with details of where you will home quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number
Providing false or deliberately misleading information when filling out your passenger locator form is an offence punishable by imprisonment. You could be fined up to £10,000, imprisoned for up to 10 years or both if you do not provide accurate details about the countries you have visited in the 10 days before you arrived in the UK.
If you break the quarantine rules you may face a penalty of up to £10,000.
How do I book and pay for the two COVID-19 tests I need to take on arrival in the UK if I am quarantining in my own accommodation?
Anyone arriving in England on or after the 15th February 2021, will need to take a COVID-19 test on day 2 and day 8 of their quarantine.
This costs £210.
You will need to book these tests BEFORE you arrive, as you are required to include the booking reference number on your passenger locator form.
Use this link to book and pay for the 2 required ‘COVID Testing Package’ to use during your quarantine:
You will not be able to leave quarantine until you have received both a negative result from your day 2 and day 8 test and quarantined for 10 days. If you do not take the tests, you may face a penalty of up to £2,000.
If you test positive for either test you must quarantine for a further 10 days from the day you took the test – you will receive further advice alongside your test results.
If your test shows that you have a variant of coronavirus known as a ‘variant of concern’ you will get a further call and your contacts will be asked to be tested.
When you book your travel test package, you will be asked to include your UK address so that you pack can be sent to you by Royal Mail Recorded/Special delivery. It is not possible to change the address afterwards, so make sure you include correct details. If you live in the halls of residence, you should contact the accommodation team to ask for you test package to be brought to you as soon as they receive it via the post room. You should not leave your room to collect it. The instructions on how to take the test is included in the pack. You will be advised to post your test by using one of the Royal Mail priority mail boxes. Information relating to this is included in your pack.
The current UK government guidance on self-isolation is available on the Government website.
If you are required to self-isolate for 10 days after arriving in the UK, we recommend that you try to arrive 10 days before the start of your course, so that you can complete the self-isolation period before your classes start. If this is not possible due to travel restrictions, or visa application delays, do not worry, we can still support you as most of the teaching sessions will be available online for you to access them during the self-isolation period. Contact the international student advisers at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns about self-isolation.
If you have booked a room in the University Halls of Residence and you need to self-isolate on arrival, please contact our accommodation team to let them know when you are due to arrive. You should keep contact with your housemates to a minimum and avoid using the common areas (kitchen, bathroom, living room etc) at the same time.
If you are in a catered room, you can't leave your room to get your food, but can request that your food is delivered to your room. Please contact the accommodation team at email@example.com to arrange this and let them know if you have any dietary needs or allergies.
If you are in a self-catered room, you will need to arrange your food and other necessities to be delivered to your room throughout your self-isolation period. You can find information on shopping online and arranging deliveries on our Moodle page.
If you are a new student the International Student Advisers will provide information on how to get ready for the self-isolation period before you are due to arrive. This will include information on how to register an online shopping account and how to arrange food and other necessary items to be delivered to your room. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
If you live off-campus in a private shared house, you can use it as a base to self-isolate. The people you live with do not need to self-isolate unless you travelled together. You should keep contact with your housemates to a minimum and avoid using the common areas (kitchen, bathroom, living room etc) at the same time. You should have your food and other necessary items delivered as you will not be allowed to leave your self-isolation base except for limited reasons. Make sure you read the self-isolation guidance in detail and contact the International Student Advisers if you need any support or advice.
The UK Government currently advises against using public transport unless you have no other option. We recommend that you book a taxi as it is easier and safer. When travelling on public transport you must use a face covering and stay 2 meters apart. The full guidance on travelling by public transport is available on the Government website.
A good alternative to public transport is to pre-book a local taxi to collect you from the airport. A local taxi will cost about £60-£90 depending on the location and drop of points as well as waiting times at the airport. You can read the government guidance on using taxis and adhering to social distancing.
Please note that the National Express coach service is not operating from 10th January 2021 until further notice. This will limit your public transport travel options especially from Heathrow airport. https://www.nationalexpress.com/en
Visa concessions allow for the ongoing provision of online learning for the duration of the academic year 2020/21.Students who continue their studies online until the next Government announcement is due after the Spring break, are not breaking visa rules by doing so. If you have been asked to return to your studies and are unable to do so due to travel restrictions please contact your academic department to find out how they can continue to support you online.
Collection of BRP:
Students will not be penalised for being unable to collect their Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) while coronavirus (COVID-19) measures are in place.
New graduate route
The UK Government has confirmed that students who need to commence their studies via distance learning prior to entering the UK will be eligible for the new graduate route. Students who are completing their course in summer 2021, including those who commenced a one-year Masters programme in September 2020, will benefit from this route if they enter the UK on or before 21 June 2021 and complete their course.
Students who commence a one-year Masters programme in January 2021 will benefit from this route if they enter the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.
Please see the full list of concession in the latest UKVI guidance
Am I entitled to any financial help from the University for either the hotel quarantine or the Covid testing package?
If you are unable to meet the costs of either the hotel quarantine or the Covid testing package, please get in touch with the International Student Advisory Service at email@example.com for advice. Or visit our Moodle page to find out about our current International Hardship funds.
You can find the latest information relating to national restrictions on the UK Government website.
Some students plan to co-fund their studies with a part time job. Is this still possible given the impact the pandemic has had on employment in the UK?
We would always recommend that students carefully plan their financing, but this is especially important given the current precarious situation. Many businesses throughout the UK have had to close temporarily or permanently due to the pandemic, and you may find it difficult to find work currently. For more information on working during studies, students should refer to the UKCISA website.
International students who live in the UK and are registered with a GP will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccination in the UK, just as they are currently able to access healthcare. This means that older international students or those with underlying medical conditions will fall into priority categories, in the same way as the domestic populatio