Returning to campus safely

With the winter break coming to an end, if you haven’t already, most of you will be returning to campus shortly. Below you’ll find the latest guidance about travelling back to campus from within the UK and internationally.

Please remember, you should check the latest UK Government guidance before making any travel arrangements.

When to return to campus

When planning your return travel, it is important to arrive in time for your first scheduled day back on campus, whether this be for in-person teaching sessions or in-person exams. You will be expected to attend any scheduled in-person (in an exam room on campus) assessments unless you are prevented by COVID-19 isolation or symptoms, other illness or other extenuating circumstances.

The Semester One teaching and assessment period starts on 10 January 2022 and you should now be able to access your exam timetable. Semester Two teaching starts on 31 January 2022 and your timetable is now available in the Timetables App and in the Timetable Portal.

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students will also shortly receive further details about COVID-19 safety measures for over the Exams and Assessment period. Please keep checking your email for this important information.

Travelling back to campus from within the UK

If you have any COVID-19 symptoms you should not travel, get a PCR test and follow the latest stay at home guidance until you receive your result. You can book or order a PCR test via the Government webpages. The latest guidance states you can stop self-isolating after 7 days instead of 10 days if you get 2 negative lateral flow test results on day 6 and 7. You can find further information about this on the UK Government webpages.

For those without symptoms or not self-isolating, there are currently no restrictions for travelling within England, however, you should check the rules if you’re travelling from Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Ireland or the Channel Islands as there may be restrictions in place.

When travelling it is important to adhere to the following public health guidelines to keep yourself and those around you safe:

  • Get a test before travelling: Even if you don’t have symptoms, you should take a lateral flow test and receive a negative result within 24 hours before travelling. You can get a home test-kit from a pharmacy or via the Government webpages. Please remember, if your lateral flow test result is positive you should not travel. From 11 January, PCR testing will be for those experiencing symptoms only, so if you get a positive result from a lateral flow test you will then no longer need to take a PCR test to confirm the result. You should simply isolate immediately for the recommended period of time.
  • Wear a face covering on all public transport: As part of the latest safety measures announced by the UK Government to restrict the spread of the Omicron variant, face coverings are compulsory on all public transport, except for those medically exempt. When you arrive back to campus, please note, that face coverings are also now mandatory in all University buildings and shops.
  • Make sure you are up-to-date with your vaccinations: All those aged 12 and over in the UK are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 vaccination. If you haven’t yet received both doses of your vaccination, you can book directly on the NHS website, as well as book your booster jab. We also recommend making sure your NHS COVID Pass is up-to-date and accessible prior to travelling. If you have any issues with your pass you can find further guidance on the NHS webpages, or call 119 for any other questions.

Travelling internationally

With the emergence of the newest virus variant, Omicron, international travel guidance and restrictions are changing frequently. It is your responsibility to keep up-to-date with the latest advice and rules on the UK Government webpages before returning to England.

The latest guidance (as 7 January) advises that those arriving into England do not need to take a PCR test before travelling or self-isolate after arrival, but will need to take a lateral flow test on or before day 2 after arrival and if it’s positive to then take a PCR test. Read the latest guidance here.