Reducing the risk of catching coronavirus

University of Exeter expert in Communicable Disease Control and Infectious disease management, Dr Bharat Pankhania discusses how we can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19).

How to reduce your risk
Wash your hands
Self Isolation

Staff (Exeter and Cornwall)

Latest update – Monday 18 May, 10:00

As of Monday 18 May the Government have advised all individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia. Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. For further information please visit the GOV UK Pages.

Restrictions currently remain in place across all our campuses. The health, safety and wellbeing of students, colleagues and the wider community is our top priority.

For staff:

If you are currently working at home then you should continue to do so until you have explicit notice from your manager that you should return. You should not visit the campus unless you have been authorised to do so by your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

If you have been working on campus during the restrictions, there will be no change to your current arrangements. Please carry out your work and leave the campus at the earliest opportunity so you do not remain within buildings any longer than is necessary.

For students:

Whilst restrictions remain in place, we are not permitting students to return to campus, for example to collect belongings. Our Estate Patrol and security teams will continue to monitor access to residences to ensure students are adhering to this guidance.

If you have belongings in private accommodation, the same restrictions continue to apply. We are working with landlords to agree a plan for you to return to collect your belongings safely and in line with social distancing measures.

Please continue to check the FAQs below for updated information and guidance.

Revised arrangements for attendance and absence

See our Guidance for Managers and Staff in the event of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Frequently asked questions

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly as there are ongoing updates to the Government guidance.

For FAQs related to exams and assessments, please see our dedicated webpage.

Respect in our community

We know that outbreaks can take place anywhere in the world. Internationally, nationally and locally there have been incidents of xenophobic and racist behaviour and abuse.

We emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. Inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. This is a hate crime and is against the law.

If you experience, or are witness to, any behaviour of this type, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out web pages. We will investigate this and, where necessary, disciplinary procedures will be followed.

If you are feeling anxious during this time, further support is available via our wellbeing webpages.

We have signed an open letter with partners across Exeter on tackling hate crime and racism in our community, particularly in light of recent incidents in relation to coronavirus. This is a time when we must work together and support each other - not create more division and hurt. Read the letter in full​

University updates and actions

The significant changes to daily life caused by Covid-19 will impact on a number of religious observances including, but by no means limited to, Easter, Passover and Ramadan.

This year, Ramadan began on Thursday 23 April. During Ramadan communities come together in prayer, acts of worship and celebration. The current restrictions in place will no doubt have an impact on religious observance for many people all over the world. Gatherings central to many faith-based practices and religious observances will be restricted or prevented, but support is available to help alleviate the subsequent sense of isolation and grief which individuals may experience.

The WHO has issued guidance for safe Ramadan practices in the context of Covid-19, as well as more general guidance for religious leaders and faith-based communities which includes advice on supporting mental health and resilience, hosting virtual faith activities and safe burial practices.

We have produced a SWAY booklet on the possible impact of COVID-19 on Ramadan celebrations, including detail on health and wellbeing, work considerations and guidance for peers and colleagues.

The Government has released guidance on how to safely help people that are self-isolating or shielding. There are a number of points on how to help somebody, for example by delivering food and medicine to them, however if you are doing this, you must:

• stay outside their home if you do not live with them, especially if they are at a higher risk from coronavirus or have symptoms
• limit the time you spend outside your home for example by picking up their food or medicine with yours
• stay 2 metres (6 ft) away if you do not live with them
• not share a car with them
• regularly wash your hands with soapy water for at least 20 seconds

If you do not follow this advice, you could put yourself at risk of infection, or risk spreading it to others. If you or someone in your household starts to show symptoms, or if you are at high risk of severe symptoms yourself, then you must stay at home.

If you would like to offer your help volunteering in Exeter or Cornwall, visit the Exeter City Council pages, or the Cornwall Council website for further information.

Your safety is the priority. We recognise it’s not possible for everybody to volunteer at the moment, remember, everyone following the Government social distancing measures is saving lives and protecting the NHS.

It is now expected that all staff will be working from home, apart from where an alternative agreement has been put in place with your line manager.

It is important that staff are able to work safely and effectively at home. The Homeworking Guidance contains information on DSE assessments, IT guidance, and specific FAQs on homeworking at this exceptional time.

The Information Governance Team have created guidance on how we can complete our work safely, securely, and in line with our data protection policies. This guidance includes: remote access, file storage, file sharing, communication and more.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms, however mild, please follow official guidance and self-isolate. This applies even if you are displaying only mild symptoms i.e. you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath.

Remember to wash your hands more often than usual for 20 seconds using soap and water. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

Make sure your area of work is clean and hygienic by regularly cleaning surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) using disinfectant or antibacterial cleaning products.

The most recent advice from the UK Government states:

- Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible;
- Stay at home, where possible.
- Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
- Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
- Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

The WHO have a short video with information on the protective measures that we can all take to protect ourselves and others.

 

According to the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists pregnant women do not appear to be more severely unwell if they develop coronavirus than the general population. As this is a new virus, how it may affect you is not yet clear. It is expected the large majority of pregnant women will experience only mild or moderate cold/flu like symptoms. If you are pregnant you are more vulnerable to getting infections than a woman who is not pregnant. Please ensure you read the FAQs that the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists have published as this has the most up to date information.

If you are working from home then please plan to carry on, following the Government guidance regarding social distancing and information from the NHS.

We request that managers continue to offer maternity risk assessment meetings for all pregnant staff, using Teams is a very effective way. Ensure you carry out a new risk assessment to cover the working from home element and keep this updated regularly.

We look forward to welcoming you back.

You are returning to work in unprecedented times. All staff, other than essential teams are being asked to work from home. It is unlikely that you have all your equipment to be able to do so. Firstly, we would ask you to be in touch with your manager using the method you have been using during your maternity leave. We will then need to ensure you have equipment you need to work from home, please discuss this with your line manager.

To facilitate working from home the University has migrated to using “Teams.”

There are useful guides available on using tools such as Teams and Office 365. We would recommend you take a look at these and speak to your manager about any needs you might have that are not covered here.

Please go the Research Toolkit to read further guidance from our main research funders and frequently asked questions.

We also have useful information for PGRs from the Doctoral College, this is available online.

The library continues to give you access to the resources and support you need digitally.

All library buildings on the Exeter campuses close until further notice at 3:00pm on Friday 20th March. The library in Penryn will be open Monday-Friday 9:00-5:00, but this may change.

Further information for students and staff at an Exeter campus can be found here: https://libguides.exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus 

Further information for students and staff at Penryn can be found here: https://library.fxplus.ac.uk/service-updates-march-2020

All parking related salary deductions have been suspended with effect from 17 March.  This will be reflected in March payslips as a reduced amount and will disappear from future salary payments until further notice. 

Parking enforcement has been suspended across our Exeter campuses, including pay and display payments, and a valid permit is not required.  This will enable colleagues who have had to change their means of travel to attend work. 

From 1 April 2020 charging for car parking in Penryn will be suspended until further notice.

All colleagues are reminded to park responsibly and within marked bays to ensure continued access for essential vehicles and emergency services personnel.

The various works on our campus, undertaken by the University and our partners, are continuing in accordance with the most recent Government advice, issued on 26th March and the Secretary of State letter on 31st March.

The Government has advised that construction activities can continue, provided contractors comply with social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning measures. All contractors who continue to operate on campus are following the recently published Site Operating Procedures from the Construction Leadership Council.

The University is working closely with our partners to ensure this guidance is followed, and we are putting into place additional measures as appropriate. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and will provide any further updates here.

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in the business or workplace they should be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance.

If they need clinical advice, they should go online to NHS 111 or call 111 if they don’t have internet access. In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.

If a member of staff has helped someone who was taken unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves. They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell with symptoms consistent with coronavirus infection.

It is not necessary to close the business or workplace or send any staff home, unless government policy changes.

Make sure your contact number is accurate and up to date in Trent so we can contact you with any important updates. Please continue to check your emails for updates and information. 

Up-to-date guidance on coronavirus testing, including eligibility, how to get tested and the different types of test available can be found here

Everyone in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, over the age of 5, with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms is now eligible for a test. Anyone experiencing a new, continuous cough; high temperature; and now also a loss of or change in your normal sense of smell or taste can book a test by visiting www.nhs.uk/coronavirus

We cannot guarantee whether or not anyone is able to get tested and there are limited numbers of tests available. The number of tests available differs dependent on where you are currently residing.

Please be aware the test is an ‘antigen test’. It tests if you currently have coronavirus. The test to tell if you’ve ever had coronavirus (‘antibody test’) is not available yet. Please therefore only apply if you meet the following criteria:

• tests need to be carried out in the first 5 days of having symptoms
• it’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange
• when applying for a test, use the self-referral option, the University is not currently completing referrals

 

Attendance and Absence

Public Health England (PHE) have updated their advice on what to do if you experience symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you have symptoms, however mild, please self-isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started. If you need to self-isolate please let us know so we can make sure you have access to any support you may need. 

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. 

Students

Following our decision to ask students to go home where possible, we are no longer collating information on absence from face to face teaching.

If you are self-isolating, or remaining, in student accommodation: either on campus, in an external student accommodation provider or in privately owned student accommodation, please notify us by email on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk giving the following details:

1. Full name
2. Student Number
3. Address - including if you are living in Exeter or Cornwall
4. Period of self-isolating - start and end date
5. Contact telephone number

These details will then be passed to the relevant staff who will contact you to ensure you have access to the support you may need.

You no longer need to use the LISA attendance monitoring system to record absences. From Monday 23 March we are moving to online/remote delivery of teaching, where possible. In addition to this, from 23 March, Examinations and Assessments will take place online until further notice, with alternative arrangements in place where required.

If you have any queries email us on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Staff

Please use the staff online form to let us know if you are self-isolating. You should also follow the guidance in the Staff FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?”

Information about pay arrangements can be found online

Contact details for emergencies and out of hours help are listed below:

- Exeter: contact Estate Patrol on 01392 723999 (24 hours)
- Cornwall: contact the Living Support Team on 01326 255341 or via email: ls-team@fxplus.ac.uk (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or the Security and Night Support team on 01326 253503 (evenings 5pm to 9am and weekends)

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation, but please contact us using the details above. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency always dial 999.

Students

Your wellbeing is extremely important to us and we would like to highlight the resources that are available to support you, if needed. This includes our self-help tool, SilverCloud and our Wellbeing Services at both our Exeter and Cornwall campuses.

Staff

There are a number of support services available to staff during this period. Our self-help tool, Pro-Counselling, can be used to access 24/7 telephone counselling via our online portal, as well as a range of well-being resources and guides. You can also talk to your line manager if you have any queries.

If you are not able to work for any of the following reasons please report your absence from work to your line manager, or in their absence the nominated manager, as soon as possible - either by email or telephone. You should state the reason for your absence, for example:

  • Sickness (any reason where you are unwell and unable to work as normal, including relating to coronavirus)
  • Self-isolation: In all cases, employees should follow the latest Government guidance 
  • Emergency leave (e.g. childcare)

Information about pay arrangements can be found online

Your manager will record your sickness absence in the usual way via iTrent – more details available here: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/staff/employment/leave/sickness/sicknessrecording/

In cases where you are self-isolating, you should record the absence via the Self-isolation absence notification form.

During this time, it is important that you remain in regular contact with your line manager and/or supervisor, as well as those you manage, even if you are not working in your normal workplace.

If you are a manager and you become ill, please let your team know so they are aware of who they can liaise with in your absence, for example your line manager or another appropriate member of staff.

If you have a specific concern or query about being absent from work please email: coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

We understand for parents and carers, with the announcement of school closures this is an unsettling time. If you have been affected by school closures, or your normal childcare arrangements are not available, please consider what arrangements you can put in place to enable you to continue to work, such as:

  • Any alternative caring arrangements you can make
  • Sharing caring responsibilities 
  • Whether you are able to continue to work around your childcare responsibilities – for example by working at different times to your normal working pattern (e.g. evenings/weekends)
  • Whether you are unable to work

If you are not able to do any work, in recognition of these exceptional circumstances, to give you a longer period to make alternative arrangements, the University has agreed to extend its paid emergency leave to 10 days from Monday 23 March (pro-rata for part-time staff).

Please keep in touch with your manager and follow the guidance on recording your absence

If you work and get paid via eClaims or the Temporary Resourcing Unit, you should notify your manager and e-Claims@exeter.ac.uk if you are unwell or unable to attend work for any reason connected to coronavirus.

If you meet the eligibility criteria, you may be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay from the first day of your illness. If you are not unwell but are self-isolating under Public Health England advice, the University will, as an exceptional measure, pay you for any work that has been agreed and scheduled. Similarly, while the University is closed for all but essential activity, you will be paid for any work which has been agreed and scheduled.Please claim any hours through the eClaims system in the normal way for your manager to approve. Where possible, arrangements will be made for you to undertake the scheduled work at home.

The University’s sick leave and pay allowances will continue to if you are prevented from working because you are unwell for any reason. Please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?” for further guidance.

You must advise your line manager and report that you are in self-isolation. Please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – When and how do I report absence?” for further guidance.

If you are able to continue working while you are self-isolating, this will not be recorded as sickness. If you are not able to work, then this will be treated as sickness absence. Further information about pay arrangements can be found at https://www.exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus/staff/pay/

If you have any further queries on this please contact your line manager or the HR Team.

Postgraduate Teaching Assistants will continue to be paid if their work is cancelled or rescheduled, and should claim for their hours in the usual way via Trent. Please contact the manager who normally assigns work to you, to clarify the expectations of your role and whether you can undertake work from home.

We know for some that coronavirus is of increased concern. Those with chronic medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, lung disease, may feel particularly vulnerable. If you have an existing or underlying health condition and you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, we would encourage you to use the NHS 111 online tool.

The NHS will be contacting around 1.2 million people at the highest risk of complications, such as patients having treatment for cancer or people on immunosuppressant therapy, who will be asked to isolate at home for 12 weeks to protect themselves. They will get special guidance from the NHS.

Please follow the comprehensive PHE guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidancewww.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolation-for-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-home-isolation

This provides a range of guidance on items such as washing, sharing household items and covering your face.

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.If you are living with someone who is self-isolating, you should ensure they are separate from everyone else in your home, as the virus can easily be transmitted at close quarters. This means not socialising with that person and where possible using a separate bathroom. If this is not available, then regular cleaning is required. You should also avoid sharing household items, such as dishes, glasses, cups, utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you are self-isolating, we ask you to consider the actions you can take to keep our community safe. This includes staying away from vulnerable individuals, for example the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible. Please try to stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible, and sleep alone if you can.

 

Staff

Please use the staff online form to let us know if you are self-isolating. If you have any queries email us on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

Contact details for emergencies and out of hours help are listed below:

- Exeter: contact Estate Patrol on 01392 723999 (24 hours)
- Cornwall: contact the Living Support Team on 01326 255341 or via email: ls-team@fxplus.ac.uk (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm) or the Security and Night Support team on 01326 253503 (evenings 5pm to 9am and weekends)

Ensure you follow the guidance from Public Health England(PHE) on social distancing. If you or the person you live with/care for become symptomatic then ensure you follow the PHE guidance on living with someone from a vulnerable group.

With the exception of staff providing essential services, staff are now working from home where they are able to do so. If you are within a vulnerable group, as outlined in the PHE guidance above, please speak to your manager to discuss how your work can be best managed.

If you are self-isolating, please refer to the FAQ “Reporting Absence – when and how do I report absence?”

Information about pay arrangements can be found online: https://www.exeter.ac.uk/coronavirus/staff/pay/

If you have any further queries email us on coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk 

Travel advice and updates

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from specific countries is changing rapidly. 

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. This has links to detailed advice for every country/territory, and you should make sure to check the ‘Summary’ and ‘Health’ sections for the country/territory you are travelling to. There is also a facility to sign up for email alerts for the country/territory you are visiting. 

The Government has now withdrawn their advice for travellers returning from specific countries and areas and this has been superseded by ‘stay at home’ guidance on what to do if you have confirmed or possible coronavirus infection. Those returning to the UK from overseas should familiarise themselves with this guidance.

Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.

UPDATED UNIVERSITY TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

The University has made the decision to temporarily suspend all international travel for work or study purposes, unless deemed essential.

We have attempted to contact all staff and postgraduate students who are currently abroad. If you have not done so already, please confirm your current position to insurance@exeter.ac.uk, including whether you are:

a) remaining overseas (if so, please confirm that you have risk assessed and are safe)
b) you have returned to the UK or your home location, or
c) you are in the process of or making plans to return. If you need assistance, please let us know how best to contact you and we will arrange for someone to get in touch.

The safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance, therefore we suggest you complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form before considering any travel; including personal travel or travel within the UK.

You will know that the situation is changing all the time. Please check the Foreign Travel Advice website and your emails for updated information.

Trips booked within the next month should be cancelled. Once the trip has been cancelled please let your supervisor or line manager, and the insurance team (insurance@exeter.ac.uk) know that you are no longer planning to travel.

If you are currently overseas for work or study purposes and would like to return to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Staff and Postgraduates must have completed the online travel form via: www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/

Students must have arranged appropriate insurance, either via the University undergraduate travel insurance provider (www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/undergraduatetravelinsurance/), or a provider of their choice.

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from specific countries is changing rapidly. 

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. This has links to detailed advice for every country/territory, and you should make sure to check the ‘Summary’ and ‘Health’ sections for the country/territory you are travelling to. There is also a facility to sign up for email alerts for the country/territory you are visiting. 

The Government has now withdrawn their advice for travellers returning from specific countries and areas and this has been superseded by ‘stay at home’ guidance on what to do if you have confirmed or possible coronavirus infection. Those returning to the UK from overseas should familiarise themselves with this guidance.

Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.

UPDATED UNIVERSITY TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS

If you are currently abroad for work or study purposes and would like to consider returning to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk. Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Staff and Postgraduates must have completed the online travel form via: www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/

Students must have arranged appropriate insurance, either via the University undergraduate travel insurance provider (www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/undergraduatetravelinsurance/), or a provider of their choice.

For staff and postgraduate students

Staff and postgraduate students are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for business reasons until further notice. This is to protect individuals from increased risk of contracting the virus, and also to minimise the risk of facilitating its spread.

Future International Travel – do not book

If you make your travel arrangements now and incur costs for a trip in the future, we will be unable to arrange any travel insurance as it is foreseeable the trip may be cancelled due to the Coronavirus. Insurance can only be purchased where an event or incident is unforeseeable.

For undergraduate students

Students are being are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for study or placement purposes until further notice. This is to protect individuals from increased risk of contracting the virus, and also to minimise the risk of facilitating its spread. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

Please complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form  before considering any trips.

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from specific countries is changing rapidly. The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. 

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. This has links to detailed advice for every country/territory, and you should make sure to check the ‘Summary’ and ‘Health’ sections. There is also a facility to sign up for email alerts for particular countries/territories. 

The University will aim to support any student who is unable to travel back to the UK with continuation of study, so far as is reasonably practicable on a case by case basis. However, students unable to return to the University due to any newly imposed travel restrictions, need to be prepared that the sitting of their exams, and their subsequent teaching and learning activities could be disrupted.

Yes it is safe. People receiving packages from any affected country or area are not at risk of contracting the Coronavirus. From previous analysis, the World Health Organisation has confirmed that coronaviruses do not survive long on objects such as letters or packages.

Provided you have completed the online travel insurance form to register for the University of Exeter travel insurance policy, a claim may be considered by insurers if:

The FCO advice on travel to your destination has changed, both after the date of booking travel and after the date that the trip was registered for insurance to:

• Advise against all travel or
• Advise against all but essential travel

If the event which you are going to attend is cancelled by the organisers as a result of Coronavirus prior to your departure, provided you are able to provide documentation and a claim form demonstrating the full circumstances of the situation, a claim can be presented to Insurers for their consideration.

If a University (College or Directorate) decision has been made to cancel a trip to a location for which the FCO continue to advise against all or against all but essential travel, then a claim for the cost incurred to the University can be submitted to the travel insurers for their consideration.

How to claim

A claim form will need to be completed and returned with the required supporting documentation to the insurance office for onward transmission to the insurer for their consideration:
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/cgr/insuranceauditandrisk/insurancepolicies/travel/claims/

Please note we cannot guarantee that a claim will be successful as this decision rests with the travel insurer based on the circumstances of the loss at the time, and in relation to the travel insurance policy documentation. We will of course do everything that we can to ensure that genuine claims are successful.

Exclusions where claims will not be available

If a decision has been taken not to travel to a country where the FCO has not advised against all travel or all but essential travel, the Insurers will not consider a claim, as this is considered to be disinclination to travel.

There is a standard exclusion on our travel insurance policy that claims arising from government directives are excluded by the policy. Therefore if any Government, including the UK or destination countries implement travel bans that cause the cancellation or curtailment of a trip, cover will not be in place to reimburse costs incurred.

Future travel

If a trip was booked prior to any change in FCO guidance, and that guidance now advises against travel, a claim may be made as set out above.

For trips booked now for future dates, it is unlikely that financial losses other than emergency medical expenses will be covered by the Travel Insurers. Please see the following section for more detail if you are planning a future trip: I’m planning on travelling abroad for work/study, what do I need to do?

General updates on coronavirus (COVID-19)

All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia.

Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. For further information please visit the GOV UK Pages.

 

The Government has released a document on social distancing measures. Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people.

They are:

  1. Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  2. If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times
  3. Wash your hands as soon as you get home
  4. Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms
  5. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough
  6. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible
  7. Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information
  8. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces
  9. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

Everyone must follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

The University campuses are open only for essential services. In line with the Government’s latest advice, we have closed all communal areas on our campuses. This includes all libraries, study spaces and shared spaces in halls of residence. Students living on campus must study in their rooms.

We ask everyone to follow the guidance on social distancing, provided by the Government.

We have asked staff to work from home where possible. Essential operational staff are still on our campuses, for example Accommodation Catering teams, Estate Patrol and certain Technical Services staff.

All University events, both on and off campus until the end of May 2020, have been cancelled with immediate effect and the sports facilities on all campuses are closed.

Third parties and contractors should seek advice from their line management.

Public Health England (PHE) is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. The Government have identified those that are classified as extremely vulnerable, and those that are at increased risk of severe illness, online.

Guidance on those who are at increased risk of severe illness
Guidance on who is classified as extremely vulnerable

If you are classed as extremely vulnerable, your GP or the NHS in England will contact you directly with advice about the more stringent measures you should take, in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice from PHE.

If you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, you can use the NHS 111 online tool or contact your GP for further advice.

If you are a member of staff, you can talk to your line manager about being in a high risk category.

If you are a student, you can contact your GP or relevant health professional for advice. If you would like Wellbeing support, you can contact Wellbeing Services.

 

The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England (PHE) update the UK’s COVID-19 information on a regular basis.

PHE have created a blog ‘Novel Coronavirus: what you need to know’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have also created a dedicated website for information and guidance. 

To find out more about what the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and what it plans to do next, please read the  Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK.

With regard to face masks and face coverings – the University continues to follow current government advice. Face coverings are not compulsory, however you are advised to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing is not possible or where you are more likely to come into contact with people you do not normally meet. For example, on public transport or in some shops. The government advice is very clear regarding the need to reserve surgical face masks for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace such as health and care workers. More information and details on how you can make and wear a cloth face covering can be found on the government website - www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering