Contact

Please let the University know if you have travelled to Wuhan or the Hubei province recently by emailing our support team.

Novel Coronavirus – information and advice for staff and students

Latest update – Friday 7 February, 15:00

Advice for travellers returning from mainland China in the last 14 days has been extended to more countries and territories.

Public Health England (PHE) are advising anyone who has travelled from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

This advice has been extended to the areas lists above based on the scientific advice of SAGE. These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases.

The advice for travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province remains unchanged and is detailed below.

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:

• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
• call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area

You should follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice

The FCO is currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Macao or Hong Kong). There is no consular support in China now and FCO are advising that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. See the latest travel advice for China. In addition to this, any staff and students normally based in China are asked to leave and the University is not permitting work or study related travel to China until such a time as the FCO indicate a lower risk or where travel is agreed as being essential.

If you are currently in mainland China for work or study purposes and have questions or need advice about travelling back to the UK please contact the Insurance Office via insurance@exeter.ac.uk

The FCO is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks. However, if you are planning a trip to Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau it would be advisable to check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

Please note that any travel for work/study purposes should be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel – details on how to do this can be found here: Travel Booking Procedure – Click and Key Travel

Support from the University

Please let us know if:

• You have recently travelled from Wuhan or,
• You have recently travelled back from one of the countries or territories listed above and have called 111 because you are experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus.

We can then make sure that you have access to any support you may need. Contact details for colleagues and students to use are listed below:

• Exeter based colleagues and students should contact Estate Patrol on 01392 723999 (24 hours)
• Cornwall based colleagues and students should contact the Living Support Team on 01326 25 5341 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)

Should you have any specific queries please email: coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk - this email is monitored from 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. If you have an immediate concern you need to raise during the evening or at the weekend please use the contact number detailed above.

Please note that unless otherwise stated, all other University contact numbers and email addresses are only monitored within office hours, so please be patient if you are waiting for a response.

We have established a cross services team to ensure any risks are identified, and to ensure both our students and colleagues can access up to date advice and support. We are continuing to monitor the situation and to liaise with our partners in the city.

Further information can be found in our FAQs below.

Common signs of the infection include a fever, sore throat, cough, runny nose or difficulty breathing.

The Chief Medical Officer in England has confirmed that a small number of patients have tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus. These patients are receiving specialist care and infection control measures are in place to prevent further spread of the virus.

Public Health England (PHE) has raised the UK risk level from low to moderate. This allows the Government to escalate planning and preparation in case of a more widespread outbreak. The risk to individuals in the UK has not changed at this stage and remains low. PHE is continuing to work closely with the WHO and other international partners to carefully monitor this situation.

PHE have created a blog ‘Novel Coronavirus: what you need to know’.

The FCO is currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Macao or Hong Kong). There is no consular support in China now and FCO are advising that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. See the latest travel advice for China. In addition to this, any staff and students normally based in China are asked to leave and the University is not permitting work or study related travel to China until such a time as the FCO indicate a lower risk or where travel is agreed as being essential.

If you are currently in mainland China for work or study purposes and have questions or need advice about travelling back to the UK please contact the Insurance Office via insurance@exeter.ac.uk

The FCO is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks. However, if you are planning a trip to Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau it would be advisable to check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

Please note that any travel for work/study purposes should be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel – details on how to do this can be found here: Travel Booking Procedure – Click and Key Travel

If you have returned from Wuhan in the last 14 days please follow this guidance even if you do not have symptoms of the virus:

• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses
• call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city

Public Health England recommend you stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan. This is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection. 

If this applies to you, please contact our support team – coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk (9am-5pm) so that we can provide you with the wellbeing and/or academic support you need during this time. Out of hours, please contact Estate Patrol – 01392 723999. If you are based on our Cornwall campuses, out of hours please contact the Security and Night Support team on 01326 253503.

Students

Please do not attend lectures, assessments, labs or any public areas on campus or within the city. It’s OK for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food, and we will ensure you have everything you need during this time. Please do not worry about being absent from your studies for this period.

Staff

Please do not undertake any teaching, research or work activities. Please do not worry about being absent from work or teaching, we will ensure you have the support that you need.

Public Health England (PHE) are advising those who have travelled from elsewhere in China to the UK in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, that they should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country

PHE are asking people to follow the advice above even if their symptoms are minor.

Public Health England (PHE) are now advising anyone who has travelled from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days, and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

This advice was updated on Friday 7 February, 15:00, This is based on the scientific advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE). These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases.

The University is acting on advice from sources including the FCO, WHO, NHS and Public Health England.  We have taken proactive steps to contact our students and staff to ensure that everyone has access to the latest advice.  We have been in contact with students and staff who are in China and those students and staff who may have recently returned to the UK from Wuhan / Hubei Province or any of the affected countries or territories listed above.  We are monitoring the situation closely, have made plans to act quickly if the situation changes and will provide further updates as necessary.

The FCO is not currently advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of the Coronavirus. However, if you are planning a trip to Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau it would be advisable to check the latest FCO travel advice (including entry requirements) for your destination and anywhere you are transiting through, and check with your airline before you travel.

Please note that any travel for work/study purposes should be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel – details on how to do this can be found here: Travel Booking Procedure – Click and Key Travel

For staff and postgraduate students

If you have any plans to travel abroad to other locations, please ensure you complete the travel form in good time prior to your departure. This is vital for us to be able to support you in situations such as these, and to provide cover should your travel plans be impacted by FCO guidance.

For undergraduate students

You will need to arrange your own personal travel insurance and further information can be found online

If you feel generally unwell, it is important to maintain good hygiene practices as you would with any cold or flu virus. At this time of year, viral respiratory infections such as colds and influenza are very common in the community within the UK, and if staff or students develop viral symptoms they should manage these as they usually would. We will update this advice should the situation change. To reduce the transmission of a range of illnesses, always follow these basic hygiene rules:

• frequently clean your hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water;
• Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, either with flexed elbow or tissue – please remember to throw used tissues away immediately and wash your hands.

Please Note 

Public Health England (PHE) are advising anyone who has travelled from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

The advice for travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province remains unchanged and is detailed below.

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:

• stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
• call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area

You should follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Public Health England (PHE) continues to assess the risk to individuals in the UK as low. 

We are operating as usual and expect staff and students to engage in their work/study as normal – unless, according to the latest advice from PHE (see above), you are concerned that you are symptomatic and have returned from Wuhan/China in the last 14 days.

For students self-isolating as part of PHE’s advice, mitigation for missed study will be provided but this won’t apply to students who have not recently returned from China.

The World Health Organisation say:

"Wearing a medical mask can help limit the spread of some respiratory disease. However, using a mask alone is not guaranteed to stop infections and should be combined with other prevention measures including hand and respiratory hygiene and avoiding close contact – at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people.

"WHO advises on rational use of medical masks thus avoiding unnecessary wastage of precious resources and potential mis-use of masks (see Advice on the use of masks). This means using masks only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), have suspected 2019-nCoV infection with mild symptoms or are caring for someone with suspected 2019-nCoV infection. A suspected 2019-nCoV infection is linked to travel in an area in China where 2019-nCoV has been reported, or close contact with someone who has travelled from China and has respiratory symptoms."

Students can access a wide range of wellbeing services via our website. You can also talk with your tutors if you have any wellbeing concerns.

If you are a staff member who requires support, our Employee Assistance Provider (Pro-Counselling) is available to all staff online, face to face, and via telephone. You can also talk to your line manager if you have any concerns.

Unfortunately, we are not able to discuss the details of individual students with parents, guardians or carers but please be assured we are keeping students up to date with the latest information, which can be found on this webpage and also via the Public Health England (PHE) webpages.

We encourage you to make contact with their son/daughter directly and re-emphasise the need to contact 111 if they are worried about their health.

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) are preparing some short term interim guidance on the implications for immigration of the Coronavirus outbreak which should be available soon. Chinese students whose visas expire and cannot return to China because of the Coronavirus do not need to take any action and should wait for the interim guidance to be published.