Coronavirus-information for residents

Coronavirus

Coronavirus

During the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation this page will provide you with the latest updates and answers to frequently asked questions relating to accommodation. We are monitoring the latest advice and guidance issued by the UK Government, Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and will continue to take all appropriate and necessary steps to ensure that our residences remain a safe place. 

Have you got a question?

Self-isolation in University accommodation

If you need to self-isolate, please see our 'information for students who are self-isolating' webpage for frequently asked questions and information.

Postgraduate starting course in January

If you are starting your course in in January, please see our Postgraduate frequently asked questions for further information about your accommodation and arrival. 

Accommodation contract

Under the Terms and Conditions of Residence, you will still be charged for your accommodation even if you left your accommodation during the contract period and you will not receive a refund if you do not occupy the accommodation. 

If you need to collect your key on your arrival, we would advise that you plan to arrive when the residence reception is open.  If you can return in line with current government guidelines, your contracted room will be available to you.

Our current room move policy remains in place and we will continue to consider room moves on a case-by-case basis.

You will be expected to pay for your accommodation for term 3 under your contract obligations.

National lockdown from January 2021

Government Guidelines are that those students who are undertaking training and study for particular practical courses should return to campus for face-to-face teaching. Students on all other courses should remain at their vacation accommodation until the resumption of their in-person teaching.

The Government also recognises that some students may need to return earlier for other reasons, for example, students who do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities, studying space, or that need to return for health or safety reasons. 

Once you have returned to your term time accommodation, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. If you have therefore made the decision to move into your term-time accommodation, you should remain at this address during the period of national lockdown unless you have a compelling reason to leave that is permitted under current Government Guidelines. 

If you reside in University managed or nominated accommodation for any part of the lockdown period, you will be charged for the accommodation as outlined on your contract. If you have already returned to your term time accommodation, you should therefore continue to pay fees for your term-time accommodation as normal. Any student who returns to their University managed or nominated accommodation or begins their occupation during the period of the national lockdown will be charged from the date of arrival. 

Students in private accommodation are outside of the University’s control and students should discuss the matter with their landlords in the first instance. If you are suffering additional financial burdens then please reach out for support and apply to the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund.

As outlined in the Registrar's communication of 7 January, we will waive the charges for the lockdown period for those who do not return to their accommodation. Once the lockdown period ends, you will remain liable for all charges due for the remainder of your contract, even if you do not occupy the accommodation.

The current advice about not returning to your term time accommodation is expected to stay in place until mid-February and we will not make any adjustment to your account until after that date. There will be a process for you to follow to request for your accommodation charges to be adjusted and we will issue further communications with details of this process once the end of lockdown has been confirmed. In terms of adjusting your account, a credit will be applied to your account which will be equal to the nightly rate of your accommodation over the length of the lockdown period.

Any payment made for this term will be applied to any outstanding Term 1 (Winter) and/or future Terms 2 (Spring), 3 and 4 (Summer) Accommodation charges. We will only process a refund to you if there is a credit balance on your account after the end of your contract and you will need to request this separately by logging an enquiry via SID Online.

If your contract is issued by one of our nominated partners, please contact them to discuss your account. 

If you are living in the accommodation during the national lockdown, we would ask you to make payment by the due date.  

If you are not presently residing in your accommodation and you have a contract directly with the University you will contacted by the Accounts Receivable team by email stating when the revised payment due date will be. The email will be sent after the lockdown period and once all adjustments have been made to your account.  

If your contract is issued by one of our nominated partners, please contact them to discuss your account. 

 

If your contract is issued by the University, no late fees will be charged on any outstanding Spring Term Accommodations charges. However, please do ensure that all other charges are paid by the payment due dates. This includes Tuition and all non-Accommodation charges, as late fees will be applied to all overdue balances. 

If your contract is issued by one of our nominated partners, please contact them to discuss your account. 

Government guidance states that students should avoid returning to university to collect any of their belongings which they may have left at their university accommodation over the winter break.

For further details please refer to the Government guidance about Students returning to, and starting, Higher Education in Spring Term 2021

Yes as during the lockdown it may be necessary for staff to enter the accommodation for various reasons including to undertake maintenance and as part of fire drill checks. We advise that you check your block insurance policy to understand the cover that is provided and any limitations. Please remember that your belongings will need to be removed at the end of your period of residence.

You can continue to use the laundry facilities within our residences, even if they are not in your block. However, you should ensure that you continue to follow COVID-Safe protocols for the use of these facilities.

In line with government guidelines, if you are self-isolating you must not leave your accommodation and therefore you must not use the laundry during any period that you may need to self-isolate. Students who need to access laundry service can do so through the Exeter City Council Service. Just call the hotline or fill out the ‘students requesting community support’ form and a laundry service will be arranged for you. Alternatively, detergent to wash clothes in your room can be ordered via our online shop or alternatively from other supermarket suppliers to be delivered to you.

Our residences remain open and operational including our receptions and cleaning services. Please check our residence reception information to confirm opening times, which may vary especially during vacation periods.

In line with government guidelines, if you are self-isolating you must not leave your accommodation and therefore you should not visit the reception to collect mail during any period that you may need to self-isolate. We will endeavour to deliver post to outside your flat door, however for the latest information including frequency of delivery, please contact your local residence reception. You can collect deliveries, including parcels and grocery deliveries, from the entrance of your block/residence - you must wear a face covering and social distance while doing so.

Details about our retail facilities in Exeter and the services they offer including deliveries are available on Eat and Shop webpages.

Students in private accommodation are outside of the University’s control and students should discuss the matter with their landlords in the first instance. If your accommodation provider is planning to charge you rent when you are not using your room during the national lockdown, there is financial support available to you. Please reach out for support and apply to the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund to request support to cover your rent for the period you are not living to your accommodation. 

If you are living in privately-owned accommodation you are advised and encouraged to speak to you accommodation provider/landlord directly to discuss these matter.

We understand that some students, in returning to our campuses later than originally planned, may suffer an additional financial burden.  In partnership with the Students’ Guild and Students’ Union we have therefore committed to doubling the support available through the ‘Success for All’ Hardship Fund' by adding a further £500,000 to the fund.  Should you need it on your return next year for the start of on-campus teaching, please reach out for support and apply to the fund if you are suffering financial hardship.

 

Visitors

Due to the ongoing situation in relation to Covid-19, we have updated our policy regarding visitors to manage the risk of infection. 

This policy will be amended in line with latest government and/or University guidelines about meeting socially indoors. Therefore, during the current period of national lockdown, no external visitors will be allowed to enter your room or university accommodation.

Once the government and/or University guidelines change we may still ask residents to limit their visitors. It is also acknowledged that visitors, including family members, provide a benefit to health and welfare. If this is the case students should contact the Residence Management Team via accommodation-guest@exeter.ac.uk.

Residents wishing to have a guest should provide the following information:

  • Student name and student ID number
  • Residence - building, block, flat number and room number
  • Date of visit
  • Confirmation that the guest is over 18

Overnight visitors outside of their households is not allowed in University accommodation. There will be some married students and others in long-term relationships whose partner lives sufficiently far away to merit an overnight stay, if this is the case students should contact the Residence Management Team via accommodation-guest@exeter.ac.uk. However, it should be noted that there might be times when it is not possible to accommodate these visitors due to local restrictions.

Eating in catered residences

Once you have been allocated to a room we will assign you to a particular zone in the dining room. You will remain in this dining zone for all your meals throughout the whole duration of your catered contract, to ensure your safety and help us with tracing should a need to do so arise.

We will also implement the following safety steps: 

  • Your table will be 2 metres apart from the next with sufficient space to move around safely
  • Dining rooms will be ventilated to allow free flow of air
  • Cleaning regularity will be increased and every touchpoint will be sanitised regularly
  • All dining rooms and catering areas will feature clear signage and floor markings
  • Sanitisation stations will be installed at regular steps through the dining areas

 You will still be able to socialise with other students safely and have the flexibility of enjoying your meal at different times each day.

We have completely revised the dining journey to protect our students and will provide an excellent dining experience with a choice of quality meals. We have a developed a new booking system that will allow you to choose when you want to enjoy your breakfast, weekend brunch or dinner. Through the booking system you will choose time slots and the system will automatically know which safe dining zone you are in and will place you there, at your desired time slot. The live system will allow you to change or cancel your booking if your plans change. Once you arrive at the dining room a dedicated host will take you through the process step-by-step, to ensure you are looked after and dine comfortably.

Here are the extra measures we have taken:

  • We have rearranged dining spaces and furniture to adhere to the current social distancing regulations
  • Each safe dining zone will be thoroughly sanitised after each diner
  • We have installed several hand-sanitiser stations at convenient points throughout the dining journey, as well as clear and simple signage to help you through the one-way dining rooms
  • We have limited the amount of touch points in the dining halls and will have adequately ventilated spaces
  • We have given our teams refresher training in safe cleaning practices and they will be available to speak to for further reassurance and guidance

 

You will have the option of our takeaway service. You can use the booking system mentioned in question 2 to tell us you are coming. When you arrive you will be looked after in a dedicated takeaway waiting area and collect your meal and drink from the host when ready. You can then return to your room and enjoy your meal there.

There will still be spaces to socialise that will have been sanitised on a regular basis. They have been configured to adhere to social distancing guidelines to ensure everyone is safe while they socialise. It may look a little different and we may need to make adjustment further in line with government guidelines. This could mean that we have to close the facilities for short period and also that you be asked to book a time to use the social spaces for your 'household'.

 

Cleaning in catered residences

Yes as we have been working closely with Public Health England (PHE) to ensure we provide the best support and safest possible environment we can for everyone living in University-managed and UPP accommodation.

As a result, we’re making changes to the way our teams work, to focus on cleaning touch-points. Touch-points are areas and items which are touched by a lot of people, for example door handles, taps, or handles and controls on appliances like kettles, fridges microwaves etc. Touch-point cleaning is already taking place seven days a week across catered halls, but we’re planning to increase it. Our cleaning teams are also going to be spending more time distributing extra cleaning and hygiene supplies to support you and your fellow students.

The following cleaning services are now in place:

  • The cleaning teams will clean touch-points in the shared kitchens in catered halls multiple times a day and will also remove rubbish. This will take place seven days a week.
  • Touch-point cleaning of communal bathrooms will continue in addition of the provision of anti-bacterial wipes
  • Cleaning bedrooms in catered halls, which currently takes place monthly will be paused for now, but antibacterial wipes and hand sanitiser will be delivered to these rooms, in addition to the cleaning products already provided within the shared kitchens
  • Within communal kitchens you will see the addition of antibacterial wipes. We strongly encourage you to clean cupboard door handles, kettle handles, the point where you open the fridge etc with the wipes you have been provided before you use these touch-points. Additional in-room information will follow. This is in addition to the cleaning staff doing this as well
  • With the addition of wipes in your room and shared kitchen, please can you refrain from flushing these down the toilet. They have environmental qualities but not biodegradable, please use the bins you have and the wipes will end up in our ‘waste to energy’ waste stream and the large tubs will be recycled through our plastics waste stream

Please note, if your ‘household’ goes into self-isolation, cleaning services will pause and provision of cleaning packs will be distributed to you.

Please be assured we are keeping all measures under constant review and will continue to work with PHE on measures aimed at helping reduce the spread of COVID-19. We will keep you updated if there are any further changes.