Coronavirus-information for prospective students

During the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation this page will provide you with the latestes 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 Exeter is a safe and welcoming place. 

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Coronavirus regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 14 days if you arrive in the UK from a country outside the common travel area. Any student arriving from a country that is not part of a travel corridor must self-isolate for 14 days after arriving in the UK.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office are regularly reviewing the Covid-19 data and may update the list of Countries and territories with no self-isolation requirement on arrival in England at any time. It is important to regularly check the FCO's Coronavirus Travel Corridor guidance to see if travelers from your country are required to self-isolate upon arrival in the UK. 

All travellers coming to the UK must complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to departure. You must show proof of a completed passenger locator form at the UK border. You should complete the form before they enter the UK at least 48 hours before you enter the UK. Students required to self-isolate will need to give details of the accommodation in which they plan to self-isolate, so it is very important you have self-isolation arrangements before departure.

The University will provide free accommodation to eligible students who, in line with UK Government guidelines, need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in the UK. The accommodation will be available to:

  • A new student who is covered by our accommodation guarantee and travelling from outside the UK to Exeter prior to your arrival even if you have decided not to live in our accommodation for the academic year.
  • A new student who at the time of making a booking for accommodation is due to arrive in the UK having spent the 14 days prior to your planned arrival date in a country that is not on the Government travel corridors exemption list.

The accommodation will be free for a maximum of 14 days up to the start of the student’s accommodation contract. If a student’s period of self-isolation ends before the start of the accommodation contract, we will continue to provide students with accommodation but they will be charged for any additional nights. This accommodation may not be the same as the accommodation provided for the period of self-isolation.

If you have chosen to stay in private accommodation in the city we advise you to check your contract start date and if you need to arrive to accommodation before that date then we recommend that you contact your accommodation provider to discuss options.

If you are a new student who is not able to self-isolate in your private accommodation you can book accommodation at the University for your period of self-isolation by visiting our online store. If you wish to use the University's airport collection service and require self-isolation accommodation then you should choose the combined product available within the online store

For parents and/or students seeking a hotel in which they can self-isolate, Jurys Inn Exeter are offering a bespoke service for students and/or parents wishing to self-isolate, with discounted room rates, an extensive covid safety policy, and a variety of dining options for guests. Recipients will also have a flexible cancellation policy allowing them cancel without charge up until 3pm the day before arrival. Students should contact Lauren Vine to request a booking code.

Returning students going into private rented accommodation, who are not eligible to self-isolate in University accommodation, are advised to self-isolate in their private accommodation following Public Health England guidelines. The Government has given advice about isolating if you live in shared house or private halls on their residential accommodation webpages. Further information and advice is also available on the COVID-19 and renting Government webpages.

Support with food provisions

Currently, a Click and Collect service is running from University outlet Isca Eats. We will shortly be launching our Click and Deliver service for students self-isolating in University accommodation, and will post further information here as soon as possible. Find out more about both online

If you would like to have your groceries delivered from a supermarket you can arrange an online delivery from the following supermarkets:

Note that you may need to plan ahead and book in advance to arrange your delivery slot.

There are also a number of local companies that can provide pre-prepared food boxes with set-menus:


• Hello fresh
• Mindful chef
• Guosto
• Morrisons
• Aldi
• Asda

Support services at the University

The University offers a wide variety of support services which students can access while they are self-isolating. Residence Life Teams, provide support to students living in the University accommodation and have an in-depth knowledge of the support and wellbeing services on offer at the University. Residence Life Mentors start on 9 September, so if you arrive before this date you can contact your Residence Life Advisor for support. Overnight, members of the Residence Life Night Patrol support Security by visiting residences. There are a range of other services that provide tailored support for international students:

If you book an airport collection service, upon your arrival, you will be greeted by student ambassadors at the airport. If you make your own arragements to arrive at Exeter you will receive additional support and welcome information when they arrive at your accommodation.

Currently, a Click and Collect service is running from University outlet Isca Eats. We will shortly be launching our Click and Deliver service for students self-isolating in University accommodation, and will post further information here as soon as possible. Find out more about both online

The following supermarkets also provide a delivery service and can deliver to your accommodation:

• Sainsburys
• Tesco
• Morrisons

Note that you may need to plan ahead and book in advance to arrange your delivery slot. There are also a number of local companies that can provide pre-prepared food boxes with set-menus:


• Hello fresh
• Mindful chef
• Guosto
• Morrisons
• Aldi
• Asda


The following supermarkets provide a delivery service and can deliver to your accommodation:

• Sainsburys
• Tesco
• Asda

Other delivery options include:

• Fal food box co.
• Lillie Brothers
• Real food box

Upon arrival in the UK, international travelers who are required to self-isolate are required to go directly to their accommodation. If you do not already have a UK bank account, you may not have the opportunity to open one until their self-isolation period has ended. We therefore recommend that you come prepared by bringing an international credit card, either Visa or MasterCard, or a prepaid credit card so that you can shop online. 

It is important that you register with a Health Centre during your time in the UK. International students are able to register remotely for the Health Centre.

You should register with the Student Health Centre online before you get here. Additional information on the services can be found on the Health Centre homepage.

Students studying for in the UK more than 6 months from one of the countries listed on the Police Registration section of our website are required to register with the police when they arrive in the UK. Information on this can be found on our When you arrive in Exeter website.

However, please note that students will not need to register with the police while self-isolating, as it is more important that you complete the self-isolation period safely. The Police are aware of this and understand that students may take longer than usual to register. Exeter will also be working with the Police to offer on campus police registration in late September and October. Students should register with the Police as soon as possible after the period of self-isolation has been completed.

The University will be offering an online programme of activities for all students who are self-isolating. The University have put together a variety of activities to support and entertain students needing to self-isolate throughout the 14-day period. You can view the whole programme for Exeter based students on our websiteEveryone can join us on the Connected Facebook group to meet with other students who are self-isolating across our campuses. 

Yes, if a household is self-isolating, you should follow the evacuation procedure but maintain physical distancing from others at the fire evacuation point. 

Under government guidelines on how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK, you must only exercise within your accommodation. The University will provide a variety of online workouts and exercise classes to support students with staying active during self-isolation.

Unfortunately laundry facilities will not be available to you as we would be unable to provide this in a Covid-19 safe way.

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 thoroughly before you arrive. They have been configured to adhere to social distancing guidelines to ensure everyone is safe while they socialise. It may look a little different but you will still be able to mix with your friends. 


Accommodation contract

Even though the accommodation contract start date is 13 September, due to Government guidelines and recommendations to manage the risks in relation to Covid-19, we will be implementing staggered arrivals. We will notify you by email of your allocated arrival date which will be a date between 10 September and 20 September. We will then offer you a refund if your allocated arrival date is after 13 September 2020. Similarly, we will not charge for the period between 10 and 13 September if your allocated arrival is before 13 September.

The exact refund amount will be calculated according to your allocated arrival date, not your actual arrival date.