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Rules and guidelines for students in self-isolation - last updated 13 October 2021

Information for students who are self-isolating

Information for students who are self-isolating

Information for students who are self-isolating

Find out more

Download our guide to self isolation and quarantine for further information.

Self-isolating – know the rules

Make sure you are clear on the Government rules for self-isolation. If you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive (this includes people you are living with), you are at risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19. This means you must self-isolate unless you are exempt for the following reasons:

  • you are fully vaccinated (UK Government/MHRA approved, and 14 days have passed since your second dose)
  • you are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

If you have had COVID-19 before, this does not mean you are exempt from self-isolating.

Please ensure you follow these rules – alongside our comprehensive testing programme and the vaccination rollout, this is the best way to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 and ensure University life can keep moving.

Please note that for students on healthcare programmes, there is no requirement to self-isolate if you have been a close contact unless you test positive, however, students will not be able to attend placements until the 10-day incubation period has finished.

 

 

 

For the foreseeable future, anyone vaccinated outside the UK, including EU and US students, are legally required to self-isolate if they are notified as having contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.

There is ongoing work to align this policy and policy at the borders, which accepts a wider range of international vaccines. The Department of Education are liaising with NHS England to revise their HE student FAQs to provide more information on this matter.  

You usually have to self-isolate for 10 full days if you test positive. We recommend you refer to the full NHS Guidance, but the key points are summarised here:

If you have symptoms or tested positive – you must self-isolate for at least 10 days if:

• you have symptoms of coronavirus and you tested positive, had an unclear result or did not have a test
• you tested positive but have not had symptoms

If you have symptoms, the ten days starts from when the symptoms started.

If you have not had symptoms, the ten days starts from when you had the test. But if you get symptoms after your test, self-isolate for a further ten days from when your symptoms start.

If you live with someone who has symptoms or who has tested positive, or have been advised you are a close contact by NHS Test and Trace or the University, you must self-isolate for 10 days unless you are exempt under the government rules.

For households the ten days starts from:

• when the first person in your home or support bubble started having symptoms
• the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms – but if they get symptoms after they were tested, self-isolate for a further ten days from when their symptoms start

For close contacts the ten days starts from:

• the date of your last contact with the person who had a positive test result for COVID-19 and the next 10 full days.

If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

Yes you are able to leave your accommodation to post your COVID-19 test. You will need to find your nearest priority post box 

In order to go outside safely and to protect others, please take the following steps: 

1. You must wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (provided in the cleaning pack that is delivered to flats which are isolating) when leaving the flat to go outside. 

2. You must thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more using soap and water, or use hand gel) before leaving the flat. 

3. Avoid touching anything in any communal areas on your exit. 

4. When outside, you can remove your mask, but you must put the mask back on if other people are around. Handle the mask carefully; avoidtouching the front or inside of the mask with your hands. 

5. When outside, you can walk around the grounds immediately surrounding your building. 

6. You must not meet up with others from other households. 

7. You must keep 2m away from others at all times. 

8. You must not enter any buildings other than your own accommodation block. 

9. When going back into the building, put your mask back on and use hand gel before entering. 

10. Wash your hands again when back inside your accommodation. 

 

Being in self-isolation means that you must not meet other people outside of your household, you should not have any visitors and you must try to keep 2m away from all other members of your household to prevent any spread of infection. It is vital that you follow the rules regarding self-isolation. This is to ensure we protect the students and staff of the University and safeguard the health of our wider community by stopping the spread of COVID-19. We need everyone to play their part.

You can find full details of how to self-isolate on the NHS Website.

Health and medical students will not need to self-isolate if they are identified as being a close contact of somebody with COVID-19. However, you will not be allowed to attend your placement or any teaching that takes place in NHS facilities including Heavitree Hospital and the RILD, until the 10-day incubation period has passed.  Please do not attend your placement or teaching until ten days after you have been notified that you are a close contact.

You will need to inform your course tutor or info point/hub if this applies to you.

If someone is told to self-isolate, and is not exempt under the government rules, it is very important that they do so in order to keep everyone safe and healthy. Breaking self-isolation rules can result in disciplinary procedures for both staff and students, as well as incurring significant fines if the police are notified.

Under the government guidance, some people in households with positive cases or who have been in close contact with positive cases will be exempt from self isolating due to their circumstances (for example their age or their vaccination status).

If you have concerns about the behaviour of someone who is self-isolating, if you are comfortable doing so, we encourage you to politely and safely raise the issue with whoever you believe is breaking the rules. If this is not possible, you are not comfortable raising the matter yourself, or if you observe serious or persistent rule breaking, you can report using this online form, under COVID-19 breach.

If there is an incident in progress, please contact the University’s Estate Patrol Team (Exeter) or Penryn Campus Security (Cornwall) who will address the situation.

Support for students in self-isolation

We understand that your self-isolation might be an 'unusual' 10 days and the university has developed an isolation guide full of tips and ideas to keep you busy. Please find these below depending on which campus you're attending:

The safety and wellbeing of students and staff is our overriding priority at the University of Exeter. This is why established our Rapid Response Hub, provide advice those with COVID-19 symptoms on how to get a test, and to support people who receive a positive test and those who need to self-isolate.

We know that symptomatic testing and contact-tracing is a key tool in keeping our colleagues and students safe, and we are doing this so we can reduce the chances of transmission amongst those immediately around us. The Rapid Response Hub is a key part of this.

You can find out more about the Rapid Response Hub, and how to contact the teams, on their website.

Exeter campuses

If you are self-isolating in University accommodation or in private accommodation within the city of Exeter, you can order essential grocery items for delivery from the University Marketplace, and order food and drinks for takeaway or delivery via our University outlet Isca Eats. Both our Marketplace delivery and Isca Eats can be ordered and paid for online

For students in University of Exeter catered halls, you will have your meals delivered to your room. Complete this form to activate a daily delivered room meal service provision. If you order a meal and this is not delivered, please report this to your residence reception.

Penryn campus

If you are in catered halls, food provisions will be provided to you for Monday to Friday and delivered to the front door of your flat. If you need to order food from the shop for the weekend, please make sure you place your order online before 4pm on the Friday to ensure our team has time to prepare it. Food orders will be dropped off outside your flat door – staff will knock on your door at delivery times but will not enter the flat – please check outside your flat door.

If you are in self-catered halls on campus, you can also use the shop’s online ordering facility, as outlined above. Please place your order before 4pm to ensure our team has time to prepare it. Food orders will be dropped off outside your flat door – staff will knock on your door at delivery times but will not enter the flat – please check outside your flat door. Students that are living in University halls of residence in Cornwall should review the information available on these pages.

There are a wide range of supermarket and food delivery services in the local community, which will deliver food and provisions to your accommodation. We have listed some of these below.

Exeter supermarkets and local outlets – delivered to your accommodation:

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:

Cornwall supermarkets and local outlets - delivered to your accommodation:

Other delivery options include:

If you develop any COVID-19 symptoms during your time in self-isolation, you should arrange a PCR test. You can do this through the NHS (including a home test option). Alternatively, you can arrange a test through our Rapid Response Hub. Find out more about the Rapid Response Hub, including how to request a COVID-19 test, on their dedicated webpage.

If you are self isolating as a close contact or a household member, you must continue to self isolate for the full period, even if your test result is negative.

We know this is a challenging time for everyone and you may be feeling anxious, particularly if you are currently self-isolating. We have a lot of support available to you, with welfare teams available to talk to you in a confidential and non-judgemental space about any issues issue you need support with.

For students in Exeter, please visit our Wellbeing Services website details on how to access these services.

In Exeter our Residence Life Team also has an in-depth knowledge of the support and wellbeing services on offer at the University, and can provide support to students living in University accommodation. They can answer questions, help with any problems, and keep you up-to-date with what’s going on in the University and city. The Residence Life Team will offer a variety of support, events, and opportunities for students to ask questions while they are in self-isolation. Please visit their webpage for more information.

Residence Life also run an instant chat seven days a week from 6pm – 9pm where you can speak to a Residence Life Support officer instantly. Go to the Residence Life webpages for more information and to access the chat.

For students in Cornwall, our Living Support and Wellbeing team offer a wide range of support including self-help, online resources, advice and information, and referrals where needed.

All students can also access our on line self-help tool SilverCloud for support with changing negative thought processes that lead to anxiety, depression and stress.

 

Anyone self-isolating will be able to register online with our Student Health Centre.

If you are studying in Exeter – please register with the Student Health Centre online before you get here. Additional information on the services available can be found on the Health Centre homepage.

If you are studying in Cornwall, you can access The Penryn Surgery, which is available in the Tremough House Annexe, Penryn Campus, five days a week during term time. You can register with the Penryn Surgery by emailing compass@fxplus.ac.uk to request a registration form.

If you need IT support, including during a period of self-isolation, contact the IT Service Desk.

If you are unable to attend your lectures due to self-isolating report via iExeter through the 'teaching and learning tools' tile. You should also speak to your tutor for advice on how to catch up on any missed classes.

If you are unable to attend in person teaching because you have arrived from overseas and are required to self-isolate, you do not need to apply for remote study as long as you are able to return to on-campus teaching by Friday 8 October 2021. [PJ1] If you are self-isolating after the 8 October, you will need to put in an application for remote study (if this is available on your programme). For more information, please see our dedicated Remote Study web pages.

In the meantime, you will be able to access some learning content through your ELE pages and you should ensure that you are keeping up with this and associated work whilst in quarantine.   Please attend the on-campus teaching in your timetable as soon as your quarantine ends and seek any clarification about content of sessions missed. 

If you hold a Tier 4/Student visa we will be able to monitor your engagement through your use of online learning materials, so there will not be any negative consequences for your immigration status if you are unable to attend in person teaching.

We know it's important for those in self-isolation to continue to have opportunities to socialising online. Read our Streatham 10 day self isolation guides (below) for more information and see Students Guild for online events.

You will be able to access learning content through your module ELE pages. This should include lecture capture recordings of any lectures and whole-module sessions.

Please attend the on-campus teaching in your timetable as soon as your quarantine ends. 

Self-isolating when arriving to the UK from overseas

If you have any questions about arriving from overseas, please visit our International Travel pages.

You do not need to apply for remote study if you are able to return to on-campus teaching by Friday 8 October 2021.  In the meantime, you will be able to access some learning content through your ELE pages and you should ensure that you are keeping up with this and associated work whilst in quarantine.   

Please attend the on-campus teaching in your timetable as soon as your quarantine ends and seek any clarification about content of sessions missed. 

If you are studying within the Business School, It may also be possible for you to attend live remote seminar sessions (small group teaching) before 1st October; if you would like to consider this, please contact the module lead for more information. 

 

If you are self-isolating after the 8 October, you will need to put in an application for remote study (if this is available on your programme. For more information, please see our dedicated Remote Study web pages.

If you hold a Tier 4/Student visa we will be able to monitor your engagement through your use of online learning materials, so there will not be any negative consequences for your immigration status if you are unable to attend in person teaching.

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

However, please note that you will not need to register with the police while you are self-isolating, as it is more important that you complete your self-isolation period safely. The police are aware of this and understand that students may take longer than usual to register. You should register with the police as soon as possible after your period of self-isolation has been completed.

Accommodation information

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, are waiting for test results, or have been told you are a close contact of someone who has COVID-19 the UK government states that you must you must self-isolate. Therefore you cannot change your current accommodation until that period of self-isolation is complete. Please contact the Accommodation Office to advise them of your circumstances. We will also not be able to move you into a household that is self-isolating so this may delay us being able to process your request to move until after the period of self-isolation is complete.

We will be delivering food to students who are self-isolating in catered halls in Exeter three times a day. Complete this form to notify us if you are self-isolating in catered Exeter based Halls of Residence.

If you are in catered halls at Penryn, a hot breakfast and evening meal will be delivered to the front door of your flat Monday to Friday.

To order food from the Penryn shop for the weekend, visit their webpages. Make sure you submit your order before 4pm on the Friday to ensure the team has time to prepare it. You will need to complete this form to notify us of any allergens and dietary requirements. Food will be dropped off outside your flat door, so please do check outside your flat doors at the delivery time.

Working with Public Health England and Devon Public Health we have developed a plan to enable students to access fresh air during their isolation period. 

In order to go outside safety and to protect others while isolating, please take the following steps:

1. You must wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (provided in the cleaning pack that is delivered to flats which are isolating) when leaving the flat to go outside

2. You must thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more using soap and water, or use hand gel) before leaving the flat

3. Avoid touching anything in any communal areas on your exit

4. When outside, you can remove your mask, but you must put the mask back on if other people are around. Handle the mask carefully; avoid

touching the front or inside of the mask with your hands

5. When outside, you can walk around the grounds immediately surrounding your building

6. You must not meet up with others from other households

7. You must keep 2m away from others at all times

8. You must not enter any buildings other than your own accommodation block

9. When going back into the building, put your mask back on and use hand gel before entering.

10. Wash your hands again when back inside your accommodation.

Please protect staff by double bagging all your waste and recycling. Government guidelines state that where there are possible cases of COVID-19 refuse and recycling should be placed in a bag that is securely tied and then placed in another bag which is also tied. This will greatly reduce the risk of transmission to the people involved in taking the flat’s waste to the bins.

If you are a student self-isolating in University Accommodation on our Exeter campuses:


Residents whose receptions are Bridestowe House, Ross House, East Park

• Waste will be collected Monday and Thursday between 12.30 and 1pm – please leave your waste bags outside of your flat door for Housekeeping to collect. Please ensure it is in bags which are not overfull/heavy and are tied to prevent spillage
• Please do not leave loose items of waste in landings, corridors and stairwells


Residents whose receptions are Lopes Hall, Holland Hall, Birks Grange, JOC, Rowancroft

• Waste collections from outside the household door will be daily (where possible) for catered and Monday to Friday for self-catered, please ensure all items of waste are put into the black bin bags provided and tied to prevent spillage
• Please ensure waste is outside your household door between 8am and 11am
• Please do not leave loose items of waste in landings, corridors and stairwells


If you are a student self-isolating in University Accommodation on our Cornwall Campus:

At Penryn Campus, waste will continue to be picked up from the collection points as normal throughout the week. If you are self-isolating due to a confirmed case and living in University Accommodation at Glasney Student Village or Packsaddle Hill:

• Special waste collections have been organised for 11am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – please leave your waste bags outside of your flat door and these will be collected separately. Please ensure it is in bags which are not overfull/heavy and are tied to prevent spillage. Please place any items for disposal into BLACK BAGS (we will not be able to recycle any of your items during the isolation period so put everything in black sacks) and place them outside your flat door shortly before 11am on the days listed.
• Please do not leave loose items of waste in landings, corridors and stairwells.
• These will be kept separate from other waste for at least 72 hours.
• If you need additional bin bags, please email halls.help@fxplus.ac.uk

 

If you are self-isolating awaiting test results, do not put any waste out for collection. It must remain in the property until the test results are back. This will be for a maximum of 48 hours. Following a negative result, you can then take your waste to the collection points as usual.

If you are self-isolating with possible coronavirus infection in a house in the local community, personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal. More information can be found online.

Unfortunately, shared laundry facilities in halls of residence will not be available to you, as these will be used by students who are notin isolation and we are unable to provide these in a COVID-19 secure way. 

Students in Exeter 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:

  • For students on our Exeter campuses students via our online shop,
  • For students on the Penryn campus from the Penryn Shop 
  • Alternatively from other supermarket suppliers, to be delivered to you.

At our Exeter campuses we are also in the process of making emergency bedding packs available to order with items including sheets and pillow cases. Details of how to order these will be available soon on our website 

We will attend to make repairs at the earliest opportunity and will ensure staff follow social distancing and have full PPE whilst attending. When works are carried out you will be required to leave your bedroom/shared space whilst the repairs are taking place. All general faults will be carried out after the self-isolation period ends.

Non-emergency faults will be put on hold while your household is self-isolating. Black bags, cleaning products and toilet rolls will be left outside your household door.

You are able to go outside for the following reasons only:

  • to post the COVID-19 test. 
  • for fresh air  

In order to go outside safely and to protect others, please take the following steps: 

1. You must wear a fluid resistant surgical mask (provided in the cleaning pack that is delivered to flats which are isolating) when leaving the flat to go outside. 

2. You must thoroughly wash your hands (20 seconds or more using soap and water, or use hand gel) before leaving the flat. 

3. Avoid touching anything in any communal areas on your exit. 

4. When outside, you can remove your mask, but you must put the mask back on if other people are around. Handle the mask carefully; avoidtouching the front or inside of the mask with your hands. 

5. When outside, you can walk around the grounds immediately surrounding your building. 

6. You must not meet up with others from other households. 

7. You must keep 2m away from others at all times. 

8. You must not enter any buildings other than your own accommodation block. 

9. When going back into the building, put your mask back on and use hand gel before entering. 

10. Wash your hands again when back inside your accommodation.