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

Current students

Latest update – Monday 1 June 12:00

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.

In England, up to six people can now meet outside, including in gardens and other private outdoor spaces - provided those from different households observe social distancing rules. You should also try to avoid seeing people from too many households in quick succession - to minimise the risk of quick transmission.

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.

As of Monday 1 June the UK Government has started to reopen early years settings and reception, year one and year six in primary schools in England. From 15 June, secondary schools will begin to provide some face-to-face contact time for years 10 and 12.

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

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.

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

Information for Postgraduate Research students

Please view our FAQs on the Doctoral College website for the latest information on COVID-19 support.

Frequently asked questions

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

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​

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 staying alert to control the virus and save lives.

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.

If you or someone you live with develops symptoms, however mild, please follow official guidance to self-isolate and arrange a test. This applies even if you are displaying only mild symptoms i.e. you have any of the following:

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

Check the NHS website if you or someone you live with has symptoms.

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.

Check the UK Government website for the latest advice on what you can and can’t do under current COVID-19 restrictions.

The UK Government has published advice for smokers and vapers. COVID-19 symptoms may be more severe if you smoke.

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

You should not return to the campus unless you have been given specific authorisation to do so. We need to ensure that staff working in specialist areas can be protected and have a clear Risk Assessment in place before any work can commence on campus.

UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) have released guidance on the immigration implications caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. 

If you are in the UK and your current visa expires between 24th January 2020 and 31st May 2020 you can apply to have it extended until 31st May 2020. You will need to request to do this by contacting the UKVI Coronavirus Immigration Team. Details of how to do this and the information that you must provide are available on the gov.uk website.

Teaching will be made available online from 23 March until further notice and lab-based project work will be subject to individual risk assessment. Examinations and Assessments will take place online until further notice with alternative arrangements in place where required. You will still be registered as an Exeter student and university accommodation will remain open for the remainder of the academic year.

We advise you to make plans to go home over the next few days if you are able to do so.

We have made important adjustments and preparations which will allow you as an exchange student to return home.

1) Email your home university and inbound@exeter.ac.uk with your decision and your dates of travel
2) Your College will be in contact with information about alternative assessments in due course.
3) If you are in university accommodation, email SID with notice that you are leaving early
Subject line: Accommodation: Exchange Student Early Departure

We are monitoring updates on coronavirus closely and will continue to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community.

For any additional queries concerning your exchange, please contact inbound@exeter.ac.uk.

 

Education Information

For the FAQs on Examinations, Assessments, Awarding and Progression, including the no detriment policy, please visit these pages.

For online/remote sessions taking place from 23 March 2020, there is no requirement for you to complete an absence request within the LISA attendance system, if you are unable to attend online sessions.

Please check the module ELE page to catch-up on any missed teaching and contact your module lead if you need additional information or support.

We will not be recording attendance to scheduled teaching activities from Monday 23 March, so there will be no impact on your Tier 4 status. We will continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa during this period, even if you return to your home country, so your visa will remain valid. You can use it to return to the UK at a later date if you wish to do so, as long as this is before the date that your current visa expires.

Further information from the Doctoral College, including useful FAQs, can be found online.

PHE has published advice for healthcare workers which includes all students on BMBS, Medical Imaging and Nursing programmes in the UK.

For anyone else in the College of Medicine and Health who does not work in a clinical setting, please follow this advice.

Yes. If you are in receipt of Access to Exeter bursary, you will continue to receive payments as usual for the remainder of the academic year.

Planning for the next academic year

The University remains committed to protecting the health and safety of our students, colleagues and communities and ensuring the best possible teaching and learning experience throughout the next academic year.  

Social distancing and other restrictions may continue to be in place in September and beyond. Therefore we are a planning for a range of scenarios for the next academic year, which include both online and face to face learning, depending on government guidance at the time. 

All of our departments will deliver their portfolio of programmes flexibly – whether fully online, on-campus where possible, or a mix of the two through blended learning. This also means delivering programmes in an accessible manner, with the ability to switch smoothly between delivery modes as circumstances dictate.  

Not only will this allow us to continue to deliver excellent teaching and learning, regardless of external circumstances, it also fully aligns with our Education Strategy 2019-25. This highlights the need to capitalise on digital transformation to support learning and teaching, while ensuring it continues to support inclusion, diversity and wellbeing. 

In relation to our campuses, we are committed to doing everything possible to enable us to welcome new and returning students to the University campuses for the start of the autumn term. The start of term will be 21st September for undergraduates and 12th October for Taught Postgraduates (further information for postgraduate students will follow). Please note that start dates for programmes in the College of Medicine and Health vary, including by year of study; specific advice regarding these programmes will follow from the College.

We are committed to doing everything possible to enable us to welcome new and returning students to the University campuses for the start of the autumn term.

As long as it is safe to do so, we will keep our campuses open and we will seek to enable social interaction, access to facilities and face to face teaching.

Nevertheless, we must be realistic because we expect that social distancing and other restrictions are likely to continue for many months and the situation and government guidance that we must follow may change very rapidly at times during the year ahead.

In learning and teaching, we are planning for flexibility and for resilience in our approach so that whatever the year throws at us we will be providing you with the best possible opportunity to learn, to progress on your degree programme and to succeed.

All of our departments will deliver their portfolio of programmes flexibly – whether fully online, on-campus where possible, or a mix of the two through blended learning. This also means delivering programmes in an accessible manner, with the ability to switch smoothly between delivery modes as circumstances dictate.  

We want to hear your feedback and we want to give you an opportunity to play an active, hands-on role in developing our digitally-enhanced portfolio over the coming months.

Listening to your feedback: Having reached the end of what may have been your first taste of online learning and online examinations, you are now in a great position to reflect on the experience and help shape digital enhancement of your degree programmes.

Paid opportunities: We realise the additional challenges in the internship and employment environment this year and we need your expert input into our online learning offer going forward. Therefore, we are making a substantial investment in a number of new roles, these include:

  • 100 Digital Learning Analyst Internships (Student Campus Partner opportunities). We are seeking at least two of these roles in every academic department to undertake 100 hours of part-time flexible work (remotely when/if necessary).
  • 30 Graduate Business Partners to train as Graduate Digital Learning Developers these are full-time or part-time roles for a period of 12 months (remote when/if necessary), you would first receive training in digital content production in the context of online learning.

We hope that many of you will be interested in these exciting opportunities not only to shape the future of your degree programmes but also to gain invaluable digital skills that are highly sought after by employers across all sectors. Other opportunities will be coming and we will share more details as soon as we can. For more information on these fantastic opportunities and for details on how to apply visit our Enhancement internships page.

We are seeking to recruit 100 Digital Analyst Interns, at least two roles for each academic department.

You will complete 100 hours of part-time flexible work (remotely as necessary). Working closely with the Director of Education and other academics in the department to provide real-time feedback on modules in development, including the signposting and navigation, types of digital content, etc. You would also be asked to help gather further feedback from and provide information to fellow students.

For more information on these fantastic opportunities and for details on how to apply visit our Enhancement internships page.

 

We are recruiting 30 Graduate Business Partners to train as Digital Learning Developers.

These are full-time or part-time roles for a period of 12 months working remotely as necessary.

As part of the role you would first receive training in digital content production in the context of online learning. Then you would work closely with academics and our professional Technology-Enhanced Learning colleagues to develop digital learning resources to support blended learning and embed them within the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

For more information on these fantastic opportunities and for details on how to apply visit our Enhancement internships page.

 

The start of term will be 21st September for undergraduates and 12th October for Taught Postgraduates (further information for postgraduate students will follow). Please note that start dates for programmes in the College of Medicine and Health vary, including by year of study; specific advice regarding these programmes will follow from the College.

University Accommodation

Our campuses are currently closed, and we continue to ask that you do not return to collect your belongings at this time. We are aware that the Government has updated its guidance for students wishing to collect their belongings. In line with this, we have been working to develop a process by which you are able to collect items safely and taking account of social distancing measures. You will receive an email to your University account by Monday 1 June which will include details on how you can book a slot to return to your room and collect your belongings, at a pre-allocated time. The email will also contain information on the options available if you are unable to return to collect your belongings. Please wait until you have received this email before you make any travel arrangements, and continue to check your email regularly, and read the information on the University website. Again, we are asking that you do not return to campus until you receive a notification that you can do so. Residence Receptions, Estate Patrol and the Penryn Security teams will continue to monitor access to University residences and you will not be allowed to access your accommodation without an agreed time slot.

Restrictions remain in place for accessing our campuses and campus buildings - please do not come onto campus, or visit any campus buildings to study until you have received specific instruction that you are able to do so. We are working on a plan to safely reopen our campuses and this will be in accordance with any changing government advice and with the safety of our students and staff as a priority. Thank you for your patience whilst we undertake this work.

Following advice from Public Health England and the Department for Education, we advise that anyone in student accommodation (for example University residences) does not undertake further travel, we also advise you only leave your accommodation for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for basic necessities
  • One form of exercise a day
  • Medical needs
  • To provide essential care or help to a vulnerable person, or to travel to or from work where this cannot be done from home

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 should contact a friend/friends who can do shopping for you and leave it outside your room. Please note, under no circumstances should your friend enter your room. If you don’t have someone who can do this for you, please let the accommodation team know as soon as possible.

The Government have released some useful information on self-isolating in these circumstances

The UK government has issued guidelines on what to do if you are living in shared accommodation and self-isolating. This includes if you are sharing toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. It includes:

  • Ensuring you use separate towels in your household – including for drying your hands.
  • If you share a toilet/bathroom you should clean them every time you use them, wiping down every surface you have been in contact with.
  • If you share a kitchen, avoid using it while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Wash up and dry thoroughly. Consider setting up a rota for using the kitchen and bathroom.
  • You should not have visitors, including friends or family.

We recommend you read all of the online advice issued by the Government.

Have you told us that you are self-isolating? 

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.

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

 

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

You should contact a friend/friends who can bring you your meal and leave it for you outside your room. Please note, under no circumstances should your friend enter your room. If you don’t have someone who can do this for you, please let the accommodation team know as soon as possible.

The Government have released some useful information on self-isolating in these circumstances.

For further information on University Accommodation in relation to COVID-19, term 3, services and rent payments, please visit the University of Exeter Accommodation webpages.

The University grounds are closed to the general public.  It is important our student community have a safe space to exercise and so we are reducing the amount of public footfall on our campus to enable this. 

We want to support you to take your daily exercise. Under the current Government restrictions, if you live on the campus you are able to use the University grounds for exercise purpose once a day. However, we ask you to take particular note of the Government guidance on exercising, which states that this should be done alone and not involve travelling beyond your local area for exercise. Exercising in groups, for instance games of football, and socialising are not permitted.

Please note, you may be required to present your Student ID whilst on site. University buildings and a number of specific outside spaces, including Sports Park pitches and all University tennis courts, are closed and we ask that you respect this. 

Private Student Accommodation

If you are collecting belongings from private accommodation or are moving into private accommodation, please speak with your landlord about how you might be able to do this safely and with social distancing restrictions in place.

Please follow government guidance on making a one-off move to an alternative residence; staying safe outside your home and other published guidance, such as on travel and social distancing.

Please consider your travel arrangements carefully. If you have a long journey that would require an overnight stay, we advise against returning to collect belongings until government restrictions have been lifted and hotel/B&B accommodation is open again.

This approach continues to support the Government’s stance of reducing the unintended spread of COVID 19 and has the full support of Devon and Cornwall Police.

This will depend on your circumstances, e.g. if you live alone or if you live with others but everyone on the tenancy agreement wants to leave.

If you have signed a contract for a fixed period of time, e.g. an academic year, calendar year or any other period, and you are still in that fixed period then you will need to check if your contract contains something called a “break clause” (sometimes also under the heading “Tenant’s right to terminate” or similar).
Be aware that you can only use a break clause if every tenant on the agreement wants to move out.

If your contract has a break clause/right to terminate then this may mean that you can terminate your contract after a certain date, but before the end of the fixed term, provided you give the required notice. You may have to pay rent until the required notice period has ended.

If your contract does not have a break clause, or you can’t exercise the break right yet, you will not have any automatic right to end your contract. Although the coronavirus outbreak presents an unprecedented set of circumstances for landlords and tenants alike, there have not yet been any changes to the law regarding ending tenancies due to the outbreak, and until you negotiate with your landlord, your obligation to pay rent will not change.

The practical advice is to discuss your wish to end the tenancy with your landlord. If the landlord is happy to let you go without further rent payments, then you will not be required to pay rent. You should ensure that your landlord confirms this in writing. However, if the landlord will not release you from the contract, they could still ask you or your guarantor for the money, even if you have moved out.

If you want to leave but other tenants are staying in the property then it is unlikely that you will able to leave without continuing to pay rent, unless you find a replacement tenant. Again, you should discuss your wish to end the tenancy with the other tenants and your landlord. If the landlord is happy to let you go and will not require your rent to be paid in your absence, then you will not be required to pay rent. However, if the landlord will not release you from the contract without a replacement, they could still ask you, your housemates or your guarantor for the money, even if you have moved out.

If you leave before the end of your contract without the agreement of the landlord and stop paying your rent, this will be a breach of your contract. The landlord may seek to take action to get the rent from you, or from your guarantor if you have one. They may take some of this money from your deposit. If the amount you owe them exceeds your deposit, they may write to you to request the money. You might be charged interest on the amount owing. If you still don’t pay, they may start a court claim against you.

If your landlord brings a legal claim against you for unpaid rent, this is not a criminal trial or a criminal offence, and you won’t get a criminal record. You will be asked to attend court, and if you don't attend the hearing will go ahead in your absence. If the judge decides you should have paid the money, you will be asked to pay it as part of the judgement. You may also be asked to pay the landlord's court costs.

If you still don’t pay the money after the court has decided you should, you may receive a further judgement that can negatively affect your credit rating in the UK. This may make it difficult for you to borrow money or pass reference checks for rented accommodation in the UK in the future. If you are worried about the impact of this on any current or future visa in the UK, please seek advice from an immigration advice service.

If someone you live with has suspected/diagnosed coronavirus they must self-isolate in accordance with Government guidelines, as must you. You may wish to stay elsewhere; please follow the self-isolation guidelines.

If you leave your rented property due to someone you live with having coronavirus, you will still have to pay rent.

Landlords must now give a minimum of 3 months’ notice for any evictions of tenants and of some licensees. This will not apply to lodgers of live-in landlords. If your landlord has already issued you with notice, they will not be able to evict you for a further 3 months. The government has stated this period may be extended. Currently, after the 3 months’ notice expires, the landlord will be able to apply to the court for you to be evicted. However, the government guidance states that even if this does take place, it will likely be a further 6-8 weeks, or longer given the current circumstances, for any evictions to go through the courts.

Your will still have to pay your rent. Landlords and tenants are advised to work out a realistic repayment plan for any rent missed in this 3 month period, taking into account the circumstances, but there is no legal obligation on landlords to do this. For the full advice from the UK government, please see the Government webpages.

The below advice still outlines the normal situation for evictions. Please note all of us currently still applies but with a minimum 3 months’ notice.

 

Assured Shorthold Tenancies

Your landlord cannot evict you without an order from the court granting them possession of the property. If the landlord wants to evict you, they must send you a notice requiring possession. This will be either a Section 21 or Section 8 notice.

If you have a fixed term tenancy

The landlord can only evict you during the fixed term of the tenancy by issuing a Section 8 notice and going to court. If you have less than 8 weeks rent arrears, it is up to the judge to decide whether you should be evicted. You would be able to submit a defence that it was due to financial problems caused by coronavirus. If you have over 8 weeks rent arrears, it is a mandatory ground for eviction, so the judge will allow the eviction.

If you are in a periodic ‘rolling’ tenancy, or your fixed term is ending soon and has not been renewed

The landlord can use the accelerated Section 21 process to evict you with 2 months’ notice, whether you have any rent arrears or not. However, you should always seek advice if you receive an eviction notice, as many of them are invalid and there are various requirements that landlords must comply with before a valid possession notice can be served – if a notice is invalid this can delay the eviction considerably.

If you have a licence agreement for accommodation where the landlord does not live with you

Your landlord can only evict you before the end of the fixed term if there is a clause in the contract stating they can do so (a break or termination clause). Any such clause should set out what notice you should be given. By law, you are entitled to ‘reasonable’ notice, and the landlord still has to apply to the court to evict you.

If you live with your landlord

Your landlord can evict you without a court order. You are still legally entitled to reasonable notice. The landlord can change the locks themselves.

You should refer to the current Government guidelines, including information on reducing day-to-day contact with other people. It will be reasonable for your landlord and flatmates to expect you to adhere to these as they are updated.

Your landlord can ask you to leave at the end of your fixed-term agreement. They can ask you to leave earlier than this agreement if the contract says they can.
If your agreement doesn't set out a notice period, you should be entitled to 'reasonable' notice. This is usually a week if you pay your rent weekly, or a month if you pay your rent monthly.

If your landlord is giving you less than reasonable notice, or are asking you to leave before the end of the fixed term when your contract does not permit this, you could dispute this with them.

In practice, it can be quite difficult to challenge an eviction with a live-in landlord though. We would suggest you seek legal advice if this is happening to you. It is a criminal offence for your landlord to use or threaten violence when evicting you.

Gas safety checks are very important, but this may need to be balanced against the case for maintaining self-isolation or minimizing the risk of infection in the current situation. If you are at high risk from COVID-19 and your gas installation is well maintained this might be the case. Generally tenants have a fundamental right to exclude anyone from the property, including the landlord.

If there are any signs to suggest that your boiler is faulty or you smell gas do not delay the inspection.

If you decide to refuse access to the landlord you can refer them to the guidance from the health and safety executive to landlords which says that landlords should make reasonable efforts to conduct a gas safety check annually and if it proves to not be possible, they should keep evidence of the reasons why the inspection could not be done. That will be the correct thing for many landlords to do right now.

General guidance on the contractual position is set out below, however, this must be read in conjunction with Government guidance as it is updated during the coronavirus outbreak. Given the current restrictions on movement, viewings should not be taking place at this time.

If you are on an assured shorthold tenancy then landlords have no implied right to enter a property to conduct viewings. They can only do this if there is a clause in your tenancy agreement stating that you must permit access for viewings, so you should look at your contract to try and find this clause.

The legal starting point is that tenants have a fundamental right to “exclusive possession” which means that they can exclude anyone (even the landlord) from the property.
If the tenant has agreed in the contract to allow viewings, and the tenant refuses to permit this, strictly this would be a breach of contract and the landlord could object and try to make a claim against you.

Usually if a contract gives the landlord a right of access, it states that access should be at a reasonable time. You could potentially argue that the timing is not reasonable at the moment due to the ongoing situation - having people enter your home at this time would be unreasonable and potentially put you at risk. You might also be able to argue that a clause which gives the landlord a right to conduct viewings in any circumstances, despite the Government’s recommendations not to allow visitors into your home, is ‘unfair’ and not binding on you.

If you live in a shared house (renting a room individually) the situation is different – the landlord is entitled to access the common parts. You could still negotiate with the landlord and make sure that any viewings are at an agreed time so that you can avoid people viewing the property and wash door handles/bannisters after the viewing. You could also refuse to allow viewings in your room – although again, there is a risk that you might be breaching your contract.

If you are self-isolating, you may wish to refer your landlord to the NHS guidance on self-isolation.

If you have a live-in landlord then you do not have a right to exclude people from the property. Your landlord can bring visitors into the property for any reason and can usually enter your room without notice. You may wish you link your landlord to the guidance on self-isolation if you are concerned.

“Force Majeure” involves an event or sequence of events which are beyond a party's reasonable control - preventing or delaying it from performing its obligations under the agreement, e.g. something happening to your house which means that you can’t live in it anymore, such as a natural disaster destroying the property.

It is generally thought that whilst COVID-19 may be a Force Majeure event, it is unlikely to prevent you from occupying the property or stop the tenancy from continuing. It is therefore unlikely that a Force Majeure will allow you to end a tenancy early, even if there is a Force Majeure clause in your contract.

Health, wellbeing and your studies

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.

 

Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus - a persistent cough, fever or a sudden loss of taste or sense of smell - will have to isolate for seven days. Anyone else in the household will need to isolate for 14 days.

In addition, everyone with symptoms should ask for a test online or call 119 to arrange a test.

If the test comes back negative, everyone in your household can go back to normal.

If the test comes back positive, the NHS Test and Trace team will get in touch - via text, email or phone call - to discuss whom you have come into close contact with.

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 widely 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

As the health and safety of our students and colleagues is paramount, we would encourage everyone to follow these guidelines. Find out more online.

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.

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.

Please follow the comprehensive PHE guidance. This provides a range of information 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.

 

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

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.

For students

For students - our AccessAbility team is available for you to discuss any concerns you may have around your disability. You can find information on how to access this team on our website.

For staff

A guide has been developed specifically for disabled colleagues working from home which addresses some of the challenges faced by those who need to self-isolate and maintain prolonged social distancing. The guide also provides signposting and guidance towards additional support. If you are contacted by your manager about returning to work on campus, you should discuss with them whether any additional adjustments are required. If you have a condition which makes you extremely vulnerable or vulnerable please see the sections above and refer to government advice regarding shielding. If you require additional support or advice please contact your line manager who can arrange a referral to occupational health or contact a disability adviser in confidence.

As part of our planning to safely reopen our campuses, the University will follow all government advice regarding protection measures and social distancing in order to protect our students, staff and visitors at the University. This planning will involve a gradual and controlled restart of activities after careful and thorough risk assessments have been undertaken. This will take some time - please do not return to campus until you are authorised to do so by your Service Director, Director of College Operations, or Pro-Vice-Chancellor.  If you have specific concerns, please speak to your line manager in the first instance.

The University, in partnership with its alumni community, has created an Emergency Assistance Fund to help students experiencing unexpected financial difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak. All registered undergraduate and postgraduate University of Exeter students facing financial difficulty because of the crisis are eligible to apply, irrespective of fee-status.

Depending on your circumstances, payment may be made as:

  • An emergency loan with 0% interest (e.g. if you have financial means but are unable to access them)
  • A non-repayment grant (e.g. for additional expenses which you don’t have the means to repay)
  • A combination of both

For more information and how to apply, please visit the webpages.

Please do not be worried, your college and the support team will help to make sure this does not affect your studies.   

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.

In an emergency or outside of office hours please contact the following:

  • 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 6pm Monday to Friday. If you have an immediate concern you need to raise during the evening or at the weekend please use the contact numbers detailed above. 

 

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 have contacted around 1.2 million people at the highest risk of complications, such as patients having treatment for cancer or people on immunosuppressant therapy; they have been asked to isolate at home for 12 weeks to protect themselves. They will receive special guidance from the NHS.

If you, or anyone you live with, has any relevant underlying health conditions we need to be aware of, please inform your line manager (staff only) and let us know by emailing coronavirusenquiries@exeter.ac.uk

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 staying alert and safe guidance. The Government has identified those that are classified as clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they’re in this group or been told by their GP. Further information is available online:

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

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 vulnerable 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.

Social distancing means keeping a safe distance from other people, to help control the spread of disease. The Government has published requirements on staying alert and safe (social distancing) for people in England. Please check this information for the latest guidance. 

Everyone must follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Travel advice and updates

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

There remains in place a COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel. 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. This means that no international travel should be booked, even if this is planned travel in the medium to long term future. There is uncertainty over when travel will become feasible again. It is therefore a reasonable assumption that any travel booked carries an increased risk of being cancelled. For this reason, insurers will not currently provide cancellation or curtailment cover for trips booked at this time.

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 already booked, where departure is due within the next month should be cancelled now. 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.

Advice for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. The Government continues to advise individuals to return to the UK now if currently travelling abroad, and information on contacting relevant Embassies or High Commissions and how to book flights (where these are still available) is published on the FCO webpage. There is also a webpage with dedicated guidance on protecting yourself and others on your return.

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.

Please complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form for your own benefit before considering any trips.

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly. There remains in place a Government COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel.

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.

For staff and postgraduate students

Staff and postgraduate students are being instructed not to travel, or to book any international travel for business reasons (however far into the future) until further notice. This is because insurance cannot currently be arranged without proof of exceptional circumstances, and that the travel is essential and unavoidable. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

Future International Travel – exceptions process

If there are exceptional circumstances meaning that international travel is essential and unavoidable, the following steps must be taken:

1. If research related, refer to the DVC Research for approval of the trip as essential and unavoidable. If not related to research, refer to your manager for this approval. This must include a completed coronavirus travel risk assessment form, which should also consider quarantine arrangements on your return.
2. Should the DVC Research (or your manager if not research related) approve the trip as such, a referral will be made to the Registrar and Secretary for formal University approval
3. Following formal University approval, details will be passed to the insurer, who will make the ultimate decision on whether cover can be provided
4. The trip must be booked via the University travel partners Click Travel or Key Travel, who will require confirmation of the University and Insurer approval

Please note – if cover cannot be provided, the trip must not go ahead. For this reason, please do not book any travel or accommodation until final approval has been confirmed.

If you make your travel arrangements now without following the above process 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. Therefore any losses will need to be absorbed within your College or service. 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, in accordance with the Government advice not to travel internationally. When the University international travel restrictions are lifted, this will be communicated.

 

 

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 changed to advise against all travel, both after the date of booking travel and after the date that the trip was registered for insurance.

If an event which you were due to attend was 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 advised against travel after the date that the trip booking was made, 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 (at the time of the trip) had 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 advice against travel to the destination by the FCO, 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 FAQ 'I’m planning on travelling abroad for work/study, what do I need to do?' for more detail if you are planning a future trip.

Updates and actions

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.

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

The University campuses are open only for essential services. In line with latest advice, we are planning our response to the Government’s working safely during coronavirus guidance. For now, all restrictions remain in place.

If you are currently working at home then you must continue doing so until you have explicit notice from your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. If you have been working on campus during the restrictions to provide essential services, there will be no change to your current arrangements.

We ask everyone to follow the staying alert and safe guidance set out by the Government.

Most University events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Where possible we are moving events online. The Events Team have put together a toolkit for staff and students running online events.

The sports facilities on all campuses are also closed.

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

As we communicated previously, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic we took the difficult decision to postpone our summer graduation ceremonies. We appreciate that this will have of course caused disappointment for finalists, though we emphasised that we will still be able to make awards for students who are expecting to complete their studies this summer, and to issue certificates and/or transcripts to those who need them.

 

In collaboration with the Students' Guild in Exeter and Students' Union in Cornwall, we are working to agree the best way in which to recognise and celebrate the achievements of students whose graduation ceremonies this summer have been postponed. It has been our strong sense so far that students would wish to celebrate on campus in person, with their families and friends, when it is safe to do so. We therefore intend to host Graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2020, in 2021 as both a celebration of your achievements and as a reunion. Students who would have expected to graduate this summer will receive an email including a link to a short poll, through which we invite you to indicate your preference for an event in Easter 2021, or Summer 2021.

 

Additionally, we are keen to recognise the achievements of graduating students this year and to officially confer degree certificates which we know are important for students taking up graduate jobs or progressing to further study. We will therefore be inviting finalists to an online celebration to mark the end of this academic year, which will complement Graduation ceremonies held in 2021. This will take place in July following the release of examination results; we will contact finalists with further information in due course.

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.

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.

The Government advises students remaining at university in England should not attempt to travel. Following guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education, we advise that anyone in student accommodation (for example University residences) does not undertake further travel, we also advise you only leave your accommodation for the following reasons:

Shopping for basic necessities
One form of exercise a day
Medical needs
To provide essential care or help to a vulnerable person, or to travel to or from work where this cannot be done from home

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.

This is a rapidly evolving situation and the University senior management team is taking decisions in relation to University operations. Many teams across the University are working together around the clock to plan for managing the impact of these decisions within our community.

Colleagues in Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) and Exeter IT are working to ensure our capability and capacity to move to online delivery.

We continue to act on the advice of sources, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO); the World Health Organisation (WHO); the NHS and PHE. Updates will be communicated to students and staff regularly.

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.

Unfortunately, we are not able to discuss the details of individual students with parents, guardians or carers unless the student gives us permission to do so, 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 would encourage any student with an underlying health condition to speak to their GP for advice. 

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

Examinations, Assessments, Progression and Awarding

For the FAQs on Examinations, Assessments, Awarding and Progression, including the no detriment policy, please visit these pages.