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In private accommodation & have a positive case? Here’s what you need to know

We have created a letter which lets you know what to do if there has been a positive case in your student household. You can view or download this letter below:

Positive case in household letter

Member of staff?

Please visit our staff testing webpage for further information.

Cornwall QR code

Students in Cornwall who have tested postive with either LFD test, can book a HALO test using the QR code above or via the online form.

Key information for testing in January (spring term)

Testing

Testing

Testing

Testing

Testing

As the spring term begins, we want to make sure that everyone is able to have a COVID-19 secure experience on our campuses. In line with government guidance, our intention is to return to a blended delivery of COVID-19 secure in-person and online teaching as soon as we are able to from January. This will involve the continued provision of testing for all undergraduate, postgraduate taught, and postgraduate research students.

We have worked incredibly hard together to control the transmission of COVID-19 and we want to start the spring term with confidence that we can avoid another outbreak and enable in-person teaching to continue. Our carefully planned testing processes will enable us to manage this and ensure we can continue to protect our whole University community.

Our plans for testing are outlined below.

COVID-19 testing plans for January

We are offering a test to students, including postgraduate researchers, and staff between 4 January and 5 February 2021, using our existing test centres on the Streatham and Penryn campuses. We recommend that all students book tests now for when you arrive in your term time accommodation and before starting any in-person teaching, or using study or social spaces on our campuses.

You can book your tests using the online booking forms in the relevant UK or international tab below. It is essential that you allow enough time to take your test(s) before your in-person teaching begins or you need to use the campus study or social spaces.

Please read the information below and choose the tab that applies to you.

Arriving from the UK

The Government recommendation for students returning or arriving at University for the spring term is to take two Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests – a nose and throat swab - three days apart. Whilst not mandatory, we recommend that you book two tests, to be taken as soon as possible after you arrive at your accommodation. If your preferred slot is not available choose one as close as possible to your arrival time and try to keep away from other people until you have taken both of your tests.

If you do not take a test when you return to University, Government guidance is that you should self-isolate for ten days from the point you return to University.

You can book your tests at our campus test centres in Streatham and Penryn using the process outlined below.

Please do not book more than two LFD COVID-19 tests. The Government has provided universities with enough tests to offer every student two tests. The University is using different tests provided by our testing partner HALO for anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19. If you develop symptoms at a later date, you can book a test through our Rapid Response Hub.

How to book a test (Exeter)

Testing in Exeter will take place between 4 January and 5 February 2021. For testing in Exeter, you can book now for the days you would like.

  1. Book a testing slot online using the link below:

  2. Please remember to bring your University ID to the test centre with you
  3. Continue to follow government guidance for socialising in our local tiers

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss accessibility concerns, please contact the Rapid Response Hub before booking your test so that they can advise you on what to do.

How to book a test (Cornwall)

Testing in Penryn will take place between 5 January and 5 February 2021 on week days only.

  1. Book a testing slot online using the link below:
  1. Please remember to bring your University ID to the test centre with you
  2. Continue to follow government guidance for socialising in our local tiers

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss accessibility concerns, please contact the team before booking your test so that they can advise you on what to do.

If both results are negative:

If both of these tests return negative results then you can consider that you do not pose a high risk and can access shared teaching, study and social spaces. Please continue to follow our COVID-19 secure measures around campus and ensure you follow the Government guidance on hands, face, space to help us protect our community.

If either test is positive:

If either test returns a positive result then an additional HALO test will also be offered.

For students in Exeter, you can book this through our Rapid Response Hub 

For students in Cornwall, you can book your HALO test using the QR code on the right or via the online form.

If your HALO test result is positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and our testing wellbeing team will contact you to check you have the support you need during this time.

You’ll also find details of all the support available to you on our dedicated self-isolation webpages.

Arriving from overseas

If you are arriving to the University from an international location, you are now required to self-isolate (quarantine) once you arrive at your term time accommodation. You should also review the guidance on ‘Entering the UK’ which may affect your return.

To support you during this time, we are offering the Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme which will allow you to shorten your self-isolation time by taking a HALO test at one of our campus test centres.

Test to Release – how to book

The University will be offering a HALO test to students and staff under the Government’s new ‘Test to Release’ scheme at our campus test centres in Exeter and Penryn from 3 January.

The earliest you can take a test is 5 full days after you have left a place not on the travel corridor list. Students and staff can book a test online using the links below. Your test will need to be booked prior to travelling and you will be required to record this test booking on your passenger locator form.

  • For Exeter - book your HALO test using our online form
  • For Cornwall – book your test using our online form

Please note - arrivals from certain countries are legally required to self-isolate and are not able to shorten this self-isolation using Test and Release. Please check the countries this applies to before travelling on the Government website. You will need to self-isolate for 10 full days since you were last in the listed country.

If your HALO result is negative:

If your test returns a negative result then you are no longer required to self-isolate and you can consider that you do not pose a high risk and can access shared teaching, study and social spaces. Please continue to follow our COVID-19 secure measures around campus and ensure you follow the Government guidance on hands, face, space to help us protect our community.

If your HALO result is positive:

If your test returns a positive result then you will need to continue your self-isolation for an additional 10 days from the day you took your test. Our testing wellbeing team will contact you to check you have the support you need during this time.

You’ll also find details of all the support available to you on our dedicated self-isolation webpages.

Frequently asked questions

The frequently asked questions are arranged for the following areas:

Overview of testing for COVID-19 in the spring term | UK travel when returning to University | Returning from overseas | Students on a placement

Overview of testing for COVID-19 in the spring term

We understand that circumstances may occasionally require you to change or cancel a booking for a test. If you need to do so, please follow these steps:

  • If you have booked an LFD test after travelling to University from within the UK or after you have remained in your term time accommodation over the winter break, then retrieve your booking confirmation email which comes from “COVID-19 January Testing.” In this e-mail there is a link to ‘Change your appointment.’ If you click this link, you can change or cancel your appointment.
  • If you have arrived in the UK from overseas and booked a HALO PCR test as part of the ‘Test and Release’ scheme, please contact the Rapid Response Hub to change your booking.

Government Guidelines confirm that those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses should return to face to face learning as planned:

  • Medicine & dentistry
  • Subjects allied to medicine/health
  • Veterinary science
  • Education (initial teacher training)
  • Social work
  • Courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (your university will notify you if this applies to you).

These students should be tested on arrival when they return to University, being tested twice, three days apart. See FAQS below for more detail. In-person teaching has either begun already for students on these courses, or will begin during the week commencing 11 January 2021.

All other students will study online and the Government’s advice is that you should not travel to the University or to your term-time accommodation. However, the Government recognises that some students may need to return earlier for other reasons, for example, students who do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities, studying space, or that need to return for health or safety reasons. If you do not have a suitable or safe space away from your term time accommodation you can return to University, where essential staff continue to be available to support you. If you are returning to your Halls of Residence please let your reception team know.

If you live at university, you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.

We are offering a test to all students in January and February 2021, using our existing test centres on the Streatham and Penryn campuses. We strongly recommend that all students book tests now for as soon as possible after you arrive in your term time accommodation and before starting any in-person teaching, or using study or social spaces on our campuses.

You can book your tests using the online booking forms in the relevant UK or international tab on this page. It is essential that you allow enough time to take your test(s) before your in person teaching begins or you need to use the campus study or social spaces.

There are a number of COVID-19 measures in place at our campus testing centres to make sure that everyone remains safe when getting a test. Our campuses are currently much quieter than usual, so you will find it straightforward to social distance on campus when travelling to the test site. 

Everyone that enters a test centre is required to wear a mask, socially distance and sanitise hands at regular check points. 

In the test centre there is strict adherence to the Standard Operating Procedure (as set down by Department for Health and Social Care) and stringent infection prevention measures.  All of our staff working at the test centres undergo thorough training on the testing process and COVID-19 safety measures. 

You will do your test in a self-contained booth with someone to guide you through a perspex screen. After you leave the booth is cleaned using antiviral spray to a high standard.

In most cases you should have the results by text and / or email within 24 hours for our HALO tests and is likely to be sooner for LFD tests. If you test negative for either HALO or LFD testing, you can consider it safe to access shared teaching, study and social spaces. Please continue to follow our COVID-19 secure measures around campus and ensure you follow the Government guidance on hands, face, space to help us protect our community. Make sure you follow the COVID-19 rules for the tier that Exeter or Penryn is in at the time.

If you have taken and LFD test or tests, if either test returns a positive result then an additional HALO test will also be offered and you can book this through our Rapid Response Hubs in Exeter and Penryn. If that is positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and our testing wellbeing team will contact you to check you have the support you need during this time. Please self-isolate and minimise your contact with others between a positive LFD test and your confirmatory HALO test.

You’ll also find details of all the support available to you on our dedicated self-isolation webpage.

If we can’t read the sample it means it’s not possible to say if you were infectious when the test was done. You’ll need to book to take the same test again as soon as possible.
You do not need to self-isolate if your sample cannot be read. You only need to self-isolate if:

  • you have or get symptoms of coronavirus
  • someone you live with tests positive, or has symptoms and has not been tested yet
  • you’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive
  • the test you provide identifies you as being asymptomatic.

No. Please do not return to University if anyone in your household has any symptoms of COVID-19 (a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of teste/smell) or has tested positive for COVID-19. You are required to complete 10 days in self-isolation from the date anyone in your household returns a positive test result. Even if you test negative for COVID-19 yourself, you must not travel until you have completed this ten day period in self-isolation. If you subsequently develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms start. If you develop any symptoms of COVID-19 while you are away from University, please seek a test through the Government testing service.

Once you have completed your time in self-isolation, you may return to campus paying careful attention to safe travel guidance and the restrictions in your local area.

It is possible for tests to detect residual virus for some time after you have recovered from COVID-19 infection. This means that, even if you have recovered from COVID-19 and are no longer infectious, there is a possibility that you may return a positive COVID-19 test result. The NHS advise that anyone who has previously received a positive test result for COVID-19 should only be re-tested within a 90-day period if they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19, as tests may detect residual virus during this period. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease. However, it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will develop immunity, or how long it will last.

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 within 90 days of your return to University, you do not therefore need to get tested for COVID-19 as you may return a positive test even if you do not have the infection. Provided you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you can therefore attend in-person teaching, and use study or social spaces on our campuses without taking an LFD test. If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 again, please do arrange a test through our Rapid Response Hub.

If you are arriving from overseas and have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 3 months, you should think carefully about whether you should apply for the ‘Test and Release’ scheme. If you do get tested and test positive, you will be required to self-isolate for an additional 10 days from the date you were tested thereby extending your time in self-isolation significantly.

Government guidance is that you should not travel abroad unless you have a legally permitted reason. In exceptional circumstances, for example, the death of a relative, should you need to travel internationally, you must check the rules in place at your destination – you can do this on the Government website.

Any staff and students that urgently need to travel overseas during the spring term can make their own arrangements to acquire a private test before travelling. The Arora Hotel Group offer a ‘Test and Rest’ service, which allows students and staff to book a PCR test and hotel stay at UK airports Heathrow or Gatwick. Upon arrival at the airport, you can get tested and are then booked overnight into an airport hotel to relax until you receive your test results the following day. On receipt of a negative test result, you can then proceed to take your flight.

Costs and further details of this service can be found on the Arora Group: University Test and Rest.

UK travel when returning to University for the spring term

Before travelling back to campus, you should read the Government’s safer travel guidance for passengers. There are some key features to consider, including:

  • make sure you review the latest government guidance for local restriction tiers by area
  • if possible, travel using private transport rather than public transport
  • if travelling in a private vehicle, avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or support bubble
  • wearing a face covering while travelling unless exempt, especially if using public transport
  • where possible, keep a safe distance from people from other households when travelling
  • wash or sanitise hands regularly
  • avoid the busiest routes where possible, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters
  • if using public transport, book ahead wherever possible to let transport providers know you will be using the service
  • please be aware of the latest Travel Advice for Trains from South Western Railway if you wish to travel by rail.

Returning from overseas for the spring term

If you are travelling to Exeter or Penryn from overseas for the spring term, there are a few important things to consider. We advise you to check the government’s ‘Travel advice: coronavirus (COVID-19)’ guidance and also the guidance on ‘Entering the UK’ to ensure you are able to plan your return:
  • You should not travel if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been a close contact of someone with COVID-19.
  • UK Government COVID-19 regulations mean that many travellers arriving in the UK will need to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. There are a number of territories and countries with no self-isolation requirement for travellers arriving in the UK. This list is regularly updated and you should continue to check this on the Government website. The Government has introduced a new ‘Test and Release’ scheme which allows arrivals to the UK to get tested five days after arrival in the UK and leave self-isolation early if they test negative. See our ‘what is the Test and Release scheme for international travel and how can I use it’ FAQ for more details.
  • You should be aware that the travel corridor status of your country might change while you are overseas. Make sure you keep checking the Government website to keep up to date with any changes that affect you.
  • Some countries may impose travel bans or choose to limit flights to and from the UK as the COVID-19 situation changes. Please be sure to check the travel advice of the Government you live before making travel plans.
  • You should read the Government’s safer travel guidance for passengers before departing and refer to Exeter’s Planning Your Travel to University guidance. We will be offering an airport collection service, both for students who need to self-isolate and for those who are travelling from a travel corridor country.
  • Everyone travelling to the UK must complete a Passenger Locator Form prior to your departure. You will be required to show proof of a completed Passenger Locator Form at the UK border. You can complete it up to 48 hours before you enter the UK.
If you need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK, please see our information for students who are self-isolating webpage for frequently asked questions and information, including specific advice for students who need to self-isolate when arriving from overseas.

If you test positive for COVID-19 or need to self-isolate with your household, you will need to self-isolate and will not be able to travel on a plane or other form of public transport. It is important to note that travel insurance may not cover your costs if you cannot take a pre-booked flight owing to a positive COVID-19 test.

You are therefore advised to book refundable, cancellable, or flexible travel options where possible to make sure that you do not lose out if you are required to self-isolate. Check the terms and conditions of any bookings carefully and, if you do have insurance, check to see whether you are covered in the case of a positive test result.

Please be aware of the latest Travel Advice for Trains from South Western Railway if you wish to travel by rail.

Before travelling, you should read the Government’s safer travel guidance for passengers. There are some key features to consider, including:

  • if possible, travel using private transport rather than public transport
  • if travelling in a private vehicle, avoid car sharing with anyone from outside your household or support bubble
  • wearing a face covering while travelling unless exempt, especially if using public transport
  • where possible, keep a safe distance from people from other households when travelling
  • wash or sanitise hands regularly
  • avoid the busiest routes where possible, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters
  • if using public transport, book ahead wherever possible to let transport providers know you will be using the service

If you are planning to Exeter from overseas, you can find details of routes to airports and travel hubs on our Planning Your Travel webpage. Travel plans are aimed at students travelling to Exeter / Cornwall from major airports. Also on this website, you can find details of local taxi companies that will provide airport transfer at reasonable rates if you feel more comfortable travelling in a private vehicle. If travelling from the airport, it is important to plan your travel carefully in advance and adhere to the safe travel guidance outlined above.

If you are travelling from overseas, you may wish to bear in mind that Exeter is offering an Airport Collection Service for students returning to the UK in January. There will be a service for international students who need to self-isolate. You can find dates and details on our Airport Collection Service webpage.

The Test to Release scheme is for people who are arriving in England from non-travel corridor countries who need to self-isolate (quarantine). Under the scheme, individuals can take a private COVID-19 test from a Government approved provider. If the result is negative, they can stop self-isolating and abide by the COVID-19 rules where they live. The earliest individuals can take the test is five full days after they left their country of departure. Please note that the Government regularly updates the Test to Release guidance and arrivals from some countries may not be able to access the scheme. Please check the Test to Release Guidance before booking a test to make sure you are eligible.

The scheme is voluntary and applies to those self-isolating in England only. Those who do not want to take advantage of the Test to Release scheme must self-isolate until 10 full days after they were last in a place not on the travel corridor list. General guidance on Test to Release can be found on the government website.

The University of Exeter’s testing provider, HALO, is an approved supplier to the Test to Release scheme, therefore staff and students of the University can receive a free test through HALO. However, the processing of tests by HALO over the Winter Break depends on the postal service and couriers, both of which provide significantly fewer services over this period. This will mean that by the time you receive your test result your 10 days of quarantine may already be ended. We therefore recommend that staff or students coming into the country from non-travel corridor countries over the winter break self-isolate for 10 days as per government guidance and do not try to take advantage of the Test to Release scheme by using HALO. Students can refer to our self-isolation webpage for details of support available to them while they self-isolate.

There are however, other Government approved providers who might provide a faster Test to Release service if their testing provision does not depend on postal or courier services. Should you wish to book with one of these providers, please see the approved list.

From 3rd January onwards, we will provide a free HALO PCR Test to Release service on campuses in Exeter and Cornwall.

 

The earliest you can take a test is 5 full days after you have left a place not on the travel corridor list. Students can book a test online using the links below. Your test will need to be booked prior to travelling and you will be required to record this test booking on your passenger locator form.

  • For Exeter - book your HALO test using our online form
  • For Cornwall – book your test using our online form

The University can only offer tests to University of Exeter staff and students, not family members.

If your test returns a negative result then you are no longer required to self-isolate and you can consider that you do not pose a high risk to others. You can therefore leave self-isolation once you have received a negative result. Please ensure you follow the Government guidance on hands, face, space to help us protect our community when leaving your self-isolation accommodation.

Before accessing teaching, study and social spaces you should still get tested again through the Government’s mass testing programme. Testing in Exeter will take place between 4 January and 5 February 2021. For testing in Exeter, you can book now for the days you would like.

  1. Book a testing slot online using the link below:

  1. Please remember to bring your University ID to the test centre with you
  2. Continue to follow government guidance for socialising in our local tiers

If you have any special requirements or would like to discuss accessibility concerns, please contact the Rapid Response Hub before booking your test so that they can advise you on what to do.

The Test to Release scheme is for people who are arriving in England from non-travel corridor countries who need to self-isolate (quarantine). Under the scheme, individuals can take a private COVID-19 test from a Government approved provider. If the result is negative, they can stop self-isolating and abide by the COVID-19 rules where they live. The earliest individuals can take the test is five full days after they left their country of departure. Please note that the Government regularly updates the Test to Release guidance and arrivals from some countries may not be able to access the scheme. Please check the Test to Release Guidance before booking a test to make sure you are eligible.

The scheme is voluntary and applies to those self-isolating in England only. Those who do not want to take advantage of the Test to Release scheme must self-isolate until 10 full days after they were last in a place not on the travel corridor list. General guidance on Test to Release can be found on the government website.

The University of Exeter’s testing provider, HALO, is an approved supplier to the Test to Release scheme, therefore staff and students of the University can receive a free test through HALO. However, the processing of tests by HALO over the Winter Break depends on the postal service and couriers, both of which provide significantly fewer services over this period. This will mean that by the time you receive your test result your 10 days of quarantine may already be ended. We therefore recommend that staff or students coming into the country from non-travel corridor countries over the winter break self-isolate for 10 days as per government guidance and do not try to take advantage of the Test to Release scheme by using HALO. Students can refer to our self-isolation webpage for details of support available to them while they self-isolate.

There are however, other Government approved providers who might provide a faster Test to Release service if their testing provision does not depend on postal or courier services. Should you wish to book with one of these providers, please see the approved list.

From 3rd January onwards, we will provide a free HALO PCR Test to Release service on campuses in Exeter and Cornwall.

The earliest you can take a test is 5 full days after you have left a place not on the travel corridor list. Students can book a test online using the links below. Your test will need to be booked prior to travelling and you will be required to record this test booking on your passenger locator form.

  • For Exeter - book your HALO test using our online form
  • For Cornwall – booking form will be added Wednesday 23 December

The University can only offer tests to University of Exeter staff and students, not family members.

 

If you need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK, please see our information for students who are self-isolating webpage for frequently asked questions and information, including specific advice for students who need to self-isolate when arriving from overseas.

From 4am on January 18, all international travel corridors to England will close and you must self-isolate after arriving in the UK, even if you have tested negative for COVID-19. Most people travelling to the UK from abroad will also need proof of a negative coronavirus (COVID-19) test result to enter the country. You need to have taken the test in the 3 days before you travel. You can read the full Government Guidance for further details. .

Travellers  must self-isolate for up to ten days when you arrive in the UK. This applies to UK residents and visitors to the UK. In England, those who break these rules and do not self-isolate for two weeks from your arrival date in the UK can be heavily fined. Exeter Students failing to self-isolate can also be subject to University disciplinary procedures.

Don’t worry though, if you do need to self-isolate upon arrival in the UK, the University will offer a number of services to support you. If you are planning on self-isolating in University accommodation in Exeter, you can find more advice and guidance on our Accommodation pages here. If you are living in Cornwall, please contact our Accommodation team in Cornwall for details about booking accommodation.

For more information on the Government ‘Test to Release Scheme’, which allows international arrivals to leave self-isolation early after a negative COVID-19 test, see our FAQ What is the Test to Release for International Travel scheme and how can I use it?

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Disclaimer - LFD Testing

“A negative test result provides information about the level of the virus at one point in time. There is, however, the potential for the test result to be a false negative and that an individual is infected with Covid-19, but not yet have a high enough level of the virus for this to be registered by the LFD test. There is also the potential for an individual to become infected in the hours or days after taking a LFD test. It is therefore extremely important that every individual:

Follows the latest UK Government rules on social distancing; and Maintains sensible control measures such as 2 metre social distancing, and “hand, face, space” (washing your hands, wearing a face covering, and maintaining social distance with those outside your household).
The test is an additional control to be used in conjunction with the other measures.
Due to the potential for the LFD test to return an incorrect result to an individual, the University of Exeter cannot guarantee that the LFD test result an individual receives is accurate. Consequently, the University of Exeter does not make any warranties or representations as to the accuracy or completeness of the LFD Test and under no circumstances will the University of Exeter accept liability for any loss, damage, liability or expense incurred or suffered by an individual which results from or is in connection with an individual having taken an LFD test provided by the University of Exeter.”