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Student international travel advice to and from university

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Student travel advice

Updated 4 October 2021

This page gives information on what you must do when you arrive in the UK depending on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive. Remember that travel advice is subject to change so be sure to check the UK Government website for the most up to date information. It is vital that you follow the correct arrival procedure as failure to do so may result in possible delays or fines. In some instances, you may be denied entry at the border. 

Please note that current UK Government rules state that people do not need to have received a COVID-19 vaccine to enter the UK, though quarantine rules may apply. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine and accessing it in the UK, please visit our Vaccination FAQs. 

   

Travelling to and from the UK

The rules for international travel to England have now changed from the red, amber, green traffic light system to a single red list of countries and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world. The rules for travel from countries and territories not on the red list will depend on your vaccination status.

If you qualify as fully vaccinated you will have to:

• book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
• complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
• take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England.

Under the new rules, you will not need to:
• take a pre-departure test
• take a day 8 COVID-19 test
• quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England
You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:
• forename and surname(s)
• date of birth
• vaccine brand and manufacturer
• date of vaccination for every dose
• country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer

If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.
If you are fully vaccinated in the USA, you will need to show a CDC card showing you’ve had a full course of an FDA-approved vaccine in the USA. You’ll also need to prove that you are a resident of the USA.

If you are fully vaccinated in Europe, you will need to show an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC), showing you’ve had a full course of an EMA or Swissmedic-approved vaccine.

 

If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.
Before you travel to England you must:
• take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
• book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
• complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
After you arrive in England you must:
• quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
• take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

 

  • Take a COVID-19 test to provide proof of a negative test before travelling out of the UK, test must be booked before you travel 

  • Check specific requirements and timeframes Each airline and country will have different requirements and you are advised to check specific requirements and timeframes for testing with your airline and foreign travel advice websites 

  • The University’s asymptomatic testing programme is not appropriate to fulfil the legal requirement for travel testing. You should consult the government approved suppliers list to obtain a test.  

  • You should prepare to show your proof of study documents at border control when leaving the UK to travel to an amber or red list country 

  • Regularly check all relevant guidance pages for updates as travel advice might change 

Red list countries and territories 

If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. If you have a student visa or have pre-settled or settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, then you have residency rights in the UK.

Currently all travellers from Red list countries or territories need to quarantine regardless of their vaccination status.

If you arrive from a Red list country, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days by purchasing a hotel quarantine package, which includes:

  • 10 days accommodation in a government approved quarantine hotel
  • COVID-19 tests for day 2 and 8 of quarantine. The day of arrival in England will be treated as day 0
  • Assigned government transport
  • Food and drinks
  • Complete our online university form regarding your booked hotel package so that we can support you during your quarantine period.

Please note that if you need to stay in a travel quarantine hotel, you may only enter the UK through designated airports – you can find the details on the Government websites.

See the UK Government for website for detailed information on what to expect when in hotel quarantine.

See the UK Government website for more details on the hotel quarantine package and how to book it.

Quarantine may feel daunting, we have therefore created dedicated online social and welfare services to support you, much of which can be accessed virtually. You can find full details on our dedicated self-isolation support pages.

  • The University of Exeter will support students to travel to the UK and will assist with the full cost of the hotel quarantine package. If you're travelling from a Red list country or territory (as defined by the UK Government up to 30 September), and are required to enter a managed quarantine in a hotel, we will reimburse you the full charge for hotel quarantine. This will be paid via a deduction on your tuition fee after you arrive on campus. Any countries or territories added to the UK Goverment Red list after 30 September may not be eligible.
  • You will be a Home or International fee payer for the full duration of degree programme to receive this reimbursement, studying on any course of any level at the University of Exeter, starting or returning to study with us in September or October 2021. 
  • Application will be via an online application form. Please note there is a form for new students and a seperate form for current students.
  • The application deadline is 1 November 2021.

This support is only available for fee paying students and does not include dependents.

You can find details about our current support for self-isolating students, much of which can be accessed virtually, on our dedicated self-isolation support pages. 

New students

If you meet your offer, you’ll receive your welcome email from the University of Exeter which means that you'll be able to activate your University IT account, apply for a UniCard and complete your online student registration. Online registration opens 2 September.

You can apply for the quarantine support after registration opens.

New and current students

Applications will only be processed as long as you are registered and have provided the necessary information.

Any questions?

Any questions that you have about our travel support should be logged via SID

Transit stops in Red list countries and territories 

When you arrive in England, you need to follow the rules if you have been in, or passed through any red list countries in the previous 10 days. That can include transit stops.
A transit stop is a stop where passengers can get on or off the same part of the transport in which you are travelling. It can apply to ships, trains or flights. Your ticket should show if a stop is a transit stop.

The rules of a country or territory that you make a transit stop in could apply if:

  • new passengers get on and are able to mix with you
  • you or other passengers get off the transport you are on and mix with other people, then get on again

There example, if you travelled from a country not on the red list but your flight connected in a red list country, you would have to quarantine in a government-approved hotel and would be eligible for our Financial Support for students travelling from Red countries and territories.

Please visit the UK Government website for full details. 

Frequently asked questions

Below are some frequently asked questions to help you understand what you need to do and the support that we're offering.

If you still have some questions about UK travel and our support, please log your query via SID. Please be aware that we're experiencing a high volume of queries across the University so there may be a delay in our response.

Travel

If you are travelling to University from overseas, 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.

From the 4th October, arrivals to the UK need to have been fully vaccinated with an NHS administered vaccine in the UK (plus 14 days), under an approved vaccination program in the UK, Europe, US or UK vaccine programme overseas with a full course of the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines from a relevant public health body in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan – mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is also recognised.

You must also:
• book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England
• complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
• take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

You do not need to:
• take a pre-departure test
• take a day 8 COVID-19 test
• quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days after you arrive in England
You must be able to prove that you have been fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) with a document (digital or paper-based) from a national or state-level public health body that includes, as a minimum:
• forename and surname(s)
• date of birth
• vaccine brand and manufacturer
• date of vaccination for every dose
• country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer
If your document from a public health body does not include all of these, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules. If not, you may be denied boarding.
If you are fully vaccinated in the US, will also need to prove that you are a resident of the US.
If you are fully vaccinated, but do not qualify under these fully vaccinated rules, you must follow the non-vaccinated rules.


If you are not fully vaccinated you will need to follow these rules if you:

• do not qualify under the fully vaccinated rules
• are partially vaccinated
• are not vaccinated
Before you travel to England you must:
• take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England
• book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England
• complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
After you arrive in England you must:
• quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days
• take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8
You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.
Travel from red countries
You must follow these rules if you are:
• fully vaccinated
• partially vaccinated
• not vaccinated


If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish national or you have residence rights in the UK. If you are an international student with a Tier 4/new student visa or pre-settled/settled status under the European Union settlement scheme, you are exempt from this ban, because you have residence rights.

For more details, please see our FAQ ‘I want to travel to University from a red list country. Am I allowed to do so and what should I consider?’
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 where 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.

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. If you are travelling for work or study purposes, University travel insurance will 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.

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

If you are allowed to travel to the UK from a red list country, upon arrival in England you will need to self-isolate for 10 days in a designated quarantine hotel. Please note that if you need to stay in a travel quarantine hotel, you may only enter the UK through designated airports – you can find detail on the Government website. You will be escorted through the airport with other passengers who need to quarantine at a managed quarantine hotel. Your ‘quarantine package’ includes transport to your quarantine hotel.

When you arrive in England, you will be taken directly from the airport to one of these government approved quarantine hotels and the cost for 1 adult in 1 room for 10 days (11 nights) is £2285. Bookings will be made through a dedicated Government online portal before you travel and will include:
• transport to and from your quarantine hotel
• accommodation, food and drink for the whole of your stay
• any COVID-19 tests you need to take while you quarantine (tests are required on day 2 and 8 of quarantine)

You can find the Government’s full guidance on quarantine hotels and details of how to book on the Government’s ‘Booking and staying in a quarantine hotel when you arrive in England’ website.

To ensure compliance, the Government has introduced fines up to £10,000 for arrivals who fail to quarantine in a designated hotel.

Please contact the Rapid Response Hub if you plan to travel to the UK from a red list country and need to self-isolate in a quarantine hotel. You will be eligible for support such as our ‘Digital Hamper’, with vouchers for services like Kindle, Amazon, and Netflix to keep you entertained during your time in quarantine. We can also arrange welfare calls to check in with you during your time in hotel quarantine and make sure you have everything you need. You can find details about our support for self-isolating students, much of which can be accessed virtually, on our dedicated self-isolation support pages.

If the £2285 fee for hotel quarantine creates a significant financial hardship for you, the Government offers an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking. If these costs cause you substantial financial hardship, you may be eligible to apply for financial support through our Success for All Fund. Please read the information on the Success for All Website carefully if you are considering applying for a grant.

These enhanced measures are in place in order to prevent the spread of new strains of COVID-19 into the UK.

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 travel to Exeter or Cornwall 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.

Information on travel overseas and arriving in the UK from overseas, is available on our international travel advice pages.

If you arrive in the UK from a country that is not on the red travel list, the people you’re staying with do not need to quarantine. 

Hotel quarantine Support

If you're travelling from a Red list country or territory (as defined by the UK Government up to 30 September), and are required to enter a managed quarantine in a hotel, you are eligible. Any countries or territories added to the UK Government Red list after 30 September may not be eligible.

You will be a Home or International fee payer for the full duration of degree programme to receive this reimbursement, studying on any course of any level at the University of Exeter, starting or returning to study with us in September or October 2021. Those who are sponsored or in receipt of a studentship or scholarship are eligible for this assistance (see "I am a sponsored student..." for more information).

Support will be available to all students, irrespective of fee status and study level via an application process involving the submission of a valid a receipt of payment for accommodation at a Government approved quarantine hotel.

Only fee paying students are eligible for this support; it does not include the costs of any dependents.

Guidance has recently changed in regards to exemptions from managaged quarantine for medical or compassionate reasons. 

Exemption from managed quarantine on medical grounds

If quarantine in a managed quarantine facility (MQF) for 10 days would be severely detrimental to your health and the support available in an MQF is insufficient to meet your medical or care needs, you can apply for an exemption from needing to enter a designated MQF.

If you are granted a medical exemption, you will be expected to quarantine at home (or at your final destination) for the full 10 day quarantine period. You will also need to take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8, booked through Corporate Travel Management (CTM). For further details, please see the Government webpages. 

Exemption from managed quarantine on compassionate grounds

In extremely limited circumstances, where it is not possible to accommodate a visit to a severely ill or dying, relative or member of your household from within a Managed Quarantine Facility (MQF), you may be eligible for a compassionate exemption.

You will need to supply evidence, including from the hospice or medical facility that you will be visiting. Full details on who this applies too and what you need to do if approved can be found on the dedicated Government webpages.  

Applications are now open for our quarantine support please apply via our application form:

New student application form

Current student application form 

After you have completed your application you will receive an email which you will need to reply to with a copy of your hotel receipt.

Please note, we will be processing applications from September (after registration has opened) and it may take up to four weeks.

New students

If you meet your offer, you’ll receive your welcome email from the University of Exeter in August. This means that you'll be able to activate your University IT account, apply for a UniCard and complete your online student registration. Online registration opens at the start of September.

New students 

If you meet your offer, you’ll receive your welcome email from the University of Exeter in August. This means that you'll be able to activate your University IT account, apply for a UniCard and complete your online student registration. Online registration opens at the start of September. 

You can apply for the quarantine support after registration opens. 

New and current students 

Applications will only be processed as long as you are registered and have provided the necessary information. The application deadline will be 1 November 2021. 

If the fee for hotel quarantine creates a significant financial hardship for you, the Government offers an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking.  

Please see the government website for more information on how to defer payment or use the contact details below. 

General enquiry contact details:  

MANAGED QUARANTINE 

Phone: +44(0) 207 429 9732 

If you are a sponsored student, or your tuition fees are covered by a scholarship or studentship, and you are travelling from a Red list country, you should book your government approved quarantine hotel. You will still be eligible for our quarantine support.

Once you have booked and paid for your quarantine hotel, fill out our Financial Support for students travelling from Red countries and territories form, we will then work out how best to cover your costs.

If the fee for hotel quarantine creates a significant financial hardship for you, the Government offers an opportunity to apply for a deferred repayment plan when booking.

Please see the government website for more information on how to defer payment or use the contact details below. 

General enquiry contact details:  

MANAGED QUARANTINE 

Phone: +44(0) 207 429 9732 

Study

Some of you may find it challenging to travel due to border restrictions, visa centre delays or other travel concerns. If you’re struggling to get here, you may be able to study remotely for part of the first term, until you are able to travel to campus.

Some of you may have concerns about how best to manage your mental or physical health. You should discuss this further with our accessibility team who will work with you to implement any reasonable adjustments.

Please see our FAQs for more information on remote study. Check here to see if you’re eligible and for instruction on how to apply if you are.

To contact our remote study team please email remotestudy@exeter.ac.uk

The UK government has announced that it will introduce the Graduate Route from the summer of 2021. From this time, students holding a valid Tier 4 or Student visa, who have completed a degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider, will be able to remain in the UK and work, or look for work, for 2 years after they complete their studies (or 3 years if they have completed a PhD).

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic it is possible that some students may need or choose to study part of their programme from their home country before coming to the UK. The UK government has announced that to be eligible for the Graduate Route applications must be submitted in the UK. It was originally a requirement that all students who started their programmes in 2020 and hoped to apply to the Graduate Route would have to arrive in the UK by 6th April, but owing to the COVID-19 pandemic this deadline has been pushed back until 21st June. For further details see: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/internationalstudents/applyingforavisa/graduateroute/

There will be several important things for you to consider, and the requirements will vary by country and maybe even by region. It is important you both check the government’s travel advice and follow any guidance issued by your placement provider well in advance of your departure date. The Global Opportunities team have produced risk assessments for each of the placement countries which outline some of the restrictions and considerations you will need to factor into your placement preparation. The risk assessments and other resources such as the Pre-Departure Handbook can be accessed via the Outbound 2021-22 Teams site. If you have not already requested access please email outbound@exeter.ac.uk

Vaccination requirements will vary by country and maybe even by region. It is important you both check the government’s travel advice and follow any guidance issued by your placement provider well in advance of your departure date. When you are eligible to book a vaccination you will be able to do so via the NHS website, studying or working abroad next academic year does not expedite your eligibility for the vaccination. If your placement provider requires you to have received your vaccinations before you start your placement and this will delay your travel please contact your placement provider to enquire if you can study or work remotely until you have received your second dose of the vaccination.

Arriving on campus

If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-isolate.

From 16 August, if you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. If you subsequently develop symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms start.

To ensure you receive all the support you need, all international travellers to our Cornwall Campus should contact us using this form:

International Arrivals COVID-19 Isolation support