Self-isolation remains a key mechanism for controlling the spread of the virus
You must self-isolate (stay at home) if you are required to, for example because you have any of the main COVID-19 symptoms, have tested positive for COVID-19, or you have been told to by NHS Track & Trace, or asked to for other reasons.
If you have been notified by NHS Test & Trace and/or the University that you have come into close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should self-isolate straight away unless you are exempt from doing so (see section: when you do not need to self-isolate). Find out more about what to do if you are told to self-isolate on the NHS website. See the NHS website for further advice about how long you should self-isolate, depending on the situation.
When you do not need to self-isolate
If someone you have had close contact with, including people you live with, has symptoms of COVID-19, or has tested positive for COVID-19, you will not need to self-isolate if you are:
- fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
- under 18 years, 6 months old
- taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
- not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
even if you do not have symptoms, you should:
- get a PCR test to check if you have COVID-19
- follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
- consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from COVID-19
Preparing for self-isolation
We recommend that you take steps to prepare so that you can enter self-isolation immediately if required. For example, you should consider the following:
- Speak to a friend (outside of your household) to set up a ‘buddy’ arrangement where, if one of you needs to self-isolate, the other could help by bringing essential food and medicine to your door, and checking to make sure your symptoms are not becoming worse
- Make sure you know how to access all of your course content online and who you would need to notify in your School to report absence from face-to-face sessions
- Set up an account with an online supermarket delivery service
- Set up an account with an online food delivery company
- Add local take-away providers to your phone or computer
- Keep a small number of longer-life food products to be ready if you need them.
What to do when you need to isolate
It is against the law not to isolate when you are told to do so by an authorised person, such as people working for the NHS Test and Trace service, Public Health England or the local authority. The government website provides further advice about what you can and cannot do while you are self-isolating, and how long you should self-isolate for.
If you have symptoms or receive a positive test result, you need to remain at home. During your self-isolation you:
- Should stay at your current address and not travel elsewhere (for example, if you are living in halls or private accommodation, you will need to self-isolate there and not travel to another home);
- Must not attend face-to-face classes or other events/appointments;
- Must not go to work or public areas;
- Must not use public transport or taxis.
You should continue with your studies, if you are well enough to do so. You should identify and engage with the online teaching for each of your modules. If you are not sure how to do this, please seek advice from your Module Convenors. If you are too ill to participate in online learning, you should use the School’s normal mechanisms for reporting absence.
Food and essential items:
When you are self-isolating, you should not go out, even to buy food or other essentials. Any exercise should be taken within your home.
If you need help with buying food or other essentials, or picking up medication, you should ask others for help. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Delivery drivers should not come into your home, so make sure you ask them to leave items outside for collection.
If you need to collect items that have been delivered outside, and it is not possible for someone who is not self-isolating to collect these for you, we advise that you:
• Wash/sanitise your hands before leaving your own space
• Wear a face covering
• Collect your delivery as quickly as possible
• Return immediately to your own space
• Do not stop to engage in conversation with others on the way
If you are struggling to manage your self-isolation, please contact us at email@example.com and we can help.
If you find you are struggling to manage either practically or emotionally during your self-isolation period, or you have concerns about another student, please get in touch with our Student Welfare Team who will try to identify how best to support you.
How long to isolate for
The length of time that you will need to self-isolate depends on your circumstances, as outlined on the NHS website, as follows:
- If you have received a positive test result for COVID-19 (from a PCR or LFT test) – follow the instructions you receive from the NHS about how long you need to self-isolate for.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19 – you should self-isolate until you receive your test result. If it is positive, the NHS will advise how long you need to self-isolate for.
- If you live with someone who has had a positive test result – unless you are exempt from doing so (see section: when you do not need to self-isolate), you must self-isolate for 10 days from when they developed symptoms (if they have not had symptoms, the 10-day period starts from the day they were tested, unless they get symptoms after they were tested, in which case you should self-isolate for a further 10 days from when their symptoms start).
- If you live with someone who has symptoms – you will need to self-isolate until they have received the results of their test. If it is positive, you should self-isolate unless you are exempt (see ‘when you do not need to self-isolate) as outlined in the bullet point above.
Please visit the NHS website for further advice.
If you are unsure, you should contact firstname.lastname@example.org and they can provide advice.