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Advice to Students in Halls of Residence

Students in Halls – What Covid-19 means for you

The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has brought worldwide changes as to how we all go about our lives BUT as a student in halls of residence what does this mean for you?

If you are NOT presenting possible symptoms associated with Covid-19:

  • a new persistent cough
  • a fever

Then you are expected to abide by social distancing, which was announced by the government March 23rd, in an attempt to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

Under these new measures, you should only go outside for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for necessities like food and medicine, as infrequently as possible
  • One form of exercise each day like a walk, run or cycle ride - this can be on your own or with people you live with – limited to 2 people at a time
  • Medical needs, like going to the pharmacy, or to bring essential supplies to a vulnerable person
  • Travel for work, but only when you can’t work from home.

If you do go out of the house for any of these reasons, you should still keep your time outside to a minimum and keep two metres away from anyone else.

It is also important to remember that the government has advised that everyone should:

“Avoid gatherings in public spaces even with friends and family”

Instead, try keeping in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

The Police have powers to take action against those that they feel are not abiding by social distancing, including gathering of three or more people. This could be a warning, a fine or even a caution and all students should consider this when deciding whether to step outside.

*Remember – these rules apply to everyone and, for the most part, everyone is abiding by them.


What is the definition of a ‘Household?’

Household is ‘the people you live with.’

HOWEVER, there are many different definitions of ‘household’ and the when the government is talking about a social unit it is generalising to a family house with five or fewer occupants.

Therefore, gatherings of more than two adults are in breach of social distancing, even if all of those gathering live in the same block or halls.


When should you self-isolate?

Self-isolation is different from social distancing and is a more restrictive method of keeping away from others so to not spread the virus.

  • If you have:
    •  a new and continuous cough


  • a high temperature

You should self-isolate for seven days from the start of your symptoms. This means staying at home and not going out for a full week after the start of your symptoms.

  • If someone in your household develops symptoms, you will also need to self-isolate for 14 days from the start of their symptoms.
  • You do not need to call NHS 111 if you present symptoms, unless necessary. Instead, please look at info on the NHS website and NHS 111 online instead.
  • If, after seven days from the start of your symptoms, you have a normal temperature and you feel better, you should stop self-isolating, but you will still need to keep following the government's stay-at-home measures.
  • If more than one person in your house has symptoms, your 14 days of self-isolation follow when the first person started having symptoms.
  • And, if you're self-isolating for 14 days because your housemate has symptoms, and you develop symptoms during this time, you will then need to self-isolate for a further seven days from the start of your symptoms (even if that means you're self-isolating for over 14 days altogether).


How to self-isolate

When self-isolating, it is advisable to DO the following:

  • Maintain two metres distancing from other people in the house
  • Ask for help, get others to bring you things like food and medicines, but avoid direct contact with them
  • Sleep alone
  • Regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, using soap and warm water
  • Drink lots of water and take paracetamol to help with your symptoms.


AVOID the following during self-isolation:

  • Having visitors
  • Leaving the house, including going for walks.

If you are living in University managed halls, are in self-isolation and cannot access food shopping please email the campus accommodation team.

A lot of the above things are easier said than done when living in a student accommodation BUT it's super important to follow the NHS guidelines as much as you can.

On top of the above suggestions from the NHS website, the government also suggests that you avoid using shared spaces, including kitchens, bathrooms and living rooms. Try to keep these areas well ventilated.

If you need to cook, you should only use the kitchen when no one else is there. It's a good idea to then use disinfecting cleaning products to clean the surfaces you've touched.

You should eat your meals in your room. And, the best way to clean your dishes is with a dishwasher but, if you don't have one, you can use washing up liquid and warm water, before drying them with a separate tea towel to the rest of the house.

For shared toilets and bathrooms, try to clean them after each use. Again, it's also worth using a separate towel to your other housemates to dry your hands.


What to do?

There are loads of online suggestions of activities, exercises, skills and other ways to fill your time when under social distancing or self-isolation measures.

Here are a few for those who are not in self-isolation and want to help others:





Email Parish Council at or call 015394 34172









Free access to Linkedin Learning:


“fun things to do on the internet when you’re bored”:


*(UCSU does not endorse these websites or accept liability for anything you find on the internet, ever)


Page created 2nd April 2020