Whether you are coming to live on campus for the first time or if you are a returning student, you may be concerned about how COVID-19 will impact your life in halls. The University has your health and safety as a top priority and this webpage will give you more information about self-isolation in residential halls.
If you are living in off campus accommodation managed by a private provider then you will need to follow the guidance issued by them.
Don't forget to check out the up to date guidance from the University on the Stay Safe at Warwick site.
- When do I need to self-isolate?
- Why is self-isolating important?
- How long do I need to self-isolate for?
- What do I need to do when self-isolating?
- What is a household group in residences?
- What are the notices on the kitchen door?
- What are the key self-isolation dates?
- Notifying your academic department
- What if I have to leave my study bedroom?
- What if I want to smoke?
- I've been asked to self-isolate and now I feel unwell
- What if I don't have symptoms?
- Can I go home?
- What if I am at home?
- What do I do about food and other essential deliveries?
- World foods
- Other essential items via post
- Further advice and guidance about food and other essential items
- Prescriptions and medicines
- Laundry service
- Your wellbeing in self-isolation
There are several reasons why you may need to self-isolate:
- You have arrived in the UK from a country which is outside of the UK travel corridor
- You are feeling unwell and the advice is to self-isolate whilst you are being tested
- You have tested positive for COVID-19
- Someone in your household group is unwell and is waiting for test results or who has tested positive for COVID-19
It is important that you follow Government guidance if you are feeling unwell. You need to begin self-isolation and let your household group know so that they too can begin self-isolation. You need to book a test using the University's Test and Trace service.
You may have arrived in the UK, be feeling unwell or have been advised to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who is unwell and being tested. It is important you self-isolate as it can take several days for you to develop coronavirus symptoms after catching the virus. During this time period you may not have any symptoms and can unknowingly pass COVID-19 on to others. Self-isolating in your residences will help prevent your household/kitchen group, friends, family and the wider University community from contracting COVID-19.
If you are in a hall with shared bathroom facilities and you have been for a test for COVID-19, then we may ask you to temporarily transfer to a room with an ensuite bathroom. This will help you to recover, reduce the possibility of transmission and help your household group with their self-isolation. If your test results are negative and you are feeling well then you may return to your study bedroom and kitchen group. If you are unwell or your test is positive then we will support you in the temporary ensuite facility.
- have arrived in the UK from a country which is not on the UK travel "red list"
- have tested positive for COVID-19
- are living with someone in your household group who has tested positive for COVID-19
- have been contact traced and asked to self-isolate
Then from Monday 14th December 2020 - you self-isolate for 10 days. (Prior to this date the self-isolation period advised by the UK Government was 14 days.)
Primarily you need to stay in your study bedroom and minimise contact with others in your kitchen group. By keeping physical interaction to a minimum and only leaving your study bedroom to use the kitchen to prepare meals and wash up, you help to keep yourself and those around you safe.
- Wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds with soap
- Catch coughs and sneezes in tissues and dispose of them promptly
- Flush toilets twice with the seat lid down
- Keep your study bedroom ventilated by opening a window when you are in your room
Whilst you are self-isolating in residences, it is important that you:
- Remain in your study bedroom as much as possible with the door closed
- Don't invite any visitors to your residences including friends and family (except for students with disabilities who have University approved carers coming in to provide essential care)
- Don't leave your residences to go to your academic department or any other public places
- Don't use public transport or taxis
- Don't go outside to exercise. You can do this in your study bedroom
If you share a kitchen with others:
- Don't use the kitchen for cooking and eating at the same time as other people
- Work out a kitchen rota so you are able to socially distance within your kitchen group
- Clean kitchen surfaces before and after use
- Don’t share crockery, glasses and cutlery and keep your equipment away from others
- Wash up immediately after eating and use your own tea towel for drying everything
- Follow the local guidelines about the use of kitchens
It is vital that you limit the time you that spend in socially distant contact with others from your kitchen group whilst you are in self-isolation. You must remember that the kitchen is primarily a space for people to cook and eat. Whilst your kitchen group is in self-isolation the kitchen rota system comes first. It may be tempting for the whole kitchen group to gather together in the kitchen space however, it is important that you observe social distancing guidelines in order to help contain any further spread of COVID-19. Small socially distant groups of a few individuals talking is acceptable as long as you allow space for those who need to cook according to the kitchen rota. You must still observe the rules with regard to noise and ensure that you do not disturb others - particularly between midnight and 8.00am.
- If you're in a hall with communal bathrooms, please make sure you vacate the bathroom which will be cleaned daily. You will be provided with the daily times in advance.
- The cleaners will be providing enhanced cleaning for touch points such as handrails, door handles, push-plates and digilocks
The University has clear Government guidance around the handling of rubbish and waste during COVID-19. It is your responsibility to ensure that you follow these guidelines to help protect yourself, your fellow flat mates as well as the University teams who are supporting you in residences.
If you are in self-isolation and are not able to leave your flat then:
- you should use the bin provided for you which will be delivered to your flat door.
- the additional bin that has been delivered will be changed daily Monday - Friday during the period the kitchen group is in self-isolation.
- all personal waste - such as tissues, disposable face coverings, etc - should be held in your room for 72 hours before disposing in the bin provided.
- all kitchen waste can be tied-up in the bags provided and disposed of on a daily basis in the bin provided.
It is vital that you separate out personal waste and hold on this for 72 hours before disposal.
Using the laundry facilities:
Whilst you are in self-isolation you may not use the shared laundry facilities. The University has introduced a laundry service to support you whilst you are not able to leave your room. Once you have completed your self-isolation period then you need to wait for 72 hours before using the shared laundry facilities. Please take care and do not shake out your clothing when using the laundrette for the first time after self-isolation. You can do this in your room prior to visiting the laundrette to do your washing.
In most cases in residences your household group will be your kitchen group however, there are some halls where two or more kitchen groups are combined. This was on the advice of Local Authority Public Health and takes in to consideration shared facilities and access routes to stairwells and entrances.
If you are feeling unwell then you need to let your kitchen group know so that you can all begin self-isolation as advised by the UK Government. It is you responsibility to keep those around safe whilst you are feeling unwell. If you have used the University's Test and Trace service then the following notices will appear. Please be advised that this notification system will not operate if a student has tested outside of the University's systems.
If someone in your kitchen group books a test using the University's Test and Trace system then a first stage notice will appear on your kitchen door. This alerts the people who live and work in the building - such as Residential Life, Campus Cleaning Services, Maintenance, Campus Security, etc - that access to the flat should be for communal bathroom cleaning (if relevant), student support or in emergencies only. It is a reminder that the kitchen should only be used by the kitchen group and will help with self-isolation.
You and your kitchen group will be given access to the University's delivery service to support you (see Further advice and guidance below). This means that students can more easily access groceries, parcels and laundry services on campus whilst in self-isolation. It is recommended that you keep some long life groceries available just in case you need to self-isolate along with your kitchen group.
If you go for a test using the University's Test and Trace system they will advise you to remain in self-isolation with your kitchen group until the test results are known. Hopefully, the time period between taking the test and the final test result isn't too long. A second notice will appear on your kitchen door alerting the kitchen group of the provisional self-isolation dates - this will be approximately 10 days from the date of the test (prior to Monday 14th December 2020 the self-isolation period was 14 days). This notice will also signpost to these pages for support. You will be notified of the actuual self-isolation end date once the test results are known.
Hopefully the time that your kitchen group spends in self-isolation waiting for a test result is short. This is dependent on the time needed by local lab to process the test results. Depending on the result - the kitchen group will either:
- come out of self-isolation (negative test)
- continue in self-isolation for a further short time period (test outcome inconclusive and test needs to be taken again)
- continue in self-isolation with notification of a formal end date (positive test)
If the test result is positive then there are two key self-isolation end dates:
- the student who was tested - at present 10 days from the date of first becoming unwell
- the kitchen group - from Monday 14th December 2020 10 days from the date that the student who was tested became unwell (prior to this date the UK Government advised a period of 14 days self-isolation)
Due to the nature of the kitchen groups in residential halls, it is strongly advised that the student who completes their self-isolation before the rest of the flat continues self-isolate alongside their kitchen group. This limits the possibility that the COVID-19 virus is transmitted to others in the wider University community.
Household set-ups in residential halls are not like your household at home. The groups are larger and do not have access to rooms other than a:
- student study bedroom
- shared kitchen
- shared bathroom (in halls with communal bathrooms)
The University has taken advice from local Public Health to ensure that the residential environments are as COVID-19 safe as possible.
If a student books a test and is living in a hall with shared bathroom facilities then they will be required to move to one of the University's conference centres to self-isolate. Here they will have access to an ensuite room and will receive meals free of charge.
It is important that you get in touch with your academic department and personal tutor/supervisor if you are required to self-isolate after the start of term to make them aware that you are in self-isolation.
There are very, very few reasons that require you to leave your room. Where possible you should wear a face covering and we advise that you have one to hand at all times in case it is needed in an emergency. When moving through the residential building we ask that you maintain 2 metres distance from others and do not loiter to talk in corridors or stairwells. The following are valid reasons for leaving your study bedroom:
- In an emergency. If you hear the fire alarm sounding, you should still leave the building in a swift and safe manner. You should make your way to the fire assembly point and tell a member of security you are self-isolating
- To receive a delivery for food or essential supplies from the block entrance only
- To collect and subsequently drop off a COVID-19 testing kit. This can be arranged through the University's Test and Trace service.
The University promotes a healthy lifestyle and smoking or vaping is prohibited within the residential buildings including your study bedroom. The University does not advise you to leave your residential building to smoke whilst you are self-isolating. However, if you must smoke or vape then:
- you need to wear a face covering whilst travelling through and leaving the building
- you should not travel far from your building and remain in the direct vicinity of your building
- remain 2 metres away from others
- smoke/vape 3 metres away from any building and ensure that any smoke you generate does not enter a building through open windows and doors or create a nuisance for others
- you should not smoke in a group with other people or share your cigarette with others
- it is also important that you take away any cigarette ends or rubbish generated from smoking and dispose of them safely.
This is not an opportunity to gather. You must return immediately to your flat once you have finished smoking. It is vital that you observe social distancing and wear a face covering when leaving and returning to the building.
It is really important that you continue to self-isolate. The symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- A high temperature (fever)
- A new continuous cough
- Loss of your sense of smell or taste
Every year, we expect a number of students to become unwell with what's known as "Freshers' flu". Some of the symptoms of Freshers' flu are the same as COVID-19 and it is important that you continue to self-isolate and take precautions and follow the online advice outlined above until it can be established that it isn't COVID-19.
It's important that you continue to self-isolate and remain in your residential hall for 10 days from Monday 14th December 2020 (prior to this date the self-siolation period advised by the Uk Government was 14 days).
Once you have arrived at University and settled in to your new residential "household" then you need to follow the current UK Government and local area guidance should you wish to go home. Your home is now an "other household" and there will be guidance about whether you can mix with other households. Your kitchen group is now your new household group.
It is not recommended that while you are self-isolating that you should travel between your family/other home. This is in line with the advice to remain in your kitchen group until your self-isolation period is complete.
It is not advised that you travel if you are in self-isolation.
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 then it is currently illegal for you to travel.
You may be at home when your kitchen group goes in to self-isolation. If this happens you should remain at home until the kitchen group self-isolation period is completed.
You may have gome home for a visit - if allowed (you need to check the guidance and alerts for COVID-19 for the area where you are travelling to) - and become unwell. If so you need to remain at home and seek medical advice. This may include a COVID-19 test. You must remain at home until the test results are known. If you have a positive test then you must remain at home until you complete your self-isolation period and you are feeling well. It is advisable to register this result on the University's Test and Trace pages. You should only return to your residences if your test result is negative.
There are a wide variety of options available for you to:
- Order prepared meals/takeaway
- Order food and other essential items online
It is important that these items are delivered to your building for you to be able to receive them in a socially distant manner whilst you are in self-isolation. It helps with deliveries if you:
- Provide a mobile phone number to contact
- Know the name and location of your residential building (please refer to the Campus maps page)
- Give your postcode as CV4 7ES
You need to give clear instructions on how the delivery driver will find the front door to your residence. Don't forget that if you need to go to the front door to collect a delivery you should wear a face covering.
There is a huge range of possibilities for you to cook prepared meals/takeaways for delivery and there are various apps which you can download. You could try:
The University does not have a list of recommended restaurants, fast food outlets or takeaways but we advise you to check the hygiene rating of the provider you choose. Please be aware that not all local restaurants offer a delivery service.
There are a number of supermarkets who will deliver to campus (or the local area if you are in an off-campus house). Here in the UK, supermarkets stock a large variety of supplies - not just food. The following are just some of the supermarkets that operate in the local area:
The University does not recommend a particular supermarket but when you are ordering food online we advise you to consider the following:
- Home delivery orders normally have a minimum spend per order which will vary between supermarkets
- Home delivery orders usually have a delivery fee which will be higher at popular times
- Most supermarkets allow you to book deliveries up to two weeks in advance
- Home delivery slots can book up quickly
- Most supermarkets allow you to make changes to your order up to 24 hours before the delivery is due
- When placing your order you will be asked if you're willing to accept substitute items if the products are not available
If you are looking for world foods or if you are an overseas student who would like to find foods that are more familiar from home then one of the best ways to find out what may be available is to get directly in touch with one of the student run cultural societies based at the Students' Union. A number of student societies are offering advice and guidance as well as help with shopping. Feel free to contact any of the following:
- Warwick Christian Union
- Warwick Islamic Society
- Warwick ASEAN Conference Society who will be sharing lifestyle and self-isolation tips from fellow students. This society will also link you to other South East Asia cultural societies.
- Warwick Indian Society
- Warwick Chinese Society - you may find it easiest to contact them through WeChat or Weibo. Their WeChat account is named “Warwick ChiSoc” and the Weibo account is “华威中国学生会ChiSoc”.
- Warwick Pakistani Society
- Warwick ABACUS
Some of these societies have also provided their advice and recommendations about groceries and cooked food on their respective websites.
You can place orders for other essential items for delivery to the University Post Room.
If you cannot order essential items (such as pots, pans and bedding) you may want to consider:
If you want to order pharmacy, health and beauty products that are not available for delivery via supermarkets, you may wish to use:
If you have contacted the University's Test and Trace service and you and your kitchen group are in self-isolation then you will be given access to the University's delivery service. This has been set-up to support students in self-isolation: ordering food and essential items and deliveries. If you are not able to open this link and are in self-isolation then please get in touch with your local Residential Life Team.
If you need to order medicine you may be able to do so from local supermarkets or online pharmacies. This is known as over the counter medication. Other medications can only be obtained with a prescription issued by a doctor.
How to get a prescription:
To speak to a doctor you need to be registered at a GP's practice. We have a Health Centre on campus where you will need to register if you are a new student.
If a GP decides that you need medication they will issue you with a prescription. Most prescriptions are now signed, sent and processed electronically. You have two choices for how this works:
- You can choose a local pharmacy for your prescriptions to go to electronically
- You can decide each time where you would like your prescription to be dispensed. For this to work you need a paper copy which you collect in person
We recommend you set up the online service which means you have the choice of two local pharmacies:
- Michael W Phillips Chemists - based on campus in the Students' Union Building but have limited opening hours.
Michael W Phillips Chemists do not offer a delivery service. They do allow friends - who are not part of your self-isolation kitchen group - to collect prescriptions on your behalf.
- Boots Cannon Park - this is near to the Tesco supermarket
It is important when ordering from Boots that you use your campus postcode - CV4 7ES. Both pharmacies allow others to collect prescriptions on your behalf.
If you do experience difficulties picking-up your prescriptions and medicines, please let your local member of the Residential Life Team know.
As a student at university you will need to pay for your own prescription medication if you are 19 years old or over. From 1 April 2020, you have to pay £9.15 for each item on a prescription. There are exemptions based on your level of income and you can find out more information about this on the NHS BSA website including a link to the HC1 form if you need to complete it. If you are not able to get an exemption because you don't meet the necessary criteria you might like to buy a prepayment certificate which will cover the cost of any prescriptions whilst the certificate is valid. More information on prepayment certificates is available on the NHS website.
If you are in your second week of self-isolation and need your washing done the University can provide a limited laundry service. Due to the nature of the service this may not be suitable if you have sensitive skin or are allergic to standard types of washing detergents. This is for items that are needed urgently and not a more general day to day wash service.
Your wellbeing in self-isolation is just as important as your physical health.
Wellbeing Support Services (WSS):
WSS provide a range of support and self-help resources to enable you to develop the skills you need to navigate the challenges of student life. They offer a range of skill sessions, tips and strategies as well as advice and support about the impact that self-isolation may have on your wellbeing. You can find more information on the Wellbeing Support Services website.
It is important to stay in touch with friends and family online or take this opportunity to make new friends. Self-isolation can also provide time for you to try out new skills and prepare for the academic year ahead. We have put together some suggestions for you.