We understand that this is a difficult time to be travelling and that you may be keen to know what procedures are in place to help keep you safe whilst you're travelling to campus with us.
That's why we, in collaboration with our coach supplier (Johnsons Coaches) have put together this page to help you build a picture of what will happen when you arrive at the airport, what you need to know and think about in advance, and also how you can help us create a Covid-Secure environment on-board.
Before Setting Off
- From 48 hours before you travel - ensure you complete the government's passenger locator form
- Check whether you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival in the UK. This will be the case if you are travelling from or via a country not on the exempt list. This can change at short notice, so we advise you check back shortly before travelling. If you are required to self-isolate on arrival, don't let this worry you too much - lots of other students will be in the same position, and there is support and guidance available from the university. Even if you are required to self-isolate, you can still use our airport transfer service, or indeed all public transport in the UK, in order to reach your accommodation.
- Research your travel plans carefully. Even if you have booked onto our free airport transfer service, it's a good idea to make yourself aware of the ways of travelling to campus independently. Hopefully you won't need to, but if you do, this will mean you still know how to continue your journey if your flight is delayed and you miss your transfer.
- Don't pack too much! Overloading yourself with luggage will make it very difficult to move around once you reach the UK, and there will be limited help available from others to do this due to restrictions on staff touching your personal belongings. You can buy much of what you need in the UK - more information is available on this website.
- But don't forget the essentials: make sure you bring at least 1 face-covering - you'll need to wear one in lots of situations in the UK, but will definitely need to wear one for the duration of your journey.
- Label your luggage clearly with your name and student ID number.
- Important: do not begin your journey if you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19
When you Arrive at the Airport
- Follow the airport's own signage and the instructions of airport staff carefully. Ask a member of staff if you are unsure of what to do or where to go.
- Keep your face-covering on at all times, and try to keep 2m away from other passengers and staff where possible. The full current UK guidance on "Social Distancing" can be found here.
- You will need to exit the controlled area of the airport in the normal way, passing through customs and immigration.
- If you need to wait a significant time, try to find a quiet area of the terminal away from busy walkways - this will help you, and others, to social distance.
- You will need to make sure you move to the meeting point for your coach transfer in good time. For Heathrow, this will be Terminal 2 Arrivals, which you will need to reach by Airport Bus if you are landing at Terminal 5, and for Birmingham, this will be the Main Arrivals Hall.
- For more information on Covid-19 measures within the airports, please see the websites for Heathrow and Birmingham respectively.
Meeting the Airport Transfer Staff
- Johnsons Coaches (blue uniform) or University Arrivals (red t-shirts) staff will meet you at the point designated on your eTicket, which will likely be Terminal 2 Arrivals (Heathrow) or the Main Arrivals Hall (Birmingham). Staff will be wearing face coverings themselves.
- To ensure social distancing on board the coach transfer, which takes approximately 1hrs 45mins from Heathrow, or 30mins from Birmingham, there will be no coach toilet facilities available. For this reason, we recommend using the airport facilities if you need to at this point.
- If you arrive early or late: staff will only be at the pick up point very shortly before your departure time, and may not be available at the airport if you have arrived late. Please check your eTicket for further details of when staff will be available at the airport.
- Please look around the terminal arrivals area carefully to find the staff meeting you, and have your eTicket ready to show, so that the large code on the top can be seen from a distance. You could do this by zooming in on an electronic device and turning up the brightness of your screen, but please print your eTicket before you travel if you can. If your battery has run out, try and make sure you have something else with your University ID number on. If you have successfully transferred your booking (submission receipt) since the eTicket was issued, the staff will know this, and you can still use your old eTicket reference code.
- Please remain 2m apart from other passengers and staff at all times whilst waiting and boarding.
Boarding the Coach
- The coach driver will offer the group hand sanitiser to use.
- The coach will have been thoroughly cleaned before leaving its depot.
- When the coach is ready for you, the meet and greet staff will indicate this, and ask you to follow them. Please continue to maintain your 2m distance from other passengers.
- Upon reaching the coach, please take your time and wait for others in front of you to load their luggage first. The coach will only be filled to half capacity to aid with social distancing, so there is no need to worry about getting a seat. You will likely need to load your luggage into the coach hold yourself - if the coach driver needs to help you, they will be wearing gloves.
- When boarding the coach, you will need to sit in staggered seats as shown below. This provides for "1m plus" social distancing between all passengers. Do not use the row immediately behind the driver.
- Please move as far back as you can and sit in the next available (staggered) seat - this will allow other passengers to board after you without passing close to you.
- Please keep your face covering on for the duration of the journey.
During the Journey
- The coach driver will provide a safety briefing at the beginning of the journey and they, like you, will continue to wear their face-covering whilst driving.
- The coach air conditioning and filter system will be used throughout the journey to ensure air is cleaned before being re-circulated.
- The driver may deliberately drive with outside air vents (e.g. in the ceiling) open. This may mean it is a little cold/drafty on board, so please check the temperature forecast and wear appropriate clothing if you think this may affect you. The increased ventilation is effective in keeping the risk from airborne droplets low.
- Where possible, passengers should remain facing forwards at all times.
- Please note that the on-board toilet will not be available, and you should not attempt to move around the coach during the journey unless in an emergency. If this poses a problem at some point in the journey, please pass a message forwards to the driver.
Arriving at Warwick
- As the coach arrives at Warwick main campus, please remain seated until you are asked to disembark. If you are arriving between 23-27 September and are due to move in to on-campus accommodation, your key will be brought to you in your seat on the coach, and you will be given further instructions about the best place to disembark the coach (this may not be straight away).
- If you are arriving outside of 23-27 September, or are due to be living off-campus you will need to disembark in the centre of campus, and proceed to Senate House (to pick up your key) or to the Bus Interchange (for a wide range of connecting bus and taxi services to your accommodation) as appropriate. If you are feeling lost, please don't hesitate to ask university staff (or other students) for directions.
- Once you are at the university, there is a lot of information ready for you about how campus life will look on the Stay Safe at Warwick Website.
- Finally, throughout your journey: do not hesitate to tell someone if you are feeling uncomfortable in any way. This is a difficult time for everyone, and sometimes different people may have different ways of dealing with the uncertainty and abnormality caused by Covid-19, but fundamentally you will find the your transfer staff, airport staff, coach drivers, fellow passengers and students want to help you have the safest, smoothest transition to your accommodation that is possible.