Coronavirus guidance for students and staff

The 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), is a respiratory virus first identified in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China. The risk to individuals is very low, but please take a look at this guidance for your safety.

Latest updates

Latest advice: updated Wednesday 12 February 2020

What's changed on this page: Travel advice has been updated in the FAQs.

Have you been to Wuhan or Hubei Province, China in the last 14 days?

Even if you don't have any symptoms, please contact NHS 111 for advice, telling them of your recent travel. You'll need to stay indoors and avoid contact with others. Do not attend classes or come into work.

  • Students: please inform the University's Student and Academic Services using their contact details and tell them of your recent travel to Wuhan or Hubei Province so that we can arrange support for you. 
  • Staff: please inform Human Resources on +44 (0)117 32 85111 (during office hours).

You'll need to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible, like you would with other flu viruses. This means remaining at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province and not going to work, school or public areas. Where possible, you should avoid having visitors to your home, but it’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.

While the risk to the UK population remains low, this is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.

Have you been to other countries in Asia in the last 14 days?

If you have returned from any of the following countries:

  • Mainland China (not Hubei Province)
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

within the last 14 days and are experiencing any respiratory symptoms, even mild, please call NHS 111. You should mention any recent travel.

  • Students: please inform the University's Student and Academic Services using their contact details and tell them of your recent travel to China so that we can arrange support for you.
  • Staff: please inform Human Resources on +44 (0)117 32 85111 (during office hours).

If you do not have symptoms then attend classes and work as normal.

While the risk to the UK population remains low, this is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection. Symptoms to look out for include a cough, runny nose, sore throat, fever and difficulty breathing.

The University will continue to monitor the situation carefully. If there is any change to the current advice, this web page will be updated.

Frequently asked questions

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

I'm really worried, what do I do?

We understand that this situation may be worrying, especially if you have family or friends in the region. If you'd like to speak to somebody, visit our wellbeing support options. If you have assessments or deadlines coming up that you think may be affected, please read about our support processes for assessment.

The risk to individuals remains low. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Continue life as normal, remembering to follow good hygiene practices. If you have specific health concerns, please contact NHS 111.

Somebody I know had a test. What should I do?

Don't worry. Public Health England will take the lead on ensuring next steps are taken, including contacting people who may be at risk (in the unlikely case of a positive result). Remember, the risk to individuals remains low and the current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild and people make a full recovery.

I have an underlying health condition - what should I do?

Individuals who have existing long-term condition and are concerned about coronavirus should continue to take their normal precautions. The risk to the UK population remains low.

Should I wear a face mask?

The advice we have is that the risk is low so extra protective measures are not necessary and it is debatable whether masks will be effective in this situation.

However, it is a recognised custom for Asian communities to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from the possibility of infection. It is very important that we recognise and respect this custom.

We encourage all members of our community to be inclusive and supportive of what is a personal choice. Please don't allow this situation to affect how we treat others. If you see or hear something that isn't right, please Speak Up using our Report and Support tool.

As a member of staff, can I work remotely?

Unless you've been advised by the NHS to self-isolate, this isn't necessary as the risk to individuals is low. However, if there are particular circumstances that might require you to work remotely these should be discussed with your line manager.

The university is open and running as normal. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update our advice if the situation changes.

As a student, can I engage with my studies remotely?

Unless you've been advised by the NHS to self-isolate, this isn't necessary as the risk to individuals is low.

The university is open and running as normal, so we advise you to attend scheduled activities. There are no plans to change any assessments. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update our advice if the situation changes.

Should I go home? Should I get my student to come home?

We appreciate that you're concerned, although we have been told by Public Health England that the risk to individuals remains low.

The university is open and running as normal, so we advise students to attend their scheduled activities and for staff to continue to come in to work. We will continue to monitor the situation carefully and will update our advice if the situation changes.

If you decide to not attend university, you'll need to report your absence in the normal way.

I'm due to travel soon, what should I do?

The University has suspended all business and study-related travel to China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia. If you are due to travel to China over the next few weeks this should be postponed.

If you're planning on travelling during the Student Vacation, it's best to visit the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice web pages before you book any travel, as the situation is constantly evolving.

Student support

We understand that this situation may be worrying, especially if you have family or friends in the region. If you’d like to speak to somebody, visit our wellbeing support options. If you have assessments or deadlines coming up that you think may be affected, please read about our support processes for assessment.

UWE Bristol is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment to live, work and study. The risk to the UK population is very low. Please don't allow this situation to affect how we treat others. If you see or hear something that isn't right, please Speak Up using our Report and Support tool.

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