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Advice for students and staff concerned about Coronavirus

7 February 2020

As you may be aware from reports in the media, the World Health Organisation has declared a public health emergency of international concern over the continuing spread of Wuhan Novel Coronavirus (‘Coronavirus’). The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.

Read our Coronavirus: advice for students and advice for staff.

Three people in England have tested positive for coronavirus, the Chief Medical Officer for England Professor Chris Whitty has confirmed.

Based on the World Health Organisation’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities. However, Public Health England says the risk to individuals remains low.

We continue to monitor the guidance from Public Health England on what to do if we suspect someone may be at risk of having Coronavirus and will continue to be guided by them about any other actions we should take to help protect the health of our staff and students.

Your health is important to us and if you are concerned, we ask that you follow the precautions below.


Coronavirus is a respiratory virus - this means the symptoms will often involve shortness of breath, a cough or sore throat and a fever.

Based on the scientific advice of SAGE, the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list of countries is being keep under constant review by Public Health England and could change at any time.

If students and staff have travelled from any of the affected areas in the last 14 days and have any of the symptoms described above, even if those symptoms are mild, they should call NHS 111 and remain at home.

Advice from Public Health England states that people should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene.

Advice about travel

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised UK nationals to leave China, where possible. It is also currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China.

Students and staff due to travel to China should refer to travel advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website. Staff should discuss any concerns with their line manager.

General concerns

Students: If, having read the advice and guidance on the above webpages, you are feeling concerned please contact your GP or the University's Wellbeing Services.

Staff: If you are a staff member and have concerns, please contact your line manager or the staff wellbeing services.


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