Self-isolation guidance for students
If you need to self-isolate, we will support you every step of the way. Find out what you need to do and how we can help.
On this page
- When to self-isolate
- How to self-isolate including completing the Coronavirus self-reporting form
- University residences: supplies, practical help and medication
- Private-rented accommodation: supplies, practical help and medication
- Testing and medical support
- Self-isolating after close contact with someone who's tested positive
- How a household should isolate
- Where to get help and staying connected
- Wellbeing support
- Teaching, learning and academic support
When to self-isolate
- If you have symptoms of coronavirus.
- You have tested positive for coronavirus.
- If you have been in close contact with someone who's tested positive
- You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive.
- You're told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace or the NHS COVID-19 app.
- If you have travelled to the UK from a country not on the list of exempt countries.
You do not need to self-isolate if you have been fully vaccinated as part of the UK vaccination programme.
How to self-isolate
We will inform your school and your Residential Life Team (if you live in university residences) to make sure you get any support you need.
You need to tell your flatmates and close contacts that you are self-isolating, and if you receive a positive test, so that they can take the right action.
How long you need to self-isolate for
Please follow NHS guidance for self-isolation.
Public Health England and your Residential Life team will advise you how long you need to self-isolate based on your circumstances.
You must follow the advice you are given.
Who can come into your flat while you are self-isolating
During this time you may only socialise with students in your household.
Going home to self-isolate
We understand that you may want to return but this is against both Public Health England and Government guidelines. It could put others, including your family, at risk.
We will support you at all times. It is important to follow self-isolation requirements in line with both the law and our acceptable behaviour policy.
Protect your flatmates
If you are at higher risk of getting coronavirus
Sharing with someone who is self-isolating
You are likely to be living with students who need to self-isolate as a result of:
- travelling to the UK
- being asked to isolate as they were identified as a contact of a positive case
- they are a positive case.
Students who are self-isolating must do so in their own households, but they are not confined to their bedrooms. They are allowed to use the kitchens, bathrooms, and living areas of the accommodation.
Please follow the advice here on how to avoid infection in your household.
University residences: supplies and practical help
Supplies and practical help
We will make sure you receive all available support to help you during this period.
Deliveries of essential supplies and sanitary products
Our campus team will provide you with cleaning materials as well as hand soap and toilet roll as necessary.
If you need sanitary products email the Residences Facilities Mailbox email@example.com.
Mail and parcels
Where possible we are arranging post deliveries. Check with your residence for more information.
When you are self-isolating, only use the laundry if absolutely necessary.
If possible, wait until you are the only person in the room before using the space.
Make sure you wear a mask.
Please can you put your rubbish in double bags and tie securely. Leave it in your flat for 72 hours.
After this time, put it outside your door making sure it does not create an obstruction.
It will be collected from there.
Communal and shared spaces
It is not always easy to separate from others within your accommodation.
When using shared areas keep your time in that area to a minimum. Where possible, try not to use communal areas at the same time.
Wear your face masks in all communal and social settings and maintain social distancing.
It may be helpful to set up a group chat when you arrive so you can plan a rota of who is using the communal spaces and when.
It is important to keep your communal and shared spaces clean and hygienic. Clean and sanitise any facilities you use after you have finished.
Please use the cleaning materials we supply to ensure you keep these areas safe to protect your flatmates.
- Follow the government's Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
- and the NHS guidance on How to avoid spreading coronavirus to the people you live with
Help with maintenance issues
If you have a maintenance issue with your accommodation, report it following the normal procedure. Details of how to report a maintenance issue are in your Village Residence Guide.
Use of outside spaces
Unfortunately, you will need to stay in your accommodation throughout your self-isolation period.
We will inform your school to make sure you get any support you need.
Food and sanitary products
We recommend setting up online delivery from local supermarkets for both food and feminine hygiene products.
If you are struggling to get deliveries arranged or have any other support needs, contact the Information Point:
Online food deliveries
You can get food delivered to you from a range of supermarkets and food delivery services. Find out how to order groceries and food online.
Medication: If you are registered at the Students' Health Service
Find out how to get your medication.
Get your medication delivered
If medication is urgent:
- Cotham Pharmacy and Kingsdown Pharmacy offer a delivery service which costs £3.
- Tell Students' Health Service that you want your prescription sent to one of these pharmacies.
- You need to contact the pharmacy to request a delivery.
If medication is not urgent:
- We suggest you change your normal pharmacy to an online service such as Pharmacy2U.
- Tell Students' Health Service that you want to nominate them as your chosen pharmacy when you order your prescription.
- The company will provide free delivery.
When you will get your medication
If the prescription gets to the pharmacy:
- before 10 am, delivered the same day
- after 10 am, delivered the next day.
Medication: If you are registered at another surgery
Contact your surgery who can advise which pharmacies may be able to deliver your medication.
Testing and medical support
Book a coronavirus test
Local testing site
Our local testing site is the Victoria Rooms. If you are unable to book a slots, keep trying as new slots are made available throughout the day.
Wear a face-covering and maintain social distancing when you go for your test.
If you do not feel well enough to attend the walk-through test you can order a home coronavirus test.
Post a coronavirus test
If you have chosen a home coronavirus test you will need to post this. Make sure you post your test in one of the priority post boxes.
When you get your test result
When you get your test result tell us using the self-reporting coronavirus form.
If you need to see a doctor
Make sure you have registered with your local doctor.
If you have another health worry, telephone your doctor and book a telephone consultation. Contact the Students' Health Service.
Get medications delivered
Self-isolating after close contact with someone who's tested positive
If you've been in close contact with someone who's tested positive you should get a PCR test.
You can book to have a PCR test at our mobile test site. You do not need to have symptoms to get this test.
What close contact means
If you live in the same household or are in the same support bubble as someone who:
- has symptoms of coronavirus or
- has received a positive test result
If you don't live in the same household or are not in a support bubble with them, follow the Guidance for contacts of people with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection who do not live with the person.
If you test positive after close contact with someone who's tested positive
If you test positive, help the NHS alert your close contacts. They can then self-isolate and avoid passing it on to others.
If you do not have any symptoms
Restart your self-isolation clock as day 0 and self-isolate for 10 days. If you develop symptoms later, restart your self-isolation clock again as day 0.
If you test negative after close contact with someone who's tested positive
You must continue to self-isolate for 10 full days as you could still become infectious.
How a household should isolate when a member shows symptoms of coronavirus
- If you live in a household with anyone who tests positive or shows symptoms you should self-isolate for 10 days.
- If the symptomatic person in your household then tests negative and no other member of your household are symptomatic or positive, self-isolation will end at this point. The negative member of your household should then update their status through the self reporting form so that we can notify the household to stop isolating
- If you have symptoms, isolate for at least 10 days from when symptoms start.
- If you don’t have symptoms but have tested positive, isolate for at least 10 days from day test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart the 10 day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.
- If you live with others, all non-exempt household members (not the original positive case) must stay in their accommodation and isolate for 10 days. The 10 day period starts from the day the first person became ill or if no symptoms, from the day they had their test.
- If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms they must get a test and self-isolate for 10 days from when symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in the original 10 day isolation.
- If you continue to feel unwell or show symptoms beyond your period of isolation you should continue to isolate. What to do if your coronavirus symptoms get worse.
Where to get help and staying connected
If you are struggling in self-isolation here are some ways you can ask for the help you need and stay connected.
The student community
During the lockdown our student networks and groups were fantastic at looking out for each other and providing practical support for students who needed it.
- Find out more about our Students' Union Networks. You may be able to connect with other students with similar interests/identity and support each other.
- Talk to the Students' Union Clubs and Societies that you are a part of and find out if they have ways of supporting their members through these times.
- The Student to Student Bristol Covid Relief Scheme is a student group which provides essential items to University of Bristol students in lockdown.
The local community
Bristol has many local mutual-aid groups covering many areas where students live. Local residents can offer advice on local services.
Many groups run a volunteering scheme where you can ask for help and be matched with a local volunteer.
Find out more on their Facebook pages:
Bristol City Council
If you, a family member or a neighbour are self-isolating, or feeling isolated, and need help getting food or medicine or doing other essential tasks:
- complete the Bristol City Council enquiries form
- Call 0800 694 0184 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm), translation service available
- Deaf BSL users can contact the phoneline through a BSL Interpreter using SignVideo
Connect with social media networks
If you are in university accommodation join your residences Facebook group. This can provide help and advice from fellow students. You may also be able to ask students who aren't self-isolating if they can help you with practical tasks such as collecting food.
Find your residences Facebook group.
Join in with our community activities and events
Join in with one of our online or in-person events and activities. Connect with fellow students and build your Bristol community.
We know that isolating can have a big impact on your mental health. It can feel lonely and boring, so do keep in touch with friends and family by phone and video chat.
If you just need to chat to somebody, try Togetherall. Togetherall is a digital support service to help you deal with everything from everyday stresses to major life events.
We have a range of free wellbeing services and support, and online resources available to all undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.
We have a team of staff available to provide wellbeing support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Complete the Request Support form if you would like to speak to a member of the team.
Look after your physical health
Download our sport app and join our streamed classes or get advice on how to keep physically active.
Teaching, learning and academic support
How you will receive teaching if you have to self-isolate
You can continue to engage with the online elements of your blended learning while you are self-isolating.
- Complete the self-reporting form to tell us you're not well or have to self-isolate
- We will inform your school
Studying while you are self-isolating
If you are self-isolating, you can continue your studies online. We will not automatically assume you need more support for your studies.
Contact your school if you have any questions, are unwell or are finding it difficult to study.
If you feel self-isolation is having a significant impact on your ability to study or complete assessments you can:
- Request an extension to the submission deadline for your coursework. Contact your school for the form.
- Tell us if you are going to miss an online or an in-person timed assessment:
- Contact your school before the start of the assessment.
- Submit an extenuating circumstances (ECs) form. Contact your school for the form.
- Self-certify any absence from teaching, if engagement with teaching is a requirement of your programme. Contact your school for the form.
- Tell us if you cannot engage with your studies for a continued period across the year. Submit an extenuating circumstances (ECs) form. Contact your school for the form.
You do not need to provide evidence of being required to self-isolate, but it is important that you explain the impact self-isolation has had on your studies and/or assessment on the relevant form.
Understanding how you have been affected will help your school decide whether mitigation is appropriate, or if other support can be provided.
Academic and study support
If you are well enough, you can access a range of academic and study support while you are self-isolating.