Coronavirus and accommodation FAQs
I am an international student, should still come to my accommodation now the UK is in lockdown?
Please visit our international travel webpage for the latest information and support.
I have a flexible/January arrival but I am no longer able to arrive due to Covid-19 restrictions, will I be charged?
The current Government guidance states that students should remain where they are wherever possible, therefore, you should not travel to Bristol unless unavoidable.
Please be reassured that we will continue to hold your new room for you until you are able to arrive and you will not be charged rent while travel restrictions prevent you from moving in. We will be contacting students with flexible and January arrivals who have not yet arrived after the Easter holidays to find out what your plans are.
If you have any questions about your accommodation, please email us at email@example.com.
Can I return to my University accommodation during lockdown?
You can return if your course is on the Government Exempt list or requires in person teaching.
If your course is not on the Government exempt list, the Government guidance says that you should remain where you are and not travel to your university accommodation until the resumption of face-to-face teaching. You should also avoid returning to the University to collect any belongings left here over the winter break. However, you can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it is essential. You should not stay the night if returning to collect belongings.
If you are currently away from your student home and unable to remain where you are, you should read the exceptional circumstances detailed in the Government guidelines to see if you are allowed to return to your university accommodation. The University does not give permission for students to return - the responsibility sits with each student as an adult to read and assess the Government Guidelines as to whether you meet the exceptional circumstances that allow travel back to your residence during the lockdown. Once here you should not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time.
To minimise the risk to yourself and others students should access local community testing programmes to get a lateral flow device (LFD) test before you travel back to university
Please also see our FAQs for students living in private rented accommodation.
What happens if I, or someone in my Living Circle, develops Covid-19 symptoms?
If anyone in your Living Circle develops Covid-19 symptoms, all members of the Living Circle will need to self-isolate within your residence until a test is taken.
If you, or someone in your living circle, tests positive you must self-isolate as per government guidance. If you test positive you must inform the University using the Coronavirus self-reporting form so that we can inform other members of your Living Circle and provide you with support. As soon as a case is reported to us via the self-reporting form we will email all members of that living circle to let you know how to access the support on offer.
You do not need to self-isolate if someone in your residence who isn't in your Living Circle tests positive for Covid-19 unless the University contacts you to inform you otherwise.
Additional support will be available to Living Circles needing to self-isolate.
You will be able to continue your studies through online learning.
Someone in my residence has tested positive for Covid-19 - do I have to self-isolate?
In most cases, as long as no one in your Living Circle tests positive for Covid-19 you do not need to self-isolate. There is a daily review of each hall of residence by the local Public Health England incident management team, who make the decision on which residences need to self-isolate. If Public Health England decides that, for the safety of all, a whole residence needs to isolate, then we will contact you to let you know what to do.
At all times please be respectful of your fellow students and continue to follow the government guidelines to socially distance from anyone outside your Living Circle.
My living circle / residence has been told to self isolate, what support is available?
If you live in University-allocated accommodation
Please be assured that we are here to help you as we work together to support students through any periods of self-isolation. We will provide support for you 24 hours a day, throughout your period of self-isolation. As soon you let us know you are self-isolating through the self-reporting form we will email you to let you know how to access the support on offer.
We recognise it is important that you are able to maintain social interactions with one another and you will be able to continue mixing within your living circle. If you live in a Studio, you can find who is in your living circle by logging on to BlackBoard.
You will also continue to have access to online teaching and our full range of wellbeing support services.
Please take a look at our self isolation support pages for the most up-to-date information.
If you live in private rented accommodation
Please take a look at our advice or students living in private accommodation.
I’ve been isolating already and now my residence has locked down, do I need to do another 14 days?
Unfortunately, yes you do. We appreciate that you may find this frustrating but this is the requirement of Public Health England.
I want to report a breach of the rules in my residence.
If you have any concerns about other students not following the rules you can use the Report and Support link to tell us about it.
We will investigate any reports we receive and if a student is found to be breaking the guidelines, they may be subject to disciplinary action, including fines, suspension or exclusion.
Please read our Covid-19 Behavioural Policy (PDF, 95kB) for more information.
Am I allowed to return home?
Please see our student guidance pages for the most up-to-date advice.
Advice and support for parents and carers
We take the health and safety of our students very seriously. Please visit our parents and supporters Coronavirus pages to find out what steps we're taking to keep students safe.
Parents, guardians and carers with concerns should speak directly with their students or contact our University hotline on 0117 3742838.
I'm self-isolating and I haven't had a food box delivered
We will supply you with an emergency food box on your first day of self-isolation. We offer meat or vegan boxes. Your box should last you 7 days.
You will be able to supplement this food box with your own online food orders.
Hopefully, you will be able to organise online food deliveries. If you are unable to, you can request a second emergency food box from your Residential Life team.
To order a food box
Please complete the coronavirus self-reporting form and request your food box on this form.
If you have not completed a coronavirus self-reporting form but your accommodation is required to self-isolate please request your food box using the accommodation portal.
If you have any specific dietary requirements please tell us using the above routes.
You must wear a face mask when you receive food deliveries.
Anyone who hasn’t received a delivery within 12 hours of filling out the form should contact their Residential Life team directly or email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we can prioritise getting a delivery to you.
You can find out more information about the support available to you whilst self-isolate on The Universities self-isolating pages.
What should I do when I finish self-isolating?
When you finish your period of self-isolation please continue to keep yourself and others safe by following this safety advice:
- If you are in university accommodation, only socialise with students in your Living Circle. You can find who your living circle is by logging into BlackBoard.
- Wear a face covering when on campus and in the common spaces of your hall such as common rooms, hallways and bathrooms.
- Maintain social distancing wherever possible.
- Practice good hygiene and wash your hands regularly.
- When you go out in the city, follow government guidance.
I'm struggling with rent / living costs due to covid-19 can you help?
Given the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, we know that many students are having financial difficulties, either because of lost earnings or increased costs (including costs associated with online learning). We’ve put in place our Coronavirus Impact Fund specifically to support students through these current circumstances and this has now been supplemented with additional funding from the government. This fund is uncapped and open to everyone.
If you are dealing with financial issues you can also contact the Student Funding Office either by email or by calling 0117 428 3000 to discuss what support might be available.
I'm self-isolating in a catered residence - what food will I get?
Self-isolating catered students should see our self-isolating food delivery schedule for information on when their food will be delivered.
Please note that in order to receive self-isolating food deliveries you must let us know that you are self-isolating by filling out the coronavirus self-reporting form.
I am living on my own, can I transfer to another living circle?
If you are living completely alone you are eligible to form a support bubble with another living circle/household. Please see our dedicated page on support bubbles.
If you are struggling with low mood, anxiety or your mental health, do remember that the rules permit exercise with one other person from another living circle or household, so long as social distancing is observed.
Please do seek the support of Residential Life if you are feeling anxious or concerned.
What will my residential experience look like in 2021/22?
In the UK, the vaccination program is being rapidly implimented and we are hopeful that in the 2021/22 academic year things will be more normal. However, because the Covid-19 pandemic poses so many unknowns we are unable to make any assurances as to what will and won't be possible for our students next year. Students should be prepared to continue to live under Covid-19 restrictions and follow the Government guidelines at all times.
We will continually assess the situation and (as we have done this year) offer support and where appropriate, rent rebates for those unable to live in their accommodation due to Covid-19. Over the 2020/21 academic year, we rebated approximately 25% of rent to students in University-allocated accommodation. We believe this was one of the most significant rebates across the university sector.
Please be aware that rent rebates are not guaranteed and when you sign your tenancy agreement you are signing a legal document agreeing to pay rent for the whole tenancy period.
More information about what residential life is like in normal years can be found on our life in our residences pages.
More information about the Coronavirus measures we put into place this year can be found on our Coronavirus information pages.
If you think you have coronavirus
Check if you have symptoms. If you do:
- Stay at home and follow advice on how to self isolate.
- Don’t attend classes and avoid socialising with others.
- Book a coronavirus test if you haven't already done so.
- Tell us by completing the coronavirus self-reporting form.
We will tell your school and University residence.
Contact the Information Point if you have any questions: