Self-isolation guidance for students

When should you self-isolate?

Please follow the current Government guidance to find out whether you need to self-isolate and for how long:

If you have travelled to England from outside the UK

You will need to quarantine or test according to current Government guidance.

Let us know

Whatever your circumstances, if you need to self-isolate, let us know and we can help (see below).

If you need to self-isolate

Whether you're living on campus or off-campus in York, complete the self-isolation form to unlock our support:

  • £40 e-voucher to spend on food

  • Loan of a laptop and MiFi device, if needed

  • Phone calls from your college support team to check how you are

If you need help with anything, just contact the Student Hub.

If you receive your Covid-19 test result after filling out the self-isolation form, make sure you email to let us know.

Not sure if you need to self-isolate?

If you have symptoms (new continuous cough, high temperature or change of smell/taste) you must self-isolate for at least ten days after the symptoms appear OR until a negative test result confirms you do not have the virus.

If you have been in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19 you will be informed if you need to self-isolate by either the University or NHS Test and Trace service.

  • If you think you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive but you have not been contacted by the University or NHS Test and Trace then you do not need to self-isolate. However, you should take extra care to follow social distancing advice, including washing your hands often.

If someone in your household tests positive for Covid-19

The current government advice is that if you are sharing a household with someone who has tested positive then you are required to self-isolate for 10 days from when they first showed symptoms (or from when they took their test, if they are asymptomatic).


There are some exceptions to this rule.

If you live in the same household as someone with Covid-19 and meet at least one of the following criteria, you can take daily lateral flow tests for seven days instead of self-isolating. Packs of seven lateral flow tests can be collected on campus, from pharmacies, or ordered online.

Criteria for exemptions:

  • you are fully vaccinated (this means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA-approved Covid-19 vaccine, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine.)

  • you are aged under 18 years and 6 months

  • you have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial

  • you are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

If someone in your household is symptomatic:

You and the people that you live with are classed as a 'household'. If you're in University accommodation, that's the students you share a flat, house or allocated kitchen and bathrooms with.

  • If you are in a household with someone who is self-isolating because they have symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19, you must also self-isolate if you have not been fully vaccinated.

  • If you are in a household with someone who is self-isolating because they have been in contact with someone who is symptomatic or has tested positive for Covid-19, you do not need to self-isolate.

  • If someone in your household is quarantining due to international travel, your household does not need to self-isolate.

If a member of your student society or club is self-isolating then the other group members do not need to self-isolate unless they're contacted by the University or NHS Test and Trace service or they are displaying symptoms. They should take extra care to follow social distancing advice, including washing their hands often.

If you have travelled to England from outside the UK, you will need to follow the specific government guidance on quarantining and testing - we can support you with the cost of this.

How to self-isolate

If you need to self-isolate during term-time then you should do this at your term-time address. You should not travel anywhere else to self-isolate.

You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, visit public areas, use public transport or taxis and do not attend any classes in person. Online alternatives to your in-person classes will be provided for you.

Order essential food and medicine online or ask someone to bring it to your home.

  • You should arrange for deliveries to be to your front door or entrance of your block. Remember to maintain social distancing, wear a face covering and wash your hands or use sanitiser before leaving your accommodation and when you return.

Do not have guests.

Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people.

  • While sharing a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others are present. If you have communication available to you with your flatmates such as a Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp group, use it to arrange this. Alternatively, your College team can assist you to create a means of ongoing communication with your flatmates. You should take your meals back to your room to eat.

Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser.

Minimise the time you spend in shared spaces as much as possible and keep shared spaces well ventilated.

Keep all spaces clean, wash dishes, and clean surfaces after use.

If you get locked out of your room during self-isolation:

  • Campus West: Call your college reception for assistance.

  • Campus East: Call the Ron Cooke Hub reception on +44 (0)1904 325100 and explain that you are self-isolating and locked out of your room. We will arrange for a replacement keycard to be delivered to you safely. Do not visit the Ron Cooke Hub reception in person.

Contact tracing

If you receive a positive test result for Covid-19 you may be contacted by up to three separate authorities to establish any contact that may have occurred during your infectious period (this is considered two days before the onset of your symptoms) to help control the risk of wider transmission. Below is a summary of the authorities, their purpose and scope.

It's important that you engage with each authority if contacted as they have different purposes. Contact tracing is crucial to reducing the spread of coronavirus. We appreciate your cooperation and assistance. The University is here to support you throughout your self-isolation. Further guidance and advice can be found on this web page and throughout our coronavirus website and you can contact the Student Hub with any questions or concerns at

University of York Contact Tracing Team

The University of York’s Contact Tracing Team holds devolved responsibility from the local public health authority to conduct internal tracing on any staff or students who test positive for Covid-19. The purpose is to identify any contact that may have occurred on university premises and advise those contacts to self-isolate in line with the law.

Once we have received notification of your test result the team will review records including timetabling, college sport attendance and YUSU student group registers to assess any possible transmission risks. The team may also contact you by telephone or email to talk through your activity during your infectious period.

NHS Test and Trace Service

The NHS Test and Trace service contacts all individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19. Their purpose is to identify all individuals you have had contact with during your infectious period (including family and friends) and any venues you visited during this time. They will contact you via text, email or telephone with instructions of how to share details of people with whom you have had close, recent contact and places you have visited. You will be instructed to do this online via a secure website or you will be called by one of their contract tracers.

The NHS Covid-19 App has a number of tools to protect you, including contact tracing, local area alerts and venue check-in. It's one of the fastest ways to see if you're at risk and protect yourself and your community. It uses technology from Apple and Google and is completely private and confidential. The University does not have access to any app information, even if you are using the app to scan QR codes on campus.

City of York Council Local Health Protection Team

If the NHS Test and Trace contact tracers are unable to contact you for 24 hours, they may pass your case to the local authority to follow up. The local authority health protection team may try to contact you by telephone or letter; their purpose is to complete the NHS tracing process with you. If you live in University managed accommodation they may ask the University’s Contact Tracing Team to issue a letter on their behalf with further instructions.

Covid-19 home tests - visiting a priority postbox

You can temporarily leave your self-isolation or quarantine to post your Covid-19 home test kit at a priority postbox.

You can walk, cycle or drive to your nearest priority postbox to post your test kit. You must follow the government’s social distancing guidelines, wear a mask and must not take public transport.

The nearest priority postboxes to campus are located at:

For more information on taking a Covid-19 home test and to find details of your nearest priority postbox (including last collection times):

How long to self-isolate

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms or test positive for Covid-19 you must follow Government guidelines on self-isolation. You should stay as far away from other members of your household as you possibly can to avoid passing on the virus.

Self-isolating after arriving in the UK

If you have travelled to the UK from overseas you may be required to self-isolate (quarantine) on arrival, depending on the countries you came from and travelled through. Please check the latest Government guidance and see our advice on Arriving in England from outside the UK.

You may need to book Covid-19 tests for Day 2 and 8 of your self-isolation. The rapid results (lateral flow) tests provided on campus are not suitable for this testing.

Q: I was required to quarantine/self-isolate after arriving in England from abroad but my Day 2 and 8 tests have not arrived. What should I do?

A: Contact the company you ordered the tests from, and request further information. You cannot use NHS or Rapid Result Tests as alternative tests for your testing arrival requirements.

If due to delivery problems you are unable to take the Day 2 and Day 8 tests, you must continue to quarantine until midnight on the 14th day after your arrival in England. You can then leave quarantine on the 15th day. If you need to extend your quarantine length, please email to inform the University.

If your provider failed to deliver what they promised you can choose to report them to the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). The CMA will not be able to advise you on your particular case, but can investigate companies that breach consumer law during the pandemic.

Returning to your normal routine

If you had symptoms and tested positive for Covid-19:

  • Follow Government guidelines on when to return to your normal routine and stop self-isolating.

  • Continue to Protect. Respect. Be kind. Having Covid-19 once does not guarantee immunity from getting it again or accidentally passing it on to others.

If you had symptoms but have tested negative:

Academic support

Academic skills

Accessing Library materials

  • If you live on campus, you can use Library's Campus Delivery service to have books delivered to your accommodation.

  • If you live off campus, the Library will use the Postal Loans service to send books to you.

  • Wherever you are, you can access the Library’s Scan and Send service to request digitised material to be emailed to you.

  • You can access over 10,000 e-journals and ebooks, and you can explore resources for your subject with our Subject Guides.

  • The Library subscribes to Box of Broadcasts (BoB) - you can record programmes from over 65 free-to-air TV channels (including BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Film4, Channel 5, Dave, CNN and Sky News) and access an extensive archive of previously aired shows.

If you’re struggling

Talk to your academic supervisor if you’re struggling to keep up with your studies while you’re self-isolating.

Food, drink and other supplies

Supermarket shopping

  • You can order from campus Nisa stores by signing in to our online Nisa store. Your order will be delivered for free to accommodation on campus and in York city centre. If you order before 12 noon, your items will be delivered on the same day. Minimum order £5.

Meal delivery packages (on campus)

We can deliver meal packages to your campus accommodation to meet your dietary requirements:

  • Breakfast and evening meal package: £50.05 for 14 meals over 7 days OR £71.50 for 20 meals over 10 days (approx £7 a day). Your evening meal will be a hot main course, with sides, from one of our cafes/restaurants, plus a cake or cookie. We'll deliver a breakfast bag at the same time, containing cereal and milk, orange juice, bread, butter, preserves and fruit.

  • Breakfast, lunch and evening meal package: £85.05 for 21 meals over 7 days OR £121.50 for 30 meals over 10 days (approx £12 a day). This package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals will be delivered together. Our team will confirm the delivery timings when you book.

  • See an isolation evening meal and breakfast example menu.

Deliveries will take place between 10.30am to 12.30pm for lunch and 3.30pm to 5.30pm for dinner. If you have questions about this, please email

If you live in catered accommodation (James, Derwent or Vanbrugh) you will receive breakfast and dinner on weekdays and a £10 online voucher for our Nisa stores per weekend spent in self-isolation during term time.

  • Please nominate one person per flat to email with your names and any dietary requirements.

  • You're likely to receive an emergency bag on your first day of isolation containing enough food to last 24 hours. This will be followed by a freshly cooked hot meal on day two.

  • Your hot meals will be delivered alongside your breakfast for the following morning.

  • You'll be contacted within 24 hours of completing the self-isolation form and sent a unique code for your weekend Nisa voucher, along with details of how to order. The voucher will be removed from your total basket price during checkout. It can be spread across several orders and expires after your self-isolation period ends. Our Nisa stores have:

    1. Free delivery

    2. Same next day delivery for orders placed before noon

    3. No minimum order

If you live in college night accommodation (Constantine, Goodricke or Langwith) you can either:

  • Ask a flatmate or friend to collect your weekly evening meal on your behalf. Please ensure they can get your meal to you without coming into contact with you.

  • Email to find out how to reclaim your missing meal in the form of a voucher.

Home items

If you arrive from another country you can buy kitchen packs, towels and bedding from our online merchandise store and have them delivered to your accommodation reception.

You will need to place your order well in advance of your arrival, as the online merchandise store is experiencing longer delivery times than usual.

Please note you need to use an external email address to create an account and order from our online store.


  • We can't clean shared facilities if you're self-isolating - we will resume when the period of self-isolation has finished.

  • If you live on campus, you can make a request for cleaning materials by submitting a 'General Cleaning' job request online and stating that you require a cleaning kit for your accommodation. Alternatively you can email, providing your campus address and a contact telephone number and we can arrange delivery of a kit for you.

  • If you’re off campus and need cleaning supplies, remember to order these as part of your shopping delivery!

Make sure you clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, remote controls and table and surface tops.

Disposal of waste

Please follow this guidance carefully.

Personal waste: In accordance with Government guidance, personal waste and disposable cleaning products (including facemasks, PPE, disposable cloths, used tissues) must be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied securely. This should be placed in a second bin bag and again tied securely. This should be put aside in your room for 72 hours before placing it in your non-recycling general kitchen waste bin. Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.

Emptying your waste bins:

  • Put on a protective mask and gloves.

  • Ensure the bags are securely tied to prevent waste escaping.

  • Take your waste bags and place them in the clearly-labelled waste bins located just outside the main door to your accommodation block.

  • This can be done at any time of day.

  • The bins will be emptied regularly.

Please follow this guidance carefully - waste left outside in any other location, or left unsecured, could attract vermin.

Shared bathrooms

If you share a toilet or bathroom, it is important that you clean them every time you use them (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). You may like to consider drawing up a rota for using the bathroom facilities. You will need to make sure you have the necessary cleaning products.

Shared kitchens

Wash your dishes using your usual washing-up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly, remembering to use a separate tea towel.


You should not visit a public or University laundry facility during your self-isolation period. You should also wait a further 72 hours after your isolation period has ended before visiting a public or University launderette.

We are providing a subsidised laundry service for those who are required to isolate on campus.


Delivery of emergency and repeat prescriptions

If you’re self-isolating on or off campus and need your emergency or repeat prescription delivered, contact your GP or local pharmacy.

IT support

  • You can access remote IT technical support, available Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. Call +44 (0)1904 323838 or email

  • We can lend you a laptop or a MiFi device on a free loan basis if your device is broken or if you don’t have one.

  • If you live on campus, in the event of a failure of your internet connection, support will be provided to get you back online. If you live off campus, we would ask you to contact your landlord or internet service provider in the first instance, but we will provide an alternative connection if required.

Your wellbeing

Online resources

  • Togetherall access is free to all University of York students and available online 24/7. It's a global community where you can receive support from trained professionals.

  • Our Health and wellbeing web pages include an A to Z of advice, wellbeing tips, and information on what to do in a crisis.

Sources of support

Colleges, YUSU, GSA, the Student Hub and academic departments are all working together to support you:

  • Your College team will be in touch with you on a regular basis to provide ongoing support.

  • The Open Door team can help you if you are experiencing psychological or mental health difficulties.

  • The Student Wellbeing Officers in your department will work with your Academic Supervisor and departmental support staff to maintain regular contact with you.

  • Your Academic Supervisor can offer you a virtual session to discuss any difficulties you may be having with your studies.

If you don't know who to contact about a particular query then speak to the Student Hub - call +44 (0)1904 324140 or email They will be able to direct you to the right team.

If you're in self-isolation and have concerns about someone else's behaviour you can report those concerns to the Student Hub or through the online Report and Support tool.

Peer to peer support

If accessing the University’s support services doesn’t feel quite right for you at the moment, there are peer support networks available too:

  • Within your College, you’ll have contact details for Second and Third Year Mentors (STYMs) - if you want a listening ear, or some advice, they’re a good place to start.

  • Academic Reps are students elected to represent your views to the University. They're often a great first point of contact if you want to raise any issues, put forward ideas or if you have questions to do with your course.

  • York Nightline is a confidential listening service run by students, for students. They don’t give advice; they’re just here to listen to whatever is on your mind.

  • Your Sabbatical Officers are here to listen, raise issues to the University and work with partners across campus to make sure you're getting the most out of your time at York.

Tips for coping during self-isolation

  • Remember that it is temporary. Your normal routine being disrupted can be stressful and unsettling however it is important that you look after your physical and mental health.

  • Establish a routine. Plan your day - creating and sticking to a new routine will give you a sense of order and normality. Make sure you build in time to do things you enjoy. Also remember to eat well, drink enough fluid, exercise as best you can and make time to relax and get enough sleep. Listen to your body.

  • Stay in touch with friends and family by phone or over the internet. If you find that you are really struggling and feeling down it is important to ensure a person you trust is aware. Reach out for support if you need to - you’re probably not the only person feeling lonely, bored or disappointed.

  • Try some meditation or breathing techniques if you're feeling anxious. There are lots of great free apps you can use to guide you - such as Headspace.

  • Get some natural sunlight by opening your curtains. Open a window to let in the fresh air.

  • Avoid checking the news constantly. It can be tempting to keep checking the news for updates on the pandemic, but this can have a negative impact on your mental health. Try to reduce how often you do this.

Financial support

If you are facing unanticipated financial challenges as a result of the pandemic, please visit our financial support webpage.

If you are experiencing urgent financial hardship, please speak to a Student Adviser at the Student Hub as soon as possible.

If you’re a full-time student, living in York, and will lose income because of having to self-isolate, you can apply for a payment from York’s Public Health Covid Outbreak Management Fund. You need to have been instructed to self-isolate by the Government’s Test and Trace scheme. You will need to evidence of your employment and, if you have not been given an 8-digit NHS self-isolation number, then you can give your student number and a letter from the University confirming you must self-isolate. If you do not have an NHS number or a letter from the University, you can contact Find out more and apply on the City of York Council Website.

Arriving in England from outside the UK

University contacts

Contact the Student Hub Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on 01904 324140 or via email on

Outside those hours you can contact Security if you need immediate assistance. For non-emergency contacts:

For emergencies contact:

  • Call +44 (0)1904 32 3333 or freephone +44 (0)800 43 3333

  • SafeZone app

NHS contacts and medical advice

You should also consult these official sources of information:

If you need medical advice

Seek medical advice if your illness or that of any of your household members gets worse.

If it is not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online at If you do not have internet access you should call NHS 111.

If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or a member of your household has coronavirus symptoms and needs medical attention.