Self-isolation and 'stay at home' guidance for students

We are updating these pages as the situation develops, so please check them regularly.

You should also consult these official sources of information:

This information is for students following the UK government’s ‘stay at home’ guidance at the University of York.

Public Health England advice on staying at home is as follows:

  • If you live alone and you have symptoms, however mild, you should stay at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

  • If you live in shared accommodation - ie you share a kitchen with others - and you or one of them have symptoms, then all members of the household must stay at home and not leave the accommodation for 14 days.

  • For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for at least 10 days from when the symptoms started, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.

  • You should remain in your home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.

  • You should go out as little as possible to buy food or other essentials, if you leave to exercise, you must do this at a safe distance from others.

  • Do not have guests

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

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

  • If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, call NHS 111.

  • At the University of York: for a medical emergency use Safezone ( to contact University of York security or ring them on 01904 32 3333.

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

  • Keep all spaces clean - wash dishes, surfaces and spaces after use. You need to keep yourself, others and cleaning staff safe.

Students and their families living in family accommodation on campus

The guidance is for everyone, including children, and provides advice on the social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. It is intended for all students and applies to those students and their families living in family accommodation on campus. All students are strongly advised to follow the guidance.

You should go out as little as possible to buy food or other essentials, if you leave to exercise, you must do this at a safe distance from others. You can go for walks around the campus, but you should ensure that you keep a safe distance from other people while you are out.

If you have any questions you can contact your College team or the Student Hub.

Using a shared kitchen

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

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 - please see below for assistance with shopping.

If you live in University accommodation on campus, or private student accommodation off campus, and a cleaner is working in a shared kitchen or bathroom, please allow them to finish their work before entering the room.


You will need to ask friends or relatives if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication. Alternatively, you are likely to be able to order medication by phone or online via your Doctor’s surgery. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home - you can collect shopping that is left outside your residential block but you must take care to minimise contact with others.

If you are in University accommodation on campus and you find that you are experiencing difficulties in getting access to buying food and other supplies, including any cleaning products you may need we can assist you through door-to-door deliveries from Nisa supermarket. If you are self-isolating and unable to shop for provisions, you can contact our new campus delivery service from Nisa:

Step one: place your order

    1. Email including the following:

      • Details of what you would like to purchase (no age restricted products will be sold)

      • The postcode and house number the payment card is registered to

      • A phone number so we can call to confirm your order and take payment

Step two: payment

Someone will call you to confirm your order and take payment over the phone.

Step three: delivery

If you placed your order by 12pm it will be delivered on the same day between 2pm and 3pm. If you placed an order after 12pm it will be delivered the next day.

Please note this service operates Monday to Friday.

Cleaning and disposal of waste

You should put a sign on your door so that cleaners know that you are self-isolating and they should not enter your room.

When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergent and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Make sure you clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, remote controls and table and surface tops.

Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed in another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside in your room for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external waste bin.

Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.


To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.

Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load.

If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your 10 day (for individual isolation) or 14 day isolation period (for households) has ended when you can then take your laundry to a public launderette.

What you can do to help yourself get better

Drink water to keep yourself hydrated: you should drink enough during the day so your urine is a pale clear colour. You can use over the counter medications such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet and do not exceed the recommended dose.

If you need to seek medical advice

Seek prompt medical attention 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.


Contact the Student Hub Monday to Friday 9am-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 01904 32 3333 or freephone 0800 43 3333

  • 3333 on campus phones

  • SafeZone app

If you have any questions or concerns or requests whilst you are self-isolating in this way, please do contact us.