Self-isolation guidance for students
You must self-isolate if you
have any Covid-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature, loss or change of taste or smell)
are contacted and asked to do so by either the University or NHS Test and Trace
If you have arrived from overseas from certain designated countries
share a household with someone with symptoms or who has tested positive and are not fully vaccinated
If you are fully vaccinated you will not be required to self-isolate if someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19 as long as you take a PCR test and receive a negative result. A lateral flow test (home testing kit) is not sufficient in this situation.
If you have travelled to England from outside the UK
You will need to quarantine or test according to current Government guidance.
Find out more about testing arrangements and how we support international students.
If you need to self-isolate
Fill out the self-isolation form to unlock our support, including an e-voucher to spend on food. Your college team will also phone to check in on how you're feeling and your wellbeing.
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 email@example.com 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
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 self-isolate for at least ten days from the point your symptoms started. You should stay as far away from other members of your household as you possibly can to avoid passing on the virus.
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 ten days from when they first showed symptoms (or from when they took their test, if they are asymptomatic).
If you meet one of the below criteria you do not need to self-isolate, but you should arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible:
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 for ten days 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 email@example.com 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:
You can return to your normal routine and stop self-isolating after ten days if you feel well enough and no longer have a temperature. The other symptoms (cough, lack of smell or taste) can last for several weeks once the infection has gone.
If you still have a high temperature after ten days, you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice.
Once recovered, continue to look after yourself. Many people report feeling tired and run down for some time.
Also, it is important to continue to follow all the guidelines to stay smart, supportive and safe. 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:
If you were still waiting for your test result at the time you filled out the self-isolation form, make sure you email firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know that you have tested negative.
If you were isolating because someone in your household had symptoms and tested positive:
If you remain well then you can return to your normal routine at the end of the ten-day period. You do not need to isolate for longer than ten days, even if other members of your household develop symptoms.
Food, drink and other supplies
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: £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 drink and homemade cake. 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: £121.50 for 30 meals over 10 days - this package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. All meals will be delivered together. Our team will confirm the delivery timings when you book.
Deliveries will take place between 10.30am and 12.30pm for lunch and 3.30pm and 5.30pm for evening meals. If you have questions about this please email email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with your names and any dietary requirements.
You're likely to receive an emergency bag on your first day of isolation containing water, bread rolls with spreads and preserves, juice, chocolate, cereal, UHT milk, fruit, mac and cheese, soup and baked beans. 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:
Same next day delivery for orders placed before noon
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.
Or email email@example.com to find out how to reclaim your missing meal in the form of a voucher.
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.
The University's Academic Skills Community is there to help you to develop your academic and communication skills and be part of our student community. It offers a range of online support including:
The Writing Centre offers online appointments for writing advice and study coaching
The Maths Skills Centre offers online appointments and workshops, as well as online resources.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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 email@example.com, 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.
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.
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.
The University are providing a subsidised laundry service for those who are required to isolate on campus. You can purchase your laundry service via the Nisa online store.
Your laundry will be collected from your on-campus accommodation and dropped off in the same location.
Please read the description of the service carefully.
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.
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.
If you are facing unanticipated financial challenges as a result of the current Covid-19 crisis 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Find out more and apply on the City of York Council Website.
Arriving in England from outside the UK
Contact the Student Hub Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm on 01904 324140 or via email on email@example.com.
Outside those hours you can contact Security if you need immediate assistance. For non-emergency contacts:
Call +44 (0)1904 32 4444
For emergencies contact:
Call +44 (0)1904 32 3333 or freephone +44 (0)800 43 3333
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 111.nhs.uk. 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.