Stay smart, supportive
and safe

On Saturday 17 October, York moved to level 2 of the government's three-tier restriction system, alert level: high. The change introduced additional restrictions, and will be reviewed in 14 days.

On Wednesday 21 October, we announced that the University is moving to the Department for Education (DfE) Tier 2. There will be a transition week beginning on Monday 26 October, and we will move officially to DfE Tier 2 from Monday 2 November.

The health and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors to campus is our first priority at all times, and especially so during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.

Lots of work has gone into making our campus and facilities covid-secure, but every one of us has a role to play in keeping ourselves - and those around us - as safe as possible.

We're asking all staff and students to:

  • Stay smart by taking responsibility to understand and keep up-to-date with the safety guidance

  • Stay supportive by looking after ourselves and each other, to collectively help support a safe community for us all

  • Stay safe by taking the steps detailed on this page including filling in the appropriate form if you need to self-isolate for any reason:

Stay smart

Follow the guidelines

Make sure you have read and understood the guidance on this page, and that you keep up-to-date on local and national public health guidelines:

The police and other enforcement officers are able to issue penalties to those that don’t comply with government restrictions. This includes fines for those who breach legal limits on social gatherings (see restrictions on social contact and how the rules on gatherings will be enforced).

Read the COVID-19 Community Charter and take the online training module

The COVID-19 Community Charter and student COVID-19 Community Safety Module outline how we can work together to keep each other safe. They set out what our community can expect from the University and what the University expects from its staff and students.

Stay supportive

Be respectful and sensitive to others

Consider the feelings and safety of people who may:

  • not be able to wear a face covering (see exemptions)

  • feel more vulnerable because they or their family members have underlying health conditions

  • come from different parts of the world and need to get used to the guidance we have in place here.

Please also consider the concerns of the local community when you are out and about off campus.

Help other people to understand and follow the guidance

Remember that it might take some people a while to get used to the guidance, or they may just forget from time-to-time - particularly if they're excited to be making new friends or trying new things.

If you see someone behaving inappropriately, remind them to follow the government and University guidelines. Find guidance on what to do when someone isn't following the rules.

If necessary, you can voice your concerns using the University’s Report and Support tool.

If you are a member of our local community, please see our Good Neighbours page for guidance on dealing with issues with students.

Remember to look after your own wellbeing too

This is a challenging time for everyone, and we can only support each other if we're also taking care of ourselves. Make use of the wellbeing resources available on the staff and student pages, and remind others of this support if they seem to be struggling.

If you're self-isolating, or you know someone else who is, make sure you keep in touch.

Stay safe

Wash your hands and surfaces regularly

  • Use soap and water to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds each time.

  • Make use of the hand sanitising stations provided on campus.

  • Always wash or sanitise your hands before and after travelling to campus and/or being in communal spaces.

  • If you use shared equipment, for example in a laboratory, make use of the cleaning instructions and materials provided.

Wear face coverings in enclosed spaces

Face coverings reduce the spread of coronavirus droplets - when you wear a face covering, you protect the people around you, just as they protect you by wearing theirs.

All staff and students will be provided with two washable face masks to wear in any shared indoor space. These should be worn until you have left the space.

  • You can collect your face coverings from College or Academic Department receptions; for first years, they're also included in your welcome pack.

If you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you may wish to indicate this by wearing a sunflower lanyard or carrying an exemption card.

Keep two metres away from people not in your household

Follow the signage on campus and in the city centre, and take extra care when meeting groups for social events, sports, clubs and societies.

If two metres is not possible, stay at least one metre away and take other steps to reduce risk such as opening windows, wearing a face covering or avoiding face-to-face contact.

If you feel that someone is too close to you, it’s okay to politely remind them of the guidance.

Your household

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. You don't need to wear a mask or keep your distance when you're in your bedroom, bathroom or your household's shared spaces.

Register with a GP and stay up-to-date with vaccinations

Make sure you understand the symptoms of other infectious illnesses, as well as COVID-19, so you can take action if needed.

Self-isolate if you need to and let the University know

You must self-isolate if you:

  • have any COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature, loss or change of taste or smell)

  • have tested positive for COVID-19

  • share a household with someone with symptoms or who has tested positive

  • are contacted and asked to do so by either the University or NHS Test and Trace

  • have travelled to the UK from a non-exempt country.


Self-isolating students must let the University know via our student self-reporting form. We will then support you throughout the process.


Self-isolating staff must telephone their line manager who will fill out the staff reporting form for you:

Access support during your self-isolation


Once you complete the form we will contact you to discuss any support we can provide during your self-isolation, including:

More information is available on self-isolation guidance for students.


  • Wellbeing information for staff is available online (login required).

  • You should let your line manager know if you have any specific support requirements that they may be able to help with.

Follow test, track and trace procedures

Download the NHS COVID-19 app

We encourage you to download the NHS COVID-19 app and scan the QR code when you visit a venue on or off campus. The app will alert you if you have recently visited a venue where you may have come into contact with coronavirus. If you report COVID-19 symptoms in the app, you'll be redirected to a website where you can book a test.

More information on the features available in the app, privacy information and answers to frequently asked questions can be found on the NHS website:

If you can't use the NHS COVID-19 app

If you are not able to use the NHS COVID-19 app (eg if you do not have a compatible smartphone) then you can manually check-in to a venue using the following Google Form:

If you test positive for COVID-19

If you have a positive test result for COVID-19, we will work with you and with health authorities to identify and contact other people who may also need to self-isolate.

Current confirmed cases

Updated Monday to Friday.

As of the morning of Friday 30 October, we are aware of 111 individuals within our University community who are currently self-isolating because they have had a positive COVID-19 test.

Since our previous update on Thursday 29 October we have been notified of 26 new cases, which are included in the total figure above.

We have around 4,500 members of staff and a student body of around 18,000.

The figures above are based on our current reporting arrangements with City of York Council and local public health teams. They are based on cases reported to us via our self-isolation reporting forms for students and staff, where those individuals have subsequently been tested and confirmed to have the virus. As of 26 October 2020, we report our Covid-19 cases data in alignment with our reporting to the Office for Students. We report data each morning to reflect the previous day’s new cases (and on Mondays to reflect Friday through Sunday).

Other sources of information about the number of cases in York and the surrounding area may show some variance from the figure above. This is because data published, for example by City of York Council or YorkMix, may be updated on a weekly basis and aggregated by month, or based on cases confirmed in geographic regions of the city by the NHS or other data sources. Variance may also exist because some members of our University community live outside of the geographic regions covered by other data sources.


Individuals who have reported being affected will be self-isolating in line with Government guidance and we have additional self-isolation guidance for students.

Anyone who has been identified as being in contact with an affected person and needs to take action themselves will be contacted via track and trace mechanisms if they need to self-isolate.

Updates for staff and students

Our Vice-Chancellor and other senior colleagues are sending regular updates to our staff and students as the situation evolves.

See recent updates

Additional information:

Showing respect to each other

The University is a global community, with one in every four people on our campus (both staff and students), coming from outside the UK. We value, celebrate and are proud of our inclusive and diverse community.

We would like to remind all staff and students that the University is a community of respect. All members of our community are expected to act in accordance with our shared values of respect, fairness and compassion, and to ensure that all aspects of our individual and collective behaviour adhere to, and reflect, these principles. We encourage anyone experiencing or witnessing abuse or inappropriate behaviour to report it to the University. If you feel you need support, please contact the Student Hub or staff support services.

Please also take a look at our COVID-19 Community Charter, which outlines how we can work together to keep each other safe, what our community can expect from the University, and what the University expects from its staff and students.

Additional contacts

For most queries, please contact your department in the first instance, or use the following email addresses: