COVID-19 Advice, Guidance and FAQs
This page will be updated regularly with the latest advice and information - please continue to check on a regular basis.
The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is of the highest priority, and the University is continuing to follow all advice given by the UK Government.
The UK Government recently announced changes to what people can do which came into effect on Wednesday 13 May. There are FAQs explaining the changes or you can read the full guidance. Please note this only applies in England, and there is slightly different guidance for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
All students and staff will have received an email from Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson following the Prime Minister’s speech on Sunday 10 May – previous communications to staff and students relating to COVID-19 can also be read on the UEA website. At this time:
- All staff who are not essential workers should continue to work from home
- Staff who are furloughed should wait to hear from their managers before returning to campus
- Students should continue with their online learning and exams as scheduled
We would advise anyone with concerns to check this page regularly, or go directly to Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office or NHS websites. PHE have also published some FAQs on COVID-19.
For the University's general FAQs, please see below. We also have specific FAQs for:
- Students (as well as specific FAQs around Learning and Teaching and for PGR students)
- Applicants and Offer Holders
- Visitors and General Public
- Study Abroad
- Graduation Ceremony
- Teachers and Advisers
We understand that this is a worrying time for people, and support is available for both students and staff. Students can contact Student Services if they would like support on firstname.lastname@example.org, and all UEA staff and students have 24/7 access to Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme – their 24/7 helpline number is 0800 030 5182. The University also has a covid-19 Wellbeing Resources page, which links to support both at UEA and externally.
UEA is proud to be an international university and we strive to maintain a safe, inclusive and welcoming culture on campus. UEA has zero tolerance to any form of abuse or harassment, and we would encourage anyone who experiences or witnesses inappropriate behaviour to report it to us via our Report and Support website, or report it to the Police directly. We would ask all members of our university community to continue to support and respect each other especially during this time.
The UEA University of Sanctuary and Changing the Culture initiatives have issued a statement against racism - please read on their website.
The Department for Education (DfE) has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline by telephone and email (lines are open 8am-6pm Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm weekends):
Phone: 0800 046 8687
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, please follow the NHS guidance below:
Do not leave your home if you have either:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you'll need to self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with someone who has symptoms, you'll need to self-isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started. This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home. Find more advice on how to self-isolate on the NHS website.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do. Only call 111 when you cannot get help online.
Preventing spread of infection
Public Health England recommend that everyone should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. The NHS have guidelines on maintaining good hand hygiene, as well as advice on preventing the spread of germs on their dedicated COVID-19 page.
The government have issued guidance on social distancing measures in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. Please read the guidance on their website.
University Medical Centre
Please note that due to the ongoing situation around COVID-19, all appointments at the University Medical Centre (including urgent, same day appointments) will be conducted by telephone with a clinician in the first instance. An appointment in the surgery will then be arranged if needed.
If you need a prescription but are no longer in the area, the Medical Centre can arrange for prescriptions to be sent electronically to any pharmacy in England - please have the postcode and name of pharmacy to hand. Please order online or over the phone rather than going into the surgery.
For the latest information, please check the University Medical Centre's website.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. Please check the FCO's website for more information.
The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.
If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:
- contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
- get in touch with your insurance provider
- continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance
The FCO is also advising British people travelling abroad to return to the UK - please visit their website for more information.
The Home Office have recently changed their guidance around immigration implications of COVID-19. If you’re in the UK and your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 30 July 2020, then your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You must complete and submit a Home Office form to update your records if your visa is expiring. It could be very helpful to take a screenshot of the completed form before submitting it, and retain a copy for your own records.
Please visit the Home Office's website to see the specific information relating to this extension.
Are there any cases of coronavirus at UEA?
There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus at UEA.
What is the University doing about coronavirus?
A dedicated working group, led by the Chief Resource Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor, are meeting daily to co-ordinate the University’s response. The University is in frequent contact with Public Health England, NHS Services and other key partners.
The health and wellbeing of staff and students is our highest priority and the University is working on plans in conjunction with other HEIs and partners to quickly co-ordinate and implement any control measures required by Public Health England. We have been regularly issuing Public Health England and Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance to all of our staff and students.
Additional cleaning is being put in place across campus as a precautionary measure, and extra hand washing stations have also been installed throughout the University to promote good hygiene practice.
What should I do if I’ve been harassed because of my nationality or travel history?
The University is committed to fostering a welcoming culture of equality, diversity and inclusion for our diverse University community, where everyone can feel safe, valued and supported.
We take any allegations of abuse or harassment extremely seriously and if you have any concerns, please report these to your line manager or HR, or through Report and Support.
What is the procedure if a case is confirmed on campus?
If a student or member of staff contracts COVID-19 Public Health England will notify the University and co-ordinate the identification and tracing of close contacts, which may include colleagues, students and visitors. A member of the HR team will work closely with Public Health England to support this process. A close contact is defined as:
Someone in my house/flat has been advised to self-isolate - what should I do?
The government have issued guidance for self-isolation, which includes information on living with someone who is self-isolating.
What actions can I take to minimise the spread of infection?
Maintain good hygiene practices:
Keep up to date with current advice and guidance – this is subject to frequent change:
I think I may have symptoms – what should I do?
Stay at home if you have either:
How long to stay at home
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
Read the NHS advice on self-isolation and symptoms. .
If you need to self-isolate, students should contact Student Services on email@example.com. If you are an employee, please contact your line manager.
Is the University open and operating as normal?
The University remains open.
Teaching is now being delivered online through Blackboard and work is continuing to support all our students in progressing in their studies. Students should continue to participate in learning activities online through Blackboard.
All summative assessment, including examinations, will be carried out online through Blackboard as far as possible. Please see our Assessment Guidance for more information.
We will be providing further details as soon as possible about how online assessments will operate.
UEA has taken the decision to cancel or postpone public events until after the University’s Easter break. This means that events programmed up to Sunday 19 April will not now take place.
I’m an international visitor/student/member of staff whose stay is coming to end but I’m subject to travel restrictions – what happens if I can’t return to my home country before my visa end date?
The Home Office have recently changed their guidance around immigration implications of covid-19. If you’re in the UK and your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 30 July 2020, then your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19). You must complete this Home Office form to update your records if your visa is expiring. Please visit their website for more information.