Updated 17 March 2021

The Government recently published their 'roadmap' out of lockdown - you can read this in full on their website.

They have also published separate guidance on how this affects higher education provision. 

As the roadmap begins to take effect, it's important that we all continue to follow COVID safety measures to help keep each other safe. Students should:

We also strongly encourage students to download and use the NHS Test and Trace app

If you have questions that aren’t covered below, you can use our Covid-19 Live Chat service, email covidresponseteam@uea.ac.uk or call 0300 303 4516 (monitored Monday-Friday 08.00-18.00, Saturday 09.00-14.00, Sunday Closed)

Please read the FAQs below for information on how the proposed relaxation of restrictions affects UEA. 

What is happening with teaching at UEA in light of the 'roadmap' announcement?

In addition to those students permitted to return in January, we can confirm that on-campus sessions will start taking place from 8 March for students on practical courses who need to access campus for specialist facilities to complete their course requirements. 

Students on these courses should have already been told to prepare for return and will now have plans confirmed by their Schools.  These arrangements apply to specific cohorts in in BIO, ENG, CHE, and EDU, as well as PPL Broadcast Journalism at Epic Studios. Some students in FMH may also extend their on-campus activity. 

When will all students be able to return to campus?

Subject to a final Government review on or around 12 April, we are hopeful that all students will be able to return to campus in time for the final part of the semester which starts on Monday 26 April. We advise that students start to plan ahead and prepare to potentially return to campus during the Easter break, but to await final confirmation before departing. This will help stagger the return of students and ensure everyone has access to rapid COVID testing. We will update students as soon as possible following the Government review in April. 

Are there any other circumstances in which students can return to campus before the final part of the semester?

Yes - the Government have outlined that students can return to campus/access university facilities in exceptional circumstances, which include:

  • International students who have remained in the UK and do not have alternative accommodation to their term-time address
  • Any students who have remained in their university accommodation 
  • Those who have returned to their term-time accommodation in exceptional circumstances, for example because they don’t have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation 
  • Those requiring additional support, including where there is a concern about their mental health or wellbeing 
  • Commuter students on non-practical courses, on an exceptional basis, who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example because they don’t have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation 
  • Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities for their work – but if research students are able to work from home, they are encouraged to do so 

Will students need to be tested for COVID-19?

Yes - it is expected that all students should be tested twice when returning to UEA using our rapid testing facility. Students should be tested on their first day, and then again three days after. Students will then need to be tested twice weekly going forwards. 

Rapid COVID tests are free, quick and easy to do and should be booked in advance on My UEA

I'm an international student - is there specific information for me?

Yes – please see our International Student FAQs for information on support available for international students at UEA, travel into the UK and current quarantine rules. 

Are students allowed to travel home for the spring break?

The Department for Education have recently released guidance to allow students to return home for the spring break if they wish. This is mainly for the benefit of students who have been on campus all term – students who returned to university on or after 8 March are strongly advised by the Government not to travel home. 

The guidance also states:

  • If students choose to travel home, they are legally only allowed to travel there once before 29 April. They can travel back to their term-time accommodation at any time
  • Any students choosing to travel home should get tested for COVID-19 before they travel home – students can do this via UEA’s rapid testing facility. Please book in advance on My UEA. If they test positive, they will be required by law to self-isolate for ten days and should not travel
  • If students return home, they should also get tested for COVID-19 before returning to university if community testing facilities are available – if not, they should get tested on their first day back at university using UEA’s rapid testing facility
  • If students are travelling, they should plan ahead and avoid busy times or routes. If driving, they shouldn’t share a car with anyone outside of their household or support bubble. If travelling by public transport, they should wear a face covering unless exempt, social distance where possible and sanitise their hands regularly. Guidance on travelling safely can be found on the Government’s website
  • If students plan to travel overseas to go home, they should check additional entry requirements and restrictions that have been introduced before travelling and returning to the UK – these can be found on our International Student FAQs 

what safety measures have the university put in place for those who are on campus?

The health and wellbeing of all our students and staff is of the highest priority. We’re running a rapid COVID testing facility to help keep everyone on campus safe. We’ve carried out enhanced cleaning and have detailed safety arrangements for teaching, learning and the campus environment. We’ve created new learning spaces and adapted teaching rooms and communal areas to make social distancing possible in lessons and when students are walking around. 

There are increased hygiene facilities and hand sanitising stations have been installed at key locations. We are encouraging regular handwashing as this is the most effective way to combat the virus. Perspex screens have been installed at reception areas and lifts have been made single occupancy to support social distancing. 

Face coverings are required to be worn when moving around in all University buildings, in all teaching spaces and in any crowded external areas. We’ve provided all students and staff with two washable, reusable face coverings and a DoorMate, which was designed by UEA students, technicians and researchers, and enables people to open doors and use keypads without having to touch surfaces. Sanitising wipes are being provided for people to wipe down work equipment and study spaces. 

We also have a ‘Safety First’ campaign across campus and online, including a Covid Checklist (UEA login needed) with clear steps on what to do if staff or students have symptoms. All students are required to watch our Safety First video to understand how to keep themselves and others safe.

I need to self-isolate because of travel - what do I need to do?

Please follow the government guidance on self-isolation because of travel for details on what you need to do. 

You can also find more information on what you need to do and support available in our Self-Isolation Guide on My UEA. 

What support is available to me if I need to self-isolate?

We understand that students may be worried about potentially having to self-isolate, and the University is ready to help at this difficult time. We can assist with food deliveries, cleaning materials and wellbeing support. 

We can provide support with:

Food/Shopping – There are a number of options available. Campus Kitchen are offering a meal delivery service for students living on campus – which includes breakfast, lunch and dinner – and the supermarket on campus are offering same-day deliveries through their Snappy Shopper service. Students can also find a list of supermarkets in Norwich offering grocery delivery services through our Self-Isolation Guide (UEA login required). If students are having difficulty getting delivery slots or ordering food whilst in self-isolation, we will be able to provide support – and if students can’t get food for their first night in isolation, we will be able to provide them with a meal free of charge if they’re living on campus. Students may also be eligible for support under the Norfolk Assistance Scheme

Cleaning – We’ll provide a range of cleaning materials to those isolating on campus so students can keep their flats as clean as possible. 

Wellbeing – We have a wide range of wellbeing and mental health support available for students, including Student Services, the Residential Life Team, and 24/7 professional health and wellbeing advice from Health Assured. Student Services will contact students at the beginning of their self-isolation period to check in and make sure they have all the information they need, and can also set up a Microsoft Teams chat for households isolating on campus so that they can stay in touch.

The Student Services Covid Support Team will contact you by Microsoft Teams or telephone at the beginning of your self-isolation period to check in and make sure you have all the information you need. You will have the opportunity to discuss any specific circumstances or support that you may require during self-isolation with a Covid Support Team member and they will arrange follow-up phone calls both during, and after your self-isolation period.  The Team are available between 9 am and 9 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 6 pm on weekends.

If you would like to arrange for a member of the Student Services Covid Support Team to contact you at a time of your convenience, please email sts.covidsupport@uea.ac.uk

When will facilities on campus begin to reopen?

Critical campus services, including the Library, remain open. We are currently working through the Government roadmap guidance and will look to open other facilities, such as Sportspark, as soon as we can in line with this guidance. 

I'd like to return to campus/access university facilities - do I need to get approval from the University in order to do this?

If your course is not listed as eligible for practical teaching at this time but you believe that you fall into one of the other exemptions – for example, if you don’t have access to appropriate facilities or study space in your vacation accommodation – you don’t need to get in touch with the University to get approval to return to campus, or provide evidence/demonstrate that you meet the criteria. The guidance provided by both the Government and the University is there to help students make an informed decision about whether returning to campus is the best decision for them in the current circumstances. 

Have UEA offered rent rebates to those who haven't been able to return to campus accommodation?

Yes – we have offered a twelve-week rent rebate to all students who have an active accommodation license with us but have been unable to occupy their rooms due to the national restrictions. The Accommodation Office have contacted all students with details on how to claim this rebate. 

Have UEA extended their accommodation licenses?

As restrictions gradually lift, we hope there will be many opportunities for students to enjoy our campus, the fine city of Norwich and beyond. To help with this, we have decided to offer all students in UEA accommodation a free four-week accommodation period to follow the end of their current licences with us, to a maximum new end date of July 25 2021. The UEA Accommodation Office will be in contact with students in UEA accommodation soon with more information.

Does this offer for those with UEA Accommodation licenses extend to those not in UEA Accommodation?

UEA is making this offer in respect of the accommodation we own and control. We are unable to make the same offer for third party accommodation that is outside our control. 

What financial support is available for students?

Students worried about their finances can access support via Student Services, who will be able to advise on bursaries, grants and hardship funds available. 

Students whose financial circumstances have changed may be eligible for financial support through Student Finance England – you can apply for help within an academic year up to nine months after it starts.

The latest bursary payment for students who are eligible was due on 19 February – these payments range from £400-1250. If students have any questions on bursaries, please contact the UEA Bursaries team on bursaries@uea.ac.uk.

What mental health and wellbeing support is available for students?

UEA is committed to support all students at this difficult time. All students, regardless of where they are, can access support from Student Services and 24/7 support from Health Assured.  

There are also many sources of external support which can be found on our COVID-19 Wellbeing Resources page.  


The University recognises the significant impact the ongoing circumstances may have on taught students, and there is a No Detriment Approach and Safety Net for academic year 2020-21 - students can read the policy in full on My UEA, as well as some No Detriment/Safety Net FAQs

If I need to take any reassessments this year, will I have to pay a fee?

Every year, following decisions by their exam board, some students take reassessment such as an exam or coursework. There is normally a fee associated with this, but we can confirm that students on taught programmes will not be charged reassessment fees in the current academic year (2020/21). 

I'm a student who is a parent/has caring responsibilities - what support is available for me?

We know that students who are parents and those with caring responsibilities may be facing additional pressures at this time. We encourage all students in this situation to contact their academic advisers if they think they may miss deadlines or cannot engage in teaching. 

Please also see the University’s No Detriment Approach and Safety Net use for this academic year, which details the steps we have taken to ensure students are not disadvantaged and the measures in place to support academic progression. 

All students can also access support from Student Services and 24/7 support from Health Assured.  

Do I need to download the NHS Test and Trace app?

The University is fully supporting the new NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app – due to launch on Thursday 24 September – and urges all staff and students to download and use it. 

The app will alert you if you have been near those who have tested positive, inform you of the level of risk in your postcode, check if you have the symptoms of coronavirus, help you book a test and get the result, and give advice on self-isolation and a countdown timer. 

There is also a ‘check-in’ feature, which means you will be alerted if you have recently visited a venue where you may have come into contact with the virus. You will see QR codes at campus locations such as cafes, restaurants and the Sainsbury Centre – by scanning the QR code on entry, you will build up a digital diary on your phone of the venues you have visited. This can support discussions with contact tracers if you become ill with coronavirus, and means important public health messages can be sent to relevant app users’ phones if needed. 

It’s important to note that all information collected by the new app is stored anonymously on your phone – not centrally. This makes it very secure and means your personal information and privacy are well protected. 

To download the NHS COVID-19 App, search for “NHSCOVID-19” in the App Store / Google Play Store on your phone.

If you have any concerns about the NHS app, please contact covidresponseteam@uea.ac.uk