Page updated: 29 March 2021
This page includes frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, for parents and guardians of students at the University of Worcester.
Please also see our campus safety page and student FAQs page for additional information.
Latest announcement - Friday 5 March
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students) email to students - 5 March 2021
As we return to teaching following Progress Week, I am delighted to report that the University continues to be a coronavirus cold spot and an educational hotspot thanks to your hard work, responsible actions and good judgement.
While teaching online will continue wherever it is reasonably possible over the coming weeks, some classes which specifically require the use of specialist facilities and which can only take place in person will resume from 8 March. You will have recently received an email from your Head of School, which outlines the arrangements for your course.
Current Covid-19 Guidelines
I am writing to you now, especially if you are one of those students who will be participating in some teaching sessions on campus, as I thought it would be helpful to outline the latest guidelines and to highlight how the arrangements have changed since December.
- You should take a lateral flow test before you return to campus for the first time. Ideally, this should be at a local community testing centre, before you travel, and then twice a week thereafter. These tests are specially designed for people with no symptoms of Covid-19 and the results are available very rapidly. You can find out more and book a test on our website.
- All of the national lockdown rules will apply on campus, including tight restrictions on social gatherings. You can only meet with one other person from outside of your household for outdoor exercise or recreation and you should not mix indoors except with your household ‘bubble’. The Government has introduced a new £800 fine for anyone attending a house party. This includes halls of residence and private houses.
What’s the same?
- If you are currently away from the campus, but wish to return because of vulnerability in any way, whether arising from hardship, difficult personal circumstances or because studying is problematic due to your current practical situation, you always are welcome to return, regardless of the course that you are studying. The Peirson Study and Guidance Centre and the Hive Library will be open to all students who need them. Student support services, including hardship and mental health services, are available to all students.
- Please continue to social distance and wear a face covering when indoors on campus, if you are able. This is really important as Covid-19 is spread through airborne transmission.
- If you have symptoms of Covid-19 you should not come in to study but remain in your current accommodation and self-isolate, take a PCR test as soon as possible and inform us of your absence on your SOLE page.
- If you test positive then please let us know through your SOLE page. The University will continue to provide support as required for students who need to self-isolate.
- All of the safety measures, such as enhanced cleaning and extensive hand sanitisation stations, will remain in place.
- If you are travelling to campus you should continue to follow the safer travel guidance and wherever possible you should avoid car sharing.
Working together to remain a coronavirus cold spot
It is more important than ever that we all continue to follow the guidance and do everything we can to minimise the transmission of the virus. We are very conscious of the need to promote safe sociability and the Students’ Union will be working even harder to provide more opportunities to meet in socially distanced ways, including online and outdoors.
In addition to the Government Guidance, you may also wish to re-read the Worcester Student Charter, which reminds us of our commitments and responsibilities to each other as a University community.
The future roadmap
As circumstances change, please keep in touch. You can always find updates on the latest guidance and answers to your frequently asked questions on our Covid-19 pages.
In the coming weeks there will be further online student meetings to give you the opportunity to ask your questions about what the latest guidance means for you.
I look forward to seeing you soon, either online or in person.
Very best wishes,
Dr Tim Jones
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students)
Head of School, School of Psychology
All-student meeting - Thursday 25 February
Acting Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor (Students), Dr Tim Jones, gave an update on the Government ‘roadmap’ and what it means for you as students at an all-student meeting.
Changes to lockdown rules - Monday 29 March
On Monday 29 March, England’s lockdown rules begin to ease as part of the Government’s spring roadmap. This means that you can now meet outdoors either in a group of 6 (from any number of households), or in a group of any size from up to 2 households. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the restrictions.
Everyone should continue to follow the guidelines designed to protect your own safety and wellbeing, and that of others around you. This includes following the government guidelines with regards to social distancing and the use of face coverings.
The Government published their ‘roadmap’ for the relaxation of restrictions related to Covid-19 on 22 February: COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021.
While teaching online is continuing wherever it is reasonably possible, classes which demand the use of specialist facilities, and which can only reasonably take place in person, resumed on 8 March. Students who are receiving some of their teaching in person, on campus, will have received an email from their Head of School.
Frequently asked questions
My child lives in halls of residence. What happens if there’s a positive case of Covid-19 in the halls?
Over 200 students remained in residence during the ‘lockdown period’ earlier this year, because the University is their home. This experience together with intensive work over the summer has meant that the campus and students halls of residence are well prepared practically and that the University has adapted its support and welfare services to deal with any Covid-19 cases as they arise working entirely within national guidelines and aiming at all times to minimise transmission.
Students living in halls of residence do so in flats which are classed as one household. If a student in that household tests positive for Covid-19 all students in that flat will be asked to isolate as a household, in the same way that any other household in the community would. We do not intend to lockdown entire halls of residence.
If my child is asked to self-isolate, what support will be available?
The University enjoys a national reputation for the high quality of its student welfare work.
Any students asked to self-isolate will have access to a range of support, including phone and online buddies for sociability, mental health counselling if required, and study support. We are working closely with the Students’ Union to ensure there will also be a variety of online social events for students to participate in.
We will also ensure that all students isolating in halls of residence are able to order nutritious meals and other supplies.
What support is available if my child lives off-campus in a shared house?
Students isolating in households off-campus will have access to the same range of support as those in halls of residence, including phone and online buddies for sociability, mental health counselling if required, and study support. We are working closely with the Students’ Union to ensure there will also be a variety of online social events for students to participate in.
What are you doing to reduce transmission among students?
The University has introduced a range of measures on campus, including reduced capacities in classrooms, new furniture layouts to facilitate physical distancing, along with extensive hand washing and sanitising facilities. The University and Students’ Union have also been working together to remind students and staff of the importance of being aware of symptoms, physical distancing, good hand hygiene and procedures to follow, including extensive messaging across campuses, hosting a virtual all-student meeting before the start of the semester and sharing messages online and by email. We are not at all complacent and we all need to stay alert to control the virus.
Is testing available on campus?
A Covid-19 test centre has opened alongside the University of Worcester Arena and is available by appointment to staff, students and the wider community.
The University has been working with Worcestershire County Council’s Public Health team and the Department for Health and Social Care for some time to bring an accessible on-foot test centre to the City, which is particularly helpful to those with disabilities or who don’t have access to transport. The testing facility, which is open daily from 8am to 8pm, is located on the car park behind the University of Worcester Arena. Signage has been put in place to direct people straight to the test site and away from University buildings.
Tests are only available by appointment and must be booked via the official Government website and people are advised to only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:
- you have a high temperature
- you have a new, continuous cough
- you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
- you’ve been asked to by a local council
- you’re taking part in a government pilot project
More information about the coronavirus, and our response, can be found on our main coronavirus information page.
Questions about the support avaiable for our students can be sent to email@example.com