2020 applicants

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Page last updated: Tuesday 7 July 2020, 7.30pm

Latest key updates

This web page is updated daily. Key updates are listed below, however it is advisable to check the page frequently to be sure you are up to date with the latest guidance and information from the University.

Protecting yourself and others

The health and wellbeing of our students is our priority, and this has been one of the focuses to ensure students can start on campus – safely – in October.

This means we are constantly monitoring advice from the UK Government, Public Health England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the World Health Organisation.

To protect our community on campus once the academic year starts again in October, we will be looking to introduce the following measures:

  • Enhanced cleaning and sterilising regimes;
  • Social distancing in line with Public Health England guidance;
  • Zoning of campus and one way systems to help to manage numbers in high traffic areas;

We are reviewing information and advice daily and a COVID-19 working group is meeting on a daily basis, so as it gets closer to October we will provide you with more information.

We know some people are very keen to visit the parkland at our Colchester Campus. There are students still living on our Colchester Campus so if you do travel to our campus, please observe social distancing and do not walk down to the squares as we are trying to maintain the highest levels of hygiene to support the wellbeing of our on-campus residents.

The University’s business continuity plan for COVID-19 initially identified two escalating levels of protection: Enhanced and Advanced. These recognise the University’s campuses need to remain open at all times to support students living in University accommodation and we are now in the Advanced Protection phase. We’re now planning for a phased approach to bringing the University back onto our campuses while protecting our community at all times. Read the full plan (.pdf) and Activities and Actions table (.pdf)

Read the latest advice from the UK Government and the NHS:

Limiting the transmission of COVID-19

The government has set out its plan to return life to as near normal as we can, for as many people as we can, as quickly and fairly as possible in order to safeguard livelihoods, but in a way that is safe and continues to protect our NHS.

At this stage of our recovery strategy:

  • You can spend time outdoors, including private gardens and other outdoor spaces, in groups of up to six people from different households, following social distancing guidelines
  • Children in early years (age 0-5), reception, year 1 and year 6 can return to childcare or school in line with the arrangements made by their school
  • You can be tested as part of the test and trace programme
  • Form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children - in other words, you are in a household where there is only one adult
  • Attend a place of worship for individual prayer
  • You will be able to visit more shops and additional outdoor attractions - drive-in cinemas and animal attractions like zoos, farms and safari parks
  • Year 10 and 12 pupils in secondary schools and further education colleges will begin to receive some face to face support.
  • You will have to wear a face covering on public transport

Please read the full government guidance.

General travel guidance

If you are currently abroad

If you’re a UK national who needs emergency help from the UK government, you should contact the nearest British embassy, consulate or high commission. You can also call the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London on 0207 008 1500 for help or advice 24/7.  

There is also advice available if you need financial help or support when abroad.

We appreciate this is a worrying time, and the situation is changing regularly. Please continue to check these pages regularly and email covid19@essex.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Where to get support

We are still here to help you. We’ve moved our support services online and our teams are still working for you so please make contact.

Student support

Our Student Services Hubs for Colchester, Southend and Loughton are operating phone, email and live chat facilities and can provide information on our range of mental health and emotional support services.

Residence Life

Your Residence Life team are continuing to offer remote support and an on-call telephone support service out-of-hours for each area of campus. The team are also organising a programme of virtual events and activities open to all students. 

Library Services

You can still get lots of support and advice from our library team whether you are normally based at our Colchester, Loughton or Colchester campuses. 

There are plenty of online resources available via our library website and the library team is available by phone, LiveChat and email. You can even arrange an online meeting via Skype or Zoom. 

Hardship Fund

We recognise that some students living on campus or in private accommodation may face financial hardship over the coming weeks and months, as opportunities for work alongside your studies reduce.

In recognition of this, we have revised the way our student hardship fund will operate, opening it up to all students experiencing hardship and making it as easy and straightforward to apply for support.

Student Development Team

Student Development are delivering a range of virtual Careers, Academic Skills and Placement advice and support. This term we are offering interactive webinars and virtual drop-ins and appointments bookable via CareerHub.

Supporting your mental health and wellbeing

We know this is a stressful time for many within our community and we’re continuing to provide support for your health and wellbeing. We’re here for you if you are facing challenges during this extended period of having to stay at home. From counselling to self-care advice, find out what help and support we can give you.

Students' Union Advice Service

Book a Zoom appointments via email using the following details:

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and treatment

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus can ask for a free test to check if they have the virus. You can ask for a test:

  • for yourself, if you have coronavirus symptoms now (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • for someone you live with, if they have coronavirus symptoms

If you have been tested for COVID-19 and are a confirmed case please email our Student Wellbeing team at covid-19@essex.ac.uk

Overseas visitors to England, including Tier 4 international students, please be reassured that the NHS has confirmed you will not be charged for seeking treatment for COVID-19:

  • testing for COVID-19 (even if the test shows you do not have COVID-19)
  • treatment for COVID-19 – if you start treatment and a test then shows you do not have COVID-19, you may be charged for any treatment you have after getting the test result

For more information, please see the NHS website.

How NHS test and trace works

If you test positive for COVID-19 or have had close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should take a look at this overview of the NHS test and trace service. You should also make sure you know how to avoid being the victim of any possible scams as a result of the implementation of this system (.pdf)

Your course and learning

All teaching, supervision and academic support is now being delivered online. Details of alternative delivery arrangements are being communicated to students in regular emails from  our Academic Registrar and direct communications from heads of department.

Information for Postgraduate Research students and Research staff

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