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FAQs for parents and supporters

FAQs for parents and supporters

The announcement stated that the Government will not be closing schools and colleges or universities. It also stated that students living at university must not move back and forward between any permanent home and term time address.

We are opening the asymptomatic Covid-19 testing facility on our Egham campus from Monday 30 November, to help students to return home as safely as possible during the Government’s designated ‘student travel window’, which runs from Thursday 3 December to Wednesday 9 December.

Your students are encouraged to take the lateral flow test before returning home for Christmas. Taking the tests will mean that they’re playing their part in helping to keep others safe and they will be able to be more confident that they’re not taking the virus home, or unknowingly infecting others over the holiday period.

During the week commencing 23 November, we will publish a link so that your student can book a lateral flow test and testing will begin on 1 December. The testing centre will be on the Egham campus. The University of London is organising a centre which you can also use if your students’ course is taught in London.

We have a tight schedule to give everyone the opportunity to get the two tests, travel within 24 hours of two negative lateral flow tests and begin and complete the journey during the Government’s designated ‘student travel window’, which runs from Thursday 3 December to Wednesday 9 December.

To give as many students as possible the opportunity to take the test, it will be necessary for your student to allocate slots for both their tests and travel window. We understand this will be frustrating for them. Our hope is that everyone who can work within the necessary constraints will make every effort to do so. This will create flexibility for others, but we understand that the approach won’t work for everyone, and your student will need to make a decision about what is best for their circumstances.

We are planning the January return and will be communicating the arrangements directly with students before the end of November. As far as we are aware, there are currently no plans to require your student to be tested to return to campus in January.

We are in touch with students who are in self-isolation and we have a response plan in place to make sure all our students stay safe and well.

This involves staff from across the university – some on campus, others working remotely so that our students can always get the help they need and a response to any questions.

They have been provided with a full list of services and information as to how thing will work while in self-isolation. 

Our Wellbeing team is leading the support, which on campus includes our Catering and Residences teams, Hall Life team and Students Union (SU).

The Wellbeing Team and Students’ Union are also supporting students living locally in private accommodation.

Unfortunately, self-isolating means that students have to stay in their household and no one is allowed to enter it, including family, friends or other visitors.

If you are able to travel and want to deliver some things they need, let us know by contacting and we will help facilitate this when you arrive.

In accordance with government advice they have to self-isolate in their household because they (or a housemate) has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive. This does mean staying in their household and not leaving it.

Our Wellbeing team is in touch with them and coordinating all their needs from ensuring they have enough food / are able to access shopping, suggestions for practical things like prescriptions and laundry, to making sure they can access online events and learning resources.

Keeping in touch and reassuring them by phone or online will help a lot.

We are arranging ‘keeping in touch’ appointments– these will be a mix of calls from our Wellbeing Team, Halls Life team and the SU.

If the test comes back negative, everyone in the flat/house is free to move about again in accordance with government guidance.

If they test positive, all members of their household need to continue with their self-isolation for 14 days.

All of our learning is available online so they will not fall behind. Their departments are ready for this situation and will discuss any specific learning questions with them. We are alerting departments when one of their students is self-isolating so they can provide support during and after.

All teaching will move online from Wednesday 9 December until the end of term on Friday 11 December.

We understand this is a stressful time; any concerns you have please do contact us at

Students are required to form a household and remain in that household. Commuting to university for education and study is permissible during lockdown. Students displaying symptoms should not commute.

If you have been unable to reach them you can phone our security team who will be able to check when the student lives on campus; if they live in the community, colleagues will be alerted and get back in touch with you.

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