COVID-19: Frequently asked questions

As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted across the UK, we remain committed to keeping you, our students, safe.

For the latest advice, please follow the UK government’s COVID-19 guidance.

Get the latest information and advice for current students on COVID-19 and your studies at the University.

Find out more about:

The University is acting on the latest advice from Universities UKPublic Health EnglandUKCISA and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

COVID-19 safety, testing and vaccination

What safety measures are in place on campus?

Our priority is to continue to keep staff and students safe and to minimise any disruption that could come from increased transmission on campus.

We strongly encourage you to wear a face covering when moving around indoors, unless you have a medical exemption. Wearing a face covering may be required in some areas or circumstances as part of local risk assessments.

Sanitiser dispensers will continue to be available at key points around campus. We encourage you to observe good hand hygiene.

We also recommend all staff and students get vaccinated, including boosters. Find out more about vaccination.

How can I register with a GP (doctor)?

GP (General Practitioner) is what we call local or family doctors in the UK. You can register as soon as you know your Manchester address, to get access to a range of medical services.

Find out how to register with a GP.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

You’re no longer legally required to self-isolate following a positive test for COVID-19, but we advise you to stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you feel well enough to resume normal activities and no longer have a high temperature. We recommend you stay at home for at least five days after your symptoms first appear.

If you do need to leave your home, wear a face covering that fits snuggly over your nose and mouth. Keep washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water whenever you can, and use hand sanitizer when this isn’t possible.

Free testing for COVID-19 from the NHS has ended for most people in England. The government has information on eligibility for free COVID-19 tests and the changes to testing.

If you live in University halls of residence, email ResLife or Accommodation at Manchester to let us know about a positive test result. This is so we can ensure that the right support is in place for you. If you need to report a positive result out of hours, please contact your Duty ResLife Advisor.

Follow the NHS for the most up to date advice.

Where can I find support if I'm self-isolating?

We realise that staying at home and avoiding contact with other people may be difficult, frustrating and lonely. You can access a range of services and advice via our Student Support website. Here you’ll find a range of resources, including advice and contact details if you need help in a crisis or an emergency

In halls, your ResLife Team is here to help you. Your Duty ResLife Advisor can also be contacted out of hours.

If you’re worried about how staying at home will affect your teaching and learning, you can contact your School Support team to discuss your concerns.

Follow government guidance for people with COVID-19 and their close contacts for the latest advice.

Do I need to have the COVID-19 vaccine to come to campus?

No, you don't have to be vaccinated to come on campus.

However, we strongly encourage all students (if possible) to have one or both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, along with any boosters.

I’m not sure about whether to have the vaccine – where can I find more information to support my decision making?

If you contract COVID-19 or pass it on, you and others can become seriously ill, experience long-term health effects, or die. Vaccination has proven highly effective in reducing the severity of the illness and will help protect you, your family and those you care for.

Research has shown that vaccines help:

  • reduce your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
  • reduce your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19

For more information on the vaccines available, please go to Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccines.

There is lots of helpful information available on the NHS website that provides up-to-date facts about COVID-19 and vaccinations. You can also talk to your GP.

Below are links to some useful resources:

How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone in the UK aged five and over is eligible to receive the vaccine for free – including EU and international students. If necessary, you can have your vaccine doses at different locations.

If you're registered with a GP in England, you can use the NHS vaccine booking service to book your vaccination appointment (for first, second and booster doses). We advise all our students to register with a local GP.

In addition to the booked appointment options, Manchester City Council has a list of pop-up vaccination sites that you can use.

If you've already had your first dose, you'll receive either the same vaccine or the most similar alternative for your second dose (see page 15 of the government guidance document (PDF, 832KB)).

For your booster, it is likely you’ll be offered a dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine or Moderna vaccine. This means your booster dose may be different from the vaccines you had for your first and second doses.

Which COVID-19 vaccines are recognised in the UK?

According to the government website, the following vaccines are recognised in the UK: Moderna, Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech, Janssen, Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin. Formulations of these vaccines, such as AstraZeneca Covishield, AstraZeneca Vaxzevria and Moderna Takeda, also qualify as approved vaccines.

For most vaccines, you’ll need two doses to be considered fully vaccinated. The Janssen vaccine is a single-dose vaccine.

If you have had a vaccine not approved in the UK, you should contact your GP or attend a vaccination centre to discuss whether you need further vaccination.

Studying and teaching

Are facilities open on campus?

University halls of residence, libraries, study spaces, food outlets, sports facilities and other services on campus are currently open as normal. Some COVID-19 safety guidelines are in place to keep everyone safe – please refer to the first FAQ on this page for further information.

What happens if government guidelines or restrictions change?

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we’ll continue to assess the current situation in relation to COVID-19, review any new UK government guidance and be ready to make any changes to our guidelines if necessary. We’ll keep you updated with any significant changes that may affect you.

Can I study remotely?

Most of our courses can only be studied on campus. If your chosen course does not include a distance learning option, you must be available to attend activities on campus throughout your studies.

We understand that some students may face difficulty travelling from their home country. In these circumstances, we will support students to find an alternative option, but remote study will not be possible.

What support is available for DASS-registered students returning to campus?

If you receive support from our Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) and think this may need to change because you’re moving to on-campus study, please email DASS.

Vaccinations, work placements and clinical settings

I have a placement or research in a clinical setting – do I need to have the COVID-19 vaccine?

Previous guidance regarding mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for courses with a clinical or healthcare placement has been paused in-line with government advice. However, both NHS England and NHS Improvement view getting vaccinated for healthcare staff and students as a professional duty. We therefore continue to recommend all students on these courses take up their COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters.

University halls of residence

What arrangements are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in University halls of residences?

In our accommodation each flat is classed as a household. If you're in accommodation provided in corridors, we have identified households within the accommodation and you'll be provided with information about which kitchen and bathroom facilities are available for your household.

Find out more about our accommodation commitment.

Are all facilities available in University accommodation?

We continue to be guided by the UK government, Department for Education and Public Health England.

If that guidance states that areas must be closed down in response to COVID-19 then such areas will not be available for residents to use. We understand that, if this happens, it may cause disappointment but, for reassurance, we will only take this action if required to do so by the UK or local government.

Support and wellbeing

Is there any financial support available?

If a sudden change of circumstances means you're struggling financially, we encourage you to apply to our Cost of Living Support Fund.

The fund, which can award both small grants and loans, is open to all students, regardless of mode of study or nationality. Further details can be found on the student support webpages or send an email.

EU and international students

Are there any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

As of Friday, 18 March 2022, there are no COVID-19 related restrictions on travelling into England. This is because of the high rate of vaccination within the UK.

However, restrictions may be reintroduced at short notice and it’s important to make yourself aware of the latest rules and requirements before you travel. The latest guidance can be found on the UK government website.

The rules may be different if you’re passing through Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland before travelling into England.

Take time to familiarise yourself with any other requirements based on your circumstances before you travel to England. For example, most students must apply for a student visa before they travel.

Can I access COVID-19 medical treatment?

If you are studying in the UK for longer than six months and you require a visa, during the application process you must pay a mandatory 'immigration health surcharge'. This allows you to access the NHS - you will not be charged any additional fees when you seek medical care, except for some dental services. Find out more about the immigration health surcharge.

Can EU and international students get vaccinated in the UK?

Yes – everybody in the UK aged five or over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. If you live in England but have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations overseas, you can also add these vaccination details to your NHS record. Follow the local government guidance to use this service.