Self-isolation guidance for students

Last updated: 1.20pm, 24 November 2020

We understand that you may have questions if you or fellow students need to self-isolate. We have compiled advice below and will update this in line with national and local guidance.

Testing and travel home at the end of term

To support students in getting home during the government's student travel window (3–9 December), we've put in place arrangements for you to access free, rapid testing, starting on Saturday, 28 November.

These tests are designed for people who don't have symptoms and are not close contacts of confirmed cases. If you're already self-isolating due to contact with a confirmed case, you should not leave to get tested until your self-isolation period ends (provided you have not developed symptoms).

General self-isolation advice

What you need to do and how we will help you.

How long do I need to self-isolate for?

If you or someone you live with tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms, you must self-isolate. Please follow the latest NHS guidance for self-isolation

If you have symptoms, then you must self-isolate for ten days. If one of your shared household shows symptoms, then the rest of you will need to self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 days start from when the first person in your household/flat started having symptoms or the day they were tested, if they have not had symptoms.

If that member later receives a negative test, you can stop isolating as long as no-one else in the household has developed symptoms.

If, during these 14 days of self-isolation, another member of the household becomes ill, the isolation period for the rest of the household does not need to be extended. Only the person with new COVID-19 symptoms has to stay at home for at least a further ten days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have COVID-19.

We will support you every step of the way.

If you have symptoms, book a test through the NHS COVID-19 app or via the NHS website. You must put your term time address, not your family home address, when filling in your details.

All students who test positive or who are self-isolating should also notify the University themselves through our eForm. You will not be in any trouble for testing positive or self-isolating, but we need to know that this is happening so we can ensure the right support is available for you, and those around you. We will tell your School if you have submitted a report but if you would like to discuss your teaching and learning circumstances, including mitigating circumstances please speak to them directly.

Once you have filled in the form it will also help to ensure that our support services are available to support you.

If you have any concerns, please email:

Can I leave my accommodation?

If you are required to self-isolate you should not leave your household bubble, unless:

  • it is for a medical emergency;
  • in the event of a fire alarm;
  • to attend a prearranged medical appointment (including for a COVID-19 test);
  • to access the designated outside space for Halls of Residence (for a list of designated spaces, see Can I use the outdoor spaces at my halls while self isolating? under the Your personal wellbeing heading);
  • to remove rubbish/collect deliveries outside your immediate flat/building.

You can go to the main door or your front door if you take measures to keep safe, such as wearing a mask and keeping two metres social distancing.

You should not attend any classes or events in-person, on campus.

You should not have face-to-face contact with anyone outside your 'household'.

Your household will usually be your flat or house or the people you share a kitchen and/or bathroom with in corridor-based halls. If different restrictions are required by Public Health England, we will let you know.

In University Halls we will not prevent you leaving your accommodation and our security and residences teams will not prevent entry or exit to anyone who is a resident of the building in which you live. However, we would strongly urge you to follow steps set out above in order to play your own part in tackling this virus and protecting each other and the teams who work at the University.

Can my family come to collect me or bring supplies?

We will not stop people from picking you up from your accommodation, including our halls of residence. However, you should note that if you are self-isolating you may have come into contact with the virus. 

You could be putting other people at risk by leaving your accommodation with other people or moving to another household. Please continue to speak to your friends and family remotely and we will do everything we can to support you while you are self-isolating.

I have a medical vulnerability. Can I leave my halls or accommodation?

Please seek advice from your own GP before you decide to leave your accommodation. They will be best placed to advise on your particular circumstances.

What should I do to keep myself and my flatmates or housemates safe?

If a member of your household tests positive you and everyone else in that household needs to self-isolate. Continuing to observe the COVID safety measures, including frequent hand washing, maintaining your distance from the person who has tested positive, wiping surfaces with anti-viral wipes and maintaining your own wellbeing by eating healthily and looking after yourself , will all help to keep you safe. 

Please follow all the guidance put in place by the NHS about how to minimise the risks during self-isolation. Some of our students have spoken and written about their experiences of self-isolation and there is information from the NHS about mental health.

We are here to support you.

If you are in University halls of residence, your ResLife team is here to help you and your housemates. Your Duty ResLife Advisor can also be contacted out of hours.

If you have issues with privately rented accommodation, then Manchester Student Homes is here to help.

All self-isolating students can also reach us by email:

Who is allowed to enter my accommodation while I am self-isolating?

Anyone self-isolating is advised to prevent visitors to their property.

Only the people in your household should be in your household (with the exceptions for certain University staff for students in University accommodation). If needed, we can arrange for emergency maintenance to take place for students in University halls.

If you live in privately rented accommodation, it is advisable to keep your landlord or accommodation provider informed of the situation in your household so they are aware in case they have any routine repairs or inspections due. If you have issues with privately rented accommodation or need further advice, then Manchester Student Homes is here to help.

You can also receive deliveries, such as food or medicine but you should practice social distancing for people coming to your door. All students can also receive support from NHS Volunteer Responders.

Supplies and practical help

We will help make sure you have what you need while self-isolating.

How can I get food deliveries to my accommodation?

We understand that this situation has arisen quickly and you may not be stocked up on all of your supplies. You can order food and other essential items for delivery from online retailers such as supermarkets and Amazon Pantry.

However, we have arranged a specific online delivery service through Co-op Food who have made delivery slots available specifically for our students. These are not available to the wider public and guarantee delivery within two hours.

You can access these slots through the free TOTUM app. Delivery is normally priced at 99p but the first few deliveries are free. Watch this short video to learn how to verify the download.

Alternatively, we have been speaking to Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield who have also launched a new app to get 20 items in 60 minutes for a £4.99 fee. The service is available for students living within 3km of the store.

For residents of the Fallowfield campus Fancy is a new delivery service that has recently launched in Manchester. Fancy delivers convenience store items (snacks, drinks, household and more) to your door in under 30 minutes. It offers completely contactless delivery that adheres to COVID-19 guidelines. Download the app on iOS (coming soon to Android) – use discount code OWENSPARK5 for £5 off your first order. 

If you do not have symptoms, then you can go to the main door to receive food deliveries. You must take measures to keep safe: wear a face covering at all times, keep two metres social distancing and wash your hands thoroughly on your return.

If you do have symptoms, then a non-symptomatic friend (even if they are self-isolating) may collect the delivery for you. They should follow the safety measures mentioned above and return directly to the household after the delivery has been received.

If for any reason you still find yourself unable to access food then please contact

I’m in a catered hall. How do I get food?

Once you have notified us that you are self-isolating, the Food in Residences team will ensure that your food is delivered to you instead of being served in the dining room. We would ask that you do not eat others’ food that has been delivered to ensure there is enough for everyone in your household.

On the day you go into self-isolation you will need to let us know by 4pm so that we can arrange delivery that day. If it is after this you can use the Co-op Food appSainsbury’s app or, if you're based on our Fallowfield campus, the Fancy app (Fancy is currently on iOS only but is coming soon to Android. Use discount code OWENSPARK5 for £5 off your first order) to order fast delivery.

If you are expecting food in the dining room and it does not arrive, please also use these apps. Please accept our apologies. You can email and we will investigate.

How do I get prescription medicines delivered?

If you need prescription medicines, you should register for delivery through an online facility. Lloyds Pharmacy offers a free service and you can sign up here: 

I’ve ordered a postal test kit – can you drop it off for me and then collect it to mail back?

Post and parcels will be delivered to you, but unfortunately we are not able to collect outgoing mail, including postal test kits. You are advised to book an in person test if at all possible. There are COVID-19 walk-through testing sites at Denmark Road and Fallowfield that you can use. Alternatively, you will need to arrange with a friend to post the sample back on your behalf.

Can other people bring me supplies?

Yes. Friends and family can bring you supplies, providing these are dropped off without any person-to-person contact.

Am I able to do laundry?

Due to the location and size of the onsite laundry in our halls, we are not unfortunately going to be able to safely allow access. However we are working with Bandbox Laundry who have agreed to pick up and collect laundry. This is available to all students, in halls or privately rented accommodation.

The cost is £2.50 per kg of laundry, with a minimum spend of £15 (£15 covers 6kg of mixed laundry; every additional kg costs an extra £2.50. For example, 7kg of laundry will cost £17.50). This price includes a driver collecting the laundry, clothes to be washed and dried and then returned to you. Prior to the driver arriving to collect the clothes, they will ring five minutes before they arrive so you can leave the laundry outside and then they will notify you when your clothes are on the way back. You can pay card over the phone or leave cash at the door with your clothes. You are allowed outside the door of your building to hand over laundry, provided you are wearing a face covering and maintain social distancing as you do so.

You can arrange for this discounted service by contacting Bandbox directly, either by phone, or email.

Phone: 0161 923 4709

How do I dispose of rubbish?

We will continue to collect waste from halls accommodation. Please refer to the email you should have received detailing the specific arrangements for your hall. In any event, you are welcome to take waste outside the door of your building, provided you are wearing a face covering and maintain social distancing as you do so.

If you live in privately rented accommodation you should dispose of waste as normal.

Personal waste

To dispose of any face coverings or PPE you or members of your household use when self- isolating, you should:

  • double bag them;
  • store them for 72 hours before putting them in a ‘black bag’ waste bin.

Do not put them in a recycling bin.

Remove PPE carefully, and avoid touching the inside of your face covering.

After you remove your PPE or face covering, wash your hands or use hand sanitiser.

How do I report a maintenance issue in University halls?

We will continue to undertake emergency repairs which can be reported in the usual way. Please refer to the email you should have received detailing the specific arrangements for your hall.

How can I collect any post or parcels in University halls?

If you're self-isolating please don't come to receptions to collect your mail.  If you have someone who can do this for you then you will need to contact your reception to let them know the name of the person. Please ensure that you have given this person the location ID of the mail to collect.

Please follow social distancing and wear a face covering in our reception areas.  If you have no-one to collect your mail due to all residents of your household self-isolating, please email and we will arrange to deliver to outside of your household. We don't accept any liability for delivery of items.

Can I go outside in University halls?

We have made a specific outdoor area of halls available to each group. For a list of designated spaces, see Can I use the outdoor spaces at my halls while self isolating? under the Your personal wellbeing heading. If you are already self-isolating you will be sent details of your nearest location.

You can go to the main door if you take measures to keep safe, such as wearing a mask and keeping two metres social distancing.

How do I access IT support?

IT help and support is available by contacting the IT Support Centre

If you need help with internet connectivity in halls of residence, contact the Hornet team.

If you don’t have your own laptop or access to Wi-Fi for your studies, you may be eligible for support. Find out more about our laptop loan and Wi-Fi access schemes on our Welcome website.

Your personal wellbeing

We have a wide range of resources to support you. If you need additional support with your wellbeing which is not covered below then please email and one of our team will be in touch.

What can I do to maintain my wellbeing while self-isolating?

We would encourage you to keep in touch with friends and family online and continue with any existing activities that you can, remotely. You can also find some new networks and events to join online through the Students’ Union and UoMSport.

You can also access 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.

Some of our students have spoken and written about their experiences of self-isolation and there is information from the NHS about mental health

Is there someone to talk to?

We are here to listen to you if you want to talk.

You can access online mental health and wellbeing support 24/7 through Togetherall – an online community monitored by trained clinicians, and a safe space to get things off your chest. You can also request a 1-2-1 appointment with one of our own counsellors via the University’s Counselling Service.

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

More wellbeing information can be found in this summary.

You can also access 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.

The Students’ Union have set up the UMSU Buddy Scheme  to help connect you with other students. As part of the scheme, the SU will pair students with other students who will get in touch for weekly phone or video calls, providing some social contact and the chance to make a new friend. We need as many buddies as possible to match everyone up, so you can also volunteer to be a buddy as well as asking for one.

Where can I book a test? There are no appointments

Public Health England are making more tests available all the time. Their advice is to keep trying to book a test at regular intervals during the day.

Can I use the outdoor spaces at my halls while self-isolating?

You may leave your accommodation for a period each day to take some fresh air/exercise in an outdoor space. You must only use the outdoor space listed for the hall you live in and must not mix with other households – and please wear a face mask and keep two metres social distancing. The outdoor spaces for each hall are:

Wright Robinson Area to the front of Wright Robinson
Weston Area to front of building
George Kenyon Hall Space to front of building – Alan Turing Square
Denmark Road Courtyard
Whitworth Park The Gravel Pit and area nearby
Brook Hall Courtyard
Hulme and Burkhardt

Houldsworth Lawn

Small lawn spaces – outside the chapel, grass outside Christie/Oaklands and space between Plymouth and Houldsworth

Dalton-Ellis Lawn in front of main building
Canterbury Court Kent Road East
Ashburne and Sheavyn Lawn areas
Owens Park Area to rear of Tree Court 
Oak House

Grass to rear of Maple Court

Grass to rear of Beech Court in front of Sycamore Court

Woolton  Lawn spaces 
Richmond Park Lawn to side of amenities
Unsworth Park  Area between blocks 


Your teaching and learning

Our aim is to ensure that no student will be disadvantaged in their learning by needing to self-isolate.

How will self-isolating impact my teaching and learning?

While you are self-isolating you will not be able to attend any in-person, on-campus teaching sessions. Your timetabled on-campus activities will be made available to you remotely wherever possible and your School will be in touch with more information on how to access this.

Where remote learning is not possible for a particular class, your School will advise as to how you may participate in this, perhaps at a future date. If you are unable to study at all for a period then you may be advised to submit an application for mitigating circumstances.

You will also be able to continue to access the Library’s services, online. 

Financial support

The University can provide financial support.

Is there any financial support available?

If you are struggling financially, the Living Cost Support Fund is open all year round, to offer practical support. The fund can award small grants and loans to support you, if you find yourself experiencing unexpected or additional financial worries.

Contact us

Details for enquiries and additional resources.

What other support can I access?

We will absolutely do everything we can to support you during this period. If you have a question about this period of self-isolation, you can contact our dedicated self-isolation team via email:

Please note that information submitted to this email service will be used to provide a response to specific queries. It may be shared with appropriate colleagues in the University who can assist and will only be retained as long as necessary. For further information, read our Privacy Notice for registered students.

Further information: