Advice for students living in University halls

Find the latest advice and guidance for students living in University managed accommodation (also known as halls or Halls of Residence).

We're answering your questions on:

General self-isolation advice

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

I've tested positive for COVID-19 – do I need to self-isolate?

If you test positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for ten days.

If you have symptoms, you’ll need to arrange to have a PCR test. Please follow the latest NHS guidance for self-isolation and also notify the University by following the guidance in the How do I notify the University that I am self-isolating? section below.

Students who are returning to campus but who are currently self-isolating at an address which is different to their term-time address, must complete their self-isolation period before travelling back to their term-time address.

A close contact has tested positive – do I need to self-isolate?

If you're identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case you aren't legally required to self-isolate if you've been double vaccinated, or are under 18, as long as you received your final dose of an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme at least 14 days prior to contact with the positive case and you’re not displaying any symptoms.

Instead you’re advised to take one PCR test as soon as possible to check if you have the virus. You can order a PCR home test kit or book an appointment at a walk-in or drive-through test site. You’re not required to self-isolate while you wait for the results of the PCR test however you're encouraged to consider other precautions such as wearing a face-covering in enclosed spaces and limiting contact with other people, especially with anyone who is clinically vulnerable.

If your PCR test comes back positive, you'll need to self-isolate for ten days, irrespective of your vaccination status or age.

If a close contact tests positive and you haven’t been double vaccinated, you'll need to self-isolate for the full ten days.

How do I notify the University that I am self-isolating?

All students who test positive or who are self-isolating should notify the University themselves through our eForm.

You won't 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'll 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 contact your School Support Team directly.

Once you've filled in the eForm it will also help to ensure that our support services are available to help you.

Can I leave my accommodation?

If you're required to self-isolate you shouldn't leave your accommodation unless:

  • it is for a medical emergency;
  • in the event of a fire alarm;
  • to attend a pre-arranged medical appointment (including for a COVID-19 test);
  • to remove rubbish/collect deliveries outside your immediate flat/building;
  • 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);

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 shouldn't attend any classes or events in-person, on campus.

You shouldn't have face-to-face contact with anyone outside your 'household'. Your household will usually be your flat or the people you share a kitchen and/or bathroom with in corridor-based accommodation. If different restrictions are required by Public Health England, we'll let you know.

In University Halls of Residence we won't prevent you leaving your accommodation and our security and residences teams won't 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 won't stop people from picking you up from your University accommodation. However, you should note that if you're self-isolating 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'll do everything we can to support you while you're self-isolating.

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

If a member of your household tests positive or is self-isolating, continue to observe the COVID-19 safety measures including: frequent hand washing; maintaining your distance from the person who is self-isolating; wiping surfaces with anti-viral wipes; and maintaining your own wellbeing by eating healthily and looking after yourself.

Please follow all the guidance put in place by the NHS about how to minimise the risks during self-isolation. 

Remember that we're here to support you. In University accommodation, your ResLife Team is here to help you and your housemates, and your Duty ResLife Advisor can also be contacted out of hours.

I have a medical vulnerability. Can I leave my 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.

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 of Residence.

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'll help make sure you have what you need while self-isolating.

How can I get food deliveries to my accommodation?

We understand that the need to self-isolate can change your situation quickly. You can order food and other essential items for delivery from:

Online retailers

  • Amazon Pantry – (you'll need an Amazon Prime account to access).
  • Deliveroo – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address.
  • Uber Eats  accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address and PayPal.
  • Just Eat – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address.
  • Fancy – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address. Fancy delivers convenience store items (snacks, drinks, household and more) to your door in under 30 minutes. First time customers can access a discount code MANCHESTER50 giving 50% off up to a maximum basket of £50. There are certain postcode restrictions so you can check they deliver to your postcode on the app. 


  • Co-op  we've arranged a specific online delivery service through Co-op Food who have made delivery slots available specifically for our students. These aren't 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.
  • Sainsbury's – accepts all major credit cards and UK debit cards or alternatively, we've been speaking to Sainsbury’s in Fallowfield who have also launched an 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.
  • Iceland – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address.
  • Asda – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address and PayPal.
  • Tesco – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address and PayPal.
  • Morrisons – accepts all major credit cards, UK debit cards and PayPal.
  • Ocado – accepts all major credit cards, UK debit cards and PayPal.
  • Waitrose – accepts credit and debit cards connected to a UK address and Apple pay. 

Please plan ahead and book your delivery a few days in advance if you're able.

If you don't 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.

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

Once you've notified us that you're 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 don't 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'll need to let us know by 4pm so that we can arrange delivery that day. If it is after this please see the previous section for various online retailers and supermarkets that you can use.

If you're expecting food from the dining room and it doesn't arrive, please accept our apologies and use the above apps. You can also email and we'll 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 that you can sign up for.

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?

If you're self-isolating you won't be able to use the onsite laundry in our halls. It is possible for you to ask a friend or housemate to help, as long as they've been double vaccinated and aren't self-isolating. We're working with Bandbox Laundry who are able to provide a collection and next day delivery service, Monday to Friday. 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). If you require a separate light and dark wash the cost is £25 for up to 10kg of laundry. These prices include a driver collecting the laundry, clothes to be washed, tumble-dried, and then returned to you. Please make sure all your laundry is suitable to be tumble-dried and if you require separate light and dark washes please make sure you have separated out the laundry.

If you have any items for dry cleaning these need to be in a separate bag and will be charged according to Bandbox’s dry cleaning prices.

The driver collecting the clothes will ring five minutes before they arrive so you can leave the laundry outside and then they'll notify you when your clothes are on the way back. Please notify Bandbox at the time of booking that you're self-isolating so they can ensure they take appropriate measures.

You can pay by card over the phone or leave cash at the door with your clothes. You're allowed outside the door of your building to hand over laundry, provided you wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.

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

How do I dispose of rubbish?

We'll continue to collect waste from University accommodation. In any event, you're welcome to take waste outside the door of your building, provided you wear a face covering and maintain social distancing.

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 and then store them for 72 hours before putting them in a ‘black bag’ waste bin. Don't 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'll continue to undertake emergency repairs which can be reported in the usual way. For further information about how to report a maintenance issue, visit our accommodation maintenance page.

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

During the pandemic we'e committed to ensuring reception services stay open. However, we'll be limiting numbers allowed into areas to help protect our teams on site.

If you're self-isolating you can arrange for a friend or housemate who is not self-isolating to pick up any post or parcels from your halls reception for you. Please contact us beforehand to confirm who will be picking up your mail and that you're happy for them to do so.

Can I go outside in University halls?

We've 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 University halls while self isolating? under the Your personal wellbeing heading. If you're already self-isolating you'll 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've a wide range of resources to support you. If you need additional support with your wellbeing which isn't 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'd 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 (SU) and UoMSport.

You can chat live with a wellbeing advisor, 11am to 12pm, Monday to Friday. This service is also checked for messages throughout the working week. Find out more in our wellbeing summary (PDF, 36KB).

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

There is also information from the NHS about mental wellbeing during self-isolation. 

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.

Is there someone to talk to?

We're here to listen to you if you want to talk.

You can call our 24-hour mental health helpline whenever and wherever you need it. The 24-hour mental health helpline and wellbeing app is provided by an independent external provider, Health Assured, and offers access to mental health support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help whenever you need it. It’s anonymous, non-judgmental and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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.

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.

Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

If you're feeling suicidal or very low and need to talk to someone urgently, you can ring any of the following out-of-hours services:

  • Greater Manchester Mental Health 24/7 Helpline – 0800 953 0285 (freephone) 
  • The Samaritans – 116 123 (freephone) or +44 (0)161 236 8000 (charged at local rate)
  • Papyrus – 0800 068 4141

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

You may leave your hall 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. Please wear a face mask and keep two metres social distancing.

The outdoor spaces for each hall are:

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
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 
Uttley House Hall gardens

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're self-isolating you won't 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 these.

Where remote learning isn't possible for a particular class, your School will advise as to how you may participate in this, perhaps at a future date. If you'e 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?

Living Cost Support Fund

If you're struggling financially as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the Living Cost Support Fund is open all year round to provide practical support. The fund can award small grants and loans to support you if you find yourself experiencing unexpected or additional financial worries. 

Postgraduate research (PGR) COVID-19 Expense Fund

This fund is available to all PGRs who have personally incurred unexpected research programme-related costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic (since March 2020). PGRs will be able to make one application to the expense fund per academic year. Awards will be capped at a maximum of £500 except in the case of required hotel quarantine costs, which will be covered in full (where approved).

For full details on what you can apply for, and how to make an application, please see the guidance document (PDF, 539KB). Any questions can be directed to   

Postgraduate research (PGR) COVID-19 Hardship Fund

This fund is available to PGRs facing real and demonstrable financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (which can be defined as where your essential outgoings are greater than your income). PGRs applying to this fund could be eligible for a non-repayable award of up to £2,000. Awards are granted on a case-by-case basis after consideration of each application.

For full details on eligibility and the application process please refer to the PGR COVID-19 Hardship Fund guidance document (PDF, 432KB). Any question can be directed to your local PGR Support team.

Contact us

Details for enquiries and additional resources.

What other support can I access?

We'll do everything we can to support you. If you have a question about 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, you can read our Privacy Notice for registered students.

Further information: