Advice for students living outside of University halls

Find the latest advice and guidance for students living outside University managed accommodation (also known as private accommodation).

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 prearranged medical appointment (including for a COVID-19 test);
  • 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 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 house 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.

Can my family come to collect me or bring supplies?

We won't stop people from picking you up from your 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. 

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 accommodation. It is advisable to keep your landlord or accommodation provider informed of the situation in your household so they're aware in case they have any routine repairs or inspections due. If you've 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.

What do I do if I was about to move from my privately rented accommodation?

Individuals who are self-isolating are permitted to break self-isolation to fulfil a legal obligation or to change their place of self-isolation if it is no longer practical to stay where they are.

If you're in a crisis, Manchester Student Homes are here to support you. You can contact them by calling +44 (0)161 275 7680, or email

Can a landlord evict a tenant at the end of their contract if they're self-isolating?

If the tenant has an Assured Shorthold Tenancy, the landlord must serve notice to end the tenancy and then go through the courts to evict tenants. Someone who is self-isolating can’t be forced to move as this would require bailiff action and bailiffs aren't carrying out evictions where people have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating.

If your landlord is threatening to illegally evict you then you should get in touch with and they'll provide you with additional support.

What safety measures do I need to take to ensure safe travel when moving property?

Public Health England advise that people should travel in a way which minimises contact with others, such as driving in separate cars. Try to limit the number of people helping you to move property and minimise contact with others where possible.

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.

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 not able to safely use the laundry facilities within your accommodation we're working with Bandbox Laundry who are able to provide a collection and next day delivery service, Monday to Friday.

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 access IT support?

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

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.

You can 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 are 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

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: