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Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice


Last updated: Thursday 27 February, 14:50

Public Health England (PHE), which has responsibility in England for safeguarding public health, has assessed the current risk to the UK population as moderate. 

15 patients in England have tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). If more cases are confirmed in the UK, it will be announced as soon as possible by the Chief Medical Officer of the affected country.

PHE is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other international partners and is keeping the situation under constant review.

The university takes the health of students and colleagues very seriously. We are carefully monitoring the situation and will issue further advice and guidance as it becomes available.

In the meantime, students and colleagues are encouraged to continue their university business as normal.

Infections such as colds and influenza are very common in the UK at this time of year. If you develop viral symptoms, you should manage these as you usually would. We will update this advice should the situation change significantly. 

Returning travellers

Call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if you’ve travelled to the UK from:

Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms.
Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy or special care zones in South Korea since 19 February, even if you do not have symptoms.
Other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild).
Other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild).

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. In Northern Ireland call 0300 200 7885.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Lockdown areas in northern Italy:

in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano.
in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo.

Special care zones in South Korea:

Daegu.
Cheongdo.

See maps of the specified areas.

This guidance is based on the recommendations of the UK Chief Medical officers. These areas have been identified because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. This list will be kept under review.

Please check the UK Government website for further information and advice.

Advice for travellers to and from mainland China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) latest travel advice is that all Britons in China should leave the country, if they can, to minimise the risk of exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The FCO advise against all travel to Hubei Province and all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). 

Advice for travellers

British people travelling and living overseas following the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) should check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel advice.


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Coronavirus (COVID-19) FAQs

Plus Icon What is the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. The coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of Coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

Plus Icon What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. Generally, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. More advice is available on the NHS Choices website regarding symptoms.

Plus Icon What is the university doing about coronavirus (COVID-19)?

The university is following advice from Public Health England. We have taken steps to contact our students and staff to ensure that everyone has access to the latest advice. 

 

Plus Icon Has the coronavirus (COVID-19) reached the UK?

As of 27 February, a total of 7,690 people have been tested, of which 7,675 were confirmed negative and 15 positive. Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate.

The risk to individuals remains low.

Plus Icon What should I do if I have returned from Wuhan or Hubei province?

If you have visited Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days, you should stay indoors and avoid contact with others. Call NHS 111 informing them of your recent travel to the region. Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Plus Icon What should I do if I have returned to the UK from China or other specified areas?

Call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people immediately if you’ve travelled to the UK from:

Hubei province in China in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms.
Iran, lockdown areas in northern Italy or special care zones in South Korea since 19 February, even if you do not have symptoms.
Other parts of mainland China or South Korea, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild).
Other parts of northern Italy (anywhere north of Pisa, Florence and Rimini), Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam since 19 February and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if your symptoms are mild).

In Scotland call your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. In Northern Ireland call 0300 200 7885.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Lockdown areas in northern Italy:

in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano
in Veneto: Vo’ Euganeo

Special care zones in South Korea:

Daegu
Cheongdo

See maps of the specified areas.

Plus Icon Do I need to take additional precautions?

At this time of year, viral respiratory infections such as colds and influenza are very common within the UK. 

The advice from Public Health England is that the risk of infection is low so extra protective measures such as masks are not necessary. There are simple ways you can protect yourself from infection and important hygiene practices you can follow to stem the spread of viruses.

  • Carry tissues and use them to catch coughs and sneezes, and bin the tissue
  • Wash hands with soap and water, or use sanitiser gel, to kill germs

If colleagues or students develop viral symptoms they should manage these as they usually would unless you have visited one of the countries mentioned in the question above.

Plus Icon Advice for colleagues and students considering travel to China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China. If you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. Check the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Plus Icon Is my immigration status affected by the coronavius (COVID-19) update?

The government published new guidance on 17 February on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China.

The guidance says: “Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control.

“Subject to the below guidance, most people in the UK whose immigration status is affected by the coronavirus outbreak will get an automatic extension of their visa until 31 March 2020.”

More detail is included on the GOV.UK website on visa-related issues including:

  • Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa has recently expired or is about to expire
  • Non-Chinese, non-EEA nationals in the UK normally resident in China
  • Licensed Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 sponsors: absences due to coronavirus
The page also provides details of the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline. Telephone: 0800 678 1767 Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:00. Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk
Plus Icon How do I keep updated about the latest university information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Please check this page regularly to keep informed of the latest advice from the university. Refer to GOV.UK/coronavirus for the latest information on the Coronavirus. 
Plus Icon Who is Public Health England (PHE)?

Public Health England is the official organisation that provides the government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with professional and scientific expertise and support on public health related issues. They are the agency that has been tasked with leading investigation into the coronavirus outbreak.

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