What is the university doing to keep my accommodation safe?
We’re putting in place a number of measures to help keep you safe while staying in our accommodation – but these measures only work effectively with your support and co-operation throughout.
Among the measures in place are:
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of ‘high touch’ areas (e.g. entrance doors, lifts, light switches and stair bannisters) and in communal areas
- All halls of residence will have a fixed hand sanitiser station at key locations
- Restrictions on visits from friends and family, in line with government guidelines - during any lockdown situation visits of any kind and mixing of households, will not be permitted.
- Staggered arrivals at the start of term to ensure social distancing
- Booking system to collect keys to prevent everyone arriving at once
- Ensuring all visitors (including contractors) wear a face covering. During any lockdown situation, visits will not be permitted - although contractors may be required to visit if there is an emergency maintenance issue.
- Weekly health and safety checks in each flat and house (unless that household is self-isolating).
Is there anything I will need to do?
As well as the measures the University is taking to enhance your health and safety in our accommodation, we’ll also be asking you:
- To avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you don’t live with or who is not in your household and to wear face coverings if you choose to mix with another household
- Stick to government guidance regarding social gatherings
- To maintain personal hygiene requirements as advised by government
- To clean down frequently touched surfaces after you’ve used them and not to share cutlery or crockery
- To carry your own personal alcohol-based hand sanitiser
- Not to have overnight visitors*
- Not to request a room move*
- Only use the lift one at a time
*to be reviewed after the first term.
Please make yourself aware of national and local restrictions via the Government website.
What happens if I have to self-isolate in my halls?
We have long-established support services and lots of experience of monitoring the wellbeing of our students both on and off-campus. If we find ourselves in a position where a student is having to self-isolate in our accommodation, or in private accommodation, we will contact them frequently to check whether they are ok or need further support. Do get in touch with our accommodation team if you need any support.
What happens if there’s an outbreak of COVID-19 in halls accommodation?
Our accommodation team has put together a plan of action, in the event of cases within halls.
- If anyone in your halls develops symptoms you will have to self-isolate in line with government guidance.
- We will provide students with support to access essential supplies.
- Avoid contact with your household as much as possible but if anyone in your household starts displaying symptoms, they must self-isolate, as set out in government guidance.
- Any resident who develops symptoms will be asked to apply for a test. If you don’t have access to the internet, call NHS 119.
- In the event of a positive test you should share your contacts with Test and Trace.
- No cleaners will enter the flat/house during the self-isolation period to avoid cross contamination with other flats, and maintenance will only attend in emergency situations.
- Residents must still evacuate if there is a fire alarm activation. They will be asked to muster at a separate point to the rest of the building and to take care not to touch bannisters as they leave the building.
Do I need to pay rent if I’m not able to stay in my UCA accommodation?
In recognition of the disruption you have faced, students living in university accommodation who have not been able to return since the national lockdown began on 5 January, will not pay any rent until the end of the current restrictions (due to end in mid-February).
This means rent charges will be waived during this current lockdown period for students who have not returned to their university term-time accommodation.
Can I get an extension on my accommodation to make the most of the extension of campus access?
We will extend the contracts of all of our undergraduate students in UCA accommodation who wish to make use of the four-week extension to campus access by a further four weeks, at no cost.
We will also provide support to undergraduate students in private rented accommodation who wish to make use of the four-week extension to campus access, but whose contracts end prior to mid-July. The process for accessing this support will be shared with you shortly.