Covid 19-Guide to Staying Safe in Private Rented Student Accommodation
Welcome to Coventry! We hope you settle in well and have started making new friends already. For students coming into private rented accommodation, this maybe an uncertain and unsettling time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
So, to ease this transition and help answer some of the questions you may have the university have pulled together a quick guide to life in shared accommodation, in this day and age of Covid-19 to help you settle in and understand what we all need to do to stay safe and stop the spread of the virus. The guide below details the main things we feel you need to know. There are many resources out there so links to these resources have also been referenced below if you need more detail now or later. Keep this guide to hand as you may need it to come back to. We hope you stay well, stay safe and enjoy your time in Coventry.
you have any symptoms of coronavirus
you're waiting for a coronavirus test result
you've tested positive for coronavirus
you live with someone who has symptoms, is waiting for a test result or has tested positive
you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team to self-isolate, as you have been in close contact with someone who is infected
if you have travelled from a country from which the Government has said you must self-isolate for 14 days
Self-isolating on arrival?
Students arriving in the UK are required to self-isolate on arrival for 14 days, unless travelling from a bridge country. Some flats and shared houses will therefore have a mixture of self isolating students and non-self isolating students. You may need to consider having rotas for the shared areas, and ensure you sanitise all worktops after you have used them.
- Bridge countries - these are countries which the UK Government do NOT require a standard 14 days self-isolation when you travel from them.
- Non-Bridge countries - these are countries which the UK Government DO require a standard 14 days self-isolation when you travel from them.
The term 'bridge' refers to the Government term of 'air bridges'. Please check the UK Government website for the latest list of bridge and non-bridge countries, and whether you will have to self-isolate or not when you arrive. You can find a list of countries on the UK Government website.
Free Meet & Greet Airport Transfer Shuttle
To help make your journey to the UK as easy as possible, FutureLets at Coventry University has arranged free transport from the airport to your accommodation. They are offering this service every day from Saturday 29th August – Saturday 31st October. The service will operate from both Birmingham International Airport and London Heathrow Airport only. To book your place or to find out more, visit our webpage.
What if I am contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team?
If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace/Protect tracing team you will need to self-isolate for 14-days, whether you are displaying any symptoms or not. Please report this in the same way to the University as you would if you felt unwell. See section below.
NHS Test and Trace service ensures anyone who develops symptoms of COVID-19 can be rapidly tested to find out if you have the virus, and helps trace people who were recently in close contact with them.
How to Self-Isolate
do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
do not go on public transport or use taxis
do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
What symptoms am I looking out for?
The main symptoms to look for, should someone become unwell are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Check your symptoms online at the NHS website
What do I do if I feel unwell?
If you or anyone in your flat develops the above symptoms and starts to feel unwell it is important to stay in your room and immediately let the University know by clicking on this link which will take you to the university reporting pages. This will kick start a whole process of monitoring and support that you may need.
If you have a few moments please go in and familiarise yourself with the useful information on these pages so that you know exactly what to do in case of emergency.
We encourage you to register with the University doctor so that you can access this service if needed.
If someone presents with symptoms does everyone else in the household need to self-isolate?
Yes, everyone else in the household must self-isolate for 14 days, following the onset of the first person’s initial symptoms. It is important to stay away from symptomatic individuals/those with a positive result, and follow the staying at home guidance. If you are concerned about your condition then you can get advice by calling 111 or online
What is a Household?
While it is legal for new households to be formed there is no definition by the UK Government as to what currently constitutes a household in terms of student accommodation. We believe where accommodation is provided in the form of flats with shared cooking and bathroom facilities, this will normally be considered a household.
How to minimise the spread of infection
To limit the risk of catching or spreading coronavirus, please adhere to the following. Your support will be very much appreciated and could essentially save lives:
stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with
wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available and wash your hands as soon as you get home
covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
putting used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
What support will be available in accommodation?
When you notify the University that you feel unwell, they will guide you through what you need to do and where this support will be available from. This may involve getting a Covid test, starting the track and trace service that will identify who you have been in contact with. They will introduce you to online activities that you can get involved in remotely to keep active and busy to help you through this self isolation period of 10 – 14 days. University staff will attempt to contact you as soon as possible, so please ensure that your mobile is switched on and your contact number is always up-to-date on SOLAR. We have compiled a list of grocery and food delivery services below to help you while you self-isolate. How can I get tested for the Virus? You can book a test off campus or dial 119. You will either be able to book a drive through test or order a home testing kit.
How can I get tested for the Virus?
You can book a test off campus or dial 119. You will either be able to book a drive through test or order a home testing kit.
Test Results Negative result: If the test comes back negative, the first symptomatic person can stop self-isolating (as long as they are well and have not had a high temperature for at least 48 hours), as can the remainder of the household.
Positive result: If the test is positive, you will be required to continue to self-isolate for a minimum of 10 days, or, if symptoms persist - until well and until you have not had a high temperature for at least 48 hours. If the test is positive, you will be requested to share your close contacts with the NHS Test and trace service. If any close contact of a positive case becomes symptomatic, they should isolate and order a test and either:
- Isolate for 10 days (following a positive test result)
- Isolate for 14 days (following a negative test result, because they are a close contact of a confirmed case)
Inconclusive test result: If the test is void, borderline or inconclusive, please book another test as soon as possible, within 5 days from the initial onset of symptoms.
If you have not been able to book a test in time, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must self-isolate for 14 days.
If you had a test but have not had any symptoms, you do not need to self-isolate while you wait to get another test. People you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, do not need to self-isolate.
We understand you will want to catch up with friends you have not seen in a while and social interaction is critical for a good student experience, however we would ask that you do this cautiously to prevent the spread of the virus, adhering to the Government guidance around social distancing, face coverings and hand washing. We would advise:
- Restricting gatherings indoors or outdoors to no more than two households and a maximum of 6 people. Please consult all your flatmates as what one person may be comfortable with, another may not so please be considerate of everyone in your flat/house.
- If you have a gathering of six people, indoors or outdoors, and some of these people are from another household, please practice strict social distancing.
- You can meet up to 6 people outside from different households (whilst maintaining 2m social distance).
- Drink responsibly. We know after consuming alcohol, people become more relaxed and lose inhibitions. We ask that you avoid social situations where this could happen, in order to be able to maintain a safe social distance.
- If you do visit a licensed premise, please book ahead to ensure you can be seated, practice social distancing when queuing, use the hand sanitiser provided and ensure you give your contact details to the venue, to ensure you can be contacted through NHS Test and Trace.
- If you use public transport, following a visit to a licensed premise, please ensure you carry and use a face covering. These are now mandatory for use on public transport and are crucial for preventing the spread of the virus.
- Prioritise washing your hands with soap and water, for 20 seconds, when you return to your room.
To prevent the spread of the virus it is imperative that all students take responsibility and maintain a clean environment especially after using kitchens and bathrooms.
During this period, it will be difficult for your landlord to carry out maintenance issues in your accommodation. There may be times when only essential maintenance is carried out to minimise contact between your landlord and residents in the property. It may be a good idea to speak to your landlord in advance and ask what they will do if there are any maintenance issues that need to be fixed, and how they will manage repairs while maintaining social distancing and good hygiene practice.
Waste removal for self-isolating students
You will need to ensure that your waste is bagged up and sealed securely and then another bag used to bag this (double bagged) if you are self-isolating. This is to ensure that anyone who handles the rubbish is not put at risk of catching the virus.
It’s a good idea to speak to your landlord/agent before you move in, to ask about what provisions they are putting in place within your accommodation, e.g. posters, hand sanitising gel. Check with them how they want to manage your key collection for the accommodation – they may want you to wear specific items such as masks or disposable gloves, and arrange to meet you somewhere where social distancing can be maintained.
Mental Health, Wellbeing Support
The global situation and lockdown have had a huge impact on mental health and wellbeing. The University has a Health and Wellbeing team who is there to support you . They have a student portal page Here to access all the services the provide. Students can also download a Health and Wellbeing app for free to support them from the ITunes app store for iPhone and iPad or the Google Play store for Android The ResLife team will also be holding virtual events via their Instagram account – follow them here: @reslife_covuni
Other Government Advice and webpages that you may find useful
Useful contact details
|Protection Services – on campus emergencies only
||Protection Services – on campus emergencies only
|Student Engagement Centre
||024 7765 6565
|Health & Wellbeing Team
||024 7765 8029
|Health & Safety Team
|University Medial Centre (Coventry)
||024 7659 2012