Coronavirus

Information for students and staff - updated 18 February 2020 at 12:30pm

Based on the World Health Organisation’s declaration on 31st January 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. Advanced monitoring is now in place at airports with direct flights from China.

General public health advice for students and staff

The advice from Public Health England (PHE) is to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene by following the guidance below:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose and then immediately wash your hands

PHE do not advise the use of face masks.

Advice for students and staff travelling to the UK from Wuhan and Hubei province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you must immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu for 14 days after returning
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area.

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus. If you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough, you should continue to follow the advice above. Please do not leave your home until you been given advice by a clinician.

Advice for students and staff travelling to the UK from other parts of China and other specified areas 

This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:

  • China
  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Hong Kong
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia
  • Macau

If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu for 14 days after returning

  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office now recommends that British Nationals who are able to leave China should do so. Commercial airline options for departing China remain available throughout the country, except in Hubei Province. However, some airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic, have suspended flights to and from China, or revised their schedules. 

Students and staff due to travel to Hubei province and the rest of mainland China

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is advising against all travel to Hubei Province, and against all non-essential travel to China more generally (not including Hong Kong and Macao). Staff and students should therefore not travel to Hubei province or other regions of mainland China.

On 17th February the Government published new guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China. Details are available on the Government website.

Students and staff needing support

The University will ensure that any issues that arise if students or staff are not able to return to the University following a visit to the Hubei province, other parts of China and the other areas specified above are managed and supported. Please notify your academic school as soon as possible if this is the case so the necessary arrangements, including personalised learning plans, can be put in place.

The University is a truly international community and we know some students and staff will be very concerned about the situation in the Hubei province, especially those who have family there. If you would like further support students can email studentservices@lboro.ac.uk and staff can contact notifications@lboro.ac.uk.

Frequently asked questions

Is the University open?

Yes, both the University campuses are open and operating as normal.

What action is the University taking?

We are following all Public Health England advice and guidance and are communicating regularly with our staff and students. We are working closely with NHS services and Public Health England who are taking the lead in responding to the case and we will take direction from them in all aspects of this situation.

A small group, led by the University’s Chief Operating Officer and other senior colleagues, including representation from Loughborough University London, is meeting daily to ensure coordination of all relevant activities and liaison with Public Health England.

The University continues to operate normally. We are monitoring the situation closely and we continue to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community. Additional hand sanitiser facilities have been put in place across the University.

What is the advice if I am travelling back from China or other countries?

Travellers from Wuhan and Hubei Province

If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu for 14 days after returning
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area.

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.

Travellers from other parts of China

If you have travelled from elsewhere in China (including Macao and Hong Kong) to the UK in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu for 14 days after returning
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

Travellers from other specified areas

If you have returned to the UK from any of the following areas in the last 14 days 

  • Thailand
  • Japan
  • Republic of Korea
  • Taiwan
  • Singapore
  • Malaysia

and you develop symptoms of cough or fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu for 14 days after returning
  • call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country. 

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are minor.

Any students following this self-isolation advice should also email studentservices@lboro.ac.uk (if you are at the Loughborough campus) or london-enquiries@lboro.ac.uk (if you are a London student), so that appropriate support measures, including personalised learning plans, can be put in place.

I have an underlying health condition - what should I do?

Individuals who have an existing Long Term Condition and are concerned about coronavirus should continue to take their normal precautions and may wish to contact their GP. If people with Long Term Conditions have concerns that they may have the coronavirus, they should telephone NHS 111.

Should I wear a face mask?

The advice we have is that the risk of infection is low so extra protective measures are not necessary, and it is debatable whether masks will be effective in this situation.

However, it is a recognised custom for some communities to wear face masks to protect themselves and others from the possibility of infection. It is very important that we recognise and respect this custom. We would encourage all members of our community to be inclusive and supportive of what is a personal choice.

As a member of staff, can I work remotely?

This should not be necessary due to the advice from Public Health England that there is a low risk of further infection. However, if there are circumstances that might require you to work remotely these should be discussed with your line manager in the first instance.

As a student, can I engage with my studies remotely?

This should not be necessary due to the advice from Public Health England that there is a low risk of further infection.

The University is open and running as normal, so we advise students to attend their scheduled activities. Lecture capture will take place as usual, but, also as usual, other learning activities like seminars and labs will not be recorded. In all cases students get the maximum benefit by continuing to attend. We do not envisage changing any assessment criteria. 

Are any students in quarantine or self-isolating?

We are not able to comment on individual cases. However, following Public Health England advice anybody in the UK who has returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province in the last 14 days is asked to self-isolate. More info can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

If advised by NHS 111 to self-isolate, please contact studentservices@lboro.ac.uk. London students should london-enquiries@lboro.ac.uk to inform staff of your actions and to seek further practical advice.

I am an international student and I am being threatened and abused. What should I do?

We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously. You can report the matter to the University via the Security team in Loughborough, at main reception in Loughborough University London or the Police. If you feel in immediate danger you should dial 999 and ask for the Police.

I’m due to travel to China, what should I do?

As always, we are following the advice provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office when we monitor any student or staff travel to any nation. The current advice – to which we are adhering - is to avoid all travel to Hubei Province, and to avoid all but essential travel to mainland China for the foreseeable future.

On 17th February the Government published new guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China. Details are available on the Government website.

I’m worried about my Tier-4 visa if I self-isolate or go back to China – who can I ask?

If you have any concerns about your visa please contact studentservices@lboro.ac.uk. Or for London students email london-enquiries@lboro.ac.uk

On 17th February the Government published new guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China. Details are available on the Government website.