A student’s guide to self-isolation

There may be a time when you need to self-isolate and this guidance has been put together to help you know when and how to isolate, how to inform the University, and the essentials to get you through 10 days isolation.

Following a government update on Monday 16 August, the following individuals will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case:

  • Those aged 18 or under
  • Those who have been: (a) double vaccinated; and (b) who had their second Covid-19 vaccination at least two weeks prior to coming into close contact with the positive case

If you meet these criteria and you are identified as a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case, you will be advised to take a PCR test. You will then be legally required to self-isolate if you test positive for Covid-19. 

If you are not fully vaccinated, you will still need to isolate if you are identified as a close contact. Everyone will still have to isolate if they test positive, to protect themselves and others.

We strongly encourage you to download the NHS Covid-19 app and begin to use it to check into any venue that has a QR code to scan. These will be displayed at food outlets on campus and also at bars, restaurants, hairdressers and other public businesses across the town.

By using the app correctly you’ll be notified if you’ve had contact with a positive case and need to self-isolate to keep others safe.

Self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) on GOV.UK as soon as possible if you have any of these three symptoms of Covid-19, even if they are mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

You should also self-isolate straight away if:

If someone you live with has symptoms of Covid-19, or has tested positive for Covid-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a Covid-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

You must remain at home or in your student accommodation if you’re self-isolating.

  • Do not come on to campus or visit public places
  • Do not use public transport or taxis
  • Do not go out to get food or medicine – you should order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring and leave outside your home
  • Try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family, unless you have people providing essential care (who should be informed you are self-isolating)
  • Do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

If you are self-isolating in student accommodation, you must inform your Accommodation Manager who will be able to discuss your support needs.

It is important that you inform the University if you are self-isolating so we can ensure that appropriate support is in place for your welfare and your studies. Please email our Return to Campus Advisors returntocampus@beds.ac.ukand provide:

  • your full name and student ID number
  • the reason why you are self-isolating
  • when you began self-isolating
  • where you are residing (i.e. family home, student accommodation)

The Return to Campus Advisors can help request for your studies to be delivered online during your self-isolation so you don’t fall behind, discuss mitigating circumstances if you will miss any in-class assessments, and explore any personal or financial support needs you may have.

Your self-isolation essentials...

Be prepared

As the need to self-isolate can happen quickly and unexpectedly, we’d advise you make sure you have some basic supplies in stock, such as long life milk, tinned food and pasta. There’s no need to stockpile but just get what you need to potentially cover a two week period.

It’s a good idea to get yourself into a healthy routine and keep your day structured. Unless you’re feeling unwell, try and get up early and go to bed at a reasonable hour, eat regular meals and log in online to take part in online lectures and online social events if you are able to.

Accessing food and essentials

There are a range of supermarkets that provide a delivery service and some examples are:

There is also the option to have hot food delivered and the following websites will signpost you to takeaway restaurants with a variety of cuisines in your local area:

Access support services

Self-isolation can be pretty challenging and our Support Services are here to help you in any way that we can. As well as the Return to Campus Advisors, you can contact our teams directly on the following emails and you can arrange a telephone appointment if you want to have a chat about support:

returntocampus@beds.ac.uk – dedicated Advisors to support you with a Student Care Plan if you are self-isolating (with symptoms or after testing positive for coronavirus)

student.engagement@beds.ac.uk – complex support needs or coronavirus enquiries

mitigation@beds.ac.uk – extensions to work deadlines

studentmoney@beds.ac.uk – financial difficulties and budgeting advice

mentalhealth@beds.ac.uk – new or on-going mental health support

counselling@beds.ac.uk – access to counselling support

chaplaincy@beds.ac.uk – pastoral and emotional support

careers@beds.ac.uk – support with employment, careers and placements

disability@beds.ac.uk – support with a range of disabilities

More information

For more information about safety on campus and the latest updates from the University, visit the website on: 


University switchboard
During office hours
(Monday-Friday 08:30-17:00)
+44 (0)1234 400 400

Outside office hours
(Campus Watch)
+44 (0)1582 74 39 89



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