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Coronavirus Covid-19 Updates

Information and advice following the global coronavirus outbreak

The safety of our staff and students is the number one priority for the University.

The University continues to operate normally. We are monitoring the situation closely and we will continue to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our University community.

We are working with Public Health England who are taking the lead nationally and we are taking direction from them in all aspects of this situation.

All relevant public health information, including regular updates, can be found on the Government's Coronavirus website and on the Student Portal and Staff Intranet. If people have any concerns about their health in relation to suspected coronavirus we ask that they follow current PHE advice and contact NHS 111.

We will continue to provide updates as and when we have them on this page.

Answers to questions you may have are provided below.

Is the University open?

Yes, the University is open and operating as normal.

What action is the University taking?

We have followed all PHE advice and guidance and communicated regularly with our staff and students.

A small group, led by University Executive, and supported by Assistant Director Health, Safety and Sustainability, Head of Student Life and Wellbeing and the Head of Student Progress and Ask4Help, are ensuring coordination of all relevant activities, in liaison with PHE.

The University continues to operate normally. We are providing staff and students with daily updates on the latest guidance from PHE. This includes messaging across all our communication platforms on how to follow good sanitation practices, and we have provided additional hygiene provision at our campuses for students and staff.

We are monitoring the situation closely and we will continue to provide advice and support as it becomes available to our University community.

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

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
  • 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 elsewhere in China

If you have travelled from elsewhere in China (but not Macao or 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
  • 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 contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal or telephone 0191 227 4646.

What is the advice if I am travelling back from Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau?

If you have travelled to the UK from any of the above places in the last 14 days and develop (even mild) 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
  • 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 contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal or telephone 0191 227 4646.

I'm really worried, what do I do?

You should continue as normal going about your usual activities remembering to follow good hygiene practices as advised by Public Health England.

If you have specific health concerns, please contact NHS 111 or Ask4Help via the Student Portal if you have additional concerns.

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

Individuals who have existing conditions should continue to follow their normal precautions in relation to their health. If people have concerns, they should contact their GP or 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.

However, it is a recognised custom for Asian communities to wear face masks to protect themselves and in particular, others from the possibility of infection. It is very important that we recognise and respect this custom.

I am due to travel to the UK to attend my course or work but I am unable. What should I do?

If you are a current student and you are unable to take part in studies please contact us through the Student Portal and we will discuss how you can get the support you need.

If you are a staff member, please contact your Line Manager who will be able to discuss next steps with you.

As a member of staff, can I work remotely?

The University is open and running as normal, so you should continue with your normal planned work activities.

If you have additional concerns, please contact your Line Manager who will be able to discuss next steps with you.

I am due to travel to a country near China for work. What should I do?

We are advising all staff to monitor advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the country you are due to visit and review the assessment of risk for you trip. Further information is available on the Travel Hub Pages of the Staff Intranet.

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

The University is open and running as normal, so we advise students to attend their scheduled activities. Students get the maximum benefit to their studies by continuing to attend and learning and teaching support remains in place and unchanged.

Should I / my son / daughter go home?

The University is open and running as normal, so we advise students to attend their scheduled learning and teaching activities.

If students have additional concerns, they should contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal.

Are any students in quarantine or self-isolating?

We are not able to comment on individual cases. However, following PHE 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 here.

If advised by NHS 111 to self-isolate, students following this advice should contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal or telephone 0191 227 4646.

How many students do you have from China?

We are home to around 400 students from China.

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. If you feel like you have been a victim of abuse you should report the matter to the Security Team here or the Police.

In addition, anyone who witnesses any kind of discriminatory behaviour should report it to the Police or to our Security Team.

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

As a precaution, the University has decided that staff will not be able to travel to mainland China until further notice. If you are due to travel, contact Anne Hudson, Insurance Manager fi.insurance@northumbria.ac.uk or Emrys Pritchard, Assistant Director Health, Safety and Sustainability Emrys.Pritchard@northumbria.ac.uk to discuss your travel plans.

The University also recommends that students do not travel to China, and no course-related travel to China are being approved.  If you have any queries about this, please contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal in the first instance.

I'm worried about my tier-4 visa if I self-isolate or go back to China, who can I ask?

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

It also provides details of the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline: Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls are free of charge). Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk
 

If you have any further concerns about your visa, please contact Ask4Help via the Student Portal.


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