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LIVING IN UNIVERSITY ACCOMMODATION

This page was last updated on 20 January 2021

Students living in University accommodation have a critical role to play in avoiding the spread of COVID-19. Current local guidelines state that you should not be mixing or socialising with people outside of your household.

How will you support students living in halls during a lockdown?

We have been working closely with Public Health England throughout and we will take appropriate steps quickly to protect students and their student experience.  

Support will be provided to students. Visit the Help and Support section on the Student Portal which has practical advice available 24/7. From there you can raise a query with Ask4Help. 

Kooth Student is also on offer to you if you are in need of emotional wellbeing and mental health support too. You can use your Northumbria log-in details to get access to this at anytime.  

If you are in need of urgent wellbeing help that cannot wait please visit the Need Help Now page for details for support available to you. You should also download the SafeZone app, which connects you directly to our Security Team. 

Please see ‘why has teaching moved online and how long for?’ for more information on teaching.   

What is considered to be a household in university accommodation?

A household within our student accommodation can be two variants according to a building’s shape and living facilities within it. 

  • For those buildings with cluster flats e.g with en-suite rooms, a household will commonly be made up of between 4 and 8 residents who have a joint shared kitchen facility.  
  • In our more traditional halls of residence, a household constitutes those living on each floor who have shared washing and kitchen facility. This may be up to 12 people. 

Can I socialise with other people living in the same accommodation block?

You must follow the current local guidance set out by the Government. You can check the latest advice for your area using the postcode checker on the gov.uk website.

I am self-isolating in university or private accommodation. How can I get help with shopping etc?

  • We have set up a system to support students who are self-isolating, whether they are a confirmed case or are isolating as a precautionary measure.
  • To access this support you will first need to advise us that you are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form.
  • From here, a member of the Student Welfare team will contact you regarding a number of initiatives in place to support you during your period of isolation. This includes support with food and personal hygiene items as well as academic and wellbeing support.
  • The University has organised the Northumbria Concierge service to provide you (free of charge) with a food delivery that will support you during your period of isolation. These food parcels contain the essential supplies you require, such as fresh fruit and vegetables and staple food cupboard items. You are able to select a box which will suit your dietary requirements where possible.
  • It’s vital that you register immediately with the service to ensure that you receive your requested delivery as soon as possible (usually up to 72 hours from date of registration). Registration details will be emailed to you once you have filled in the Report, Record, Support form (above).
  • Before this service is provided, you will need to declare that you are isolating and abiding by government requirements. You are able to opt out of this service if you wish, but should be aware that no alternative support or financial package will be available.
  • You will be contacted by Circles, who operate the concierge service, to tell you when your food parcel is being delivered.
  • You will also receive weekly welfare calls from the University’s Student Welfare team, who will route you into other University support services as required.
  • If you are living in accommodation which is shared by both Northumbria and Newcastle University students, please refer to your own university for the support package they provide.
  • Support is also available to you if you are at our London and Amsterdam campuses. Please follow the same process to advise us that you are self-isolating through our online Report. Record. Support. form. and our Student Welfare team will be in touch to discuss your needs

If I self-isolate for two weeks can I go and stay with my family?

You must follow the current local guidance set out by the Government. You can check the latest advice for your area using the postcode checker on the gov.uk website.

What do I do if my flatmates are breaking the lockdown rules and socialising with people from other households?

If you believe a fellow resident is breaking the rules in relation to Social Distancing and any government guidelines including bubbles you can report this to any member of staff on the helpdesk in your building. You can also contact University Security on 0191 227 3999 or by downloading the SafeZone app which connects with University Security and also local emergency services if you are in danger. 

You can also scan a QR code on display in the residences which will allow you to log this incident anonymously with Sodexo who manage our residences.  

This will generate an email that will be sent to residents if they are reported to remind them of the guidelines to be adhered to and will be captured on an incident tracker software to identify frequent offenders upon which the issue will be escalated. 

Will you penalise students who do not comply with safety measures?

We wish to work with our students to prevent the spread of Covid and we know that the majority of our students will follow all advice and guidance. 

The health and safety of our staff, students and wider community is the number one priority for the University. 

When you registered/enrolled you will have been asked to abide by a student code of conduct which included expected levels of behaviour. So, we take incidences of rule-breaking extremely seriously.  

Breaches of these rules may result in disciplinary action against you, which could result in fines and in the most serious cases suspension or removal from your course.   

Police also have a wide range of powers to implement these rules, including fines of £200 rising to £3,200 for six or more offences. 

Fines have already been issued by the police against students, for taking part in activities which are against these guidelines. 

Additionally, organisers of illegal gatherings, such as house parties, can be fined up £10,000 

I live in catered accommodation. Will I continue to receive a catered service through the enhanced government restrictions?

  • Within our catered accommodation, Claude Gibb, the dining room has been set up in line with social distancing guidance and signage is in place to encourage residents to observe 2m social distancing while in the dining area.  
  • Residents using the dining area will be required to wear face coverings while moving around the dining room and all other transit areas around the residences  
  • For those residents who do not wish to eat in the dining area, meals will be available in take-away packaging to be taken to an alternative location to eat. 

I live on my own in a studio flat. Can I create a support bubble with another household/my family?

  • Yes. Government guidance states that you can form a support bubble with another household of any size that is not part of a support bubble with anyone else if you live by yourself 
  • You can form a support bubble with one single-adult household who are not part of a support bubble with anyone else – therefore with one resident of another studio flat.  In the case of University-managed residences, this should be with someone in the same building as we will not allow external visitors into the residences 

Will students be expected to wear face coverings in residences?

  • When in common spaces such as corridors and stairwells, face coverings should be worn where 2 metres social distancing cannot be achieved and there is no other form of mitigation to protect health and safety. 

  • There is no expectation that face coverings should be worn within individual shared flats or bedrooms; however, it is at the household’s discretion within those areas. 

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