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Accommodation

Halls of Residence COVID-19 Guidance 20/21

Last updated: 14 January 2021

In light of the guidelines related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the associated social distancing rules and our aim to reduce risk to our students, we are implementing procedures within Halls of Residence to ensure the safety of everyone. Please note that these latest guidelines may vary to information previously provided. Additionally, we will contact you directly if there are further changes following government guidance.

Will I be able to socialise with other students in my flat/floor?

Students living within your flat will form a ‘household’ so you can socialise as you would in your home environment. You do not need to socially distance from people in your household, but good hand hygiene and other measures can help to keep you and your housemates as safe as possible. This includes regularly washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces within communal areas. Your household does not extend to other floors/flats within your block. If you are living in a studio room or self-contained flat you will be living on your own with your own facilities and will not be part of a household. However, you would be able to join a bubble with one other household.

Students within each Pittville Townhouse block share a communal kitchen. Therefore, each townhouse would be classed as a single household. Will I still be sharing a kitchen/communal area or bathroom facilities with other residents?

Unless you are living in a studio room or self-contained flat, yes, you will be sharing a kitchen with other residents in your household. It will be the responsibility of residents who share the kitchen to comply with safety guidance when using the kitchen/communal area. This includes the cleaning and disinfection of these areas.

Some flats in Challinor Halls of Residence and the Pittville Townhouses feature shared bathroom facilities which are the responsibility of the household sharing these facilities. Therefore, residents in these areas should ensure the above guidance is followed and that these areas are cleaned appropriately.

What if I develop symptoms of coronavirus before my Halls of Residence move-in date?

If you have any symptoms, however mild please follow the government self isolation advice here. Please note that you will not be able to move into Halls of Residence until the relevant self-isolation period has ended. Please email: acccommodation@glos.ac.uk to confirm your situation and anticipated move-in date following self-isolation so we can arrange your new arrival.

What if I develop symptoms of coronavirus whilst living in Halls of Residence?

If you are exhibiting symptoms, however mild, of a cough, or a fever, or if you have experienced a loss of, or change to, your sense of taste or smell, you must follow the self-isolation advice here and the University procedures (to be provided later in August.) As the government is rolling out more extensive testing, there may be the opportunity for students experiencing symptoms to request a test to check if they have Covid-19. The test should be arranged within the first 5 days of having symptoms.

What if a member of my Household displays Coronavirus symptoms?

If a resident of your Household has coronavirus symptoms, all Household member must isolate for 14 days. Please follow the stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The University will contact all members of the household if a member has developed symptoms.

Will I still be allowed visitors, and could they stay in my room overnight?

Overnight Guests: As stated within the contract, there are no overnight guests permitted for the first 3 weeks (from the start of the contract date). It is likely that this restriction will need to be extended beyond this period to ensure residents are able to comply with current social distancing guidelines and reduce risk to all residents. We will review changes to guidance and keep students updated on latest halls guidance throughout the year, however in the meantime you should not plan on any overnight guests.

Day visitors: We are also extending the above restriction to include all visitors, meaning there should be no visitors within flats for at least the first 3 weeks (from the start of the contract date i.e. until 3rd October). This is in order for residents to be able to form their households and reduce risk by avoiding the mixing of multiple households. This will also be reviewed and extended if required beyond this period. During this time, please follow the below guidance for meeting others outside your household.

Can I socialise with other students outside my Household?

It’s important to maintain social distancing from people you do not live with to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. This means maintaining a distance of at least 2m between individuals. You should only have close contact with people within your household. Full government guidance can be found here, and we have highlighted the key points below. When meeting people outside your household please follow the below guidelines:

You can also minimise the risk of spreading infection by following some key
principles. You should:

Will I be allowed to have a social gathering or party in my hall?

In line with current social distancing guidelines, social gatherings or parties will not be permitted in halls. However, there is a host of activities and events that you can get involved with as a community here: https://www.yourstudentsunion.com/whatson/ Stay in touch with each other the latest news via the halls Facebook pages.

Outside of my household, what safety precautions should I take?

When walking around your Halls building (outside your flat/floor), you should practice social distancing (maintaining 2 metres separation) when in communal corridors and stairways. Ideally, face coverings should also be worn whilst in these internal areas.

Pittville Townhouses: As all students within each individual Pittville Townhouse are classed as a Household, the above process will not be necessary.

I am an international student; will I need to self-isolate on arrival to the University?

If you are travelling to the UK from one of the non-exempt countries, you will need to complete the 14-day self-isolation process on arrival. In these cases, please read the information here. Please contact accommodation@glos.ac.uk with any queries on this.

If I do not like my room or hall, will I be able to move to another room or hall?

Unless in the event of exceptional circumstances, which would be considered on an individual basis, no halls transfers will take place for at least the first 3 weeks (i.e. until 3rd October). This is to reduce risk during the initial stages of settling into your Halls of Residence along with allowing enough time for households to settle in. We will contact all Halls students before the end of this 3-week period with any changes to these restrictions.

I have a health condition and have been previously shielding due to this condition.

Please provide more details to the accommodation team by emailing accommodation@glos.ac.uk.

I’ve moved into Halls of Residence; can I return home to see my family for the weekend?

It would be possible to visit members of the household bubble you had before you moved into your Halls of Residence. However, you would need to carefully follow safety guidance when travelling along with socially distancing from people not in your current household. Take particular care to maintain excellent hygiene – washing hands and surfaces – and avoid using shared facilities like bathrooms wherever possible. This would not be appropriate if you have developed symptoms or are self-isolating. Local restrictions may also be in place and relevant local advice should be
observed.

Will University staff be entering our Halls/flats/floor to carry out maintenance, security and welfare checks?

Yes, Accommodation staff, Security Officers, Estates staff, and contractors may access your Halls of Residence for essential purposes. Please note that all staff will adhere to the latest guidance on safety and social distancing. If room access is required, students will be emailed in advance with as much notice as possible unless it’s an emergency.

What if there are local coronavirus lockdown restrictions put in place in Cheltenham and Gloucester, what should I do?

The University would be in contact with you directly reiterating the relevant government instructions to follow.

What if there is another country-wide lockdown, will I be released from my contract?

We would review such a situation at the time and would make decisions based on the circumstances. However, your Halls of Residence room would remain available to you during any new lockdown period.

What should I do if one of my flatmates is not adhering to COVID safety precautions e.g. not maintaining social distancing or following cleaning guidelines?

You should try to discuss matters at an early stage with all your other flatmates and agree between you what will be done to keep everyone Covid-19 safe. It’s important that everyone plays their part to keep their household safe. By enrolling at the University of Gloucestershire, students are agreeing to the Student Charter and Student Code of Conduct. Both these documents, along with your halls contract emphasise everyone’s individual responsibility for overall health and safety in halls. If you have ongoing concerns in your accommodation, please link in with your Residential Support Adviser for further advice.

How do I maintain social distancing during a fire evacuation of my hall of residence?

Due to the risks associated with fire it is still essential that residents evacuate whenever an alarm is triggered. That said, so far as is practicable, as you evacuate a building and then wait at the assembly point, try to maintain a distance of 2m from all other households if that does not unduly hinder your escape. If you have a face covering readily to hand, put this on before exiting your room but do not go back into a building to retrieve one. If you have any other questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Guidance may be adjusted at any time in accordance with latest national and local developments.

Accommodation@glos.ac.uk
01242 714548

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