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Durham University

Covid-19 Response

Students

Keeping our community safe

  • To ensure that we can deliver a safe teaching, learning, research and work environment, our staff, students and visitors are required to wear face coverings if they can. This includes when moving around in buildings and during face-to-face teaching. Read our face covering policy for more information.

  • It’s important that we know how to identify Covid-19 symptoms, how to report them if we're experiencing them, and when and how to self-isolate. Read our quick guide for students to find out more.

  • We've introduced pre-bookable study spaces within Bill Bryson Library to enable you to attend timetabled online learning sessions from a central location on campus. Visit our News page to find out more.

Last updated on 05/10/21 (Created: June 2021)

Important information and updates

+What to do if you have symptoms or a positive test

Covid-19 symptoms include:

  • A new continuous cough. Coughing a lot for 1 hour or more, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.
  • Loss of, or change to, smell or taste. Do things smell or taste different to normal?
  • A high temperature. Do you feel hot to touch on your chest or back?

If you have any of these symptoms, you must:

If you have to self-isolate for any reason, you must:

  • inform the University using the dedicated page on Banner.

This will ensure that the University, your Department and your College are automatically informed and can take the necessary action.

Living in College

If you live in College, and it is out of office hours, you must also inform your College duty porter by telephone.

Living out

If you live out, you must also inform those who live with you, or the management of your accommodation.

All of the above also applies if you do not have symptoms, but have received a positive test result.

If you have been instructed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate because a contact has had a positive test result, please also report this via the same dedicated page on Banner. You do not need to inform your duty porter.

Follow the advice provided to you to help protect yourself and protect others. By working together, we can maintain a healthy community

+Academic year 2021 / 22: Teaching and learning

  • We are planning a high-quality residential experience, including substantial in-person teaching and learning, for Academic Year 2021/22. 
  • Our priority will be to deliver an exceptional student experience whilst ensuring that we minimise transmission of Covid-19 on campus. 
  • We’ll act in accordance with the latest UK Government mandates and guidelines and monitor the virus level closely, both on campus and in our locality, so we can respond quickly to any changes and put in place additional measures as necessary. 
  • How our programmes run for 2021/22 – the exact mix of activities and modes of instruction, from lectures and tutorials to workshops and labs – will vary by course and year level. But all will offer high-quality teaching and ensure you benefit from the excellent academic experience which sets our graduates apart and that we know employers are looking for. 
  • We recognise that a small number of students will have particular health risks or may not be able to travel. If you can’t join us in October, you’ll be able to register for online study so that you can still benefit from the world-class teaching and resources provided at Durham.
  • With just some exceptions, teaching on our programmes will be available online and you will have access to support to help you get the most out of your learning.

Visit our teaching and assessment FAQ web page for more information.

+Covid-19 vaccinations

The coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines are safe and effective and give you and others the best protection against Covid-19.

National booking Service

Everyone in England aged 18 or over can book their vaccine appointments using the National booking Service

You need to be registered with a GP surgery in England to use the National booking Service. 

Walk-in clinics

You can find a walk-in NHS vaccination clinic near you on the NHS website.

Register with a GP

Registering with a GP surgery in England is free. You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

Find out more about registering with a GP on the NHS website.

After you've had your vaccination

If you develop any Covid-19 symptoms, you must:

  • Self-isolate immediately
  • Book a free Covid-19 test
  • Inform the University via Banner

Please follow these steps even if you have had both doses of your Covid-19 vaccination.

International students

If a person has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered as per the advice here (see sections on vaccine interchangeability guidance). The student should contact a GP to ensure they receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose.

More information

Read the NHS Covid-19 vaccination FAQs for students.

Visit our Student Support web pages to find out more.

Created: July 2021

Updated 13/10/21

+Travelling to Durham - From outside of the UK

What you must do when you arrive in England depends on:
  • Whether you have been in a red, amber or green list country in the 10 days before you arrive
  • Whether you are fully vaccinated, either under the UK vaccination programme or an approved vaccination programme in Europe or the USA

When you arrive in Durham 

Once you have completed your UK Government mandated testing and quarantine, following these simple steps will help protect you and everyone in our community.

  • After testing on arrival, test twice weekly at our central testing sites – Testing helps minimise transmission of Covid-19 and enables you to participate in wider student experience (WSE) activities.
  • Understand the steps we’re all taking to protect ourselves and each other – Your actions, Your University. 
  • Use Banner to let us know if you have Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test result or are self-isolating – Reporting in this way helps us to support you wherever you are. 

Covid-19 vaccinations

We encourage all students to book their Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible to allow enough time to receive both doses before arriving in Durham. However, you do not need to have had a Covid-19 vaccine to travel to the UK.

If you haven't had both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine when you arrive in Durham, you will be eligible to get one in the UK if you are registered with a doctor at a medical centre.

Online learning

While we’re looking forward to welcoming you back to Durham and offering in-person teaching on campus, we recognise that a small number of students will have particular health risks or may not be able to travel.

If you can’t join us in October, you’ll be able to register for online study so that you can still benefit from the world-class teaching and resources provided at Durham. With just some exceptions teaching on our programmes will be available online and you will have access to support to help you get the most out of your learning.

Useful links

Created: July 2021
Updated: 16 September 2021

+Travelling to Durham - From within the UK

These simple steps will help you plan your travel in a way that protects you, your loved ones and our community. 

Before you travel 

  • Take a free Lateral Flow Test at your home address – If the result is negative, you can travel to Durham 
  • Plan your trip – The UK Government website has lots of tips on planning a safe trip 
  • Download the NHS Covid-19 app before you travel, if possible, and check in where you see official NHS Covid-19 QR code posters 
  • Book an LFT at one of our central testing sites for when you arrive in Durham – Testing is free, quick and easy and, you get your results within two hours 

During your journey 

  • Open or keep windows open for ventilation where it is possible for you to do so 
  • Wash or sanitise your hands regularly 
  • Avoid touching your face 
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or the inside of your elbow when coughing or sneezing 
  • Dispose of waste safely, including items such as used disposable face coverings 

When you arrive in Durham 

  • After testing on arrival, test twice weekly at our central testing sites – Testing helps minimise transmission of Covid-19 and enables you to participate in wider student experience (WSE) activities. 
  • Understand the steps we’re all taking to protect ourselves and each other – Your actions, Your University. 
  • Use Banner to let us know if you have Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test result or are self-isolating – Reporting in this way helps us to support you wherever you are. 

Do not travel if you: 

Created: August 2021
Updated: 16 September 2021

+Student support

High quality student support services remain available to the entire student body, both at their term time and home address.

Visit our Student Support and Wellbeing pages for information on the support network available to you at Durham, or take a look at our FAQ on how to access support services.

+Test to Release

In consultation with Public Health England and Durham County Council, the University is currently operating a “Test to Release” scheme. 

Individuals who have had contact with someone who has tested positive may be released after one negative PCR result subject to testing using LFTs daily for (up to) a further six days before taking a final PCR to exit the process. Each case will be subject to an individual risk assessment, the key requirement being that you are able to avoid all contact with any positive cases while they are isolating. 

If you are in this situation and would like to be considered for Test to Release, please visit our Test to Release page to find out more about the process.

+Library and study space

As we head into a new academic year, we’d like to take the opportunity to outline what you can expect from University Library and Collections and the services we have available. 

  • 22/7 access to Bill Bryson Library as of Monday 4 October 
  • No booking required for access to the library or study spaces (some bookable study spaces will still be available) 
  • Postal loans, postal returns and scan and deliver will remain available to students studying online and not living in a DH postcode 

We’ve also updated our safety measures in line with University guidance and policies, including removing social distancing requirements and one-way systems. We are asking you to wear a face covering when moving around our buildings and study spaces or speaking to someone (unless you are exempt) as well as when seated in some study areas. Please use our handwashing facilities and hand sanitiser stations regularly and to follow our clean as you go process. We will continue to monitor the ventilation in our buildings to make sure air quality stays at a safe level. 

All services and procedures will be kept under review and revised in line with Government and University guidance. For full details of our services and safety measures, please click here

Last updated 27 September 2021

Get in touch

If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for in our FAQs, you can contact our Covid Control Centre. Emails are monitored from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and 9am to 5pm at weekends. 

Book your Covid-19 vaccination (nhs.uk)

Want to find out more?

Read the NHS Covid-19 vaccination FAQs for students in England.