Cookies

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Notices

Notice about the Covid-19 infection

We take the health and wellbeing of our students and colleagues seriously and we continue to monitor the Covid-19 outbreak so we can provide up to date information and advice, and offer support as the situation develops.

We are in contact with colleagues at Public Health England and we will contact our students and colleagues by email and update the guidance on this page as the situation develops.

The information and advice provided below reflects current UK Government advice.

Sources of Information

Foreign & Commonwealth office travel advice

Public Health England – Covid-19 latest information and advice


Current students and colleagues

+How can I access support?

We are committed to providing a safe and welcoming environment for all of our students and colleagues, and we have dedicated support teams on campus who are here to help you.

Support for students

All of our colleges have support staff who can provide guidance and additional pastoral support. If you're not sure who to speak to, you can find contact details on our website

Support for colleagues

Our Occupational health service is delivered by a team of specialist practitioners who are trained to provide health and well-being support in the workplace. For the full range of services and contact details please visit our website.

Support for students and colleagues

Our Counselling Service is run by a team of trained and experienced practitioners who are available all year round to registered students via self-referral and to colleagues via a referral from our Occupational Health team. Find out more about our Counselling Service.

If you have experienced bullying or harassment, you can use our Report + Support tool to make a report or find out about available support. Our Report & Support tool is for non-emergency reports. If an assault has just taken place and you are not in a safe place, feel at risk, or have any injuries that require urgent attention, please call the emergency services on 999.

+I am a member of staff, should I work from home?

If you have not recently returned from Hubei Province or other specified areas, Public Health England (PHE) advises that you do not need to take further action or self-isolate.

If you do decide to self-isolate, please contact your line manager or supervisor to make arrangements.

More information on self-isolation is available on the Public Health England What you need to know page. Scroll to the section titled What does self-isolation mean for people who don’t have symptoms?

+Is anyone on campus self-isolating?

We cannot comment on individual cases but anyone who has arrived from mainland China or other specified areas should follow the Public Health England advice to take simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible like you would with other flu viruses.

This advice is highly precautionary and is intended to limit the potential spread of infection.

The latest Public Health England information and advice is available online.

+What information have you shared with staff and students?

+Who should I contact if I have questions or concerns?

I am a student

If you’re worried about yourself or a fellow student, please contact the dedicated support staff in your college. Contact details are available on our website.

I am a member of staff

Please contact our Occupational Health team if you are worried about yourself or a colleague. Contact details are available on our website.

If you have other questions or comments about Covid-19

If you've read our FAQs and you have additional questions, you can email executive.communications@durham.ac.uk or call 0191 334 9346.

This phone line is available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. This is a general information line only, if you need medical advice please call NHS 111.

Travel information and advice

+Are there any travel restrictions in place?

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, some countries have updated their travel advice and announced restrictions. Before travelling, you should check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for your destination and any country you will transit through.

Advice for travel to mainland China

The FCO;

  • Advises against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak.
  • Advises against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).
  • Advises that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so.

View the FCO travel advice: China

Based on this advice, we have suspended all University travel to mainland China.

Advice for travel to other specified areas

If you are planning to travel to any of the following countries, we encourage you to carefully review the business need to travel and check the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) travel advice for your destination and any country you will transit through before making travel arrangements. 

Specified areas include;

  • Hong Kong 
  • Japan 
  • Macau 
  • Malaysia 
  • Republic of Korea 
  • Singapore 
  • Taiwan 
  • Thailand 

+Can I travel to mainland China and other specified areas over the Easter vacation?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises against all travel to Hubei Province due to the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak. The FCO advises against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao).

Please check the FCO and local travel advice for your destination and any country you will transit through before making travel arrangements.  

If your ability to sit exams during Easter term may be impacted, for example by self-isolation following travel, please consider making alternative travel arrangements. 

When returning from mainland China and other specified countries, please follow Public Health England advice 

Based on FCO advice, the University has suspended all staff and student business travel to mainland China. 

+I can no longer travel over Easter, can I stay in college?

If you live in College on a term-time only let and can no longer travel over the Easter vacation, please talk to your College's Student Support office about accommodation options. You can find contact details on our website.

+What should I do if I have recently returned from other parts of China and other specified areas?

This advice applies to travellers who have returned to the UK from the following areas:
  • China (excluding Wuhan and Hubei Province, see specific advice for these areas) 
  • Hong Kong 
  • Japan 
  • Macau 
  • Malaysia 
  • Republic of Korea 
  • Singapore 
  • Taiwan 
  • Thailand 
If you have returned to the UK from any of these areas in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough or 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.
 
If you have returned from these areas since 19 February 2020 and develop symptoms please follow this advice. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.
  • Cambodia 
  • Laos 
  • Myanmar 
  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini)
  • Vietnam 

+What should I do if I have recently returned from Wuhan and Hubei Province and other specified areas?

If you have travelled from:
 
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.

+What will happen to my visa if I can't return to China from the UK?

If you're unable to return to China from the UK, visit the Home Office website for the most up to date immigration guidance.

Use our online contact form to get in touch with our Student Immigration Service if you have questions about your visa or visit our website for more information and answers to frequently asked immigration questions. 

Information for applicants

+Are there any delays to decisions on applications?

No. If you can't provide English Language certificates at the moment but you are otherwise eligible, we can still make a conditional offer.

When you have the necessary documentation, please upload it for our team to review. We will then make your offer unconditional, if all of your offer conditions are met.

For postgraduate applications, use our Applicant Portal to upload documentation.

For undergraduate applications, upload documents on our website.

+I am worried that Covid-19 might affect my exam performance, what can I do?

We already have a mitigating circumstances process that allows you to tell us about anything that may have adversely affected your studies. We are also in the process of collecting information from the exam boards, schools and colleges.

Once we have this information, we will contact you to let you know what additional mitigations we can offer for entry to Durham. We will also give you more information on how you can tell us about anything that you think may have impacted your performance during your exams.

At the moment, the only thing you need to do is to focus on doing the best you can in any exams.

+My bank is still closed, how can I pay my deposit?

We understand that many banks will be closed, which may make payment of deposits more difficult.

If you are unable to pay using online banking, you can contact our Cashier Desk and pay over the phone, by calling +44 191 334 6900 or +44 191 334 6912.

+What should I do if English Language proficiency tests are cancelled where I live?

We are aware that English Language proficiency tests like IELTS are suspended in some areas and we are monitoring the situation. 

If you have or receive an offer from us, that includes an English Language test, there are a couple of things that you can do;

  • Consider taking one of the other tests that we accept. You can find out more on the Learning and Teaching section of our website
  • If your offer has other conditions that you can meet, please provide this information as soon as you can. You can upload your English Language evidence at a later date
  • Arrange to take an IELTS test as soon as possible after the tests are reinstated in your area

For postgraduate applications, use our Applicant Portal to upload documentation.

For undergraduate applications, upload documents on our website.

For most of our courses, a short delay in taking an English Language proficiency test should not affect your admission to Durham University. 

+Who should I contact if I have more questions?

I'm applying for an undergraduate course

You can ask questions using our online form, please select Potential student from the dropdown menu. 

I'm applying for a postgraduate course

Our Applicant Portal includes answers to frequently asked questions and is the best way to get in touch with our Admissions team.

I am an agent

Get in touch with us using our Applicant Portal. You will be recognised as an Agent when you enter your login details.

General information and advice

+How can I spot a Covid-19 phishing campaign?

Phishing is the most common social engineering technique where a fraudster contacts a user by email, text or social media, seeking information that might help them commit fraudulent activity (identity theft, bank fraud). 

It often involves the use of a “bait” to entice the user to act and respond, such as clicking a malicious website or convincing them to divulge confidential information (e.g. banking details or passwords). 

We understand the messages use the fear of the outbreak and claim to offer advice on protective safety measures to entice users to engage with the messages.

You can find more information about staying safe online on our website

+What action is Durham University taking?

We are carefully monitoring the Covid-19 situation and working closely with Public Health England to provide our staff and students with the most up to date information and advice. 

We will communicate updates to our staff and students by email and publish the latest advice on our website. 

You can find the latest Public Health England information and advice online.

+What precautions can I take?

To help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including Covid-19, please follow the Public Health England (PHE) guidance and take the following simple steps; 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available.
  • This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and then throw the tissue in a bin
  • If you feel unwell, please stay at home
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces 

If you are worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or to other healthcare environments.  

If you have recently returned from mainland China or other specified areas, please continue to follow the PHE advice. 

More information on good hand hygiene is available on duo.

Face masks 

The advice we have is that the risk to individuals in the UK 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. 

+Where can I get more information?

Foreign & Commonwealth Office information

  • FCO travel advice: China

Public Health England information

UK Council for International Student Affairs

World Health Organization (WHO)

This information was updated on 25 February 2020.