Coronavirus

City has published updated advice for its students and staff on the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Latest information for students and staff

Last updated: 03 Apr 2020 12:30pm

Coronavirus: guidance for students and staff

Most of City’s buildings will close on Friday 20th March. Face-to-face teaching has already ended and staff are continuing to support students while working remotely.

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff remains our top priority. As a result of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, City, University of London will close most of it’s buildings on Friday 20th March.

There will be a very small number of exceptions to this in the short term. For example, we will need to continue to receive and process urgent IT deliveries and specific parts of the School of Health Sciences may be opened if required as part of the NHS initiative to utilise clinical spaces.

Face-to-face teaching ended this week and the University is providing online resources to replace, where possible, lectures and tutorials.

The majority of our staff have already moved to working remotely.

Schools will continue to communicate directly with their staff and students to outline their plans for the delivery of each of their programmes.

Assessments

Assessments, including examinations, planned for the remainder of the academic year that require students to come in to the University will not take place for programmes in Cass Business School, the School of Arts & Social Sciences, and the School of Mathematics, Computer Science & Engineering.  They will be replaced by alternative forms of assessment.

Alternative forms of assessment for City Law School students will be made available wherever possible, however, there are additional considerations for students on programmes of professional study.  The School is working with professional bodies in order to agree the requirements for these assessments and will confirm arrangements as soon as possible.

Alternative forms of assessment for School of Health Sciences students will be made available wherever possible; however, there are additional considerations for clinical skills and practice-based assessments. The School is working with professional bodies in order to agree the requirements for these assessments and will confirm arrangements as soon as possible. We recognise the important role many students in the School of Health Sciences are already undertaking to support the health and social care sector at this challenging time. The School is working hard to provide enhanced guidance and support to the particular needs of its students.

These decisions have been made as a result of the rapid spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the concerns it is causing for our community of students and staff and their families.

We understand that students and staff may be worried about this news and ask that all members of the City community continue to support one another at this time. We are taking steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors, based on the latest public health advice.

Looking after your own health

What to do if you have symptoms

Stay at home for seven days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Those self-isolating with mild symptoms will not be tested.

COVID-19: stay at home guidance

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

How to avoid catching or spreading coronavirus

In line with public health advice, we ask you follow these hygiene practices to protect your own health and that of others:

Do

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don't

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Frequently asked questions

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus which is common across the world. Typical symptoms include fever and a cough which may lead to shortness of breath and severe breathing difficulties. Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

The Government information is being updated daily so please check their page regularly for changes.

Have there been any cases in the UK so far?

The UK Government stated that there are confirmed cases of coronavirus in the UK or among UK citizens abroad.

What is the current risk level in the UK?

Based on the World Health Organization’s declaration that this is a public health emergency of international concern, the UK Chief Medical Officers have declared the risk to the UK is moderate.

How is the University coordinating its response to the coronavirus outbreak?

The University is following an established action plan to coordinate our response. We are also following advice from Government, Public Health England and Universities UK to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community of students, staff and visitors.

What would happen if there was a confirmed case?

In the event that a student or a member of staff at City is confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, we will work with local emergency services and public health authorities to ensure that the individual receives the best care. We will continue to provide information and guidance to our students and staff via our web pages, our social media accounts, and via email.

Is it advisable to wear a face mask?

The current advice remains that additional protective measures to maintaining good hygiene – especially regular hand washing - are necessary.

It is understood to be debatable whether masks are effective in this situation. However, it is a recognised custom for some communities to wear face masks. It is important we recognise and respect this custom. We would urge all members of the City community to be inclusive and supportive of what is personal choice.

What are you doing to raise awareness of, and help prevent the spread of, infectious diseases in general?

We have an enhanced cleaning programme in place which is supported by hand sanitizers at all reception desks. This is further supported by a poster campaign that is regularly refreshed to communicate the latest advice from Public Health England.

We have also increased our daily inspection programme to ensure that the toilets facilities are fully supplied with soap as much as possible to keep up with demand.

To help maintain our hygiene controls, please report any soap dispensers that are damaged, faulty or empty, to PAF Service Desk on paf-servicedesk@city.ac.uk, or extension 7777 so that these can be fixed/filled at the earliest opportunity.

Is City's Dubai Centre open?

In accordance with a directive issued by the Ministry of Higher Education UAE to all educational institutions, City’s Dubai Centre is closed is closed until further notice.

The move has been taken as a precautionary public health measure and to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors. The Centre’s staff are working remotely during this period.

For information about the Centre’s programmes, please email Anna.Schebsdat@city.ac.uk.

For all other enquiries, please email DubaiCentre@city.ac.uk and your query will be directed to the most relevant person.

I'm a prospective student - where can I find more information?

City, University of London is still accepting applications for students interested in joining in September 2020. We've put together a dedicated page of FAQs where you can find more information and guidance here.

Where can I find additional advice?

We will continue to keep this web page updated. Should there be any major changes we will inform the community directly.

Further advice and updates are also available on these sites:

If you have any specific concerns not covered here you can email us and your query will be directed to the most relevant person.

Study

What should I do about my studies if I am unable to leave a directly affected area or am in self-isolation?

If you are in directly affected areas (China, Italy or South Korea), either unable to leave or if you have to go into self-isolation you should email the Student Centre with your name, student ID and programme of study. This will help us keep an accurate record about who is affected and to give you further guidance. You should try to keep up with your studies as far as possible using the online resources that will be made available by your School.

City’s Students’ Union offers support to students making extenuation claims. This support can be received via email or phone appointment. For further information visit City's Students' Union website.

Do I have to come in for lectures and other learning scheduled activities?

As a result of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we've taken the decision to end all face-to-face teaching at City by Monday 23rd March 2020 at the latest.

The University will provide online resources to replace, where possible, lectures and tutorials.

Schools will be communicating directly with their staff and students to outline their plans for the delivery of each of their programmes in the next couple of days.

I'm an SHS student due to go on, or on placement - what should I do?

Given the spread of coronavirus and the potential impact on healthcare placements, we are committed to supporting the safety and ongoing learning in practice placement environments of all our students.

Unless you are self-isolating, the current expectation is that students on placement, or due to go on placement shortly, still attend, unless advised otherwise by their placement area. If you receive notification from your placement area asking you not to attend please let us know.

Whilst on placement, you should familiarise yourself with the local guidance for coronavirus and infection control in general. You must also remember to abide by your relevant professional body’s code at all times (NMC, HCPC and GOC), in particular to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of patients, service-users and co-workers.

We recognise placement attendance may be an area of concern and anxiety, but would like to reassure you we are working closely with clinical colleagues to ensure your wellbeing and safety whilst on placement, and particularly for students working with suspected or confirmed cases of Covid-19. You can find further information in the FAQs here.

I'm a Cass student - does the decision to cease face-to-face teaching apply across all of our degrees?

Yes, the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching applies across all degrees. The specific details on how it will be replaced by online resources varies across programs.

You can find further information on the Cass Moodle pages.

I am a student working or studying abroad, should I return to the UK?

You are advised to access the latest information from the FCO website, in relation to the country you are in and the country you are from, what travel restrictions are in place, and what is best to protect your own health and well-being. Depending on the latest advice, and with teaching moving online and alternative assessments being planned in many cases, and if appropriate for your situation, you may wish to consider returning to the UK or your home country.

Please keep in contact with your Student Exchange/Placements Coordinator, Work-Based Learning Advisor, or Cass Placements team as necessary regarding any updates or changes to your situation.

How will the move from face-to-face teaching to online instruction proceed?

We expect differences across modules and programs in whether and how they deliver material: some lecturers will teach in an empty lecture theatre so that they are lecture captured in the normal way; others will record their lectures using other software tools. Please bear with us over this transition phase.

Travel

I am due to travel to China or other affected regions, what should I do?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has advised against all travel to Hubei Province, and now advise against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China.

In line with FCO guidance, we advise against travel to China on business at this time.

In respect of cancellation cover, as long as insurers have verified that it is an Insured Journey, they will provide cover for cancellation of planned trips to Mainland China.

If you have a trip booked, our recommendation is to contact the Airline or Tour Operator two weeks before the date of scheduled departure to see what options are available for possible rearrangement.

If booked flights are cancelled by an airline, you should contact the carrier in the first instance to pursue reimbursement or alternative arrangements. This may assist with mitigating claims costs against the insurance policies you have in place.

Staff who may have travel planned to China should contact Ajay Bhosle for advice.

What should I do if I have concerns about friends or family in China?

If you are a student and have concerns about friends or family in China, you may wish to speak to your personal tutor or your research supervisor if you are a PhD student. You can also contact the Student Centre.

If you are a member of staff, you may wish to speak to your line manager in the first instance.

Can I travel over Easter Break?

The decision to travel abroad is ultimately yours, but please make sure you check Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and the World Health Organisation website for up-to-date travel advice.

If you are returning to the UK, please check the Public Health England (PHE) guidance.

What if I travel somewhere on holiday and can’t return because of coronavirus?

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is currently advising against all travel to some countries and areas affected by coronavirus, and against all but essential travel to other affected areas. The situation is changing rapidly so please check the FCO website for the latest travel advice for the specific country or area you are planning to visit.

Please be aware that it is possible that circumstances may change during your trip, and you may be subject to travel restrictions or required to self-isolate on your return to the UK. You would need to follow the current Extenuating Circumstances procedure if this is the case.

If you travel somewhere that becomes directly affected and are either unable to leave or if you have to go into self-isolation you should email the Student Centre with your name, student ID and programme of study. This will help us keep an accurate record about who is affected and to give you further guidance. You should try to keep up with your studies as far as possible using the resources available on Moodle and keep in touch with your personal tutor and course officer. If you have to miss any assessments (such as exams or practicals) you should submit an Extenuating Circumstances form to your School and include a copy of relevant supporting documentation, such as travel documents.

City’s Students’ Union offers support to students making extenuation claims. This support can be received via email or phone appointment. For further information visit City's Students' Union website.

International students

Can I return home as a result of the coronavirus?

As a result of the evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we've taken the decision to end all face-to-face teaching at City by Monday 23rd March 2020 at the latest.

The University will provide online resources to replace, where possible, lectures and tutorials.

Schools will be communicating directly with their staff and students to outline their plans for the delivery of each of their programmes in the next couple of days.

School and University buildings will remain open.

More information

We also advise you to check the most up to date Government guidance of your home country before returning home.

I am already in my home country due to concerns of coronavirus - will this be authorised?

If you are already in your home country, please let the Visa Compliance Team know, and include any information about when you are planning to return by emailing: visacompliance@city.ac.uk

As a Tier 4 student you need to consider your visa conditions and responsibilities, including your attendance, when making decisions about not attending University and returning home. Please check our website for more information on the attendance recording.

Do I need to complete an Authorised Absence Form?

If your reason to return home is purely related to the concerns of coronavirus, then there is no need to complete the form. However, please email visacomplicance@city.ac.uk to let us know that you are planning to go home or you have left the UK to go to your home country.

If you have been affected by the coronavirus and have to self-isolate then please complete the Authorised Absence Form. Please read more information about Authorised Absence here.

I am required to self-isolate, what should I do?

Please complete the Authorised Absence Form. You can talk to our International Student Visa Advice Team if you have any concerns about your immigration status.

My visa is due to expire but I cannot go home due to travel restrictions in my country. What should I do?

If you are concerned about your immigration status, please contact International Student Advice Team.

The Government has also published new guidance on individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China - you can find full details about this on the Government website, and you can contact the Home Office's dedicated helpline via:

  • Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). Calls are free of charge.
  • Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

Can I sit my exams remotely in my home country if I decide to return home?

Assessments, including examinations, planned for the remainder of the academic year that require students to come in to the University will not take place for programmes in Cass Business School, the School of Arts and Social Sciences, and the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering.  They will be replaced by alternative forms of assessment.

Alternative forms of assessment for City Law School students will be made available wherever possible, however, there are additional considerations for students on programmes of professional study.  The School is working with professional bodies in order to agree the requirements for these assessments and will confirm arrangements as soon as possible.

Alternative forms of assessment for School of Health Sciences students will be made available wherever possible; however, there are additional considerations for clinical skills and practice-based assessments. The School is working with professional bodies in order to agree the requirements for these assessments and will confirm arrangements as soon as possible. We recognise the important role many students in the School of Health Sciences are already undertaking to support the health and social care sector at this challenging time. The School is working hard to provide enhanced guidance and support to the particular needs of its students

I am on a Tier 4 Visa studying abroad and my local University has closed due to Coronavirus. What should I do?

Please contact the Study Abroad and Exchange Team in your School who will be able to offer further advice and guidance.

I am on Tier 4 Visa on a work placement abroad and my company has closed due to coronavirus. What should I do?

Please contact the Work Placement Team in your School who will be able to offer further advice and guidance.

Will my Tier 4 Visa be affected due to the University moving to online teaching this term?

If you're an Undergraduate (UG) student - this will not have any impact on your Tier 4 visa.

If you're a Postgraduate Taught (PGT) or Postgraduate Research (PGR) student - we are liaising with the Home Office to seek further guidance. If you have any concerns please contact the International Visa Advice Team.