Information for Staff and Students Information for Staff and Students

Updated 27.02.2020

There are no suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus) at UEA. Currently, fifteen cases have been confirmed in the UK – eight of these have now been discharged from hospital and are clear of the virus.

We want to reassure everyone that the health and wellbeing of our students and staff is of the highest priority, and we are continuing to closely review the situation. Public Health England (PHE) have assessed the risk to the UK as moderate, and we will be following all advice given by PHE, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), Universities UK, and Travel Health Pro.

We would advise anyone with concerns to check the Public Health England website for up-to-date advice and guidance, and for regular updates on travel information, symptoms, and precautionary measures. PHE have also published some FAQs on COVID-19.

We understand that people may be concerned about friends and family in affected areas across the globe. Students can contact Student Services if they have concerns on studentsupport@uea.ac.uk or on 01603 592761. All UEA staff and students have 24/7 access to Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme – their 24/7 helpline number is 0800 030 5182.

Returning to the UK

Based on the scientific advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland ChinaThailandJapanRepublic of KoreaHong KongTaiwanSingaporeMalaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild.

If you have returned from the below specific areas since February 19, you should call NHS 111, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy (in Lombardy: Codogno, Castiglione d'Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano; in Veneto: Vo' Euganeo)
  • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo)
  • Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

If you have returned from the below areas since February 19 and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home, avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS 111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

  • Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Laos
  • Myanmar

Travel

If you are planning to travel to, are currently in, or are returning from China, please check the FCO’s website for advice and guidance. They are currently advising against all travel to China and to specific lockdown areas in Italy and South Korea. If you're unable to return to China from the UK, UK Visas and Immigration have recently issued guidance which you can read on their website. If you would like further advice, staff can contact staff.visacompliance@uea.ac.uk and students can contact student.life@uea.ac.uk

If you’re planning to travel, we would recommend that you check the FCO website for up-to-date travel information for affected areas worldwide. Please be advised that as the situation around coronavirus is constantly changing, travel advice is also under constant review by the FCO – please take this into account before undertaking any travel.

Preventing spread of germs

Public Health England recommend that everyone should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene. The NHS have guidelines on maintaining good hand hygiene, as well as advice on preventing the spread of germs on their dedicated COVID-19 page.


FAQs for staff and students

I’ve been advised to self-isolate - what should I do?
If advised by NHS to self-isolate, students should contact Student Services on studentsupport@uea.ac.uk or call 01603 592761. If you are an employee, please contact your line manager. You can also contact your School or Department for advice and support. 

There is guidance on how to self-isolate.

Someone in my house/flat has been advised to self-isolate - what should I do?
The government have issued guidance for people who may live in the same accommodation as a patient.

I’m really worried - what should I do?
Public Health England have stated that the risk to individuals is low. You can continue as normal, remembering to follow good hygiene practices as advised by the NHS.

If you have specific health concerns please contact NHS 111. Public Health England will directly contact any people they believe may have been in contact with any infected individuals. 

If you would like support, students can contact Student Services on studentsupport@uea.ac.uk or on 01603 592761, and staff can contact HR on hr@uea.ac.uk or on 01603 593034. All UEA staff and students also have 24/7 access to Health Assured’s Employee Assistance Programme – their 24/7 helpline number is 0800 030 5182.

I have an underlying health condition - what should I do? 
People who have existing conditions should continue to take their normal precautions in relation to their health. As advised by Public Health England, the risks continue to be low of the coronavirus spreading. If people have specific concerns they should contact their General Practitioner or telephone NHS 111. 

I’m due to travel to South East Asia - what should I do? 
We are following the advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, please check for the latest travel advice. Please be advised that they are advising against all travel to China.

I’m due to travel to one of the affected areas listed by Public Health England – what should I do?
We are following the advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, please check for the latest travel advice. Please be advised that they are currently advising against all travel to lockdown areas in northern Italy and special care zones in South Korea. Although the FCO is not advising against travel to any other country/territory as a result of coronavirus risks, we would ask all students and staff to carefully consider any travel to these areas as advice may be subject to change.

I’m an international visitor/member of staff whose stay is coming to end but I’m subject to travel restrictions – what happens if I can’t return to my home country before my visa end date?
UK Visas and Immigration have recently published guidance which you can read on their website. If you would like further advice, staff can contact staff.visacompliance@uea.ac.uk and students can contact student.life@uea.ac.uk