Students and Applicants

 

University of Bolton COVID-19 Student FAQs August 2021

Please keep up to date with the latest Government information and guidance

Below is the latest guidance about how the current situation affects you and your study at the University of Bolton.

For the very latest updates on the situation nationally and general guidance, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

For the latest HE guidance, please visit: Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

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Coronavirus

Covid-19 Guidance

The University is following all government guidance currently in place as at September 2021.

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Message from the Vice Chancellor to UoB staff and students at all our Bolton Campus locations

Following our latest review of the University of Bolton’s measures in place since the start of the pandemic, I am writing to inform you of an important update to our arrangements, which will take place for all staff and students with immediate effect.

It is clear that in the space of just a few weeks since the beginning of the academic year, the reality is that people are able to enjoy more freedoms than at any stage since the start of the pandemic, following changes to Government guidelines.

Most of the restrictions we were previously living with have been relaxed. Restaurants, shops, pubs, nightclubs, large-scale leisure events and social gatherings are more or less operating as they did pre-pandemic. Many of the restrictions around international travel were lifted this week.

The University of Bolton is responding, as we have always done, in a measured, cautious, but appropriate way. Our actions are based on the current reality of the situation.

It is vital to remember that we still strongly encourage everyone to:

• Get both vaccinations;
• Get a booster vaccine if offered to you;
• Be tested regularly – ideally twice a week;
• Download the official NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app and adhere to its instructions regarding Track and Trace;
• Practise rigorous hand hygiene;
• Stay away from campus/work from home and be tested if displaying any possible Covid symptoms;
Be respectful of others and social distance where appropriate.
All students and staff must inform the University if they test positive for Covid as we continue to have regulatory reporting requirements.

For anyone with concerns about being on campus, there are clinical grade face coverings available from the Facilities team.

The temperature scanners will remain in place at the entrances to our building as an ongoing measure.

The University has a detailed contingency plan should there be any change to the national and/or local situation. This means we can swiftly revert to any local Covid-secure measures that may need to be adopted following Government guidance/direction.

Please be assured, the University of Bolton has sought to maintain a Covid-secure campus since the start of the pandemic. The safety and wellbeing of all staff and students continues to be our number one priority.

The changes we are announcing are, as ever, in accordance with the very latest Government guidance.

They continue to help to ensure you have access to a fully operational University campus and can study and engage in person with other students and staff.

It is important to note that all the measures below remain under review:

• Track and trace – will be discontinued, therefore QR codes will not be required to be scanned in classrooms/labs.

• Close contact* with a Covid-positive individual - For individuals in close contact with a person who is Covid-positive, Government guidance has changed. Double-jabbed individuals who are identified as close contacts do not need to self-isolate but are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus. As the requirement to take a PCR test is not mandatory under the law, individuals who are fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual can go about their life as normal. The University would prefer staff and students attending for work or study, even in such circumstances, to take a PCR test as soon as possible, but fully vaccinated individuals are expected to continue to work as normal until they receive a result to the contrary (i.e. a positive PCR test). Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test is legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status, in order to break onward chains of transmission. Meanwhile, anyone who develops ‘normal’ Covid-19 symptoms (whether vaccinated or not) should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.

• Classroom layouts – will be progressively and gradually moved to pre-pandemic capacities in preparation for Semester 2 timetables.

• One way system – will be discontinued.

• Face coverings – are no longer essential or mandatory, but we hope people will choose to wear them when in close proximity to others. Face masks continue to be made freely available by the University. To address any potential anxiety individuals may have about returning to campus, a supply of clinical grade face coverings are also available, which may afford some protection to the wearer if used properly; but obviously no measure is assured.

• Mandatory social distancing – has now ended on campus, in line with the clear Government guidance. Internal office spaces and meetings therefore no longer require social distancing to be observed. However, everyone on campus is encouraged to be considerate to others by choosing to practise social distancing, where this is practicable.

• Temperature scanner heat detectors - remain in place at all entrances, ensuring that all staff, students and visitors arriving on campus still pass through the preliminary temperature checks on arrival and will need to scan their ID cards at building entrances.

• Lateral Flow tests - all staff and students are asked to continue to undergo two per week or collect and use a Home Test kit from Bolton One or from the desk near the entrance to Chancellor’s Mall. You must not attend campus for the safety of others if you test positive or have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms.

• Open access to the library (with no restrictions other than full capacity) - remains freely available.

• Student ambassadors – will remain present to assist at building entrances until Christmas.

• Group working - in all settings will be available.

• The campus Café and Bistro - continue with their normal arrangements and offerings.

In line with common practice now observed across England in non-university workplace settings, no social distancing/capacity requirements (other than those determined by the capacity of the facility) are in place for:

- Lifts
- Toilets
- Kitchens
- Vehicles used for University business
- Minibuses
- Offices
- Meetings.

The format of official University meetings (Face-to-face/Hybrid/Zoom) – will be dependent on the needs of the group and the convenor of the meeting.

• External visitors - are permitted on campus, but requested to follow the practices observed by all students and staff set out in this communication.

• International travel – must be Business essential only and agreed by the University Registrar (this excludes holidays, however staff are reminded to be mindful of international quarantine regulations which could impact on work and can change rapidly).

• External events – must be Business essential only.

• Outdoor marquee – will remain in situ next to The Chancellor’s Mall and be available until the end of the calendar year.

As I have said many times on previous occasions, the University of Bolton prides itself on creating a place where you can make the most of your experience of Higher Education and a safe and productive place of work.

I would like to thank you for your patience and commitment to the University during this extremely challenging period.

I also want to express my gratitude for your collective effort in helping to ensure that the campus has continued to operate as close to ‘business as usual’ as we could reasonably achieve within the constraints of a pandemic and often variably restrictive Government guidelines.

Once again, may I express my heartfelt thanks to all our students and staff.

Professor George E Holmes DL
President and Vice Chancellor

 

Appendix:

*The definition of a close contact is as follows: A contact is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken, and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others. A risk assessment may be undertaken to determine this, but a contact can be:

• Anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19;
• Anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19:


• Face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre;
• Been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact;
• Been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day).

A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.

FAQ's

As of October 2021, England lifted most of the restrictions that had been in place over the previous months. The University of Bolton has followed this guidance in a cautious and measured approach.

The welfare of all students, staff and the wider community remains our priority and all members of the University community have a role to play in this.

Throughout the pandemic the University has sought to remain as Covid-secure as possible and continues to do so.

We continue to encourage all to take up the offer of both doses of the coronavirus vaccine as soon as eligible to do so and to take advantage of the testing arrangements on campus.


Teaching

Government guidance states that all students can return to in-person teaching. If you have any queries, please contact your Programme Leader or Personal Tutor.

Updated guidance for higher education will be published on the gov.uk website.

Protocol on campus

Please remember when you are on campus to always:

Regularly wash/sanitise hands.

Always enter a building through a heat detector entrance.

NEVER come to campus if you test positive, are self-isolating or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

Please also remember to bring your Student ID with you whenever you come onto campus so that you are able to scan in at the entrance.

You are expected to take two Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests, ideally three days apart, either via the Asymptomatic Testing Centre located in Bolton One, using the online booking system, or using the LFD home testing kits available for collection from the reception area in Bolton One and at the entrance to The Chancellor’s Mall. Each box of testing kits last for 3 weeks by taking 2 LFD tests per week.

You must not attend campus for the safety of others if you test positive or have any of the main Covid-19 symptoms.

Book an asymptomatic test at Bolton One:
Seat Availability - LibCal - University of Bolton Library

If you have any queries you can speak to a member of staff:

EnquiriesTestingCentre@bolton.ac.uk
Tel. 01204 900600

 

If you are in close contact with a person who is Covid-positive, Government guidance has changed. Double-jabbed individuals who are identified as close contacts do not need to self-isolate but are advised to take a PCR test as soon as possible to check if they have the virus. As the requirement to take a PCR test is not mandatory under the law, individuals who are fully vaccinated and have been in close contact with a Covid-positive individual can go about their life as normal.

The University would prefer staff and students attending for work or study, even in such circumstances, to take a PCR test as soon as possible, but fully vaccinated individuals are expected to continue to work as normal until they receive a result to the contrary (ie, a positive PCR test).

Anyone who tests positive following the PCR test is legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status, in order to break onward chains of transmission. Meanwhile, anyone who develops ‘normal’ Covid-19 symptoms (whether vaccinated or not) should self-isolate and get a PCR test, and remain in isolation until the result comes back.

The definition of a close contact is: a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

You can be a contact any time from 2 days before the person who tested positive developed their symptoms (or, if they did not have any symptoms, from 2 days before the date their positive test was taken), and up to 10 days after, as this is when they can pass the infection on to others. A risk assessment may be undertaken to determine this, but a contact can be:

Anyone who lives in the same household as another person who has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19
• Anyone who has had any of the following types of contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19:
• Face-to-face contact including being coughed on or having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
Been within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
• Been within 2 metres of someone for more than 15 minutes (either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day)

A person may also be a close contact if they have travelled in the same vehicle or plane as a person who has tested positive for Covid-19.

You must self-isolate for 10 days if you haven’t had your second vaccine more than 14 days ago. This is because you've been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus and there's a chance you might have caught it.

If you develop symptoms during this time, you must arrange an urgent test for yourself.

The main categories that would lead to someone being identified as a Contact are:

  • Direct Contact: face-to-face contact with a confirmed case for any length of time within 1 metre (including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, unprotected physical contact (skin to skin) or travel in a small vehicle with a case) or any exposure within 1m for 1 minute or longer.
  • Proximity Contact: between 1 and 2 metres for more than 15 minutes, with a confirmed case. This would apply from two full days before either the onset of their symptoms or date of their test if they don’t have symptoms, until 10 days after symptoms started (or 10 days after the date of test if they don’t have symptoms). Hence, wherever possible, it is important to maintain more than 2 metres distance from those around you to avoid being classed as a possible Contact.

These actions will help protect others in your community whilst you are infectious.

Plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home.

Ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home.

Stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home whenever possible.

Sleep alone if that is possible.

Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.

Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation.

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or you are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Mandatory social distancing has now ended on campus, in line with the clear Government guidance. Internal office spaces and meetings therefore no longer require social distancing to be observed. However, everyone on campus is encouraged to be considerate to others by choosing to practise social distancing, where this is practicable.

You are permitted to return to your term-time accommodation, from anywhere within the UK.

If you are using private vehicles, it is good practice to:

● Avoid car sharing with anyone outside your household or support bubble.

● Rigorously follow the safer travel guidance for passengers to reduce the risk of transmission to others where this is not possible.

If you are using public transport, you should:

● Plan and avoid busy times and routes.

● Consider wearing a face covering.

● Keep your distance from people from other households where possible.

● Wash or sanitise your hands regularly.

● Avoid the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour.

● Download the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel, if possible and check in where you see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters.

Further details: Higher education providers: coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The Student Centre is open between 8:45am and 5pm, Monday to Friday.

Students unable to come to the campus can contact members of Student Services staff using the online chat facility AskUs - Ask Us (bolton.ac.uk)

You can also telephone 01204 903733 or email studentadvisors@bolton.ac.uk

Services available include:

* Academic Advice, including: Mitigating Circumstances, Appeals, Course Transfers, and Timetables.
* Pastoral Support, including: Student Funding, Student Support Fund (formerly the University Hardship Fund), Disability Services, Laptop Loan enquiries and the Disclosure and Barring Service.
* Essential careers/employment advice.

Visit The University of Bolton Student Services for useful information on Student Services.

We recognise this has been and continues to be a challenging period for you. Please be reassured that we are here for you and have put in place a wide range of support through the respective course teams (e.g. Tutors, programme leaders etc).

Mental Health support

Life Lounge: The Life Lounge is open between 8:45am and 5pm Monday to Friday for students who have a pre-booked appointment.

If you are unable to come to campus, you can contact members of Life Lounge staff by email lifelounge@bolton.ac.uk or by telephone 01204 903566.

Life Lounge staff have also developed online mental health and wellbeing resources including self-help materials that can be accessed at: Home - Mental Health and Wellbeing - Subject Guides at The University of Bolton

Life Lounge services include: Counselling, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Mental Health Assessments undertaken by the Mental Health Advisors.

To register for the Life Lounge please use the following link: Life Lounge - Student Support

Additional support includes:

Umii: a social platform mobile app for you to talk to peers.

It is exclusive to the University of Bolton student population and allows students who have similar interests to connect.

(Download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, search for UMII and then create an account using your @bolton.ac.uk email address.)

TogetherAll: a free and confidential mental health and wellbeing support platform that you can access through Togetherall; an online community available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Togetherall | A safe community to support your mental health, 24/7.

SHOUT – a confidential and free crisis text service. Text SHOUT to 85258 to receive support from a specially trained volunteer. They are accessible 24/7 and will be support you through your time of crisis. Text Shout to 85258 - (it is confidential and free for all UK major networks)

The Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week: Tel - 116 12

If you are self-isolating, or have tested positive for Covid-19, please contact the Student Advisors to find out what support we may be able to extend to you, email: studentadvisors@bolton.ac.uk or telephone 01204 903733.

Students who are Isolating/Tested Positive for Covid-19 – there is support available to those students who inform the University they have tested positive for Covid-19 or can provide evidence that they are having to self-isolate. This support includes food vouchers and emergency loans. For more information, please contact the Student Advisors by email studentadvisors@bolton.ac.uk or by telephone 01204903733. It is important that if you are isolating that for the duration of your self-isolation you do not come to the campus to enquire about support.

The Library is open from 9am-9pm Monday to Friday. See the Library website for details of staffed opening hours.

A wide choice of Individual Study Space is available which must be booked in advance. There is now no need to book for Collection/Return/Browsing the Shelves or visiting the Library Helpdesk. You can attend at the time of your choosing but please observe our COVID-safe procedures.

A huge digital library is available via Discover@Bolton, including over 200,000 eBooks and thousands of electronic journals. A wide range of support material including Subject Guides and Frequently Asked Questions are available online. You can get support from the Library by phone and email.

International students studying at the University of Bolton are required to attend face-to-face teaching for the Academic Year 2021/22.

If you are based outside the UK, there are requirements you must follow when you arrive in England.

What you need to do will depend on which countries you have been in or travelled through in the 10 days before your arrival.

For further Information about arrival into England and to view the status of individual countries, please visit the UK government webpage.

You must check this information carefully and ensure you follow the correct advice for the country you have been in or travelled through.

Careers and Employment Support are accessible (from 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday) via the help desk in the Careers Office, located within the Student Centre.

If any student wants to book a full guidance interview, speak to a member of the Careers team, have a CV or application form checked, or attend any careers workshops, these are being delivered online.

All careers support and access to careers and employment resources are available via the link: HERE.

A wide range of relevant Postgraduate Master’s degrees are available (with a particular focus on enhancing your employment opportunities).

• High temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).

• And/or a new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).

• And/or loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.

If you have symptoms and have not had a test, stay at home and get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.

You must not come on to campus if you have coronavirus symptoms.

We would expect that if you have any serious illness that you would be considerate to other students and not to do anything which is likely to spread their infection.

If you have any doubt as to whether you are symptomatic of coronavirus or just of a cold, you should call 111 to seek NHS advice.

Students living in halls of residence or houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) who develop symptoms of coronavirus should self-isolate in their current accommodation.

Those living in private halls should inform their hall manager so they in turn can inform Public Health England’s local Health Protection Team.

Students in HMOs will need to discuss their circumstances with both their landlord and their institution.

People of all ages can get coronavirus.

Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes or heart disease) are more likely to become severely ill with the virus.

People of all ages should follow simple measures to stop viruses like coronavirus spreading, for example by washing their hands often with soap and water.

Face coverings are no longer essential or mandatory, but we hope people will choose to wear them when in close proximity to others. Face masks continue to be made freely available by the University. To address any potential anxiety individuals may have about returning to campus, a supply of clinical grade face coverings are also available, which may afford some protection to the wearer if used properly; but obviously no measure is assured.

The University understands that you may use social media to interact and share information via online communication channels.

However, all members of the University community should always use social media responsibly and carefully manage their digital footprint.

You must also ensure that they you familiarise yourself with the latest Social Media and IT Use policies of the University and, when relevant, the professional/regulatory code of conduct that relates to their programme of study and/or profession.

The inappropriate use of social media can be damaging to your own reputation, harm others but can also damage the reputation of the University.

Further information can be found via the following links:

Student Social Media Guidance 2018-23

Student Non Academic Conduct and Disciplinary Policy and Procedure 2019 22

Please contact your Personal Tutor or Programme Leader in the first instance if you have any questions. Please be patient in waiting for a response from them.

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Help Centre

We have the answers to your questions, find all the advice and support in one place.

Part of the University of Bolton Group

Bolton college
Alliance learning
Anderton centre2
RiSE pos rgb logo
TEF Silver QQA Scheme Participant