Covid-19 updates

Advice from Accommodation Services for students in University owned and managed accommodation.

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Last updated 27 November 2020

We are working hard to make sure our students feel safe and informed. This applies for new students, returners and also our staff. We assure you, our student community will be supportive and a place to call home whilst you are living with us, while taking into account social distancing and government guidelines on Covid-19.

As you may know, Sheffield will be in the very high local Covid alert level (Tier 3) when the current national restrictions are lifted on Wednesday 2 December.

This means that: 

 - You must not socialise with people you do not live with in any indoor setting or in any private garden or at most outdoor hospitality venues (people you live with are those you share a kitchen or bathroom with)

- You can meet in a group of up to six outdoors at a park, or the countryside

 - All pubs and bars and indoor entertainment venues in Sheffield will be closed, except for deliveries and takeaways

Our libraries will remain open and study spaces will continue to be available across campus on a bookable and drop in-basis: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/learning-spaces   

In addition, all our Student Support Services will continue to be available online until Friday 18 December: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/support#students 

Read the full details of the restrictions on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-winter-plan/covid-19-winter-plan-summary 

Travelling home for Christmas 

To protect yourself and your loved ones, you need to continue to follow the rules ahead of any plans to travel for the festive period. As you know, the student travel window runs from Thursday 3 - Wednesday 9 December. 

You should aim to travel within this period, but we understand you may have a part-time job or other specific circumstance that means you may not be able to. You’ll still be able to leave Sheffield after Wednesday 9 December, but we recommend checking the latest government guidance before travel. 

You must not travel before this period and continue to follow national guidelines.

The government has announced that students who had already booked train tickets to travel home for Christmas before the announcement of the student travel window can now rebook their tickets to travel between 3 and 9 December without paying additional fees. Read the full details on our website: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/travelling-end-term 

Share your travel plans with us 

In order to help us support you, whether you leave Sheffield or remain for the festive period, please complete this brief questionnaire: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScdMp0678xkg8febX7dSNtSS5NwDHDGMrrO2ySYpsGZbGPzSw/viewform 

We will be sharing guidance in the coming weeks for students who intend to stay. This will include information on support and our programme of social activities, virtual and physical, running throughout the vacation period.

Safety guidance for travel 

Before you travel, we recommend that you book a free test at our Covid-19 Testing Centre, as close to your date of departure as possible, to help reduce risk to yourself and others: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/safety/our-covid-19-testing-centre 

You should schedule your test to take place after you have completed all your face-to-face teaching this semester. 

Please note that this test will not provide any documentation needed for overseas travel. However, you are still welcome to book a test at our Covid-19 Testing Centre.

Avoid social contact as much as possible with other people before you travel.

Plan your journey to allow yourself plenty of time to allow for any delays due to social distancing measures. 

Remember to always wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines

You should limit your luggage where possible and only take what you need with you. 

Accommodation Services would like you to follow the information below to ensure that all students leaving do so in a safe and organised way. 

  1. Arrange your travel arrangement in advance and consider the most suitable option available to you
  2. If friends and family are collecting you, please ensure that only one other member of your family comes to collect you and they will not be permitted to enter your property due to government guidelines around households
  3. When being collected from the accommodation, make sure that only you are entering and leaving the flat or property to transport your belongings to the car, due to Tier 3 guidelines. 
  4. Where possible, we would advise that access to accommodation is made between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm for the period 3 – 9 December 2020.
  5. On entering and exiting the accommodation, all must wear a face covering, make sure they follow 2-meter social distancing and wash hands or sanitise
  6. Please be in and out of the accommodation within 60 minutes and have what you want to take with you packed and ready to go. Please do not stay for longer than is needed as this is a pick-up and not a long visit for friends and family.
  7. Take into consideration those students that may still be in the accommodation and be aware of the government rules relating to testing and travel.
  8. Please park with consideration for others
  9. You do not need to hand in keys or access devices when you leave but please remember to lock your room when you leave
  10. City Taxis are available from the taxi rank by the paddock, near The Edge but taxis must not come on-site.

If you have symptoms, do not travel. Self-isolate for 10 days, book a test through the NHS website and inform the University: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/safety/symptoms-testing-self-isolation 

For further guidance on travel, including information for international students, visit our website: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/travelling-end-term 

Student support over the holiday period

We are also aware that a number of students will remain in Sheffield over the Christmas period. For those staying in Sheffield Residence Life will have a full programme of events and activities for student living in University accommodation can get involved with and all students will be emailed details of this.  So if you are wanting to get involved you will be able to stay in Sheffield and get involved in all sorts of Christmas fun and festivities.

The University Library will remain open from 9am to 5pm everyday over the Christmas break, except bank holidays and weekends. The University Health Service will also be open from 8.45am to 5pm except bank holidays and weekends.

Details of how to access support services over the holiday period will be shared with you as soon as they have been finalised. 

For the latest information from the University about coronavirus, including support if you are self-isolating, visit our website: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus   

Returning after the holiday break

We will also keep you updated about the details for the start of the new term in January. 

Reminder of the current lockdown rules in place until 2 December 2020

Please remember to follow the national restrictions that are now in place. 

You must stay at home except for specific reasons, including: 

 - to buy essentials, including food

 - education 

 - exercise 

 - medical reasons 

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household. Your household includes anyone you share a kitchen or bathroom with. 

You can continue to meet one person you do not live with in an outdoor space, so long as you remain socially distant.

You should try to avoid travelling outside the very high alert level or entering a very high alert level area, other than for work, education or for caring responsibilities or to travel through as part of a longer journey.

Residents should avoid staying overnight in another part of the UK, and others should avoid staying overnight in the very high alert area.

Remember throughout the lockdown period, we’re here to support you: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid

If you are self-isolating, either in private or University accommodation, you can also find support on our website: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/autumn-term-2020/safety#support-self-isolating

For more details on the latest rules, check the government website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-national-restrictions-from-5-november?priority-taxon=774cee22-d896-44c1-a611-e3109cce8eae 

Thank you to everyone who is continuing to follow the latest rules to keep our University and city safe. 

Government Guidelines

Travel

In line with the latest rules, to limit further transmission of the virus, you should not return to your permanent home during term time or before 2 December if you are living in Sheffield: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/coronavirus-hub/coronavirus-local-rules-restrictions

If you commute to the University, for example if you live with family, you are able to continue to travel to and from campus for education purposes. 

Food and Drink

Café’s on campus will remain open for take away service. Please remember there are also lots of different places from where you can order food and drink online.

For further details and opening times please visit: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/foodanddrink/openingtimes

Social & Study Spaces

Update: The Edge Bar has reopened as a study space

We understand that it gets boring inside your flat so you should get out if you are not self-isolating. Social Spaces are available for you to use alone or with your flatmates. We have The Edge Hub, Edge Bar, High Tor, The Ridge common room, and Allen Court common room plus there is a lovely social space at Jonas. Please don't mix on tables with other households and all areas will be supervised by a member of the team for your safety. 

Opening Times:

Edge Hub

24/7

Edge Bar

24/7

High Tor

24/7

The Ridge Common Room

8am - 12pm everyday

Jonas

Monday - Sunday 9am - 10pm

http://www.residencelife.co.uk/jonas-study-space_131899

Inox

Monday - Thursday 9am – 10pm

Friday - Sunday 9am – 6pm

Please continue to respect the facilities and your fellow students whilst using these spaces, to allow them to remain open for everyone to use and enjoy.  

Please do not to bring or drink any alcohol in any of the study spaces, including the Edge Bar.

Fitness Suite

The Residences Fitness Suite is closed until 2 December 2020 and more details will be available shortly about reopening from 3 December 2020 onwards.

Indoors

You can’t mix with people from outside your household (which is your flat or house where you live) in any indoor setting (houses, flats, pubs, clubs, etc). There are lots of things that you can be doing to entertain yourself inside - please keep an eye on the Residence Life events and activities. All students can contact their family and loved ones using the Wi-FI across the residences using Hangouts or Skype to keep in touch. 

Outdoors

You can meet one other person outside from a different household as long as social distancing is maintained. You are not allowed to meet in private gardens, you must meet in public spaces such as parks, woods, the countryside etc. 

Parties and Large Gatherings

We have had several reports that parties are taking place across the residences and this is causing great concern to students, local residents, and staff. We must all work together to follow the rules and fight the virus that is causing so much disruption in our lives. Remember this is now illegal and you could incur a significant fine up to £10K.

Smoking in self-isolation

Now would be the perfect time to try and quit smoking. Follow the NHS guidelines for help on how to do this. 

If this is simply not an option for you - please do not smoke inside your flats. Upon exiting and entering the flat you must sanitise your hands and wear a face covering when walking through all communal areas. Please refrain from smoking directly outside the main entrance and consider how this could impact others.

Students’ Union

Your Students’ Union will remain open. For the latest updates, check the Students’ Union website: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/

Academic year 2020-21

Accommodation Services have been and will continue to work alongside UK Government Advice, Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office while you are a resident in University Owned and Managed accommodation. 

How we are supporting students who are self-isolating

We recognise how difficult it is for students who are starting or returning to University and need to self-isolate because of Covid-19 cases.

To make sure we are supporting students in the best way possible, we will contact all students who are self-isolating to check on their welfare and offer practical and emotional support. We will also make sure that all students know how to access our mental health and wellbeing services while isolating. Eligible students can apply for financial support through our hardship fund, and students without access to the IT equipment needed for their course can apply to loan a laptop.

For students staying in University accommodation, we will also:

  • do a daily check-in on students who are symptomatic, have tested positive or who have registered with our Residence Life team for a daily welfare call to find out how they are feeling and what their specific needs may be 
  • offer support in accessing medication, shopping and food deliveries – including access to a guaranteed delivery of an essentials food, toiletries and a laundry product package while self-isolating
  • provide students details for local collect and deliver laundry services. The University will subsidise the cost of this to ensure self-isolating students are not paying any more than they would have to use our communal laundries. We are also providing a free hand wash detergent to all flats on request
  • make sure that all students know what to do if they or their flatmates become symptomatic, or very unwell 
  • offer a range of online residence life activities to support engagement and community building
  • daily peer-to-peer support drop-in sessions for students who are not self-isolating and may need assistance or signposting to support services

We are in regular contact with Sheffield City Council, Public Health England and other partners to make sure that we are sharing information about the local situation and responding to the latest guidance.

Students and parents can contact covidstudentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk.

We understand that this is a stressful situation for students. We have a range of mental health support and guidance for students.

We strongly encourage all our students to register with the University of Sheffield Health Service. The ShefUniHealth App will assist you in making the best choices for seeking help when you are unwell and accessing services, including local pharmacies.

If you’re feeling down, overwhelmed or struggling to adjust to student life, you can meet one-to-one with a Wellbeing Advisor in your faculty, or attend workshops to help you improve your wellbeing using our Student Wellbeing Service.

What to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms

If you are displaying coronavirus symptoms these are the steps you should take:

  • Stay at home and self-isolate if you have: 
    • a high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough
    • a loss or change to your sense of smell or tast
  • Book a test straight away, however mild your symptoms. Tests are free. If you are a student give your term-time address: NHS Covid-19 webpage or call 119 if you don't have internet access. 
  • Tell the university. This will enable us to monitor for positive Covid-19 cases for track and trace purposes, and provide you with any support you may need. 
  • Tell Residence Life: It is also important to contact Residence Life and let them know you have symptoms: residentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk
    Let them know where you are living, that you are showing symptoms, and will be self isolating.

Where can I get tested?

Sharrow (Pedestrian)

  • Alderson Road Car Park, Sharrow, S2 4LG (down the road from London Road Pharmacy)
  • Open 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm

Darnall (Pedestrian)

  • Station Road Car Park, Darnall, S9 4JT
  • Open 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm

Burngreave (Pedestrian)

  • Gower Street Car Park, S4 7HA
  • Open 8am - 8pm every day

Broomhall (Mobile test centre, Pedestrian & Drive-Through)

  • Milton Street Car Park, Broomhall, S3 7WQ
  • Open 7 days a week from 11am to 3pm

Meadowhall Shopping Centre (Drive-Through)

  • Overspill car park, plot 7
  • Open 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm

Self-isolation explained

We are supporting you throughout the year and do need to advise you about Self isolation and what is means to you and your fellow students.

Self-isolation may be needed as a result of traveling to the UK to study from International and European Countries. If you are unsure of what this means find out how to self-isolate when you travel to the UK.

You may also need to self-isolate as a result of having symptoms and if this is the case then you will also need to notify NHS 111 and have a test for Covid-19. 

It is also important to contact Residence Life and let them know you have symptomsresidentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk

Self-isolation does mean that you need to stay in your room and not go out, and take care when sharing kitchens with other members of the flat/household and adhere to guidelines.  You will need to arrange for your own food deliveries and you should once you have prepared meals go back into your room and eat. It is important that you keep 2 metres away from others and regularly wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or more.

For full details on self-isolation and support please click here and read more on our self-isolation page where you will find useful info on support, food delivery and ordering plus general advice.

Everything you need to know about self-isolationWe want to assure you we have everything in place to support you over the coming months. If you have any particular concerns about your own wellbeing when moving to University accommodation you can contact residentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk to discuss these with a member of the wellbeing team. 

For information about the University's response to Covid-19 visit the latest information pages. Before you arrive you should also familiarise yourself with the University’s Your Community: Your Responsibility page which explains expectations in regards to your conduct and current Covid-19 requirements. These expectations apply to your conduct on campus, in the residences, and in the wider community.


Households within your flats 

Each flat within University accommodation blocks counts as a household, and therefore the government guidelines around households will apply.

Therefore social distancing is not required within your flat unless you or a flatmate is self isolating. This means that within your household, you are not required to wear a face covering. However in communal spaces, shared corridors, and at Residence Life activities or events where you will be meeting other people you may be required to wear a face covering.

Can I stay overnight in someone else’s home?

As the UK is in lockdown, you cannot stay overnight in another home or accommodation.


Student support 

If you are a student in University accommodation studying, staying over autumn/winter and self-isolating because you are symptomatic, please notify residentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk and make sure your student record is up-to-date. Please also let the University's support services know that you are self-isolating by completing this Google form. The form will signpost you to the sources of welfare support available during this time. 


Residence Life events and activities

Our award winning Residence Life team will offer as usual a fantastic range of activities / events both online and face to face across the academic year. We are adjusting to a new way of delivering events to take place both online, and within the Residences so you can get the most from your University experience.

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