Covid-19 updates

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

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Last updated 1 March 2021

We are working hard to make sure our students feel safe and informed. This applies to 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.

Latest Government update regarding education/teaching: 

Universities can resume in-person teaching and learning for students at all levels who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects, and require specialist equipment and facilities, from Monday 8 March 2021. Only the practical elements of these courses will resume from 8 March, with other learning continuing online. 

All other undergraduate and postgraduate taught students will continue learning online until at least 12 April 2021, where the government will assess when all students can return to face-to-face teaching. Do not travel to Sheffield or return home and remain where you are currently living until the resumption of your face-to-face teaching.

While we welcome the decision to return to more face-to-face teaching, we understand that some students will face difficulties in travelling to Sheffield in time for 8 March. This may be particularly worrying if you are currently living overseas. 

If you are studying on a course where you have been advised that some elements of practical teaching will resume, and you are unable to travel to Sheffield, you will be able to continue your studies online temporarily until you are able to return. If you might be facing temporary delays in returning to Sheffield, inform your department. 

If you have been invited to return, but are not able to attend in Sheffield for the foreseeable future (for example because of local travel restrictions, medical reasons or a disability), apply for an ‘Exemption from in-person attendance’ request form as soon as possible: https://shef.ac/exemption

Our top priority continues to be the health and safety of our staff and students, and we will continue to work in line with the latest government guidance as more people return to campus.

Further guidance on returning to Sheffield: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/returning-sheffield 


Accessing Campus

Every student is expected to book two tests at our Covid-19 Testing Centre upon returning to Sheffield. Then, if you’re regularly on campus, you should book two tests per week thereafter: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus/safety/our-covid-19-testing-centre 

At this time you should only access the campus if you need to. For example: 

 - if your course includes an element of face-to-face teaching

 - if you need a study space

 - if you need a reliable internet connection to continue your studies.

Study spaces on campus are available: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/learning-spaces 


Rent rebate for university accommodation

Any students who are still unable to use their University-owned or managed accommodation following the government's latest guidance will not be charged rent until 12 April 2021 at the earliest.

The accommodation office will be in touch on, or before, 8 March to advise you on the process for this.

It is really important that you email the Accommodation Office (accommodationoffice@sheffield.ac.uk) for more information or if your plans have changed.

Do I qualify for a rent rebate?

You only qualify for a rent rebate if you are no using university accommodation during term time.

We understand that students living in private rented accommodation may have concerns about their rent payments in light of the current lockdown. If you need advice about accommodation, you can find guidance from the Student Advice Centre on their web pages: https://su.sheffield.ac.uk/advice-and-support/housing The University cannot control the decisions of private landlords, but we will work with our Students’ Union to support their lobbying on this issue and we would urge landlords to be as flexible as possible.


General Information on lockdown

Your accommodation

You must not leave the university accommodation unless necessary:

  • To shop for basic necessities such as food or medical supplies. 
  • Go to work or provide charitable services such as volunteering.
  • Exercise - once per day and do not travel outside the local area.
  • Meet your support bubble if you are legally permitted to form one.
  • Seek medical assistance. 
  • Attend education - for those eligible. 
  • To provide care for the vulnerable or those who are self-isolating.
  • Attend a place of worship. 

Primary and secondary schools will be open for the vulnerable or children of key workers.

All higher education (Universities) will be online until mid-February except for all future critical worker courses. 

If you do leave home/your household for a permitted reason you should stay in the city of Sheffield. 

You must avoid travelling between your university accommodation and your home you should only move once and not continue to move backwards and forwards.

Please stay 2 metres away from anyone you do not live with.


Meeting friends and family

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in your support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one)

You may exercise on your own or with your household/support bubble. 

Please do not meet anyone you don't live with unless it's for a permitted reason, this does not include a meeting to socialise or hold/attend a party.

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. 


Travel

You must not leave home unless its for a reasonable excuse as mentioned above. If you need to travel you must stay in the city of Sheffield. Please walk, run or cycle where possible or plan ahead to avoid busy times on public transport. 

Avoid car sharing. 

Please remember Hands, Face, Space.

You are not permitted to travel internationally or around the UK  unless you are legally permitted to do so. 

You can not leave your home for an overnight stay or holiday. This means that holidays in the UK or abroad are not allowed.

For information about your course at The University of Sheffield then please contact your department directly.

Travelling to university

You should remain where you are wherever possible unless you are on a course that is exempt and have been advised to return by your department. 

We also understand that you already may have travelled back to Sheffield. If this is the case, you should remain in Sheffield at this time. Please do not travel between your term-time and home address. This includes the Easter Vacation period 27 March – 19 April inclusive.

If you are an international student currently living overseas, this means that you are not expected to travel to the UK, but to continue your studies online until further notice. 


Venues Open within University Accommodation

The Village Store - Endcliffe

Monday - Saturday 9am - 8pm

Sunday - 11am - 6pm

The store will also be serving hot drinks

The Hut

Opening times: Monday - Friday 8 am - 2 pm

Inox Dine - City

Inox will be open as a Study Space from 9 am to 6 pm 

Open all week from Monday to Sunday. 


Study spaces

The Ridge Common Room - 8 am-midnight 

The Edge Hub - 8 am-midnight 

High Tor 2 - 8 am-midnight

If you would like to use any of the study areas at Ranmoor or Endcliffe, it is now compulsory to book a space online. 

You can book a one-hour study slot 7 days a week, between the hours of 8 am to midnight. You can of course book longer than an hour if required i.e. 10 am-1 pm, but you will need to make multiple single bookings.

Book your study slot


Closures

Pubs, bars and restaurants

Hospitality is closed including The Edge bar located at Endcliffe.

During the lockdown, we are unable to open the Fitness Suite at Ranmoor and Allen Common Room until further notice

Parties and Large Gatherings

These are not to take place under any circumstance and you must adhere to only living and studying in your accommodation not socialising with others or holding any parties.  If any activity like this were to take place then the incidents will be reported to The Police for further action. Remember this is now illegal and you could incur a significant fine up to £10K. Students will be disciplined under University Regulations if found to be holding and attending large gatherings.


The 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. 

Update from University to all students on 6 January 2021

The academic year 2021-22

For those students joining The University of Sheffield for the academic year 2021-22 for information on your course, please contact your department or recruitment and admissions.  For details with regard to arriving in mid-September full details will be available in June 2021.


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 taste
  • 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 around Sheffield?

Please do not arrive at any of these testing sites unless you have booked an appointment.

Phone 119 or book online.

Sharrow (Pedestrian)

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

Darnall (Pedestrian)

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

Burngreave (Pedestrian)

  • Gower Street Car Park, Burngreave, S4 7HA
  • Open 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm

Upperthorpe (Pedestrian)

  • Shipton Street Car Park, Upperthorpe, Sheffield, S6 3EB
  • Open 7 days a week, from 8 am to 8 pm

Jordanthorpe (Mobile test centre, Pedestrian and Drive-Through)

  • Former Hazel Barrow Primary School site, Hazel Barrow Crescent, S8 8AN
  • Open 7 days a week from 11 am to 4 pm

Meadowhall Shopping Centre (Drive-Through)

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

Self-isolation explained

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

Self-isolation may be needed as a result of travelling 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.

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.


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. 


COVID-19 Support Fund

Our Covid-19 Support Fund is available for any students facing particular challenges as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. To date, 2,200 students have been supported with more than £800,000 of funds.

Examples of reasons you can apply include:

 - the cost of booking a private Covid-19 test required for travel

 - increase in costs due to periods of self-isolation

 - increased utility bills due to working from home

 - costs of improving IT connectivity for studying remotely 

 - if you have experienced financial hardship due to losing part-time work because of Covid restrictions

Supporting our students’ health and wellbeing is our top priority, so we encourage students to apply, or reapply, to the fund so that we can continue to support those whose circumstances are affected by ongoing government restrictions.Every student, at all levels, can apply for the fund: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/funding/student-covid-19-support-fund 


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.


Additional information 

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 information relating to Covid-19, including what to do if you have symptoms or receive a positive test result, check our website: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/coronavirus

All our student support services are available online to help with any specific questions you may have. Contact the Student Services Information Desk (SSID) online first if you need help: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/ssid 

We are also providing mental health support. If you need help, please do not hesitate to contact us: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/mental-wellbeing

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

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