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Coronavirus information for staff and students

11 Feb 2020

Last reviewed on 19/02/20 at 14:00 and last updated on 18/02/20 at 10:30

John Owen Building

Our latest advice and support is available on a frequently asked questions document.

If you have health concerns then you should contact NHS 111 as recommended by Public Health England, however to make other queries regarding the current situation you can email

Last updated on 18/02/20 about advice regarding visa concerns.

Q: I am worried about my visa status. What should I do?

A: The UK Home Office has published detailed new guidance covering people who are unable to return to China, those who are in China but whose documents are lodged at the now closed UK visa application centres, and managing the reporting of absences under various tiers. It is available on the UK Government website.

Message from the President and Vice-Chancellor (31/01/20 at 10.30am)

Dear colleague,

Many of you will no doubt have been following the news of the coronavirus outbreak in China which has been raised with me in my meetings with staff and students this week.

It has also been reported that there are some confirmed cases in the UK, and though no further details have been released, I am writing to assure you that our University is doing everything possible to ensure the safety of our staff and students and will continue to provide guidance, based on the latest UK Government advice, to our community.

We have been in contact with our staff and students in mainland China who are on University business, studying or on a placement and have taken steps to repatriate them, where appropriate.

We also recommend that all other students who are in China return to the UK if they are able to do so. If you are a Chinese national and unable to return to the UK, please let your School or line manager know so that arrangements can be put in place to support your studies or work and to reassure you. We are very keen to stay in contact and help however we can.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s (FCO) latest travel advice is that there should be no non-essential travel to mainland China and advises against all travel to Hubei Province. Staff and students, therefore, should not travel to China before the end of February or until the FCO advice changes. We will continue to monitor FCO advice and will review the situation following 10 February when many Chinese businesses are currently due to reopen following an extended public holiday.

It is important to state that the NHS is very extremely well-prepared and used to managing infections, and Public Health England has stressed that there is not a high risk to the public. However, on campus we are asking you to familiarise yourself with the latest advice from Public Health England.  

This is a fast-moving situation and I and senior colleagues are reviewing our response and guidance on a daily basis – which means we will issue further updates. We will continue to carry out our normal teaching and other activities as normal while taking regular advice.

We appreciate that this is a worrying time for our staff and students, especially those from China and those who may have friends and relatives in the affected regions – and we ask that we act together as a University community in supporting each other through this difficult time.

We have compiled a frequently asked questions which is regularly updated and can be found online. The latest updates are also posted on our staff and student news channels.

If you have a question that cannot be answered using the FAQs, please write to Director for the Student Experience, and we will ensure you receive a response.

Kind regards

Nancy Rothwell
President and Vice-Chancellor

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