Frequently asked questions on coronavirus


What is the College doing to reassure students and colleagues?

The College has robust processes to manage a range of incidents that could affect our students, staff or the local community. We are continuing to monitor the situation and following advice from Public Health England and the National Health Service (NHS).

Should additional action be required we will inform students and staff, if the advice changes from Public Health England and the NHS.

Colds and flu are common at this time of year and we are reminding everyone on campus about simple steps we can all take to try to minimise the spread of viruses generally. The Government has issued public information hygiene advice related to coronavirus.

Should I be carrying on with my studies/going to lectures/work?

Yes, all activity at the College is continuing as normal. 

What about people who have been to Wuhan/Hubei Province?

Up until 2 February the advice was that anyone who has travelled to Wuhan city or been in contact with someone confirmed as having the virus within the last 14 days, should call NHS 111 and then self-isolate for 24 hours – avoiding public places and public transport.

Should the person then develop any symptoms then they will be transported to a local hospital.

On 3 February this was slightly amended to include anyone who has travelled to Hubei province, including Wuhan city, in the last 14 days.

What about people who have been exposed to someone with the virus?

Public Health England have not issued any additional guidance, but for the confirmed cases in York they were looking to trace anyone who had ‘close contact’ with those with the virus. This was defined as being within 2m for more than 15 minutes.

At this time there are only two confirmed cases in the UK.

The WHO has declared this a global health emergency, what does this mean?

Essentially nothing has changed for Royal Holloway. We are following advice from Public Health England and the NHS.

What should I do to keep myself safe? 

The Government has released public information to clarify what people can do:

Germs can live on some surfaces for hours. To protect yourself and others:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
  • Bin the tissue, and to kill the germs, wash your hands with soap and water, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • If you have arrived back from China within 14 days follow the specific advice for returning travellers.

This is the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including coronavirus.

What if I see someone wearing a mask?

The wearing of face masks is a common practice in some cultures. Masks are worn for a variety reasons and should not be taken to be an indicator that the wearer is unwell. In some cases people wear them to protect themselves from illness and in others to ensure they do not spread the common cold. Masks may be even worn indoors.

What if someone tells me they may have the virus?

There is a lot of concern around the virus, so quickly and calmly ascertain if they have been to Hubei province in the last 14 days, or if they have been in contact with someone confirmed to have the virus. If neither of these is the case then the advice from the NHS and Public Health England is that there is no risk.

For the confirmed cases, please see the latest advice from Public Health England.

I’m a student with a 30 week contract, what will happen if I can’t travel home?

We have accommodation available over the Easter break, students on 30 week contracts will be contacted nearer the time explaining how to book, if necessary.

Will coronavirus have any impact on students studying on a Tier 4 visa?

We have been told by UK Visa and Immigration (UKVI) that they will not penalise students and sponsoring institutions for any breaches caused by Coronavirus travel restrictions. More information can be found here

Where do I find out about coronavirus?

Further information from Public Health England can be found on
Further information from the NHS, including advice, can be found on the NHS website.

Where do I find out more about the impact of coronavirus on my work or on students?

Updates will continue to be posted on the student and staff intranets. If you have a question that is not covered, email