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Our response to Coronavirus

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See the latest plans for our January 2021 return to campus following new direction from the Government on 30 December 2020.

These are extraordinary times. In these pages you’ll find out how Marjon is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we’ll ensure that no matter what comes our way, we will always put students first.

We will prioritise your safety, your belonging in our community and your long term success. For the last 180 years we’ve offered personalised, innovative teaching that puts students first. We’re not stopping now.

Get tested on your return to campus

This page contains information about the Asymptomatic Testing Centre at Plymouth Marjon University which provides free, fast testing for students and staff without symptoms of coronavirus. 

The testing centre will reopen from Monday 4 January 2021. You can book tests for your return to campus by following this link.

Anyone accessing campus needs to book tests. You should take two tests, 72 hours apart, to offer assurance to our community as we return to campus. 

Book your tests

Please book two tests, three days apart, at the Asymptomatic Testing Centre

Asymptomatic testing FAQS

What is asymptomatic testing?

Asymptomatic means someone who has no symptoms of a disease, in this case coronavirus. Many people who are infected with coronavirus can have no symptoms and still transmit the virus to others without being aware. We can reduce the risk of transmission by identifying those who may not know they have the virus by testing people without symptoms.

This is particularly important when students and staff are returning to campus as they may unknowingly bring the virus with them.

Who should book?

All staff and students need to book tests for as soon as possible as you return to campus. If you are resident, book for as soon as you can as you return, and then three days later. 

If you do not attend or work on campus, there is no need to book a test, but you are still welcome to do so and you should make sure you get two tests before any planned return. 

What do I need to do?

You should book two lateral flow tests, three days (72 hours) apart. The tests will tell you if you are currently infectious with Covid-19. 

Two tests are recommended because positive cases can be missed. The second test reduces the risk of missing positive cases.


You can book the tests on Learning Space by following this link

Tests take 20-30 minutes to read and for us to upload the (anonymous) results to the NHS website, but they could take up to 24 hours to reach you. 


Where do I get a test?

The asymptomatic test centre is in HDC 101.

You must book an appointment on Learning Space for each of your two tests.

Do I have to pay for a test?

No, the tests are free.

When can I book a test?

The asymptomatic test centre opens again on Monday 4 January. You must book an appointment on Learning Space for each of your tests. The booking system is now live.  


We have opened the bookings for the first two weeks and as that fills we will assess opening times and then open more slots for later weeks in January. 

I live at home and commute to campus. Can I get a test?

All students and staff who are attending campus should book tests. However in January you should only attend campus if you do not have suitable study space at home, or need to for certain support such as mental ill health. 

If "three days apart" doesn't fit with when you are on campus, you don't need to travel specifically. Just book two tests for your first two visits to campus. 

I’m already self-isolating. Can I get a test?

No. These tests are for students who don't have symptoms and are not close contacts of confirmed cases.

 If you're already self-isolating due to contact with a confirmed case, you should not leave to get tested until your self-isolation period ends (provided you have not developed symptoms).

Should I get tested if I have already had coronavirus?

Our understanding is that the government wishes anyone who is accessing campus to get tested so please do book tests even if you have tested positive before. 


However please ensure you do not leave isolation to get tested. 

What does the test involve?

You’ll arrive at the test centre, and you will register on the NHS website using a barcode you will be given which is unique to you. This is so that your results can be sent to you.

You’ll then be asked to go to a booth, and asked to swab the back of your throat, near your tonsils, and your nostrils. You administer the test yourself with trained team members available to guide you through the process.  Your swab will have your barcode on, to link it to your registration.

You will pass your swab to a team member, and you then leave the centre. You should only be in the centre for around 8-10 minutes. You may have a short queue to get in.

The swab is processed in order to detect whether coronavirus is present. Our team will upload the results anonymously to the NHS website between 20 and 30 minutes after you did the swab. This may take up to 24 hours to be shared to you by email and SMS due to the volume of tests.

The testing centre staff have no access to your results and cannot chase them: results are entirely anonymous.

How long do I need to wait for results?

You don’t need to wait at the centre. Results will be sent to you by SMS and email, usually within two hours, but it should be within 24 hours of the test.

If you have not got your results from NHS Test and Trace within 24 hours, you should call 119 to determine next steps, which is likely to involve a re-test.

How will I get my test results?

You’ll receive your results directly from the NHS by email and/or SMS. The University does not receive a copy of your results.

If you test positive, please advise the University at

Is it safe to go to the test centre?

For your safety this test centre is for students and staff without symptoms only. It is located in HDC 101 and is totally separate to the public Covid-19 test centre which is located at the Sport & Health Centre.

All visitors are advised to wear masks and socially distance. There is a one-way system, five individual testing booths and a booking system which enables control over the flow of visitors.

Please be assured that the testing site is safe and managed in accordance with government guidance.

Entry to the site is from behind the Chaplaincy. This may mean you need to queue outside so if it’s raining, please be ready. It is safer to queue outside than inside.

What if I test negative?

You don't need to isolate between two negative tests, but continue to be careful with social distancing. 

Ensure you continue to follow the rules for our Tier. Getting negative tests is not a reason to let your guard down. 

What if I test positive?

You will be sent a notification with instructions on what to do next. This will read:

“Your coronavirus test result is positive. This means it’s likely you were infectious when the test was done. You need to book a different test now to confirm the result. Go choose ‘home testing’ (do not choose a test site).

In the meantime, keep self-isolating. You must, by law, self-isolate for 10 days from the date of this test. People you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when you start self-isolating.

You should be contacted by contact tracers. Use 111 online or call 111 if you need medical help. In an emergency dial 999.

See for more advice.”

Support is available from the university if you test positive and need to self-isolate.

If you test positive, please let the university know by emailing

What if a close contact of mine tests positive?

If you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days. 

Please note that if you are a close contact of a positive case, you must self-isolate even if you receive a negative test yourself. The negative test means you were probably not infectious at the time of the test, but you could become infectious.

Do I need to self-isolate between two tests?

No, not if you are negative on the first test.

What do I need to bring to my test?

Please bring a face covering and your smartphone. The NHS registration requires you to access a web link to register and then scan a bar code with your camera. This is the unique ID that connects your test up with you and keeps your results confidential.

If you don’t have a smartphone, please book a test and you can register on a university device on arrival.

What if I need accessibility support to take the test?

The test centre is accessible in a wheelchair. If you will need assistance with administering the test, (in terms of swabbing your throat and nose) please email the details on the confirmatory page of the booking process so that we can organise this.

How is my data handled?

When you book for a test, the University will manage your booking data using your student or staff login details, so that we can let you know about your appointments and any changes. You can find out more about our data protection policy here. By booking a test it is assumed that individuals have provided their permission to participate in testing and for relevant identified parties to process this data.

When you arrive at the test centre, you will register online with NHS Test and Trace, and they will handle your data around your test and the results.

The University is not informed of your result. The people in the test centre will read results anonymously, upload results based on the barcode attached to them, and you will be informed of the result through NHS Test and Trace.

To find out how the Government uses your personal data when you register please go to: Register a coronavirus test (lateral flow test) - GOV.UK ( This is the page you will register on when you arrive at the test centre, and the privacy notice is at the bottom of this page.

Data Protection Impact Assessment

The Department for Health and Social Care has conducted a Data Protection Impact Assessment for the management of data relating to the testing processes.

By attending the test site and registering for a test, it is assumed that individuals have provided their permission to participate in testing and for relevant identified parties to process this data.

Student travel FAQs

I have symptoms, can I travel?

No. If you have symptoms you need to self-isolate, book a test and do not travel.

Who can I car-share with?

You can car-share only with members of your current household, or the household you are going to join.

Can I travel by public transport?

Yes. When using public transport you must wear a face covering (unless you are exempt).

You should:

  • Sanitise your hands regularly on the journey
  • Use contactless payment
  • Socially distance from other travellers at 2m as far as possible
  • Avoid travelling at the busiest times like rush hour and on the busiest routes
  • Consider downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before you travel and check in where you see official NHS posters or QR codes

Is the lateral flow test valid for international travel?

No, the lateral flow test being used at our asymptomatic testing centre is not valid for international travel. If you need to travel overseas it is likely that you will need to arrange a private PCR test from a reputable clinic.

You should check the requirements of your airline and also for any restrictions that apply to the country you are travelling to.

I’m a resident student. Can I stay on campus over Christmas?

Yes, resident students can remain on campus over the Christmas break. Please let us know you are staying by emailing Alison Spencer on

If you are self-isolating over this period please inform

Please note that there will be very limited support and facilities open over Christmas.

Is my maintenance loan affected?

The Department for Education and Student Loans Company have both confirmed students will get their second and third loan paid at the same rate as previously – so they don’t intend to change rates even if a student has spent more time living at home due to Covid than in their student accommodation this year.

This is information has been raised and confirmed with NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) meetings with SLC and DFE representatives, (as the online guidelines on the are not quite clear regarding these circumstances).


The only change to their funding would be if a student has officially left their student accommodation to move back home fully so are no longer paying for their accommodation. In that circumstance the student would need to let SFE know.

Please note that if you want advice on this you can speak to Debra Smitham 

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