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FAQs on test and trace, symptoms and self-isolating

What do I do if I have symptoms?

If you develop symptoms, you must:

When do I need to self-isolate?

You need to self-isolate (stay in your residence and not leave) if:

  • you have been contacted by Public Health England or the University and asked to self-isolate,
  • or if you live with someone with symptoms,
  • or if you have symptoms yourself.

If you are isolating, whether with symptoms or because you’ve been in contact with someone else, please email to let us know.

What if I live with someone who has been asked to isolate by Test & Trace?

  • You do not need to isolate, unless they have symptoms. If they have symptoms, they will need to book a test and you will need to isolate too.

What if someone on my course, in a classroom with me or other environment with me has tested positive?

  • You do not need to isolate, unless you are a close contact.
  • Positive tests will be asked for their close contacts, and those contacts will be contacted by national Test & Trace and asked to isolate.
  • However you may know this before Test & Trace reach you, in which case see below for the definition of close contact.  

What is a close contact?

A close contact means someone who:

  • spends significant time in the same household
  • is a sexual partner
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
  • being coughed on
  • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
  • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane

If you feel sure you are a close contact of a positive case (rather than just a person with symptoms) but haven’t yet been contacted, you may need to isolate: please email for advice.

What if I have been in close contact with someone with symptoms, who is awaiting a test or test results?

When someone first develops symptoms and orders a test, they will be encouraged to alert the people that they have had close contact with in the 48 hours before symptom onset.

Close contacts at this stage do not need to self-isolate unless requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace, the University or a public health professional, but they should:

  • avoid contact with people at high increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus, such as people with pre-existing medical conditions
  • take extra care in practising social distancing and good hygiene
  • watch out for symptoms and self-isolate if they also show signs of coronavirus

You can read more on close contacts here.

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