Staff Portal

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice & Guidance

Updated 22 October 2020

What’s happening at Richmond

The University constantly considers and reviews sector advice, government requirements and Public Health England initiatives, and takes all necessary and appropriate steps to deliver on our health and safety requirements. The extensive range of measures being taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have been approved by our local health authority. The health, safety and wellbeing of all of our community members is the University's number one priority.

To do what we can to keep everyone safe and ensure all of our students can commence their studies in Fall 2020, we have introduced a blended system of online and on-campus learning.

For current students, the new semester commenced with online learning on Monday 7 September. We are then expecting current students to be back on campus on Saturday 31 October with in-person classes restarting on Monday 2 November, subject to UK Government guidance.

New students commenced their virtual orientation on Monday 21 September, with the online course beginning a week later on Monday 28 September with supported learning for all new students. Dependent on the outcome of lockdown and social distancing measures, we plan to commence on-campus teaching at Richmond on Monday 2 November, with students being able to move into their campus accommodation from Monday 26 October and on-campus orientation taking place from 26-30 October.

Travel to the UK and quarantine

Students arriving from outside the UK will need to quarantine (self-isolate in the place you are staying) for the first 14 days. There are some countries where this requirement is not necessary; the full list of exempted countries is on the GOV.UK website. Be aware that this list may change regularly so check before you fly. Please make sure you read the guidance on the website for full information.

If students do need to quarantine and they have booked accommodation with the University, we will provide free accommodation and food service during the quarantine period for students in accommodation which is catered, but you must have arrived between 10-12 October to take part. If students are living in self-catered University accommodation during quarantine, we can assist with food delivery.

Most importantly, do please stay home if you do not feel well. We can help with advice and guidance on reporting symptoms, getting a Covid-19 test and quarantining/self-isolating, so please contact us at if we can help.

Safety measures

We are making a number of changes on campus to keep students safe. These measures will include:

  • Student health checks 24 hours in advance of arrival
  • Temperature checks for all students arriving on campus
  • 14-day quarantine period for international students in residence halls (housed in residential bubbles with deliveries) with NO external guests in the residential areas
  • Mandatory face coverings in transit areas and common areas where 2 metres social distancing is not possible plus face coverings to be worn in all classrooms
  • On-campus accommodation: students are being housed in zones which will operate as a household with some shared facilities and common space. This is a response to Government guidance about limiting contacts while in larger residential areasHand sanitiser at every entrance, in computer labs, library and offices
  • Unique entrances and exits to each building
  • A marked traffic system to ensure social distance
  • Stepped up cleaning on high touch areas and public toilet facilities
  • All guests must sign in and out at our reception desk and must follow our guest guidance to comply with NHS Track and Trace
  • Students visiting offices must adhere to social distancing requirements and must wear face coverings. Room capacities will be posted at each entrance. These capacities cannot be exceeded.
  • Chairs and tables will be spread out in the dining hall, in the library and in common areas to ensure social distancing and capacities will be reduced to make it easier to manage crowds Both the dining hall and the cafes will offer take away options at every meal.
  • Classes during Fall 2 will consist of blended learning, meaning some sessions will be online while others will be in person. Generally, we would expect students to need to come to campus 2 to 3 days per week, but this can vary depending on the class and faculty member. If a student is unable to attend in person, s/he should inform their instructor.
  • Anyone experiencing any symptoms: fever, cough, loss of smell/taste, etc will be required to isolate for 14 days. If in residence halls, we will place students in isolated housing, for off- campus students, they'll need to stay at home. The students will need to liaise with Studen Affairs concerning attendance, missed assignments, etc.

See here for more details.

Latest UK Government advice

The latest UK Government advice is available here.

Click here for UK Government advice on Social Distancing Measures.


  1. Can I receive a refund for my pre-paid housing fees?  
    Please consult the terms and conditions of your housing agreement. If you feel you wish to make a complaint, please follow our complaints and appeals process on our website.
  2. Will the library remain open if I want to use it?
    No, the libraries and all other facilities at the University are now closed to protect the health of all students, faculty and staff.
  3. Will the graduation ceremony happen in May?
    Because of the current uncertainty, the University postponed the May 2020 Commencement.  We will advise students as soon as possible of any further developments.

How to get tested

Please visit the dedicated NHS website for information on receiving tests for Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please be aware, you cannot qualify for testing until you go through 111. Visit the NHS 111 website for information on how to recognise the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19)