Latest information on Covid-19

As at 11am on Wednesday 27 January 2021:

  • There are 18 current cases of Covid-19 cases linked to the University - 16 students and 2 staff
  • In the past 24 hours, there have been 3 additional confirmed cases of Covid-19. None of the new cases had been on campus in the 48 hours before their self-isolation.
  • When a student or staff member tests positive who has been on campus, we complete an internal Track and Trace process. 
  • Since September 2020, 169 previous cases have now completed their self-isolation and have recovered

Working together to keep our campus and Winchester safe

As the University for Sustainability and Social Justice, the continued health, welfare and safety of our students, staff and global community is our number one priority as we all continue to tackles the challenges brought about by Covid-19. The information below is designed to provide information to our current and future students, staff, and the wider community.

Semester 2 begins on Monday 11 January with most teaching at the University taking place online until at least mid-February when the Government will review the situation. 

The University remains open for students on certain courses, with amended plans for Semester 2 (please see below)

We are continuing to work closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England and our local authority partners.

We are communicating directly with those who need to change their actions in relation to potential contact with confirmed Covid cases. If you do not hear from the University or from NHS Track and Trace there is no need to change your behaviour at this stage.

If you have any Covid symptoms:

If you have a question about self-isolation or are concerned about someone self-isolating, please contact us via the purple 'Ask' live chat function on the website. Alternatively, if your query is on-campus and urgent please call our 24/7 Site Stewards team on 01962 827666

The University is continuing to respond to the Government’s latest guidance and therefore information and guidelines are subject to change. 

Page last updated: 26 January 2021

Report symptoms. self-isolation or gatherings

If you are a student or staff member experiencing any Covid symptoms, or are required to self-isolate because someone you live with has symptoms, or you have been instructed to self-isolate by the University or NHS Track and Trace

If you believe a gathering is planned or has happened which breaches the latest guidelines

Plans for Semester 2 and testing

Changes to January return plans - updated 7 January and testing guidance updated 26 January 2021


The latest Government guidance released by the Department for Education on 7 January sets out revisions that mean the courses to return to campus with face to face teaching have changed.

We know this will be difficult for students with the changing messages. We hope you will understand the fast-moving situation presented by the pandemic and the shifting Government guidance as a result, as Government states below:

“Due to the additional national lockdown measures now in place, we must take further steps to reduce transmission, including by significantly reducing the number of students returning to university from their winter break accommodation, and limiting the number of people travelling to and from university facilities. We are now prioritising the return to face-to-face teaching for courses which are most important to be delivered in-person in order to support the pipeline of future key workers.”

Courses now to return to campus

The latest Government guidance sets out revisions that mean the courses to continue with face to face teaching are now limited to:

  • Nursing (all levels and routes)
  • Physiotherapy (all years)
  • Social Work (BSc levels 5 and 6 (second and third years); MSc Social Work, Apprenticeship; and Step Up)

Courses to be taught online

To be clear, all courses not listed above will be taught online from 11 January until mid-February when the Government will review the situation. This includes the following courses, which were previously included in the Government guidance and in our emails to students this week:

  • BA/BEd/MEd Primary Education
  • Education Studies
  • PGCE (all routes)
  • Professional Policing
  • Social Work – level 4 (first years)
  • Health & Social Care
  • Childhood & Youth Studies
  • Childhood Studies
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

All students on courses that will be online are encouraged to remain at the address you have been in over the Christmas break until the resumption of their in-person teaching, wherever possible. There are some exemptions below.

If you are in this category but have already returned to campus you can and should remain in your current university accommodation and can continue to access campus facilities.

Important information to note

Please note the following important information based on the latest Government guidance:

  • All students on courses that will be online are encouraged to remain at their vacation accommodation until the resumption of their in-person teaching, wherever possible.
  • We will continue to support the return of students in exceptional circumstances, including:
    • where students do not have access to appropriate alternative accommodation, facilities or study space, or who need to return for health or safety reasons;
    • international students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation;
    • those who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break;
    • those who have returned to university accommodation in exceptional circumstances, for example because they are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation;
    • those requiring additional support, including those with mental health and wellbeing issues; and
    • commuter students who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example, because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation).
  • Students should only utilise campus resources when they have to, in order to reduce footfall on campus, and are able to get tested alongside the first expected returners.
  • Students should avoid returning to university to collect any of their belongings which they may have left at their university accommodation over the winter break. However, students can travel back to collect any medical equipment or items required for online learning if it essential.

Testing - updated 26 January 2021

Students and staff who are on campus are encouraged to get regularly tested, twice a week. You can book a Covid test online using this form (you will need to log in using your normal University account details). It is fast to book and the tests are free.

Social distancing must be followed at all times before and after testing.

Both staff and students can book tests, which will help to protect those around you.

No Detriment

The University is working on a package of measures to ensure students are not disadvantaged in terms of their grades from this academic year. Our aim is to have this finalised by week 3 of Semester 2. 

We know that some students have deadlines in the coming weeks. The no detriment measures will be retrospectively applied to any work submitted this academic year. We are working closely with the Student Union and external regulatory bodies to ensure the measures fit within the higher education quality framework.

If you need to contact us

We recognise this is a significant change to the messages being communicated this week already. If you have any questions you are able to get in touch with us via:

  • 'Ask' Live Chat on the University website
  • calling the Covid Careline on 01962 827100
  • replying to the email you received, if you are a current student

Thank you all for bearing with us in this difficult time. We are doing all we can within these restrictions to help ensure students are still able to engage and succeed in their studies.

Staff on campus

We are currently updating the Covid-19 HR policy in light of the current lockdown

Regular Covid testing on campus

Students and staff who are on campus are encouraged to get regularly tested, twice a week. You can book a Covid test online using this form (you will need to log in using your normal University account details). It is fast to book and the tests are free.

Social distancing must be followed at all times before and after testing.

Both staff and students can book tests, which will help to protect those around you.

Supporting our students

We have always been passionate about providing a supportive and inclusive environment to help all students flourish and this has never been more true than in our approach to this academic year. Our student support services, including mental health and disability support together with careers advice are available, with online delivery.

Winchester Student Union will continue to provide exceptional student-led and student-delivered services to support the student experience: representing your voice; supporting you in your learning and welfare; and helping you access necessary and suitable welfare support.

Health and Wellbeing

Latest government and NHS guidance

Everyone needs to follow the latest government and NHS guidance on health and public safety. Please see the latest government advice here.

Face coverings

Face coverings are required to be worn in and moving around all spaces on campus, including teaching spaces. Face coverings are not required in offices or when eating in designated eating areas. This replaces all previous guidance.

This will help to keep everyone on campus safe alongside the other measures we have in place like social distancing, enhanced cleaning, and increased hand sanitisation points.

Do you have symptoms?

If you currently have coronavirus symptoms (a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) you must get tested. 

If you have symptoms you need to:

If you test positive, you must follow the advice you are given and self-isolate. Please also report to the University via the above links. Reach out if you need help either via Student Services or if you are University-Managed housing, via the Housing team.

Phone your GP or 111 if your symptoms are severe.

Potential higher-risk categories

If you are a student and you believe you are in a potentially higher-risk category and are concerned or anxious about this, please contact our Student Services team directly on   

All staff who are in categories that may mean they are at higher risk should complete a Covid-19 Risk Assessment for Staff in Higher Risk Categories ahead of any return to on campus working.

Track and Trace

If you are contacted through the NHS Track and Trace scheme, please do follow any and all guidance that you are given. We encourage everyone to download the NHS COVID-19 app to assist with the national contact tracing scheme.

If you need to self-isolate based on the guidance of Track and Trace, please do complete the forms above as appropriate in order to inform the University.

The University’s duty to provide Track and Trace support to NHS and other national bodies

The University is required to be in a position to provide contact tracing support to Public Health England, NHS or local authority bodies dealing with cases of Covid-19 within our community. As the University campus is large and to ensure comprehensive coverage the University is using data collected by our network of WiFi beacons.

  • As one of your devices connects to Eduroam your email address, date/time stamp and beacon ID is collected. This data is encrypted and held in a secure database which can only be accessed by two people, the Network Team Leader and the Senior Systems Specialist.
  • The data, to comply with other requirements including PREVENT, is held for 180 days but only accessed for specific purposes.
  • If a request or advice from PHE (or other relevant authority) is made the Health, Safety and Business Continuity Manager will require that the Track and Trace process is initiated.
  • The search looks at the location of the wireless logins for the period of 48 hours before symptoms were first recoded (the period of time someone can be contagious). It will extract the email addresses of all others who were also using that wireless beacon at the same time.

Information collected will be limited to user email addresses and times and dates connecting to the Eduroam network. It will only be used as part of the University’s efforts to tackle the spread of COVID-19 and will only be retained for as long as is necessary The University is collecting this data under the lawful basis of public task as defined under Article 6(1)(e) of the GDPR where processing is being carried out in the public interest. 

If you have any technical questions regarding how the system works, please contact Fiona Greig, Director of Library and IT Services  If you have any questions regarding data compliance, please contact Stephen Dowell, Compliance Officer

Mental wellbeing

We know we are all living in extraordinary times and this can impact on our mental health and wellbeing in a variety of ways. Our Student Services team is here to support you with all aspects of your welfare and general wellbeing both on campus and online, including through individual appointments and a huge range of resources. You can see the support available and how to book an appointment on

Safety Measures on Campus

We are following the latest Public Health England and government guidelines and have put in place a wide range of safety measures across our campus including:

  • Socially-distanced seats and workstations across campus
  • Clear signage
  • Enhanced cleaning systems
  • One-way systems and plastic barriers in appropriate areas
  • Widespread hand sanitiser and cleaning stations
  • Blended learning to eliminate large gatherings
  • Introducing a Covid Campus Safety Team
  • Capacity assessments of each room and venue on campus to enable social distancing for students and staff
  • Face covering guidance, including the provision of face shields for teaching staff
  • Covid-19 training for all staff ahead of their return to campus working

Deans and Directors have been working directly with the Estates and Facilities team to plan the usage of each space on campus appropriately.

In September, students received a copy of 'Working together to keep campus and Winchester safe: Covid guidelines for students' and have received updated guidance as it has continued to change.

It is really important that all staff and students take all safety measures seriously. In order to protect us all, ignoring or refusing to follow government guidelines and regulations will result in disciplinary action, including potential suspension of studies for students.

We will all need to:

  • Practise social distancing
  • Wear a face covering as appropriate 
  • Wash our hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes
  • Follow all government, NHS and University guidance and regulations. All University guidance is subject to change in line with the latest government advice. Visit for the latest government advice.
  • Remember that socialising and having an fun and safe student experience is still important. Visit the Winchester Student Union events calendar and explore a range of extra-curricular opportunities
  • Follow the latest Government guidance on social gatherings


Travel and International Guidance

Travelling to campus

Anyone needing to travel to campus must follow the latest government guidance on travel when planning your transport to campus. If you can travel to campus on foot or bicycle, this is encouraged.

Arriving from a country with quarantine requirements

If you are arriving from a country with quarantine requirements and need to self-isolate, you need to ensure you follow all of the instructions of how to self-isolate.

If you are self-isolating you need to make us aware of your circumstances by emailing  You must ensure you self-isolate for the full quarantine period. Please keep your boarding pass or other evidence of your return to England so your return date can be established if needs be.

If you need any help or support while self-isolating, contact our Student Advice team on

Advice for International students who are unable to rearrange travel

International students who had already booked travel before the latest guidance was issued who are unable to rearrange travel (for any reason, including the cost of rearranging being too much), are welcome to return to Winchester as scheduled. Please do note the guidance to traveling on the Government website here

If you are an international student and have any concerns around your visa or immigration status, or would like support for issues like homesickness, please get in touch with our International Student Adviser on  

Our Community

Working together to protect Winchester

We are proud to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic. We provided campus accommodation this spring and summer to frontline staff who were unable to stay in their own homes and car parking spaces to those working at our neighbouring Royal Hampshire County Hospital.

We also donated acetate sheets to the Hospital which were used to make single-use face guards for HHFT staff. Read more about our support for the NHS here.

We are working closely with our community partners, including Winchester City Council and the Police the city to ensure that we have a coordinated approach to our students and staff following all public safety guidance, including social distancing.

We are in regular communication with our students and have outlined that ignoring or refusing to follow government guidelines and regulations will result in disciplinary action, including potential suspension from studies.

Public events are continuing to happen online and we would love for members of the community to attend.  Please keep an eye on the events page of our website for the latest events listings.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is there financial hardship support for students available?

We have a Student Support Fund which is available for full-time and part-time UK students experiencing exceptional, unforeseen hardship, including as a result of the global pandemic. For more information on our Student Support Fund, please contact Student Services on 01962 827341 or email​

What is happening with Graduation 2020?

We firmly believe graduation is one of life’s great moments, a real celebration. As such, it is our intention to give our 2020 graduating students the full experience, shaking the hand of the Chancellor, Alan Titchmarsh, together with your fellow graduates, in Winchester Cathedral. Unfortunately, the restrictions on mass gatherings and social distancing requirements due the Covid-19 pandemic mean our Graduation Ceremonies cannot take place this October.

However, we are pleased to say that we have secured the week beginning 24 May 2021, to hold graduation ceremonies in Winchester Cathedral. Further details of the time and date of each ceremony will follow. This will of course be dependent on government public health advice and guidance at the time. We will keep you informed as early as possible of any changes. For any questions on graduation, please email 

I haven’t been receiving student emails, what can I do?

If you are a current or incoming student but haven’t been receiving emails from us, please double check your spam folder in the first instance.

If you can’t seem to find any emails from us, please contact our Registry team on with your name and 7-digit student number so we can sort this for you.

I booked an on-campus Covid test but I didn't get any confirmation email. Has my test been booked?

Some students have reported not getting their confirmation emails when booking on-campus Covid tests. You booking will have gone through, but if you want to confirm or have any issues, please email 

Do you have a question not answered here?

Get in touch with us via the purple 'Ask' live chat function.