The health, welfare and safety of students and staff is the top priority for ISH and university leaders following the Coronavirus outbreak. ISH and UK universities have been supporting all students and staff who might be concerned about their health with up-to-date advice from health services. ISH have a strong history of welcoming Chinese students and staff to the UK and they are very much part of our international community. UK universities will not tolerate racism in any form, and we encourage students and staff to report any incident of racial harassment and seek support from their university.
We understand that students and staff may be worried about friends and family members in China and our thoughts go to all those affected by this situation. At this difficult time, we ask that students and staff support their fellow friends and colleagues in solidarity with the whole of the international higher education community.
For more general support, students should contact their institution’s wellbeing support services, or phone UKCISA’s Student Advice Line on +442077889214 (1–4pm UK time, Monday–Friday).
Based on the scientific advice of SAGE the UK Chief Medical Officers are advising anyone who has travelled to the UK from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau in the last 14 days and is experiencing cough or fever or shortness of breath, to stay indoors and call NHS 111, even if symptoms are mild. This advice was updated 9 February.
If you have travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days you should immediately:
· stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
· call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area
In Scotland phone your GP or NHS 24 on 111 out of hours. If you are in Northern Ireland, call 0300 200 7885.
Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus.
Universities UK urges all UK universities to contact their staff and students to ensure they are aware of this health advice.
NEW: immigration guidance if you’re unable to return to China from the UK, or are absent from work or studies due to Coronavirus
On 17 February, the UK government released guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to China. The guidance can be found here.
The guidance covers:
· Chinese nationals in the UK whose visa has recently expired or is about to expire
· Non-Chinese, non-EEA nationals in the UK normally resident in China
· Chinese nationals in the UK whose leave was granted by Irish authorities (British Irish Visa Scheme (BIVS)
· Chinese nationals in the UK whose leave was granted by the Crown Dependencies
· Switching to a Tier 2 category in the UK
· British nationals whose passport is at a Visa Application Centre (VAC) in China
· Chinese or third country nationals whose passport is at a Visa Application Centre (VAC)
· Licensed Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 sponsors: absences due to coronavirus
Coronavirus Immigration Helpline
The helpline will be open from 9am on 18 February 2020
Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Where to find information and advice
The UK government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. The latest information on the level of risk, health advice and FCO travel advice is all available at gov.uk/coronavirus
The NHS has produced guidance on self-isolation: