(Updated 21/6) Being Covid-Safe: Student FAQs


We know you will have questions we'll share answers to common questions here - so check this page regularly.

Our Covid-Safe Charter sets out how we expect students and staff to behave during the pandemic and what you can expect from the University, GSU and GKSU.

You can find more information on our Be Covid-Safe page, along with information on the start of term on the Settling in to university page.  These pages, and this FAQ page, are linked from the portal home page, so they are easy to find.

Please read the questions and answers below, if your question isn't covered here, then please get in touch by emailing Student Communications.

Where do I have to wear a face covering?

You are required to wear a face covering in our buildings and on university buses. You can find more information on our Be Covid-Safe page.  In line with our Covid-Safe Charter, you may face disciplinary action from the university if you do not wear face coverings when required to do so. This may put your place on your course at risk.

If students/staff do not wear face coverings, or follow other guidelines what should I do

We expect our staff and students to demonstrate the same exemplary behaviour, and we can all help keep our campuses Covid-Safe.  If you see someone not wearing a face covering you can:

  • Ask them politely to wear a face covering, in line with our Covid-Safe Charter, or to display an exemption (and advise how to access an exemption badge)
  • If this is ignored, you can report it to the relevant Director of Student Experience (if in faculty), line manager or campus security.

We take such behaviour very seriously. We have updated our Student Behavioural Procedure, which makes it clear that any behaviour that puts our wider community at risk will not be tolerated.  Similarly if a report is received regarding a member of staff we have procedures in place to deal with these matters appropriately.

I'm exempt from wearing a face covering, what should I do?

We've updated our Covid-Safe Planning Guidance following advice from the Royal Borough of Greenwich Public Health team and in light of London's move to Tier 2/high in the Government's new Local Covid alert levels.  Our guidance states that students and staff who cannot wear a face covering, or are exempt, should wear an exemption badge inside our buildings and vehicles. Badges are available to download online and can also be collected from Student Centres. Badges can either be those provided by the government or the Hidden Disabilities sunflower badges.

Where can I find out information about booking my Covid vaccination? (Added 21/6/21)

We have FAQs published by the NHS for students and international students, that shares information including, how to book your Covid vaccination, registering with a GP and if you need your second jab in a different location.

How can I enter the weekly prize draw for Covid tests? (Added 14/4/21)

You can complete the Covid testing survey every week - enter details of the tests you have taken by 5pm each Friday to enter the prize draw.  Each week we are offering 10 x £10 Amazon vouchers.

Why are you asking us to complete a weekly survey on the Covid tests we have taken?  (Added 14/4/21)

The survey will help us understand how many students and staff are getting Rapid/Lateral Flow tests each week.  Many people who have Covid-19 don’t have symptoms, so getting tested regularly is an important part of keeping our university community safe.  You can read more on our Covid testing survey page.

How can I get a home Covid test kit? (Added 14/4/21)

Home test kits are available for students and staff to collect at test sites on campus, they can also be ordered online - for details please see our Covid testing arrangements page.

I’ve been vaccinated do I still need to get regular Covid-tests? (Added 30/3/21)

No vaccine is 100% effective and therefore, even if you have had both doses, there is still no absolute guarantee that you will not become ill from Covid-19. Therefore, you should continue to have regular Covid-tests and follow the university and government guidance, to help protect yourself and others.

Can Muslims take Lateral Flow/PCR Covid tests during Ramadan? (Added 24/3/21)

The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) have published information which says "taking the Covid-19 PCR or lateral flow tests  does not invalidate the fast during Ramadan as per the opinion of the majority of Islamic scholars."

I'm an international student can you tell me more about the travel test package?  (Added 15/3/21)

International students need to take two PCR tests while they quarantine - the travel test package includes the two PCR test kits. Lateral flow tests can't be used for the Test to Release scheme, you can see further details on the government website.

Is the university bus service still available and can I park on campus? (Updated 5/3/21)

From Monday 8 March our university bus service will resume. Our car park charges on campus remain suspended until 30 April.

You can find out more about our Travel and transport arrangements on our website.

My course is resuming on campus, do I have to have a Covid test when I return? (updated 5/3/21)

The government is clear that regular testing - before you return and repeated twice a week once you are back on campus - is a key part of a safe return to campus.  If your course is resuming on campus you will be able to get tested quickly, and often, at our on-campus testing sites.

We expect students who are living in halls, and those whose courses are resuming on campus, to take regular tests to help keep our university community safe.

Additionally, when you return to halls you should self-isolate and take precautions when mixing with flatmates for 10 days or until you have received a negative test result.  If you are arriving from overseas you must complete the 10-day self-isolation period even if you have received a negative test result.

We are aware some students will want to return to hall now and you are permitted to do so, however please note that once you return to hall, you should remain in halls as you are not permitted to commute between two different addresses.

How do I notify the university if I am self-isolating?  (added 5/3/21)

You should notify us if you are self-isolating because you have developed the symptoms of Covid-19 or received a positive test result (either a positive PCR test or a positive lateral flow test).  You should also let us know if you are self-isolating for quarantine reasons.

I'm a commuter student returning to campus from 8 March, what does safe travel mean for me?  (added 5/3/21)

If you are a commuter student traveling back to campus from 8 March, the guidance is to do this in a Covid-Safe way. This means wearing a face covering unless exempt, observing social distancing, regular handwashing and avoiding busy routes and times.

I'm an international student, how does the government roadmap announcement affect me? (updated 5/3/21)

There is a lot of information for our international students in the Government guidance including that you should delay travel if you can. If you are returning to the UK from overseas you must check to see if you will be affected by the government’s travel restrictions, check entry requirements for the country from which you are travelling and observe quarantine rules. Our International Office will be supporting all International Students with information and advice.

Which programmes are resuming on campus study from 8 March?  (updated 5/3/21)

The government guidance states this will only be students studying programmes where you need special equipment, labs or access such as on our Science, Health and Teaching programmes. All other programmes must continue online for the time being. Your faculty teams are contacting you to provide more detailed information.

Are campuses & classrooms Covid-safe?  (updated 5/3/21)

If you are coming back to campus in March, we’ll be making sure that you can do so safely. You’ll be able to help us by observing Covid-Safe guidelines to keep yourself, your fellow students and staff safe. That means wearing face coverings, unless you are exempt, regularly washing your hands and maintaining social distancing. Our classrooms will be set up to enable social distancing of 1m where other measures are in place, such as wearing face coverings, meeting Government guidelines.

Where can I find more information on the university's No Detriment approach and Extenuating Circumstances (Updated 2/2/21)

We have published information on our No Detriment approach on Student News, this has been developed in conjunction with the GSU.  It puts in place two 'safety nets' so your grades aren't adversely affected by the pandemic.  It applies to all taught UG and Masters students (at Greenwich or franchised provision with our partners), and will be automatically applied to all assignments from September 2020, and we will only adjust marks upwards. It is designed to help you to achieve the best possible grades this year. If you have any questions regarding the advice please speak to your personal tutor or programme leader as they will be able to talk you through what this means for you.

Our Extenuating Circumstances page provides information you need to inform your faculty of circumstances which may have affected your performance in an assessment or exam.

How do the calculations in the university's No Detriment approach work, and how does it benefit me? (Added 2/2/21)

Further details and examples are provided in the No Detriment policy - information is also available on Student News in our No Detriment approach article.  If you have any questions regarding the advice please speak to your personal tutor or programme leader as they will be able to talk you through what this means for you.

How will I know if my grades have been affected by the university's No Detriment approach? (Added 2/2/21)

Our No Detriment approach is being applied to all taught UG and Masters students (at Greenwich or franchised provision with our partners), and will be automatically applied to all assignments from September 2020.  Please note: we will only adjust marks upwards. It is designed to help you to achieve the best possible grades this year. If you have any questions regarding the advice please speak to your personal tutor or programme leader as they will be able to talk you through what this means for you.

I'm in private rented accommodation what support is available to me? (Added 19/1/21)

To further support you with financial commitments during the pandemic we have launched a grant for students in private rented accommodation.

Eligible students will be able to access a one-off payment of £1,000 to support with housing costs. Further details about eligibility and the application process are now available on the Fees and Funding website.

I'm travelling from overseas do I need a Covid-19 Test before my journey? (Added 15/1/21)

The UK government has announced that from Monday 18 January, anyone arriving in England from abroad must have a negative Covid-19 test.

  • You must take the test no more than 3 days before your journey
  • You will need to present your negative test result before you board your flight
  • The test must meet minimum requirements and the test result must be in English, Spanish, or French
  • You could be fined £500 if you arrive without a valid test result

Please see here for more information: 

I'm an international student and am travelling home, can I use lateral flow test results? (updated 15/1/21)

If you are intending to travel internationally, please be aware that some countries require a high level of Covid-19 certification as a condition of entry.  Please refer to the Government's foreign travel advice and contact the UK-based embassy of the country you're travelling to for further information.

I am a PGR student what impact does lockdown have on continuing my research? (Added 13/1/21)

The Government advice is to continue to work from home where possible to minimise the spread of the virus, there is no expectation that our research facilities must close completely.

Therefore, where you cannot conduct your research from home, it is permitted to access on-campus facilities, but only for that specific purpose, and only if strictly necessary. You can read more in our Returning to national lockdown: An update for PGRs on research activities article.

Will I receive a rebate for hall services that are currently closed/on hold? (13/1/21)

Following the recent move to a third national lockdown we have taken the decision to pause hall services, this includes such services as cleaning, gyms and ActiveGRE programmes. In recognition of this change we will be giving students who remain in halls a £10 hall fee rebate per week for the period from 19 December 2020 until services resume. We will review the situation in February, further details have been sent to students living in halls.

I'm a placement student am I entitled to a Covid vaccination? (Added 13/1/21)

NHS England has confirmed that placement students are entitled to access to Covid-19 vaccinations. You may have already received your invite from your NHS trust to obtain your vaccination. If you have not received an invite as yet, we are working with our Occupational Health Services to provide opportunities for vaccinations over the coming weeks. If you have any further questions please speak to your faculty team.

When you go for your vaccination, you will need to have two unique identifiers and therefore it is important that students can provide their NHS number as well as their Trust ID badge.

What wellbeing services are available to support me? (Added 12/1/21)

Returning to lockdown can understandably bring stresses and uncertainty and your wellbeing remains our priority. We have a range of services and helplines available to you including our Student Wellbeing Service which is opening and running a remote, online support service during the third lockdown.

Our Looking after your wellbeing: Make use of the support available to you article has details of all our services available.

How will the university support me during lockdown? (Added 12/1/21)

Please remember that the university is here to support you, and our support services are available to you. These will continue both online and in-person during the lockdown. You can find the details of the Student Wellbeing Service and the Students' Union Advice Service on our website.

Financial support is also available, via the Greenwich Hardship Fund and we have also opened a dedicated hardship fund for continuing international and EU students. You can contact our finance advisors on for more information.

Please be assured that the university will continue to do everything we can to keep you informed and updated. Please continue to check your emails, the portal, Moodle and our social media channels.

Will the university libraries remain open during lockdown? (Updated 12/1/21)

Only essential library services will remain open. They will remain open from 9am – 7pm on weekdays and 9am – 5pm on weekends.

Our libraries remain open, but government guidance requires this to be on an essential access only basis. “Essential” means you may access our libraries if your course is resuming on campus, you do not have access to appropriate study spaces elsewhere, or to borrow physical books or other resources.

Full details are provided in our Campus Libraries: Open for essential use only article.

I have a library book that I need to return what do I do? (Added 12/1/21)

Due dates for all loans have been extended to 26 February and you will not be fined if you are unable to return books due to future disruption.  Travelling to campus to return books is not essential travel.

Is there a cost to having a Covid test? (Added 7/1/21)

You will be able to access a free test at each of our campuses, for details see our Covid testing arrangements page.

I have come from overseas does a negative test mean I do not have to self-isolate? (Added 7/1/21)

If you are arriving from overseas you must complete the 10-day self-isolation period even if you have received a negative test result.

My courses are online and I'm having trouble accessing my studies who do I contact? (Added 7/1/21)

If you are likely to experience any issues or problems in accessing your studies from home, please contact our Student Centre, so we can provide you with the support you need.

What happens if I test positive? (Updated 7/1/21)

If your test result is positive, please inform us using our Covid reporting form. You must self-isolate for 10 days from the date of your test (if you don't have any symptoms) or from when you develop symptoms if you develop them after the test.

You must self-isolate for 10 days in accordance with government guidance and anyone living with you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Where can I get a Covid test? (Added 7/1/21)

Testing facilities are available at all of our campuses. We have been working with the Public Health teams at the Royal Borough of Greenwich and Medway Councils.  This means there are different arrangements for Avery Hill /Greenwich campuses and Medway campus.

What tests are available and how do I book a Covid test? (Added 7/1/21)

You can find details of how to book and the Covid testing facilities on all our campuses on our website.  Students and staff can access these facilities.

My course has moved completely online what about my accommodation? (Updated 15/2/21)

When you booked student accommodation with us at the start of this academic year, we made you an Accommodation Promise, which we will honour.  Please refer to the email sent by accommodation services for further information.

Can I wear a visor instead of a face covering in university buildings/vehicles?

The Public Health information advises that wearing a visor is not as beneficial as wearing a face covering.  Therefore, we recommend staff and students wear face coverings in our buildings and vehicles.

Our staff are wearing visors for teaching sessions and it is essential that the 2m social distancing is maintained.

How will the university let me know if I needed to self-isolate if someone I have been studying/working or living in halls with tests positive?

The university has strict procedures in place to follow when we are notified of confirmed or suspected cases of Covid-19 by students, staff or other visitors to campus, so that we can take swift action where appropriate to minimise the risk to others and enable us to liaise with external bodies such as Public Health England and local authorities to ensure that actions are effective and proportionate.

The Safety Unit will coordinate the university's response and will advise line managers, or a relevant member of staff to contact the team/cohort who have been in close contact with the individual and informing them of what actions they need to take, and remind them of the support available to them.

In line with our Covid-Safe charter, to protect the individual as much as possible when informing teams/cohorts we will not disclose the name of the student/colleague.  You can see our protocols on our Covid-Safe Arrangements page.

Where can I find my online lectures and online tutorials?

Online lectures are pre-recorded and can be accessed via the module Moodle sites and watched when it suits you.

Online tutorials will be accessed via links in the 'Calendar' and 'Upcoming events' sections of module Moodle sites.

Please speak to your programme leader/faculty team if you have specific queries as they will be able to provide a personalised response.

I have more questions about my timetabling, where can I find more information?

There are a series of FAQs on timetabling in this article which provides further guidance.

Please remember: Timetables may be subject to change, please check your timetable daily in the first 4 weeks of term and regularly thereafter.

What is the university doing to plan for changes to government advice?

We are continuing to monitor the situation closely as it develops.  The health, safety and wellbeing of our staff and students remains our priority. We are monitoring the advice from government, including Public Health England and also Greenwich and Medway Public Health, and will issue updates to students and staff as appropriate.

If I have symptoms of Covid-19 or am required to self-isolate, what should I do?

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus then you must have a Covid-19 test and you and all members of your household must self-isolate until you have a negative test result.

It is important the university is aware as soon as possible of all suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our community of students, staff and others/visitors, and of those who are required to self-isolate for quarantine reasons.  This will help us take swift action where appropriate to minimise the risk to others and enable us to liaise with external bodies such as Public Health England and local authorities to ensure that actions are effective and proportionate.

For more information please see our Covid-Safe pages.

If I have symptoms of Covid-19 how do I notify the university?

We have further information and online forms on our Covid-Safe pages, please refer to those pages for up-to-date information.

Where can I find out more to help me at university?

We're here to help, and have plenty of help and advice available to you.  Keep checking the portal and our social media accounts for information on all aspects of life at university.

These articles may also help:

What financial support is available to me?

If you have concerns about your financial security, you can apply for our Greenwich Hardship Fund where you will be assessed for financial hardship. Support available includes additional IT equipment if needed.

In addition, new undergraduate students from low-income households will be assessed for our Greenwich Bursary. Further information about financial support is available on our website.

When and where will I get my timetable?

Timetables are now available on the portal, see more in our earlier Student News story. Timetables may be subject to change and you should check them regularly, particularly in the first weeks of term.

Your personal timetable on the 'My Timetable' tab and in the mobile app will be available when you have completed online registration and have been allocated to the individual group teaching activities you are required to attend.

How do I collect my Greenwich Gateway card?

Once you have completed online registration and your documents have been confirmed by university staff, you can collect your student ID card. Due to social distancing measures please only collect your card during the time you have been allocated. There might be more than one opportunity to collect your card, and you only need to attend one slot to collect your card.

When can I collect my Greenwich Gateway card?

Please only come to collect your Greenwich Gateway card during the time you have been allocated.  There might be more than one opportunity to collect this, but you only need to come to one of those slots.

How is the university Covid-Safe?

Our Covid-Safe charter sets out our expectations that we expect every member of staff and students to follow in order to help keep everyone at the university safe. You can find more information on our Be Covid-Safe page including all the changes the university has made to make the campus as safe as possible.

It is vital you follow the instructions the university has set out in order to keep everyone safe.

You are required to wear a face covering in our buildings and on university buses. In line with our Covid-Safe Charter, you may face disciplinary action from the university if you do not wear face coverings when required to do so. This may put your place on your course at risk.

What social distancing measures are in place on campus?

Please maintain at least 2m social distancing.

In line with Government guidance, please do not form groups of more than 6 people outside of teaching spaces. Staff may ask you to separate from each other if they see this happening on our campuses.

What other Covid-safe measures must I follow?

These include wearing a face covering in our buildings and on university buses, maintaining social distancing, washing your hands regularly and using sanitising points at the entry points of our buildings.  You must also maintain at least 2m social distancing and follow the one way systems in corridors and entry points.

Everyone needs to act responsibly to help keep us all safe.

How does online learning work?

We will be using a blended teaching model this term. This means we are combining face to face sessions on campus with online lectures. Your course will have the usual amount of teaching time and include lectures, seminars/discussions and practical work (where this is part of your course) and will be a mixture of on and off campus classes, depending on your individual course (and your ability to attend due to your personal circumstances).

How can I assess my personal Covid-Vulnerability

We have developed a self-assessment questionnaire to help you identify your vulnerability to Covid-19 using a medical risk assessment developed by the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisors (ALAMA). The questionnaire allows you to assess your vulnerability to Covid-19 based on the main risk factors associated with the disease (age, sex, ethnicity, BMI and medical conditions).

Please note: If you are studying in the Faculty of Education Health and Human Sciences and your course includes a mandatory placement or period of work experience.  Please do not complete the questionnaire above as your faculty team will send you a link to a separate questionnaire designed for you, and completion is mandatory.