Last updated: Wednesday 25 January 2023
It has been some time since the UK Government brought an end to COVID-19 restrictions in England and introduced their Living With COVID-19 plan, we have moved into the next phase of living with the virus, which is more in line with how we manage other respiratory infections. There continues to be small increases in infection rates which are likely to continue throughout the winter period when other respiratory infections also tend to be higher.
Coronavirus: China travel advice
For students and staff travelling from the UK to China, for personal, work, or study purposes, you may be aware that China is currently experiencing a large number of COVID-19 cases. This has had an impact on the country’s healthcare services with unpredictable availability of medical facilities, treatment and medication, including in Beijing.
As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) provides the most up to date information, including entry requirements, travelling in country, and precautions to prevent the spread of infection. Please ensure you are adequately insured for your trip and that your insurance has medical cover if you become unwell. If you are travelling on behalf of the University, contact our insurance team (log-in required) and follow any advice they might provide.
Please play your part in safeguarding yourself and helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by following this advice:
- Getting vaccinated against COVID-19
- Test before you travel
- Meeting people outside if possible
- Opening doors and windows to let fresh air in
- Limiting the number of people, you meet and avoiding crowded places
- Wearing a face covering (if possible) when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
- Washing your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
As of 5 January 2023, if you travel (or return) from mainland China to England you must take a pre-departure COVID-19 test.
If you decide to travel, and your trip is related to University activities (study, work, placement etc), and you experience difficulties during your visit whilst in China, please contact AIG lifeline assistance on +44 (0)1273 552922 which is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Face coverings and staying safe and well
The wearing of face coverings is no longer a requirement in most areas across campus although you will be supported if you choose to use them. They remain a sensible precaution and we continue to provide them free of charge to those who want them.
In our NHS associated spaces managed by the University (such as the Robert Kilpatrick Clinical Sciences Building, Glenfield Hospital and the George Davies Centre) we are highly recommending you wear a mask or face to align with the more robust NHS position. In spaces which are managed by the NHS, masks will be mandated in line with University Hospitals Leicester measures. This will be managed locally.
If you go into the Trust, you should follow the local rule and wear a surgical mask, as required by University Hospitals Leicester.
If you feel unwell
Currently, Government messaging does not distinguish COVID-19 from other respiratory infections.
If you feel unwell, or have the symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, which now include headache, runny nose, sneezing, or sore throat please do not come to campus until you are symptom free.
If you are feeling well enough and your working arrangements support homeworking, we would encourage you to work from home if you are able, with the agreement of your line manager.
If you are unwell with a respiratory infection, as set out on the NHS website and you are unable to work, then please report your absence through Employee Self Service (login required), or your usual route for reporting sickness.
Lateral flow tests
The Government has removed the requirement to test twice a week in education settings. We encourage, if you are able to continue to test if you feel unwell with COVID symptoms.
Our contract to distribute lateral flow tests has now ended and we are no longer be able to make these available from our building receptions to staff and students. We are however retaining a supply of test kits for outbreak management should they be needed in future.
You can now only order, if you are eligible, free lateral flow tests from the NHS, including if you have certain health conditions or you're going into hospital for surgery. You can buy COVID-19 tests from some pharmacies and retailers, but we do not expect you to do this.
If you are testing regularly and you do test positive, even if you have no symptoms, you should stay away from campus until you have tested negative.
The next vaccination booster campaign is well under way. We would encourage everyone who is eligible to take up the booster vaccination when offered. The COVID-19 vaccines are the best way to protect yourself and others by:
- reducing your risk of getting seriously ill or dying from COVID-19,
- reducing your risk of catching or spreading COVID-19
- protecting against COVID-19 variants.
Further resources and support