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Coronavirus (COVID-19) - information for universities

Page updated on 24 March 2020

This is an evolving situation and Universities UK, Universities UK International, Universities Scotland and Universities Wales continue to work with the UK government and local public health authorities to distribute appropriate guidance to UK universities.

Please note that Universities UK cannot provide formal guidance but will disseminate government and public health information to universities on a regular basis.

Always stay up to date with the government response

Essential advice – Updated 24 March 2020 

The latest guidance advises on staying at home which everybody should be following to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Everybody is advised to stay at home and only go out when it is essential to do so, for example for work, or to buy food.

UK residents currently not in the UK are advised to travel back to the UK while they are able to do so. 

The government understands that universities must continue essential services and cannot fully be locked down, given students living on many campuses and the research that cannot be left unmonitored. 

Further advice: 

Everybody is advised to stay at home for all but essential reasons. However, for those experiencing symptoms: stay at home for 7 days if you live alone, or for 14 days if you live with others, and someone in your household has either: 

  • a high temperature 
  • a new continuous cough 

If you have these symptoms: 

  • If you live alone, stay at home for 7 days
  • If you live with others, you and members of your household must stay at home for 14 days  
  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital 
  • Do not use NHS 111 online or call NHS 111 unless your symptoms worsen or you are not better after 7 days.

News updates:

Universities UK related news releases:


Specific advice for educational settings 

UK Government updates



Universities UK response on health students' support for NHS frontline

20 March 2020
Responding to the government’s emergency legislation, which included an announcement on nursing students and allied health profession students being asked to support the NHS amid the coronavirus outbreak

Update from UCAS and Universities UK

20 March 2020
An open letter to applicants from UCAS and Universities UK