Accommodation Covid-19 FAQs

Our student accommodation is open and available, and will be adapted as required to keep our students safe with social distancing measures, one-way systems and hand sanitiser stations in place.
 

General accommodation information

What should students in accommodation who think they might have Covid-19 do?

Symptoms of Covid-19

It is important that you remain vigilant to coronavirus symptoms during your stay with us. Key symptoms include:

  • A high temperature/fever (37.8c or greater)
  • A new, continuous cough
  • The loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Should you have any of the above symptoms, it is imperative that you follow the instructions below:

Return home to Student Accommodation to self-isolate for 10 days - longer, if symptoms persist

When returning home to Student Accommodation, avoid public transport wherever possible

If returning on public transport you must wear a face covering

Send a request for a home test kit via the NHS website or, if you can't go online, call NHS 24 on 0800 028 2816 or 0300 303 2713. Don't wait to see if you feel better before booking a test.

Notify your Student Accommodation team via phone or email immediately to alert them to your situation so that they can support you and communicate to others who may also have to self-isolate.

More information

Please familiarise yourself with the Scottish Government's Ready Scotland support for individuals or households in isolation.

What we will do for you if you are self-isolating

If you are living with us in Edinburgh Napier Accommodation:

  • We will support you with food and medicine deliveries
  • We will call you daily to see if you how you are feeling and what we can do to help
  • We will notify your flatmates as they will also have to self-isolate for 10 days
  • We will notify the University so that they are aware of your situation

When can I return to my student accommodation?

If you changed household over the winter break (e.g. returned to your family home or other address), you should not return to your term-time accommodation until in-person teaching for your course commences or for exceptional reasons, such as mental health or wellbeing purposes.

This applies to University owned and all other types of term time accommodation.

This will minimise the risk of transmission across the country, and in the student community, and make it easier for effective planning for everyone to get tested quickly when they do return to university.

Where can I get further guidance on student accommodation and travel?

Visit the Scottish Government's website for guidance on travel to and from student accommodation. You should, however, regularly check this site as guidance is subject to change.

I am continuing to reside in my student accommodation. What support is available to me?

We have a team of accommodation staff and resident assistants who are here to support you with what you need. Please check your kitchen noticeboard for details or visit our Accommodation Contact Us page.

The University's Student Wellbeing team can also provide you with services during this time, including drop-in phone sessions, counselling and workshops aimed at giving you the support and resources you need. For more information, visit our Wellbeing pages.

How can I get a test when I return to my term-time accommodation?

Institutions are building on their experience of providing rapid-result asymptomatic testing to some categories of students before the winter break. For Trimester 2, two rapid-result tests will again be offered to students changing household – the first on arrival back in term-time accommodation, the second three days later.

Testing will also be available for students who have remained in student accommodation over the holiday period.

You can book at test using the Edinburgh Napier app or visiting myaccount.napier.ac.uk

Do I have to take a test when I return to my term-time accommodation?

Testing is an important tool in helping to prevent the transmission of the virus. You are therefore strongly encouraged to take two tests when you return to your term-time accommodation to help mitigate the risk of asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19.

I don’t live in a student accommodation building but I plan to change my household at the beginning of term. Does the guidance on a staggered return to in-person teaching and term-time accommodation, reducing social mixing and asymptomatic Covid-19 testing apply to me?

Yes. Our guidance applies to all students changing household at the start of the new term.

Can a family member drive me to my term-time accommodation when I am allowed to return?

Yes, this is encouraged where it is a practical option. You can travel in a private car to return to your term-time accommodation. You should not share a car with anyone outside your household, extended household or end of term household to minimise risks of transmission, unless there is no reasonable alternative.

Can I travel on public transport to go back to my term-time accommodation?

Yes, as long as you don’t have any symptoms of Covid-19 or need to self-isolate because you have tested positive or are a close contact of someone who has tested positive. If you are using public transport, you should follow guidance on how to travel safely. This includes wearing a face covering unless you are exempt, planning your journey in advance to avoid busy times and routes, washing/sanitising your hands regularly, and keeping your distance while travelling where possible.

Can I travel back to my term time address to resume in-person teaching even if my university is in a level 3 or 4 area?

Yes. The legislation restricting movement contains an exemption to allow a person to leave their home or travel for education and training purposes.

However, from 5 January 2021, stay at home regulations are in force. This means you must not leave your home except for an essential purpose, and travel outside your local authority area is only permitted if you have a reasonable excuse for doing so.

Leaving the place where you are currently living and/or travelling to another area to take up residence in term-time accommodation, without some other factor such as the start of in-person teaching, essential placements or serious wellbeing or safety reasons, is very unlikely to provide a reasonable excuse.

Anyone who breaches the rules by leaving home or travelling without a reasonable excuse could be committing a criminal offence and may be liable to a fine. These rules apply to everyone in Scotland. You should therefore only travel back to your term-time accommodation when your institution advises that in-person teaching is resuming.

Can I return to my term-time accommodation before in-person teaching resumes for essential reasons?

In some very limited circumstances, it may not be possible for you to remain at the household you changed to over the winter break. In these circumstances, students should contact their student accommodation provider to discuss the support available to them.

If your circumstances make a return to term-time accommodation essential, you should plan your return in advance with your accommodation provider to ensure this can be managed safely.

If you are living with us in Edinburgh Napier Student Accommodation, you should contact the team to let them know if you are planning to return by emailing accommodation@napier.ac.uk.

 

I had already left my term-time accommodation before these changes were announced - can I return to collect things that I left behind?

Students who changed household over the winter break (to form an 'end of term household') should not go back to their term-time accommodation until in-person teaching for their course has re-started, other than for the exceptional reasons such as mental health and wellbeing. If you have left materials related to your studies, you should not return to collect them but contact the Accommodation team to see how best they can support your learning until the restrictions permit you to return in person.

If materials are critical to learning and there is no alternative way to learn then a one-off exceptional collection of materials from accommodation may take place. You should notify your accommodation provider in advance to make suitable arrangements for you to return safely and undertake any travel in accordance with safe travel guidance. You should only remain in your accommodation for as long as is necessary to pick up your belongings; you should not stay there overnight.

Essential medical supplies, which cannot be provided by another route, may also be collected from accommodation.

I returned home for the winter break - can I return to collect my belongings and move out?

If you are moving out of your term time accommodation permanently, i.e. you are relinquishing your right to reside in that term time accommodation, you should work with your accommodation provider or landlord to make arrangements to collect your belongings at a later date, when restrictions allow.

However, if this is not possible, you can return to your term-time accommodation to collect belongings. You should ensure that you follow Scottish Government travel guidance and guidance on moving home whilst doing so.

I stayed in my term-time accommodation over the winter break - can I move out and return home on a permanent basis?

You are able to return home on a permanent basis, provided this can be done safely. It may be advisable to delay a home move, where this is possible, and you should follow the guidance on moving home.

You should consider any return home carefully before making a decision, but it is recognised that there may be circumstances where it may not be possible to remain in student accommodation.

If you are living in Edinburgh Napier Student Accommodation, you should contact the team at accommodation@napier.ac.uk to discuss the support available to you.

I have a part-time job that cannot be done from home. Can I return to my term-time accommodation if it is closer to my workplace?

A reasonable excuse for returning to your term-time accommodation could include wellbeing reasons or employment purposes (the latter only for essential work that cannot be undertaken from home). What is reasonable will of course depend on the circumstances of each case.

My family home is elsewhere in the UK - can I still return to university or college in Scotland?

Yes. If you are a student living in Wales, England or Northern Ireland you will still be able to return to university or college once your institution has advised you to do so.

For students living in Edinburgh Napier Student Accommodation

Do I have to observe social distancing within my flat?

Flats with shared cooking and bathroom facilities are considered a household.

  • Face coverings must be worn in all communal areas within the residencies such as corridors, lifts and external common areas. This does not apply to the internals of your flats such as kitchen, hallway or bedrooms
  • Physical distancing won't be required within your flats. However, please be respectful of use of kitchen space to avoid overcrowding
  • Household members should follow hygiene protocols, hand washing, cleaning of kitchen surfaces and all shared spaces regularly

Can I have guests over or visit another flat?

You should not meet anyone from outside your household socially indoors in your home or their home. This applies to all age groups.

Your flat is considered a household. As you have formed a new household within your student accommodation, this means that you cannot stay overnight at another household.

It is an offence not to comply with the restrictions on gathering.

I am in a relationship with someone in Student Accommodation, can I visit them?

Our Edinburgh Napier Student Accommodation Tenancy Agreement states that overnight guests are not permitted. The current version of our Student Accommodation Covid-19 Community Agreement, which is regularly updated to reflect current Scottish Government guidance and restrictions, states visitors from outside your own flat household are not permitted.

Scottish Government guidance states if two adults are in a relationship and they do not live together they, and any children they each live with, can agree to form an extended household. However, if someone in the extended household develops Covid-19 symptoms, all members of the extended household must isolate immediately if they met the symptomatic person 2 days before and up to 10 days after their symptoms started. If the symptomatic person tests positive, all members of their direct household must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms and other members of the extended household must isolate for 10 days from when the most recent contact took place.

Taking this into account, there are a number of reasons why these visits cannot occur within Edinburgh Napier University student accommodation:

  • The person entering student accommodation may currently be placing themselves at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
  • Other members of the individual's flat (up to 8 people) may not feel comfortable with someone outwith their household visiting the flat. This is completely understandable and could lead to flat dynamic issues.
  • If one of the two people in the relationship becomes symptomatic and / or positive, then all members of the flat (up to 8 people) must self-isolate for 10 days. This is not a suitable arrangement nor fair on those students that live with the individual in the relationship.
  • Student Accommodation has a duty of care for the welfare of those residents living within accommodation and must prioritise their welfare and wellbeing.

Can I transfer to another flat?

No. Within the setting of a current pandemic it is not considered appropriate that students are offered moves between flats due to increased risks. This decision has been taken in conjunction with the University Health and Safety team.

Can I terminate my student accommodation lease?

Yes. You may terminate your agreement at any point during Trimester 2. If you terminate your lease before Sunday 31 January, you will not be charged for the month of January. Also, we will waive the 28-day notice period throughout the remainder of Trimester 2, meaning you can terminate your agreement at any time with no ongoing liability.

I am not sure how to give notice. How should I do this?

To terminate your tenancy agreement, you must do so in writing by emailing the contacts below, stating your full name, matriculation number and full term-time address. You should also inform us of the date you wish your tenancy to end.

What is the Covid-19 Community Agreement?

We ask that you familiarise yourself with our Student Accommodation Covid-19 Community Agreement. This document outlines our commitment to you, and explains what your responsibilities are to keep yourself and your fellow students safe. It also contains useful information on what to do if you have Covid-19 symptoms.

For students living with other student accommodation providers

I am not sure how to give notice. How should I do this?

Notice should be given in writing (this includes electronic communication where both parties agree to this) to your accommodation provider stating the day on which the tenancy will end (i.e. after the last day the minimum notice period applies). You should check your tenancy agreement to see what has been agreed about how to serve notice/communicate with landlords.

I entered my student accommodation lease in academic year 2019/20 and lived in the property but now want to leave. What notice period can I give to my provider?

Students who have entered into a student residential tenancy before 27 May 2020 and have occupied the property before that date, can give 7 days' notice to their accommodation provider.

What happens if I cannot take up my accommodation for 20/21?

Students who have entered into a student residential tenancy agreement but have not yet occupied the property, can give 28 days' notice.

I entered my student accommodation lease in academic year 20/21 and have lived in the property but now want to leave. What notice period can I give my provider?

Students who enter into a student residential tenancy after 27 May 2020 can give 28 days' notice to their accommodation provider.

I entered my student accommodation lease in academic year 20/21 and have lived in the property but returned home for the winter break. I am waiting for my institution to advise when in-person teaching will resume but, for coronavirus related reasons, I intend to remain at home for the remainder of the academic year. What notice period can I give my provider?

Students who enter into a student residential tenancy after 27 May 2020 can give 28 days' notice to their accommodation provider.

Students wishing to permanently end their tenancy should consider this carefully and should consult their institution before making a decision. Students should follow the Scottish Government guidance when considering moving home or travelling.

Are the new notice periods a permanent change?

No. These changes will only apply until the end of March 2021. Scottish Ministers have the power to extend the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No. 2) Act 2020 for a further six-month period (until 30 September 2021), but have not yet decided whether to do so.

We are in a joint tenancy, do both of us need to give notice?

The notice periods outlined in the legislation also apply to joint tenancies. Both parties will need to agree to give notice.
 
Students looking at record discs in flat

More information on Student Accommodation

Want to find out more about Student Accommodation, including what our flats are like, how to apply and what to expect when you come to live with us?

We've got all you need to know about staying in our residences. Visit our general Student Accommodation pages for more information.

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