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On 30th December following updated guidance on the staggered return to universities, the Vice-Chancellor wrote to all students and staff with the proposed plans. The Prime Minisiter has since announced (4th January 2021) that England is now in a national lockdown.

England in lockdown - impact on the return to University

Testing - update Monday 25 January

All students and staff ​who are using campus facilities (either from attending face-to-face teaching, using on site resources or those living in on site accommodation) are now expected to be tested each week (two tests three days apart). You can book your tests online. This is new and updated advice from the Department for Education.  Twice weekly testing will help to break chains of transmission, identify asymptomatic infections and help further ensure safety on campus to help enable a return to more face-to-face teaching as soon as is possible. So even if you have already had two tests, you will still need to book your twice weekly tests until at least 15th February.

  • Don't come on to campus if you feel unwell, please instead get an NHS test
  • Remember you must let know (or for staff) ​if you test positive whether it's a test at university or NHS test. Once we have received your email, a member of our own COVID-19 Response Team will then contact you as soon as possible to offer support and guide you through the testing procedure and/or tracing process. Remember it is vitally important that you self-isolate immediately if you develop any symptoms or have tested positive for COVID-19.

Face-to-face teaching

As per the Vice-Chancellor's email (4 Jan) to all students and staff,  the University sector remains open for the specific groups of students we notified who can return for the spring term for face-to-face learning.
The students able to return include Initial Teacher Education and other placement students, however, these must now be guided by communications from the Faculty or placement provider, as schools will have a limited intake of pupils in Lockdown, which may alter placement requirements.

Other programmes identified as priorities include the majority of those in the Faculty of Health and Social Care; some Chester Medical School programmes; and courses which need a January assessment by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body. See below table for details.

All other programmes will now operate online until mid-February at the earliest.

  • Postgraduate Research students should research from home if at all possible. If lab facilities or library resources are needed, these can be accessed on campus from January 4th with the agreement of your supervisor.
  • International students, including those who have remained in the UK and those who are newly arrived, may use campus resources.

We understand that this continued uncertainty is difficult and Faculties will be making every effort to support you on your course.


Our facilities are COVID-secure, but following the Government advice, any staff who can work from home should do so, with the agreement of their manager. Staff who are supporting the University’s ongoing programmes - whether Faculty staff or Professional Services - are considered as key workers for travel and children’s education.

Commercial Occupants

Business located on University sites, please visit here for latest updates.

TESTING - Why it is vital that you get tested each week

If you are using campus facilities (either living on site or coming on site for face-to-face teaching) it is vital you get tested each week because: 

  • You will be protecting your student bubble
  • You can help protect the people you care about at home
  • You will be helping to limit the spread and keep our community safe.

This is asymptomatic testing – i.e. for people who don't have symptoms. Medical evidence shows that many people who don't have symptoms may still have – or have had - COVID-19 and not know it.  Bookings can be made or changed here.

If you do have symptoms, do not come onto campus or travel/move away from where you are at the time. Please book/order an NHS test.

Your​ testing options

Chester and Warrington
For students based at Chester and Warrington campuses, we have two testing centres that have been operating since Tuesday 5th January 2021: Small Hall at Chester and the Sports Hall at Warrington.

Shrewsbury students
A separate email has been sent to all Shrewsbury students  with an update on testing procedures there.

Placement students
For Health and Education students on placement you can book your tests on campus prior to attending your placement. 

International students
You will have received a separate communication with specific updates for you in relation to travel, self-isolation/quarantine and testing on arrival in this country.

​​What you need to do​

Is your phone number up to date on our records? 

We need students' contact details to tell them if they need to self-isolate. Please check that we have both your term-time and permanent addresses and current phone mobile number. Check your records now!

Questions, answers and keeping updated

We have produced a set of FAQs about the testing which is available on portal. Please read through them. We will be keeping you informed as required so please do keep checking your emails, portal and our website for updates.