Information for Residential Students
We have now started the new academic year and welcome new residents as well as returning students back to our halls accommodation. We are working hard together with the Residential Support services and the Students' Union to ensure your experience with us will be as close to normal as it can be, in a Covid-19 safe environment.
From 17th October, Essex moved to Tier 2 High category which impacts our residential students. In line with the government advice we have issued the following updates below:
Please see other specific measures in pace to ensure student safety:
Across campus we have put in place a number of measures to keep everyone as safe as possible whilst living on campus:
Lower occupancy rates in our accommodation with shared facilities
Hand sanitizing stations at every entrance point
Continued daily cleaning of communal areas (Monday – Friday) and enhanced cleaning in frequent use areas, touchpoints and bathrooms
Limited number in common rooms to ensure you have adequate space to prepare snacks/ beverages
'No guest policy' on campus to ensure households are kept together and occupancy numbers are not breached
Face masks must be worn in corridors or at all times if you are visiting another “household”
Visit bit.ly/BookWUC to book your evening and weekend meals as well as your bar slots.
Your household's safety
A WUC household refers to students living on the same floor that share the same communal space (ie common room/kitchenette).
Should anyone in your household show symptoms of coronavirus they must apply for a test immediately and inform the residential support team and accommodation.
They will then need to self-isolate until they have the result. The rest of the household will also need to self-isolate until such time as a negative test result or the 14 days have passed.
Students living in halls of residence must self-isolate in their current accommodation. Should this happen the Residential support team and accommodation will arrange your meals and care.
If you live on campus you are permitted to visit friends in other accommodation blocks on campus, but you will be required to wear a face mask in communal areas at all times to protect the household.
When gathering in outside spaces you will need to be in groups of 6 or less.
If Writtle staff or contractors are working in the area, please be mindful of social distancing and keep the area clear until they are finished.
At the current time, we are operating a 'No Guest Policy', and you should not have any visitors to your halls accommodation who do not currently live on campus. This is to ensure that numbers in halls are kept to a manageable level and reduce the chances of cross contamination. We appreciate your co-operation on this, and we will obviously keep this under review.
Other questions you may have:
I want to leave WUC accommodation to travel back home. What do I need to do?
We recognise that remaining resident students may now decide to leave the campus to return home to their see their families at weekends in study weeks.
In line with Government advice, it is important that you do not visit to an area currently under a localised lockdown and then return to your halls accommodation. This is an important as we do not want to risk infection from affected areas. Please refer to government advice if you are unsure about travelling off campus and local lockdowns.
Non-valuable belongings are left at your own risk and we ask that you complete an ‘Item Inventory’ form before leaving.
I want stay in my hall of residence because I’m worried about putting my family or others at risk by returning home - is this OK?
Absolutely. The campus remains open, as do our catering facilities for students remaining on campus – although please refer to updates from Thyme Out relating to the level of service and food availability hours. Following government advice, there will be fewer staff on site however we will ensure that essential services, for your health and safety are provided to you.
Our Warden team and specialist support teams are on hand to support you as needed.
Will the Garden Room remain open and be safe to eat in?
The Garden Room will remain open until Sunday 29th March with the usual weekend service. It will then close with catering facilities being offered to residents and essential staff in the Thyme Out outlet as a takeway service..
We are currently working on plans on how we will open up our catering outlets from September 2020
Will we be refunded for accommodation if I leave the campus?
If you decide to leave WUC accommodation, following advice from the Prime Minister on 24th March, we will do not expect you to continue to pay rent and will cancel final instalment payments due from 20th April, less any already incurred meal plan allowances.
You will not be charged for storage of items whilst the current measures are in place.
Damage deposits will be processed once normal service is resumed and room checks can take place.
What happens if I need to self-isolate in my WUC hall of residence?
Please call/text the Warden team on 07880 557796, or email email@example.com. If you have en-suite accommodation, please do not leave your room except for exercise outdoors, in which case you should maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from other people.
If you do not have en-suite accommodation, we will work with you to establish a safe protocol for using bathroom facilities, based on the number of residents in the rest of your block.
We can arrange for food to be delivered to your room. Absolutely, under no circumstances should you open your door to friends/residents or interact with others in the hall.
I’m self-isolating in external shared accommodation. What should I do?
The Government has issued guidelines on what to do if you are living in shared accommodation and self-isolating. This includes if you are sharing toilets, bathrooms and kitchens. It includes:
Ensuring you use separate towels in your household - including for drying your hands.
If you share a toilet/bathroom you should clean them every time you use them, wiping down every surface you have been in contact with.
If you share a kitchen, avoid using it while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Wash up and dry thoroughly. Consider setting up a rota for using the kitchen and bathroom.
You should not have visitors, including friends or family.
We recommend you read all of the online advice issued by the Government.
I am living with someone who is self-isolating - what do I need to do?
Please follow the comprehensive PHE guidance at: www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolation-for-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-home-isolation.
This provides a range of guidance on items such as washing, sharing household items and covering your face.
If you are living with someone who is self-isolating, you should ensure they are separate from everyone else in your home, as the virus can easily be transmitted at close quarters. This means not socialising with that person and where possible using a separate bathroom. If this is not available, then regular cleaning is required. You should also avoid sharing household items, such as dishes, glasses, cups, utensils, towels, bedding or other items with other people in your home.
If the semester is extended will students have to pay more to stay in halls?
If we are required to extend the semester, there will be no additional costs for students staying in halls. We are working on trying to reduce the risk of this however, the situation is evolving and may necessitate a change to published timetables / term dates.
What do we do if we are locked out and WUC is closed?
The normal out of hours procedures will apply. Out of hours, please call the Duty Warden on 07880557796. During office hours, please visit the Accommodation Office.