Testing, self-isolation and reporting

Testing, self-isolation and reporting

The safety of our students, staff and the communities we’re located in has always been our primary concern throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As we approach the winter break, we want to ensure that we continue to keep everyone as safe as possible, including our students’ families and their local communities.

Symptom-free testing programme: 30 November - 9 December

We are pleased to advise that we will be offering symptom-free testing to all our students on our Coventry campus. We are also partnering with Greenwich University, so that students at our London campuses can access a test.

Read FAQs about our symptom-free testing programme.

As the majority of our Scarborough students live at home and commute to campus, there will not be a symptom-free test centre in Scarborough. Any student experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 can still book an NHS test, and should report a positive test to us.

We continue to oversee a co-ordinated approach across the group in line with Public Health England advice and UK Government guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. This includes:

  • reduced numbers of students and staff on campus at any one time through our blended learning approach
  • expanded timetabling system to reduce the number of days students need to attend campus which reduces commuting
  • reduced capacities in all buildings and frequent cleaning procedures
  • one-way systems, social distancing measures and hand sanitising stations in place across our buildings
  • Student Ambassadors in key places on campus to remind the community to observe safety measures and to answer any queries

In addition, support systems have been put in place in our accommodation to enable students to quarantine as needed, with those self-isolating receiving frequent welfare calls to ensure their physical and mental wellbeing is looked after.

Coventry University Group successfully applied to take part in the government scheme to provide a mass testing programme to our students.

We take the health and safety of our students and staff, their families and the communities in which we are located extremely seriously, and felt it was vital that we deliver this programme to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Taking part will also enable us to continue supporting the fight against COVID-19, as the programme will use lateral flow testing (LFT), a new technology that is being piloted in a number of settings, to see how they can be used for testing at scale, and for testing people who do not currently have symptoms.

Testing will take place in Coventry and London. We will not be implementing this programme at our campus in Scarborough, as our student population in this location primarily live at a permanent address locally.

This is a voluntary testing programme, and we are encouraging as many students as possible who are planning to travel between their term-time accommodation and UK home at the end of term to take part.

Many Coventry University Group students commute between their permanent homes and our campuses for their learning activities. As this testing programme is not available to family members, these students are being advised to continue to book a COVID-19 test if they are experiencing symptoms using the normal process: visiting nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It is of the utmost importance that we all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus and protect other members of society.

Travelling and mixing with people outside of your term-time household group at the end of term may contribute towards the spread of the virus.

Participating in the testing programme will enable you to travel home knowing that you are unlikely to be spreading the virus. Self-isolation, while disruptive for those affected, is an essential part of the fight against the virus.

If you are required to self-isolate, let us know that you are doing so by using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

If you return a positive LFT (the test you do on campus), you will need to book a PCR test (the one you book through the NHS). If the PCR test result is positive, it is essential to self-isolate for 10 days.

If you are not able to come to campus because you are self-isolating, but you feel well enough to study, you can continue your studies online during your isolation period. You should inform your course director immediately, and let us know that you are self-isolating using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

If you are living in university-owned accommodation with FutureLets, the onsite teams can assist with food delivery, waste removal, cleaning packs and wellbeing support for the period of isolation. If you are living in privately-owned accommodation, please speak to your provider for details of the support available for self-isolation.

You can continue to access health, welfare and disability services online throughout your period of self-isolation. To explore a range of the services we offer, please visit the appropriate site information:

You can also continue to access our suite of Connections Matter resources designed to help you stay connected and healthy, both mentally and physically.

We would advise you wait for confirmation of your second negative LFT result (the test taken on campus), or a negative PCR result (the test undertaken by the NHS), before booking travel tickets, as these expenses cannot be reimbursed should you need to stay on campus.

Students will be able to start to travel home from 3 December, after the national restrictions come to an end, and it’s strongly recommended that you travel home as soon after your second negative LFT result (or first negative PCR) as possible – ideally within 24 hours.

If you have a positive test, anyone in your household group (considered to be those you share a kitchen or bathroom with) must also self-isolate until 14 days after the date of your first test.

However, those in your household group who also take a Lateral Flow Test during our mass testing programme from 30 November to 9 December, and who receive two negative results, will be able to return home, but must continue their self-isolation period immediately once they arrive.

All students who are self-isolating should let us know using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support needed in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

Please contact your placement provider for details on the testing available to you.

For students wishing to travel internationally, this symptom-free testing scheme uses Lateral Flow Tests (LFT), and it is unlikely that this test will fulfil the requirements that some countries have as a condition of entry. If either the country that you are travelling to or the airline you are travelling with requires a negative PCR test, you can book this type of test through the NHS (for free) if you have symptoms of coronavirus. If you do not have symptoms, you will need to contact a private provider to get a PCR test. You are responsible for ensuring you meet the COVID requirements for international travel.

We are hoping to be able to offer the same testing to all students in the new year and are currently waiting on confirmation from the government that this will be possible. We will share more detail on this once we are able to.


A lateral flow antigen test (LFT) detects the coronavirus antigen that is produced when a person is infectious with coronavirus. These are quicker tests that produce a result within 30 minutes and do not require a laboratory to be processed.

This is the test that is currently being offered in our testing programme for students.

LFT is a new technology to identify individuals who don’t have any symptoms, but who may be symptom-free carriers and therefore could still spread the virus to others. The government’s normal PCR testing service for symptomatic individuals will continue.

A PCR test looks for the virus’s genetic material (Ribonucleic acid or RNA). These tests are currently more commonly used in the NHS for symptomatic testing. They require a laboratory to be processed.

The lateral flow testing (LFT) programme is a new rapid testing scheme for people with no symptoms. The lateral flow testing does not replace the PCR testing policy for those with symptoms..

If you have symptoms, you should continue to book a PCR test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A lateral flow test is designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms (they are symptom-free), but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. By taking a test, you will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people and save lives.

Lateral flow devices are being piloted in a number of settings, to see how they can be used for testing at scale, and for testing people who do not currently have symptoms.

It is of the utmost importance that we all do our bit to stop the spread of the virus and protect other members of society. Participating in the test will help our country fight the pandemic and save lives. Self-isolation, while disruptive for those affected, is an essential part of the fight against the virus.

Yes. Even if you take part in lateral flow testing, if you subsequently have symptoms, you should continue to book a test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland. If you get a positive result from either the LFT or PCR test, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and report your result to us now so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

Lateral flow tests are validated technology, they are safe and the results are trusted. These tests have undergone rigorous testing and evaluation including at Public Health England’s research laboratories to ensure they are verified for use.

Lateral flow tests are very accurate (highly specific), which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). However, in mass testing, because so many people without symptoms are being tested, there is still the possibility of getting a false positive result. If your first result is negative, you will be advised to take a further LFT test three days later to ensure an accurate result. If your first result is positive, you will be advised to book a free PCR test for further confirmation of your result. If you do get a positive result, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days; report your result to us now so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

If your first result is negative, you will be advised to take a further LFT test three days later to ensure an accurate result. If your first result is positive, you will be advised to book a free PCR test for further confirmation of your result. If you do get a positive result, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days; report your result to us now so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

No, this test is aimed at students and staff in universities. Family members of staff and students are not eligible. If family members experience COVID-19 symptoms, they must follow standard government guidance, including self-isolating immediately and booking a PCR test through nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


For Coventry students, please book online now.

More information on booking for London-based students will be shared soon.

From arrival at the testing location, we expect it to take no longer than 30 minutes to administer the test.

Appropriate face coverings need to be worn throughout the testing process while in the testing facility apart from when guided by a testing professional to remove it when your sample is taken. Should you have age, health or disability reasons for not wearing a face covering, please wear a visor to the site and alert the site manager about your situation as soon as you arrive at site so that they can take additional precautions. Please note, the visor is not considered a face covering as they do not provide adequate protection alone.

Assistance will be provided for anyone who needs help reading the instructions.

If you require additional help with the process of swabbing your throat and nose you will need to bring someone along to assist you. If an assisted test is required, please raise this through the booking form. You can also inform staff upon arrival, when completing registration.

The Priory Sports Hall was identified as a suitable location for the testing centre because it has wheelchair access throughout the building.

Yes, please follow the same system as for your initial test to book a second LFT.

If you have symptoms, you should continue to book a PCR test via nhs.uk/coronavirus or by calling 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.


You will receive a message with your results by text or email, depending on which details you provided when you registered.

In most cases results should be available in as quick as 30 minutes after taking a test. If you have not received your results after five days, please call 119 in England and Wales, or 0300 303 2713 in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

A copy of your result will be sent to your GP. If you have tested positive, a notification will be sent to Public Health England (in England), Public Health Wales (in Wales), Health Protection Scotland (in Scotland), or the Public Health Agency (in Northern Ireland).

Coventry University Group will not see your results. Along with NHS Test and Trace, we take the protection of your privacy very seriously. To find out how your personal data will be used when you register for a coronavirus test, read the government’s coronavirus privacy note.

If the test result is negative, you can continue to work/attend class as usual. You will be advised to take a second LFT to ensure an accurate result before commencing any travel between your term-time accommodation and home.

Anyone whose test returns a positive outcome will need to self-isolate in accordance with current government guidance. Please let us know that you are self-isolating using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

If you are given a positive result from your LFT, you are advised to request an additional PCR test for further confirmation of your result. If this test returns a negative result, you may continue to work/attend class as usual, and can commence any travel between your term-time accommodation and home.

If we can’t read the sample it means it’s not possible to say if you were infectious when the test was done.

You’ll need to take the same tests again as soon as possible. If this is the second time you’ve got this result, you’ll need to book a different test – follow the advice you were given when you were tested or go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

You only need to self-isolate if:

  • you have or get symptoms of coronavirus – you’ll need to book a different test at www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
  • someone you live with tests positive, or has symptoms and has not been tested yet
  • you’ve been traced as a contact of someone who tested positive
  • the test you provide identifies you as being symptom-free

If you need to self-isolate; report your result to us so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.​

If you have a positive test result, your contacts will be traced by NHS Test and Trace. They will be required to self-isolate until 14 days after their most recent contact with you, unless they are participating in the specific trial of regular testing for contacts – in which case they will be given specific instructions on what they can and cannot do during this period.

If you have a positive lateral flow test but get a negative result on the PCR test, your contacts do not need to be traced.

If you have a negative or unclear (or “could not read sample”, “void”, “borderline” or “inconclusive”) result, your contacts do not need to be traced.

After a negative test, an individual is still susceptible to becoming infected and spreading the virus. Respecting distancing when it’s needed, and following other rules, is the most powerful way of stopping the spread of the virus.


General symptomatic testing, reporting and isolation FAQs

Here you can find frequently asked questions in relation to the current guidance around testing, self-isolation and reporting symptoms:

  • what to do if you need to self-isolate or someone you know has tested positive for COVID-19
  • the support available to you
  • how to protect yourself from COVID-19.

Visit our accommodation self-isolation page to find out in more detail about how self-isolation will work in accommodation.

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
If you have any of these symptoms, even very mild, you must:

If you test positive for COVID-19, you'll be contacted by email, text or phone by the NHS Test and Trace service. Test and Trace helps to identify people you have been in ‘close contact’ with so they can be advised to self-isolate and limit the spread.

We are working closely with the service to support and speed up this important work.

If you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, you will need to immediately self-isolate in accordance with current government guidelines.

What is a ‘close contact’?

Usually, only people who have had ‘close contact’ with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 are considered at risk of becoming infected.

Close contacts include:

  • People in your household group; usually considered to be someone you share a kitchen or bathroom with
  • People you have had physical contact with or have been close to; for example, those who have been within 2 metres for 15 minutes or within 1 metre for 1 minute.
  • People you have shared a car with.
Self-isolate when told to.

If you are asked to self-isolate because you have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19, it is vital you do so. Please do not come to campus. Instead stay at home and let us know using our  COVID-19 reporting form so that we can offer you appropriate support.

Download the NHS COVID-19 App;

we urge all Coventry University Group students and staff to download the NHS Covid-19 app. The app launched on Thursday 24 September as part of the large-scale NHS coronavirus testing and contact tracing programme. It can be downloaded from both the App Store and Google Play, and the more of us who use it, the more we can collectively and individually protect ourselves, each other and the communities around us.

Keep a contact record;

we recommend you keep a diary of the people you have been in close contact with each day. This will help if you are asked to share this information.

Keep contact to a minimum;

try to reduce the number of people you have contact with, particularly ‘close contact’ with anyone other than those you live with. We have reduced teaching groups to smaller sized ‘pods’ to help support this.

Minimise the time you spend on campus;

wherever possible, you are encouraged to only attend campus for your timetabled learning, for one-to-one appointments, and when using booked study spaces.

Please follow advice from the government and check the advice regularly as the government continues to review its guidance.

You can get a free NHS test to check if you have COVID-19 by applying on the UK government website or by calling 119. You can only get a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project.
  • you can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

You can also visit a drive-through or walk-through in test centre at a location convenient to you – there are a number of centres within easy reach of our locations in Coventry, Scarborough and London. Remember that you should immediately self-isolate if you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19 – do not come to campus – and let us know using the our COVID-19 reporting form.

If you are not able to come to campus because you are self-isolating, but you feel well enough to study, you can continue your studies online during your isolation period. You should inform your course director immediately, and let us know that you are self-isolating using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support you might need.

For any illness where you are either well or too unwell to study, you should contact your registry team and let them know the module code, date and time of session, and the reason for your absence – this includes if you are learning online.

Faculty of Arts and Humanities – registryenq.fah@coventry.ac.uk
Engineering, Environment and Computing – facultyregistry.eec@coventry.ac.uk
Faculty of Business and Law – facultyregistry.fbl@coventry.ac.uk
Health and Life Sciences – registry.hls@coventry.ac.uk

Coventry University London – registry.london@coventry.ac.uk
CU Coventry – registry.cuc@coventry.ac.uk
CU Scarborough – registry.cus@coventry.ac.uk  
CU London – registry.cul@coventry.ac.uk

Courses and modules are being delivered on the Aula platform, enabling you to access lectures and resources online, so you can catch up on anything you might miss.

If you had opted for blended learning (on campus and online), you may be able to switch to fully online, subject to any restrictions. If you wish to do this, you should contact your course director and they can discuss this with you.

We are aware there is uncertainty during this academic year as the government may need to put greater restrictions in place. Some students will need to shield or isolate for their protection, and some students will choose not to come to campus. Where you are not able to return to campus, we are offering a fully online route for many of our courses for the next academic year. This is subject to the course having no specific requirements for on-campus activity (e.g. laboratory, workshop, simulation sessions) that cannot be managed online.

Course information, materials and content is available online through the Aula learning experience platform, our online library services and more.

If you need to self-isolate, you should inform your course director immediately, and let us know that you are self-isolating using the reporting form on the Student Portal so that we can offer you any further support you might need in terms of learning and your personal wellbeing.

If you are living in university-owned accommodation with Futurelets, the onsite teams can assist with food delivery, waste removal, cleaning packs and wellbeing support for the period of isolation. If you are living in privately-owned accommodation, please speak to your provider for details of the support available for self-isolation.

You can continue to access health, welfare and disability services online throughout your period of self-isolation. To explore a range of the services we offer, please visit the appropriate site information:

You can also continue to access our suite of Connections Matter resources designed to help you stay connected and healthy, both mentally and physically

If you need to self-isolate, you should remain in your student accommodation and you should not return to your permanent home. Learning and wellbeing support will be available to you throughout your period of self-isolation.

Current government guidance advises to avoid travelling in or out of your local area to limit the spread of COVID-19, and you should therefore remain in your student accommodation throughout term time.

We are aware of the impact these restrictions can have on mental health and will continue to provide support to help you at this time. You can access a range of help and guidance from Connections Matter, including a list of all our support services.

If someone you live with develops COVID-19 symptoms, or if you are contacted by the NHS Track and Trace service, you will need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days as per government guidance. If you live at home and usually commute into the university, and someone you live with has developed COVID-19 symptoms, do not come to campus or visit a doctor or pharmacist. Please follow the guidance above for contacting the university about your absence.

We will contact you if someone you live with in university-managed accommodation has got COVID-19 symptoms, and let you know you need to self-isolate. Our staff can then support you with food delivery, waste removal, cleaning packs and wellbeing support for your period of isolation.

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