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COVID-19: Update 30th March 2020

29 March 2020

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has written to students to confirm that those still in their accommodation should now stay there and not attempt to travel home for the duration of the Government lockdown.

Unite Students is committed to providing service and support to those students who remain in their accommodation, while continuing to prioritise social distancing, safe work practices for our employees and minimising the spread of the virus.

Students who wish to leave their contract should still let us know by 10th April, even if they are unable to leave by that date due to self-isolating or because of Government imposed restrictions.

In common with most organisations, we are working hard to maintain staffing levels while accommodating the needs of employees who fall ill, are medically vulnerable, need to self-isolate or have caring responsibilities. We are planning our services accordingly, and do not have plans to furlough employees at this time.

Services currently provided:

  • Maintaining fire safety and physical security for each of our buildings
  • Support for students who are self-isolating
  • Essential maintenance work
  • Virtual reception service via email, phone, student app and our 24/7 contact centre
  • Cleaning of door handles, railings and other surfaces in areas of high footfall
  • Active listening and signposting for students with welfare challenges via phone or online. We are working closely with university partners to direct students to appropriate sources of welfare support at this time.

To keep students and employees safe, we are no longer running routine inspections or audits, common rooms and gyms will be closed and receptions will not be staffed. We are no longer able to distribute parcels, although students may arrange to receive them directly from couriers at the building entrance.

If a case is confirmed, we will organise a professional deep clean of any areas where the affected person has been, and any flatmates who are medically vulnerable will be relocated.

We remain committed to providing safe and secure accommodation for students who live with us, and being there when they need us.