Self-isolating at Royal Holloway

The University provided an update on Tuesday on the number of Coronavirus cases amongst the student and staff population at Royal Holloway. Currently, 15 students and one staff member have tested positively. Everyone here at the Students’ Union wishes them all a speedy recovery. You can find the update here.

We wanted to provide a quick and clear update for all students on the process around self-isolation if you test positive or develop symptoms while on campus or in the local area. Government guidance on self-isolation can be found here.

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

What do I do if I am not feeling well?

Firstly, read the guidance on the University’s website. If you have Coronavirus symptoms, please fill-up the form here. You are also able to contact at any time if you have any coronavirus questions or concerns.

After filling out the form, the University will then advise you to seek a test from the NHS via their online test booking system. Currently, there is a Mobile Testing Unit on campus but all tests have to be booked via the NHS.

If you or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus, you and your entire household need to self-isolate and the person experiencing symptoms needs to get tested. You all must self-isolate for 14 days, or until you know the results of the test.

What will happen when I need to self-isolate?

If you have developed symptoms or tested positive, or someone in your household has, you will need to start self-isolating immediately (do not head out for a last-minute Tesco shop). The form mentioned above will alert the University that you, and your household, need to go into self-isolation and they will contact you to provide follow up information and support.

The University has worked hard to ensure that whatever you may need during your time in self-isolation, they will support you. If you have any specific needs, please email as this will be the main point of contact for all questions.

The initial contact message from the University will set out full details of what you have to do and how the University can support you – this support covers practical, academic, financial and emotional support, including:

  • Food and meals
  • Shopping
  • Accessing post
  • Medical attention/needs
  • Laundry
  • If you have a part-time job, telling your place of work
  • Financial difficulties
  • Keeping on top of your studies
  • Accessing library books
  • Telling your parents/supporters
  • Faith/cultural support
  • Keeping in touch with others

Full details of all support available can be found here.

The University will also arrange a meeting with you/your household through MS Teams to check everyone is okay and discuss any specific arrangements needed.

If you are living in a catered halls your meals will be brought to your flat by the University.

If you are living in private housing or private halls, you still need to inform the University of your need to self-isolate even though you are not living on campus. Private halls providers may offer some support, but you are also able to contact the University if there is anything else you need. Students living in private housing are able to contact the University for any support required.

What can I do during self-isolation?

Do contact your School Office to inform them of your self-isolation and let them know if you need any academic support with continuing your studies online.

Do keep in touch with friends and family. You can find a huge number of student groups who are carrying out activities for you to get involved with online here.

Do order any food needed online, or ask the University to help provide it for you. You can order groceries from the Union Shop here.

Do let the University know about any specific needs you may have through, such as medicine or financial difficulties.

What can’t I do during self-isolation?

You must not leave your home if you're self-isolating.

Do not go to work, school or public places.

Do not go on public transport or use taxis.

Do not go out to get food and medicine.

Do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family.

Do not go out to exercise.

Playing your part

To keep our community safe we all need to play our part by following the guidelines and respecting each other. Self-isolation can be a difficult experience and the University is working hard to ensure all students are supported as much as needed.

We are also always here at the Students’ Union to support you through our Advice Centre. If you have any comments or questions please get in touch at