CoronavirusStudent update: 28 September 2020

Message from Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor - Student accommodation guidance on visits home

Dear Strathclyde Student,

I hope this email finds you well. Firstly, I’d like to thank you for the positive way in which you are adopting the latest government guidance as Scotland strives to break the chain of coronavirus transmission. Strathclyders are renowned for helping and supporting others, and this weekend, you demonstrated our values clearly by helping to keep each other safe.

I’m writing this morning to update you on the latest guidance for those living in student accommodation, whether that’s in our student residences, or in privately rented accommodation. I know this is a worrying time for many of you, and seeing family and friends will be at the forefront of your minds.

Last night, the Scottish Government issued information that provides greater clarity for students living away from home. The guidance document can be viewed on the Scottish Government website, and applies from today (Monday 28 September 2020).

The Scottish Government encourages students to remain in their current accommodation. However, it acknowledges that there may be circumstances when this is not possible, and has provided advice to those living away from home on what to consider in deciding whether to visit home.

We know that for some of you, your student accommodation is your main home. We will continue to be here for you – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on the contact details below if you need help, support or advice.

The latest guidance for those living away from home includes, but is not limited to, the key points below.

Returning home for a visit or short stay

  • If you are able to, you should remain in your student accommodation and not visit family at home. This is to minimise the risk of spreading the virus
  • If you do return home for a visit or short stay, you must follow the latest rules on indoor social gatherings. You can currently meet one other household outdoors, or in a hospitality setting, up to a limit of six people, and you should not meet inside another household
  • Your student accommodation is classed as a new household, which means that you cannot stay overnight at another household. The guidance sets out examples of circumstances for emergency visits home

Christmas visits

  • The guidance acknowledges that many students will want to return safely to family homes at Christmas. The Scottish Government is considering the best approach for the Christmas holiday period, and will update the guidance in due course

Returning home while self-isolating

  • If you’re self-isolating, the guidance states you should stay within your student accommodation and follow the guidance on self-isolating. Remember, Strathclyde staff are here to help you. If you have any concerns or worries, you can use the contact details below
  • If you need to return home because you need the support and care of a friend, family member or other supportive person in order to be able to self-isolate, for example, if you need financial, physical or mental health support, it’s important to follow the self-isolating guidance to ensure any return home is as safe as possible
  • You should follow Scottish Government travel guidance, and you shouldn’t use public transport to travel home. If you’re being collected from your accommodation by a family member, friend or other supportive person, they should contact your accommodation provider for guidance on how to do so safely. If you’re in Strathclyde Halls of Residence, they should contact: accommodation@strath.ac.uk
  • The household you’re returning to should also then self-isolate 
  • When returning to student accommodation, consider how best to travel there, whether any precautions are required, and contact your accommodation provider to let them know you’re returning

Returning home permanently

  • If you are considering a return home on a permanent basis, the guidance advises that you consult your university to find out more about the support available, and the implications of your decision. We’re here to help you – please do contact us if you are in this situation

Your health and wellbeing is incredibly important while you’re at University. I encourage you to take full advantage of the programme of events available to you – please keep an eye on the website, and the Strath Union website, for more information.

Details of our student support and wellbeing services are also available on our website, or for advice on health matters please contact studenthealthenquiries@strath.ac.uk. Staff are available to talk to you by phone if you have any worries or concerns. For general advice and inquiries, please contact student-advice@strath.ac.uk 

Please keep safe and well,
Jim