Returning to Keele in May

On this page you’ll find information and guidance about returning to Keele in May, including Covid-19 testing requirements, and information on travelling back to campus safely, along with some FAQs.

Page last updated on 11 May, in line with Government guidance confirming that alongside step three of the roadmap, in-person teaching and learning can resume for all remaining students from 17 May.

Schools will be letting students know directly when they will be resuming in-situ activities.

Students who will be resuming in-situ teaching and activities will need to complete our online form (your School will send this to you if you are told your in-situ activity will be resuming) and also book Covid-19 tests.

Covid-19 testing for students returning in May

Students returning to Keele in May should:

  • Get tested before they return, either through their local community testing programme or by ordering a test online, and to only travel back to University if their test is negative.
  • Get tested three times at our asymptomatic testing centre on their return to Keele; immediately upon arrival, and the following tests 3-4 days apart.
  • Get tested twice a week thereafter.

All students who are attending in-person sessions and using campus facilities from May will need to ensure that they get tested every 3-4 days. This includes students on programmes where in-person teaching resumed in January, March, after Easter, and those living on campus who remained here over the lockdown period. Testing takes place at our on-campus testing facility in the Sports Centre.

Testing is quick, easy, and free, and helps to keep our campus community safe.

If you are unable to return for your in-person teaching, for example because you are clinically extremely vulnerable, please contact your School to discuss your studies and options. You can also contact Student Services for advice and support, and they can help you liaise with your School.

Staying safe on campus when you return

To minimise the risk to yourself and others on your return, you should act responsibly before you travel and follow Government guidance on social contact once you return to Keele.

Our ‘Back to Campus’ web pages contain all of the information you need about how we are keeping campus a safe place to live, work and study, and guidance for you to follow to stay safe on campus.

Please remember to:

  • Always wear a face covering when you are indoors on campus, except when in your student household.
  • Wash your hands regularly, with soap and water, for at least 20 seconds.
  • Maintain 2m social distancing at all times from those outside your student household.
  • Also adhere to all social distancing guidance regarding one-way systems, queuing, and building and room entrances and exits.

Students can travel by private vehicle or public transport but should make sure they follow safer travel advice.

If travelling by private vehicle:

  • avoid car sharing with anyone outside their household or support bubble. 
  • rigorously follow the safer travel guidance for passengers to reduce the risk of transmission to others where this is not possible

If using public transport students should:

  • plan and avoid busy times and routes
  • rigorously follow the Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers
  • unless exempt, it is a legal requirement that you wear a face covering on public transport and inside transport hubs, e.g. train stations. You could be fined £200 minimum if you do not comply

Students can help reduce the spread of coronavirus by:

  • wearing a face covering unless exempt
  • keeping their distance from people from other households when they travel, where possible
  • washing or sanitising their hands regularly
  • avoiding the busiest routes, as well as busy times like the rush hour
  • downloading the NHS COVID-19 app before they travel, if possible and checking in where they see official NHS COVID-19 QR code posters

The Government has confirmed that if students are travelling from areas which are undergoing surge testing, different public health guidance applies and they should ensure they get tested before they travel. If they test positive, their PCR test will be sent to a laboratory for genomic sequencing and they must not travel. They must isolate with their household immediately and follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus infections. Public Health England will carry out enhanced tracing of close contacts of confirmed cases of the variants.

Check the current list of surge testing locations to see if this applies to you.

International students who are not already staying on campus should follow the guidance on new and returning students from overseas detailed here, and contact our International Student Support team for support and guidance. 

Lockdown restrictions will ease further on Monday 17 May and at this point we will also cease applying a rent rebate. We have also decided to delay the payment date for the third tranche of accommodation payments to 7 May 2021. Please do not make any payments before this date.

March returners: there will be no further rent rebate for those students who did not receive a rent rebate in February or who returned in March, either to resume in-person teaching or for an allowable legal reason.

April returners: for those students who returned in April either to resume in-person teaching or for an allowable legal reason, a rent rebate will be applied to cover the period 8 March – 18 April.

All remaining students: all remaining students who have accommodation on campus and are studying subjects currently not allowed to resume in-person teaching as per the Government guidance - or those without a personal need to return to, for example, access study space and campus resources - will be entitled to a rebate to cover the period 8 March – 16 May.

As a result of ongoing social distancing rules and changes to various degrees of lockdown, the University Education Committee has decided that for the academic year 2020/21, Keele will not be conducting any end of Semester 1 or Semester 2 assessments which would require a physical presence on the campus, unless there are particular circumstances where they need to take place, such as being mandated by a professional body.

Where an examination would normally have taken place on campus the assessment has been converted to electronic submission, either by coursework or by offering them as timed assessments.

See the assessments page for more information.

Practical sessions are an essential part of many degree programmes. Whilst we have been able to accommodate government restrictions on delivery of practical sessions until now, if you do not complete all of the practical elements of your programme, you may find that your professional accreditation is at risk.

If your circumstances are such that you cannot return to campus for your practical sessions, you should contact your School as soon as possible to discuss your options.

If you are self-isolating and unable to return for your in-person teaching, you should contact your School as soon as possible to advise them of this. They will be able to support you in catching up on any missed sessions.

You should also notify the CRT of your self-isolation period.

Please see this FAQ on our roadmap out of lockdown web page

We have a number of on-campus rooms available for students who need to resume in-person teaching and do not already have local accommodation. If this applies to you, please complete this form, and view this web page to see what accommodation is available.

Once you have returned to your student home you should follow the broader national guidance.

You should only return to your family or another household where this complies with wider social contact limits (from 17 May, no more than 6 people or two households/bubbles are permitted to mix indoors) or an exception to those limits applies (for example if you need to move home temporarily because of illness or mental ill-health).

Where you do need to travel, you should follow safer travel guidance which includes:

  • Planning ahead and avoiding busy times and routes where possible
  • Walking or cycling where possible
  • If using public transport, you should regularly sanitise your hands, wear a face covering unless you are exempt and keep your distance where possible
  • It is a legal requirement that, unless exempt, you must wear a face covering on public transport and inside transport hubs, e.g. train stations. You could be fined £200 minimum if you do not comply
  • If travelling by car, you should avoid sharing a car with anyone outside of your household or support bubble. If this isn’t possible, you should open the windows, wear a face covering unless exempt and leave seats free to social distance.
  • If you are travelling from an area which is undergoing surge testing, different public health guidance applies and you should ensure you get tested before you travel.

Until 17 May, you can only travel abroad from England if you have a legally permitted reason to do so. You must complete a declaration form for international travel.

From 17 May you will not need to complete a declaration form to travel abroad.

Within England, you are legally permitted to return to your term-time accommodation and attend your higher education provider where reasonably necessary for the purposes of a higher education course of study.

This includes travel to and from the Devolved Administrations. From 17 May, providers can resume in-person teaching and learning for all remaining students who haven’t yet returned.