Covid-19 guidelines | The current rules and measures for the return to campus


With a few weeks to go until term begins, here are the guidelines Bristol University currently has in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19 on campus.

This article shows the information that is part of the University’s guidelines and so is updated when changes have been issued.

Face coverings

Students will need to wear a visor and a mask together, when attending any in-person teaching and when queuing outside rooms before teaching starts and when leaving rooms.

These will be made available to collect before the start of teaching from a number of central locations across the campus, with students able to book slots to receive theirs, via their faculty or school.

If a student attempts to attend their seminar without a face shield, they will be refused entry and advised to get one from a collection point on campus.

The University of Bristol has ordered 75,000 transparent plastic face visors for students and staff to wear during in-person teaching and in spaces around the campus.

Cleaning on campus

The University have enhanced their cleaning specification, in accordance with Public Health England (PHE) guidelines and advice from their cleaning supply manufacturers. This includes:

  • Allocated time for cleaning on-campus sites.
  • Increased cleaning of ‘touch points’ (such as door handles, toilets and study areas) during the day.
  • A sanitisation station placed at the entrance of every building, which students and staff will be encouraged to use.

On-campus facilities

Libraries, residences, study spaces, cafes, sports centres and other on-campus social spaces will be adapted to allow for government guidelines to be followed more easily, most notable being social-distancing rules. This includes:

  • Implementing one-way systems where possible inside on-campus facilities.
  • Having dedicated entrances and exits in some buildings.
  • Ensuring all spaces receive a Covid-19 Secure Certification – a verification to show that a site has put in place specific measures to mitigate against the transmission of Covid-19 in accordance to government guidelines. This will be issued by the University’s Chief Property Officer.


This year Bristol University is introducing ‘living circles’ for freshers in their first year accommodation, which will consist of 4-12 people in either a single flat, more than one single flat or a single floor of a Uni hall of residence.

This will prohibit anyone from outside one ‘living circle’ entering another, though freshers will still be allowed to meet up with others outside their ‘living circle’ though whilst adhering to social-distancing and other government guidelines.

For example, new rules set to be introduced on Monday 14 September, banning gatherings of more than six people, will have to be followed for as long as it’s in place.

Freshers are also being advised to social distance from their flatmates as much as possible for the first 14 days after arrival, in case someone develops Covid-19 symptoms within that time.

Travelling to and from campus

Bristol University’s bus services, U1 and U2, provide a transport link between the main Clifton campus, student residences in Stoke Bishop and the Veterinary School in Langford. They are run by the city’s main bus operator, First, and are also used by the general public.

As such, face coverings are mandatory when onboard, except for people with an exemption, as set out by the UK government.

What to do if you need to quarantine when term begins

With teaching commencing on 5 October, the University has asked all those who will need to study entirely online, and away from campus at the start of term, to inform them via a Location of Study form.

This will include those who: have to quarantine beyond a self-isolation period of 14 days on arrival and those who have temporary caring responsibilities for someone with coronavirus.

Students should complete the form even if they have already spoken to a member of staff about their situation.

Those who take part in distance learning programs and international foundation programs do not need to complete the form.

What to do if you experience coronavirus symptoms

If you are experiencing coronavirus symptoms, the University requests that you complete a self-reporting form to enable them to support students who may need to self-isolate and limit the potential spread.


If students experience coronavirus symptoms they can receive a free swab test. They can do so by either calling 119 or visiting the government’s test booking form to book a test at a centre or receive a home testing kit.

The main testing centre near campus in Bristol is located at the rear entrance of the Victoria Rooms, Queen’s Road.

The University also says it will support students who need to isolate in any of its accommodations.

In the event of a second wave or local lockdown in Bristol

In May, the University announced that all lectures would be taught online for at least the first term of the upcoming academic year, with small teaching groups to be carried out in-person with safety measures.

If national or local restrictions were to be tightened to combat a significant rise in the coronavirus infection rate, the University says it will increase the amount of online elements to its courses.

Conversely, if the pandemic resolves sooner than anticipated or its effects are deemed more manageable, there will be more face-to-face teaching.

Featured: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde

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