Covid-19 at the University of Bristol | The latest updates and guidelines

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

Coronavirus statistics

The University of Bristol has a community of approximately 28,000 students and 7,000 staff. As of Tuesday 27 October, the University confirmed the number of positive coronavirus stand:

  • 1529 students
  • 38 staff members

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

The University have implemented a new system for students on campus, which currently limits access to a study centre to a maximum of ten hours per week for each student.

The scheme will require students to book their place at a study centre via a form.

Libraries, residences, study spaces, cafes, sports centres and other on-campus social spaces have also been adapted to allow social-distancing rules to be followed more easily. This includes:

  • One-way systems where possible inside on-campus facilities.
  • Dedicated entrances and exits in some buildings.
  • And ensuring all spaces have received 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.

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.


The University have set up a testing unit at the Victoria Rooms. In addition, following an outbreak at The Courtrooms accommodation in city centre, the University of Bristol have also set up two Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) for exclusive use for University students and staff. These are located at North Village (University Hall) at Stoke Bishop, BS9 1AR, and on University Walk.

Showing University Walk where one of the two Mobile Testing Units is located

The mobile testing units will be open seven days a week between 10.30 am-3.30 pm, from Friday 9 October. You can book in directly at the MTU and will be given a self-administered test, which you then hand back in.

If you're self-isolating, visit the University website to learn about the support that is available to you.

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

For more information, visit:

Campus safety
We’ve made some changes to our campus - adapting our libraries, study spaces, sports centre and social hubs in line with social distancing guidelines, so you can still enjoy the experiences of campus life.
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus (COVID-19).
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support
Find information on coronavirus, including guidance, support, announcements and statistics.