The following advice was issued by the University on 6 March 2020. It contains guidance reflecting new official advice directed at those travelling to the UK from areas affected by coronavirus. This update supersedes all previous guidance.

Information about coronavirus

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of virus first identified in Wuhan City, China.  As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Based on current evidence, the new coronavirus presents with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Those who have died in Wuhan appear to have had pre-existing health conditions.

The new virus is understood to have an incubation period of up to 14 days. 

On 30 January 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared that the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a public health emergency of international concern. In the light of that declaration, the UK Chief Medical Officers raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

Staff and students who need to isolate themselves 

Even if you do not have any of the symptoms of the new coronavirus, you should isolate yourself for 14 days after arriving in the UK – and call NHS 111 – if you have travelled from any of the following places in the last 14 days.

  • Hubei Province (including Wuhan city)
  • Iran
  • Specific ‘lockdown’ towns in Northern Italy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo, San Fiorano, Vo’ Euganeo)
  • Daegu or Cheongdo in the Republic of Korea.

You may resume normal University and social activities at the end of the 14-day period provided that you have not developed a fever, difficulty in breathing or a cough.


If you experience symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath within 14 days of arrival from one of the following areas, you should immediately isolate yourself and call NHS 111:

  • mainland China outside of Hubei province
  • Italy outside of the lockdown areas
  • South Korea outside of the special care zones
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are mild. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms. You may resume normal University and social activities when advised to do so by the NHS.

You should inform your school if you are isolating yourself in accordance with the above advice. Staff (and academic visitors) should do so by e-mailing their head of school or service.  Students should contact their School Student Support Office and, if they live in University accommodation, should also inform the hall warden or equivalent.


Appropriate arrangements will be made to provide necessary pastoral and practical support for students who isolate themselves as a result of following the above advice.  Similarly, appropriate arrangements will be made in respect of lectures and classes that students cannot attend because they are isolating themselves. 

Read the latest government advice on self-isolation

Prohibitions on travel on University business

In accordance with advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the University is not currently permitting staff or students to travel on University business to the following parts of the world:

  • Mainland China
  • Iran
  • the cities of Daegu and Cheongdo in South Korea
  • ten small towns in the Lombardy region of Italy (Codogno, Castiglione d’Adda, Casalpusterlengo, Fombio, Maleo, Somaglia, Bertonico, Terranova dei Passerini, Castelgerundo and San Fiorano),and one small town in the Veneto region of Italy (Vo’ Euganeo).

If you are already in any of these areas and have not already been contacted by the University, please get in touch with your school or the Study Abroad Office outgoingstudyabroad@leeds.ac.uk or +44(0)113 3430046) at your earliest convenience.

General health advice

This is a time of year when many people in the UK suffer from coughs and colds. Everyone is recommended to follow the usual hygiene precautions in daily life to reduce the risk of infection, such as washing hands regularly, covering your mouth and nose if you sneeze or cough, and keeping kitchens clean.

As a matter of general good practice, all students should ensure that they are registered with a local doctor. Most students choose to register with the Leeds Student Medical Practice which is near the University campus. (Find information on how to register with them or alternative local doctors.)

Students should also check that their vaccinations are up to date. In particular, if you did not have the Meningitis vaccination before you arrived in Leeds, you should book an appointment for this with your doctor.  

Sources of information

See our frequently asked questions on coronavirus. You can get information from the Government’s website and also the following websites: