by the UWE Accommodation Team
None of us could have imagined what 2020 had in store, but we’ve all adapted, found new ways of keeping touch, discovered new hobbies and uncovered new technologies.
This year is going to be different, and we all need to follow government advice to help protect our families, friends, wider community and the NHS. That doesn’t mean that we can’t socialise with each other and live University life to the fullest!
We have written this guide to explain our rules on visitors, social distancing and to give you some ideas about how university will be different this year, but also how you can make it work for you.
What are the rules on visitors in UWE managed accommodation?
At this time, we will not be allowing visitors into accommodation. We understand that this is going to be difficult, but we have made this decision to keep areas as clean as possible, to minimise the risk of cross contamination and to allow track and trace to operate as effectively as possible.
Who is classed as a visitor?
Unfortunately, this means anybody you don’t live with. This includes friends, family, partners and students who live in other flats – even if you live in the same building.
What about my flatmates? Can we socialise freely?
Good news – you can socialise with members of your flat freely, without social distancing. Your flat family will become your new ‘social bubble’ or ‘household’.
You might find that your housemates don’t become your best of pals in the first few weeks and that’s OK. Sometimes it takes a little time to adjust and you might find that you prefer to socialise with other people, but just remember to support each other.
Does that mean I can’t meet anyone outside my bubble?
Good news – you can meet people from outside of your bubble or household, but this cannot be in your accommodation – no visitors, remember!
We encourage you to go out and meet other people as long as you’re maintaining social distancing. When socialising with people that you do not live with, you must not meet in a group of more than six, indoors or outdoors – following government guidance.
So, for example you could meet in a group of six with others from your course or another flat at the Students’ Union, go for a walk, or head into the city centre together, but not in your flat.
What are the rules for socialising if you live in private accommodation?
The rule of six still applies as it’s official government guidance and law. For example if you live in a flat or house of five people and you want to meet up with others, inside or outside, you can only meet up with one other person.
I am worried that I’m going to struggle making friends in the current situation
This is totally understandable. Here are a few ways you can meet other people:
- Check out the range of in person and virtual UWE Welcome events.
- UWE Global Team have a ton of virtual events that you can get involved in and meet new people. These are especially aimed at students who have just moved to the UK.
- Societies – Societies are an ideal way to meet people, get more out of university, learn new skills and more importantly have a good time.
- UWE Sport offer a range of social sports clubs and classes.
- The Centre for Music is here for you and will be running music lessons and concerts.
I’m feeling lonely, what can I do?
We understand that the new rules are difficult, especially if you have just moved away from home. We want you to know that we are here to support you, and no question is too big or too small. Take a look at our wellbeing support pages to find out how to get the support you need.
If you’re staying in private accommodation, the team at the Students’ Union advice centre are on hand to support you and give advice.
And if you’re in UWE managed accommodation, we’re always here for you. Let us know if you would like us to set up a call with a member of staff to talk through how you’re feeling.
And remember to keep in touch with friends and family back home.
If you develop coronavirus symptoms, stay at home and ring 0117 32 87000 or report your symptoms online (link requires login). The phone number is open from 09:00 to 19:00 every day.
If you are in UWE managed accommodation, you can also let us know by following the details on the back of your flat door. For information on what to do if you have to self-isolate visit our self-isolation guidance page.