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COVID-19 (Coronavirus): Guidance for staff and students

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak, Queen’s University Belfast has produced the following guidance for our staff and students.

Lanyon Building at Queen's University Belfast

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Guidance

This is an evolving situation and staff and students are asked to continue to visit this page and regularly check the Public Health Agency website, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and GOV.UK website for the latest updates and guidance. 

Northern Ireland now has full access to the NHS 111 helpline service on coronavirus. 

To obtain advice on coronavirus, all people here have to do now is dial 111.

If you have travelled to countries and regions specified by the Public Health Agency, dial 111 to obtain advice.

You do not need to be registered with a GP in Northern Ireland to contact NHS 111.

If it is a medical emergency, call 999 and inform the call handler of your recent travel.


FCO travel advice

Read the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice in relation to COVID-19 here


Public Health Agency advice for travellers returning from specified countries and areas

The Public Health Agency is providing up-to-date advice for travellers who have returned or are returning from specified countries and areas. Read the advice

Your wellbeing is the University’s first priority. Please do not let any concerns about your work or studies stop you taking this advice.

If you are a student who has returned or is returning from a country or region specified by the Public Health Agency, please email all of the following to inform them of your travel, so that they can help you with any support you may need:

If you are a member of staff who has returned or is returning from a specified country or region, please email all of the following to inform them of your travel, so that they can help you with any support you may need:


Travel for University Business or study

The safety of our staff and students is paramount. Therefore, in line with FCO advice, we, as a University, are suspending travel to certain countries and areas for business or study while we continue to monitor the situation.

These are the areas for which the FCO are advising against all but essential travel.


Support for staff or students currently working or studying in specified countries and areas 

Your health and wellbeing is our first priority and the University has taken the decision to support the return travel of students or staff who are resident/work-based primarily in Queen's University Belfast, at no financial disadvantage to them.

We would encourage those students or staff who are resident/work-based primarily in Queen’s University Belfast, and who are currently studying or working in specified countries and areas, to return to the UK – please email so we can assist.


Early return from specified countries and areas 

Please contact the University’s travel provider, Selective Travel, on +44 (0)28 9044 2073 or, to change your travel arrangements. 

Staff or students should contact Queen’s University Belfast’s Insurance Section for advice on making a cancellation or curtailment claim. Please ensure that you have saved all relevant documentation – receipts and booking confirmations.

Insurance staff will provide the most appropriate claims form and then advise and manage the claims process with UMAL.

For further advice, please contact the Insurance section on 02890 971484 or email

In the case of staff or students needing emergency medical treatment while on university approved travel, advice and support is available through UMAL on a 24hr basis:


Staff or Students currently in specified countries and areas on a personal trip

If you are currently on holiday in a specified country or areas, please contact us at to let us know, and so we can offer you support and guidance.


Visitors to the University from specified countries or areas

  • If you have visitors from specified countries or areas scheduled to come to Queen’s University Belfast, please contact them to postpone their trip.
  • If you have visitors from elsewhere scheduled to come to Queen’s University Belfast there is currently no need to change your plans. This is being kept under review.


Looking after your own health: Advice to all staff and students who may be concerned about catching a flu virus

To help protect yourself from catching any flu like virus during these winter months, the Public Health Agency is advising that you should:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water or a disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing, before handling and consuming food.
  • Use disposable tissues when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used tissues carefully and promptly in a bin.
  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and avoid sharing personal items.


If you are concerned as a result of COVID-19

  • If you are a student who is concerned as a result of COVID-19, the University’s Student Wellbeing Service can offer support and guidance. Please contact the Student Wellbeing Service by emailing A member of staff will get in touch with you directly.
  • If you are a member of staff concerned as a result of COVID-19, please contact the Staff Wellbeing Service by emailing


If a colleague or student approaches you for advice having recently returned from specified countries and areas

Please refer the colleague or student to this dedicated webpage and to the Public Health Agency websiteForeign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website and GOV.UK website for the latest updates and guidance.

Read the list of specified countries and areas.


If you are concerned about the impact on your studies

Please contact your School Office if you are concerned about the impact on your studies.


If you are concerned about your visa

The government has published guidance on immigration provisions made by the Home Office for individuals in the UK who are unable to return to specified countries and areas. Read the Home Office guidance.

If you are an International student and your visa is due to expire, please contact Immigration Support Service for advice:


Further advice and guidance

As a University, we will continue to keep this webpage updated. If there are any major changes or updates, we will communicate these to you directly.

Guidance, advice and updates are available from:


[This page was last updated on 4 March 2020.]