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Accommodation FAQs related to COVID-19

 

The FAQs is included Information on the following topics:-

 

  • Special Arrangements living in Student Accommodation
  • Early/Late Arrival to Accommodation
  • Self-Isolating
  • WiFi Service in Accommodation
  • Contact details for additional Questions
  • If having to stay in Quarantine on Arrival
  • Help and Support in Accommodation

 

Will there be special arrangements and/or restrictions living in student accommodation at the start of 2020 academic year?

In line with Government guidelines on COVID-19, as you would expect Queen’s has introduced measures relating to social distancing across all areas of the campus to help stop the spread of the virus and to support your safety and that of everyone working on campus.

These measures will impact all students and staff, and in particular, for students living in Queen’s Accommodation starting in September 2020 some restrictions will remain in place until further notice. These include-

  • It will not be possible move rooms in Semester 1 due to 2 main reasons:-
    • the high number of students who must quarantine on arrival into the UK
    • you and the students living with you in your apartment or flat are regarded as a ‘household’. It is not possible to move into a different household.
  • It will not be possible to have visitors to your household at any time. This includes residents from another Queen’s Accommodation location or visitors from the general population.
  • It will not be possible to have a guest to stay overnight in your accommodation room in your household; this means the maximum capacity of a single bedroom is 1 person.
  • There must not be gatherings in your household which exceeds the maximum capacity for your kitchen/common room; for example in Elms BT9 this is 5 people; where a maximum capacity applies there is signage on the kitchen/common room door
  • There will be opportunities to take part in face to face social events and these will be limited in line with social distancing; a programme of virtual events will be communicated on arrival and available on My Queen’s.
  • Students are expected to clean their kitchens after preparing meals, regardless of how little mess there may be; the materials for cleaning hygienically will be provided and replenished by Queen’s Accommodation.

Government guidelines are changing on a regular basis and we expect to review the social distancing measures on campus at the start of Semester 2.

In line with the Campus Community Pledge:-

  • you must respect other people’s space and their personal circumstances
  • you should follow all COVID-19 related guidance including the need to wash hands regularly, observe face covering requirements, respect physical distancing, especially in social gatherings, and if able download the StopCovidNI proximity app
  • you should feel comfortable to report any incident of another student’s or staff member’s behaviour in regard to COVID-19 safety and social distancing which causes you concern or anxiety.
  • you should make the report to reception in your building and a member of staff will take the appropriate action.

https://www.qub.ac.uk/my-queens/working-together/campus-community-pledge

Repeatedly breaching University guidance could lead to the student or staff member being subject to disciplinary processes.

 

Early/Late Arrivals

Will accommodation still be guaranteed if I come later or defer my offer?

If you accept an offer for accommodation but find you are unable to travel, or decide to defer your studies for 12 months, we will cancel your accommodation booking; the deposit, if already paid, is fully refundable.

If you are a matriculated UG or PG student and find you are unable to travel in  September but expect to come to campus at some stage in the future, we will either (depending on the availability of bedrooms):

  • hold your room for you until you can arrive; or
  • release you from your contract and return your deposit asking you to re-contact us when you know you can travel and we will do our best to find new accommodation for you at this point.

If you arrive and start your course from September 2020 and then decide to withdraw or leave your accommodation contract for personal reasons, the normal terms for release from your contract will apply.

 

If I check in late, can I get a refund for part of the tenancy period that I missed?

If you intend to arrive in September 2020 but your travel is delayed, as a result of COVID-19 restrictions or Visa issues, we will change the start date of your contract; you will only pay for accommodation from your arrival date.

 

Is my accommodation deposit fully refundable if I am unable to take up my offer?

With our accommodation guarantee you can apply for a place in Queen’s Accommodation, knowing that your deposit is fully refundable should you be unable to take up your place to study at Queen’s.

We do not ask for a deposit until you have been accepted onto an academic course and we have offered you a room.

 

What if my programme start date is now January 2021?

If your course commencement date has changed to January 2021 and you intend to arrive then, you must contact us and we will make this change to the contract start and end dates.

The deposit will be transferred to the new contract starting date, unless you request it to be refunded and no longer wish to live in University accommodation.

 

Self-Isolating

Is the accommodation still open?

Queen’s Accommodation remains open and students staying there will continue to be looked after and supported by University staff. At this time, new students are arriving daily for the 2020-21 academic year

Any students in University accommodation requiring additional support should email: accommodation@qub.ac.uk

 

Are any students self-isolating in Queen’s Accommodation?

We are not able to comment on individual cases, however, students arriving into the UK from countries which are not exempt, must stay in isolation for 14 days from their arrival.

 

I am in a cluster flat where another student is self-isolating because they are at risk on advice from NHS 119. Should all the students in the flat self-isolate now?

Anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, should self-isolate for a period of 10 days; if symptoms persist, contact your GP or phone 119 for advice, or check the PHA website for the latest advice. In line with the latest guidance from the Public Health Agency, if you live in a flat with shared kitchens or bathrooms and a member of the flat is showing symptoms, then all members of the flat should remain indoors and isolate for 14 days.

 

I am self-isolating, what support is in place to provide food/water/provisions in Queen’s Accommodation?

If isolating, students should contact their accommodation reception by email or telephone, available 24 hours per day. Any medication or provisions/meals if you need them, will be brought to the door of the flat during core business hours (9.00am – 5.00pm), 7 days per week. Receipts will be retained and settlement can be made at the end of the isolation period. There will also be daily calls by phone to you from the Residential Life team.

If you have recently arrived from outside the UK from a country which is not exempt, you must self-isolate for 14 days. Support is provided by staff during this isolation period including, meals delivered if you require, a cleaning pack for use in your en suite or shared bathroom, a stationery pack, bedding towels and kitchen packs are also available.

 

My Son/daughter has been advised by NHS 119 to self-isolate, can they isolate at home? Can I collect them?

Yes, if you are able to, collect them.

We are working closely with NHS services and the Public Health Agency, who are responsible for taking the lead in any public health issue of this nature. We are signposting staff and students to regular updates from PHA in regard to travel.

More info can be found on the Public Health Agency website.

 

My apartment is located in Willow Walk. How do I top-up gas and electric meters during the isolation period?

Please contact Elms BT9 reception.

Staff will provide the top-up required for gas and phone with the code number. Electric will be topped up using the spare electric card and staff will add the credit in the electric hub room. The cost will be added to the students’ accounts.

 

I am a resident in Queen’s Accommodation – can I still invite a guest to stay with me for a visit?

We are not permitting guests in Queen’s Accommodation during Semester 1 in 2020- 21 and ask that all students rearrange their plans accordingly. You may feel there are exceptional circumstances which should be discussed with the Queen’s Accommodation team.

 

If having to stay in Quarantine on Arrival

 

What does 2 weeks isolation really mean?

UK Government guidelines currently require those arriving from some international destinations to quarantine for 14 days. If this still applies when you arrive, you will be quarantined comfortably and looked after in Queen’s university accommodation in Belfast.

We’ve made every provision to keep you safe and well. For those students who are living in our accommodation for the year, your stay in quarantine will be free of charge.

 

What happens on arrival?

Move in with the minimum of fuss, safely and securely. You'll be checked-in by a member of staff, your luggage will be hygienically wiped and delivered to your room.

Our reception is provided with safety screens and information in various languages to support social distancing. Touch points during check-in will be minimal. Hand sanitiser is available and should you need a face mask we will provide you with one. When you get your key fob, a member of staff will escort you to your room.

 

What about my room during quarantine?

Even though you will need to do 14 days of quarantine, this is your room; we want it to be as safe and comfortable as possible. It has been hygienically cleaned prior to arrival, including all touch-points and surfaces, so you can get on with life as near-to-normal as possible.

We will keep you supplied with all the everyday things you'll need, like soap, sanitiser, bathroom cleaner, wipes, masks and gloves as well as bedding and towels in your bedroom. There's also stationery packs and an all-important memory stick with essential information. You will have 200MB WIFI and a personal 250MB cable internet connection service.

We will continue to clean high touch points in communal areas on a regular basis

 

How do I get Food during quarantine?

It's important for you to have a balanced diet and you have an option to be provided with three meals per day at a charge of £210 for the quarantine period; the meals include a variety of main meals - all healthy and nutritious, meeting most dietary requirements. The meal deal consists of:-

  • 3 meals per day: breakfast, lunch and dinner, packed together for each student
  • All meals will contain food, drinks and snacks; there will be a variety of meals which will change each day
  • A minimum of one meal each day will be hot; you can decide when to eat the meals and the main hot meal is to be heated in your kitchen microwave oven.
  • Meals will be delivered to your accommodation for each day for storage in the fridge supplied in the kitchen; this will ensure the food is kept fresh and nutritious.

Alternatively, you can order meals from local restaurants and have them delivered. If you prefer to cook, you can order online for groceries. Information on how to do both of these in Belfast will be provided by contacting the Residential Life Coordinators.

In the kitchen/common room on your floor, tea and coffee is available 24/7. Yes, these are social spaces; to keep you safe you will need to take turns and be aware if there is a maximum capacity of people who can use the kitchen at the same time.

You will need to clean after cooking and there is an anti-bacterial cleaning pack of materials provided in each kitchen for students to use.

It's also good to know the cold water tap in your kitchen is clean and safe to drink. As you'd expect, a cooker, microwave, fridge freezer, rice cooker and large screen TV are there, too.

 

How do I get Post/Parcels when I am in quarantine?

Students will not be able to collect post from Reception, some students will be expecting letter post that will need to get in order to open a bank account, for example, BRP Card. These letters and any essential parcels will be delivered to you by staff.

 

What about Rubbish disposal?

If you are staying in Elms BT9 all recycling and rubbish is to be brought to the main front entrance of your block before 12 noon each day.

 

My phone will not allow access to UK delivery apps. How will I make Phone- calls during the first 2 weeks?

All students in Quarantine rooms will be provided with a UK ‘pay-as-you-go’ sim card so they can make calls for deliveries etc. The sim card will have free credit pre-loaded which can be topped up online. This is useful until you finish quarantine and/or decide to purchase a new UK phone contract.

 

WiFi / Internet Service

The Wifi service is included in the accommodation charge and it is the fastest Wifi available in student accommodation in Belfast.

  • Is the WiFi fast and do I pay extra for it?
  • The WiFi in your bedroom provides 200Mb WiFi.
  • There is a dedicated 250Mb wired connection useful for large downloads and online gaming.
  • The service is provided by ASK4 (www.ask4.com) who have a multilingual 24/7 helpline for any issues.
  • To connect to the WiFi, open a browser, for example, Google Chrome. The internet provider is Ask4, their home page will open automatically where you create an account.
  • More information about Ask4 is contained on the USB Stick in your room

 

 

Help and Support

What help or support is there?

 

My Queen's - Arriving at Queen's

My Queen's is your website for everything you need to know when coming to Queen’s and throughout your first semester.

In addition to helping you navigate your way through the University in your initial few weeks, we'll help you get registered, provide details on your learning environment, all of our excellent support services, and ways to get the most of your student experience. The link is here: My Queen's

 

Residential Life

The Residential Life Team in Queen’s Accommodation are here for you and they will stay in regular contact with you online, by phone and on social media. They will check how you're coping and how you can get the support you need 24/7, should you need it.

The Residential Life team will provide support in settling into quarantine; they will,

  • contact you and provide opportunities to meet other students online
  • encourage you to take part in social events on line
  • explain how safe distancing can be successful in your accommodation and the kitchen
  • explain how to order online for delivery of groceries/takeaway restaurant meals if that is your

A wraparound level of support to students living in Queen's Accommodation is a priority for all staff including the Residential Life team.

 

There is a Manager, 4 Residential Life Coordinators and a team of 24 Residential Assistants who live in Elms BT9, Grant House, College Gardens, 76 Malone Road, Mount Charles, Elms BT1 and BT2.

Our Residential Life Coordinators and Residential Assistants are able to offer support if you feel lonely or homesick or need encouragement to join in social events to make new friends.

They also organise and promote a weekly programme of social events and trips throughout each semester.

 

Residential Life Coordinators (RLC)

The Residential Life Coordinators role:

  1. Welcome you on arrival and help you settle into your accommodation.
  2. Will lead a tour of the facilities at Elms BT9 and the Lounge at the Treehouse – a venue for events, chilling out or playing computer and board games, surfing on the bank of PCs or meeting with friends. Will also lead tours of Elms BT1 and Elms BT2, including social spaces.
  3. Provide support with settling into University life.
  4. Organise social events to help you get to know fellow students (which are advertised on our Facebook page, in our weekly Ezine and on posters throughout your building).
  5. Build strong community relations within all residences.
  6. Signpost professional support services provided by the Students’ Union and the Student Guidance Centre.
  7. Help to address instances of noise/antisocial behaviour.
  8. Ensure you conduct yourself in a responsible and adult manner, respecting the comfort and safety of other students and local residents.
  9. Ensure you are familiar with the Queen's University Conduct Regulations.
  10. Listen to the needs of undergraduate students, international students and postgraduate students.
  11. Encourage you to get involved in various social events and projects.
  12. Organise open forums where you can voice your opinion, put forward ideas and thoughts on improving your accommodation and the facilities provided.
  13. Provide details on free and confidential support services available within Queen’s University.

 

The Residential Life Coordinators can be contacted in the Residential Team Office in the lower ground floor of the Treehouse.

 

Operating hours for the Residential Team are listed below. Contact: Email:- Elms BT1 and Elms BT2: rlcbt1-2@qub.ac.uk

Elms BT9: rlcbt9@qub.ac.uk Tel: 028 9097 4718

 

Residential Team Operating Hours

Monday – Thursday  10am – 11pm

Friday 10am – 6pm

Saturday 9am – 5pm

Sunday 3pm – 11pm

 

 

Residential Assistants

Residential Assistants support the Residential Life Coordinators and help you to settle into accommodation. They are students themselves, usually in their second or third year at Queen's University.

 

The Residential Assistants:

  1. Welcome you on arrival and help you settle into your accommodation
  2. Carry out induction meetings with each floor/building which gives you the opportunity to meet your fellow residents
  3. Provide a nightly drop-in service where you can call in and meet/discuss any issue with a Residential Assistant
  4. Advise you on your responsibilities regarding fire safety and organising/assisting in fire drills
  5. Carry out regular fire and health and safety checks within your apartment/building
  6. Plan activities and promote the full social programme designed for you and fellow students to develop an inclusive and responsible community within accommodation
  7. Communicate the extensive social programme of events happening at Elms BT9 and other venues around campus including how to book for organised trips and outings
  8. They are a first point of contact to help you if you have a problem and can highlight your need to the Residential Life Coordinators, for example, if you are having problems settling into University life
  9. Assist you in organising your own events
  10. There will be no Residential Assistants in Grant House, 76 Malone Road and College Gardens in the 2020-21 academic year.

 

 

Interested? Why not become a Residential Assistant?

 

If you are interested in getting involved as a Residential Assistant in the future please speak with your Residential Assistant or one of the Residential Life Coordinators.

 

The role now qualifies for Degree Plus status so the experience gained will travel on your CV when you leave Queen's University.

 

 

Contacts for Additional Questions

If I have specific questions about accommodation, who do I contact?

For any questions relating to accommodation, please email or telephone

the Accommodation Office our team will be happy to help. You can also keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter accounts for further information about availability.

 

accommodation@qub.ac.uk Telephone on 0044 2890 97 4403

 

Queen's Accommodation

Queen's University Belfast Elms BT9

78 Malone Road Belfast

BT9 5BW

 

T: +44 (0) 28 9097 4525