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The national lockdown: what it means for you

This information was updated on 6 January 2021.

The Prime Minister has announced a strict new national lockdown in England until at least mid-February to tackle the steep increase in Covid-19 infections. As a result of this announcement, the university can confirm that all of the courses not due back this week (4-8 January), will remain online until further notice. We will review this as soon as the UK Government issues an update on the lockdown rules. 

We will continue to update this information as more becomes known and as the guidance evolves in the coming days and weeks.

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone as we further adjust to try to prevent the spread of coronavirus and students are encouraged to seek help through their Student Advice Centre should they need support.

Return to campus 2021

The undergraduate term will start as planned on 11 January and the postgraduate semester on 1 February.

The courses that can still return to campus for face-to-face teaching from 11 January, in line with government guidance, are as follows:

  • Nursing (all 4 fields of practice)
  • Midwifery
  • Paramedicine
  • Speech & Language Therapy
  • Diagnostic Radiography
  • Audiology
  • Social Work (placement and placement preparation only) - UG and PGT programmes
  • Pharmacy (MPharm)
  • Physician Associate
  • Youth and Community Development (placement only)
  • Medical Science
  • Biomedical Science
  • Pharmaceutical Biotechnology MSc 
  • Pharmaceutical Science
  • Pharmaceutical & Cosmetic Science
  • Pharmaceutical Quality by Design 
  • Forensic Science  


The UK Government has said these courses should be allowed to return to campus early because they involve “training for vital public sector roles in health and social care and education”.  

All students on the courses listed above are also expected to be tested twice, with negative results, before they can commence their face-to-face teaching. Our testing centre at The Watershed has now reoperned – for more information on the testing process to follow and how to book a test click here

All other students – including those on HLS courses Youth & Community Development (non-placement), and ADH practical-based programmes Foundation Art & Design, Design Crafts (final year), Fine Art Fashion Design, Performing Arts, Drama that were previously due to return by the 11 January - should now begin their studies online from 11 January.

Students on these courses should not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time once they have returned to campus. Students who remained in their term accommodation over the Christmas break should also not travel back and forth to any other household.

Students who do not study these courses above should remain where they are wherever possible, and start your term online, until at least mid-February. This includes students on other practical courses not on the list above.

For those students who are eligible for face to face teaching, you can meet in groups of more than your household as part of your formal education or training, where necessary. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions. You should socially distance from anyone you do not live with wherever possible. 

If you feel that you have exceptional circumstances that mean you may need to return to campus earlier than the date specified above, please contact your Student Advice Centre.

Important information about your timetable

We are aware that your timetable may still include a campus location for your lectures and tutorials. We cannot remove this information without removing it for all students, and as some courses are still being taught face-to-face this information is still needed.

The courses that can still return to campus for face-to-face teaching from 11 January in line with Government guidance are listed above.

If you are not a student on these courses then you should ignore the location information on your timetable, remain where you are wherever possible and start your term online. 

Please note that you should still take note of the time your sessions are taking place as this information is still relevant.

Research students

Where researchers and research students are able to work from home, they should do so, but those who require access to specialist facilities for their work should be able to do so. Anyone affected should discuss this guidance with their line manager or research supervisor.

PGT students

PGT students should not return for the last two weeks of their Semester 1 unless their programme is mentioned in the exceptions for an earlier return to campus, above.

International students

The undergraduate term will start as planned on 11 January and the postgraduate semester on 1 February.

However, as a result of the new developments, universities have been asked to restrict the number of students returning to campus until at least mid-February.

The Government’s advice for international students travelling from overseas for the spring term is to consider whether they in fact need to travel to the UK at this time, particularly if their course does not require them to be on campus from 4 January.

Those students should consider delaying if travel arrangements can be rearranged without undue costs.

If travel cannot be rearranged, international arrivals must complete a passenger locator form on arrival in the UK, and passengers travelling from a country not on the exemption (travel corridor) list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for 10 days.

International students already in the UK are being urged to remain in the UK where possible.

International students and access to the Covid-19 vaccine
DfE and DHSC have confirmed that international students in the UK who are registered with a GP will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccination in the UK, just as they are currently able to access healthcare. This means that older international students or those with underlying medical conditions will fall into priority categories, in the same way as the domestic population.

Students with additional requirements

In line with the Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP’s letter to all students last week, we are also working on arrangements and provision for students with additional requirements. This includes:

  • International students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation
  • Anyone without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation. This also applies to commuter students who (if not in the first tranche) should only access university resources if they have inadequate study spaces or require additional support such as mental health provision
  • Those of you who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break, but we ask that you only utilise campus resources when you have to in order to reduce footfall on campus
  • Those requiring additional support, including those with mental health issues
  • Those of you on placements where the placement provider has COVID-secure measures in place, is permitted to open based on the relevant local restrictions, and is content for placements to continue
  • Researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities for their work. If research students can work from home, they are encouraged to do so

Covid-19 testing on your return to campus

The Government has outlined to universities a clear expectation that every student should be tested twice on their return to campus, unless they have had a positive test within 90 days.

For those returning between 4 and 8 January, this remains an essential part of your planned return to campus. If students do not take two lateral flow (LFD) tests (more details below) on their return to DMU then the Government advises they should self-isolate for 10 days instead.

Students arriving on campus from 4 January are expected to minimise social contact until a negative test result has been confirmed.

Testing is also required of students who have stayed on campus over the winter break if they have had social contact with others within the previous 10 days.

To minimise the risk to themselves and others on their return to university, students should act responsibly before they travel and follow local restriction tier guidance on social contact.

Students who are living in an area which is offering the use of local community testing programmes should seek to get tested before their return.

We at DMU would urge all students to follow this advice as part of our shared commitment for the safety of yourselves, your fellow students, DMU staff and the wider community. Following this advice will continue to help prevent outbreaks and give everyone a better university experience next term.  

Your steps to planning your return to campus

For those returning between 4 and 8 January, we will need you to follow some key steps to ensure you’re able to return to campus safely within your allotted return travel window.

  • Follow the Government’s travel safety guidance when arranging transport. The Department for Transport has stated that students who need to change their return rail ticket to university following the announcement of a phased return will not be charged administration fees. Read the announcement on change of rail journey fees.
  • Get yourself tested by taking two lateral flow tests, three days apart upon your return. It is advised you limit your social contact and interaction with other students between these two tests. This testing is at the heart of the Government's plans to return all students safely back to campus in the new year. See how you can access these new ‘lateral flow tests’ at our testing centre at The Watershed in Upperton Road. Please note, The Watershed testing centre reopens on Tuesday 5 January and appointment bookings are now available.

You are asked to book these two tests (3 days apart) in the week before your face-to-face teaching resumes.

Two negative results will give you, your friends and our university community the reassurance needed that you can return to on-campus teaching safely and safeguard against transmission of the virus.

If you test positive following a lateral flow test you will need to self-isolate. You should then arrange for a confirmatory PCR test via NHS Test and Trace. If the PCR test is positive you would be legally required to self-isolate for 10 days in your term-time accommodation after you first develop symptoms or, if asymptomatic, after the date of your LFD test. This is a legal requirement for all, from the point of notification from NHS Test and Trace.

You must also report this to the university by completing our form and let your faculty Student Advice Centre know if you’re unable to attend any scheduled face-to-face teaching and/or undertake online learning.

  • Continue to follow the Your DMU Safety guidelines to ensure you’re staying safe and protecting others when returning to Leicester.  

Buildings and facilities on campus

We can confirm that the Kimberlin Library and some buildings and study spaces will remain open for students on the above courses and for students who have remained in their term-time accommodation over the Christmas period. We will send further information in the next 24 hours about which buildings will be open across campus in the coming weeks.

Return window FAQs

We know exceptional circumstances might mean some students will require a return to campus sooner or later than the allocated dates above. If you’re in this position, please first check our FAQs page for further guidance. If you have any questions or queries that are not answered here you should then contact your faculty Student Advice Centre (SACs). 

Although for most of our students, the return to campus is likely to be delayed beyond that communicated just a few weeks ago, we nevertheless want to say a very big thank you once again for your patience and understanding during these challenging times.

We are very proud of the way all of you have responded and continue to respond to these challenges and of the role you’re playing in keeping yourself, your loved ones and everyone in the university community safe during these trying times. Please continue to keep yourselves safe.