Latest information about coronavirus
This page provides further information about the outbreak of coronavirus originating in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in China.
To contact us in relation to coronavirus, or for advice or guidance, email email@example.com.
The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has updated its travel advice and is recommending that UK nationals currently in China should leave if they are able to do so, noting that it may become harder to access departure options. Our updated advice regarding travel in the coming weeks is at the bottom of this page. Please read this closely if you have travel booked or planned.
Public Health England continues to advise that anyone who has travelled from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days should take the following steps immediately, whether or not you are displaying symptoms:
- stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with the flu
- call NHS 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the area.
They also advise that those who have travelled to the following areas in the last 14 days should follow the same steps if you develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath:
- Republic of Korea
- Hong Kong
It is very important that you let the University know if you are in this situation by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. We can then provide you with the right support. You should also contact your Support Centre to notify your absence from any teaching or other academic sessions. Postgraduate research students should contact your PhD supervisor/School Director of Postgraduate Research Studies know and, if you’re on a Tier 4 visa, you must also inform the Doctoral Research Office. If you are living in Halls and it is out of hours please call our 24x7 security team on 0118 3787799 who will contact the correct people at the University.
It is understandable that you may have concerns so please familiarise yourself with the official PHE advice. The current coronavirus outbreak is clearly serious, and it is a particularly anxious time for those in our community with family and friends in China. In the UK, however, it is important that we keep our response in proportion to the risk. The UK government advice is very clear that the risk to individuals in the UK from coronavirus remains low. There have only been a small number of cases diagnosed in the UK; for context, thousands of people are hospitalised every year in a typical winter flu season.
This short video with our own Professor of Virology Ian Jones explains why the risk to individuals is low.
While the coronavirus can develop into a serious illness, this risk primarily applies to those with an underlying health condition. There is no need to treat everyone with a cough as a risk. If the Public Health England guidance changes, we will update this webpage and keep our students and staff informed.
For most of us, the best advice is to take standard NHS-recommended precautions to prevent the spread of colds and flu: wash your hands often with soap, and cough or sneeze into a tissue and bin the tissue as quickly as possible.
There are some reports in the UK where people who are, or appear to be, of Chinese heritage being treated with hostility or openly harassed. This is clearly unacceptable. Our community is a welcoming one for people of all races and backgrounds and we are committed to providing a safe environment for all our students and colleagues. We will never tolerate any form of discrimination, bullying or harassment. Indeed, I hope we will all demonstrate sensitivity towards those who may be concerned for friends and family.
If you are subject to, or witness, harassment or discrimination you can report the incident and find information about the support available on our #NeverOK page. If you are worried for family and friends in the region, please remember our Student Welfare Team are here to offer support, including by phone and email. Find out more at www.reading.ac.uk/welfare-team.
Frequently asked questions