Winter Break and the New Year


17 December 2020

Christmas will certainly look a little different this year, but we hope you are still able to enjoy some of the usual treats and traditions. We also hope you’re able to have some much-needed contact with your loved ones – whether that’s in person or via video link. 

Thank you again all for your patience and understanding during these difficult times. Our teams are working really hard to give you all the support you need, and we’ve appreciated your support in return. 

If you’re staying with us over the winter break

Significant changes were made by the Government on 19 December.  This introduced a new Tier 4 category. London is now in Tier 4. Please stay safe and take a moment to ensure you know what the restrictions are for your area.  Enter the postcode where you’re living, or spending the winter break,  to find out what the rules are here.

Our doors will be open as normal over the festive period. We’ll continue to follow Government guidelines to keep our accommodation Covid-secure for you. We'll also be flushing all the water outlets in our accommodation during the winter break, including in your bedroom. This is to maintain water hygiene while you're away.

There’ll always be a member of staff available if you need us. The security officers and concierges will also continue to cover their usual weekends and nights. 

As usual, in an emergency, please call your accommodation reception

Christmas bubbles

There have been some significant changes to Christmas bubbles:
  • In Tier 4 there are no special arrangements for Christmas and there is no mixing allowed within households.
  • In Tiers 2 and 3 three households can still “form a bubble” but on Christmas Day (25 December) only and not with anyone from a Tier 4 area.
You can also form a support bubble with another household outside this time if you are the only adult in your household. This applies if you are alone in your house or flat over the winter break.
More details about the Christmas restrictions are available here

Important information for your return in the New Year

The Government has said the return of students should be staggered over five weeks from 4 January to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. 

You are advised not return to your accommodation until your face-to-face teaching schedule has been resumed. However, you may return early if you don’t have access to appropriate alternative accommodation facilities, or studying space, or you decide it’s better for your mental health and wellbeing. 


You should be offered testing on return to university. Please make sure you access a test as soon as you return to campus and start accessing university resources. Check with your university for further information. 

You should also take a test before travelling back to university if you have spent the winter break in a tier 3 or 4 area. 

Students travelling from countries outside the exemption list, back to our accommodation, will need to self-isolate for ten days (this has been decreased from 14 days). Our teams will be on hand to support you as they did at the beginning of term. 

If you do test positive on your return to university, you must isolate immediately and let a member of your accommodation team know so we can take measures to protect your fellow students. 

Look after yourself

This has been a very testing time for everyone. If you ever find yourself struggling, please don’t suffer in silence. 

You can talk to our accommodation teams if you need to get anything off your chest, and you also have access to a 24/7 counselling helpline via our Student Assistance Programme.

From all of us at Optivo Students, Have a very Merry Christmas!

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