Lockdown 2: info


02 November 2020

You’ll have seen the news about another lockdown in England, starting at midnight this Thursday, 5 November.

Please make sure you’re up-to-date with the restrictions coming into place.

We want to reassure you we’re keeping our accommodation open, and we’re doing everything we can to keep you safe.

We’re regularly cleaning all the communal areas which are still open. (Unfortunately, we’ll have to keep lounges closed) We’ll also continue to fix any repairs you raise.

Watch the video below to see what we are doing and what you can do to keep everyone safe.

Keeping yourself and others safe

Our social distancing measures are as important as ever. There are signs all over your accommodation to remind you, please make sure you’re following them.

Please don’t invite guests into our accommodation. You are allowed to meet up with one other person who isn’t in your household for outdoor recreation – including a walk in the park – but you must adhere to social distancing rules. 

Our staff will be wearing face coverings more often. We’d advise you to keep yourself and others safe by wearing face coverings when you leave your household bubble at your accommodation, specifically in the corridors and reception areas.

If you become unwell

If you experience any symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate and get tested immediately. We’d advise you to get your test delivered to your accommodation. Your accommodation team can bring it to your room. Please make sure you email or phone your accommodation team immediately (if you have symptoms) so they can take action to protect fellow students and staff. 

Buddy up

Try to identify a buddy who can help you if you do go into self-isolation. If you don’t have one, we can also support you. Let us know if you’d like to volunteer as a buddy too. A buddy will be able to help deliver food and medicine to you during your self-isolation period.

Look after your mental health

Most importantly, please look after yourself. This pandemic has taken its toll on our mental health and it’s important to ensure you’re regularly checking in with your friends and family via phone or video call. Your accommodation team is there for you too.

You also have access to a free 24/7 counselling service through Endsleigh Insurance’s Student Assistance Programme (powered by Health Assured). Phone 0800 028 3766.

You can access more information and services through the health and wellbeing portal. We've emailed you the log-in details. 

There’s also a My Healthy Advantage app, we've also emailed you with the code you'll need to access it. 

Please email if you have not received the log-in details. 

Welfare checks

We’ll continue to follow Government guidelines and keep you updated. We’ll also be doing welfare checks on all of you so please let us know if you’re not going to be around. 

Competitions and events

We’ll also be running some great competitions and virtual events over the coming months - because we should still be able to have fun, whatever the circumstances. Update your marketing preferences on StarRez to ensure you’re in the know.

I’m travelling from outside the UK, do I need to self-isolate?

There are different restrictions (known as the ‘traffic light system’) for anyone visiting from and travelling overseas, depending on the level of risk.
Countries have been sorted into three categories: high risk (red), moderate risk (amber) and low risk (green).
Please make sure you keep up-to-date with the guidance regarding travel on the Government website.

What do I need to do if I need to self-isolate in Optivo Students accommodation on arrival in the UK?

If you need to self-isolate at our accommodation when you arrive, we recommend you arrive at your accommodation 14 days BEFORE your contract date starts. You will NOT be charged extra for this. Please arrange this with the team at your accommodation. You’ll find their contact details above. We’ve put together a guide on how to self-isolate while at your accommodation. It includes details about how to get your food shop online, how to get essentials – like bed linen and crockery – delivered straight to your room, and how to use the bathrooms and kitchens during your self-isolation period.
If you’ve chosen to self-isolate with us, come straight to our accommodation from the airport and only use public transport if there is no other option. You must wear a face covering on public transport.

Do I need to self-isolate if someone in my household is self-isolating?

You need to self-isolate if:

If any of these apply to you, you need to self-isolate for at least ten days, you must phone the front desk at your accommodation immediately.
We’ll need to inform anyone who you share cooking or washing facilities with, and implement measures to ensure you can self-isolate.

As of September 28, it became a legal duty to self-isolate if you have tested positive for coronavirus or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Fines start at £1,000 and increase up to £10,000 for repeat offenders. 

From 15 December 2020, you will be able to take a COVID-19 test with a private test provider to see if you can end self-isolation early. Read more about the Test to Release for international travel scheme.


Who is my ‘household’?

A household is anywhere with a shared bathroom or kitchen or community living.
This may be your flat. It could also be all the rooms on a corridor with shared facilities.
If anyone within your household has tested positive for coronavirus, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
In each case, we will seek guidance from Public Health England immediately and let you know what you need to do.

Is there anyone who can support me through self-isolation?

Your onsite accommodation team is available 24/7 for emergencies and can help you if you need to arrange things like food or medicine.
We also encourage students to ‘buddy up’ and help others who are isolating. If you’d like to volunteer as a buddy, please speak to your accommodation team.

How well is Optivo prepared to respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Like most organisations, we have business continuity and major incident plans.    

In response to Covid-19, we established two internal groups (Strategic and Operational) specifically tasked to manage the impact to our business and residents.  

They work collaboratively on our business response to the measures introduced by government as they’re announced.  This translates to local management plans which focusses on maintaining services and keeping our residents safe.

What safety measures have you put in place?

We’ve carried out Covid-safe Risk Assessments at all of our student accommodations.
We’ll deep cleaned your rooms and seal it for at least 72 hours before you arrive. We’ll also be thoroughly cleaning communal areas on a regular basis.
Please follow signs at your accommodation. They’ll help you stay socially distanced and safe. There will also be hand sanitisers available throughout the building.
In some cases where it is not possible to maintain the required social distance, our staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes face coverings. 
We will be unable to provide you with PPE, although you can choose to wear your own if you prefer. In England, it is the law to wear face coverings in certain public places. 

Can I have guests at my accommodation?

We're aware (as of May 17) the Government eased restrictions to allow up to six people, or two households, to socialise indoors.Groups of up to 30 can also meet outdoors. 

But, for the safety of our staff and all our students, we’re not easing our rules on social gatherings in our accommodation just yet.
As before, please don’t invite guests into our accommodation (including overnight). Please don’t invite households from outside your accommodation into our accommodation.
There is one exception: If you’re packing up to go home, you may bring two guests in to help you. Please make sure they do not stay longer than is necessary.

  • No earlier than June 21, the Government has announced it hopes to remove all restrictions on social distancing. 
Please remember, mass gatherings, including house parties in halls, are not allowed. Under current legislation, anyone found to be attending illegal gatherings of more than 15 people from outside their household may be fined £800. This will be doubled for each repeat offence up to a maximum of £6,400.

Should face masks be worn?

To keep yourself and others safe, we'd advise you to wear face coverings when you leave your household bubble at your accommodation, specifically in the corridors and reception areas.

You must also wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport

  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)

  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)

  • indoor shopping centres

  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

  • funeral directors

  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services

  • cinemas

  • theatres

  • bingo halls

  • concert halls

  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.

  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments

  • massage parlours

  • public areas in hotels and hostels

  • place of worship

  • libraries and public reading rooms

  • community centres

  • social clubs

  • tattoo and piercing parlours

  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)

  • storage and distribution facilities

  • veterinary services.

  • auction houses

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. 

I’ve heard international and national students will be separated within the accommodation?

This is not true! One of the best things about our accommodation is you get to meet students from all over the world and learn about new cultures. We won’t be taking this away from you.

Where can I find more official information?

Where can I find up to date health advice?

Official sources such as the Government, PHE and the NHS are updating health advice daily.  The most reliable information and guidance on symptoms and measures you can take to protect yourself and other is available on their websites.

View the latest health advice from the NHS.

You are advised to self-isolate if you have either:

  • A high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back) or 

  • A new, continuous cough

  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

They have also stated the following:

  • Don’t go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

  • You don’t need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home

  • Testing for coronavirus isn’t needed if you're staying at home

For urgent advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: 

  • You feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home

  • Your condition gets worse

  • Your symptoms don’t get better after 7 days

  • Only call 111 if you can’t get help on line