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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

Arrangements for returning to University in 2021

What to expect as lockdown restrictions ease during Spring 2021

The Prime Minister announced the government’s Spring 2021 ‘roadmap’ of plans to lift lockdown restrictions in February. 

Face-to-face learning on campus

The latest step of the roadmap allows all students to return to face-to-face teaching from 17 May. 

We know that many students have already returned to term-time accommodation over the past few months, either to attend face-to-face sessions for practical courses, or to access study space, library and sport facilities. We also understand that the date of return for students comes at the very end of the academic year when most of you will have completed your timetabled activities.

However, we want everyone to have the chance to attend sessions or access support and resources on campus after 17 May if they would like to.

York St John students have shown remarkable resilience and the ability to adapt to online learning since the pandemic began, but for many of you, the opportunities to learn in person with fellow students have been missed. Below you will find details of programme of on-campus activities to offer you as much contact time as we can in the time available.

Students on programmes already taking place on campus have had access to face-to-face activities since their return and may be provided with further opportunities within an extended timeframe, beyond the end of the semester.

What’s on offer from 17 May?

Students studying on our York Campus will be able to access enhanced face-to-face activities and support for the final two weeks of the semester (Weeks 14 & 15).

London students have 3 weeks (Week 14, 15 & 16) remaining of the semester to access a range of in-person sessions, events, and drop ins.

The Reunite on Site programme of activities available to you during this time are as follows:

York Campus

  • Progression tutorials: bookable appointments
  • Progression briefings to support transition to the next academic year: bookable presentations
  • ‘We belong’ events: small networking events for first year students facilitated by academic staff
  • Access to LaunchPad and opportunity to book one-to-one employability appointments
  • Student Ambassador meetings: support from students in the year above
  • On campus sessions with the Assistive Technology team, which can be booked via their booking page.
  • Socially-distanced Library tours every Thursday and Friday from 20 May. Learn what the library has to offer and how to find resources during this 20-minute refresher. Sign up in the Events section on the Space Booking page (face coverings required)
  • On campus workshops from the Library team to prepare for extended projects such as dissertations or workplace skills. Sessions will be full of practical tips covering research, referencing, software skills and managing your writing. Book online at:

Students will be contacted by their programme team with details of relevant events and activities. To enquire about sessions within your School, please contact:

School of the Arts: To access sessions and events within the School of the Arts, please contact your Associate Head of School or Course Lead.

School of Education, Language and Psychology: Sarah Jones

School of Humanities: To access sessions and events within the School of Humanities please contact your Associate Head of School or Course Lead. Booking for tutorials and briefings will provided via Teams.

School of Science Technology and Health:

York Business School: Joe Robinson


London Campus

  • Employability and Careers 1:1 bookable sessions.
  • A preparatory day session for our Venture Creation Lab (VCL) 6-month programme for students about to embark on their second year
  • Academic group and 1:1 bookable slots to re-cap specific sessions on topics related to their degree discipline.
  • Academic end of year catchups with students and discussions on their dissertations and final year projects.
  • Social events, including, a Thames boat trip, walking and bus tours, and on campus movie nights.
  • Drop ins for general student enquiries and study skills.
  • Focus group to understand your needs moving into next year and ideas for on-campus activities over the summer.

Students will be invited to attend events and provided with booking details. To enquire about  sessions taking place at the London campus, please contact: or email Brandon Beckford or Tom Crichlow

All events are subject to interest and availability.

Your course tutors and all support staff at York St John will do everything they can to support you whilst you are studying remotely. Please see the information on our Support for students webpage.



Twice weekly Covid testing is an essential measure to limit transmission of the virus and protect others.

It’s never been easier to access Lateral Flow tests, and you can now collect home testing kits and take regular tests on campus without booking. The tests are free and available from Foss Sports Hall for anyone with no symptoms. Check the City of York Council website for opening times.

Please report ANY positive results via the form on our website. Reporting positive results is essential so that we can provide you with support and resources.

Support for students

Students who are struggling for any reason can contact their academic tutor, course leader or our Wellbeing and Welfare teams for support. If you are currently experiencing financial difficulties, please contact the Funding Advice Team or apply for the YSJ Student Support Fund.

This academic year we’ve adapted our approach to learning, teaching and assessment to support students to achieve their potential. This includes adapting assessments, extending our more flexible exceptional circumstances policy and giving additional powers to assessment boards to identify and take action if module marks are lower than normally expected. You can read more about the Safety Net Framework 2020-21 on our website.

Facilities available on campus 

Our York and London campuses, library and sport facilities are open and student support services are accessible online.  

The Library will be open Monday to Friday, 8am until 10pm. On Saturdays from 10:00am until 10:00pm and on Sundays from 11:00am to 10:00pm. Library loan items can be collected. 

Catering facilities will be open in the dining hall and coffee outlet in Holgate, at Costa coffee in Fountains and at Haxby Road. 

The SU Information Point will be open from 17 May until the end of June, from 10am – 2pm Monday to Friday. Staff will work in the SU building on a rota basis to answer student enquiries in person.

Returning to university accommodation

If you’re travelling by public transport, please follow the safer travel guidance as closely as possible.

International travel

The UK Department for Education has confirmed that university students are now permitted to return to face-to-face teaching from 17 May. As an international student, if you have not already returned to the UK as per previous published guidance, you may now wish to travel to the UK to continue your studies. You may also wish to or need to continue your studies remotely as permitted by current visa concessions.  

Students who are planning to travel to the UK from overseas will need to be aware of and comply with the border measures introduced to prevent transmission of Covid-19. From 17 May 2021 there will be a ‘traffic light system’ for arrivals into the UK which outlines the differing measures for students travelling from ‘Green’ ‘Amber’ and ‘Red’ list countries.

Countries will be sorted into three government categories:

  • Red list countries: High-risk countries
  • Amber list countries: Moderate-risk countries
  • Green list countries: Low-risk countries

Students must comply with the measures published, depending on which country they have departed from/travelled through in the preceding 10 days.

If you are travelling back to the UK you must check the up to date list of countries and comply with the guidance, and it is your responsibility to keep checking this before booking travel, whilst travelling, and when arriving in the UK as this list can change. The guidance also applies if you have a connecting flight within another country before finally arriving in the UK.

A full list of actions is below:

Before arriving in the UK, all students should:

  • check the very latest information on entering the UK
  • inform the university when you intend to arrive on campus so that you can be appropriately supported
  • check the arrivals procedure for the country that you are travelling from/through , and whether that country is on the red, amber or green list
  • ensure that, prior to departing for England, you have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of departure - more information on pre-departure testing is available
  • book and pay for a travel test package which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and – in some instances - on or after day 8. More information about quarantine testing is available
  • complete a passenger locator form upon arrival
  • check whether the country you are travelling from is a ‘red list’ country, meaning you will need to complete their quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. You should see the guidance for students who have been in, or transited through, a 'red list’ country (see above) in the last 10 days
  • while travelling, remember to follow the safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times
  • speak to you travel insurer

Students should continue to engage online with their studies and contact their academic tutors or the University wellbeing services if needed.

Further information

You can access further information in the list of FAQs published by Office for Students, on our coronavirus advice web page and in our FAQs for students which will be updated in line with the latest government guidance.

Please check the UK government coronavirus page for the latest information.

And finally....

Thanks so much for your patience while we continue to meet government guidance. We understand how challenging it is to change plans and appreciate all you do to follow advice and keep everyone safe.

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