Symptoms and Steps to Take

Find out about the symptoms to watch for, self-isolation and the steps to take for reporting COVID-19.

Symptoms and self-isolation

For students

Covid-19 Steps to take


who has tested positive or is self-isolating

Complete online form

and provide UU Close Contacts if you have tested positive

Inform your Course Director

Inform PHA NI Contact Tracing

Fill in the
contact tracing form

Self-isolate as a household

unless informed otherwise by PHA NI

Get COVID-19 advice and guidance for Northern Ireland from PHA NI

For staff

Further guidance for staff and line managers about developing symptoms at work and self-isolation is available at our Sharepoint Site

Covid-19 Steps to take

Staff Member

who has tested positive or is self-isolating

Inform your Line Manager

and complete COVID-19 Self-isolation or SAF1 as required

Complete online form

and inform UU of Close Contacts if you have tested positive

Inform PHA NI Contact Tracing

Fill in the
contact tracing form

Self-isolate as a household

unless informed otherwise by PHA NI

Get COVID-19 advice and guidance for Northern Ireland from PHA NI

  • Symptoms

    Be alert for the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):

    • a high temperature: this means a person feels hot to touch on the chest or back (there is no need to measure their temperature) or
    • a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) or
    • a loss or change to sense of smell or taste: this means they have noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

    Refer to the PHA symptom checker if in any doubt.

  • If you develop COVID19 Symptoms on campus
    • Inform your Course Director without delay and arrange to leave for home straight away.
    • Avoid touching anything unnecessarily.
    • Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or cough/sneeze into your arm.
    • Put on a face covering if not already wearing one.
    • Try to maintain a minimum of 2m social distance from others as you leave the campus.
  • When to self-isolate

    You must stay at home and self-isolate when any of the following criteria are met:

    • You have any symptoms of coronavirus
    • You have tested positive for coronavirus
    • You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
    • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
    • You have been told by Public Health Agency NI Test and Trace (either by phone or StopCOVIDNI App) that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19.
    • If you have tested positive previously and are identified as a Close Contact on a further occasion, you must self-isolate again for 10-days from last contact with the Positive Case
    • If you are identified as a close contact and test negative you must still complete the 10 day isolation period. Only request a test if you have symptoms.
  • Who to inform if you need to self-isolate

    Please complete the online COVID-19 Notification Form and inform your Course Director if you meet any of these criteria and are therefore self-isolating.

  • Student Households

    If you are in University Accomodation within a cluster apartment or in private rented accommodation off-campus, you and those you are living with are considered as an individual household, or bubble.

    You won’t need to socially distance from others within this household but once you have established this social bubble, you can’t change who is in it. If anyone in the household develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID19, everyone living there needs to self-isolate.

    If you are moving into University residences, comprehensive guidance is available at the Residents Life webpage.

    We’ve introduced protective measures and requirements in our student accommodation so that our residents are safe and comfortable in their student home from home.

  • What to do if you test positive for COVID19

    Please inform your Course Director and complete online the COVID-19 Notification Form

    You will need to complete the close contact section in relation to any recent attendance on campus and to collate University close contacts only. Confirmed close contacts within the University community will be contacted by the Employee Wellbeing or Student Wellbeing team and advised to self-isolate.

    On confirmation of a positive diagnosis the University will liaise directly with the Public Health Agency and forward all collated information on close contacts within the Ulster University staff or student community.

    Contact tracing undertaken by the PHA is vital in helping to prevent further spread of the infection.  If you have tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to completing the University’s notification form including your University close contacts ( UU staff and fellow students), you can now share your wider community contacts quickly and easily online by using the PHA Digital Service

  • What is a Close Contact 

    Within the 48 hours preceding the start of self-isolation, a Close Contact is:

    • a person who has been within 2 metres of you for more than 15 minutes either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day
    • a person who has travelled in a vehicle with you
    • a person who has had face-to-face contact with you:
      • being coughed on
      • having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
      • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
      • contact within one metre for one minute or longer
  • What is not considered Close Contact
    • Keeping more than 2 metres away or short indirect contact such as passing in corridors.
    • Being within 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes but with effective mitigations in place such as separated by a screen/partition or using PPE.
  • Guidance if you are returning to your studies after travelling

    Take care to follow the travel guidance if you are entering or returning to the UK following travel.

    The regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 10 days if you return to Northern Ireland from a country outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) unless you are travelling from, or transiting through, a low to medium risk country that is exempt.

    You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland if you're returning from certain countries.

    The exemption details are continually reviewed in line with public health guidance.

    If you’ve been abroad and you're required to self-isolate on your return from travel, you should:

    • head straight home or to your accommodation which is the address you provided on the contact form.
    • self-isolate in one place for the full 10 days
    • not come onto campus for study
    • not go into public areas
    • not go shopping – ask friends or family for support, or use online delivery
    • only use public transport if you've no other option and be sure to follow all guidance for public transport

    We have put in place self-isolation 10-day packages for students joining us from overseas or who are returning from travel.

  • How we will support your learning if you are affected by COVID19 

    We will support you to continue to learn and progress in your programme if COVID affects your studies.

    Students who are self-isolating will be able to access course materials and participate in class activities remotely.

    All our support and wellbeing services are fully accessible online, and our Student Wellbeing team is on hand to provide additional support to deal with self-isolation, wherever you live – on campus, off campus or at your family home.

  • What to do if are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session because of COVID19 

    If you are unable to attend a scheduled class on campus because of local restrictions where you live, or because you are symptomatic or have been advised by the PHA that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19, here’s what to do:

    Let your Course Director know straight away by e-mail, telling us:

    • the nature and timing of self-isolation/restrictions
    • the date and time of the campus-based teaching session(s), the associated module/course and module coordinator.
    • any pending campus-based assessment deadlines that may not be achievable. If you have to miss this campus-based assessment deadline then please complete and submit an EC1 form
  • What to do if you are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session that includes an assessment, because of COVID19

    After sharing details with your Course Director, you will be asked to complete an EC1 form for extenuating circumstances.

    Your Course team will aim to provide you with another on-campus session later in the semester. It is possible that an alternative date may have to be offered in semester 2 or 3.

    In this case, you will simply defer the assessment in semester 1 and progress into the next semester(s) carrying the assessment deferral.

Download the StopCOVID NI App

Developed by the Department of Health, the Northern Ireland STOPCOVID NI app helps to speed up the process to identify people at risk of catching the virus and slow down its spread. Using the app along with existing public health measures will help the public to stay safe when they meet up, socialise, work or travel.

You can play your part in controlling the risk of a second wave of the virus by downloading the StopCOVID NI app from Google Play or Apple AppStore and enabling Bluetooth on your smartphone.