General coronavirus FAQs for students and staff

Back to COVID-19 information

There’s a lot of misinformation out there about COVID-19, and deciding on the right thing to do isn’t always easy.

We’re closely monitoring and managing the Coronavirus situation, acting on the advice of Public Health England, Universities UK and the NHS.

The following FAQs provide facts on the virus and guidance on what to do if you feel unwell.

Social distancing

Please respect latest government advice, and:

  • only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • stay two metres (6ft) away from others
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home.

For more information, please visit

Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough

For more health advice, please visit

Quick links

What is Coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. 

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

What is the risk to the UK?

The advice from Public Health England is that the overall risk to the population is "high". The government is monitoring the situation closely and will continue to work with the World Health Organization (WHO) and international community.

What are the symptoms for coronavirus?

Typical symptoms of Coronavirus include feeling tired, difficulty breathing, a high temperature and a cough. For more information visit

How does coronavirus spread?

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how Wuhan coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.

What is Aston doing about coronavirus?

Aston has established a team to closely monitor and manage the situation and is acting on advice of Public Health England, Universities UK and the NHS.

I'm a parent/guardian and I'm concerned about my children being at university, is there anyone I can contact?

The Department for Education has set up a helpline and email for any concerned parents/ guardians:

0800 046 8687
8am – 6pm (Monday-Friday)

Any parents with specific concerns are also welcome to contact

What do I do if I have symptoms?

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

We will not be testing people who are self-isolating with mild symptoms.

I have an underlying health condition or I am experiencing symptoms, what can I do?

It is important that you look after yourself. If you experience symptoms associated with coronavirus, you should self-isolate in accordance with Public Health England and NHS guidelines which can be found here.

If you are self-isolating please let us know via email to

Remember that there are a number of resources available to support students who are feeling stressed such as Student Minds and the Big White Wall.

Why don’t all Aston students and staff wear masks on campus?

Any member of the student or staff body that chooses to wear a mask is welcome to do so, however in the UK it is not government policy that we do this.

Who should I contact if I feel unwell?

If you do feel unwell and are concerned about your health you should seek medical advice in the first instance by calling your GP or calling NHS 111. Please do not visit a walk-in centre.

Who can I speak to if I am concerned?

If anyone has any specific concerns or queries please contact or report via the SafeZone app.

I feel alone and isolated, what can I do?

The University has a number of support services available to you, which you cand find here.

It is important that you look after yourself both mentally and physically, so if you need support please get in touch.

You can also access some of our newer services such as Student Minds and the Big White Wall.