Covid-19 is very present globally. We all have a continued part to play in keeping each other safe, both on and off campus. All students at Syracuse London are required to sign and adhere to the Syracuse London Stay Safe Pledge, available on the OrangeAbroad Portal. Working together, we can continue to help minimise the spread and impact of Covid-19 by following the Government guidelines and NHS Covid-19 health advice.

The government messaging and policies in the UK are different in many ways to guidance in the US, so we’ve taken the liberty of collating some FAQs to help you navigate through the pandemic in Britain.


I’m displaying Covid-19 symptoms. What do I do?

If you display any symptoms associated with Covid-19, self-isolate immediately and do not come on campus. Take a PCR test and let us know.

If symptoms start while you are on campus, you must leave immediately and proceed directly to your accommodation.

Where can I get a PCR test?

If you are displaying COVID-19 symptoms, we strongly recommend you get a free PCR test through our private testing provider, as results are usually available within 24 hours. Please contact to arrange this. (Please note, we cannot provide you with a private PCR test after 5:00pm or on weekends.)

Alternatively, free PCR tests can be ordered from Public Health England. If you order your PCR test from Public Health England or independently, you may be asked for proof of a negative result before being allowed on campus.

I’ve tested positive for Covid-19 on a PCR test. What do I do?

You must inform us immediately so that we can assist with your isolation, provide you with isolation information and work with you to identify those you’ve been in close contact with. Your household will need to isolate too.

If you are notified of a positive test result whilst on campus, you must leave immediately and proceed directly to your accommodation.

How long do I need to self-isolate?

If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days.

If you get symptoms while you’re self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your symptoms started.

When can I stop self-isolating?

You can stop self-isolating after the 10 days if either:

  • you’ve gone 24 hours without a fever and have not had to use fever-reducing medication
  • you just have a cough or changes to your sense of smell or taste – these can last for weeks after the infection has gone
When must I keep self-isolating?

If you have a high temperature after the 10 days, or are feeling unwell, keep self-isolating and seek medical advice.

What if my symptoms and my condition worsens?

Get advice from NHS 111 or a Doctor (via DocTap or a service of your choice) if:

  • you’re feeling gradually more unwell or more breathless
  • you have difficulty breathing when you stand up or move around
  • you feel very weak, achy or tired
  • you’re shaking or shivering
  • you’ve lost your appetite
  • you’re unable to care for yourself – for example, tasks like washing and dressing or making food are too difficult
  • you still feel unwell after 4 weeks – this may belong COVID

Go to Accident and Emergency (A&E, our version of an ER) or call 999 immediately if:

  • you’re so breathless that you’re unable to say short sentences when resting
  • your breathing has got suddenly worse
  • you cough up blood
  • you feel cold and sweaty, with pale or blotchy skin
  • you have a rash that looks like small bruises or bleeding under the skin and does not fade when you roll a glass over it
  • you collapse or faint
  • you feel agitated, confused or very drowsy
  • you’ve stopped urinating or are urinating much less than usual

The nearest A&E to Faraday House is University College Hospital. If your are somewhere else and want to find your nearest A&E, you can do so via the NHS’ A&E Finder.

I’ve tested positive on a PCR test. Is there scope to take another test?

No. Once you’ve tested positive on a PCR test, you must complete your 10-day isolation period. Most labs will not test you again for another 14 days and even if they did, a negative test will not negate the positive test.

The 90-day window after a positive test

If you have tested positive with a PCR test, you should not be tested using either PCR or rapid lateral flow tests for 90 days, unless you develop new symptoms during this time – in which case you should be retested immediately using PCR.

This 90-day period is from the initial onset of symptoms or, if asymptomatic when tested, your positive test result.

Returning to the United States

The CDC requires that all air passengers arriving to the US from a foreign country get a COVID test no more than 3 days before their flight departs and present a negative result or provide documentation of having recovered from COVID-19 in the past three months to the airline before boarding the flight. If you are fully vaccinated with an FDA-authorized vaccine or a vaccine authorised for emergency use by the World Health Organisation, you should also get a viral test 3 to 5 days after travel. Unvaccinated people should get tested with a viral test 3 to 5 days after travel and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel. Those who have recovered from a documented COVID-19 infection within the last 3 months, should follow all requirements and recommendations for fully vaccinated travellers, except you are not required to get a test unless you are symptomatic. In addition, everyone should follow all state and local guidelines. More details are on the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website.

I live with someone that tested positive, do I need to self-isolate?

Yes. Although there are some exemptions, if you have not been fully vaccinated in the UK or via a UK run vaccine program abroad, you will need to self-isolate.

I am unable to attend my PCR test. What should I do?

Unless you are self-isolating, you must complete regular PCR testing as scheduled by Syracuse London staff. If you are unable to attend your usual time, please contact and we will look into alternative arrangements for you.

I’ve tested positive on a Rapid Lateral Flow test. What should I do?
  • Self-isolate straight away.
  • Report your test result to the NHS as soon as possible.
  • Get a PCR test as soon as possible.
  • Inform us.
  • Continue to self-isolate until you get the PCR result and follow the advice you’re given when you get the result.
Where can I get a Rapid Lateral Flow test?
  • From the NHS by ordering a pack (with 7 tests inside) online.
  • By finding a local chemist (pharmacy) with tests. Depending on the chemist you go to, you may be limited to either one or two packs.
  • By asking us if we have any spares to provide you with.
I’ve been told to self-isolate by the NHS. What should I do?

Self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test from us by contacting

Your PCR test can be collected at your front door – a member of the housing staff will leave it for you there and notify you.

Once you’ve completed your PCR test, a member of the Syracuse London staff will conduct a contactless collection from your address.

If you are on campus, you must leave immediately and proceed directly to your accommodation.

If you test positive, follow the guidance from our ‘I’ve tested positive for Covid-19 on a PCR test. What do I do?’ FAQ.

If you test negative, keep self-isolating for the rest of the 10 days* – you could still get symptoms after being tested. You must also take daily lateral flow tests to monitor yourselves between the Friday PCR tests we are running.

*Your self-isolation period includes the day you were last in contact with the person who tested positive and the next 10 full days. If you test positive during the 10 days self-isolation, the 10 days of self-isolation restarts from the day after your symptoms started. This will mean you’re self-isolating for more than 10 days overall.

What happens if I don’t self-isolate?

Failing to self-isolate when given an official instruction to do so is now a punishable offence and therefore illegal in England, with fines starting at £1,000 and rising to £10,000 for repeat offenders and serious breaches. Police officers are checking that people are complying with the requirement to self-isolate, particularly in areas where Covid-19 cases are high.

You should also be aware that you will be contravening the Stay Safe Pledge if you fail to self-isolate and as such you will be subject to disciplinary action.

How do I get groceries and essentials while isolating?

We have a “Living in London” tips sheet which has information on online grocery and food delivery services. If you need anything urgently, please let us know and a member of staff will do their best to get it to you*.

*We are happy to collect essentials for you in urgent situations where you cannot access the existing services available. However, we cannot provide you with medication of any sort, including vitamins.

What is Syracuse London doing to minimise risk?

Syracuse London has a carefully thought out Covid-19 policy focused on keeping the Syracuse Community safe. The policy undergoes regular review in conjunction with Public Health England (PHE), NHS and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) guidance.

Will self-isolating impact my studies negatively?

There should not be a negative impact on your studies. We have arranged classes to have significant asynchronous material for this reason. We ask that you inform your professors as quickly as possible that you need to self-isolate. The Academic Office follows up with an email to you and your faculty so there is a record of the reason for your absence. Faculty will go over material you missed in class. The Academic Office will also work with you and faculty to make sure extensions on work can be granted if there is need (i.e., you can’t complete an assignment on time because you were meant to visit a site or use materials housed at Faraday but have had to self-isolate).

Why can’t I travel internationally?

Due to the rapidly changing nature of Covid-19, guidelines country by country could change in an instant and/or a country could get placed on the UK red list.

In addition, there is an increased risk of infection when traveling by plane, but also of being “pinged” by the NHS Covid tracking system and thus requiring a 10-day self-isolation.

What is PHE?

PHE is short for Public Health England. They are an executive agency of the Department of Health and Social Care, and a distinct organisation with operational autonomy. They provide government, local government, the NHS, Parliament, industry and the public with evidence-based professional, scientific expertise and support. PHE is equivalent to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What care do I have access to?

Some treatment provided by the NHS is free for everyone. These include:

  • Accident and Emergency services (but not follow-up treatment, or admission as an in-patient to hospital which will be charged at 150% of the ‘usual’ tariff)
  • Family planning services
  • Diagnosis and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections
  • Covid-19 tests (even if results are negative) and treatment, as well as vaccination against Covid-19 (if you haven’t already been vaccinated)
  • Diagnosis and treatment of certain infection diseases
  • Treatment of conditions caused by domestic violence or sexual violence
  • Compulsory psychiatric treatment (by legal means)
What care can Syracuse London support me with?
  • Doctor consultations via DocTap (your first visit is covered by your program fee, but any prescriptions or referrals are your responsibility)
  • Pastoral care on-site with the Syracuse London Assistant Director for Student Support
  • Referrals to specialist services, including therapeutic and psychiatric care
  • Travel insurance coverage