Self-isolating in your student accommodation

There is a high chance that at some point you may be required to self-isolate whilst at university. Knowing what to do can be a mind field if you receive that positive test or contact from the national test and trace service.  Here's a guide to help you when self-isolating in your student accommodation.

With the ever-changing and evolving nature of covid 19, we face in the world. There is a high chance that at some point you may be required to self-isolate whilst at university. Not necessarily from contracting covid directly, but through contact with others that may test positive. With hospital admissions low for those that have the vaccine and/or boosters. It may be that you only have mild or no symptoms but still have to isolate to help stop the spread. Although self-isolating is only for a short period of time. Knowing what to do can be a mind field if you receive that positive test or contact from the national test and trace service.  Here’s a guide to help you when self-isolating in your student accommodation.

Tell everyone who needs to know

If you have to self isolate yourself, don’t keep it to yourself. If you share your student accommodation with others, there are specific guidelines that should be followed in these cases.

Tell the people that you live with

If you share student accommodation with others you should let them know as soon as you either have symptoms, a positive result or have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. Sharing a household can increase the chances of covid spreading if guidelines are not followed as soon as possible. 

Inform your tutors /academic department.

All universities have policies in place in the event that students have to self isolate. Although the self-isolation period is relatively short they can offer support with both welfare and temporarily moving to online learning.

Tell your friends/family

Make sure you tell someone else who can keep an eye out for your wellbeing. You may need support in arranging things such as shopping and supplies. Having someone you are in regular contact with especially if you are on your own is invaluable.

Self-isolating in your student accommodation

Sharing accommodation with others and having to self-isolate is a tricky situation to manage. Wherever possible you should try to:

  • Use a separate bathroom from others if possible, ideally your en-suite bathroom if available.
  • In the case of a shared bathroom, draw up a rota for washing or bathing, with the self-isolating person using the bathroom last.  Thoroughly clean the bathroom when you have finished and ensure you use separate towels from others.
  • If you share a kitchen with others, if possible avoid using it when other people are present and limit the time you use the space.
  • Take your meals back to your room to eat and clean and dry your used crockery and cutlery.  Wash them by hand using detergent and warm water and dry them thoroughly, using a separate towel.
  • Do not share household items with other housemates.
  • You should remain 2 metres or more away from other people or only be closer than 2 metres for periods of no longer than 15 minutes.
  • We advise that you wear face coverings when you are not in your student bedroom.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Do not have visitors or leave your accommodation (ask deliveries to be left outside the door).
  • Where possible have external vents and windows open to allow for fresh air to circulate around the property.
  • Order food and other goods online to be delivered if possible.

Fire alarm activation.

In the case of a fire alarm activation within a shared house. Follow the normal guidelines and evacuate the building as soon as possible. Whn outside wear a face covering if possible and keep 2m away from others where possible.

Disposing of Waste

All waste, including used tissues, and masks if used, should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. The plastic waste bag should then be disposed of outside in the external bins but while carefully following social distancing measures and wearing a face covering. Do not dispose of your rubbish in the kitchen bins until the end of the self-isolating period. 


If any maintenance is required on your property please report as normal but please inform us if members of the household are self-isolating. In most cases where possible we will determine if it safe to carry out any repairs that need to be completed. In some cases, the repairs will not be carried out until the self-isolation period has ended.

Government guidelines on self-isolating students

The recommendations on how long to isolate for are evolving as more data comes into the NHS and SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies). Currently, as of Dec 2021, the recommendations are to isolate for a total of 10 days. You can however end isolation after 7 days if you can produce two negative lateral flow tests within 24 hours apart. Bear in mind that this advice is subject to change and you can keep up to date with current regulations on the government website.

Get enough lateral flow tests in.

Regular testing can help to stop the spread of the virus. Keeping lateral flow tests in for both you and your housemates can help stop the spread. Even if you don’t have any symptoms you can order them online at However, if you have symptoms you should consider getting a PCR test instead. by booking one at

If you feel well enough, continue to study. 

Currently, Universities are still operating on face to face learning where possible. If you feel well enough you should continue to study remotely so you don’t fall behind in your learning. Although all universities have stated that no one will be penalised for having to self isolate, It makes sense to try not to miss too much if you do have to self isolate. Many courses have remote learning options to cater for those self-isolating students. Speak to your academic department on how they are handling remote learning for those that have to self-isolate.

More Information

About Thornsett Properties

Thornsett Properties have been supporting Sheffield students with Student accommodation since 1985. We supply accommodation to over 650 undergraduates and postgraduate students studying at Sheffield University and Sheffield Hallam University every year. Designed to fit with your budget whilst looking for student accommodation. Thornsett Properties are property owners and not agents, meaning all our properties are managed by ourselves and not reliant on third parties. Our aim is to help you succeed when searching for and self-isolating in our student accommodation in Sheffield

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