What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

Feeling a bit under the weather with…

  • A high temperature? You might feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough? This means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or four more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste? This means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

First, you must immediately self-isolate

If you feel unwell and think you have at least one symptom of COVID-19, it’s really important that you immediately self-isolate. This means staying at your current address (whether that is at home or at your term-time address) and away from others. Please do not travel if you develop symptoms of COVID-19.

You will need to let other members of your household and people you have been in close contact with know that they also need to self-isolate, even if they don’t have any symptoms, in line with UK government guidance.

A contact is defined as:

  • A person who has been coughed on within one metre by someone else
  • A person who has had skin-to-skin physical contact with someone else
  • A person who has had face-to-face contact with someone less than one metre away (this will include times where you have worn a face covering or a face mask)
  • A person who has been within two metres of someone 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 car or other small vehicle with someone (even on a short journey) or been close to them on a plane

Next, book a test

All of our staff and students can book a swab test at the University’s COVID test centre on campus.

If you have difficulties booking online because of a disability, you can book a test by calling 0151 795 1000. You will need your staff or student ID number handy in the booking process (you can find this on your staff or student card).

Testing is limited to students and staff who are displaying symptoms only. If you do NOT have symptoms but wish to access a test, you will need to access the University’s 'no symptoms' test

The additional testing service on campus represents a significant investment from the University to keep our campus safe and to reduce demand on NHS services.

We are not able to offer testing to members of the general public or anybody who is not part of our university community.

Next, tell us you are unwell

It’s important to let us know you are isolating by updating the  COVID student intranet pageBy letting us know you are isolating, we are then able to reach out and offer you support, even if you are not on campus.  . 


Students can do this by following these steps:

  1. Self-report your symptoms as soon as possible using the University’s Case Management System (staff and students). The data will be accessed by the University’s Contact Tracing Team, who will then be in touch to follow track and trace protocol. For the majority of students, reporting on this system will mean that you do not need to also contact your School or Department to advise them of your test results. The exception to this is any students who are studying a clinical course; please continue to report to your local area as you currently do. Contact details can be found in the drop-down list below
  2. You will be contacted by the University’s COVID Contact Tracing Team who will ask you for details of your close contacts within the University so they can be contacted. You will also be encouraged to inform your close contacts personally to ask them to self-isolate until you have your test results. You do not need a letter from your doctor
  3. If you live in University halls you should let your hall manager or hall reception know. If you are in private halls of residence, you must inform your halls’ nominated contact. If you are unsure who this is contact the Hall reception
  4. If you live in private rented accommodation you are not required to let your landlord know, but you will need to inform your housemates and any other close contacts that they should start to self-isolate (whether or not they have symptoms). If you do not have contact details of your housemates your landlord will be able to pass on the information to all other residents.
  5. Students will also need to update the COVID student intranet page to tell us that you are self-isolating, whether that is because you have symptoms, have a positive test result, or are a contact of somebody with COVID-19. Don’t forget to log back in and change it when you have stopped self-isolating. This is important as it will help us know who may need additional support and whether or not you will be attending activities
  6. If you are employed outside of the University you should also let your employer know
  7. If you need help or support whilst you are isolating please email Student Services on advice@liverpool.ac.uk
School contacts for students

Continue to self-isolate until you get your test results

You should receive the results of your test within 24 hours by text and email.

For information about the next steps following your test results please visit our ‘test result’ information page.

If you are identified as a ‘contact’ of somebody with COVID-19

If you are contacted by a friend or family member, the University’s contact tracing team or by NHS Test and Trace Services and advised you are a ‘contact’ of somebody who has tested positive or reported symptoms of COVID-19 you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the day you last saw them.

Make sure you:

  • Update the COVID student intranet page to tell us that you are self-isolating as a contact of somebody with COVID-19. Don’t forget to log back in and change it when you have stopped self-isolating. This is important as it will help us know who may need additional support and whether or not you will be attending activities.
  • Email Student Services on advice@liverpool.ac.uk if you need any help or support whilst you are isolating.

Staff can find more information about working from home on the HR Intranet.

If during your 10-day period of self-isolation as a ‘contact’, you develop symptoms then your self-isolation period must start again. You will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the date that your symptoms began.  Please follow the steps above for ‘what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms’.

Read the guidance on self-isolation.

Back to: Coronavirus (COVID-19) safety