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 3 or 4 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 normal 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.

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 been within one metre, for one minute or longer, (with or without face-to-face contact) with someone else
  • A person who has been within 2 metres (with face-to-face contact), for 15 minutes or longer, with someone else.

Next, book a test

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

It is open from 9am – 5pm every day and you need to book your appointment online. 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 before travelling within the UK, you will need to access the University’s lateral flow testing.

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 anyone without symptoms, 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.


Students can do this by following these steps:

  1. Contact your School Office (drop-down list below), who will notify the relevant Area COVID-19 Contact Team within the University.
  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. Update your personal information portlet on Liverpool Life to confirm you are 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 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.

Liverpool Life will be unavailable:

  • 5pm Friday, 27 November to midday on Monday, 30, November
  • 5pm Friday, 18 December to midday on Monday, 21 December

When Liverpool Life is unavailable, students must still notify the University that they are self-isolating. You can do this by completing the following form.




School contacts for students





University staff will need to contact their line manager and those working on campus will also need to contact their area COVID Contact Team. You will be provided with these contact details on your return to campus. COVID Contact Teams will then need to notify the Campus Support Team (0151 794 3252) as a matter of urgency. You can find more details about this process on our Health and Safety intranet.

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 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 14 days from the day you last saw them.

Make sure you:

  • Contact your School Office (see drop-down list above) to let them know you are self-isolating as a ‘contact’.
  • Update the Personal Information portlet on Liverpool Lifeto tell us that you are studying remotely (if you are a student). This means that when we are looking at attendance records, we know that you will not be attending any face-to-face sessions on campus. Don’t forget to change it back again when you stop self-isolating.
  • 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.

Please note that if you are identified as a ‘contact’ of somebody who has tested positive for COVID-19 before your intended travel to an alternative UK address for the winter break, you are still allowed to travel, avoiding public transport if possible. You must, however, isolate for 14 days when you arrive at your destination.

If, during your 14-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’.

Guidance on self-isolation is available here.

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