Updated October 2021
Almost everything is now back to normal and open again in the UK. However, your safety remains our priority, so please check the current UK government guidelines as the situation may change from day to day.
Below are answers to questions regarding the current covid situation for travelling to and studying in the UK:
Who can travel to the UK?
• You can travel to the UK provided you have not been in a country on the UK's red list in the 10 days before coming to the UK.
• There are now only a few countries remaining on this red list so please check to see which countries these are.
• If you have been in or travelled through a country on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England, you will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are either a British or Irish National or if you are a UK resident.
Who does not need to quarantine in the UK?
• If you are fully vaccinated and over 18, you do not need to quarantine in the UK, so first, check if you qualify as fully vaccinated.
• Students under 18 who are from a country with an approved proof of vaccination, do not have to quarantine on arrival in England. This applies whether they are vaccinated or not.•
Before you travel to England you must:
- book and pay for a COVID-19 test – to be taken before the end of day 2 in England. For arrivals after 24 October, if you are from an approved country, you can book the cheaper antigen lateral flow (LFD) test rather than the more expensive PCR test.
- complete a passenger locator form – to be completed in the 48 hours before you arrive in England. You will need to enter your address in the UK and your COVID-19 test booking reference number on your passenger locator form.
• Even if they do not need to quarantine, under 18s will still need to have a day 2 test in the UK. They do not need to have a test before they travel.
Who must quarantine in the UK and what tests do they need to take?
• Students arriving in the UK who do not qualify as fully vaccinated currently still have to quarantine for 10 full days, unless you do a day 5 Test to Release test and get a negative result before the end of the 10 days. You must still do the day 8 test even if you get a negative Test to Release result.
• During the quarantine period you are welcome to stay with your homestay or in our school residence and you can attend the school classes on-line.
• If you are coming to the UK from a country still requiring quarantine, you are required, on departure, to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken during the 3 days before travelling to England. If you do not present proof of a negative test result, you may not be able to board your plane.
• Before leaving your country, you must complete a passenger locator form to show where you will be staying in Bristol. You will have to show your passenger locator form and your negative test result when you check in on departure at the airport in your country.
• On departure from the airport in your country, you will also have to show that you have pre-booked a ‘travel test package’ which will allow you to test yourself twice when you arrive in the UK. This test package is sent by post to your address in Bristol. The self-test package allows you to do your own COVID-19 tests on day 2 and day 8 after your arrival. Your arrival date is counted as day 0. Use this link to book your travel test package.
• After day 10 and a negative day 8 test result, or after you have received a negative day 5 Test to Release result, you can leave your accommodation and come into school 😊
Can students have the vaccine in Bristol?
• Yes, you can 😊 It is free and you can have it in one of Bristol's 'walk-in' centres. You do not need to make an appointment.
• You can have your first dose and your second dose. You have to wait for 8 weeks after your first dose before having your second dose.
• You do not need an NHS (National Health Service) number to get the vaccine, but it helps as it will then be easier for you to get an official record of your vaccine.
• NHS numbers are given to you if you are staying in Bristol for 12 weeks + and you are registered with a local doctor. If you would like to register with a local doctor, we recommend the Pembroke Road Surgery as it is only 5 minutes’ walk from the school.
• If you can, we recommend you to have the vaccines before leaving your country.
The advantages of having the vaccine
• Some large scale events will only admit you if you are fully vaccinated or if you have had a recent PCR test.
• You may not have to isolate if you are in contact with someone who has tested positive.
• Depending on your country, you may not have to isolate when you go home.
Do you have to wear a mask or socially distance in the UK?
• Although you do not have to wear a mask in most places, we strongly recommend you ‘socially distance’ whenever possible and also wear a mask when indoors and close to other people.
• Some places still ask you to wear a mask, so you should bring a supply of masks with you.
• We also ask you to wear a mask whenever possible in communal areas of the school.
• If you have a cold of cough, we ask you to wear a mask in class even if you have tested negative for COVID.
• Lessons are face-to-face in school but with social distancing and safety precautions in place.
What can you expect in homestays?
• We have provided guidance to our homestay hosts on how best to keep themselves and their students safe at home.
• We are only providing single room accommodation, except for family members or friends travelling together.
• We have measures in place in case you need to self-isolate in your homestay, in line with current government guidance.
• We will ensure backup/emergency accommodation is available should it be needed.
• We communicate regularly with our host families on the latest government guidance on social distancing regulations.
What can you expect in the school residences?
• Students staying in self-catering accommodation are provided with clear guidance to ensure their safety and we have carried out measures to ensure the residences are COVID-19 safe.
• Common areas in the self-catering residences will be sanitised regularly. Students will be expected to keep the houses clean and work surfaces clear.
• We have measures in place in case you need to self-isolate in line with current government guidance. Students required to isolate are kept apart from the other (non-quarantining) students.
• Our Residence Managers live in the residence and will help you when needed.
• People from other households are strictly not permitted to visit the residence during this period.
Watch this video to see how Laetitia, our amazing proficiency student, kept herself busy in March 2021 during her 10 days of quarantine in St John's House, ELC Bristol's school residence.
What if you get COVID or symptoms of Covid-19 while you are in Bristol?
• You must stay at home and not go outside.
• You must not mix with or go close to people you live with until you have had a test and a negative test result.
• Telephone the school. We will then help to arrange for you to be tested. While you wait for the test results, you must self-isolate.
• During your period of self-isolation, you can attend your lessons on-line.
What happens if a close contact gets COVID?
• Get yourself tested.
• If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-isolate. If you are fully vaccinated or under 18 years and 6 months, you are not required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for Covid 19.
• If you are not fully vaccinated or under 18 years and 6 months, you must stay in your accommodation and self-isolate if a close contact has tested positive for covid.
• If you are staying in a school residence you may be asked to change your room. You can order food online and we will make sure it is delivered to your room.
• If you are with a homestay family and self-isolating, they will look after you. If this is not possible, then we will provide suitable alternative accommodation. Homestay families will provide food for your lunch (+ £5.00 per day).
• During self-isolation, you can join your normal class online every day.
• Yes, generally the school’s normal conditions apply as set out on the school website, however, due to COVID we are making some special allowances – see below.
What if you want to cancel your course before you arrive?
• Until further notice, you can cancel your course with no costs up to 7 days before your course start date.
• If you cancel less than 7 days before your course start date, we will give you a credit voucher for your course. If you have booked our accommodation, we will charge you one week’s accommodation cancellation fee.
• If you have booked via a representative, the representative's terms and conditions will apply.
What if the school cancels your course before you arrive?
If, before you arrive, the school cancels your booking because we are unable to open, you can either
• attend the course on-line
• receive a credit voucher valid for one year, or
• receive a full refund (minus bank charges)
Credit vouchers can be used by you or by another member of your family.
What if, during your course, the UK government forces the school to close?
• In the unlikely event of a Government shutdown, all courses will be moved online. If you are in Bristol, you will be very welcome to stay in your accommodation and remain in the UK or return home and continue studying from there. If you do not wish to transfer to an online course, you will be offered a credit voucher for your tuition fees valid for one year from the last day of studying with us. Fees paid for your unused accommodation weeks will be refunded in full.
Do you need insurance?
• Please remember that as per our terms and conditions, our tuition fees are generally non-refundable, so we strongly recommend that you take out Student Travel Insurance before you come to the UK.
• The school does not arrange insurance, so we suggest you arrange insurance yourself before travelling
• Insurance should cover the loss of your fees and flights in case of cancellation or curtailment (shortening your course), medical expenses, personal injury, personal liability, overseas legal expenses and the loss of personal belongings and money.