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Arrival and self-isolation at the University of Suffolk

Starting your studies in September 

Travel restrictions - Testing prior to travel  & Self-isolating on arrival

For the latest official travel advice, please check the GOV.UK website

The UK government have imposed restrictions on many passengers arriving to the UK, there are  different restrictions applied to students arriving from overseas (known as the ‘traffic light system’) depending on level of risk.

Countries will be sorted into three categories:

• Red list countries: High-risk countries

• Amber list countries: Moderate-risk countries

• Green list countries: Low-risk countries

Students should refer to the latest information on country risk levels before travelling.


Before arriving in the UK, all students should:

• check the very latest information on entering the UK

• check the arrivals procedure for the country that they are travelling from/through, and whether that country is on the red, amber or green list

• ensure that, prior to departing for England, they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of departure - more information on pre-departure testing is available

• book and pay for a travel test package which will include COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and – in some instances - on or after day 8. More information about quarantine testing is available

• complete a passenger locator form upon arrival

• check whether the country they are travelling from is a 'red list’ country, meaning they will need to complete their quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel. These students should see the guidance for students who have been in, or transited through, a 'red list’ country (see below) in the last 10 days

• while travelling, remember to follow the safer travel guidelines, and plan ahead to avoid busy times

• speak to their travel insurer

In advance of arriving to campus International Students should contact to notify us of when you intend to arrive so that you can be appropriately supported if you need to self-isolate.

If you need to discuss your personal circumstances, please email


Guidance for students who have been in, or transited through, a 'red list’ country in the last 10 days

Students should be aware that the UK has introduced travel bans for arrivals from some countries (otherwise referred to as ‘red’ countries) as part of measures taken to protect the UK from new strands of COVID-19. The ‘red list’ will be regularly updated.

British and Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK will still be able to enter the UK if they have been in or transited through a 'red’ country in the last 10 days, but they will be required to quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival for ten days. Residence rights includes those with an entry clearance or visa that grants such leave, for example, students, holders of existing leave to enter or remain such as those students with biometric residence permits, and holders of EU Settlement Scheme (‘EUSS’) leave.

Individuals who have been in, or transited through, a 'red list’ country in the last 10 days and who are not British or Irish Nationals, or third country nationals with residence rights in the UK will not be granted entry to the country.

The cost of quarantining in a hotel will be borne by the traveller and is currently set at £2,285. Students must book the managed quarantine package in advance of travelling. More information on booking and staying in a quarantine hotel is available.

Students cannot use the Test to Release scheme if they have been in or through ‘red list’ countries in the 10 days before they arrive in England.


Guidance for students who have transited through an ‘amber list‘ country in the last 10 days

All international arrivals who have departed or transited through an amber list country outside the Common Travel Area should follow these Amber list rules when they arrive in the UK.

Tenancy agreements at our main accommodation provider, Athena Hall allow all students to self-isolate for the required time without any disruption to your teaching. Athena Hall have also confirmed that students will be allowed to self-isolate within their halls of residence upon arrival. They will be contacting incoming tenants soon with self-isolation advice including details of local supermarkets and delivery companies for provision of groceries and other essential items. They have also introduced enhanced cleaning practices and social distancing measures to ensure the safety of their tenants.

Guidance for students who have transited through a ‘green-list’ country in the last 10 days

International arrivals that have transited through a green list country do not have to self-isolate in their accommodation or enter managed quarantine in a managed quarantine hotel on arrival, but they are required to:

● ensure that prior to departing for England they have proof of a negative COVID-19 test result taken within three days of departure - more information on pre-departure testing is available

● book a travel test package before travelling to the UK. This involves taking a COVID-19, test on or before day 2 for variant surveillance. Students should use the booking portal to book their travel test package

● complete a passenger locator form upon arrival

● ensure they follow public health guidance: to reduce social contact, maintain social distance, adopt good hand and respiratory hygiene measures, and self-isolate and get tested if they have symptoms

All international students should get tested twice a week after arrival at their HE provider, as is the case for the rest of the student population.

When you arrive in England.

After you arrive in England you must take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2. 

You do not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive.

Please note that this guidance is subject to frequent change,  it is important that you are aware of your obligations.

We know that there will be plenty of questions regarding the conditions of self-isolation and for this we encourage students to follow the official government guidance published here this guidance includes advice on what you need to do before travelling to the UK and how to self-isolate in your accommodation.


COVID -19 Vaccinations are available for International Students 

COVID-19 Vaccination FAQs for students in Higher Education outlines important information and advice on vaccination for students aged 18 years and older and international students. Vaccination is free (not an NHS service that you will need to pay for) and can be obtained in the UK.


Arriving in Ipswich

The closest airport to Ipswich is London Stansted. At the moment flights are operating on a reduced schedule but we hope that more destinations and flights will be added in the upcoming weeks which will allow you to fly directly to Stansted. 

Once you have landed at London Stansted Airport you can take a National Express bus directly from the airport to Ipswich, which takes approximately 90 minutes - this can be pre-booked, or you can purchase your ticket from the airport. Please make note of the on the National Express website to ensure you follow the appropriate health and safety protocol at the coach station and on the buses. 

Once your bus arrives to Ipswich, the University and Athena Hall accommodation are a short 14-minute walk away.

If you are arriving to another London airport, such as London HeathrowGatwick or Luton we suggest that you travel by train from the airport to London Liverpool Street station. From here, you should take a direct train to Ipswich Rail Station, which takes approximately one hour. From Ipswich Rail Station you can then take a taxi to the University or to your accommodation.  

For more information on rail travel, please visit the National Rail website.  

Booking your accommodation

Hopefully, you've already made your accommodation arrangements but if not the Student Centre can provide information about recommended accommodation throughout your studies at the University of Suffolk. You will find information about on-campus and off-campus accommodation on our website, and can contact the landlords of the properties via links in these pages to ask any questions about a property before you choose which room to book.

The on-campus halls of residence, Athena Hall, is popular with students new to the University of Suffolk. Off-campus, you will find a mixture of halls-style accommodation and shared houses.  To see the accommodation we recommend off-campus please visit Suffolk Student Pad

Tell us your plans!

We know that starting at university and moving to another country can be exciting but daunting, so if you need any advice or guidance about arriving in the UK or Ipswich, or information about when your course starts, please contact us.