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COVID-19 Guidelines

Study in Safety with ELC schools

As a not-for-profit educational charity, the health, safety and welfare of our staff and students is of paramount importance. In these difficult times, we have been working very hard to make sure that your stay with us is still the rewarding experience that you expect, whilst being as safe as possible. 

Below are common questions that students ask before deciding to travel to the UK. Please always check the government website for the most up to date information. There are slightly different rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - the information here refers to England.

Can I come to the UK?

  • It is possible to travel directly to the UK from most countries except a small number of countries on the red list. The list is reviewed regularly so please check it before you travel.

Do I need to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

  • If you are fully vaccinated, or under 18, you do not need to self-isolate unless you get a positive test result from the covid test you must take after arrival in England.
  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you will need to quarantine for 10 full days and must do PCR tests before you fly and on Day 2 and Day 8 of your stay in England. You can do a Day 5 Test to Release test – this allows you to finish quarantine earlier when you get a negative test result but you must still do the Day 8 test.

What does fully vaccinated mean?

  • It means that, at least 14 days before travel, you have had 2 doses of an approved 2-dose vaccine (Eg Pfizer BioNTech, Oxford/Astrazeneca, Moderna) or 1 dose of an approved 1-dose vaccine (eg Janssen). Now also accepting Sinovac-CoronaVac, Sinopharm Beijing and Covaxin
  • Check if you are fully vaccinated.

How do I prove my vaccination status?

What do I need to do before I travel to England?

  • If you are not fully vaccinated, you must take a covid test in the 48 hours before you fly. 
  • You must book and pay for covid tests to be taken after arrival in England from a government approved company. If you are fully vaccinated, you must book 1 test to take any time after you arrive and before the end of day 2. If you are not fully vaccinated you must book PCR tests to be taken on Days 2 and 8 after arrival in the UK. The day of arrival is Day ).
  • You must complete a passenger locator form within 48 hours before you travel. You will need your passport details, address in England and PCR test reference numbers.

Can I have the vaccine in England?

  • Yes you can. It is free and you can use one of the walk-in centres.
  • We recommend you have the vaccines in your country before you travel.

Why should I have the vaccine?

  • It should provide some protection against getting seriously ill from Covid.
  • Some venues and events will only allow entry if you are fully vaccinated or have a negative PCR test result.
  • You may not have to self-isolate if you are in contact with someone who tests positive for Covid.
  • You may not have to self-isolate when you go back to your country.

Do I have to wear a face-mask and/or socially distance?

  • You must wear a face mask in most indoor public places, shops and on public transport in England.
  • Some other places may ask you to wear a mask.
  • Although it is not obligatory to wear a mask in most places, we strongly recommend that you do wear a mask if you are indoors and close to other people and that you ‘socially distance’.
  • In school, you should wear a mask when you are in communal areas, and ideally in class especially if you have a cough or cold.

Do ELC’s normal terms and conditions apply?

In general we apply ELC terms and conditions but have made some allowances to help you manage the uncertainty of the covid situation:

  • Cancellation before arrival: up to 7 days before your course starts, you can cancel your course and accommodation with a full refund OR you can defer your course to a later date with no extra costs. If you cancel less than 7 days before your courses starts, we will will charge 50% of 1 week for homestay or 1 full week for residential accommodation. Other fees paid can be refunded.
  • Cancellation after arrival; there is no refund of tuition fees but we can give you a credit voucher for the remaining weeks of tuition. This is valid for 1 year. Any accommodation money paid will be refunded after our normal cancellation terms are applied.
  • See Book with Confidence for our full Covid allowances

What happens if the UK government forces the school to close?

  • In this unlikely event, we will move classes online. If you are already in England you can continue to stay in your accommodation.
  • If you do not want to study online, we will offer you a credit voucher for the remaining week’s of tuition which will be valid for 1 year from your last day studying with us.

What covid secure measures do we have in school

On your journey from the airport

  • We encourage you to arrange a taxi transfer with one of our trusted transfer providers instead of using public transport
  • Our taxi transfer providers are putting in their own, enhanced, safety and welfare measures in line with our guidance.

Measures include:

  • only 1 passenger in the taxi, unless family members travelling together
  • you and the driver wearing face masks
  • you will be responsible for carrying your own luggage

At your accommodation

  • We are providing guidance and discussing with our homestay hosts how best to keep themselves and their students safe at home.
  • We will normally only be providing single room accommodation, except for family members or school groups  travelling together.
  • Our residential accommodation providers are putting in their own, enhanced, safety and welfare measures in line with our guidance.
  • We have measures in place in case you need to self-isolate for 10 days in line with current government guidance.

At school

  • We are providing clear guidance for personal hygiene and social distancing for staff and students while in school. Posters are displayed in every classroom explaining this guidance.
  • We are asking all staff and students to do lateral flow COVID tests twice a week.
  • We have increased the frequency and thoroughness of cleaning throughout the day.
  • We have installed hand-sanitiser dispensers around the school.
  • We are introducing one-way systems and floor markings to aid social distancing where appropriate.
  • You should wear a face-mask in all communal areas of the school.
  • As appropriate, staff and students will be encouraged to wear face masks on their journey to and from school, and around school.

In your class

  • We will be ventilating classrooms as much as possible before, during and after lessons.
  • We will use larger classrooms or reduce class sizes to maintain social distancing.
  • Your teacher may ask you to wear a face mask during lessons.
  • We will stagger lesson times to reduce the number of people in communal areas at any one time when necessary.
  • We will test you before arrival so you can go straight to your class on your first day.
  • We will give you your own course book and use technology and digital handouts in the classrooms to avoid sharing photocopied handouts. 
  • If you have to self-isolate, you will still be able to participate in your class’s lessons remotely.

Your social programme

  • We will provide a social programme that still enables you to safely meet and make friends with people from other countries, practise your English and explore the UK.

Your health, safety and well-being

  • We are providing updated training and guidance for staff in order to provide the best possible support for you.
  • You will be able to meet academic or administration staff as necessary, either online or in person with social distancing.

Important points to note

  • If you have to self-isolate in Brighton, Chester or Eastbourne you will normally be able to self-isolate in the homestay. If you are in a residence, we have specific self-catering accommodation reserved for this situation and will help with your food arrangements.
  • If you take out insurance via the school, it will cover your normal activity. It will cover some COVID-19 related costs like medical expenses but not others so you should arrange insurance yourself before leaving your country.
  • If you have to stay in the UK longer than planned because of mandatory self-isolation, you will be responsible for the extra costs of accommodation, flights, meals, etc unless covered by your insurance.
  • There is no charge for NHS testing or treatment of COVID-19 while visiting the UK.

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