The University of Warwick has published new guidance warning students and staff not to travel to Coronavirus-affected areas.
The University said in the online statement that it is aware of the recent outbreak in China’s Hubei province and is “monitoring the situation closely”.
It also provided links to assessments done by Public Health England (PHE), which currently deems the risk the Coronavirus poses to the UK to be low.
The University states that it is prepared to work with the authorities “should the need arise”, and that its “highest priority” is “the safety and wellbeing of our community”.
In an email circulated to all postgraduates, students were referred to the University’s guidance and informed of how it might affect them.
“The University notably has taken the decision to prohibit all university-related travel to affected areas, including but not limited to, Hubei province, China, for our staff and students,” the email said.
The guidance also outlines what course of action students should take if they begin to feel unwell, instructing them to stay in their rooms, away from public spaces, and to call NHS on 111 and Campus Security on 024765 22083.
Tier 4 visa students are also advised to contact the University regarding plans for travelling abroad.
The University notably has taken the decision to prohibit all university-related travel to affected areas, including but not limited to, Hubei province, China, for our staff and students
– University email addressed to postgraduates
Students have raised concerns over those returning to university from the affected areas, with one alleging that Lakeside Accommodation Services have allowed a student returning from Wuhan to move back into a shared flat.
In a screenshot of the email from the services circulating online, the University wrote: “It has come to our attention that some discussions have been had regarding students returning to campus from Wuhan.
“Please note students cannot be prohibited from returning to their residence once they have passed checks at UK airports. Exerting undue pressure on a student to prevent them from returning to their residence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
A “Warwick Mask Group”, which consists of a growing number of students, has also emerged on Instagram, Discord and Telegram, reportedly to “exert pressure” on the University to address the outbreak.
The University of Warwick has been contacted for comment.