What advice should I follow if I am studying or working in China? 

If you are studying in China as part of your degree, we recommend you follow the Chinese government’s official advice and any instructions given by your local university, and keep abreast of any World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations. The same would apply if you are currently seconded to or working in China on behalf of the collegiate University. 

While you are overseas, we also recommend that you regularly check for any advice from your nearest relevant embassy or diplomatic mission in China, as they may also publish guidance that will be useful to you if the situation changes. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advises that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. 

As a staff member who is self-isolating, what leave should I take? 

If you are a member of staff and self-isolating, you should not attend work and should notify your department without delay. 

If you have developed symptoms of the virus, your absence will be treated as sick leave and the University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply. Please see the University’s Sickness Absence Policy for further details. 

Where you are in self-isolation but have not developed symptoms of the virus, your absence will be treated as paid leave by reason of self-isolation for coronavirus. Alternatively, you may, with the agreement of your line manager or Head of Institution, put arrangements in place to work from home during this period. Please see the University’s guidance on Working from Home for further details. 

Given the temporary nature of the home-working arrangements, you will not be required to make a formal flexible working request via the FLEXAF form. However, you should complete the Working from Home (‘teleworking’) Form PD/WFH and risk assessment. This may be done remotely in the circumstances. 

What if a dependant contracts coronavirus? 

You may be required to care for a dependant who has contracted the virus. Emergency leave is available to cover genuine and unforeseen emergencies involving dependants. Please see the University’s Special Leave Policy for further detail around eligibility and duration. 

If you develop symptoms of the virus, your absence will be treated as sick leave and the University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply. Please see the University’s Sickness Absence Policy for further details. 

Where you are in self-isolation but have not developed symptoms of the virus and you have exhausted emergency leave, your absence will be treated as paid leave by reason of self-isolation for coronavirus. Alternatively, you may, with the agreement of your line manager or Head of Institution, put arrangements in place to work from home during this period. Please see the University’s guidance on Working from Home for further details. 

Given the temporary nature of the home working arrangements, you will not be required to make a formal flexible working request via the FLEXAF form. However, you should complete the Working from Home (‘teleworking’) Form PD/WFH and risk assessment; this may be done remotely in the circumstances. 

What support is available if I am feeling anxious about family or friends who may be affected by the virus? 

We recognise that many members of our community have family, friends and loved ones in impacted areas and our priority is to support you during this time. 

The University staff and student counselling services are available, if you feel that you need some additional support during this period. Please find out more at University Counselling Service or the University Staff Counselling Service

As a Departmental Administrator or line manager, how do I report staff absence? 

Staff who are self-isolating should not attend work and should notify their department without delay. Where they have developed symptoms of the virus, their absence should be recorded as sick leave and the University’s usual sickness reporting procedures will apply. 

Where they have not developed symptoms of the virus, this will be treated as paid leave by reason of self-isolation for coronavirus. Departments should email the HR Administration Team on HRAdmin@admin.cam.ac.uk (or the Clinical School HR Administration Team on cshradmin@admin.cam.ac.uk as appropriate), to record the absence, including the staff member’s name, relevant dates and circumstances. 

Alternatively, staff may, with the agreement for their line manager or Head of Institution, put arrangements in place to work from home during this period. Please see the University’s guidance on Working from Home for further details. 

Given the temporary nature of the home working arrangements, staff are not required to make a formal flexible working request via the FLEXAF form. However, they should complete the Working from Home (‘teleworking’) Form PD/WFH and risk assessment; this may be done remotely in the circumstances. 

Departments should email the HR Administration Team on HRAdmin@admin.cam.ac.uk (or the Clinical School HR Administration Team on cshradmin@admin.cam.ac.uk as appropriate) to record the home working arrangements, including the staff member’s name, relevant dates and circumstances. 

I’m a Chinese national, in the UK and holding a UK visa which has/is about to expire. What do I do?

The Home Office will automatically extended your visa to 31 March 2020 if your visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020. You don’t need to do anything to get this extension. If you have already applied to extend your visa you don’t need to do anything.

Your visa conditions will remain the same as your current visa.

You will not automatically receive a new visa or Biometric Residence Permit card. If you need a status letter confirming this extension, or a new Biometric Residence Permit with a revised expiry date, you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline.

If you are intending to apply to extend your stay in the UK before 31 March 2020 you should continue to do so.

I’m a non-Chinese/non-EEA national, normally resident in China, holding a UK visa which has/is about to expire. What do I do?

If your UK visa has an expiry date between 24 January 2020 and 30 March 2020 you should contact the coronavirus immigration helpline.

The team will be able to extend your visa to 31 March 2020 if you can demonstrate you are normally resident in China.

Your visa conditions will remain the same as your current visa.

I hold a Tier 2, Tier 4 or Tier 5 (GAE) visa. Will my visa be affected if I am unable to attend work/study due to illness?

In the event you are unable to attend your studies or undertake employment due to the need to serve a period of quarantine or the inability to travel due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus, you should notify your department and/or College as soon as possible.

The Home Office recognises the current situation is exceptional and will not take any compliance action against students or employees who are unable to attend their studies/work due to the coronavirus outbreak, or against sponsors which authorise absences and continue to sponsor students or employees despite absences for this reason.

The Home Office will keep this under review, especially if the length of absences mean a potential repeat of period of studies become necessary.

Where can I get further information about my immigration status?

For staff immigration matters, please contact the HR Compliance Team 

The student immigration matters, please connect the International Student Office  

The Home Office has also set up a Coronavirus Immigration Helpline - Telephone: 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm). All calls are free of charge. Email: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk