Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

COVID-19 testing

This page was updated on: 07/01/2021

All students are invited to sign up to our non-invasive saliva testing programme if they haven’t done so already, regardless of if they are stayed in Southampton/Winchester or left for the winter break.

This will allow you to be informed and to keep your family and friends safer this winter. Opt in here.

If you returned to the University before lockdown having travelled within the UK, remember to take a saliva test 1, 4 and 8 days after you arrived back in Southampton or Winchester. You should not visit a campus (other than to drop off your samples) until you have received two negative tests. And then resume regular testing following your text message instructions.

If you stayed at your term-time address over Christmas and can walk or cycle safely to access a drop off point that is local to you, you should resume testing in line with your text message instructions (unless you are self-isolating). 

How long do I need to self-isolate if my housemate tests positive?

If someone or another member of their household has symptoms of coronavirus, they should, as now, isolate immediately. If someone receives a positive test result, they are now required by law to self-isolate for the period ending 10 days after displaying symptoms or after the date of the test, if they did not have symptoms.

Other members of their household must self-isolate for the period ending 14 days after symptom onset, or after the date of the initial person's positive test. 

Do I have to leave my accommodation to drop my tests off, can my tests be picked up by someone?

You can leave your accommodation to drop your tests off as this aligns to government guidance. You should not use public transport and should walk or cycle to drop off your test. Find details of drop off locations.

If you are an international student and are quarantining, you shouldn’t leave your residence until you have finished your period of mandatory quarantine, and you should recommence testing after your quarantine period in line with your text message instructions. 

Do I need two negative tests if I don’t need to come to campus?

No, but we encourage you to take part in the programme even if you don’t need to come to campus at this time. If you left Southampton/Winchester over the Christmas break, we strongly recommend you isolate on your return until you have received two negative test results to help keep others safe.

I stayed in my usual term time accommodation in the Southampton/Winchester area during the winter break. Do I need two negative tests to go to campus?

No, but you must take part in weekly COVID-19 saliva testing.

I’ve returned to Southampton/Winchester. Do I need two negative tests if I’m only going to campus to study and I don’t have in-person teaching?

In line with government lockdown guidance, you should not go to campus unless you have in-person teaching. You must have two consecutive negative tests before visiting campus.

Can I do the antibody test rather than the saliva test?

We are not currently providing the antibody tests and would encourage all students to take part in our non-invasive simple COVID-19 saliva testing programme.

I’m an international student. If I pay for a private test, do I still need to do the saliva test and if negative can I only quarantine for five days?

If you do a private test through an accredited provider, and the test is negative, you would only need to quarantine for five days. You should then recommence regular saliva testing in line with your text message instructions, and wait until your first negative result before accessing the campus (other than to drop off your sample).

I’m commuting in to campus for teaching but I come from a quite a distance away so it’s not easy for me to drop-off a sample. What should I do about getting two negative results before coming to campus?

It is important that we are confident as possible that students coming on to campus do not have COVID which is why we have asked for two negative results.

We appreciate that it may not be easy to drop-off samples in advance of coming to campus before teaching, but we would request that you do this so you are doing as much as possible to protect your University friends and colleagues and to help control transmission.

I'm confused about the testing program, who can I contact to ask about it?

We would encourage you to speak to the Southampton City Council, you can contact them either via Webchat or by phone. This can be found under point 6 on this webpage.

Do I have to take a COVID-19 test before I travel back to Southampton/Winchester?

No, you do not need to test before travelling back but if you are not registered for our testing programme, you must do so now. Register here.

If you returned to the University before lockdown, remember to take a saliva test 1, 4 and 8 days after you arrived back in Southampton or Winchester. You must self-isolate (except to drop off your saliva samples or shop for essential supplies) until you receive two consecutive negative tests.  
 
If you stayed at the University over the winter break and can safely access a drop off point that is local to you, you should resume weekly testing on any convenient day (unless you are self-isolating).

I am a PGR student who travelled internationally over Christmas, when do I need to test/isolate?

If you travelled internationally, you must comply with UK Government regulations and it is mandatory for you to quarantine for 10 days.   
You must register with the University saliva testing programme. Register here.

Once you have finished self-isolation, you must obtain one negative test before accessing research facilities or meeting anyone on campus for teaching/research.

If you took a private test under UK Government regulations to reduce the quarantine period from 10 to five days, you must still receive a negative saliva test before you come to campus. 

I am a PGR student who left Southampton/Winchester over the winter break and am planning to return. When should I test/isolate?

You must register and take part in the University’s COVID-19 Saliva Testing programme. On your return to Southampton/Winchester, you must receive two negative tests before returning to campus, including to access research facilities.

You do not need to self-isolate before you travel back to Southampton/Winchester, unless you have COVID-19 symptoms, have received a positive test result, or are a contact of someone who has symptoms/has tested positive. You should only travel back in line with UK Government Lockdown restrictions.

You may visit campus drop off points to return your test samples, but you must not access any buildings or interact with other people on campus for your teaching/research until two successive negative test results have been received. 

I am a PGR student who remained in my usual local accommodation in Southampton/Winchester over the winter break. When should I test/isolate?

There is no need to isolate if you stayed in your usual local accommodation in Southampton/Winchester over the winter break, unless you have COVID-19 symptoms, have received a positive test result, or are a contact of someone who has symptoms/has tested positive. You must register with the University saliva testing programme. Register here.

 You may visit campus drop off points to return your test samples.

Anyone receiving a positive COVID test at any time must: 

Not found the information you need?

Explore our full range of frequently asked questions.

Find out more
Privacy Settings