Quarantine information and support

We're looking forward to welcoming you to Manchester and we want to make the transition from your home country to the UK as easy as possible.

We've put together some useful information around quarantine, terms you might be hearing, what you will have access to once you're here and how we'll support you.

Quarantine and testing

We understand that you may have questions about quarantine requirements and arrival arrangements. Please familiarise yourself with the UK government guidance on travel which categorises countries by ‘red,’ ‘amber,’ and ‘green,’ and mandates COVID-19 testing and/or quarantine requirements specific to each category.

The UK government’s designation of countries is reviewed every three weeks, and new rules can take effect at short notice. We anticipate further announcements on red, amber and green listings on the 26 August and the 16 September. Please review the information carefully in case changes to the designated rules impact your travel plans and/or testing and quarantine requirements.

Supporting you through quarantine

Wherever you are quarantining, you will be able to access our Welcome provision online and details of the Students Union provision (including the opportunity to be paired with a Buddy).

We hope you will take advantage of a number of activities intended to help support you.

These peer to peer activities, popular with students last year, are offered to help you make friends and keep in touch, even if you need to quarantine or self-isolate.

If you are living in University Halls, you will receive a check in call from your Residential Tutor as part of your arrival process.

You can still apply for University accommodation until 31 August 2021, if you have not already done so.

Red list arrivals

Quarantine for students domiciled in, and travelling from or via designated, ‘red’ countries will be managed directly by the government in designated ‘red list’ hotels (Managed Quarantine Service MQS).

You will need to book your place through the government booking portal and we will reimburse the cost of a required quarantine stay (11 nights, ten full days) in government ‘red list’ hotel accommodation.

We strongly recommend that you travel with enough time to undertake the maximum quarantine period (ten days) before the latest start date for your course. For courses without a remote study option, any quarantine must have been completed before their latest start date/latest acceptance date (as advised on your CAS). This means you must be in Manchester, fully registered and able to physically attend classes.

All government managed quarantine hotels have WiFi, so you will be able to access online elements of our Welcome and Induction programme.

Amber list arrivals

If you are arriving from an 'amber' country, the rules for quarantine requirements and the number of required PCR COVID-19 tests will vary according to your personal vaccine status and the country from which you are travelling. It's important that you are familar with the most up-to-date government guidance

  • As of the 2nd August 2021, if you have been fully vaccinated in the US or in many European countries, you will not need to quarantine when you arrive in England, or take a day eight PCR test. You will still need to take a day two PCR test.

You will need to undertake quarantine in your chosen accommodation in Manchester, and to pre-book your required PCR tests from the government website.

We strongly recommend that you travel with enough time to undertake the maximum quarantine period (ten days) before the latest start date for your course. For courses without a remote study option, any quarantine must have been completed before the latest start date/latest acceptance date for your course (as advised on your CAS). This means you must be in Manchester, fully registered and able to physically attend classes. 

If you're travelling from an amber country and choose to travel later because you're planning to take a day five Test to Release test to exit quarantine earlier than the full ten days, or enter the UK with a recognised double or single vaccination without the need to quarantine, then you do so at your own risk. 

It’s important you check all guidance thoroughly to ensure you're able to travel, quarantine and isolate as expected in the UK. Please review the government guidance on travel for further information. 

If you are coming from an ‘amber’ country, you should decide in advance if you want to pay for an additional test on day five in order to end your quarantine early under the ‘Test to Release’ (TTR) scheme

University discount for PCR testing

The University has negotiated a discount with an approved provider to help Manchester students with PCR testing requirements. The exclusive negotiated package from Regenerative Labs, one of the government’s approved test providers, provides:

  • dedicated portal to book your test package prior to departure;
  • a significant discount on the range of test packages you may require (Day two and eight; Day two, five and eight; TTR tests);
  • wrap around services for the delivery and collection of tests, for your convenience.

Quarantining in University accommodation

You will receive information on meal provision (for catered halls) and details of how to order food and provisions (self-catering) together with guidance on how to undertake self-isolation in shared accommodation.

Please remember to make arrangements for food deliveries if you are quarantining in self-catering accommodation.

You may also wish to pre-book bedding using UniKitOut which offers a discount on packages for Manchester students; you will need access to a payment or credit card to pay for these. Our accommodation webpages have some useful information to help you plan for your arrival.

Green list arrivals

You can find information about testing requirements if you are travelling from a designated ‘green’ country on the UK government website.

Under 18 travel and start dates

If you're under the age of 18, there are certain things you need to consider when organising your travel to the UK.

Under 18 travel to the UK in September/October 2021

If you're under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK, you might be concerned about getting here in September or early October 2021, befoe your latest start date. 

The UK has a 'traffic light system' for travel from different countries and different quarantine arrangements which you need to be aware of as an under 18. 

Fully UK vaccinated and people under the age of 18 – amber rules

You don't need to quarantine or take a test eight days after you arrive in England if you're either:

  • fully vaccinated in the UK or under the UK vaccine programme overseas;
  • under 18 on the day you arrive in England and resident in the UK or in a country with a vaccination programme approved by the UK;
  • part of a UK-approved vaccine trial.

You must have had your final dose of the vaccine at least 14 whole days before the date you arrive in England. You'll need to book and take a day two test.

Red list quarantine and under the age of 18

Under the current published government rules, there is no provision for unaccompanied minors (under the age of 18).  

The stated options for minors within red list quarantine include being accompanied by a parent/guardian or ‘appropriate adult’ or to be met to co-quarantine in the red list accommodation by an adult already in the UK.  

The section on ‘unaccompanied minors’ states: 

Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone. Arrangements should be made by the parent or guardian to travel with their child and to enter managed quarantine with them on arrival.

If it is not possible for someone with responsibility for the child to travel with them, the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC by emailing: MQS_new_Exemptions@dhsc.gov.uk at least 14 days before the date of travel, and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

In general, a child will not be able to travel alone unless the parent, guardian or appropriate adult already in the UK can enter managed quarantine with the child on their arrival. Adults completing the booking on behalf of a child they have responsibility for should include details of an appropriate adult who will be in the UK who is designated to enter managed quarantine.

Please note that if you're able to arrange someone to quarantine with, then The University of Manchester support package for quarantine costs would only cover you as the student. 

We will be monitoring changes in the ‘traffic light’ coding of countries as this is reviewed by the government every few weeks.   


If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their Admissions Team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

Under 18 and starting your course in September

If you're under the age of 18 and need to travel to the UK, you might be concerned about whether you can start your course in September 2021.

This will depend on your individual circumstances: 

  • where you turn 18 between now and September (we'll try and be flexible to latest arrival date in the UK up to the 1 October. This means ten days quarantine up until 11 October);
  • whether you can travel to the UK and quarantine;
  • if your course has told you that they have a remote study option until January then you may want to take up that option. You may need to bear in mind that there may still be travel restrictions (including for under 18s) later in the year. 


If you're unable to travel/start the course then we can consider deferring your place to a September 2022 start date. We ask applicants in this situation to discuss their application and personal situation with their admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

Other COVID information

Get a COVID-19 vaccine in the UK

You do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to travel to the UK. However we strongly encourage you, if possible, to have one or both doses of the vaccine in your home country. 

Everybody in the UK aged 16 or over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status. This means that if you need to get your second dose or both doses once you arrive, it will be free and available for you.

COVID-19 medical treatment

There is no charge to international students or overseas visitors for COVID-19 testing, even if the result is negative. There is also no charge for any COVID-19 treatment provided if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed. The same is true of most other infectious diseases.

A guide to COVID terms

We've put together a glossary of terms to help you understand some of the language being used in the UK around COVID-19:

  • Quarantine – a period of isolation on arrival in the UK following international travel.
  • Self-isolation – a period of isolation in response to developing symptoms of COVID-19 or following close contact with an infected person (related to NHS COVID-19 app).
  • Household – people living within the same house or flat.
  • Social distancing – maintaining the following basic practices to minimise the spread of COVID-19: hand washing and sanitising; 2 metre distancing from others; and face coverings.
  • Red/amber/green list – UK government travel classification of countries with different rules for entry to the UK.
  • Lateral Flow Test (LFT) – a quick self-test for antibodies to be used if you don’t have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • PCR test – a more accurate test to be taken if you do have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Single/double vaccinated – this refers to whether a person has had a first dose or both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine such as the Astra Zeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
  • ‘Ping’/’Pinged’ – receipt of a notification from the NHS COVID-19 Track and Trace app asking you to self-isolate following close contact with an infected person.

Study arrangements for Semester 1

Depending on the course you will be joining at Manchester, there may or may not be an option for you to study remotely from outside the UK. For example, it will not be possible for you to study remotely if you are joining a course related to science, engineering, biology, medicine or health subjects due to laboratory, examination and accreditation requirements.

  • Your academic School will send further information about this to you, however if you have any questions, you can contact the School directly using our search tool.

The latest arrival date in the UK to qualify for the UK government’s Graduate Immigration Route visa is 6 April 2022.