SafeZone is our mobile app designed to give you extra peace of mind when coming to campus or living in accommodation, particularly during the current pandemic.

It allows you to contact our COVID-19 helpline to ask any questions, report concerns or inform us of a positive COVID-19 test. It also allows you to contact our Security team directly if you are in an immediate emergency or require first aid.

How it works

SafeZone has three main buttons that can be used to request assistance.

SafeZone instructions


If you have a question about COVID-19 or the University’s safety arrangements; want to report a send us notification of a positive COVID-19 test and/or symptoms; or want to report concerns or breaches of guidelines by others in the community, you can use the blue button to contact our COVID-19 helpline.

The helpline is open Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

First Aid

If you or someone near you require medical assistance while on campus, tap the First Aid button to send an alert to Security.

If pressed in error, the alert can be cancelled by tapping the button again, while the timer is winding down. Once the alert is sent your location will be displayed on a map for our Security team to see. You will then be given the option to call Security. If you don't do this, they will call you to determine how best to respond.


If you or someone near you requires an immediate emergency response because you feel your personal safety is threatened, tap the emergency button to send an alert to Security. Please remember to call 999 in the event of a life-threatening emergency or if you or someone you're with requires immediate medical attention.

If pressed in error, the alert can be cancelled by tapping the button again, while the timer is winding down. Once the alert is sent your location will be displayed on a map for our Security team to see. You will then be given the option to call Security. If you don't do this, they will call you to determine how best to respond.


You can also use the app to ‘check-in’ and share your location if you need to come to campus, then ‘check-out’ when you leave.

You can set the app to automatically check you in and out by going to Settings > Check-in Settings > Allow Automatic Check-in.

We’ll use the location data you share, alongside other information like attendance lists, to support NHS Test and Trace in identifying close contacts of students or staff who test positive for COVID-19. This is in addition to the NHS COVID-19 app.

Your data is stored securely for 21 days in line with our privacy policy.

Download SafeZone

- Download the SafeZone app on Google Play or the App Store by searching for ‘SafeZone’.

- Open the app, enter your University of Manchester email address, and select The University of Manchester from the top of the screen.

- Complete the required details: your name, phone number, and password. For security reasons your password should be different to the password you use for any other University accounts.

- You’re ready to go!

Frequently asked questions

Can I use SafeZone to report a positive COVID-19 test or symptoms?

You can use the blue COVID-19 button on the app to get through to our COVID-19 helpline. If you have tested positive or are showing symptoms, the helpline will be able to signpost you to our online e-form to complete and notify the University, who can arrange additional support for you.

How is my location data used?

Your location information is only shared when the app is active and when you have either activated an alert or ‘check-in’. Your location is only visible when you choose to share it. Once you leave campus tracking stops and your location is not available to the University.

How long is my location data retained by the University?

Your location data records are kept for 21 days to ensure that notifications can be sent to people you were near in the period people are symptomatic according to the current scientific advice. After this period these records are deleted and no longer available.

Is SafeZone mandatory to use?

No, SafeZone is completely optional and is simply intended as a more efficient and responsive way of communicating with the Security team and for added peace of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We encourage staff and students to use the app, but you are under no obligation to download or register it. If you do download the app and activate location tracking by checking-in, you are consenting to the recording of your location data.

SafeZone is not designed to replace the NHS Test and Trace COVID-19 app and we encourage you to continue to use this on and off campus.

Will my location data be used for other purposes?

Your recorded location data will only be used to track those near you in the event you report coronavirus symptoms to the University or receive a positive test result.

In addition, real-time location data may also be used to send notifications to remind people about social distancing where a building is crowded, and safety may be jeopardised. If you contact Security, they will also use your real-time location data to find you to administer help.

Your location data recorded in the SafeZone app will not be used for any other purposes. We will not use it for any sort of management or student discipline purpose or to check your attendance, nor can we do so according to the contract the University has with CriticalArc, the company responsible for the SafeZone app.

Is SafeZone the only way I can contact the Security team or Campus Life?

All existing Security contact numbers remain operational and are supported. In addition to SafeZone, we recommend you save the relevant contact numbers you need within your phone address book.

What personal information do I need to include on my profile?

SafeZone requires your name, University email and phone number to function. You can also add any information you may want the Security team to know in the event of an emergency (ie if you have a medical condition).

How does SafeZone comply with data protection law?

The University has a contract with CriticalArc which states that they act as the University’s Data Processor. This means that the University is the Data Controller for the personal data collected and stored via the SafeZone app and it remains legally responsible for the uses it makes of this data. The legal basis for the processing of your personal data in the SafeZone app is that the processing is necessary for the purposes of the University’s legitimate interests. These interests relate to the fact that we have a duty of care to students and staff, and the collection of personal data in the SafeZone app both for general safety and for Covid-19 related purposes is one way we can achieve this. You choose whether or not to download the app and to use the location services.

You can find out further information about how SafeZone uses your personal data from the CriticalArc SafeZone privacy notice. To learn more about how the University uses your personal data and to understand your rights please see our privacy notices.