Accommodation and essential goods

Student in university accommodation holding a mug of tea or coffee

If your halls of residence is put into self-isolation, we're ready to support you with food parcels*. We'll also make sure you can access information and support from our University community.

Food and drink

If you're asked to self-isolate, you'll need to remain in your accommodation for 14 days. You should remain in your room, unless using shared kitchen and bathroom facilities, and stay two metres away from others wherever possible.

We'll support you by providing daily food parcels* during the week and a weekend box delivered on a Friday. These will be free of charge and delivered to your door.

The food boxes will include items for breakfast and lunch, along with a re-heatable meal for dinner. They'll also contain fruit, snacks and drinks (including provisions for tea and coffee). We'll be able to cater for allergies and specific dietary requirements: please contact our Residential Services Team to let us know the details.

If you live in ARU-owned and managed accommodation and choose to buy food online or from a takeaway, we'll help to arrange for it to be delivered safely. In Peter Taylor House and Swinhoe House, contact Security who can arrange access for deliveries.

Medicines and essential goods

Wherever possible, medicines and other essential goods such as sanitary products and contraceptives should be bought online. If you live in ARU-owned and managed accommodation, we'll help to arrange for them to be delivered safely.


A number of our halls have on-site laundries. These will remain open and you'll be able to wash clothes and bedding as normal. If you're experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive, we'll designate specific time slots for you.

Using the kitchen

If you share a kitchen and you're experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive, we'll arrange specific times when you can use it safely. These times will be confirmed by email to everyone living in your household. Please use a different tea towel and sponge for each person.

Cleaning and maintenance

Cleaning of common areas, such as corridors, kitchens and shared bathrooms, will continue. We ask you to respect our cleaners and give them space to work safely.

We'll continue to carry out planned and emergency maintenance work. If you need to make a maintenance or repair request, please call the Facilities Helpdesk on 01245 686464 (8.30am-5.30pm, weekdays). For emergency requests outside of these times, contact your Residential Assistant or ARU Security.

We ask you to respect any tradespeople working in your accommodation and give them space to work safely. We'll let you know about any specific health and safety requirements.

Cleaning your room

In your own room, we recommend that you clean the surfaces you touch with a household cleaner or detergent.

You're welcome to take rubbish out to the external bins, but please wear a face covering and observe social distancing. If it's possible, head out at quieter times.


Designated smoking shelters remain open and you're able to use them, but please maintain social distancing.

Keeping in touch

If you're asked to self-isolate, one our staff will be in touch to offer information and support. They'll be able to guide you to further information and help if you need it.

We'll also offer regular virtual meet-ups, and invite you to join a dedicated ARU Facebook group which offers support to those self-isolating.

Find out more about how we support your health and wellbeing.

We know that COVID-19 has affected everyone in different ways, so if you have any worries or concerns, our Counselling and Wellbeing Service is here to help.

*We'll deliver food parcels to: Chelmsford Student Village, Anastasia House, CB1, Collier Road houses, Peter Taylor House, Sedley Court, Swinhoe House, The Railyard, the YMCA, and leased houses in Cambridge (specific properties on Abbey Road, Catherine Street, Coleridge Road, Elizabeth Way, Fanshawe Road, Golding Road, Great Eastern Street, Guest Road, Gwydir Street, Hertford Street, Mill Road, Radegund Road, Tenison Road, Thoday Street).