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COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Update v4

Study Links are working closely with our partner schools and our AEGIS accreditation body to ensure our students are fully supported, whatever happens.

This is an evolving situation and it is our intention to be proactive.

We are doing everything here which is recommended by the UK government, but unfortunately the worldwide press coverage is so extensive and sensationalist that it is creating unnecessary mass panic.

As a longstanding family-run company, the students that we take care of are like family to us. If we felt that there was any reason to recommend our students not to be in the UK, we would certainly do so.

We hope you will understand that our guidance and the schools’ guidance will continue to change as we progress through a fast-moving situation.

At the time of writing no Study Links students, homestays or staff have Covid-19.

 

We have had many questions which are answered below:

What is the UK Government doing to prevent the spread of the virus?

The UK Government is taking action to prevent the spread of the virus, including telling visitors arriving from high risk areas to self-isolate.

Health protection teams have been in place at Heathrow since Wednesday 22 January 2020 and in Gatwick and Manchester since Wednesday 29 January 2020. Enhanced monitoring is being carried out on direct flights into the UK from destinations that are currently on the Covid-19 travel advice list.

On Tuesday 3 March 2020 the UK Government announced its Coronavirus action plan setting out the steps the UK would take to combat the spread of Covid-19. The plan details the measures that would be rolled out if the virus moves beyond the currently designated “contain” phase. Health officials and scientists are accelerating preparations for the “delay” phase.  As part of this phase, the Government is considering school closures.

On Monday 16 March 2020 the UK Government announced that all persons should partake in ‘social distancing’ to avoid unnecessary contact.

On Wednesday 18 March 2020 the UK Government announced that all schools should close on Friday 20 March 2020.  The Government has not specified that boarding houses must close.

The Department of Education has confirmed that boarding schools are integral to containing any suspected or confirmed Covid-19 cases and is providing specific advice to boarding schools.


What changes can be expected?

Many schools are interpreting guidance differently, and they are also updating and changing their advice depending on the newest information available.   This means many parents may need to alter their plans multiple times.

It is important that parents follow the advice of their child’s specific school, to avoid any potential disputes, e.g. about school refunds and quarantine requirements which could disrupt future studies and exams.

School closures:

Easter Holiday:

Quarantine requirement on return to the UK:

At the time of writing, each school has their own rules regarding the need for and conditions of quarantine and therefore it is important to get the most up-to-date quarantine guidance from your child’s school.

 

What rules and guidelines do Study Links abide by?

Study Links is a member of AEGIS.  We abide by their rules and guidelines for students under our guardianship care.

The AEGIS Covid-19 statement for professional guardian companies such as Study Links is available here.  This will answer most questions relating to quarantine, school closure, infected students.

We also follow the guidelines as set by the British government (available here) and our National Health Service (available here).

 

Do Study Links provide quarantine / self-isolation facilities?

 

What precautions are Study Links taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

Study Links are experienced with pandemics affecting our international students, having assisted students during the 2003 SARS outbreak.  With this knowledge, we are working proactively to reduce the spread of the virus within our network.

As we make these adjustments in the workplace environment, we thank you for your patience and understanding in the case that you experience any difficulty. And as always, please let us know if you need any help with anything.
 

What additional support is Study Links providing students?

The uncertainty of the current situation is having a detrimental impact on some students’ mental health.

 

Students with Study Links’ recommended insurance

We are pleased to confirm that for students with Study Links’ recommended Guard.Me Health & Travel Insurance, their policy does cover health and travel related claims related to Covid-19.

 

What next?

As an organisation, Study Links is in a strong position to support our students during their time of need. We have an excellent team in our office and around the UK adapting to the changing demands, and our fantastic network of homestay families are eager to help by making themselves available to host students.

We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and take advice from the British government and National Health Service.

Please do remember that if you have any concerns then please contact us immediately.  We are here to help and always have time for you. Our students, and those who are involved in their care are our priority.

Wishing you a safe and healthy week ahead.

 

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