Select Page

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions – Information for Students Planning to Come to Manchester

(updated July 2020)

We are looking forward to welcoming students back to the school very soon! Our main priority is our students and staff’s health and welfare, so we have taken a series of measures to make the premises as safe as possible. Procedures will be explained to students before arrival and on their first day at school.

We have written this document to answer some of the questions that students are often asking us at the moment. Our Student Handbook provides further details. We will update this information as things change over the coming weeks and months.

What will be different in school?

What will be different in the school and in the building?
There will be a limit on the number of students and staff in school generally and in specific rooms and areas. This will be clearly signed on doors/walls and in corridors.

Students and staff will need to respect social distancing (2 metres when possible) There will be signs, and floor markings to help you. Desks, chairs and furniture will be arranged to help social distancing.

The school will be kept at the highest standards of cleanliness. All light switches, door handles, desks, chairs will be cleaned at the end of each lesson, and teachers will clean their equipment before and after use.

Staff and students will be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal. Antibacterial hand sanitiser and cleaning stations will be provided throughout the school, and we will provide masks and gloves should you wish to use them.

The windows in the school will be kept open during school hours to aid ventilation, so bring a jumper or hoodie just in case.

The reception will be available as normal for quick questions, payments and general assistance. If you need more detailed help, there will be a ‘Virtual Reception’ for requests such as homestay or level change etc.

If there is a further lockdown, or we are required to close the building for any reason, classes will be online live.

What will be different in my school day?

There will always be a member of staff to help you, however, because we are limiting the number of people in the school, there will be a smaller number of staff on site. Some people will be working from their homes and will be available on Zoom or only on certain days.

There will be no paper in the school: no books, no paperwork and no photocopies. Everything will be online and in electronic form. For that reason, we encourage you to bring a laptop or tablet to school, although this is not absolutely necessary. Also, please bring your own stationary and notebook. An electronic library will be available if you want to read books at home.

Class timetables may be subject to change – classes may take place in the morning or afternoon.

There will be no more than 5 students in each classroom (max 15 students per class including those online) and we will try to keep you in the same group and classroom. Students will also be assigned to a specific table.

What are hybrid classes?

Using some of the best audio and video technology available, our hybrid classes allow students online to participate in the face to face lessons in the school. The technology ensures a fantastic audio/visual experience for both sets of students. Everybody sees the same whiteboard and materials, participates in pair and group work, and gets feedback from the teacher. Many of our classes will be in this format.

What will be different in my life in Manchester? And my accommodation?

Airport transfer

When you arrive in Manchester, if you have booked an airport transfer, the taxi company has strict social distancing and cleaning measures in place.

Public transport
If you take public transport, you will need to wear a face mask (train, bus, train, tram). If you do not wear a mask, you may have to pay a fine.
Face masks
It is the law in the UK that you must wear a face mask:

· On public transport

· In shops

If you do not wear a mask, you may have to pay a fine. Some restaurants and other places will also ask you to wear a mask.

Can I meet my friends outside class?

You can:
Meet no more than 5 friends in a public park or outside a bar or café (but not a private garden)

× Invite people inside your house or garden
× Go inside someone’s house or garden
× Meet someone you don’t live with inside a bar, café. Outside is ok.
× Go in someone else’s car
· You cannot hug, touch, or kiss friends at the moment, unfortunately!

“At risk” students
People with certain conditions or illnesses are considered to be at high risk or moderate risk from coronavirus. These people may need to take extra steps to protect themselves. Please provide full details about any pre-existing medical conditions when you book a course. Students (or their parents if under 18) should refer to the NHS website for the latest updates and advice, if you think you may be in an “at risk” COVID-19 category. If in any doubt, please consult with your doctor before booking or course or travelling to the UK.
Who’s at Higher Risk from Coronavirus?
Accommodation: homestays

Extra cleaning is encouraged and anti-bacterial hand-wash required for all our hosts. For more details about homestay please see below and our Student Handbook.

Social activities
There will be activities available in school and outside. These will be carefully and safely organised to make sure social distancing can be followed. Travel will be scheduled to limit exposure to large crowds and rush hours. Please remember that you must wear a face mask on public transport.
What if I have to quarantine on arrival?
When you arrive in the UK, you will have to ‘self-isolate’ for 14 days, unless you’re arriving from an exempt country If you travel from an exempt country but have been in a country that is not exempt within the last 14 days, you will need to self-isolate for the remainder of the 14 days since you were last in a non-exempt country.

Passenger Locator Form – This is not a school form, it is a UK Immigration requirement. Students will have to complete this form before they enter the UK. They can either complete it online, up to 48 hours before arrival, or they will have to complete it at the airport. Here is the link to complete it online before travelling – Passenger Locator Form

If you have to quarantine on arrival, you will be able to do so at your homestay house or at Riverside student residence. You will be able to follow your classes online, as normal.

What if I am feeling unwell?
If you or someone in your house has symptoms of Covid-19 please tell the school immediately. Symptoms are:

· a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (no-contact thermometers are available in school)

· a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours.

· a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you start to feel unwell in school, we will help you. We have an isolation room available. If you are at home, we ask you to please not come to school and contact us immediately. Anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 (staff, hosts or students) must self-isolate at home as per government advice. This means that if you are with a homestay host, if they are sick, you will also have to stay at home. You will be able to stay at your homestay house or at Riverside student residence. You will be able to follow your classes online, as normal, if you are feeling well enough.
Please note that if you are required to self-isolate / quarantine during your course, and your period of 14 day quarantine finishes after the end of your course/planned departure date, you must still complete the 14 days (as per the UK ‘Coronavirus Act’).The cost of extending your accommodation and any other costs incurred (for example your return flight) will be your responsibility.

All equipment used will be cleaned with disinfectant following the session

COVID 19 Cancellation & Postponement Policy for Students taking an English Language Programme (not including English + Football)


· Up to 7 days before arrival date – full refund will be given for any cancellation due to a student being unable to travel to the UK due to COVID-19, or deciding not to take part in the course due to COVID-19 restrictions in place in the UK

· Between 7 days and day of arrival – if a student cancels for the above reasons less than 7 days before arrival, there will be a cancellation fee of 1 weeks course fee (and 1 week homestay accommodation fee, if provided by IHM)

· Please note the student residences have their own cancellation policies – you should refer to these for guidance at the time of booking

· Cancellation after arrival – no refund will be given if a student decides to leave the course after arrival, for any reason

· Cancellation before arrival, for any reason other than COVID-19, will be subject to our standard Terms and Conditions


· Students may postpone their course for up to 12 months. Postponement is subject to the same conditions and fees as cancellation, before the course has started.

· After the course start date, postponement of any part of a course is at the discretion of IH Manchester. A fee may be payable for postponement after the course start date

IHM are offering online alternatives to face to face training, if classes cannot run as planned in school. By registering for a course now, students and parents are accepting these terms.

Travel Insurance
We hope that you will have a wonderful experience at IH Manchester. However, it is always best to be prepared for situations that may arise. We strongly recommend that students (or their parents if under 18) arrange suitable, comprehensive insurance for themselves (or their child if under 18), before they start their programme. insurance is available to students on a full time English course at IH Manchester (not included in course fee price). Please contact us for more details.


What happens if I have to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

Students from certain countries might have to quarantine for 14 days when arriving to the UK. This will be discussed with you at the time of booking, or as government advice is received. We will normally be aware of this requirement before you travel, and we will discuss options with you.

Hosts are prepared for this situation, and can accommodate students who need to quarantine on arrival. As hosts usually provide half board for students, there are two options in this situation –

1. Student can switch to FULL BOARD for an extra £30 per week. This is the default option for students under the age of 18. Payment will be due before arrival.

2. Students can stay on their current meal plan at no extra cost and arrange their own lunches to be delivered (takeaway, home delivery etc). This option is only available for adult students.

What happens if I (or someone I live with) become ill with COVID-19 during my stay with a host?

Hosts are prepared for this situation, and will help you as much as possible. There are various situations that might happen, including –

· Someone you live with gets sick. Symptomatic individuals should isolate for 10 days (or longer if the symptoms persist). Everyone else in the household should self-isolate for 14 days. If symptoms appear during self-isolation, the symptomatic individual should isolate for seven days from that point (even if this means self-isolating for longer than 14 days).

· You become ill. Please inform your host and the school as soon as possible, if you have symptoms of COVID-19. Your host is aware that this could happen, and will do everything possible to look after you during this time. Please keep your host informed how you feel. You will need to isolate (see point 1) and the advice at the time may be to get tested as soon as possible.

What happens if there is another lockdown and the school has to close?

If the school has to temporarily close (eg. if another lockdown is ordered by the UK government) we will keep you informed of updates. In this situation, all classes will be online, and you will normally be able to continue to stay with your host. In this situation, we will discuss with you if you would like your host to provide full board at an extra weekly cost (see above)

Can I decide to go home early, in case of another lockdown?

Of course. Please always try to give us at least one week’s notice of your departure, to avoid incurring any fee.

What are hosts doing to help ensure safety in their home?

Our hosts always maintain a high level of hygiene, and this is even more important now. We have asked our hosts to do the following –

· Only host 1 student at a time

· Even more so than usual, communal areas in the home will need to be maintained to the highest degree of cleanliness.

· Provide anti-bacterial soap as standard, and a good supply of anti-bacterial gel

· Provide additional cleaning supplies (gloves, bin bags, disinfecting spray etc)

Please note the Student Residences have their own guidelines and policies – if you are interested in staying in a residence, please contact us for their up to date information.

Riverside House Student Residence

Please click here to view the Riverside House safety measures.