In this section you will find all you need to know about how we are providing a fantastic service to residents in light of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have developed our Covid-Promise to ensure that we continue:
- To build thriving communities both in person and online
- To ensure our homes are as safe and healthy as possible
- To always be there as a source of support
- To make your time at Fresh truly unforgettable
We’ve put lots of measures in place including:
- Installing perspex screens and signage throughout our buildings to aid social distancing
- Ensuring that staff and residents wear masks throughout the building when not behind Perspex screens
- Changing the way that we operate to minimise the virus spreading through our buildings
- Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of all communal areas
- Additional Covid-19 training for all of our fantastic Residents’ Teams
- A new social and wellbeing programme for residents
- An updated induction and move-in programme to ensure everyone is Covid-Courteous
- Additional support should you become unwell
Please take a look at our video to show how our buildings are preparing to welcome students this September. If you’re a Chinese student you can watch our translated video.
With Government advice changing frequently, we will be reviewing our approach regularly during the new term, and we’ll keep all of our residents updated if anything changes.
Below we’ve answered some frequently asked questions to outline the steps we have taken so far and our plans for the upcoming year. We’ll be updating these pages regularly so please come back for the very latest information.
Do I have to pay rent if I can’t travel back to the property?
We understand that further guidance will be issued to universities week commencing the 18th January about being able to return to university. In the meantime we are keeping our properties open, COVID secure and operating our full Be Programme which we would encourage students to participate in. As such, rent is still due as set out in the tenancy agreement with the landlords who we act as a managing agent for. If students have financial difficulties your university may be able to help you as the government has supplied them with funds to support hardship cases or alternatively you can contact our Residents’ Team who can arrange a payment plan with you
How can I book a room?
We still have availability at selected locations across the UK and Ireland, and in some cases are offering January start dates as well as full year tenancies. Please take a look at your chosen location for full details.
We can arrange viewings in person by appointment or virtually if you’re not able to travel to see us right now.
Just get in touch with the Residents’ Team of your chosen location to book a day and time that suits you. If you are attending a viewing please ensure you wear a face covering in accordance with government guidelines.
Many of our locations also have 360 degree virtual video tours – take a look at the “Gallery” page of your chosen location for more.
What will life at Fresh be like
We promise that we will provide you the very best living experience during your studies. Our overall satisfaction rating this year with students is 93%* and we will not let Covid-19 get in the way of providing that same fantastic level of service.
We are keeping a close eye on government advice across the UK and Ireland, and putting in place a range of measures to ensure our buildings are fully Covid-secure.
We hold a range of virtual events to connect you with flatmates and build the vibrant communities our residents know and love. Take a look at the details of our “Be” wellbeing programme for more details.
What is the British Safety Council Accreditation?
We recently asked the British Safety Council (BSC) to conduct an independent audit of our response to the pandemic. Following an in depth review of our practices, we’re pleased to say that the BSC’s health and safety specialists have given the control measures that we’ve put in place their COVID-Secure accreditation.
Here is our certificate of accreditation.
Will I need to form a “Household”?
Guidance across the different countries of the UK and Ireland differ, therefore the following will apply:
- Scotland – There is no restrictions advised by the Scottish Government on forming new student households. All new arrivals can come together from the first day their tenancy starts. Social distancing should be maintained when outside of your flats.
- England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland – During the first 10 days after arrival, all new residents should follow social distancing guidelines within shared flats and maintain good levels of personal hygiene. After the first 10 days students can come together and form a new household.
I’m arriving from overseas, what do I need to do?
All international students arriving in the UK and Ireland will be required to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test 3 days prior to entry to the country; you will be required to provide evidence of testing on arrival. Once in the country you are required to travel directly to your accommodation and enter isolation for 10 days. You should minimise all contact with your flatmates during this time, for example by using the shared facilities such as the kitchen areas when they are not already in use by another member of your new household.
If you need to access communal living areas within your apartment during the first 10 days, please avoid doing so at the same time as your flatmates. If this isn’t possible we would request that 2m distancing is maintained from others or a face covering is worn.
Our Residents’ Teams will be on hand for support and help during this time so please contact them by WhatsApp with any queries.
Moving in to your accommodation
This is always the busiest time of the year for our teams, with a large number of new residents moving into the building, who also bring their loved ones to help them settle in.
To limit the number of people moving around the building we request that only one guest should accompany you when you check-in. We would also ask you to stick to the check-in slot that you have booked and that your loved ones only stay for the time it takes to get you settled in. You should ensure that you and your guest observe all of the Covid-19 signage that’s in place around the building too.
We have changed the way in which check-ins will work this year to reduce the need for lots of people to gather in reception for prolonged periods of time. On arrival, all of your paperwork and keys will be waiting for you in reception. This will enable you to go straight to your rooms, unpack and fill out any documents required in your own time and over a cup of tea – if you can find your teabags!
We have created an online form for you to use to tell us the details of anyone helping you move in. Their personal information will only be shared with health authorities if requested, and all data will be deleted 30 days after check-in. You Residents’ Team will email this form to you before you arrive.
We also ask that face coverings are worn at all times in communal areas of the building including when moving in.
Keeping us informed – Reporting Symptoms
We are keen to understand if any of our residents are displaying symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19 and we’re here to support you should you be unwell or isolating. We ask that if you fall ill due to the Coronavirus that you make us aware as soon as possible. This can be done using the QR code displayed in your flat, or alternatively by contacting us by phone or WhatsApp.
We will monitor cases on a daily basis and implement additional measures as required should infection rates rise in the building.
Am I allowed visitors?
Currently our policy is to not permit visitors in the building at this time – there is an exception for one of your loved ones at check in. If you would like to meet up with others who do not live in our property we would kindly ask that this is done away from the building. We will keep this under review and enable people to visit you in the building as the risk of Covid-19 reduces.
Social Spaces & Gyms
In line with government guidance we have closed our gyms and social spaces for general resident access. We understand that the use of these areas are essential in maintaining health and wellbeing and will therefore be offering these facilities for entire household bookings. We will continue to ensure that these facilities are COVID safe through regular cleaning.
What can I do to protect myself from Covid-19?
The scientific evidence suggests that the most effective method of protecting yourself is to social distance, wash hands and keep surfaces clean.
You will notice that around our property we have placed signage regarding social distancing. Please can we ask you to continue to socially distance and comply with the restrictions that we have put in place.
You will have seen our cleaning teams disinfecting all high traffic touch points, such as door handles and bannisters. This is to reduce the risk of the infection spreading through those areas of the building that you touch the most.
You can also help protect yourself by frequency washing your hands for a minimum of twenty seconds and every time you return to the property following a trip to the shops or you’re your outdoor exercise.
If you are living in any of our buildings and are contacted by your local public health body (track and trace) to alert you that you have had recent contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, we would appreciate you letting your Accommodation Manager know so that we can help you isolate for the required period.
Are your Residents’ Teams wearing face coverings?
Yes, all staff will be wearing face coverings unless they are working behind the Perspex screens. We will review this advice throughout the term.
How can I speak to the Resident’s Team?
Whilst we are encouraging Social Distancing in line with Government Guidelines, all of our Teams are directly contactable by Whatsapp, phone or email for any queries or concerns, or just for a friendly chat.
We just ask that when visiting Reception, or collecting parcels that you maintain a 2m distance with other residents and our staff, wear a face covering and keep washing your hands regularly.