COVID-19 Measures

The safety of our students is our top priority, here is all the information you need to plan your next experience abroad

Read more

Frequently asked questions about COVID-19 (Coronavirus 2019)

Updated: March 19, 2020

 

We realize that the current news regarding the impact and spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a cause for uncertainty among students. We, therefore, want to provide some basic information to make your experience abroad plan as easy as possible.

If students from countries that have the virus can travel, do they need to self-isolate for 14 days when they  arrive at our destination?

UK: The UK government has shut down all schools in the UK for an indefinite period; students for the UK schools should not travel to the UK at this time. 

France: The France government has shut down all schools in France for an indefinite period; students for the France schools should not travel to France at this time.

Are the UK & French schools staying open?

No.  The France schools are already closed until further notice.

Our UK schools will close on the afternoon of this Friday 20.03.20 until further notice (lessons will run as usual this Friday morning).

Will existing students in the UK/France schools be offered a postponement or refund if they travel home?

They can postpone for up to 18 months. 

We will soon provide details of online lessons that will be available as an alternative.

Will students who have booked a future course in the UK or France be able to cancel and get a full refund?

They can postpone for up to 18 months. 

We will soon provide details of online lessons that will be available as an alternative.

Are we taking students from affected regions?

The schools are currently closed.

If the student would like to postpone the course, how far can they postpone?

They can postpone their course for up to 18 months

For students who already have a visa, if they would like to postpone the course and the visa that they get is not valid until the end of the course after the postponed start date, do they need to reapply for a visa? Will immigration waive the visa fee?

Students will need to check up-to-date government guidelines for their destination country.

 

What measures are we undertaking to avoid the spread of the virus in our schools and head office?

Our France schools are already closed, and the UK schools will close from this Friday afternoon. HO staff have been asked to work from home unless travel to the office is essential.

The measures we have been taking in the schools and HO are as follows: 

  • Information about the coronavirus is displayed in all schools
  • Hand sanitiser is available throughout the schools
  • Students and staff are regularly reminded that the best way to combat the virus is to observe good cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Students and staff are offered local support in case they feel ill; and we will help them to follow up-to-date government advice on what to do if they suspect they have the virus

What happens if any students get the symptoms?

If a student or member of staff is concerned that they have symptoms of the virus, they should self-isolate (see below re: accommodation), notify their school and follow up-to-date WHO and local government guidelines regarding how to seek treatment. 

Current guidelines are that if you develop a new, persistent cough and/or a temperature, you should self-isolate for 7 days.

Should school staff send students home if they are concerned they may have the virus?

Our France schools are already closed, and the UK schools will close from this Friday afternoon. HO staff have been asked to work from home unless travel to the office is essential.

Our policy on this has been: school teams should apply the same rationale that they would under normal circumstances ie. if a student is displaying symptoms that suggest they may infect other students (even if it's just a bad cold), they can be sent home at the manager's discretion. However, we will only take the decision to close a school if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus and the person affected has been in the school in recent days.

Regarding HO staff: we trust that you will self-isolate if you fear you have the virus.

Can a student who self-isolates postpone their course?

Yes.

What happens if we have a confirmed case in a school or Head Office?

Our France schools are already closed, and the UK schools will close from this Friday afternoon. HO staff have been asked to work from home unless travel to the office is essential.

We are following up-to-date guidelines regarding what to advise staff/students to do if they think they have the virus.  At present, this means that the person affected will have to self-isolate for 7 days

What is the contingency plan should we have to close any of our schools in case of any confirmed cases?

Our France schools are already closed, and the UK schools will close from this Friday afternoon.

We are advising students to return to their home countries if they can. We will soon provide details of online lessons that will be available as an alternative once they are back home.

For those who remain in the UK, we are providing the following study support to students free-of-charge while they are self-isolating: 

  • Access to my.Eurocentres with homework and study advice set by teacher
  • One-to-one online tutorials with a teachers on request
  • Email support from teachers including study suggestions

Where would the student(s) self-isolate?

They would remain in their room in the homestay or residence they are booked in.

What happens if the host refuses to keep the student?

We will provide residence accommodation for anyone who is not able to continue with their host. No additional fees will be charged for the upgrade.

For students who self-isolate, will the course postpone automatically or will they be checked as absent?

What will be the implications for the course and accommodation? Will they be charged for the extra fees

We are advising students to return home if they can. 

If a student cannot return home and/or they need to self-isolate, we will provide them with the academic support as outlined above. 

Their course will be automatically postponed until the school reopens (or they can choose to postpone until a later date within 18 months). They will only have to pay for their accommodation for the extra weeks they end up staying in the country. There will be no additional fees.

Are we still offering IELTS/OET exams?

We have cancelled IELTS and OET exams until the end of April. We take bookings for April onwards, with the caveat that we may have to cancel if the government policy persists.

What happens if a member of staff thinks they may have coronavirus?

Please raise your concerns with your line manager. The government advice, which we will follow, is if you have a new, persistent cough and/or a temperature, you should self-isolate for 7 days. If you do not fall sick, this would be treated as home-working. If you fall sick, your absence would be dealt with as per our usual sickness policy.

What is the status of our partner schools?

Like anywhere else the situation is fast evolving and our partner schools are reacting as quickly as possible and following the indications given by their governments. 

We have asked them to promptly inform us of any changes so that we can inform agents and students when asked.

  • Atlantic Canada (Lunenburg): The school has aligned its cancellation, postponement and study support policies to ours, but some other measures are being taken:
    • As a preventative measure we are cancelling in-person classes this week (March 16 – 20th) to increase social distancing and to allow our teachers time to prepare shifting our classes to an online and distance learning format as of March 23rd. 
    • The class format will consist of an online lesson using a virtual classroom as well as homework and study advice set by a teacher on my.eurocentres. Leveraging our technology, phones and video calling will keep us connected and keep a safe learning environment.  The online format will continue until such time it is deemed safe to return to the classroom. 
    • Students have the option to opt-out of this and can choose to postpone their remaining course weeks until a later date within 18 months.
  • Vancouver: 19.03.20 School now closed. Lessons delivered online. Currently, school expected to remain closed till 27.03.20
      • Students who have just arrived in Canada need to self isolate for 14 days before joining classes. They will be offered online study through the Blue Jeans platform.
      • Students due to arrive in Canada in the next few weeks are now banned from travelling to the country till further notice. They will be able to either study online through the same platform or postpone free of charge till after the restrictions are lifted.
  • Toronto: 18.03.20 Closed with immediate effect till 31.3.20.
  • Students in the schools will study online through the Blue Jeans virtual classroom platform. See advice for Vancouver for students yet to arrive
  • San Diego 18.3.20 Closed with immediate effect till 31.3.20. Same advice as for Toronto.
  • Cape Town: 18.3.20 school now closed till 15.04.20. Student weeks remain frozen so students can resume at the end of the restriction or “return vouchers” will be issued with a 2-year validity. 
  • Cairns:19.3.20. School remains open. But:
    • From 20.3.20 non residents/Australian citizens not allowed to travel into Australia till further notice.
    • All students arriving into Australia before 20.3.20 9pm need to isolate for 14 days without exception and students must be informed of this obligation prior to arrival
    • The school will happily postpone courses of students who were due to arrive after 20.3.20 free of charge, please contact the school in each case to make arrangements.
    • Cancellation and refund: the school will consider those requests on a case by case basis. Please contact the school and submit a request in each case.
    • No current provision for students who have to isolate in terms of study support. They are looking into it and will let us know.
  • Malta: School closed till 20th March but likely to be extended
    • Students already at the school can extend by the number of weeks they have not been able to attend. Alternatively they can use their remaining credit up until the end of 2021.
    • It is recommended that all imminent arrivals are postponed till 20th April - or later.. The school will issue documents required free of charge.
    • If students wish to postpone further their credit is valid till end of 2021
    • Atlas is trying as much as possible to offer refunds for cancellation. Please contact the school if you have particularly difficult cases
    • No current self-study provision for students in the school, they are looking into online options.
  • Dublin: School closed till 30th March
  • Twin English Centre Dublin will, therefore, be implementing our business continuity plan, enabling our students to continue their studies online using Google Suite for Education, our regular learning management system. Teachers will continue to upload materials and assignments for students to practice and develop their reading, listening and writing skills as well as their grammar and vocabulary range and knowledge. Learners will be able to reach their teachers for further instructions and feedback during their normal class time and will also have scheduled daily face-to-face time with the teachers via video chat. Inductions for new students will continue in the school with an introductory teaching session to online classes on the first day of arrival.
  • Awaiting detail of cancellation and postponement. Currently offering postponement but not much detail provided).

Galway: School closed till 30th March - Awaiting detail on policies and study support


Have any more questions?

If you have any more questions regarding our refund policy or need more guidance with regards to the Coronavirus situation, feel free to get in touch with us and we will try to answer all your queries.

This is an unprecedented event that is constantly evolving and affects everyone around the world.  We will be constantly monitoring the situation to provide you with the most up-to-date information as possible. 

Keep Exploring

Start planning your next language experience, book now and start when you want