Safety Measures for Face-to-Face Classes & FAQ

We are open and ready to offer you a safe welcome

*If you are joining us for a course of 10+ weeks and are required to isolate on arrival to the UK, we will provide you with 2 weeks of accommodation and online lessons free of charge. Please contact us to enquire*

This information is available to download as a pdf here

What we expect you to do:

  • We will ask you to complete a Health Declaration before you travel/start your course, so we can make sure all students are safe to join us. If you or anyone you have been in contact with in the past 14 days has shown symptoms of COVID-19, you must not travel to the UK. Main symptoms are:
    • a high temperature
    • a new, continuous cough
    • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • You must inform IH Bristol if you have pre-existing health conditions which mean you are in the COVID-19 high risk categories.
  •  At school, you must wear a mask in communal areas; in class, each student and teacher can decide. Please bring your own masks with you to school every day, and for social events.
  • Each time you enter/leave the school, you must sign in/out and wash your hands. Please wash your hands regularly during the day.
  • You are expected to follow IH Bristol’s COVID-19 posters on handwashing, hand-sanitising, and social distancing (current guidance is to keep 1m+, but more if possible).
  • If you sneeze or cough, use a tissue, and place this securely in a bin.  If you don’t have a tissue, sneeze/cough into your elbow.
  • It is a good idea to bring your own water bottle each day.

What IH Bristol will do:

  • We have a maximum number of students per class according to social distancing rules, to allow 1m+ social distancing, at all times. This will be different for each classroom size.
  • Classroom and social activities have been designed to ensure social distancing rules can be observed. Different course types will have staggered class/break times.
  • We will ventilate rooms as much as possible while the school is open.
  • Student spaces have been adapted to ensure social distancing is facilitated.
  • Students have a specific chair during lesson times; everyone will need to wipe their chair at the end of class ready for the next student (cleaning products provided; teachers will help).
  • Hand sanitisers are available for students at the entrance and at various locations in communal areas/corridors. Please use these regularly and before and after you touch common areas (snack and drink machines, for example).
  • In addition to our cleaning company, staff regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched items around the school each day: door handles, flush plates, microwave, etc; the areas of the school being used by students.
  • A one-way system in some areas: stairs and students’ rooms – follow the arrows.
  • Accommodation facilities will comply with the COVID related new regulations imposed by the local authorities.



  • Homestays have been asked to inform us if they or anyone in their household are in the high-risk categories and we will avoid placing students with these families.
  • We currently only accept bookings for single rooms. Related family members can share a bedroom, but please enquire in advance.
  • If you need to self-isolate at your homestay, we will support and advise you and your host throughout this time
  • Additional emergency accommodation is available if necessary
  • We will update homestay families with guidance on social distancing

Residence - St John’s House:

  • Students staying in self-catering accommodation will be provided with clear guidance to ensure their safety.
  • Measures have been taken to ensure the residences are COVID-19 safe. Common areas in the self-catering residences will be sanitised daily and cleaned by professional cleaners weekly. Students will be expected to keep the houses clean and work surfaces clear.
  • There are measures in place in case you need to self-isolate in line with current government guidance.
  • We will ensure backup/emergency accommodation is available should it be needed.
  • The residence warden lives at the residence with you and is there to help you when needed.

Residence - Liberty Park (Unite) - open until Saturday 5th September 2020:

Good to Go

We're delighted to have been awarded "We're Good to go" status by Visit England.

This industry standard mark means that International House Bristol is following government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes and policies are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social distancing.⁠ 

Find out more here



Are all courses available?

Yes - we are open and teaching all face-to-face classes in our Queens Avenue building. See our full range here.

Can I still study online?

Yes. Our online courses continue to be available - if you are thinking of joining us in Bristol but are not yet able (or don’t feel comfortable) to travel – why not join us online first? Beginning your course from home is a fantastic way for you to get a head start on your English progress and really make the most of your time in Bristol.

Find out more about our online courses here

What do I need to prepare?

Please follow our COVID-19 guidance listed above. If you have shown any symptoms, have been in contact with someone showing symptoms or have a medical condition that could put you at additional risk (for example asthma) you must inform us, even if it means we need to postpone your course (don’t worry – there won’t be a charge for this). The health and safety of our staff and students is our highest priority.

Masks are mandatory on all public transport and inside shops, so make sure to bring enough with you for the duration of your stay. Hand sanitiser is provided throughout the school building, but you may wish to bring your own for use out and about.

Most businesses prefer card payments (contactless if possible) so be prepared to pay this way.

Do I need to self-isolate on arrival to the UK?

Coronavirus regulations mean that arrivals from some countries must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to the UK.

You can check the full list of countries that do not need to self-isolate on arrival here

If your country does not appear on this list, or you have transited a country not included on the list within 14 days of your arrival, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to the UK. You can do so with your host family or in our residence - free of charge if your course is 10+ weeks long.

How do I get to and from the airport safely?

Public transport is available, however we recommend booking our normal private taxi transfer service to and from the airport. Passengers are required to wear masks for the duration of the journey and only 1 passenger is permitted per taxi, unless members of the same household are travelling together. 

Can I travel around Bristol safely?

Yes. Social distancing is in effect on all public transport in Bristol. This does mean that there is reduced capacity on buses, so we recommend allowing plenty of time for your journey to school. Please note masks are required on all public transport and inside shops.

What is the cancellation policy?

We know these are uncertain times for everyone, so if you show symptoms or your travel plans are disrupted, you can postpone your course and accommodation with no penalty.

Please note we cannot take any responsibility for any additional costs incurred (for example, your flights) so we highly recommend you take out full insurance to cover this.

Once you begin your course, our standard Terms & Conditions apply.

What happens if I get symptoms of Covid-19 before I travel?

Please inform us immediately; we will likely need to postpone your booking - but don’t worry - we won’t charge you extra course fees and we will re-arrange the course for you. We want you to be safe and well so you can enjoy your course with us.

What happens if I get symptoms of Covid-19 after I arrive in Bristol?

On your first day at school, we will remind you of the main COVID symptoms. Students must tell IH Bristol immediately if they develop any symptoms.

  • If you are at school, you will be asked to self-isolate in a room, phone the NHS 111 number (we can help) and follow the advice given. If you are at home, please do the same. If you are with a homestay, you can ask for help, and call our school office/Emergency Phone.
  • If you have symptoms or have tested positive with COVID-19, you must self-isolate at home for at least 10 days (correct as of 13.10.20). Our team will be in regular contact with you to support you, to make sure you have what you need, to help with any phone calls in English, etc. You can find the latest UK government guidance here
  • Where possible, we will move you to online lessons so you can continue learning while self-isolating (with no reimbursement). If you are too ill to have classes, this is a standard absence as per our Terms & Conditions
  • If a period of self-isolation ends after your planned departure from the UK, or you become ill and are unable to travel, you will need to extend your stay at your own cost but only for accommodation.
  • If you have been in close contact with someone from the school who tests positive with COVID-19, you will be contacted and advised to self-isolate for 14 days (UK latest advice).

What happens if the school is required to close?

During the second 'lockdown' period in the UK schools and education were not required to close, and we continued teaching face-to-face classes throughout. In the event that the school is required to close in future, all lessons will move immediately online and your course will continue without interruption.

What is open in Bristol?

Bristol is ready to welcome you; most things are now open and social distancing/safety measures are well-established. Read our blog to find out more

We continue to offer an exciting and varied social programme which has been updated for social distancing requirements, allowing you to safely make friends and practise your English with other students while exploring Bristol and beyond.

Do I need insurance?

Yes. Although your course and accommodation with IH Bristol can be postponed or cancelled with no charge, we cannot accept any responsibility for any other costs incurred during your trip - for example flights or extension of accommodation should you need to isolate. You can find our recommended insurance options here.


*All advice is based on current UK government guidance correct as of 13th October 2020. If anything changes, we will update our policies and this webpage immediately and advise staff and students.
We are here to help, so should you have any further questions please don't hesitate to get in contact with us on / +44 117 9090911


We look forward to seeing you!