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Covid-19 Safety Update – The Essential English Centre 

Updated 1st July 2020

The Essential English Centre will re-open on Monday 7th September 2020. We recognise the risks created by Coronavirus (COVID-19) to our students, staff, homestay hosts and others who work with us. Below, we have answered some of the key questions students may want to ask us before travelling.  This is an active page and we will update it regularly with more information.

We also have an active blog where we will post regular updates and answer frequently asked questions. Here are the latest blog posts.

Key information

What date will the school re-open for face-to-face teaching?

 We will re-open on September 7th 2020. 

Will all courses be running?

Yes, all courses will be available and where possible will be taught face to face. In some cases, a small part of the course might be delivered via our live, virtual classroom. This will be decided on a week by week basis and in line with our current safety standards.

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What safety measures will you take before opening the school again? 

  • We will carry out a full deep clean of the school by a professional cleaning company
  • We will check our systems to make sure that air filters and ventilation work well.  We will also check that all other safety systems including alarms, fire safety equipment, plumbing and water systems are in full working order
  • We will have a full risk assessment in operation, and key staff will monitor this daily to ensure we are covering all areas of delivery

Will I have to wear a face covering at school?

You do not need to wear a face covering during your lesson, but you must wear a face covering at all other times when in in the building. 

What accommodation can I choose?

We will offer the same accommodation as usual – homestay and student residence.  

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What safety measures will be in place at the student residence? 

  • We will only work with residences that show a full commitment to following government guidelines on Covid-19.
  • We will ask for all student residence Covid-19 risk assessments in advance and ask for assurance from residence management that these are being followed at all times. We will also ask you for regular updates.
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When I arrive at Manchester Airport, how will I get to my accommodation?

We recommend that you take a private taxi transfer instead of public transport.  You can book our taxi transfer service using our reliable transfer company, or take your own.  You must wear a face covering in the taxi and travel alone, unless you are travelling with a member of your household from your own country. 

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in the UK? 

At the moment, the UK government is requesting that all arrivals to the UK self-isolate for 14 days.  However, we expect that this restriction will no longer be in place by September.  If it is still in place, you can quarantine at your homestay or residence, and we will support you with this.  

What should I bring with me for the journey?

You must bring face coverings and hand sanitiser for your journey to the UK.  Keep these in your hand luggage or on your person at all times to ensure yours and others’ safety. 

Do I have to buy medical insurance?

Under 18s must purchase insurance.  However, we  recommend that all students buy insurance for your trip.  It is important to to note that most insurance companies in the UK do not provide cover for illness relating to Covid-19.

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Will I be able to do social activities during my time in Manchester?

 Yes.  Manchester City Council and Visit Manchester are working hard to welcome visitors to our city again.  Shops are open, and from 4th July, restaurants, bars, cinemas, museums, galleries will re-open.  Other tourist attractions in and around Manchester will open from 4th July if they can do so safely.  For more information on what is open, go to the Visit Manchester website.  https://www.visitmanchester.com

What is the cancellation policy?

For courses booked from July 1st onwards, our standard term and conditions apply. However, we have new cancellation terms for any course cancelled due to Covid-19. 

  • If you are required to cancel your course more than 7 days before your course start date you can claim a full refund minus any booking fees and any costs which have been directly incurred by us (e.g. insurance).
  • If you are required to cancel your course less than 7 days before your course start date you can postpone your course free of charge for up to 12 months. Our full terms and conditions are available here
  • These terms apply to any course and accommodation booking.

What will happen if the school has to close again at short notice?

Should this happen, we would expect it to be for a short period of time. For example, if someone in the building has a confirmed case of Covid-19, we would be required to close for a short period of time (2-3 days) for professional cleaning.

  • If the school closes for up to 10 days due to Covid-19, we will offer all of our courses online, via our award-winning virtual classroom.
  • If the school is required to close for more than 10 days, students will have the option to join the same course online or to postpone their course free of charge for up to 12 months.

Will online classes continue after the school re-opens?

Yes, our online classes have proved to be very popular, so even if you cannot travel to Manchester for an immersive experience, you can join our excellent teachers on an online course from the comfort of your own home!