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    NCG Schools – Lockdown Update

    According to the latest announcement by the UK Government, lockdown restrictions will begin to be lifted in March throughout England. NCG Manchester and NCG Liverpool will reopen for face-to-face classes on 29th March.

    In Ireland, the existing Level 5 restrictions have been extended at least until 5th April. We will keep monitoring the situation while following the Irish Government’s official advice.

    Frequently asked questions

    1.When do NCG schools reopen?

    NCG Manchester and NCG Liverpool reopened in September 2020.  NCG Dublin reopened on the 7 th of December 2020, after the 6-week Irish lockdown. 

    2.What courses will be running?

    All NCG courses will be running. The only difference is that we will be using a blended learning approach to minimise the number of fellow students you share a classroom with. Our main classes (15 hours per week) will be face to face, and skills classes (5 or 10 hours per week depending on your course) will be online.

    3.Will all NCG classes be face to face?

    We will be using blended learning. 15 hours per week for all college-based courses will be taught face to face. Skills classes which are taken as part of 20 or 25 hour courses will be taught online. This is to limit the number of classmates each student has contact with as part of our social distancing risk assessment.

    4.What accommodation will be available?

    Both residence and homestay accommodation options will be available. In Manchester and Liverpool, we recommend choosing residence at this time, and the residential halls we work with are within walking distance of the college so public transport can be avoided. In Dublin, the residence is a 60-minute bus journey from the school, whereas host families live closeby. 

    The residential halls strictly adhere to all official regulations and guidelines in terms of measures for the reduction of the risk of Covid-19 transmission.  With regard to homestay, NCG will issue homestay hosts with clear guidance/advice for keeping their homes clean and share regular government updates with them on social distancing measures. We will avoid using those hosts who are in a high risk group and ensure any relevant personal medical information from students is shared with the relevant accommodation provider.

    Guidance on self-isolation (when applicable) will also be provided to students, homestay hosts and residential accommodation providers if a student/host/staff member is displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

    5.Will the airport transfer service be available?

    We will continue offering the airport transfer service via our trusted providers. To avoid taking public transport, we encourage all students to book this service.

    We have made sure that our providers have stepped up their cleanliness measures and are following the most recent guidelines set out by the UK and Irish Governments (e.g. the driver must wear a face covering).

    Students will have to wear a face covering when in the taxi and will be able to share the same taxi in very limited circumstances (e.g. if they are part of the same family and have been travelling together on the same plane).

    6.Will I have to get medical insurance?

    Under-18 students from outside the EU are required to have medical insurance cover for the entirety of their stay. We strongly recommend that all students get travel and medical insurance cover for the entirety of their stay.

    Travel and medical insurance can be purchased from NCG’s trusted partners. To ensure maximum flexibility, our partners allow for the dates of the insurance policies to be changed free of charge at any point prior to the start of the policy.

    Medical insurance purchased through NCG’s trusted partner will NOT cover any medical or other expenses incurred, directly or indirectly, with relation to Covid-19.

    7.What will I have to bring with me?

    You will have to bring a stock of face masks or other face covering with you, as they will have to be worn when taking a taxi, bus, tram, train, etc.

    We also recommend that you pack some extra alcohol-based hand sanitizer to keep with you at all times, so that you can clean your hands even when water is not available.

    8.Will I have to wear a face covering all the time?

    We will not make it mandatory for students to wear a face covering when on the school premises, however students who wish to wear some form of face covering will be more than welcome to do so.

    Wearing a face covering is currently compulsory in the UK and Ireland on all forms of public transport (e.g. buses, trams, trains, etc.) and it is recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that it is worn in those situations in which social distancing is not possible.

    We therefore recommend that students equip themselves with face coverings before travelling. Further advice from the WHO on how to use face coverings can be found here: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/question-and-answers-hub/q-a-detail/q-a-on-covid-19-and-masks

    9.Do I have to quarantine when I arrive?

    • UK: You will not need to self-isolate if you are travelling to England from one of the countries, territories or regions listed on the travel corridor list. You must have spent the last 10 days in one of these places.

      If you visited somewhere that is NOT on the travel corridor list in the 10 days before your arrival in England (including a transit stop), you will still need to self-isolate. As of the 15th December 2020, you have two options for the duration of the self-isolation period:

      • Option 1: You can choose to self-isolate for 10 full days from the day after you leave a country that is not on the travel corridor list; or
      • Option 2: You can opt to reduce the self-isolation period by taking a private Covid-19 test 5 full days after you left a place that is not on the travel corridor list. If the test result is negative, you can stop self-isolating as soon as you receive the result. You must book the Covid-19 test before you travel to England from one of the test providers on this list.

      IMPORTANT: You must declare on the passenger locator form which of the self-isolation options above you have chosen.

     

    10.What can I do during the isolation period?

    If the quarantine requirement is still in place when you arrive, you will be able to access our online classes while self-isolating. These online classes will be in addition to the face-to-face course you have booked and, even better, will be free of charge!

    11.What is NCG doing to reduce the risk of students catching coronavirus?

    NCG has carried out a comprehensive risk assessment based on government guidance and regulations. Our key measures include:

    • Limiting the number of fellow students and staff you study with, which is known as a bubble. If there were a case of coronavirus at NCG, fewer students will come into contact with the individual by using this approach.
    • Staggering the class start times and break times so as to minimise contact in entranceways and corridors.
    • Providing hand sanitiser stations in all classrooms and other spaces so students can regularly clean their hands. Anti-bacterial wipes will also be made available to students to wipe desks and chairs before use. Our facilities have ventilation in every room and they are cleaned regularly.
    • Adhering to social distancing measures within the classroom in line with the guidance of the UK government. This is currently 2 metres, but may be reduced.
    • Limiting the access to shared areas such as IT suites, games rooms and other social areas.

    12.Will NCG staff and homestay hosts be tested for COVID-19?

    Those NCG staff and homestay hosts who develop symptoms of COVID-19 will be asked to take an antigen test.

    13.What happens if I catch coronavirus?

    Information on what to do if you think you have coronavirus can be found here if you are in the UK:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/

     

    If you are in Ireland, you can find more information here: https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/

    Please do not come to the college if you think you have coronavirus. Please call the college’s emergency phone – you can find the number on your lanyard.

    14.How will I get food?

    Supermarkets will be open and there are several located close to the college and residence. Many restaurants are offering take-away services – a range of options are available on services such as Just Eat or Uber Eats.

    15.Are bars and restaurants open?

    Yes, restaurants and bars have now reopened with time limit and social distancing measures in place.

    16.Can I go sightseeing?

    Yes, many of the UK and Ireland’s sights are outdoors in public spaces and can be visited. There are some restrictions on entering buildings, but they may have been lifted when the college reopens.

    NCG has continued its social programme for our students studying online classes and it will continue when the colleges reopen with safety precautions in place.

    17.Can I apply for a visa from abroad?

     

    • Ireland: You can apply for a study visa if you are planning to come to Ireland to undertake a course of study for more than 3 months.

    You can apply for a study visa up to 3 months before your date of travel to Ireland. For more information on how to apply, visit: http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/Study

    18.What happens if I book now but I can’t travel or the college remains closed?

    We understand this is a time of uncertainty and are offering flexibility to students unable to travel. If the college is closed or you can’t travel due to government restrictions in either the UK, Ireland or your home country, you can re-book your course for a later date.

    19.What is NCG’s cancellation and refund policy?

    NCG’s terms and conditions can be found here:
    https://www.newcollegegroup.com/terms-conditions/

    Additional terms and conditions for the current closure can be found here:
    https://www.newcollegegroup.com/covid-19-terms-conditions/

    20.Will NCG still have online classes once the colleges have reopened?

    Yes, we’ve had so much positive feedback from our online courses that we’ve decided to keep them indefinitely!

    NCG Flexible Booking Guarantee

    No cancellation fees to postpone or cancel your course during the Covid pandemic.
    Applicable for new bookings (made between 5th January 2021 and 31st July 2021). 

    Because we understand the pressure and concerns felt by those who are considering studying abroad in the near future, we are introducing special, more flexible terms and conditions designed to help all prospective students to plan and book their study at NCG with confidence.

    The following special terms and conditions apply to individual self-sponsored students who book a face-to-face course at any one of our centres to study anytime in 2021 or 2022 in case of temporary school closure mandated by the UK or Irish government to prevent the spread of Covid-19, and/or inability to travel due to Covid-19 related official international travel restrictions to the UK or the Republic of Ireland. Outside of these specific circumstances, the standard terms and conditions will apply.

    Tuition | Students have the option to:

    • Study online with the NCG Online platform; or
    • Postpone the course start date within 18 months from the  start date originally chosen. This is free of charge providing that communication is given in writing to admissions@newcollegegroup.com at any point before the original start date. If the postponement is communicated after the original start date, standard terms and conditions will apply; or
    • Cancel the course and apply for a refund. Providing that written notice of cancellation is sent to admissions@newcollegegroup.com no later than 7 calendar days prior to the start date, we will offer a full refund and waive all cancellation charges (we will only deduct from the refund any applicable international bank transfer fees). If less than 7 calendar days of notice are given, an extra cancellation fee equivalent to the price of 1 week of the chosen course option will be deducted from the refund (in addition to any applicable international bank transfer fees). If the cancellation decision is made and communicated after the original start date of the course, standard cancellation terms and conditions will apply.

    Accommodation | The options available are:

    • Postponement: Students have the option to postpone the accommodation booking start date (in line with the postponement of the course start date) within 18 months of the original start date. This is free of charge providing that written notice of the postponement is sent to admissions@newcollegegroup.com no later than 7 calendar days prior to the original accommodation booking start date. If the notice is received less than 7 calendar days prior to the original accommodation booking start date, a cancellation fee equivalent to the price of 1 week of the chosen accommodation option will be deducted from the postponed booking. If notice is given after the original accommodation booking start date, standard terms and conditions will apply; or
    • Cancellation: If a student wishes to cancel the accommodation booking and apply for a refund, they will have to provide a cancellation notice in writing to admissions@newcollegegroup.com at least 7 calendar days prior to the accommodation booking start date in order to obtain a full refund with no cancellation charges (we will only deduct any applicable international bank transfer fees). If less than 7 calendar days of notice are given, an extra cancellation fee equivalent to the price of 1 week of the chosen accommodation option will be deducted from the refund (in addition to any applicable international bank transfer fees). If the cancellation decision is made and communicated after the original start date of the accommodation booking, standard cancellation terms and conditions will apply.
    • Accommodation exceptions: These special terms and conditions are not applicable to certain student residences. The specific terms and conditions applicable to these student residences will communicated at the time of booking.

    Medical/travel insurance:

    In case of cancellation or postponement, the fee paid for medical/travel insurance can only be refunded if the insurance policy has not been issued yet.

     

    EXISTING BOOKINGS (made between 31st August 2020 and 4th January 2021) who have either started the face-to-face course or are due to start until 30th April 2021. 

     

    • Tuition: Students have the option to study online with the NCG Online platform. Any requests for course cancellation or postponement must be made in writing to admissions@newcollegegroup.com and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis depending on each student’s personal circumstances. If the request is approved, a credit voucher for any fully unused weeks will be issued and no cancellation fee will be deducted from the voucher.
    • Accommodation: In case of cancellation or postponement, a credit voucher for any fully unused weeks will be issued on condition that we are given at least 1 full week’s (Sunday to Sunday) notice. If less than 1 full week’s (Sunday to Sunday) notice is provided, a cancellation fee equivalent to 1 full week (Sunday to Sunday) of the chosen accommodation option will be deducted from the credit voucher. Certain student residences are excluded from these special terms and conditions and are subject to specific terms and conditions (you can find out more by emailing accommodation@newcollegegroup.com).
    • Medical/travel insurance: In case of cancellation or postponement, a credit voucher can be provided only if the insurance policy has not been issued yet.

     

    Credit vouchers

    The credit vouchers are subject to the following terms and conditions:

    • They are transferable (subject to extra charges depending on the characteristics and/or requirements of the person they are transferred to – e.g. under-18 supplements; special diet requirements; etc.);
    • They can be redeemed for bookings to be completed by 31st July 2022;
    • They can be redeemed for bookings at the same centre of the original booking and for the same course and accommodation types. If a different centre, course or accommodation option is chosen, extra charges may apply but if a cheaper option is chosen no refunds or further credits will be offered;
    • In exceptional circumstances and entirely at NCG’s discretion, accommodation credit vouchers can be converted into tuition credit (for either face-to-face or online tuition) based on the value of the accommodation originally booked and paid for.

    Covid-19 and your visa & travelling

    United Kingdom

    We would like to remind you that there are some rules in place for those entering the UK. You can find out more about these rules here. In particular, please be aware that:

     BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO THE UK you will have to:

    • Take a COVID-19 test in the 3 days before you travel and have proof of a negative result when you travel. You will have to book this test in your home country; and

    • Book and pay for a travel test package that will include 2 COVID-19 tests to be taken on or before day 2 and on or after day 8 of your quarantine. The test kits will be delivered by post to the address in the UK where you will stay in quarantine; and

    • Complete a passenger locator form with the details of where you will stay in quarantine when you arrive and the travel test package booking reference number.

    AFTER YOU HAVE ARRIVED IN THE UK you will have to quarantine for 10 days. During this period you will have to remain in your accommodation and you will have to have food and other necessities delivered to you (unless you are staying with one of our homestay hosts!).

    Make sure you follow the rule above or you may be fined up to £10,000.

    If you wish to shorten the quarantine period from 10 to 5 days, you can opt into the Test to release scheme and take an additional test on day 5 of your quarantine from a private provider. If the result of this test is negative, you can end the quarantine but you will still have to take the test on day 8 after arrival.

     

    Ireland (Eire)

    The Minister for Justice, has  announced a further temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions to 20 September 2021. This applies to permissions that are due to expire between 21 April 2021 and 20 September 2021 and includes permissions that have already been extended by the previous 6 temporary extensions. All passengers arriving in Ireland are required to have a negative Covid-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before arrival. International visitors must self-isolate for 14 days unless they are travelling from a country that is “green” or “orange” on the EU traffic lights system. For more information about arrivals to Ireland, please see here.

    The current advice from the Irish visa authorities is as follows.

    Students who left the State before completion of their studies due to COVID-19 may return and resume studies on the course they were enrolled on and holidays will apply as normal.

    If you have an existing visa with unused study weeks on it, you have a few different options:

    • Attend our online courses for those weeks remaining on your course whilst still in Ireland.

    • Attend our online course from your home country for the remainder of unused weeks of your study.

    • If you have returned to your country, keep your remaining weeks as a credit on your account with NCG and return to Ireland in the future with a new visa to complete your study.

    Whichever option you select is up to you. Once you have decided please let NCG know via admissions@newcollegegroup.com

    The Minister for Justice has announced a further temporary extension of immigration and international protection permissions to 20 April 2021. This applies to permissions that are due to expire between 21 January 2021 and 20 April 2021. The renewal of permission is on the same basis as the existing permission and the same conditions attach. This extension will benefit those who cannot get an appointment to register or renew an existing permission.

    However, we encourage anyone who can renew, particularly Dublin-based students who can use the online system, to do so and not to wait until April.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Burgh Quay Registration Office will close on 23 December. Students with appointments for first time registrations are being contacted directly by the Immigration Service and they will be prioritised for appointments once the Public Office can safely reopen.

    The below weblink should also be of assistance with any queries you may have:
    https://www.education.ie/en/Press-Events/Press-Releases/2020-press-releases/PR20-03-22.html
    and
    http://www.inis.gov.ie/en/INIS/Pages/COVID-19-updates-and-announcements

     

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