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Academy Statement - COVID-19

Latest update: Monday 9th August 2021

Celtic English Academy is fully open, teaching in-person, hybrid and online classes. Wales* is at Alert Level 0 since August 7th and most rules are now relaxed. You must wear face coverings on public transport and in most indoor places.

Double vaccinated adults, or under 18s, travelling from EU countries and the US can now study at Celtic without quarantine on arrival to the UK. (Apart from red list countries). Read more here.

*Wales leads the way in the UK vaccination programme and worldwide – 2nd only to UAE, in the total percentage of the population given both first and second doses.




Summary of Key Information

▪ In person classes are back: After a successful re-opening since March 2021 we are delighted to continue teaching in-person classes to a good number of current and new students this year. Covid secure rules are in place at the Academy and you can see our re-opening walk-around video here. Students and staff are also encouraged to participate in weekly Lateral Flow Testing so that we can keep Celtic safe, together, testing x2 times a week before coming to class.

We continue teaching online and hybrid classes (combining online and in-person), so that there is flexibility for all our students learning English with us. It is especially helpful for students that need to self-isolate on arrival to the UK, to join our online or hybrid classes for the first 10 days before coming into the Academy!

Wales has always had a safe, steady and careful approach to the pandemic. The re-opening of all areas of society has been moving step by step. We are now at alert level zero. See the latest statement from the Welsh First Minister here.

The successful vaccine programme continues with a higher proportion of people vaccinated in Wales than other nations of the UK for both first and second doses. Wales currently has the second-highest vaccination rate in the world Read more here.

▪ Vaccines for students: 6 months+ students can register at a local GP and get a vaccination appointment. Less than 6 months students can go to a walk-in vaccination centre. We recommend Cardiff Bay Mass Vaccination Centre 08:00 – 16:00 every weekend.

▪ Domestic travel is possible around Wales, into England and across the UK. Tourism is open and the British public and international students or visitors are enjoying summer here.

▪ International travel rules are mostly the same for all of the UK. You must check the UK Travel List to see if your country is red, amber or green status and what that means for isolation and testing when you enter the UK. The main difference is if you are an amber list country you cannot use the England Test-to-Release scheme in Wales to reduce your isolation from 10 days to 5 days.

▪ LATEST NEWS 02/08/2021: Adults travelling from EU countries and the US with proof of a double vaccination can now study with us at Celtic without quarantine on arrival, as well as under 18s. You will still need to complete a passenger locator form and pre-departure test within 72 hours before travelling to the UK, and then take a PCR test on day 2 when you are in the UK.

Note: this does not apply to red list countries. Also, you must have your 2nd vaccine at least 14 days before you travel.

▪ At Celtic English Academy we can offer free 10 days residence accommodation for students that need to self-isolate on arrival to the UK (and book for a minimum of 8 weeks) plus we have Study with Confidence flexible booking terms until 26th December 2021. See more later on this page.

▪ See full information here about testing and isolation for travel to Wales.

▪ For all Coronavirus rules and updates see the Welsh Government page and check out the Visit Wales website about tourism in Wales.

We summarise here for you the latest changes in Wales:


∎ Wales is now at the lowest level, Alert Level Zero (see picture above).

∎ Face coverings remain legal on public transport and in indoor places (except pubs, restaurants and cafes).

∎ There is no legal limit on the number of people that can meet up – in private homes, public places or at events.

∎ 2-metre social distancing is removed by law, but each business will have its own rules for it’s building or location.

∎ People in Wales can travel around the UK.

All businesses, tourism, sports, places of worship and entertainment venues are open.

∎ Fully vaccinated adults, or under 18s, don’t need to self-isolate if they are a close contact of someone with Coronavirus. However, if they feel unwell and show symptoms, they must self-isolate and get tested.

Read more about the Frequently Asked Questions for local life in Wales.

Accommodation options in Homestay or Residence

Homestay is available for over 16’s on adult courses. We have a great network of experienced and reliable hosts, that can help make your study abroad experience happy and comfortable.

We also have our excellent high-quality self-catering residence accommodation. We have the option of Standard or Studio rooms. Great if you want to meet other students in a Standard flat with a shared kitchen, or have your privacy in a Studio room.

You can get FREE standard residence accommodation for 10 days if you need to quarantine on arrival to the UK and you study for a minimum of 8 weeks. Valid for arrivals before 26th December 2021.

International arrivals from Amber and Red list must complete 10 days quarantine on arrival to the UK. Red countries must quarantine in a government-approved hotel but Amber countries can choose their accommodation so we recommend our excellent Lumis Student Living residence close to the Academy in Cardiff city centre. (Please note the “Test to Release” after 5 days scheme does not apply in Wales.)


LATEST NEWS 02/08/2021: Students travelling from EU countries and the US with proof of a double vaccination, and under 18s from these countries, can now travel without quarantine on arrival. You must have had your 2nd vaccine at least 14 days before travelling. You will still need to complete a passenger locator form and pre-departure test within 72 hours before travelling to the UK, and then take a PCR test on day 2 when you are in the UK.

Note: this does not apply for red list countries (who have to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival to the UK).

Why not join online classes during quarantine on arrival? Please contact us for more information if you want to make a new booking.


Mandatory rules for international arrivals to the UK

● All international arrivals to the UK must first check the travel countries’ list to see if you are arriving from a GREEN, AMBER or RED list country. Then follow the rules below.

● There is one UK booking site for pre-booking testing kits and for hotel quarantine for red list arrivals.

● You can only book your arrival tests in Wales from the main CTM website or you risk a £2,000 fine. You cannot get your arrival tests for days 2 and 8 privately, like in England.

● Full testing and isolation guidance and rules for Wales is here.


*This only applies to those fully vaccinated under the UK vaccination programmes (2 doses) or if coming from the US or an EU country, with proof of your double vaccination at least 14 days before travel.

● You must show proof of a Covid-19 negative test to travel to England, UK from abroad. You must take the test within the 3 days (72 hours) before your flight or ferry service departure. You will need to show proof on arrival to the UK. Read the UK Government information here.

● If you stop in another country during your journey to the UK, where possible you should get a test within 3 days of your final departure point before entering the UK.

● Even if you have received a Covid-19 vaccine you must still test.

● If you must take a Covid-19 PCR test on day 2 or 8 of arrival and self-isolation in the UK, you must pre-order and pay £210 for the Covid-19 PCR travel test package kit for days 2 and 8 of self-isolation. Order the travel test kit here. It is easiest to do this online but if you need help or support you can call +44 (0)1274 726424 or email [email protected]

● If you test positive on any of your post-arrival tests you must self-isolate for an additional 10 days

● The Test-to-Release scheme does not apply to Wales, only England. There are fines if you do not follow the self-isolation and testing rules. Read the Welsh Government information here.

“Green list” – international arrivals to the UK

“Green list” countries – if you are coming from a country on the green list and have not been in or passed through a red or amber list country in the 10 days before entering Wales then you do not need to self-isolate on arrival to the UK. You must still:

Have proof of a negative pre-departure test taken within 72 hours before departure.

● Provide your address and contact details on the Passenger Locator Form.

● Take a PCR test on day 2. You must pre-book this on the UK booking site for £88.

“Amber list” – Self-isolation rules for arrivals

“Amber list” countries must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival unless you are a double-vaccinated adult or under 18 from the US and EU countries. You can choose your accommodation for self-isolation and don’t have to stay in government-approved hotels. You can come directly to Wales on arrival.

For students aged 18+ accommodation offered by Celtic for students to self-isolate is Lumis Student Living Residence standard or studio rooms. Homestay is available for over 16s. For over 18s we recommend residence accommodation if you need to quarantine.

● In all cases, you must travel directly to your accommodation and provide your address and contact details on the Passenger Locator Form.

● In all cases you must follow the testing rules on days 2 and 8 as above.

Notes: the “Test to Release” scheme does not apply in Wales and is only valid in England. It is also not valid for “Red list countries”. Also, the removal of Amber list self-isolation if you are fully vaccinated only applies to those vaccinated under the UK vaccine programme, or from US or EU countries (providing the 2nd vaccine is given at least 14 days before travel).

“Red list” UK travel ban on arrivals – but 6 months+ students on short term study visas can arrive

● This is a rule announced by the UK government to protect against the transmission of variants of the virus banning travel from all “red list” countries.

“Red list” countries must self-isolate in Government approved quarantine hotels. Currently, our students are not usually coming from red countries but it can be possible (see more information about “red list” countries below if this applies to you – you must enter on a Short Term Study Visa for 6+ months). Book the quarantine hotel package here if it does apply to you. There are no designated ports of entry in Wales, so this will be in England.

●  This applies to those that have travelled directly from, or passed through, a “red list” country in the last 10 days before arrival to the UK.

● Students from “red list” countries can come to the UK for English language courses but must enter with a Short Term Study Visa valid for 6-11 months. It is not currently possible to enter on a Visitor Visa.

● The other exception is for British and Irish nationals, or third-country nationals with residence rights in the UK, who will be able to enter the UK.

● All travelling from a “red list” country must self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in a quarantine-approved hotel. They must provide evidence of a negative test to enter the UK in the first place and follow the rules for isolation and testing during their time in the quarantine hotel, including testing on days 2 and 8.

Helpful information for students departing the UK

**Please note it is your responsibility to check the requirements for testing and departure following the rules of your airline and arrival country. Celtic can support and guide students but is not responsible for giving advice or recommendations about anything related to testing and departure, which will always be your final decision and responsibility.

● All students departing the UK to return to their home country must follow the Covid-19 advice of their country for arrivals. See the UK foreign travel advice page here and search by country.

You must also check the advice of your airline e.g. some require your test results documentation to include your passport number.

● Most countries require a Covid-19 negative test result up to 72 hours (within 3 days) before departure.

● Most countries require a PCR or LAMP test but it is your responsibility to check which test is required for entry to your country and from your airline. You must also check if they need a printed copy of the test or will accept a digital copy by email.

● You cannot use the UK NHS test for departing travel. You must book a private test. Here are local private clinics close to the Academy: Pontcanna Medicspot, Nomad Travel Clinic near St. David’s Centre, Vivo Clinic Cathedral Road, Boots Cardiff. Also, PCR tests are available at Cardiff City Stadium with Express Test and Cardiff Airport offers PCR testing even if you are not flying from there.

● Cardiff Airport offers rapid and standard PCR testing. You receive the results by email and it is your responsibility to print if you need to show a printed copy of your results on departure (most airports and airlines require a printed copy). Rapid PCR tests results are available in 4 hours, Standard PCR tests usually in 48 hours.

● We do not recommend ordering a UK home testing kit because you risk not having enough time to receive your test and results before departure.

Departing from London Heathrow Airport

● Heathrow Airport has a good pre-departure testing facility. You can pre-book your departure test at the airport.

● It is recommended that you have plenty of time to take your test and check-in at Heathrow Airport, for example 7 hours before your flight.

It is your responsibility to check the type of test you need pre-departure for the country you are travelling to.

The tests that can be done and receive results within 45 – 90 minutes at Heathrow airport are the; LAMP, Rapid Antigen and Antibody. The PCR test takes 48 hours (in terminal) or the next day (drive through centre).

● If you use the Heathrow Airport testing service and test positive before departure you will have to quarantine and reschedule your flight.

I’m a new student, travelling soon. What can I do?

You can:

  • Come and join face-to-face classes now if you are from a “Green” list country, are already in the UK, or are a double-vaccinated adult or under 18 from the US or an EU country on the “amber list” (except France which must still self-isolate for 10 days)
  • Choose to arrive and join online classes during self-isolation on arrival (you must follow the required testing and self-isolating rules if you are coming from the “Red” or “Amber” list country you are travelling from, see above).

  • Choose to start studying online from your home country and change your start date for your face-to-face classes in Cardiff, when you would like to travel.

  • Choose to postpone your arrival date for face-to-face classes.

  • See our full Study with Confidence terms here. (Currently valid until December 2021)

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your course with us. You can write on the website chat, Whatsapp +44 7803 495 194 or email [email protected].

Read more about:

Our Free Standard Residence Accommodation for students who must quarantine on arrival

Our 0% Cancellation Fees policy

Resources for current students during, lockdown, self-isolation and daily life

Who does the self-isolation rule apply to?

From 7th August 2021, people in Wales should self-isolate for 10 days if they:

  • Are a red list country international arrival to the UK (hotel quarantine), or an amber list country – except if you are a double-vaccinated traveller or under 18 from the UK, US or EU countries you do not need to self-isolate
  • Received a positive test result for Covid-19
  • Have symptoms of Covid-19 and are waiting for a test result, or have not been tested, but do not require hospital treatment

From 7th August in Wales you do not have to self-isolate if:

  • You live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 or is showing symptoms that may be caused by the virus
  • You study in a class bubble where the teacher or other students are showing symptoms or have received a positive test result, but you haven’t. Celtic will support and advise students in this situation and contact the NHS, where relevant
  • You have any close contacts who have tested positive for coronavirus

Can I start my classes if I am in self-isolation?

Yes. Students due to arrive in Cardiff can still arrive and start their classes online, then join face-to-face classes. Online and hybrid teaching continues to be available as well as face-to-face classes.

Any student that wishes to postpone their arrival or needs to change their plans, for whatever reason, can still use the Study with Confidence terms for maximum flexibility, valid until December 2021.

Thank you for your cooperation as we work together to respect government rules to keep everybody well and safe.

Please remember that the UK has a national government but the devolved nations of Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland follow regional government rules for health and education. Therefore you might observe that different decisions are being made in different parts of the UK, for this reason. We will be happy to talk with you about the comparative situation across the UK if the national or international media is confusing for you.

Can I postpone the start date of my English course?

Yes. Celtic English Academy offers 0% cancellation fees for any new individual booking that will start by December 2020. We want you to be able to plan your future and study with confidence.

Read the full flexible booking policy and conditions here.

How did Celtic English Academy adapt to the pandemic?

When you visit, you will notice some changes at the Academy to keep everyone safe:

  • Students and staff wear face coverings at all times

  • Students and staff scan the NHS Track and Trace app QR code every time they enter the Academy (there are ones in each separate building, 18, 14 and 12)

  • Bi-weekly lateral flow testing is in place (staff and students must collect free test kits from the local test collection sites or order online here)

  • Automatic hand sanitisers are available in all classrooms and as you enter the buildings

  • Plastic screens at reception and at the desks of key support staff

  • Floor markings to guide you around the Academy in a priority system, whilst maintaining distance from other students and staff.

  • Desks and chairs in classrooms have been spaced out for social distancing

  • Classes are on average 4-8 students in person, instead of the maximum of 10 usually

Celtic English Academy achieved the Wales and UK-wide industry-standard and consumer mark – ‘We’re Good To Go’ upon reopening.

It is a supporting mark from Visit Britain that means educational tourism businesses can show students, agents and visitors that the Academy is following the Welsh Government and public health guidance and have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment. You can read more about it here.

Celtic also now has the Safe Travels badge from the World Travel & Tourism Council.

We are good to go + safe travels logos

Are you a current Celtic English Academy student?

If you are a current student and want to talk to us about daily life in Cardiff please contact us on the website chat. We care about your wellbeing, so you can contact us at any time. The Celtic family is here for you and when you are in Cardiff, you are part of our community.

If you feel unwell or have symptoms of COVID-19 please contact us and Celtic staff will help to tell you what to do next: +44 (0)7803 495 154 is the 24/7 emergency number.

You can also check out our following guides for students.

Celtic’s Covid-19 Guide for Students

A visual guide to keeping yourself and others safe when studying at the Academy.
Download Guide

NHS Step-by-Step Guide for Lateral Flow Testing

The official NHS guide for staff and students who agree to participate in bi-weekly lateral flow testing to help keep the Academy safe. All results, positive, negative or invalid, must be reported on the UK.Gov online form.

Download Guide

Staying Safe Advice for Students

We have put together a guide to help you stay safe and keep positive
Download Advice

Self-Isolating Help for Students

We understand that this is a difficult time living through a pandemic. We have put together a guide to help you if you need to self-isolate.
Download Help Guide

How to stay connected with Celtic English Academy during COVID-19

We put in place more ways to connect with you in response to the lockdown and school closure measures that are taking place in the UK from January 2021.
Read more about it.


Click here if you want to read the historic COVID-19 updates published by Celtic English Academy.

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