If a member of College suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19 they need to self-isolate, request an NHS test and advise their line manager.

The line manager needs to enquire after their wellbeing and help them identify everyone with whom they have had close contact (less than two metres for 15 minutes) in the 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms and 10 days after the onset of symptoms, (if there is a delayed diagnosis).

Line management will notify the nominated departmental coordinator (to be advised by each department) who has responsibility for contacting exposed individuals (contacts) of their potential exposure as rapidly and sensitively as possible.

To protect confidentiality, contacts are only informed that they may have been exposed to an individual who suspects they have the infection, (in reality the infected person may reveal their identity to others). The line manager must not disclose the identity of the colleague who may have exposed them.

Contacts are provided with support and information on what they should do to separate themselves from others who have not been exposed, monitor themselves for illness, and to understand the possibility that they could spread the infection to others even if they do not feel ill.

Contacts are encouraged to maintain strict social distance from others until 14 days after the most recent date of contact, in case they also become ill. They should monitor themselves for symptoms of infection and request a test if they suspect they are becoming unwell.

The contact needs to advise their line manager before returning to the workplace. They can return to work if:

They remain asymptomatic after 14 days of self-isolation or they have completed 10 days self-isolation since the date of their first symptoms.


They have not had a high temperature or a continuous cough (feeling hot to touch on your chest or back and a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours for 48 hours. (A persistent but not continuous cough (i.e. sporadic only) may continue after acquisition and clearance of infection).

Return to work is not reliant on the return of the sense of taste and smell if this was a symptom which was experienced.

There are a number of scenarios: 

  • Suspected infection test requested/ awaiting outcome
  • Imperial staff with NHS Honorary contracts in active clinical practice.
  • Confirmed infection
  • A visitor to the college comes into contact with somebody who subsequently develops symptoms
  • A visitor to the college subsequently develops symptoms

 Communication with contacts will be different.