COVID-19 Procedures for Halls
Page last updated 2 November 2020
In order to keep everyone safe, we need you all to play your part within halls. We ask you to not only respect the safety measures we have put in place, but to look out for one another and help us build a welcoming, safe and supportive environment.
This page outlines our overarching COVID-19 arrangements for your halls. However, as things develop and change, it may be that these procedures are updated. Please always read any messages from your wardening team or the College and take note of local notices within your halls.
National lockdown update
The government has announced a new national lockdown that will start on Thursday 5 November and end on Wednesday 3 December. You can read the government’s guidance on the government’s website. You can read the update on the College COVID-19 pages for more information on what this means for your teaching experience.
For those of you living in our hall of residence, we want to reassure you that support that is available.
Besides taking part in education and research on our campuses, or supporting essential services, you should stay within halls as much as possible. You can leave your home to shop for food and essential items and to exercise. You are not permitted to mix indoors with people outside of your household.
If you live at university, you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and student home during term time. You should only return home at the end of term, if you so choose.
If you decide to leave halls at this time to return home, you shouldn't return during the lockdown. If you are considering leaving halls completely, make sure you have fully read the departure policy before making your decision. You will still be expected to pay for your accommodation.
Support in halls
There are many sources of support at Imperial if you are struggling.
- Your personal tutor and your Department are here to help you access the right support and services if you are experiencing any difficulties.
- Our support services are being delivered remotely, including the Counselling and Mental Health Advice Service which offers online and email counselling, as well as online workshops.
- Online Connect is a remote support group for students facilitated by mental health counsellors which gives you an opportunity to talk and connect with others if life feels unsettling and overwhelming.
- Staying active is essential for physical and mental wellbeing. Move Imperial's MoveFromHome programme features a schedule of virtual classes, fitness recommendations and playlists free for anyone in halls.
- You can find out more about support on the Student Support Zone webpage.
Additional support is availble to residents who are required to self-isolate.
Hall Policies and Procedures
COVID-19 safety measures in halls
Whilst our overarching guidance for procedures in halls remains the same across all sites, due to the individual layout of each hall there are some slight variations to this guidance. Check notices within your hall for further details.
- Face Coverings: Face coverings must be worn in all communal areas of the hall when you are outside of your bedroom, including common rooms and hallways accessible by members outside of your household zone. Guidance in kitchens varies between halls. Please see local notices.
- Maximum room capacities: Each room has a safe maximum number of people at any one time. Signs on the door indicate the room limits.
- 2m distance: You are expected to remain 2m apart at all times where possible.
- Regular handwashing: You should continue to practice excellent personal hygiene. Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds or more and avoid touching your face.
- Sanitising stations: There will be sanitising stations at the entrance to every hall
- Common rooms: As part of the government's Tier 2 restrictions, common rooms can no longer be used for communal use. Please see hall notices for further details.
Household zones in halls
In halls, such as Woodward, Kemp Porter, Paragon and Parsons House, your zone is made up everyone living within your cluster flat. In our other halls, zones are determined based on the kitchens or shared bathroom facilities you use.
Residents cannot mix within zones - ie: a resident of Zone A will not be able to visit someone in the kitchen of Zone B - even if following social distancing guidance.
If a member of your zone becomes symptomatic, or tests positive for COVID-19, then all members of the zone will need to self-isolate according to the self-isolating protocol.
Please be aware there may be times you are sharing your accommodation with people who are self-isolating, either as a precaution or because they have developed symptoms. As well as supporting all members of your household zones, you should always take precautions when using the shared facilities ensuring you clean touch points in those areas before and after use with the cleaning materials provided.
Update 15 October: following an increase in the rate of transmission of COVID-19 across the city. All London boroughs will be placed in the second tier, ‘High’, out of the three tiers announced by the Government. This means household cannot mix indoors. As a result of this policy change, common rooms can no longer be used for communal activities. Please see local notices for further information.
At this time, it is not be possible to allow any guests within halls. This includes Imperial students living in other College residences.
We will keep this policy under review, and update you accordingly.
We have increased the frequency in which our cleaners will be in halls cleaning communal areas, including kitchens, shared bathrooms, common rooms and high-traffic areas. Please see local notices or contact your hall supervisor for the cleaning schedule.
We will also be providing cleaning supplies in your kitchens and shared bathrooms so you can wipe down touchpoints before and after use, in between the scheduled cleaning. Please do not remove these supplies from these areas.
Room cleaning: Room cleaning takes place monthly, and will commence in October. Check your local notices for when your room is scheduled to be cleaned.
Our self-isolating in halls pages have more details on how to report your self-isolation, the support that is available to you and some FAQs.
If you need to self-isolate, we will support you.
There may be times whilst staying in our accommodation that you will be required to self-isolate and we have put in place a range of support to keep you safe and well.
- Hall Wardens and your Hall staff are offering extra support to residents – especially those who are self-isolating. Support is available within your hall 24/7. Check your local notices in halls for contact details of your wardens and hall team.
- In halls, free meal deliveries are available if you have COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test, which will be brought straight to your bedroom door.
- Free cleaning supplies are provided in all communal areas.
- If you test positive for COVID-19 and you’re not currently in an ensuite room, we will help you move to an ensuite isolation room.
Depending on the reason for your need to self-isolate there are different procedures you should follow. You can find out what you need to do by reading the self-isolation guidance below.
Please note: we use the terminology self-isolation upon arrival rather than quarantine to describe those requiring to self-isolate as they have travelled from a country that is not covered by a travel corridor.
|Reason for self-isolation||Procedure to follow|
|Travelling from an area that requires 14 days self-isolation upon arrival||
|You have been notified via your hall team, NHS Track and Trace or the College's Covid Contact Tracing Hub (CCTHub) that you have been in contact with an infected person||
Complete hall lockdown
There may be a time, either when the number of cases in a hall community increases or local regulations are put in place, when it becomes necessary for all residents in a particular hall to self-isolate. This will be made in conjunction with Public Health England in order to protect our wider community.
Whilst we anticipate that the decision to lockdown a hall may need to be made swiftly, we can assure you that 24/7 support will continue to be in place for all residents. The exact lockdown procedures will depend on the scale of the outbreak and will take into consideration factors such as the size and layout of the particular hall. Any specific measures will be communicated to you swiftly after any lockdown announcement is made.
We appreciate this that any lockdown measures we take may be a source of anxiety for you. That's why we have in place a range of support to keep you safe and well, both in-person and virtually. Our halls staff and wardening team will be on hand to provide essential support. We will endeavour to expand our halls food support programme and provide medical support where necessary. Online, the Student Support Zone has lots of resources outlining the virtual support and advice you can receive about your wellbeing and your health.
New student arrivals to halls
If you are a student new to living in halls there are a few things you should be prepared for on your arrival.
Self isolation upon arrival
You will be moving into a new household zone that is already established. If you are travelling from a location that is not on the UK travel corridor list, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon arrival. You will need to stay within your household zone (except when collecting deliveries from the main entrance), wear a face covering at all times (other than in your room) and try to only use the kitchen at quieter times.
Please be aware that the other students within the household zone will be able to conduct themselves as ‘normal’.
Check the self-isolation in halls pages for further guidance.
Self-isolating household members
You will also aware that you may be arriving in to a household zone where members of your household are self-isolating with symptoms of COVID-19 or have a positive test.
In these circumstances the students are self-isolating within their rooms and will need to complete their self-isolation inside their rooms. These students are being fully supported and food will be delivered to their doors. Housemates within that zone who do not have symtpoms will be self-isolating as a precaution. These members can use the kitchen and collect deliveries from the main entrance.
If you are not required to self-isolate on arrival, then you are able to use the kitchens and leave the halls in line with hall guidance.
As soon as you arrive to halls, you should register for your local GP. Not only is this important so you can get prompt medical attention at your halls should you become unwell, but in order to take a COVID-19 test you need to have an NHS number (which is generated or confirmed once you've registered) and a UK mobile number to receive your test updates. Find out how to register for a doctor from the Student Support Zone.