COVID-19 – updates and guidance
The latest information on safety, testing and Imperial's response to COVID-19
Updated 14 June 2021
From this page, you can find all the latest information about how the College is responding to COVID-19 and the support and guidance available. Scroll down for links to information specific to staff, students and applicants.
The UK government has a plan for ending the national lockdown in England.
The government has announced that the final stage of this roadmap - in which all social distancing restrictions would end - is no longer planned for 21 June. This has been postponed to 19 July so that a bigger proportion of the UK population can receive a vaccine dose.
There are no changes to our current safety guidance - our measures remain in place including wearing face coverings, regular handwashing and maintaining social distancing. Cases are increasing among the general population, as well as among our staff and students. We ask that all members of our community continue to follow the College and the government's guidance, both on campus and in their personal lives.
Find out more from our FAQs.
Testing when returning to campus
The 10 May letter to students from the Universities Minister [pdf] states that students should take a test before travelling back to university, either through their local community testing programme or by ordering a home test online. On arrival at university, students should then take three tests (3-4 days apart) at an on-site testing facility.
Staff who are returning to campus for the first time should either take a PCR test on their first day back on campus and minimise contact until they receive the result, or order at-home rapid lateral flow tests and take one before travelling to campus. View our full testing guidance for students and staff.
There will continue to be restrictions on international travel, but travel to the UK from abroad for education purposes is permitted. The rules for returning to the UK will depend on whether you are returning from a country that the government has designated as a red, amber or green country for COVID-19. .
Supporting our community's wellbeing
We are aware that this is a particularly difficult time for everyone in our community. Supporting each other is more important than ever now, be that picking up the phone to someone you know is alone or setting up a video call with friends and family. Highlighted here are sources of additional support and help that are available to you from the College:
- Any student can access a range of support services and counselling through the Student Support Zone.
- The Graduate School offers Understanding Yourself and Others courses for Master’s students and for PhD students.
- Postdocs and Fellows can also dedicated resources for researchers.
- Staff should see the live well pages, and they have access to a range of services provided by Confidential Care.
- The Chaplaincy and Multi-Faith Centre runs regular meditation sessions and a PhD Reflection Group. You can also arrange to speak to a chaplain individually.
Working or studying on campuses, or living in halls
Keeping you safe remains our top priority. We are committed to delivering an environment that is as safe as possible and to support the choices that people make travelling to College premises. Our positive cases continue to be low, we publish our testing data daily, but we need to take extra special care by:
- following the safety measures that will help protect one another and limit the spread of the virus
- taking regular COVID-19 tests. This is essential if you're attending campus regularly and for all students living in halls. View our testing guidance for students and staff.
- scanning the QR codes where you see the signs
- notifying the COVID-19 Contact Tracing Hub (CCT Hub) if you receive a positive test or have symptoms.
To support our staff who are required to work, or are returning to work at College premises, we have updated our general guidance for line managers. We also recognise that travelling to and from campus may be a cause of concern for some, which is why new travel guidance for managers has been published.
Imperial's research and community in action
We are proud of Imperial's major role in building the world's understanding of the virus and finding solutions to keep us safe. From world-leading research to technological innovations, students volunteering to help in our hospitals to supporting members of our local community - read about Imperial's research and community in action.