COVID-19 – updates and guidance
The latest information on safety, testing and Imperial's response to COVID-19
Updated 14 April 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 put in place a plan for easing England out of its national lockdown.
The first step took place on 8 March. This allowed for limited on-campus teaching to resume for certain programmes, as specified by the government. The second step took place on 12 April and involved the reopening of a range of retail, hospitality, and sports settings.
On 13 April, the government confirmed that remaining students will not be able to return to on-campus teaching until 17 May at the earliest, in line with the third step of easing national lockdown. This will be confirmed on 10 May. .
The College questions this decision considering the other sections of society that have already reopened, as well as the efforts of university students and staff across the UK in adhering to effective infection control measures on campuses. We continue to advocate for the needs of our community, and we are working alongside other universities to better understand this decision.
There is no change in guidance for research students, who are welcome to continue to access laboratories if they cannot undertake their research from home, or for those students on exempted courses who may already be attending campus.
On 8 March the government also published guidance [pdf] for students intending to travel away from their term-time residence during the Easter holiday. .
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 relatively 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 required to attend campus during the lockdown and for all students living in halls. Find out how to get a test and read about the College's 'gold standard' asymptomatic testing scheme
- 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.
More specific COVID-19-related information for staff, students, applicants:
The UK government has put in place a plan for easing England out of its national lockdown, and the first step took place on 8 March. This allowed for limited on-campus teaching to resume for certain programmes, as specified by the government.
Students have only been asked to return if their programme cannot reasonably be continued online. Although our campuses and facilities are open, students should not visit our campuses if their course delivery remains online.
There are some limited exceptions to this for students who are unable to study from home.