College COVID-19 status and response
Imperial College London is home to 22,000 students and 8,000 staff in West London. The College is acting on the advice of London Coronavirus Response Cell, Public Health England as well as the UK Government, NHS and World Health Organisation. Our in-house safety experts, academic leaders in infectious diseases and other related fields are involved in managing our response to coronavirus (COVID-19) within our community.
For information about the number of positive COVID-19 tests amongst our students and staff visit the COVID-19 testing data page.
Updated 15 July 2021
The Imperial community has shown respect for each other's safety and wellbeing as we deal with coronavirus. That spirit - of individual responsibility and respect for others - continues after 19 July.
We still expect everyone to wear a face covering indoors.
This applies to most indoor settings on campus, with some local exceptions and unless you are exempt. See below for more detail.
Take weekly tests if you attend campus regularly or live in halls of residence.
We strongly encourage everyone in our community to have two vaccinations for COVID-19. Vaccination is free for everyone in the UK, including international students.
If you are aged 18 or over and registered with a GP surgery in England you can book your vaccination appointments on the NHS website.
Local councils in London have set up pop-up vaccination centres and vaccine buses for walk-in appointments, and there are several large vaccination centres around London which also offer walk-in appointments:
- Westminster: pop-up vaccination centres
- Kensington and Chelsea: vaccine bus
- Hammersmith and Fulham: vaccine bus
- Northwest London large vaccination centres
Staff and students must adhere to additional local measures where they exist - just as we comply with health and safety rules on PPE. These are based on local risk assessments within departments and teams.
Our advice is informed by Imperial's infectious disease experts and by the College's risk assessments.
Returning to campus
From 19 July, the College's 'Transition and learn' phase two will start. Departments are bringing additional teams back on site based on particular needs. We do not expect all staff to immediately return to campus at the beginning of phase two.
Managers in your department will determine the pattern of return to campus, with personal circumstances taken into consideration. You will be expected to return to campus at some stage as determined by your department - any new requests for permanent home working are not going to be approved in the short term.
How we have developed the new guidance
Our advice is informed by Imperial's infectious disease experts and by the College's risk assessments, and that remains under review as the situation changes.
We have also taken into account the latest government guidance, which is clear that higher education providers should implement sensible and proportionate control measures to reduce the risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level.
Frequently asked questions
Do I have to observe social distancing when on campus?
In line with government policy, we no longer have a campus-wide social distancing approach.
However, please bear in mind that transmission is ongoing and other people on campus may have concerns in more crowded spaces, so please be sensible and respect people's wishes for extra space where possible.
In addition, staff and students must adhere to additional local measures where they exist - just as we comply with health and safety rules on PPE. These are based on local risk assessments within departments and teams.
I can still see signage about social distancing on campus - will this be removed?
Yes. We are working on removing old signage and replacing it with new signage. Please bear with us as we complete this process.
The NHS app
Am I expected to use the NHS COVID-19 app?
We continue to support the use of the NHS COVID- 19 app in order to facilitate the NHS contact tracing process but it is left to the discretion of individuals to decide whether they want to use the app or not. NHS QR codes will remain on display at College catering and other pertinent locations so staff and students who wish to use them can continue to do so.
At Imperial we have our own contact tracing process to follow up cases arising amongst our community. If you develop COVID symptoms or have a positive test result, you must report this to the College’s COVID-19 Contact Tracing Hub. Reporting to the CCT Hub is key to ensuring you get the support you may need from the College. It is also key to ensuring that we can determine and react to the level of COVID prevalence on campus, as well as identify and manage outbreaks in a timely and effective manner.
If I have been 'pinged' by the NHS app, am I required by the College to self-isolate?
Under government rules, those ‘pinged’ by the NHS COVID app do not legally have to self-isolate (in contrast to those who are telephoned directly by the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing system after being named by someone who had tested positive with Covid-19).
If you are notified by the NHS app to self-isolate, you must not come on to any College campuses. We also encourage you to self-isolate, as you have no way of knowing the source of your notification and you cannot evaluate your risk level.