When it’s okay to be on our campuses

Updated 20 October 2020

The safety of everyone on our campuses is our highest priority, and during the pandemic we are committed to ensuring our students and staff can access campus spaces and facilities when they need to.

Students - can visit our campuses only if there is a valid reason to be there. We have summarised the key reasons to be on campus below.

Staff - should continue to follow guidance communicated by their line managers, and it will always be made clear when on-campus working is required.

Everyone - must follow the face covering, handwashing and social distancing guidelines while on College premises. Required behaviours are set out in the Code of Conduct. You can find lots of information about our safety guidelines on our Safety webpages.

Contact tracing processes are being put in place to identify people who may have been exposed to COVID-19 and prevent further spread. A new COVID-19 Contact Tracing Hub at the College is being established to manage this and support the national NHS Test and Trace scheme. An app is in development to support contact tracing. You’ll be told more about this soon.

IMPORTANT: If you feel ill, and think you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not visit any campus. Go home, self-isolate and request an NHS test. Students should follow the attendance procedure on MyImperial. Staff must inform their line manager.

Information for students


Students can visit campus to engage in in-person teaching activity that has been scheduled as part of your timetabled programme. 

You should not visit campus to take part in a timetabled teaching activity which has been identified as being delivered solely in ‘remote’ mode. These activities should be engaged with at your place of residence, to allow maximum space for students needing to be taught on campus. If there is a reason why you are unable to effectively take part in your timetabled teaching activity at your place of residence, please contact your Department who will be able to support you with alternative options.

There are a few exceptions to this. For example, if you are already on campus for in-person sessions or another valid reason and there is no time to travel back home, or the online 'remote' session is between in-person sessions and/or another valid reason to be on campus, it's okay to be on campus. 


Students can visit campus to engage in research activity that has been agreed as a timetabled part of your programme or has been agreed with your supervisor as part of your research plan.

You should not visit campus to take part in research activity which has been identified as being delivered in ‘remote’ mode.


During the main part of the teaching day, students who are on our campuses for scheduled events are welcome to use our libraries for private study, but others are encouraged not to visit campus solely for this purpose. Outside the teaching day, study spaces are currently more widely available. Your department will be able to advise you on spaces for private study between scheduled events or for participating in scheduled on-line classes which immediately precede or follow scheduled face-to-face teaching.

Students’ Union

You can visit campus to attend events and activities organised by Imperial College Union, its constituent unions, and its clubs, societies and projects. These activities will be clearly identified as being delivered on-campus, pre-arranged with the College, and will be hosted in a specific location at a set time.

You may also visit the Union’s FiveSixEight bar without a booking, as long as you are in a party of six or fewer and follow the track and trace instructions. If visiting the bar is your sole reason for being on campus, you should not also visit other areas of campus.

Pre-booked services

You can visit campus to use any service operating a pre-booked delivery model. This means services that require you to book access before you arrive on campus.

We understand that you may wish to use these services confidentially, but we encourage you to follow contact-tracing instructions if you feel comfortable doing so. All data will be handled with the utmost privacy.

Drop-in services

Drop-in services are those that do not require pre-booking such as cafes, shops and study facilities – there’s a list below. If you are asked to provide your contact details when using these services, please do so in order to comply with contact tracing requirements.

During the working day, you can only use these services if you already have a valid reason to be on campus. These services should be used only during breaks between other timetabled activity. You are discouraged from visiting our campuses solely to use these services.

The restrictions on drop-in services do not apply out of normal working hours (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) when there are generally fewer people on our campuses.

Please be aware that at times you will have to wait to access these services if they are particularly popular at your arrival time. The College will put in place clear crowd management systems at entry points to these services so that both staff and students know whether they are allowed to enter.

Drop-in services include: