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Page last updated 17 May

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.

Updates to COVID-19 guidelines

The government’s announcement of easing restrictions from 17 May does mean that some parts of our halls COVID-19 guidelines can now change, although, in order to ensure the safety of our unique halls environments, these will differ slightly from the national guidelines. The measures we have taken for halls of residence under advisement from local authorities – are reflective of the unique makeup of a hall of residence.  

Guidelines may also differ slightly between locations. Check your local notices for what the specific rules are for your hall. 

  • Common rooms will reopen
    • You will now be able to meet in groups of six in common rooms 
    • Where possible, larger common rooms will be ‘zoned’ to allow multiple groups of six 
    • Music rooms and some other communal areas will need time to ventilate between use 
    • Please use the cleaning materials provided to keep the spaces clean 
  • You will now be able to meet in groups of 30 outside 
  • Due to the large sizes of our households, mixing indoors other than in common rooms will not be permitted (i.e.: no-one from outside your household zone will be allowed in your kitchen, corridor, bedroom or bathroom) 
  • No visitors or overnight guests will be allowed
  • Face coverings and social distancing are still required in all communal areas
  • Regular COVID-19 testing will be required

To aid the return to campus, view the College's COVID safety road map which will give consideration to near, medium, and long-term requirements. The near-term approach is in line with the government’s planned road map and timelines.


New testing requirements

Whilst COVID-19 rates have decreased across the country and in our community, continuing to be tested regularly will help prevent the spread of the virus. As residents in halls you are required to have regular COVID-19 tests.

Asymptomatic PCR testing

Halls will continue to host weekly PCR tests which you can book through the Testing Scheme page.

Rapid Lateral Flow Device testing (LFDs)

We are also introducing a new rapid test collection service which will be available later this month. To take part, you will just need to visit a collection point within your hall. You will be given a box of seven lateral flow device tests, which you can then take in your room.

With these tests, you will be required to take them twice weekly, and upload your results.

More information will be provided in the coming weeks.


Return to Campus update

Below, we outline our accommodation expectations until the end of term and what they mean for those of you currently residing in halls, those who have been unable to return since the beginning of Session 2 and those who have not yet arrived. 

Return to hall options

Guidance for residents remaining in halls

If you have previously been invoiced for Session 2, or returned to halls after Monday 8 March, you should continue as normal. You may attend your in-person teaching and your accommodation will remain fully operational. 

If you were in residence during Session 2 and went home for the Easter vacation, your residency remains unchanged and you should return to your halls as normal until the end of the summer term (Session 3).

Guidance for residents who have not returned since the beginning of Session 2

If you have been away from halls for the entirety of Session 2 but intend to return for in-person teaching after Monday 17 Mayyou will receive a rent waiver applied until Friday 14 May inclusive. You will then be invoiced for the remaining weeks of Session 3.   

If you have been away from halls for the entirety of Session 2 and have received confirmation from your department that you will receive no teaching that requires attendance on campus after Monday 17 May, you have the option to be released from your accommodation contract.   

  • If you wish to take up this option, you must email your Hall Supervisor at before Sunday 2 May 
  • If you do decide to take up this option, it is essential that you collect your belongings before the end of the Academic Year, as outlined in your Accommodation Licence. If you do not, you may still be liable for your rent. However, you should not travel to halls to collect your belongings immediately – we will issue further instructions in the coming weeks.  

Guidance for students who have yet to take up residency in halls

Students who initially opted for a 24-week accommodation licence, and have yet to take up your residency, should consider whether to continue with their arrival plans. 

If you have received confirmation from your department that you will receive no teaching that requires attendance on campus after Monday 17 May, you have the option to be released from your accommodation contract. If you decide you no longer wish to take up your place in halls, you must contact the Student Hub to cancel your place without penalty by Sunday 2 May 

If you are still planning to attend for the remainder of session 3, please contact the Student Hub to let us know your expected arrival plans and make sure you're familiar with UK quarantine guidance 

Support in halls

Available support

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

IconsWhilst 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: From 17 May, common rooms will reopen. 
    • You will now be able to meet in groups of six in common rooms 
    • Where possible, larger common rooms will be ‘zoned’ to allow multiple groups of six 
    • Music rooms and some other communal areas will need time to ventilate between use 
    • Please use the cleaning materials provided to keep the spaces clean 

Household zones in halls

Household iconIn halls, such as Woodward, Kemp Porter 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. 

Under current restrictions, 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. Due to the large sizes of our households, mixing indoors other than in common rooms will not be permitted (i.e.: no-one from outside your household zone will be allowed in your kitchen, corridor, bedroom or bathroom)

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. 

Guest policy

Guest policyAt 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.

Cleaning

Cleaning iconWe 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.

Cleaning supplies are available for you to use, including vacuums and mops. Please contact your hall supervisors if you need help locating these items. 

Self-isolating

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. 

Self-isolation protocol
Reason for self-isolationProcedure to follow
Travelling from overseas - quarantine - more information available on our Arriving to the UK page 

More details in arrival from overseas tab below.
  • Once you arrive to halls you will remain in bedroom except when using kitchen, shared bathroom or collecting deliveries (during which face coverings must be worn) 
  • Report your quarantine on MyImperial
  • You must quarantine for 10 days 
  • Having been vaccinated in your home country does not currently negate your requirement to quarantine.
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
  • Report self-isolation on MyImperial.
  • You will remain in bedroom except when using kitchen, shared bathroom or collecting deliveries (during which face coverings must be worn) 
  • You must self-isolate for 10 days, unless you develop symptoms - see guidance below for symptomatic residents
  • Producing a negative test within these 10 days does not release you from your requirement to self-isolate. 
  • You are symptomatic and awaiting test results
  • You are symptomatic and have a positive test
  • You are asymptomatic but have a positive test result 

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.

Arriving and returning to halls from overseas

If you are a student new to living in halls, or returning after travel, there are a few things you should be prepared for on your arrival/return.

Arriving from overseas

  • If you are arriving from overseas you are also required to update your status on MyImperial by completing the COVID-19 self declaration form and selecting ‘I have recently entered the UK from a country not on the exempt country list and am self isolating’. 

Quarantining in halls

If you have arrived from a country on the travel ban list and completed your quarantine in a governement-approved facility you do not need to quarantine upon arrival to halls. You must keep your MyImperial status updated.

When quarantining in halls 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 should also be prepared for the possibility 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 quarantine on arrival, then you are able to use the kitchens and leave the halls in line with hall guidance.

If you have been notified by the CCT Hub prior to your arrival that you are required to self-isolate due to a member of your household zone developing symptoms, your quaranting obligations supercede those of the close-contact notification. If in doubt, update MyImperial or contact the CCT Hub.

FAQs for COVID-19 Procedures in halls

Can I return to halls during this latest lockdown?

Our halls remain open but, unless you are required to return to College in person for face-to-face education or to carry out research that cannot be done at home, or you have welfare issues, you should remain where you are wherever possible. 

Government guidance is that unless you are required to return to College in person for face-to-face education or to carry out research that cannot be done at home, or you require access to university facilities in order to access online learning  you should remain where you are wherever possible. Certain welfare related circumstances may exempt you from this and you may return to collect any medical equipment or items for online learning.

If you return you should book a test on your return and receive a negative result before resuming any on-campus activity. Tests are available to book 15 days in advance. 

I opted for a 24-week contract. Can I still cancel my booking if I no longer wish to take my place?

If you have not yet arrived in halls, you can cancel your booking until the 2 May. 

I submitted a Notice to Quit during the first term - do I still need to pay my accommodation during lockdown?

Anyone who is not in halls during this lockdown who is expected to pay rent will be eligible for the rent waiver.