COVID-19 Procedures for Halls
Page last updated 5 January
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.
England is now in national lockdown.
Under the lockdown rules, university teaching will remain online until mid- February for all except a few courses. The College is working through the details - you will be contacted directly about what this means for your course or programme.
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. During the lockdown, you cannot return to halls to collect personal belongings.
If you return to halls 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.
You must not leave, or be outside of your halls of residence except where necessary e.g. for exercise and buying food.
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with, nor mix with residents within your hall who are from other household zones. If in doubt, please contact your hall warden.
Support in halls
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
Whilst 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: As part of the government's Tier 2 restrictions, common rooms can no longer be used for communal use. Please see hall notices for further details.
Household zones in halls
In halls, such as Woodward, Kemp Porter, Paragon 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.
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.
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.
At 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.
We 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.
Room cleaning: Update 5 January In light of the national lockdown and tier 5 restrictions we will be suspending the in-room cleaning until further notice. This will ensure we can continue to prioritise cleaning communal areas in the event of staff absences. An extra kitchen clean will be included to compensate for this along with additional sanitising cleaning to bedroom doors, cleaning of corridors, lifts and stairwells.
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.
Please note: we use the terminology self-isolation upon arrival rather than quarantine to describe those requiring to self-isolate as they have travelled from a country that is not covered by a travel corridor.
|Reason for self-isolation||Procedure to follow|
|Travelling from an area that requires 10 days self-isolation upon arrival||
|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||
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.
New student arrivals to halls
If you are a student new to living in halls there are a few things you should be prepared for on your arrival.
Self isolation upon arrival
You will be moving into a new household zone that is already established. If you are travelling from a location that is not on the UK travel corridor list, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. 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 will also aware 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 self-isolate on arrival, then you are able to use the kitchens and leave the halls in line with hall guidance.
As soon as you arrive to halls, you should register for your local GP. Not only is this important so you can get prompt medical attention at your halls should you become unwell, but in order to take a COVID-19 test you need to have an NHS number (which is generated or confirmed once you've registered) and a UK mobile number to receive your test updates. Find out how to register for a doctor from the Student Support Zone.
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 am living in halls - what does the lockdown mean for me?
The national lockdown applies to students in halls too. You can view the full guidance on the government website.
In summary, you must not leave, or be outside of your halls of residence except where necessary e.g. for exercise and buying food.
You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with. You will have been informed what constitutes your ‘household’ when you first moved into your halls. If in doubt, please contact your hall warden.
In all instances you should only use your own shared kitchen and bathroom. You may not visit residents in other parts of the building who form another ‘household’ zone. By following these rules, you will be helping to minimise transmission of the virus.
Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not living in your household.
Can I cancel my accommodation contract
If you are looking to leave your accommodation, details of our departure policy can be found on our current residents pages.
Update 6 January
In light of the national lockdown announced by the government on 5 January, it is not possible to terminate your accommodation contract at this time. If you are currently residing in halls, you should not leave at this time. If you are not in halls, you will not be able to retrieve your belongings during lockdown in order to fully vacate your room.
Am I eligible to receive a refund if I left to return home during the Christmas travel window?
Although it was strongly encouraged for students who wished to return home for Christmas to do so between 3 - 9 December, this was not mandatory.
Unlike now, during the Christmas holidays there were no limitations to your ability to return to your halls should you have chosen to do so.
When will I receive my invoice? I have already been invoiced for session 2 – should I still pay it?
Our invoices terms require payment ahead of schedule. At this stage we do not know how long this lockdown or the requirement to suspend face-to-face teaching will go on for. All we know for certain at this time is that it will be applicable until 19 February.
As such, we are delaying issuing our invoices until February and these will cover the period 20 February to 23 April inclusive. For those of you who are not in halls, these invoices will have the rent deductions automatically applied. Residents who have stayed in halls at any point between 9 January and 19 February will be expected to pay the full term.
Should the lockdown continue beyond this date future invoices will be credited accordingly. Please be assured you will not be charged for accommodation that you cannot attend due to the lockdown.
Please do not worry if you are one of the students who has already received a session 2 invoice for the full term – we will be arranging a credit to be applied to your account and you will be invoiced again for the appropriate amount later in February.
If, due to a technical error, you are only now receiving your Session 1 invoice you should pay this as soon as possible.
If you have moved-in to halls on a short term booking (ie; not for the remainder of the academic year) then you will be expected to pay for your accommodation when invoiced.
What happens if the lockdown is extended beyond the 19 February?
Current government guidance is that, with the exception of a few courses, in-person teaching cannot resume until 20 February. We are keeping the situation under review and will provide further updates in line with government guidance. Should travel restrictions remain in place, you will be kept informed and future invoices will be updated to reflect this.
My course has an in-person requirement, however I cannot travel back to halls. What do I need to do?
If you have in-person teaching but cannot travel back to your accommodation, you should let your course tutors know as well as contacting the Student Hub at email@example.com to update us of your situation.
If your department requires your attendance, you should try and arrange your return to halls as soon as your personal travel restrictions ease – and complete your 10 days self-isolation in halls if required – before you attend your in-person lessons.
Residents who have stayed in halls at any point between 9 January and 19 February will be expected to pay the full term.
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 19 February. Please contact the Student Hub at firstname.lastname@example.org
I cancelled my 24-week contract. However, once restrictions ease I think I would like to come to halls – can I rebook my accommodation?
If you cancelled your place and didn't arrive to halls, and these government updates have made you reconsider your choice, you can contact the Student Hub at email@example.com to talk through your options.
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 6-week credit.
I am a resident who cannot return to my accommodation – why am I not eligible for this credit?
The government is prioritising the return of a limited number of students studying certain subjects. These subjects have been identified as those related to vital public sector roles in health and social care and education.
If you are registered on a programme that will require in-person attendance, your department will contact you directly to discuss how your learning or teaching on campus will continue.
Government restrictions do not apply to students studying on these programmes (including MRes courses at SIlwood Park) and you are able to travel to halls and attend your studies. Only students on courses with no in-person teaching are eligible for the credit.