COVID-19 Procedures for Halls
Page last updated 20 April
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.
Return to Campus update
On Tuesday 13 April, the government confirmed that those remaining students who have yet to return to on-campus teaching will not be able to return until Monday 17 May at the earliest.
Although legal travel restrictions have now been lifted, we know that some of you will be members of departments who have communicated plans to hold the rest of the academic year entirely remotely.
For those of you who were unable to return to halls at the beginning of Session 2, we introduced rent waivers to provide temporary relief whilst we awaited further guidance on the government's plans for the rest of the academic year. However, we have now reached a point where we believe temporary measures are not sufficient to provide the clarity and reassurance that you need.
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 May, you 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
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 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.
Cleaning supplies are available for you to use, including vacuums and mops. Please contact your hall supervisors if you need help locating these items.
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.
|Reason for self-isolation||Procedure to follow|
|Travelling from overseas - quarantine - more information available on our Arriving to the UK page||
|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.
Arriving and returning to halls from overseas
If you are a student new to living in halls, or returning after Christmas vacation, there are a few things you should be prepared for on your arrival/return.
Arriving from overseas
Our Arriving in the UK pages provide information on all the things you might need to know when you arrive in the UK from overseas.
If you are arriving from overseas it is important to check the current government guidance on what you need to do before you travel to the UK. The guidance can change at short notice so it is important you read and familiarise yourself with the relevant rules before you book your travel to the UK from overseas.
You should also be aware of quarantine and testing requirements on your arrival. Anyone arriving from a country on the UK's travel ban list will be required to purchase a quarantine package, which will include accommodation in a government-approved facility and testing.
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 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 quarantine 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 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.