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Coronavirus FAQs for residents

Here you will find our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding UCL Accommodation during coronavirus. These will be updated as the situation evolves.

This page is dedicated to answering questions for current students residing in UCL Halls. If you have more general queries, or you cannot find what you are looking for, UCL have created a central point with further coronavirus information. Here you can find more answers to frequently asked questions for students and staff, and links to further information, resources and support.

UCL Coronavirus Information

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General information Health and Wellbeing
Services and SupportFinancial

General

What's the difference between Quarantine and Self-Isolation?

If you return to UCL from abroad you will be asked to complete a government-mandated 10-day Quarantine.

You will be asked to complete a period of Self-Isolation if: 

  • NHS track and trace has been in touch to inform you that you have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus
  • A member of your household is displaying symptoms of or has test positive for coronavirus
  • You are displaying coronavirus symptoms 
  • You have tested positive for coronavirus
Can I return home for the Spring break? 

The UK Government is asking students not to travel wherever possible to minimise the transmission of COVID-19. Find out who is legally permitted to travel and how to keep yourself and your community safe.

However, if you choose to return home you are advised to take a test before you leave for home and another before you return to UCL Halls

If you test positive you you are required by law to self-isolate for 10 days and you should not travel. 

I’m returning from abroad, can I complete my quarantine in my usual accommodation? 

If you have a non en-suite room, you will need to complete your government-mandated 10-day quarantine period at the 109 Camden Road site. Here you will receive 24hr support, including food support, for the duration of your isolation. Food support will be in the form of vouchers from a third-party food delivery service.

If you have an en-suite room we are still strongly advising you to also complete your quarantine period in 109 Camden Road too. You will be allocated a non en-suite room for this time, but it will be allocated in such a way that residents will be able to maintain a social distance when using shared bathroom facilities. 

If your usual accommodation is a self-contained studio or flat (has it's own kitchen and bathroom) there is no need for you to quarantine in alternative accommodation. There will be no additional food support for those quarantining in thier usual accommodation but you can still order groceries as usual, which will be delivered to outside of your studio/flat.

Please note, if you have been offered alternative accommodation in which to quarantine and do not take up this offer, support towards food costs will not be available.

Accommodation at 109 Camden Road: 
•    Ifor Evans Hall
•    Max Rayne House

You will be emailed further details of quarantine accommodation arrangements when you notify us of your arrival date

Can I remain in my UCL Accommodation?

The current Goverment advice for this national lockdown is to stay at home. This means that if you stayed in London over the winter break, or if you have already returned, you should remain here and not travel home.  

UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing during this difficult time, including resources to support your mental health. These are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares. As a UCL Accommodation resident, you also have exclusive access to various activities such as fitness classes and quiz nights through our Flourish Programme, which will help keep you both physically and mentally active during the period. Visit our Get social at a safe distance page to find out more about opportunities to get to know your fellow students while following the social distancing guidlines

Remember to check the Public Health England (PHE) website  for the most up to date information about self-isolation and what to do if you feel unwell.

Am I allowed to move out of UCL Accommodation under the current restrictions?

The latest Government advice for students living in student halls is that you should stay where you are, so we are advising you not to travel - as we do not want to accelerate transmission of the virus and put everyone at greater risk.  

If I have belongings still in my room, but I am not living there, will I be charged for the accommodation?

If you are staying at home, UCL will reimburse you for the time that you have not resided in UCL Accommodation over the winter closure period and up to Sunday 24 April 2021. This will be credited to your Portico account.

If you wish to be reimbursed you must:  

  • Notify us of your new expected return date through the UCL Accommodation Portal . Once you have logged in, please select the ‘Return Date 2021 tab’. (This replaces the ‘Winter Closure Travel tab’). 
  • You will be able to update your details should your travel plans change in the future. 
  • To qualify for the reimbursement of rent, you must have departed your hall between 3-27 December 2020, with a return date of between 28 December 2020- Saturday 24 April 2021. You will not be eligible for a reimbursement if you leave and return for a second time within this period. 
  • If during your time away from UCL Accommodation, you decide you want to terminate your licence agreement, you will still need to follow the Notice to Quit Procedure as stated in the UCL Accommodation General Regulations.  This would mean you must return to your hall to remove all remaining belongings from your room and return your keys to us before we can end your licence agreement. In line with current Government guidance on travel, you should only plan to do this once lockdown travel restrictions have been eased, as this does not come under essential travel. 
My belongings are still in my room, what should I do about collecting them?

As per Governement Guidance, no non essential travel should be taking place. Due to this, during the national lockdown we strongly advise you not to return to your halls until the 24 April 2021 at the earliest. You will not be charged for not collecting your belongings if you are not living in halls. Your belongings are still insured and covered.

If you are staying at home, UCL will reimburse you for the time that you have not resided in UCL Accommodation over the winter closure period and up to Sunday 24 April 2021. This will be credited to your Portico account.

If you wish to be reimbursed you must:  

  • Notify us of your new expected return date through the UCL Accommodation Portal . Once you have logged in, please select the ‘Return Date 2021 tab’. (This replaces the ‘Winter Closure Travel tab’). 
  • You will be able to update your details should your travel plans change in the future. 
  • To qualify for the reimbursement of rent, you must have departed your hall between 3-27 December 2020, with a return date of between 28 December 2020- Saturday 24 April 2021. You will not be eligible for a reimbursement if you leave and return for a second time within this period. 
  • If during your time away from UCL Accommodation, you decide you want to terminate your licence agreement, you will still need to follow the Notice to Quit Procedure as stated in the UCL Accommodation General Regulations.  This would mean you must return to your hall to remove all remaining belongings from your room and return your keys to us before we can end your licence agreement. In line with current Government guidance on travel, you should only plan to do this once lockdown travel restrictions have been eased, as this does not come under essential travel. 
I will be returning to the UK from overseas to collect my belongings, can I quarantine in UCL Halls?

As an international student returning to the UK, please be aware of the UK Government’s mandatory 10 day ‘quarantine’ period, unless you choose to take a private test as part of the Government’s new test to release scheme. However, we are currently advising students not to travel until the national lockdown is lifted.  

    Services and Support

    Am I eligible for food support in self-isolation?

    We are currently able to provide you with meals free of charge during your period of self-isolation.

    If you are not symptomatic and have not tested positive, food support will be in the form of pre-prepared meals (lunch and dinner) delivered to your door to help you through the self-isolation period. There are a variety of meal options available including those suitable for vegetarians and vegans.

    If you have tested positive for coronavirus or are displaying symptoms and have reported this via Connect to Protect, you will be offered food support in the form of vouchers from an online food delivery provider. 

    Please Note: If you are in quarantine because you have recently returned to halls from outside of the UK you will not be eligible for food support unless you have chosen to self-isolate at 109 Camden Road: 
    •    Ifor Evans Hall
    •    Max Rayne House

    See 'I’m returning from abroad, can I complete my self-isolation in my usual accommodation?' for further details. 

    What welfare support is available to me in self-isolation? 

    UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing, including resources to support your mental health. These are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares. As a UCL Accommodation resident, you also have exclusive access to various activities such as fitness classes and quiz nights through our Flourish Programme, which will help keep you both physically and mentally active during the period. Visit our Get social at a safe distance page to find out more about opportunities to get to know your fellow students while following the social distancing guidlines.

    Are halls receptions still open?

    Throughout this extraordinary and unsettling time, we are having to make some changes to our current services to be able to go forward.

    Reception will be open 24/7, but we encourage that you email/call reception first if you need any assistance to help lower the number of people in the reception area at any one time. If you do go to your hall's reception:

    • We ask that you wear a face covering when coming down to reception
    • There will be visible distancing markings on the floor of reception to indicate a 2 metre distance to help with social distancing
    • If you need to have a meeting with your site team, this will be organised and held via Microsoft Teams to help with social distancing
    Are we allowed visitors to halls?

    Please note that no external visitors are allowed into halls during this time. Anyone that is found on-site that is not a resident will be asked to leave immediately.

    Reminder

    The Metropolitan Police has advised UCL that they are actively enforcing fines for people breaking the law, including £800 fines for illegal parties and gatherings of more than 15 people

    These fixed penalty notices will remain on police record and may have a significant impact on your future. The police can fine students inside and outside halls and UCL Accommodation does not have any power to intervene if you are found to be breaking the rules.

    Is the Accommodation Office still open?

    The Accommodation Office is now available as an online service and will not be open for face-to-face appointments. Should you have any need to contact them, then please email accommodation@ucl.ac.uk.

    If I discover a maintenance problem or security issue in my hall, who can I report this to?

    If it is an urgent problem or issue, we ask that you call your halls out of hour’s duty mobile number, and one of our roaming site staff team during the day or SRA’s out of hours will be able to help you. If it is not urgent, please contact your site team via the hall email address.

    Can I still have post and/or parcels delivered to site?

    You will still be able to receive post and parcels, but we ask that you do not place an excessive amount of unnecessary online orders at this time. You will be notified by email when a delivery has been received on your behalf. Contactless collection will take place following social distancing guidelines with parcels being placed in a neutral pick up point.

    Health and Wellbeing

    How often should I get tested for coronavirus? 

    If you need to be on campus or if your face-to-face teaching on campus has started again, we strongly encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week. Symptom-free staff and students can book a free LFT test on campus. 

    Around 1 in 3 people have COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms. By getting tested regularly you can help reduce the spread of infection. We can all play a part in protecting our community, keeping campus open and supporting the Government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions.

    Don’t forget to report your results on Connect to Protect if:

    • You have tested positive for the virus
    • You are waiting for the results of a coronavirus test
    • You need to self-isolate.

    Book an appointment now

    Report your status on Connect to Protect

    Someone I live with is showing symptoms, what should I do?

    If a member of your household has coronavirus symptoms, you and the other members of your household will need to self-isolate in line with Government advice, to prevent the spread of infection for the safety of members of UCL and our wider community. A member of your household is anyone that you share a kitchen or bathroom space with.

    As per Government guidance you must immediately:

    • Self-isolate in your household for 10 days 
    • Please do not leave your room and walk around your hall, or anywhere else including the GP or pharmacy.
    • Notify UCL through the Connect to Protect tool if you are yet to do so.
    • If you start displaying symptoms during the 10 day period, please request a test and notify UCL through the Connect to Protect tool – the test should be done as soon as possible.
    I have a health condition which puts me in a higher risk from coronavirus category. What should I do?

    If your health condition puts you in a higher risk category, as stated by Public Health England (PHE), you should follow the Public Health England (PHE) stay at home guidanceThe Government guidelines apply to everyone, and everyone should follow them regardless of their age or whether or not they are more at risk from the infection. The guidelines are designed to stop the spread of the virus – this includes passing the virus on to those who are more vulnerable.

    If you  are self-isolating then you must notify UCL through the Connect to Protect tool.

    For further support onsite, UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing during this difficult time, including resources to support your mental health. These are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares. As a UCL Accommodation resident, you also have exclusive access to various activities such as fitness classes and quiz nights through our Flourish Programme, which will help keep you both physically and mentally active during the period. Visit our Get social at a safe distance page to find out more about opportunities to get to know your fellow students while following the social distancing guidlines.

    I have to remain in halls, but I feel anxious and nervous about the current situation, who can I speak to?

    UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing during this difficult time, including resources to support your mental health. These are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares. As a UCL Accommodation resident, you also have exclusive access to various activities such as fitness classes and quiz nights through our Flourish Programme, which will help keep you both physically and mentally active during the period. Visit our Get social at a safe distance page to find out more about opportunities to get to know your fellow students while following the social distancing guidlines.

    If have symptoms of coronavirus symptoms, what should I do?

    Please follow the step-by-step guide for students to request a test and report your symptoms through Connect to Protect. You will be directed to request a free Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test through one of the local NHS Walk-in sites (e.g. at UCL’s Ramsey Hall), or you can request a test through the NHS testing service

    Report a potential case and request a test

    I don't have symptoms, should I still get a test?

    If you need to be on campus or if your face-to-face teaching on campus has started again, we strongly encourage you to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week. Symptom-free staff and students can book a free LFT test on campus. 

    Around 1 in 3 people have COVID-19 without displaying any symptoms. By getting tested regularly you can help reduce the spread of infection. We can all play a part in protecting our community, keeping campus open and supporting the Government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions.

    Don’t forget to report your results on Connect to Protect if:

    • You have tested positive for the virus 
    • You are waiting for the results of a coronavirus test
    • You need to self-isolate.

    Book an appointment now

    Report your status on Connect to Protect

    I don’t have coronavirus symptoms but I am required to self-isolate on arriving in England after travelling overseas, should I get a test? 
    • You should not book a Lateral Flow Test or come to campus.
    • You may be able to pay for a private test to find out if you can reduce your self-isolation period after international travel as part of the UK Government’s Test to Release scheme.
    • You should continue self-isolate until your 10-days is up or until you have a negative result from the UK Government’s Test to Release scheme.
    • You should have budgeted for 10-days woth of self-isolation meal provision. Food support is only availble for students who are symptomatic or who have tested positive for coronavirus. 
    I don’t have coronavirus symptoms but I have tested positive for coronavirus within the last 10 days, what should I do? 

    You must not leave self-isolation after receiving a positive test result and should complete a minimum of 10 days self-isolation before attending a Lateral Flow Test appointment.

    Financial

    How will I know if I am due a refund or owe any money for my fees following this change?

    UCL will reimburse you for the time that you have not resided in UCL Accommodation over the winter closure period and up to Sunday 24 April 2021. This will be credited to your Portico account. 

    I have already left or plan to leave before my end of contract date, but have already paid for my accommodation until the end of my contract. What will happen with my money?

    If you have notified the accommodation team of your permanent departure, your contract end date will be amended to your date of departure and any prepaid accommodation fees beyond this date will be refunded. 

    To receive your refund please enter your UK bank account details via PORTICO. When you are asked to indicate which division of your account you would like to update, please select RESIDENCES.

    Please note unfortunately we are not able to produce cheques at this time.  

      How do I get my rent reimbursed? 

      If you wish to be reimbursed you must:  

      • Notify us of your new expected return date through the UCL Accommodation Portal . Once you have logged in, please select the ‘Return Date 2021 tab’. (This replaces the ‘Winter Closure Travel tab’). 
      • You will be able to update your details should your travel plans change in the future. 
      • To qualify for the reimbursement of rent, you must have departed your hall between 3-27 December 2020, with a return date of between 28 December 2020- Saturday 24 April 2021. You will not be eligible for a reimbursement if you leave and return for a second time within this period. 
      • If during your time away from UCL Accommodation, you decide you want to terminate your licence agreement, you will still need to follow the Notice to Quit Procedure as stated in the UCL Accommodation General Regulations.  This would mean you must return to your hall to remove all remaining belongings from your room and return your keys to us before we can end your licence agreement. In line with current Government guidance on travel, you should only plan to do this once lockdown travel restrictions have been eased, as this does not come under essential travel. 

      We will shortly be invoicing for Term 2. If you have followed the process as above, and are eligible for the rent reimbursement, you will then receive a credit to your Portico account for the appropriate amount, according to the dates given through the UCL Accommodation Portal.