UCL Accommodation


Frequently asked questions - Coronavirus

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

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 (Covid-19) information pages

On this page
GeneralServices and Support
Health and WellbeingFinancial
Quarantine and Self-IsolationYour experience in halls


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

If you return to UCL from abroad, you may be asked to complete a government-mandated 10-day quarantine, whether in a government hotel (red list countries) or in your allocated accommodation (from the rest of the world). 

You may 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 tested positive for coronavirus.
  • You are displaying coronavirus symptoms. 
  • You have tested positive for coronavirus.

For more information on when to self-isolate please visit Quarantining and Self-Isolation in halls.

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

Under current government guidelines, if you are travelling from a red list country you will not be able to quarantine in UCL Accommodation but must book a quarantine hotel package, including 2 COVID-19 tests

If you are travelling from a non-red list country or territory and you are not fully vaccinated under an approved vaccination programme, on arrival in London you must quarantine for 10-days. You may complete you 10-day quarantine in UCL Accommodation. You will be able to notify us of your need to quarantine when you book your arrival slot. Details of your quarantine accommodation and support available will be emailed to you when you notify us of your arrival. 

For more information visit Traffic light system rules for entering England.

I can't move into my UCL halls due to coronavirus restrictions, what should I do? 

You have two options if you have made an application:

  • You can cancel your application.
  • Change your expected arrival date. If you choose to delay your arrival, you will still be charged rent for this period.

You can perform both of these actions by logging in to UCL Accommodation Portal.

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

Yes. Visit Moving out during cornavirus for details.

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

If you still have belongings in your room then it will still be classed as occupied, therefore you will still be charged unless you terminate your contract.

Terminating your contract 

If you would like to terminate your contract before it’s end date, you must submit a Notice to Quit as stated in the UCL Accommodation General Regulations before your contract end date: Saturday 26 June for Undergraduates, and Wednesday 5 September for Postgraduates.

If you leave any belongings behind and therefore do not meet the three conditions as listed below, then you will continue to be liable for any rent charges.

  1. Formally notify UCL by submitting a Notice to Quit request on the UCL Accomodation Portal.
  2. Remove all belongings from your accommodation. Visit our belongings collection page to find out how.
  3. Return your keys to your hall reception and check out by the date indicated on your Notice to Quit request. 
My belongings are still in my room, what should I do about collecting them?

Visit our dedicated belongings collection webpage to find out.

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Services and Support

Am I eligible for food support in quarantine/self-isolation?

We are not currently able to offer food support for students quarantining in a hotel or the home of a friend/relative.

If you report your quarantine or self-isolation status to Connect to Protect you will recieve notification of the support available to you. Please note the Connect to Protect is only accessible to fully enrolled students. 

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, or are displaying symptoms, and have reported this via Connect to Protect, details of this support available will be emailed to you. Please note you must be fully enrolled to access Connect to Protect. 

What welfare support is available to me in quarantine/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 online activities through our Flourish Programme. 

Are halls receptions still open?

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 please wear a face covering.

Are we allowed visitors to halls?

If you are in quarantine or self-isolation, visitors are not allowed.

Once you are out of quarantine/self-isolation the following rules will apply:

  • You are only allowed one guest at a time.
  • Guests may only stay for 3 nights in any one calendar month.
  • Your guest must sign in and out at reception, providing their name, contact details, and their arrival and departure time/date.
  • You are responsible for your guest and must be with them at all times.
  • Your guest must follow all UCL Accommodation rules and regulations.
  • If your guest does not follow the rules and regulations, the site team have the right to revoke all guest rights.
  • Your guest must not visit site if they have developed any Coronavirus symptoms or are awaiting results from a test. 
  • If your guest receives notification from NHS Test and Trace as being a close contact, or develops Coronavirus symptoms whilst in your hall, they must return to their home immediately with minimal contact with anyone on site. You and anyone who has been in contact with your guest should follow Government Guidance, in case there is a need for you to self-isolate.
Is the Accommodation Office still open?

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

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. 

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.

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Health and Wellbeing

How often should I get tested for coronavirus? 

The NHS is asking everyone without COVID-19 symptoms to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week or every 3-4 days either at home, at a local test centre or 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 and keeping campus open.

Wherever you get tested, make sure you can travel home safely if you test positive - walk, cycle or drive where possible and avoid public transport. 

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 may need to self-isolate. Visit our Quarantining and Self-Isolation in halls page to find out more about what to do next and any exemptions. 

I have a health condition that puts me at a higher risk from coronavirus, what should I do?

Previously, if your health condition put you in a higher risk category, the NHS were asking you to shield (i.e. self-isolate). Please remember to register with a GP as soon as possible so you can continue to manage your condition. 

Shielding is currently paused. Although the advice to shield has ended, clinically extremely vulnerable people must continue to follow the rules that are in place for everyone.

The government are encouraging those in a higher risk category to take extra precautions to protect themselves, including: 

  • Get Vaccinated: Everyone on the Shielded Patient List in the UK should already have been offered a vaccine. If you have not yet received your first dose, please remember to register with a GP so you can be invited to book your vaccination as soon as you are eligible. If you are not registered with a GP  you cannot use the standard national booking system and will need to attend a walk-in service. Find out more on the NHS website.
  • Take precautions when socialising: As someone in a higher risk category it is important that you continue to be cautious when meeting friends and family.
  • Be safe on public transport: If you can walk or cycle to your destination you should. If you need to use public transport, you must wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) and consider travelling outside peak travel hours.
  • Take care while shopping: Though some restrictions are lifted, may shops still require you to wear a face covering, if you are in a high risk group this is still recommended. If you go out to the shops or pharmacy, consider going at quieter times of the day. 

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.

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 our Flourish Programme. 

I have symptoms of coronavirus symptoms, what should I do?
I don't have symptoms, should I still get a test?

Yes! If you have come into contact with someone who has coronavirus and you have been asked to self-isolate you should Order a PCR test from the NHS.

If you are on campus, in order to decrease the risk of spreading the virus you should be getting tested regularly. Visit our Symptom-free testing page for more information. 

I don’t have coronavirus symptoms, but I have tested positive for coronavirus within the last 10 days, what should I do? 

As per Government guidance you must immediately:

  • Self-isolate in your household for 10 days from the date of your positive test.
  • If you have had a positive lateral flow test, please take a PCR test to confirm you result. You MUST self-isolate in the meantime. 
  • 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 as soon as possible.
  • Visit our quarantine and self-isolation in halls page for all the information you may need. 
What should I do if i develop symptoms?

If you develop symptoms, first of all, ask that you complete the UCL Connect to Protect tool to inform us of your situation so we can give clear instructions, advice and support throughout the process.  
In the meantime, it’s really important that you follow the Government’s advice to prevent the spread of infection for the safety of members of UCL and our wider community.

  • You must self-isolate in your room for 10 days from when your symptoms first started.
  • Please do not leave your room to go into your halls of residence, or anywhere else.
  • Notify UCL through the Connect to Protect tool if you are yet to do so.
  • Please request a test if you are yet to do so – the test should be done as soon as possible.

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

Refunds and invoices will be shown on your Portico account. 

If I decline my accommodation offer, is there a penalty or charge?

As long as you decline your offer before your contract start date, there is no penalty or charge. 

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Quarantine and Self-Isolation

I have an offer of accommodation from UCL. Will UCL support me if I need to quarantine on arrival in the UK? 

Find out what support is available to you on our Quarantining and Self-Isolation in halls page.

What if the current quarantine guidance changes?

If the UK government’s current self-isolation guidance changes, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible with more information. 

I'm under 18 , do I have to quarantine? 

Current government advice is that under 18s from particular countries will not have to quarantine. Please visit the UK Government website for more information. 

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Your experience in halls

Will there still be events for me in halls?

In the beginning of the pandemic UCL Accommodation launched Flourish – our virtual community for residents, that allows you can get involved with as a community in a digital format. As the situation evolves, we will look at a blended option on online and in person events. Keep an eye on our calendar to keep up to date with our latest events. 

Will I have access to the communal spaces in my hall?

If you are quarantining or in self-isolation, you should not use any communal spaces.

Computer rooms, study spaces. and common rooms are open from 8.30am-11.00pm.

While using these spaces we ask you to: 

  • Not to use the spaces if you are in quarantine or self-isolation.
  • Wear a face covering indoors, unless you are exempt.
  • Please be respectful and considerate of others in situations where they could feel uncomfortable.
  • We encourage you to bring your own laptop to study spaces and computer rooms. 
  • The rooms and outside spaces will be cleaned daily but please also wipe down any surfaces, including computers and keyboards, once you have used them ready for the next user.
  • Not to hold parties or consume alcohol in outside spaces.

Please remain vigilant whilst using communal spaces to keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of the virus. 

Go to Coronavirus in UCL Halls for more details

Will there be enhanced cleaning regimes in my hall?

Yes, we have already introduced new and enhanced cleaning regimes in our halls that are currently in place.  

Will I still be sharing a kitchen with other residents?

Unless you have been offered a studio or self-contained flat, yes, you will be sharing a kitchen with other residents. If you have tested positive for coronavirus or have symptome, you must not use the shared kitchen.

It will be the responsibility of residents who share the kitchen to comply with local social distancing guidelines when using the kitchen. Regular kitchen cleaning will still take place, but we do ask that residents still clean up after themselves to encourage good hygiene in the communal space. 

Will I still be allowed visitors, and could they stay in my room overnight?

Please see our Living in halls during coronavirus page for details.

Will my hall have 24/7 security?

Yes, all our halls that are open will have 24/7 security cover. 

Will I be allowed to have a social gathering or party in my hall?

If you have tested positive for cornavirus, have symptoms or have been asked to self-isolate for any reason, no you may not. 

If this does not apply to you you may have social gatherings in line with the General Regulations, and it must end by 11pm. 

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