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Quarantining and Self-Isolation in halls

Read our guide to quarantine and self-isolation for UCL Accommodation residents, including support available to you and government guidelines.

Please take care to read this page thoroughly, and to contact your hall team if you have any questions or concerns about anything. We will update as necessary if anything changes.

We know that this will be a difficult time, and you may need help with the practicalities of day-to-day living as well as support with your mental health. Please be assured that we’re here to support you through the process of quarantine/self-isolation. We are also working closely with intercollegiate halls to support the UCL students staying there.

What’s the difference between quarantine and self-isolation?

If you are an international student, coming directly to London from another country, you may be required to quarantine for 10-days upon your arrival in line with UK Government guidance. 

You will be able to notify UCL of your need to quarantine when you book your arrival slot. 

If you are living in halls have tested positive for coronavirus, have symptoms or have been in contact with anyone who has you will need to self-isolate. Read the information below to find out what procedures to follow and what support is available to you while self-isolating in UCL Accommodation. 

Please do not plan any travel until you have received your offer and confirmation on your planned arrival date from us.

These pages will be updated with any procedures you must follow and any support that may be available as the situation evolves. 

Go to quarantine information

Go to self-isolation information 

Quarantine at UCL Accommodation

You will need to quarantine on arrival to London for a 10-day period before moving into your UCL Accommodation. You should be able to find the answers to any questions you have below, but should you not please head over to UCL’s Coronavirus pages or contact your hall team directly.

I'm arriving from a red list country, what should I do?

If you are arriving in London from a country on the Government red list you will have to stay in a quarantine hotel for the first 10 days before arriving at UCL Accommodation. 

To find out more about all the steps you should follow please read the Traffic light system rules for entering England.

To find out what support is a available to students arriving from red list countries, visit UCL's Support with quarantine costs page.

I'm arriving from a non-red list country and I'm fully vaccinated, what should I do?

If you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days in the UK, the EU or the USA then you will not need to quarantine in your London accommodation. 

If you have been fully vaccinated for at least 14 days with either the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna or Janssen vaccines in Australia, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, Dominica, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea or Taiwan then you will not need to quarantine in your London accommodation. Mixing between two-dose vaccines (Oxford/AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna) in this list is recognised as fully vaccinated and you will not need to quarantine in your London accommodation.

You must:

  • book and pay for a day 2 COVID-19 test – to be taken after arrival in England (you do not need a day 8 test)
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England
  • take the day 2 COVID-19 test on or before day 2 after you arrive in England

To find out more please read the Traffic light system rules for entering England. Keep up to date on the latest developments on the UK Government website.

I'm arriving from a non-red list country and I'm NOT fully vaccinated, what should I do? 

Before you travel to England you must:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England;
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England;
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days;
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.

To find out more please read the Traffic light system rules for entering England. Keep up to date on the latest developments on the UK Government website.

I'm fully vaccinated by a non-UK Government approved vaccination programme, what should I do?

At this point in time, the UK only allows people not to quarantine if they've been vaccinated in the places listed on the UK Government website. If you arrive from another country, even if you have been fully vaccinated, you will still have to quarantine and take extra tests.

Before you travel to England you must:

  • take a pre-departure COVID-19 test – to be taken in the 3 days before you travel to England;
  • book and pay for day 2 and day 8 COVID-19 tests – to be taken after arrival in England;
  • complete your passenger locator form – any time in the 48 hours before you arrive in England.

After you arrive in England you must:

  • quarantine at home or in the place you are staying for 10 days; and
  • take a COVID-19 test on or before day 2 and on or after day 8.

You may be able to end quarantine early if you pay for a private COVID-19 test through the Test to Release scheme.

To find out more please read the Traffic light system rules for entering England.

I'm under 18, are the rules different for me? 

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

I'm returning to UCL Accommodation after travelling during reading week, what should I do? 

If you are leaving the UK for tourism, you may have to quarantine on return. Food support will not be available for those returning students who need to quarantine. 

Go to rules in quarantine

Self-isolation at UCL Accommodation

You may need to self-isolate if:

  • You have contracted coronavirus.
  • You have coronavirus symptoms.
  • You have been in contact with someone who has tested positive or is symptomatic, including UCL Accommodation housemates. 
  • You have been asked to self-isolate by NHS Track and Trace, or UCL Connect to Protect.

The following information aims to answer questions you may have about the self-isolation process.

Find out when to self-isolate

Rules in self-isolation

What services are in place for students self-isolating in UCL accommodation

  • 24-hour support onsite, seven days a week.
  • A free hamper of essential food and cleaning items for all self-isolating students who have notified UCL through Connect to Protect.
  • You will be emailed details of the support you will receive after you’ve reported your status via UCL’s Connect to Protect tool.
  • UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing, including resources to support your mental health. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares
  • Help for students who need to access medication and other essential services including laundry if required, free of charge.
  • Up to date information for students on what to do if you or people you live with becomes unwell.
  • Flourish, UCL’s residents community programme, where you can take part in online activities meet fellow residents, and support your wellbeing.

Please note: We ask that all residents keep their contact and next of kin details up to date on their Portico account to ensure they are contactable when necessary.

When to self-isolate

What should I do if 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.
What if I request and complete a test, and the result is positive (i.e. you have coronavirus)?
  • Please update Connect to Protect with the result.
  • You must self-isolate in your room for at least 10 days from when your symptoms first started.
  • If you still have a temperature after 10 days, you should continue to self-isolate and call the NHS on 111 for further medical advice.
  • If after 10 days, you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, you can end your self-isolation and return to your normal routine. These symptoms can last several weeks after the infection has gone.
What if I request and complete a test, and the result is negative (i.e. you do NOT have coronavirus)?

Please update Connect to Protect with the result and they will instruct you on what to do next. 

What should I do if I'm sharing a household or have come in to contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus?

If a member of your household or someone you have contact with has tested positive for coronavirus, you and the other members of your household may need to self-isolate. A member of your household is anyone that you share a kitchen or bathroom space with.

You will not have to self-isolate if:

  • you're fully vaccinated (14 days have passed since your final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine)
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even if you do not have symptoms, you should still:

  • get a PCR test 
  • update Connect to Protect
  • follow advice on how to avoid catching and spreading COVID-19
  • consider limiting contact with people who are at higher risk from COVID-19

If you do not fal into one of the categories above, 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.
  • Please request a test as soon as possible.
  • Notify UCL through the Connect to Protect tool if you are yet to do so

Rules while in self-isolation and quarantine 

Will I be allowed to have guests or visitors?

No guests will be permitted except those approved for medical requirements. 

Will I be able to use the shared kitchen to prepare and cook food?

If you are in quarantine, have tested positive for coronavirus or are showing any symptoms you must not use the shared kitchen.

If you need to self-isolate for any reason, you will be emailed details of the support you will receive after you’ve reported your status via UCL’s Connect to Protect tool. Please note the Connect to Protect is only accessible to fully enrolled students. 

You can order from a third-party food delivery service from 8.30 am-8.30 pm to your hall and they will be delivered directly to your room as soon as possible. Some sites will also have additional support from Student Ambassadors to provide you with faster deliveries during peak times (11 am-2.30 pm and 5-8.30pm). Outside of the times stated, we cannot guarantee prompt delivery.  

If your whole household is in self-isolation and you have not tested positive or are showing any symptoms, you will be able to use shared kitchen facilities. However, you must only use the kitchen allocated to you and the other members of your household. A household is anyone you share a kitchen and bathroom with.

When using your kitchen, please follow social distancing guidelines and where possible use a face covering. 

Which communal areas will I be able to use in my hall?

You will not be able to access common areas such as common and study rooms. 

Can I place online orders to my hall?

Unless it is classed as an essential item (food, supermarket deliveries, sanitary items etc), no excessive non-essential online orders should be placed as we cannot guarantee their delivery.  

What can I do with my rubbish and waste during the self-isolation period if I am unable to leave my room/flat? 

We are now asking that if you need to complete a period of self-isolation, due to having coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive, please place all rubbish into bags provided ready for disposal and seal.  Ensure that you quarantine this waste in your room for 72 hours. This means that you should not touch the waste during this time.  After 72 hours, place the waste bag outside your door for collection. 

This is to help reduce the risk of infection spreading, for the safety of members of UCL and our wider community. We appreciate your understanding at this time.

If you have any queries or issues, please do not hesitate to contact your hall team via phone or email. 

How can I do my laundry?

We are currently able to offer laundry support to some self-isolating/quarantining residents. Please contact your hall team to arrange this. 

Can I go outside to smoke?

You should not leave your room to smoke. Please note that smoking in your room is not only a fire hazard but is also a disciplinary offence, as listed in our General Regulations

Can anyone visit me in my room and can I visit other residents?

No social gatherings with other residents should take place. You should also not allow anyone else in your room except in case of an emergency (medical, emergency maintenance etc). 

What support will be available to me whilst I am in self-isolation? 

Once you have reported your status to Connect to Protect you will be emailed details of the support available to you once in self-isolation. Please note the Connect to Protect is only accessible to fully enrolled students. 

Find out more about services and support here

What support will be available to me whilst I am in quarantine? 

After you have booked your arrival slot and completed your enrollment,  report your need to quarantine to Connect to Protect  and you will be emailed details of the support available to you. Please note the Connect to Protect is only accessible to fully enrolled students.  

You can order from a third-party food delivery service from 8.30 am-8.30 pm to your hall and they will be delivered directly to your room as soon as possible. Some sites will also have additional support from Student Ambassadors to provide you with faster deliveries during peak times (11 am-2.30 pm and 5-8.30pm). Outside of the times stated, we cannot guarantee prompt delivery.

Find out more about services and support here

Will there be any activities that I can do during self-isolation to keep busy?

You can join our Flourish programme to help keep you active and motivated. Flourish offers a series of activities and sessions, held as virtual events, will give you an opportunity to build relationships with your new community whilst following social distancing guidelines.

UCL Student Support and Wellbeing are also running events and sessions to support students during self-isolation, details of which can be found on the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing website.

What if the current guidance changes?

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

Do I receive support towards food costs?

Once you report your need to self-isolate through Connect to Protect you will be emailed details of the support available to you. Please note the Connect to Protect is only accessible to fully enrolled students.

If you are in quarantine you will recieve vouchers from a third party delivery service to help with food costs, in addition to a cleaning pack and a food hamper. 

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