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Wearing face coverings on campus

UCL's guidance on wearing face coverings on campus and guidance on how to make and properly use face coverings.

Following a University Management Committee (UMC) review on 30 November, UCL has revised its guidance on face coverings. 

UCL's face covering guidance

Face coverings are mandatory for all students and staff while you are indoors on campus, unless you are medically exempt. This includes all staff, students and visitors in offices, labs and teaching spaces or other indoor areas, unless you are alone in a room. This includes whilst sitting at a desk in an open-plan office when others are present. Face coverings do not need to be worn outdoors around the campus, or by students in UCL halls except in offices and other spaces where staff are present. Students in intercollegiate or private accommodation should follow their policies.

Public health guidance can change at short notice. Please check the Government, NHS and UCL websites for the latest information.

The full guidance, including guidance on lectures, teaching and meetings, maintaining voluntary social distancing, exemptions and providing face coverings, can be found on the HR website

Read the full face coverings guidance on the HR website


Transport for London has stated that the wearing of face coverings on TFL buses, the underground, and overground trains in London will continue to be mandatory.

Using a face covering

A face covering can be very simple and just needs to cover your mouth and nose. Note that a face covering is a precautionary measure and not the same as personal protective equipment (PPE), which includes specialist surgical masks and tight-fitting face masks. Lower grade examination masks can be worn as a face covering, but surgical masks and tight-fitting face masks should only be worn when necessary to help ensure there is enough supply for those who need them. 

Collecting a face covering on campus

Staff at UCL can collect FFP2 masks from the following locations using their UCL ID:         

Bentham House

Staffed by security 08:00–18:00

Central House

Staffed by security 07:00–19:00

Chandler House

Staffed by security 08:00–19:00

Charles Bell House

Staffed by security 08:00–18:00

Ear Institute – Wicklow Street 75

Staffed by security 08:00–18:00

Engineering Front Building

Staffed by security 07:00–19:00

Euston Road (222)

Staffed by security 08:00–20:00

Front Quad (gates)

Staffed by security 24/7

Gordon Street Gate (next to Student Centre)

Staffed by security 07:00–19:00

Gower Place

Staffed by security 07:00–21:00

Institute of Neurology - Queen Square House

Staffed by security 24/7

IOE, 20 Bedford Way (Level 3)

Staffed by security 24/7

IOE, 23–29 Emerald Street

Staffed by security 24/7

Library (Science)

Staffed by security 24/7

Library (Main)

Staffed by security 24/7

Rockefeller Building

Staffed by security 07:00–19:00

Student Centre

Staffed by security 24/7

Torrington Place, 1–19

Staffed by security 08:00–19:00

UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health, 30 Guilford Street

Staffed by security 07:00–23:00

Here East

Staffed by security 07:00–19:00

The science behind face coverings

Professor Ivan Parkin (Dean, Mathematical and Physical Sciences) explains some of the science behind face mask wearing

MediaCentral Widget Placeholderhttps://mediacentral.ucl.ac.uk/Player/EF4h67iA

It is important to use face coverings properly, please take the following steps:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm running water for 20 seconds, or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it.
  • When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly.
  • Change and wash your face covering daily. If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in general waste. Do not litter or drop used coverings outside bins.
  • If you take a covering off for use later, store it safely in a sealable plastic bag, such as those used for toiletries in airports. Do not leave on or in shared areas.

Making your own face covering

The National Deaf Children's Society has links to videos on how to make accessible, deaf-friendly face masks.  

The UCL Institute of Making website has comprehensive FAQs with links to sewing and non-sewing patterns for making face coverings, as well as advice on how to ensure a good fit, how to clean your face covering and why making your own (rather than using disposables) is a good idea. Public Health England also have a guide to making a simple cloth face covering.