Christmas Switch Off; Christmas and New Year closure 2020 - 2021

3 December 2020

Before you finish for the winter break make sure security are informed of any out of hours access requirements, potentially hazardous operations, and that you have closed down your work station.

A banner labelled 'Christmas Switch Off' by UCL Sustainability

UCL’s winter closure period will be from 5.30pm on Friday 18th December 2020 to 7am on Monday 4th January 2021. Please note the following information to help us switch off safely as well as the procedure to follow should you require access to campus during this period.

Christmas and New Year Closure 2020-21

UCL’s winter closure will be from 5.30 p.m. on Friday 18th December 2020 to 7am on Monday 4th January 2021.
The following procedures apply to the UCL's main Bloomsbury site defined as all buildings except those of the post graduate medical institutes and sites away from Central London.
Before leaving on Friday 18th December 2020, Laboratory Superintendents and others where appropriate, unless otherwise instructed by the Head of Department should ensure that:

  • all lights, heaters and computers are switched off in their department
  • all gas and water taps are turned off and that hoses connecting apparatus to water taps are securely wired both to the water supply and to the apparatus
  • the Security Office has received by 5pm on Tuesday15th December a copy of a list of places, such as laboratories with constant operating equipment, where there is a possible danger from flooding or fire
  • the Security Office has received by 5pm on Tuesday15th December written details of persons who can be contacted in cases of emergency (Other than those already on the Control room database)


Heads of Departments and Directors of Operations are asked to bring the contents of this message to the attention of members of their department and to remind them of the need to take care when working during periods of closure and that any procedures which have been assessed as having a significant level of risk should not be carried out by persons working alone.  We also ask you to consider the environmental impacts of running campus buildings for a very small number of occupants. 
If any members of staff are unsure of their personal access rights they can clarify this by contacting Security Systems.  
We would like to stress the importance for individuals to maintain internal security within their departments.  Any incident which appears suspicious should be reported to the Security Control Room on the UCL Emergency Number - 222.

The Christmas Switch Off: Action on Climate Change

We need your help to stop carbon emissions this Christmas.
Last year we saved 600 tonnes of CO2, that’s like planting 10,000 trees! With your help we can save more carbon this Christmas.

See our resources to take part in the switch-off including posters, email footers, switch off checklists and more! 


As part of the Christmas Switch Off, buildings will not be heated. Areas that require constant temperature control for experimentation will be heated as normal, as will the Student Centre.  

Out of Hours Contractor Working

We would ask all Estates project officers to submit weekend/out of hours work forms for all contractors requiring access during the college closure by 5pm on Tuesday 15th December 2020 in order to give the Security Team adequate time to evaluate and collate access requirements. The Contractor Welfare facility will be available throughout the break but with the exception of 25th December, 26th December and 1st Jan when it will be closed. Cloak room staffing will not be available.

Library Christmas Opening Hours

Most of our libraries will close at 17:00 on Friday 18th December and re-open on Monday 4th January 2021. 

The Student Centre will be open throughout the Christmas period 24 hours a day for UCL students and staff. 1-19 Torrington Place and Ramsay Hall will also be open on selected days offering additional study space.
Please see our Christmas Opening Hours page for more information.

Please note: All general access to campus during the closure period will be via the main Gower Street entrance on the production of a Valid UCL ID card.

Many thanks in advance for your help and co-operation in implementing these arrangements and the whole team at UCL Security would like to take the opportunity of wishing you a happy Christmas, Festive Season, and New Year.