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UCL Faculty of Laws coronavirus update

Last updated 19 July 2021

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We are aware that many of our community are understandably anxious about the ongoing virus and about what is likely to happen over the coming weeks and months. UCL and the Faculty are working very hard on a range of measures to mitigate against the crisis, and to respond as best as possible.

UCL is in regular contact with Public Health England and it is our policy to follow their advice, together with guidance from the NHS and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office. We are also supporting UCL staff and students who are abroad in affected areas. 

This page will be regularly kept up to date with any new announcements relating to this crisis as they become available. 

Plans for September 2021

We are really looking forward to welcoming you to the Faculty of Laws and to Bentham House this autumn. Although there is still some uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect us all, we are planning an exciting academic year for you.

Read UCL Laws Education Plans for 2021/22 which set out what we are currently working towards and expect to be able to offer in the autumn. This, of course, is subject to change depending on the course of the pandemic, government guidance to universities, new or adjusted social distancing requirements and health and availability of staff during the autumn term. 

Returning to campus from July 2021

At UCL, your health and wellbeing are paramount. Our priority at all times is to make sure our campus is as safe as possible, minimise the risk to everyone onsite, and follow UK official guidance. 

Recent updates: 

  • In line with recent Government guidance and advice from UCL’s Public Health Advisory Panel, some coronavirus restrictions will be lifted on campus from 19 July. All remaining one-way systems will be removed and social distancing requirements will be relaxed. UCL is committed to ensuring students and staff still protect themselves and others. Everyone on campus should continue to wear face coverings in crowded indoor areas, and we expect  students, staff and visitors to be respectful and considerate of others in situations where they could feel uncomfortable. 
  • Bentham House is open to all students. Whilst there is no face-to-face teaching planned for the remainder of this academic year, we recognise that being able to reconnect with fellow students on your course or within the Faculty is important, and we wish to support the Laws community by reopening Bentham House as soon as we can to provide social and study spaces for our students. Please read the Guide to using Bentham House safely, and we ask that each person take responsibility for following these guidelines to keep each other safe.    
  • Many UCL facilities are open for students, including study spaces, library services and limited catering outlets - see What’s open on campus.  The main buildings on campus are open and you will need your student ID to get in and out.  If you are coming to campus for the first time, please make a booking to collect your student ID card: UCL ID Card Collection (office365.com). Find out what’s going on across UCL with UCL Events and Activities, a new resource open exclusively to UCL students.
  • It’s important that we all continue to protect each other by following the safety measures: washing hands frequently and wearing face-coverings around others. Please visit our keeping safe on campus webpages for more information about how you can make a difference and remember to follow the UCL Community Commitment to Protect Each Other.

COVID-19 vaccination

NHS England has now published an FAQ which answers questions about student Covid-19 vaccinations in England. This includes vital clarification on questions relating to international student  vaccinations. 

The FAQ includes a section relating to international students, and confirms (among other points) that:  

  • Anybody aged 18 or over in the UK is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination for free, regardless of their nationality and immigration status.
  • International students are encouraged to register with a GP and get an NHS number
  • If a person has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, they should receive the same vaccine for their second dose. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. The student should contact a GP to ensure they receive an appropriate vaccine for their second dose.
  • International students or anyone seeing requests for payment should report this activity to their university institution and to Action Fraud. 

COVID-19 testing

If you’re travelling to London because of your return to campus, please get a test before you travel where community testing is available. UCL is running a free testing service onsite and once in London you should be tested twice in your first week – on arrival and again three days later. After that, you are encouraged to get tested for COVID-19 twice a week. This will help reduce the spread of infection and protect our community, especially those who may become seriously ill if they catch the virus. 

Face coverings

UCL’s face coverings policy has been updated to highlight the importance of wearing face coverings as part of a range of safety measures to ensure that staff and students are as safe as possible on campus:

UCL’s guidance for those on campus is: 

  • If you can wear a face covering, then you are expected to do so. This applies when you’re on campus, both inside buildings and when moving around campus on UCL owned outdoor space; in offices, labs and teaching spaces. 
  • Face coverings must be worn by all staff, students and visitors if coming within two metres of someone else.  
  • Everyone should aim to provide their own covering for general purposes. UCL will ensure that face coverings are available on campus to purchase. Wearing a face covering is new for all of us and we will need to work together to remind each other and our students when we forget and also gently point out our policy to visitors.
  • If you can wear a face covering during classroom teaching then you are expected to do so. UCL will provide coverings with clear panels to staff to support this and other activities where not being able to see the mouth will inhibit the ability to communicate. These are being procured centrally and will be distributed to all departments by the Estates team.
  • Where identified as a mandatory requirement for particular roles through risk assessment, UCL will provide face coverings or masks to staff.
  • It is understood that wearing face coverings all day can be uncomfortable and therefore if you are alone in a room, or outside and with plenty of space, we encourage you to take breaks from wearing your face covering. Please contact your line manager if you have concerns. 

For more information about face coverings, please visit the Keeping Safe on Campus webpages.

If individuals have concerns, they should contact their department, line manager, Workplace Health or Student Support and Wellbeing.

If you feel unwell

The most up to date guidance for staff and students on what to do if you have symptoms or have tested positive for Coronavirus is available on the UCL website.

Student Support 

Full support is available from UCL Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) in the form of same-day appointments with the Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing (DMHW) team, counselling with Student Psychological and Counselling Services (SPCS), and self-help resources across the SSW website. Students can also contact askUCL and Student Enquiries Centre. For students who plan to return to halls of residence, the UCL Accommodation website has information about all the support services available.  

Events

The UCL Laws event programme reflects the diversity of teaching and research offered by the Faculty, with a regular selection of lively seminars, lectures debates and conferences throughout the year.

All UCL Laws events are now being held online due to Government social distancing advice. For the full programme and registration information visit the UCL Laws Events schedule.

If you have booked a place at an upcoming UCL Laws event you should have received an email from our organising team confirming the online event details.

If you have any further questions please do contact them – laws-events@ucl.ac.uk. Any further updates to our events schedule will be posted on the Events section of the UCL Laws website and Faculty Twitter account.

Contacting UCL Laws

All UCL Faculty of Laws staff have been working from home since mid-March 2020.

All staff will be contactable via their UCL email addresses which can be found on the People section of the UCL Laws website. Phone lines and voicemails may not be monitored at this time so we strongly advise contacting staff members solely via email. 

Current students:
If you are a current student with questions or concerns we advise contacting the relevant programme teams:

Prospective students:
You should always quote your UCL Application ID number in any correspondence relating to your application. Unfortunately, the UCL Laws teaching and programme teams do not accept drop-in visitors.

Further information

Further advice for UCL staff and students is available on the UCL website, it is regularly updated with the latest information.