UCL News


Important message for students about new COVID-19 safety guidance

9 December 2021

An update following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 8 December of new Plan B safety measures.

A view of the Wilkins Building and Portico, with blue sky

Please read this message carefully as it includes important information about what these changes mean for you.  

The situation is evolving and public health guidance can change at short notice. We will share any further updates with you as soon as possible, and please check the UK Government and NHS websites, as well as UCL’s coronavirus information hub, for the latest information, especially if you are planning to travel over the winter break.   

New Government guidance  

The UK Government has announced several new COVID-19 safety measures in England in response to the emergence of the Omicron variant, including:  

  • From Friday 10 December, face coverings will be required by law in most indoor public places. Face coverings are already required in shops and on public transport. 

  • From Wednesday 15 December, people over 18 will need a digital NHS COVID Pass, recognised international proof of vaccination, or proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT) in the last 48 hours to gain entry to many large venues. 

  • The Government has announced its intention to replace self-isolation with daily testing for some contacts of people who have tested positive for COVID-19. Further details will be set out soon. Until then, by law you must self-isolate if told to do so by NHS Test and Trace. This includes anyone identified as a close contact of a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron COVID-19 variant, irrespective of vaccination status and age. 

These measures are in addition to the Government’s recent travel updates, including new Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test requirements.  

Keeping safe on campus  

Our campus is open and face-to-face teaching and research will continue. You can still access facilities and services on campus, including UCL Libraries and Support & Wellbeing. You must not come to campus if you are unwell or have been asked to self-isolate. 

Please remember: 

Find out more about the measures UCL has put in place and what you can do to help keep everyone safe on campus

Proof of vaccination status 

If you have been vaccinated in England, Wales or the Isle of Man, you can get a free digital NHS COVID Pass to prove your vaccination status.  

If you have received a vaccine in another country that has been approved in England, you can prove your status with the equivalent international evidence.  

If you have received a vaccine in another country that has not been approved in England, you will not be considered fully vaccinated. However, you can show proof of a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT) in place of a COVID pass.  

Making travel plans  

The international situation remains uncertain and official travel guidance may change at short notice. Some countries may introduce more restrictions, close their borders or advise their citizens not to travel.  

Please think carefully before you make any travel plans, and follow the latest guidance from the UK Government, your destination and any countries you will be travelling through, including the legal requirements for getting tested for COVID-19.   

Before you travel, please:  

  • Get tested for COVID-19, even if you don’t have symptoms. You may need to pay for a ‘fit-to-fly’ test and discounts are available. Otherwise, you can take a free Lateral Flow Test (LFT) on campus or order them for delivery to your address.  You should also get tested before you return to London. 

  • Check the UK Government’s safer travel guidance.   

Further information and support   

You can find out more about what UCL is doing to keep everyone safe on campus on our coronavirus information hub.  

In line with UK Government guidance, we intend for campus to be fully open for face-to-face teaching for the rest of Term 1 and in January for the start of Term 2. We will keep this under review and update you again should Government guidance change. 

If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about your situation or how the pandemic is affecting you, please get in touch with UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing team 

With best wishes,  
Professor Deborah Gill  
Vice-Provost (Education & Student Experience)