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What to do if you have to self-isolate

If you need to self-isolate due to COVID-19, it is important to understand what steps to take for your health and for your academic studies.

On this page:


Connect to Protect

UCL’s Connect to Protect reporting tool should be used to report and respond to any cases of COVID-19 at UCL.

Help us keep our community safe and use UCL Connect to Protect to let us know:

  • if you have symptoms of coronavirus
  • if you need to self-isolate
  • or the results of your coronavirus tests, whether positive or negative
  • if you are, or will be, quarantining after returning to the UK

Report a case to UCL using Connect to Protect. 

Continuing with your studies while self-isolating 

If you are self-isolating, you should continue to study to the extent that you can, by completing reading, following online lectures etc. You will not be penalised in any way if you miss face-to-face sessions due to COVID-related illness or a self-isolation requirement. Please ensure you report on Connect to Protect as above and inform any relevant staff in your academic department.

We recognise this may be a difficult time for you, so if you feel that you are unable to engage fully with your studies while self-isolating – whether this is due to health matters or the emotional impact of self-isolation – we strongly encourage you to speak to your department about the options available to you, including our Extenuating Circumstances procedure.

If you feel you can no longer engage with your studies in the longer term due to the effects of COVID, remember that you have the option to take a formal break from your studies through interruption. It is important to think carefully about this and speak with your department first to decide on the best option for you. 

UCL’s primary objective is to support our students. We are conscious that self-isolation can be distressing or disruptive for some students, while others will be largely unaffected and able to continue their studies as normal. If you're required to self-isolate, we will not automatically assume that you need an extension or deferral. You can make the decision to apply for extra support via the Extenuating Circumstances process if self-isolation is having a significant impact on your ability to study or complete assessments.

Read our Extenuating Circumstances policy. 

Find about about interrupting or withdrawing from your studies.

Clinically extremely vulnerable students

We strongly encourage any students who are clinically extremely vulnerable (and those who are caring for someone with this status) to speak to a Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing Adviser to discuss any reasonable adjustments that may be needed to enable access to your studies.

Student Support and Wellbeing are not able to advise on or recommend requests for remote study.

More information for clinically extremely vulnerable students.

Food and shopping while self-isolating

You should arrange your own food deliveries as you will not be able to go out shopping during this time. The main food shops in the UK that you can buy groceries and toiletries online from are:

Morrisons offer a Student Doorstop Delivery Scheme, giving you a next-day delivery slot for just £2 and allowing you to pay upon delivery. 

The main food delivery companies are Deliveroo, UberEats and JustEat, and you are also able to order basic grocery deliveries such as from Co-op through these. Some local restaurants may also deliver to you – look on Google Maps for places near where you live.