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Arriving to your hall for the first time

By Adrian 11 Sep 2020

We are really looking forward to welcoming our residents to the Intercollegiate Halls from 31st August (although most students will be arriving closer to the standard contract start date of 13th September). This post contains essential information about arriving, moving in, and your first few weeks in London. It is the first of several important communications from us, so please keep checking for further updates. 

1. It’s safe to stay in our intercollegiate halls 

Your health and wellbeing are our highest priority, and we want you to feel safe and reassured about moving into halls. Find out about our response to COVID-19 at and keep up to date with the latest news and information at   

2. Face coverings are required in all communal spaces 

As part of our commitment to safety in halls, and in line with legal requirements in England, it will be mandatory for everyone to wear a face covering when in shared spaces in the halls, including: reception areas, corridors, common rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms (except when actively eating). You can read more about the physical distancing requirements in halls here:  

Please ensure you bring with you a supply of suitable face coverings. These must effectively cover your mouth and nose. Guidance from the UK government about face coverings is at  

Note that face coverings are also required by law in England on public transport and transport hubs, in shops, and in many other buildings that are open to the public. 

3. If someone will be helping you to move in 

We ask that you bring no more than one person (friend, family member) to help you move in. This will help avoid any congestion in reception, stairs, and corridors. 

The person who is helping you will be asked to scan a QR code and provide their name and contact details, so that they can be traced by the health authorities if there is later found to be a case of COVID-19 in your hall on the day you moved in. 

Please note that – apart from helping you to move in on your arrival date – guests are not currently allowed in the intercollegiate halls. 

4. If you are arriving from outside the UK 

We have more information about UK visas and immigration, the National Health Service, and registration with the police here: 

Find out if you will be required to self-quarantine 

If you have been in, to, or through any country or territory that is not listed on the exempted countries list (“travel corridors”), you will be required to self-quarantine in the UK for 14 days. (That is, until 14 days have elapsed since you were last in the country or territory that is not on the list of exemptions). The list of exempted countries is at  

A note about terminology: The UK government uses the terms “staying home”, “self-isolation”, and “quarantine” interchangeably. We think this is confusing, so in the University of London, we use these terms in their original medical senses: quarantine is what you do as a precaution, if you might have been exposed to infection but are in normal good health; self-isolation is what you do if you are unwell with symptoms of infection, or if you have had a positive test for coronavirus. 

If you need to quarantine in halls 

If the law requires you to quarantine upon arrival and you would like to do this in your hall accommodation, please let us know this on the arrival slip that we will ask you to complete when you check-in to your hall.  

Complete a border form before arrival 

If you are arriving from outside the UK, you are required by law to provide contact details and information about your journey using the government form at You must complete this form before you arrive in the UK, but you cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive. You will have to show your completed form when you arrive at the UK border. 

5. What will it be like to quarantine in the intercollegiate halls? 

We have translated this into specific actions that you would need to take when quarantining in the intercollegiate halls, and what we can do to help: 

6. Make sure you have all the essentials

If you are travelling from an area that means you have to quarantine on arrival, it is important that you have sufficient supplies to last for 14 days without having to go out.

Even if you are not required to quarantine immediately on arrival, it's possible that you might have to self-isolate or quarantine later on, if you or someone close to you develops symptoms of COVID-19.

So consider how you will have access to at least a 14-day supply of:

  • Food
  • Medicines (especially any medicine that you have to take regularly)
  • Clothes
  • Bedding
  • Cooking equipment and utensils (in self-catered accommodation)
  • Takeaway containers (in catered accommodation)


We can supply a bedding pack for free if you are travelling from an area that means you have to quarantine on arrival.


We recommend bringing at least 28 days' supply of any regular medicines, prescribed by your doctor at home, as it may take a few weeks to get registered with a new doctor in London. If you doctor is happy to prescribe a longer supply, that would be ideal.

Food, cooking equipment, and takeaway containers

So that you don't have to bring 15 suitcases with you, we recommend placing an online order for these items in the week before you travel. Select a delivery date for either the day of your arrival in hall, or the day after you arrive.

10% off at UniKitOut

We have a specially selected range of products for intercollegiate halls residents at Use voucher code UOL10 to get 10% off. 

THIS LIST of UK-based shops and suppliers should help you find everything else you might need to order online.

Other things to consider

THIS POST offers some general tips on what to bring to uni.

7. Are you at increased risk? 

COVID-19 can make anyone seriously ill. Most students are unlikely to suffer serious illness from COVID-19, but there are some conditions and characteristics that could put you at increased risk. This web page, published by the UK’s National Health Service, explains who might be more at risk:  

If you are someone at higher risk from COVID-19, please get in contact with us to discuss what we can do to help keep you safe. You can email us at  

8. Questions or concerns?

We are continuing to refine our operations and procedures to make our halls as safe as possible. If you have any questions or concerns about COVID-19 in relation to your accommodation in the intercollegiate halls, please get in touch with us at at, and we will start posting answers to any frequently-asked questions at

Take care for now, and we look forward to welcoming you to the halls very soon.

Further information

You can find all our COVID-19 content at

There is a quick summary at

We also recommend that you stay up to date with guidance from the UK government and the NHS.

Adrian profile picture

Adrian is a medical doctor, the Student Health & Wellbeing Manager at the University of London and the Warden of Connaught Hall, where he has lived for almost 25 years.
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