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Arriving to your hall for the first time

By Adrian 27 Jul 2021

We are looking forward to welcoming our residents to the Intercollegiate Halls for the new academic year. 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.

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

Test before you travel

If you will be arriving from within the UK, please do an asymptomatic test within the 24 hours before you travel.

Having a negative asymptomatic lateral flow test means that you're unlikely to be infectious. You can gain maximum reassurance for yourself and the greatest safety for others by doing one test 4 days before you travel, and a second test 24 hours before you travel. 

We hope that by ensuring everyone is not infectious on the day they arrive, we will be able to host a normal program of welcome activities and events without the risk of cancellation due to an outbreak in halls.

If you are arriving from overseas, you will be required to show evidence of a recent negative test to enter the UK.

Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19?

If you’re not yet fully vaccinated, we ask that you take whatever next step is needed for you to have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. COVID-19 vaccines are available free of charge for all adults in the UK.

If you’re currently in the UK, could you “grab a jab” or book a vaccination appointment right now?

“Grab a jab” - walk-in, no appointment needed

You can get a COVID-19 vaccine from a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site without an appointment:

Book a vaccination appointment

If you are registered with a GP, you can book a vaccine:

If you are arriving on Sunday 12 September

This is our main arrivals day and is when we will begin our in-person social program for the year. Because it's when most residents arrive, your hall reception area and corridors will be busy with people moving in. For this reason, we are asking everyone to please wear a face covering in the hall reception area, corridors, and stairs on Sunday 12 September. 

We always recommend wearing a face covering when you're in communal areas in your hall, and request that you wear one if an area is busy or crowded. Because we know the halls will be very busy on 12 September, we will expect that everyone does wear a face covering.

We also ask that family and friends of residents check in using the NHS COVID-19 app as well as being signed into the hall as a guest.

Thank you for helping us keep everyone as safe as possible. Your support will help ensure that coronavirus cases in halls and at your university stay low. This will protect vulnerable people and mean that it should be possible for everyone to enjoy a full welcome experience with all facilities open as normal.

You can read more about staying safe in halls here.

If you are arriving from outside the UK

Click on the headings below to expand and learn more. 

Will you need to quarantine when you arrive in the UK?

As you may know, people arriving in the UK from overseas are required to take COVID-19 tests before and after arrival, and in some cases to quarantine for up to 10 days after arriving in the UK. The government rules are published here:

You must read the full guidance, but in brief summary:

  • If you are arriving from a red list country, you will need to pre-book and pay for quarantine in a government quarantine hotel.
  • If you are arriving from an amber list country and you have not been fully vaccinated in the UK, EU, or USA, you will need to quarantine in your hall of residence.
  • If you are arriving from an amber list country and you have been fully vaccinated in the UK, EU, or USA, you will not have to quarantine. You will need to have been vaccinated with a UK-approved vaccine and have acceptable proof of you vaccination status.
  • If you are arriving from a green list country, you will not have to quarantine.

In addition to the quarantine rules, there are requirements about completing a passenger locator form and what type of tests you must take and when. Please read the full guidance for details – and check back often, because the guidance does change.

Arrive early to complete quarantine before term starts

If you have to quarantine upon arrival in your hall in September 2021, we want you to still be able to enjoy the full welcome experience that our halls are famous for!

The main arrivals day this year is Sunday 12 September*, and that's when we will be starting our programme of social events and icebreakers to help everyone get to know people in halls and start building a vibrant, supportive, inclusive community.

Of course, this will mean arriving at your hall earlier than 12 September so that you can complete your quarantine before the social programme kicks off. So that you can do this without incurring additional expense, we are offering up to 14 nights' stay free of charge provided you meet the following criteria:

  • you must move into your hall on or before Wednesday 1 September*; and
  • you must have travelled from an amber list country; and 
  • you must be required to quarantine upon arrival, and adhere to the quarantine requirements in full.

The last night available free of charge is the night of Saturday 11 September*. No free nights are available from 12 September onwards. We hope this will mean that cost will not be a barrier to our international students being able to join in our welcome activities on Sunday 12 September.

To take advantage of this offer, please contact the Accommodation team at We will be able to help you best if you already have your flight booked and so can be definite about your arrival date.

Please note, the earliest possible arrival date for Connaught Hall and Nutford House is 23 August; for other halls, the earliest possible arrival date is 15 August.

* The main arrivals day for Handel Mansions is Monday 20 September. So for Handel Mansions only, the latest you can move in and take advantage of this offer is Thursday 9 September, and the last night available for free is Sunday 19 September.

Tell us in advance if you will be quarantining on arrival

When your arrival date is confirmed and you are certain that you will be arriving on that date, please complete our self-isolation / quarantine notification formPlease only complete this form when you have booked tickets and you have a confirmed, definite date for arrival at your hall.  

What will it be like to quarantine in the your hall?

The government has published guidance about how to quarantine when you arrive in the UK: 

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: 

What to when you arrive at your hall

Guidance for anyone who needs to quarantine upon arrival

You will need to quarantine upon arrival at your hall if you have travelled from or through any amber list countries and you have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in the UK, Europe, or USA

  • Please wear a face covering when you check in to your hall and sanitise your hands. 
  • Ask the staff member checking you in to confirm that your name is on on the list of quarantining residents.
  • Please proceed straight to your room, wearing a face covering at all times when in the reception area, corridors, lift, or stairs. 
  • Complete your required period of quarantine by following our guidance above, How to self-isolate in halls
  • Download the NHS COVID-19 app.
  • Remember there is plenty of support available. See the section above, Support for you during self-isolation.

We strongly recommend reading the full UK government guidance as the rules change frequently. We do our best to keep this page up to date, but please treat our guidance as general advice only. If there is any conflict between our guidance below and the instructions on the government website, please follow the government rules.

Make sure you have all the essentials

If you will have to quarantine on arrival, it is important that you have sufficient supplies to last for 10 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 10-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 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 20 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.

Other things to consider

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

Ordering online

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

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. You can place an order to be delivered to your hall before you arrive.

Are you at increased risk from coronavirus? 

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  

Questions or concerns?

If you have any questions or concerns in relation to your accommodation in the Intercollegiate Halls, please get in touch with us at at

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

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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