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Coronavirus FAQs in halls

By Adrian 21 Mar 2020

Accommodation questions

Are the halls staying open? 

Yes. We will continue to offer accommodation for any residents who want to remain in London. If you intend to stay until the end of your contract, please let us know by completing this form: http://bit.ly/2x2Iohl

I have already left my hall and do not plan to come back. Will I get a refund? 

If you left your hall before 23:59hrs on Tuesday 31st March, we will not charge you for accommodation fees from 1st April 2020 until the end date of your contract provided that you:

  1. notified us of your departure by completing this form https://bit.ly/2xXis7d;
  2. returned your key(s) and/or access keys/fobs and hall ID cards; and
  3. cleared your room of all belongings. 

If you have already paid for your third term fees, this amount will be refunded along with your deposit. 

I intend to leave my hall permanently after 31st March, but before the end of my contract. Can I still get a refund? 

Yes. We will not charge you for accommodation fees from the day after your departure until the end date of your contract provided that you:

  1. notify us of your departure by completing this form https://bit.ly/2xXis7d;
  2. return your key(s) and/or access keys/fobs and hall ID cards; and
  3. clear your room of all belongings. 

If you have already paid for your third term fees, this amount will be refunded along with your deposit. 

When will my deposit be returned? 

We will endeavour to refund your deposit (if there are no fees outstanding) within 28 working days of your release date (subject to staff capacity within the Finance Office during this developing situation). The Finance Office will contact you should they experience any problems administering this refund.  Any further queries regarding your deposit should be referred to deposit.finance@london.ac.uk

Can you store my belongings? 

Yes. If you have vacated the hall, but you still have belongings stored in your room the University will apply storage fees from 1st April 2020. The University does not usually provide storage for students after departure. However, given the current circumstances we will store your belongings until the government relaxes the “stay home” instructions. We will charge you the reasonable costs of storage at a fixed amount of £25 per week for storage of goods in your room until the government relaxes the “stay home” instructions and until such time as you can reasonably access the accommodation .  

We will write to you once the government lifts the current period of restricted travel and confirm any storage charges that may be due on your account. We will reinstate accommodation fees for your room 7 days after the lifting of “stay home” advice from the government, if belongings are still in your room.   

  • If you wish to store your belongings in your room, please email the Hall Management team for your hall (see list of email addresses at the end of this article); or  

  • Alternatively, if you wish for us to dispose of your belongings and incur no further charges, notify us by email no later than 17:00 on 6th April 2020 (see list of email addresses at the end of this article).

What if I left without returning my keys / card?

You will need to send the keys back by recorded delivery. Please contact your Hall confirming that you have returned the keys.

My card has changed since the payment was made. What should I do?

If the card has changed but the account is still the same, your money will automatically be routed to your new account so you don't need to take any action. If the account has changed, you will need to provide bank details for the original payer. Please request a form for this but bear in mind refunds via bank transfer can take approximately 10 days longer. If we don't receive this form back within 2 days of us sending it to you, we can't guarantee your request will be actioned.

How do I cancel my payment plan?

We will cancel your payment plan during the refund process. If you have set up your own standing order, please remember to cancel this yourself.

Can I stay for the summer?

We usually ask residents after Easter if they would like to extend their stay in the intercollegiate halls for the summer. We plan to do the same this year, as normal.

What are the halls doing to keep residents safe?

We have developed, and continue to review and improve, a comprehensive response to the coronavirus outbreak. You can read more HERE.

Health questions

I feel unwell. Could I have coronavirus?

The most important symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature (37.8 C or above) and/or
  • a new continuous cough.

This video from the BBC is helpful if you’re unsure if your symptoms could be due to coronavirus.

Do I have to self-isolate?

If you have a high temperature and/or a new continuous cough, you should self-isolate for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms.

We’ve published detailed advice about self-isolating in halls.

Self-isolation might be stressful and boring for some people. You might want to check out our ideas for coping with stress and things to do in self-isolation.

Can I get a test for coronavirus?

The NHS say that most people with symptoms do not need to be tested. At present, tests for coronavirus are being targeted for people who are most at risk, and people being admitted to hospital.

How do I get medical help?

You can get expert medical advice through the NHS 111 online service.

If you need immediate help for a medical emergency, call 999 for an ambulance.

What can I do to reduce stress and anxiety?

It’s normal to have feelings of stress, anxiety, anger, or sadness during a crisis like the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve collected some ideas and further resources to help cope with these feelings: Coping with stress during the COVID-19 outbreak. It can also be helpful to make sure you are accessing accurate, factual information.

General questions

How can I get food and other essentials if I’m self-isolating?

We’re encouraging you to identify a handful of “bug buddies” who could help you collect food and other supplies if you have to self-isolate.

If you have to self-isolate because you have symptoms of cough and/or a high temperature, but cannot find any bug buddies, contact the Warden and Hall Manager of your hall so they can arrange help for you.

If you are self-isolating because you are a household contact of a person with symptoms, but you do not have any symptoms yourself, and if you cannot find any bug buddies, then it is acceptable for you to go out very briefly to collect or shop for essential items. Take extra care to wash your hands before going out and keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people.

Can we still have social events in hall?

On 21 March, the UK government changed its guidance on social distancing to include the following advice:

  • Avoid large and small gatherings in public spaces, noting that pubs, restaurants, leisure centres and similar venues are currently shut as infections spread easily in closed spaces where people gather together.
  • Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

The intercollegiate halls will not be organising any social events whilst this government advice remains current.

Common rooms in the intercollegiate halls have been closed.

See our article about social distancing for more information.

Hall Managers' email addresses

Adrian profile picture

Adrian is a medical doctor and a Member of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine; Student Health & Wellbeing Manager at the University of London; and Warden of Connaught Hall. He is a Mental Health First Aid instructor and a trainer for Student Minds. Adrian is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine; a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA); a Member of the Association of University Administrators; and an Associate Member of the Academy of Medical Educators. He is passionate about advancing equality, diversity, and inclusion. Adrian's interests include fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and insight meditation, medical education, social psychology, and human factors / crisis resource management.
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