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Text on yellow background: COVID-19 standard precautions


COVID-19 precautions in halls

By Adrian 23 Oct 2020

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.

Wear a face covering

You must wear a face covering over your mouth and nose when you are in shared / public areas inside the hall, including:

  • Dining hall (except when actually eating)
  • Reception
  • Corridors
  • Common rooms, games rooms, and TV rooms
  • Laundry
  • Bathrooms
  • Pantries and kitchens (except when actually eating)

The law in England requires you to wear a face covering in some places. The UK government guidance about face coverings is HERE. The Mayor of London's face covering guidance is also very helpful.

If you are unable to wear a face covering, please see our guidance HERE.

Keep a safe distance

Keep a safe distance of 2 metres from other people.

The "1 metre +" rule

You can get closer than 2 metres (but not closer than 1 metre) if this is unavoidable and if you are able to adopt other precautions, such as wearing a face covering, not directly facing the other person, minimising the time you are within a <2m distance, and being outside or in a well ventilated area.

You should never be within less than 1 metre of another person for longer than 1 minute, or closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.

Do not move furniture in shared/common areas

We have spaced tables and seating in common rooms, study rooms, gardens, social spaces, and eating areas to support appropriate physical distancing. Please do not move the furniture, and do not exceed the physically distanced seating capacity of multi-seat furniture such as sofas and benches.

No guests or visitors allowed

Under COVID-19 tiers 2, 3, and 4, it is against the law to socialise indoors with anyone who does not live with you. We therefore cannot allow guests or visitors at this time.

Social gatherings

Under the tier 4:

  • You must not meet socially with anyone, in any indoor setting or most outdoor settings, unless they are a member of your household or support bubble.
  • When on your own, you can meet one person from another household in public outdoor spaces (e.g. parks).

In the intercollegiate halls, we have defined three types of household.

Social gatherings of more than six people are not allowed on University of London premsies, except inside a type 1 household when all the people at the gathering are members of that one type 1 household.

Face coverings must be worn in public / shared areas of the hall (including corridors). This includes in situations where members of a type 2 household are socialising together.

You may not lawfully socialise indoors with anyone who is not part of your household. This means that you are not allowed to socialise with residents from other floors or flats in your hall.

Clean your hands more often

Wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use a hand sanitiser:

  • When you enter the building
  • After using the bathroom
  • Before eating or preparing food
  • Before touching your eyes, nose, or mouth

Wipe shared surfaces and equipment

Wipe down surfaces and other items in shared areas before and after you use them (e.g. in common rooms, pantries, shared bathrooms). This includes items such as vacuum cleaners, table tennis bats, pool cues, and video game equipment.

Catch coughs and sneezes

Catch coughs and sneezes with a single-use tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin. If you do not have a tissue, use your sleeve at the elbow. Then wash or sanitise your hands.

Think ahead: get some bug buddies

Talk to other residents and try to identify one or two “bug buddies” in your hall who can support you if you need to self-isolate or quarantine later. This could be a reciprocal arrangement, and would typically involve collecting meals (in catered accommodation), going out for any urgent shopping (e.g. medicines), and bringing up post, parcels, and restaurant deliveries to your room.

What to do if you develop symptoms of coronavirus

See HERE for what to do if you develop a new, persistent cough, fever (high temperature), or loss/change in your sense of taste/smell.

Intercollegiate Halls Safe to Stay logo

This is mandatory guidance

In the Intercollegiate Halls, failure to adhere to this guidance may trigger paragraph 24.1 of the Licence Agreement:

24 In any of the following instances the University is entitled to end this agreement and recover possession of the Accommodation. Any other rights or remedies the University may have will remain in force:
24.1 on 24 hours’ notice if Your behaviour constitutes a serious risk to the health, safety or welfare of Yourself or others, or serious risk to the University’s or others’ property.

Adrian profile picture

Adrian a medical doctor, the University of London Student Health & Wellbeing Manager, and the Warden of Connaught Hall. 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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