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Life In London

National lockdown in England

By Adrian 04 Nov 2020


New national restrictions in England mean that, from Thursday 5th November, you must stay at home except:

  • for childcare or education, if not provided online;
  • for work purposes, where your work remains open and if you cannot work from home;
  • to exercise outdoors or visit an outdoor public place - with the people you live with (your household), with your support bubble or, when on your own, with one person from another household;
  • for any medical reasons and emergencies, or to avoid or escape risk of injury or harm;
  • when shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which should be as infrequent as possible;
  • to visit members of your support bubble or provide care for vulnerable people, or as a volunteer.

You must not move back and forward between your permanent home and halls of residence during term time. You should only return home at the end of term.

The Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan, has written an open letter to students, in which she says:

The reason we are asking you to remain at your university area and not to travel home before the new restrictions come into place on Thursday is to prevent any further spread of COVID-19 – any movement around the country will risk the lives of our loved ones. I know and appreciate that a number of you may want to be back with your family during this difficult time, but I urge you to stay where you are in order to save lives.

The new national restrictions are explained in full at

What the lockdown means in the intercollegiate halls

Our response to the new national restrictions is based on guidance published by the Department for Education. We need to make only minor changes from what we were already doing under local alert level 2.

  • Common rooms and private gardens will remain open for study and socialising in groups no larger than six people, all of whom must be members of the same household.
  • You should only sit with others from your household when in the dining room.
  • You must not visit residents on other floors / in other flats.
  • We will not organise any in-person social events during the lockdown period.
  • Guests and visitors are still not allowed.

The government order to stay at home means, in our context, to stay within your hall household.

It is still the case that you have many more options for interacting with other people whilst attending classes in London and living in the intercollegiate halls than in almost any other place in the country. Meal times, collecting post and deliveries, using our study areas, and going to any face-to-face teaching at your university all provide opportunities to interact with other students and staff; and staying here keeps your loved ones safe.

The new national restrictions and the implications for student life were discussed at a meeting of the University’s senior management “Gold Team” on 3rd November. We do not underestimate the potential impact on students’ health and wellbeing of the lockdown, and the University is committed at the highest level to do everything possible to support our students and staff.

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 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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