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Rule of six indoors from 17 May

By Adrian 16 May 2021

From Monday 17 May, as part of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, the rule of six will apply indoors. This means people from different households can legally socialise together indoors in groups of up to six people. The rules for socialising outdoors will also change, allowing mixed-household groups of up to 30 people.

Universities are allowed to resume in-person teaching for all courses from Monday. If this change might affect you, please look out for and follow any guidance issued by the university where you study, as the arrangements will be different between institutions and departments.

Other changes from next week include restaurants, pubs, and bars being allowed to re-open for table service (only) indoors and outdoors, and more leisure and fitness facilities opening. A new red/amber/green system for arrivals from overseas also comes into force - you should check this carefully if you will be travelling back to London from outside the Common Travel Area.

Social distancing

The following is reproduced from the government website:

New guidance on meeting friends and family will emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules. Instead of instructing you to stay 2 metres apart from anyone you don’t live with, you will be encouraged to exercise caution and consider the guidance on risks associated with COVID-19 and actions you can take to help keep you and your loved ones safe. Remember that the risks of close contact may be greater for some people than others and in some settings and circumstances, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family.

Remember that you are not permitted to interact with anyone outside of your group of six (or two households) indoors, or outside of your group of 30 outdoors, unless an exemption applies.

In some settings, there will be specific guidance that you will need to follow even when you are with friends and family. This is important to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 to other people such as staff and other members of the public. You should always follow guidance associated with the setting you are in (for example in education, health, or care settings). COVID-secure rules, including social distancing requirements, continue to apply in the workplace, and in businesses and public venues. This guidance does not affect a site owner’s responsibility to calculate the number of people that can be accommodated with social distancing in place.

What does this mean in the intercollegiate halls?

From 8am on Monday 17 May:

  1. Social gatherings of up to six residents from different floors or flats will be allowed indoors.
  2. Social distancing and face coverings will still required in communal areas. Seating in social, study, and dining areas should continue to be spaced 2 metres apart.
  3. Social gatherings of up to 30 residents from different floors or flats will be allowed outdoors.
  4. It will be possible for Wardens and Resident Advisors to organise in-person social activities and events, although legal restrictions will continue to limit the size and type of events.
  5. Residents will be allowed to sign in guests, with certain restrictions and subject to change if there is an outbreak or increase in risk to residents or staff  (see rules about guests and visitors below).

Rules about guests and visitors

Please note the rules below are slightly modified from our standard rules about guests and may be further modified, or withdrawn altogether, at short notice if there is an outbreak in a hall or if it becomes apparent that allowing guests may be exposing residents and staff to greater risk. Safety will always remain our priority.

Please be responsible in how you exercise your new ability to host guests in your hall, to help ensure this can remain safe and accessible to everyone for the rest of the academic year.

Guests must be signed in

No visitors are allowed beyond the reception area without being collected and signed in by a resident. People under the age of 18 are not permitted as overnight guests. The reception team are not authorised to waive the rules for anyone or for any reason. Make sure your guest calls you when they are ready to be collected so you can come to reception and sign them in.

Our staff can refuse admission to guests or require them to leave the premises at any time. The police may be called to help remove guests who refuse to leave.

Guests must be accompanied by the resident who signed them in

Guests are not allowed in your room/flat or anywhere in hall if you are away: if you are on holiday, returned home, or departed at the end of the year, you may not grant permission to any guests to stay. For security reasons, you must not give your room/ flat key/fob/access card or a hall ID card to anyone else: this specifically includes your guests.

Catering and events

Guests are not allowed in the dining room in catered halls during meal service times, and they are not allowed to attend social events organised by the Residential Life / Warden's team. Guest meal tickets are not available to purchase. The reasons for these measures are:

  • COVID-secure requirements mean that seating in our dining halls is limited, and there will be restrictions on the total attendance possible at organised events. Residents should have priority access to seating and events.
  • Communal dining and social events are among the higher risk areas for coronavirus transmission, so we want to ensure these can be as safe as possible without introducing members of households external to the halls.

Limits on times and number of guests

You may sign in a maximum of three day guests at any one time, between 08:00 and 22:00. The number of day guests allowed will be kept under close review and may be reduced if guests or their host residents put others at risk by their behaviour.

Day guests must leave the hall no later than 22:00.

You may have one overnight guest at a time in your room/flat for a maximum of 10 nights per calendar month. Any guest who arrives between 22:00 and 08:00 is considered to be an overnight guest, regardless of how long they intend to stay.

If you know that a guest who arrives in the daytime will be staying overnight, please sign them in as an overnight guest.

Overnight guests must stay in your room

If you host an overnight guest, they must sleep in your room, not in communal areas.

Guest behaviour

Your guests must adhere to the same standard of behaviour that is expected of residents.

You will be held personally responsible for the conduct of your guests at all times. Consequently you may face disciplinary action or be liable for the cost of any damage or disturbance caused by your guests.

More information

The "roadmap" out of lockdown: COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021

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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