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Accommodation

Self-isolation & quarantine FAQs

By Adrian 14 Sep 2020

You can find all our COVID-19 content at campuslife.london.ac.uk/tags/COVID-19.

There is a quick summary at campuslife.london.ac.uk/covid19-guidance-start-here_122007.

We also recommend that you stay up to date with guidance from the UK government and the NHS.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19

If you become unwell with symptoms of possible COVID-19, please stay in your room and follow the self-isolation instructions (there are slightly different instructions for Eleanor Rosa House and Handel Mansions). The instructions include details of how you will obtain food, and the circumstances in which you would be allowed to leave your room.

It is essential that you notify us that you are self-isolating.

If you need help from us, don't rely on this notification form alone: please also contact the reception desk in your hall (for a response within 2 hours), or email us for less urgent matters (3 working days response time) at residential.life@london.ac.uk.

You should arrange to have a test for coronavirus as soon as possible.

The law: what you can/cannot do

The law in England for travel quarantine is explained at gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk. 

The law for self-isolation and contact quarantine is explained at gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance. 

Note that the government uses the same term, "self-isolation", to refer to self-isolation, contact quarantine, and travel quarantine.

Practicalities of self-isolation in halls

How do I let the halls know my coronavirus test result?

The result of your test will affect how we look after you, and it will also affect how long other residents in your "household" have to self-quarantine. So please call the main reception of your hall and ask to speak urgently with the Hall Manager (during office hours) or the duty RA (outside of office hours, up until 11pm - if it's later than 11pm, please wait until the next morning).

Please also send an update to residential.life@london.ac.uk.

Can I prepare in advance, in case I have to self-isolate or quarantine?

Yes. Think: if you had to self-isolate, how would you get food, medicines, and other essentials?

Try and ensure that you always have at least a 14-day supply of any medicines that you use regularly.

If you live in self-catered accommodation, try to ensure that you always have some long-life products "in stock", so you could live on these for a few days during self-isolation. After a few days, you should be able to get a supermarket delivery.

Talk with your friends in hall now and agree to be "bug buddies" for one another - to look after each other and pick up essential items if one of your has to self-isolate. See our article about bug buddies for more information.

What about using the shared bathroom?

If you normally share a bathroom with other residents

  • For self-isolation or contact quarantine, subject to availability, we will temporarily move you to an en suite room, at no extra cost, for the period of your self-isolation or contact quarantine.
  • If we do not have an en suite room available, we will ask you to use one specific toilet and shower cubicle, marked with a red "self-isolation" sign or a dark pink "contact quarantine" sign. 
  • For travel quarantine, we will ask you to use one specific toilet and shower cubicle, marked with an orange "travel quarantine".

Nutford House

At Nutford House, contact quarantine and travel quarantine facilities are both marked with a dark pink and orange "quarantine" sign.

How do I get food?

When you notify us that you are entering self-isolation, contact quarantine, or travel quarantine, we will ask you to indicate whether you would like to receive the meat option or vegetarian option. If there are some types of meat that you do not eat, we recommend selecting the vegetarian option.

If you live in catered accommodation

We will deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner to your room, Monday to Friday; and brunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday, for the full period of your self-isolation or quarantine. (Brunch at the weekend is in replacement of BReakfast and lUNCH.)

If you live in self-catered accommodation

  • For self-isolation or contact quarantine in self-catered accommodation at Garden Halls, International Hall, Lillian Penson Hall, and Nutford House, we will deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner to your room, Monday to Friday; and brunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday, for the period of your self-isolation or quarantine. For travel quarantine at those halls, we will deliver meals for your first three days of quarantine; from day four, you should arrange for a supermarket delivery.
  • At Eleanor Rosa House, we can provide a three-day emergency supply of food at the beginning of your period of travel quarantine only. From day four, you should arrange for a supermarket delivery. Please ensure you keep a stock of long life provisions to use in the event that you have to self-isolate or contact quarantine, as we will not routinely provide catered meals.
  • At Handel Mansions, we will deliver breakfast, lunch, and dinner to your room, Monday to Friday; and brunch and dinner, Saturday and Sunday, for the first three days oftravel quarantine only; from day four, you should arrange for a supermarket delivery. Please ensure you keep a stock of long life provisions to use in the event that you have to self-isolate or contact quarantine, as we will not routinely provide catered meals.

How can I receive deliveries?

If you are in self-isolation, contact quarantine, or travel quarantine, you may not pick up deliveries yourself.

If you are expecting an important delivery, please call the reception for your Hall and ask them to ensure the delivery is brought to your room. If you have a bug buddy, tell reception how to contact them, then your bug buddy can bring the package to you. If you do not have a bug buddy, the halls team will help - but depending on availability, there may be a delay.

We recommend placing an online order for groceries, and asking your bug buddy to ensure it gets dropped off right outside your door. Or you can order food from a restaurant that does deliveries or from a service like Uber Eats or Just Eat. We created a list of online delivery services you might like to try: campuslife.london.ac.uk/international-students-ordering-your-essentials_120843. 

How do I use the shared kitchen in self-catered accommodation?

During self-isolation, contact quarantine, or travel quarantine:

If you share a kitchen with others, avoid using it while others are present. Take your meals back to your room to eat. Wash your used crockery and cutlery using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly, remembering to use a separate tea towel.

So we recommend having a WhatsApp or Messenger conversation with the people you share the kitchen with, and agree a few times for each day when the kitchen will be for your exclusive use. Wipe down the surfaces with disinfectant (wipes provided) and wash any shared utensils before others use the kitchen.

Can I use the small pantry / tea kitchen in catered accommodation?

No. Because we are providing you with meals, there not be a need to use the pantries. If you need to store items in a refrigerator, contact the Hall Manager for your hall as we may be able to provide you with a fridge for temporary use in your room.

Can I go out to get medicines or toiletries?

You are allowed to leave your accommodation to access urgent medical care or to obtain essential medicines if there is no other way to obtain them. So if you're making an online order, consider whether you should add some toiletries or sanitary products, so you have enough to last for the period of self-isolation. You might need to ask your bug buddy to help. If you're unable to get the things you need, contact your Warden or Hall Manager.

If you live in an en suite room, our housekeeping team will leave a supply of toilet paper outside your room every Tuesday morning while you are self-isolating or in quarantine. When your period of self-isolation or quarantine ends, this toilet paper supply will stop.

Can I do clothes washing?

No. So we advise you to think: can you last 10 days of self-isolation or 14 days of quarantine without doing a clothes wash? If not, consider placing an order for a few essential items like underwear. Or you could order in some hand-wash laundry detergent to wash small items in your washbasin.

Doing laundry is not an allowable reason to leave your room during self-isolation or quarantine.

Can I go out to smoke?

No. If you smoke regularly, we recommend buying nicotine replacement products (e.g. gum or patches) for the period of your self-isolation or quarantine.

Going out to smoke is not an allowable reason to leave your room during self-isolation or quarantine.

Can I go out to exercise, or use the hall garden?

No. The law in England does not allow this.

What do I do with rubbish (trash/refuse)?

While you are in self-isolation, contact quarantine, or travel quarantine, we will collect waste from your room every Tuesday and Friday morning, as well as leaving you with a new supply of bin bags.

The housekeeping staff will knock on your door and stand back, leaving a trolley or bin outside the door. Please put your waste into the bin or trolley. If the staff knock and there is no answer, the collection will be attempted on the next collection day.

When your period of quarantine or self-isolation ends, you should dispose of waste as per the guidance for all residents in our Hall Handbook.

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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