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Text on yellow background: COVID-19 standard precautions


COVID-19 precautions in halls

By Adrian 16 May 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.

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

Please see this post to understand more about how our updated rules concerning keeping a safe distance, furniture spacing, guests and social gatherings fit with changing national legal and regulatory requirements.  

Keep a safe distance of 2 metres from other people who are not in your household.

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 from outside your household 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.

Guests allowed from 17 May

As part of step 3 of the government's roadmap out of lockdown, you are allowed to sign in guests in halls from 8am on Monday 17 May. There are some restrictions and the policy may be subject to change at short notice if there is an outbreak or increase in risk to residents or staff.

Please see the post below for information about how many guests are allowed, at what times, and how often:


Social gatherings

From 17 May

  • Indoors: You are allowed to socialise with people from different households (floors/flats) indoors, in groups of up to 6 people.
  • Outdoors: You are allowed to socialise with people from different households (floors/flats) outdoors, in groups of up to 30 people.

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

Face coverings must be worn in public / shared areas of the hall (including corridors). 

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 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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