This guidance outlines what to do if you've been told you need to self-isolate as part of our School's trace and isolate programme, LSE Trace. It also cover the support available for all LSE students.
What if I need to self-isolate as a result of LSE Trace?
If you have been advised to self-isolate through the LSE Trace process, whether through being in contact with an infected person or from reporting a positive test, you will receive an email from LSE Trace which contains information on where to get support while self-isolating. Your department and halls of residence (if applicable) will also be informed and be able to offer to support to you.
What if I need to self-isolate as a result of a non-LSE Trace process?
If you have been advised to self-isolate through a non-LSE Trace process such as the Natonal Health Service (NHS) Test and Trace system, you should notify the School as soon as possible via the Report My Symptoms tool or weekly Wellness Check-in. As soon as you notify us, we can send you an email from LSE Trace which contains information on where to get support while self-isolating.
You may also need to self-isolate if you have arrived from outside of the UK, depending on which country you arrive from or travel through. The most up to date information on UK quarantine rules can be found online.
If quarantine controls are in place for your home country at the time of your arrival in London, you will be able to quarantine in your LSE hall of residence if you have booked a place to stay in halls. Residences staff will provide you with support and guidance on how to do this safely in your hall.
What support will I recieve from LSE while I'm self-isolating?
LSE departments and support services are available via email and, in some cases, via phone, Zoom drop-in and live chat. We are here to provide remote advice and guidance with any questions you may have while you are self-isolating.
We also have other student support programmes available where current students can answer your questions or support you with any difficulties you may be facing. The Peer Support Scheme is available to all students, at all levels of study, and are available now if you wish to contact them. You will also be asked by the LSE Trace team if you want to opt in for regular check-ins when you are self-isolating in private accommodation. This is automatic in your halls of residence.
2. Support for students in halls of residence
If you're self-isolating in one of our LSE Halls of Residence, we will provide you with the necessary advice and support to help you through the two-week period. We will also provide you with face coverings and cleaning products will be available for you to use in shared spaces.
If you live in an LSE Hall of Residence, you can find further information about the support available to you on the LSE Residences webpage.
3. Support for new off-campus students
If you live off campus, you can opt-in to the Off Campus Support Scheme or regular check-ins from a Peer Supporter, depending on your level of study.
4. Student wellbeing and mental health support during School closure
From Friday 18 December, you can access a 24/7 out of hours mental health support line sponsored by the School via Spectrum.Life. All calls are answered by clinically trained counsellors or psychotherapists. You can talk to them about anything, including stress, anxiety, low mood, financial worries, loss and grief, relationship problems, and substance abuse issues.
Contacting Spectrum.Life out of hours support
- Freephone: 0808 189 01 03
- SMS or WhatsApp: 00353 873690010
Please note Spectrum Life will ask for some basic details to ensure you're eligible to use the service. All services provided through Spectrum.Life are done so in total confidence. The identity of individuals and personal details will always be protected.
You can also find out more about wellbeing support over the break and community building opportunities to help you stay connected too.
Tips and resources for staying connected and active during self-isolation
There is lots of information available to support you whilst in self-isolation whether you are in halls of residences or in private accomodation:
Help make a difference and prevent the spread of COVID detection
Dogs are being trained to detect people with coronavirus to prevent the spread of infection and reduce unnecessary quarantine.
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is currently running a research study to investigate whether dogs can be trained to detect COVID-19 through their sense of smell.
As part of the study, if you've recently tested positive for COVID-19 the researchers will send you a face mask to wear for 3 hours and nylon socks and shirt for 12 hours in order to collect samples of body and breath odour. It’s very simple, and can be done at home.
If you've recently tested positive for coronavirus and are interested in volunteering, visit www.virusdogs.com for more information.
Frequently asked questions on self-isolation
While you're self-isolating, you should order your food (groceries and/or ordered meals) online and get it delivered to your home. You can find a list of supermarkets at various price points who offer delivery below. When ordering online, say that you would like the order to be left outside your home for you to collect.
If you’re living in LSE halls of residence you should ask for your food to be left at reception area. You should inform your residence that you’re self-isolating and they can help you get your food from the reception to your bedroom door.
If you’re in a catered hall the Residences Team can arrange for your meals to be delivered to your room.
You should order any repeat prescriptions online and get them delivered to your home if possible or picked up on your behalf by someone who is not self-isolating.
Read the National Health Service (NHS) guidance on ordering repeat prescriptions online via an app or website.
You can also use Boots online repeat prescription service with free collection in store or delivery. Please note delivery is only available for patients registered with a GP in England.
Yes, the National Health Service (NHS) states you should keep self-isolating for the entire *10-day period – as you could get symptoms after being tested. This is because the incubation period of the virus means you could develop coronavirus after receiving a negative test result, if it’s within the 10 days.
We know that self-isolating can be challenging, but it’s important that you continue to self-isolate and follow all NHS guidance until the end of your isolation.
*Please note, the government changed the period of self-isolation from 14 days, to 10 days - effective Monday 14 December 2020.
Yes, you should still self-isolate if asked. Scientists aren’t yet sure of longer-term implications of coronavirus. If you've had coronavirus, you might have some immunity to it, but it’s not clear how long your immunity will last, so it’s possible that you could still become infected. If you come into contact with an infected person, you could get the virus on your belongings and pass it on.
Yes, according to UK government rules you’ll still need to isolate. A household includes a group of people (who may or may not be related) living at the same address and who share cooking facilities, bathrooms or toilets and/or living areas.
If you are living in a household, as defined by UK government rules you should self-isolate as requested.
No, household designations are determined by Public Health England in consultation with the London Coronavirus Response Cell – they cannot be amended nor could an individual opt out of belonging to one.
It is very important if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive COVID-19 test you stay at home and do not go out. The Student Code outlines the steps you’ll need to take if you feel unwell. You should always follow the guidance in the Student Code to help to keep the LSE community safe and well and keep the LSE campus open and running. If you’re found to be in breach of the Code, it is potentially a disciplinary matter and will be taken seriously by the School.
The UK Government could fine you up to £10,000 if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.
Read more about the UK Government penalties for breaking self-isolation.
If you are told to self-isolate it can be very tempting to go home to your family and self-isolate there instead. However, it is very important to stay in your current residence if you are self-isolating, even if you do not have any symptoms of coronavirus. By traveling home, you are at risk of passing on the virus to others and your family at home. Be sure to keep in contact with your family via digital means instead.
Additionally, you should check the alert level for your location as this will also affect if you are able to travel or not.
You should stay in your current residence and not travel home if you are self-isolating.
The National Health Service (NHS) rules on self-isolation state:
- do not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
- do not go on public transport or use taxis
- do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
- do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
- do not go out to exercise – exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one
No, you should not leave self-isolation to smoke. The UK government advises all smokers to consider stopping at this time as smoking harms your immune system, which means you are more at risk from not only acquiring acute respiratory infections but also from infections lasting longer and being more serious than for someone who does not smoke.
You are three times more likely to quit successfully with professional support and medication which can all be provided free by telephone and post through the Quitline service. If you are in self-isolation, confined to your home and struggling with nicotine withdrawal, even if you feel unable or unready to stop smoking for good at this time, Quitline can offer support and advice by telephone and, where appropriate, post out supplies of Nicotine Replacement Therapy including patches, gum, lozenges, oral sprays and inhalators to help manage withdrawal symptoms. Call Quitline for support on 0800 00 22 00.
If you’re unwell, you shouldn’t be studying. It’s important that you look after your health and follow advice until you feel well. If you’re feeling anxious or your symptoms get worse please call the UK National Health Service (NHS) at 111 for medical advice and support. You can also call 999 for emergencies.
Your department will get in touch to check-in with you, offer support and let you know how you can engage with teaching and learning while you’re isolating if you do feel well. Your academic mentor can also provide guidance on a range of topics and direct you to further support - find out more on the LSE website.
You can participate in one-to-one online sessions and group workshops with LSE LIFE, who also have a wealth of study skills information that you can access at home on their Moodle site.
If isolation is affecting your wellbeing or exacerbating a pre-existing problem, there is lots of support available at LSE to help.
The Student Wellbeing Service is operating primarily online to support you at home, offering:
The mental health charity Mind have an excellent resource on coronavirus and your wellbeing, including ideas for managing loneliness and structuring time at home. Undergraduates can also sign up to wellbeing and mental health workshops running throughout Michaelmas Term as part of Mind’s Mentally Healthy Universities programme. Students in residences can also access support in halls.