Coronavirus FAQs

Information for students and staff concerned about coronavirus

LSE is continuing to monitor closely and proactively follow healthcare and government advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. This advice maintains that the risk to our community at LSE is minimal.  We have robust processes and procedures and are ready to put additional precautionary measures in place should the need arise. 

The UK Government recently put further regulations in place to reduce the risk of human-to-human transmission of coronavirus, strengthening legal powers to keep individuals in isolation when deemed necessary. This permits the government to plan for all eventualities but does not change the overall risk level in the UK, which remains moderate. Public Health England (PHE) have stated that the risk to individuals in the UK remains low. 

Neither this action nor the confirmed cases in the UK - including the recent reported case in London - signal any change to the current risk to our community. LSE's campus and all halls of residence are open and the community is encouraged to continue day-to-day activities as normal whilst treating each other with mutual respect at all times. 

The international diversity and outlook of our community is a source of great strength. As a School, we must work together to not let LSE become a place where fears overcome our commitment to tolerance and respect for one another. 

General information

Are seminars and classes taking place? 

Guidance from WHO and PHE outline that the risk to our community at LSE is low.  

LSE is open and students are expected to attend scheduled activities as normal and encouraged to get the maximum benefit from your learning community on campus,  whilst treating each other with mutual respect at all times. 

If you feel unwell or have a pre-existing health condition and are concerned, call NHS 111 for expert advice and speak to LSE’s Advice team, your Academic Mentor, Departmental Tutor or Department Manager.

What is coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. 

Wuhan novel coronavirus is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

What are the precautionary measures I should take?

The recommended steps people should take to protect themselves are the same as those to avoid flu and any other similar respiratory infections. You should maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and should avoid visiting animal and bird markets or people who are ill with respiratory symptoms. 

Below are the WHO recommendations: 

  • Clean hands with soap and water or alcohol based rub.
  • Cover nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow.  Ensure you dispose of tissues hygienically.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
  • Thoroughly cook meat and eggs.
  • Avoid unprotected contact with live or dead wild or farm animals.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

It depends on the virus, but common symptoms include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties.

You should seek medical attention if you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough within 14 days of visiting Wuhan, Hubei Province or mainland China (but not Macao or Hong Kong). Do not visit your GP in person without phoning them first and explaining the situation. 

Advice for students and staff

What is the advice on travel to/from China?

PHE and DHSC (Department of Health and Social Care) have announced that there will be enhanced monitoring of passengers travelling on flights to and from Wuhan, where the virus appears to have originated.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to Hubei Province due to the outbreak. If you’re in this area and able to leave, you should do so.

The FCO also advises against all but essential travel to the rest of mainland China (not including Hong Kong and Macao). The FCO advise that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. Find out more on the Gov.uk website.

Our strong recommendation is to follow FCO guidance. If any member of staff feels that they have essential business in China, or you are an LSE student in China, you must contact LSE's Health and Safety team so that we can support you as necessary.

What advice should I follow if I am studying in China?

If you are studying for a double degree or participating in one of our exchanges in China, we recommend you follow the Chinese government’s official advice and any instructions given by your local university, and keep abreast of any World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations.

While you are overseas, we also recommend that you regularly check for any advice from your nearest relevant embassy or diplomatic mission in China, as they may also publish guidance which will be useful to you and as the situation changes. 

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise that if you’re in China and able to leave, you should do so. If you need further support, contact global@lse.ac.uk. 

I've been to Wuhan or Hubei Province in the past 14 days. What do I do?

If you have returned from Wuhan or Hubei Province to the UK in the last 14 days: 

In addition, Public Health England recommends that you follow the advice below for 14 days after returning from Wuhan or Hubei Province:

  • Stay at home for 14 days after arriving from Wuhan or Hubei Province and do not go to your place of work, study or public areas - even if you have no symptoms.
  • Telephone the National Health Service (NHS) on 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the city.
  • Avoid having visitors to your home, where possible. It’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.
  • Avoid using public transport or taxis.

Please follow this advice even if you do not have symptoms of the virus. While the risk to the UK population remains low, this is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.

If you develop a fever, difficulty breathing or a cough, you should continue to follow the advice above. Please do not leave your home until you been given advice by a clinician.

I've been to China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau or another country impacted by coronavirus in the past 14 days and feel unwell. What do I do?

If you have travelled from mainland China, Thailand, Japan, Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia or Macau to the UK in the last 14 days and develop symptoms of cough, fever or shortness of breath, you should immediately:

  • Stay at home for 14 days and do not go to your place of work, study or public areas.
  • Telephone the National Health Service (NHS) on 111 to inform them of your recent travel to the country.
  • Avoid having visitors to your home, where possible. It’s ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food.
  • Avoid using public transport or taxis.

You will also need to let LSE know:

Please follow this advice even if your symptoms are mild. While the risk to the UK population remains low, this is a highly precautionary measure to limit the potential spread of infection.

These areas have been identified by UK Chief Medical Officers (on the scientific advice of SAGE) because of the volume of air travel from affected areas, understanding of other travel routes and number of reported cases. Public Health England will continue to review this list, updating where necessary. 

Where can I get support if I have concerns about my health?

If you develop symptoms in the UK, stay indoors and avoid contact with others where possible. 

Medical support is available through your GP, and students can phone the St Philips Medical Centre in Pethwick-Lawrence House on 020 7611 5131 if you have any concerns.

They have advised that if you may have had contact with someone who has coronavirus or have any symptoms, you should either phone the practice or call NHS 111. Do not attend the practice without phoning them first and explaining the situation. 

You can find your nearest GP by using the GP finder on the NHS website, or read information about healthcare in the UK, including how to register with a doctor.

Where can I get support if I am feeling concerned about the situation?

We recognise that many members of our community have family, friends and loved ones in impacted areas and our priority is to support you during this time. 

If you are worried about friends and family members who live or are travelling in areas impacted by coronavirus, please contact LSE’s Student Services Advice team or LSE Staff Counselling for support.

It is essential that you feel secure and supported as a student at LSE. LSE's Student Wellbeing, and Residential teams are available to provide assistance, as are dedicated School advisors such as the Senior School Advocate for Students and Advisor to Women Students. Support is also available for staff.

Students and staff can report any concerns they may have using our anonymous Report it. Stop it. tool. 

I've heard news reports a student was taken to hospital?

On the evening of Wednesday 29 January, an LSE student in a halls of residence was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure.

The student was subsequently discharged and has now returned to halls. The risk to students on campus and in all halls remains minimal.

 

Advice for parents and carers

If you are a parent or carer of a student at LSE

While there is currently minimal risk from coronavirus to individuals in the UK, the safety and wellbeing of LSE students is paramount, and we are continuously monitoring the situation for further changes.  

LSE is proactively following advice from Public Health England and the World Health Organisation, and we have robust procedures in place to support students. Those affected can contact support services including the Student Services Advice team, the Student Wellbeing Service, and support in halls of residences.  

We will continue to communicate any updates to our guidance with our community.

This guidance is reviewed daily by 4pm. Last reviewed on 19/02/20 at 4pm. Last updated on 13/02/20 at 9.30am.