Coronavirus FAQs

Information for students and staff concerned about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Students and staff can find the latest guidance and information at the following:

Advice for students

Advice for staff

We will no longer be regularly updating our FAQ page as staff and students can find the most relevant information in the links above.

Following recent developments and contingency planning at LSE, we have updated the next phase of our School’s action plan in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus). The measures outlined below in the 'Action from LSE' section are precautionary, based on our commitment to support our community and prepare accordingly.

LSE is continuing to monitor closely and proactively follow healthcare and government advice from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England. Our campus and halls of residence remain open. We will comply with advice from Public Health England and take any necessary steps, including possible campus closure, if we are advised to do so in the future. 

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, and respect for one another.  Being part of LSE means that we work together to create an inclusive, accessible and safe environment for all.

For further information on assessments, please visit the LSE Assessment FAQs

 Cases at LSE

Information on cases of COVID-19 at LSE

LSE has been informed of four confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the community.

  • Two individuals are students who do not reside in halls of residence

We are providing the affected students with our full support and following all Public Health England protocols.

  • Two individuals are students who have left the country

Based on Public Health England advice, the risk of transmission to the LSE community from these individuals is low due to the timeframes involved. All members of the LSE community should continue to monitor their general health and wellbeing and follow healthcare advice. If you have concerns, check the NHS111 online guidance.  

Now more than ever, we must continue to treat one another with respect and mutual support to sustain our wider LSE community.

Action from LSE

Teaching will be moved online from 23 March

All teaching activity for taught undergraduate and postgraduate students will be delivered online from Monday 23 March or before where possible, for the remainder of the 2019/2020 academic year.

Given the decision to extend our policy on authorised absences, and challenges in delivering hybrid models of in-class and digital teaching, all teaching will be delivered online for taught students from 23 March, or before where possible. 

Academic faculty will decide how best to conduct teaching and learning activities, using a range of resources to best support students.

Exams and assessments will move online

All taught undergraduate and taught postgraduate exams and assessments scheduled for the Summer Term and the 2019/2020 In-year Resit and Deferral Period (IRDAP) will be delivered online or by other methods of alternate assessment.

Assessment type will be guided by academic discipline and faculty expertise. Students will be notified as early as possible about what online assessments mean in practice. Inclusion Plans will apply. 

If you have a disability or long term health condition and you do not have an Inclusion Plan in place, please see the DWS Web pages. Please note that there are changes to how adjustments will apply for online assessments replacing on-site exams in 2020; further information is available on the Individual Exam Adjustment web pages.

Students also have the option to defer Summer Term assesments to the next appropriate assessment opportunity, if you feel this is more suitable for your personal circumstances.

We are investigating student visa implications as a result of this change and we will update you in due course.

If you have any questions about exam and assessment, you can contact the Advice Team and visit the LSE Assessment FAQs

Campus and halls of residence updates

From Monday 23 March, there is no access to campus buildings. This includes: 

  • All LSE catering outlets are now closed until further notice
  • The LSE Library is closed until further notice
  • The LSE Nursery is closed until further notice.

This is based on the instruction of the UK government. We advise that you do not come to campus. 

Our halls of residence will remain open and we support and welcome all students who may wish to stay in their accommodation. 

We will continue to monitor and comply with advice from Public Health England and take any necessary steps, including possible campus closure, if we are advised to do so in the future. 

Traveling within London

Transport for London (TfL) is running a reduced service for key workers and some stations may be closed. In line with UK Government insturuction, TfL have advised against travelling unless your journey is absolutely essential.

Please review their information pages before travelling. 

All public events are postponed until further notice

This is due to the number of events already postponed and our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of our community. 

July 2020 graduation ceremonies will be rescheduled. We will communicate further details when they are available. 

General information

What is coronavirus?

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

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.

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:

  • Frequently wash your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or warm water and soap
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing 
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever or cough 
  • Seek early medical help if you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, and share your travel history with healthcare providers 

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 stay at home if you have either:

  • a high temperature - you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough - this means you've started coughing repeatedly

If you have symptoms, stay at home for seven days. If you live with other people they should stay at home for 14 days from the day you got the symptoms. For more information and advice, visit the NHS Coronovirus guidance

If you are concerned you may have symptoms, please use this link to guide you on next steps: NHS 111 coronavirus advice 

Do not visit your GP in-person without phoning them first and explaining the situation. 

Travel guidance and advice

I'm due to travel outside of the UK. What is the advice?

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately and applies until at least 15 April 2020.

If you are an international student and you are planning to return to your home country, please check with airlines and your local embassies, as well as the website for up to date information. 

What is the advice on travel to/from areas impacted by coronavirus?

Advice on travel is changing frequently. Given the regularity of updates to travel information, our strong recommendation is to follow FCO guidance for the specific country or region you are visiting. You should also check GOV.UK for general advice about travelling during the coronavirus outbreak.

If any member of staff feels that they have essential business in impacted areas, you must contact LSE's Health and Safety team so that we can support you as necessary.

I’m planning to travel for Easter break at the end of term, is that okay?

Staff and students planning to travel for the Easter break should carefully consider travel plans over the holiday period. Because the situation is changeable, we cannot guarantee what countries may have restrictions, or what procedures will be in place from PHE on returning to the UK.  

We strongly advise that you follow FCO travel advice and if you do choose to travel please check the following sources before departure: 

  • Review GOV.UK for the latest UK guidance, including travel advice 

  • Check your travel destination on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for the latest travel information 

  • If you’re an international student or citizen of another country, you should also review guidance from your local consulate or embassy 

  • If you have a scheduled flight, check with your airline for any changes to travel 

I'm due to travel on LSE business. What is the School guidance?

All travel for School business outside of the UK will be cancelled until further notice. This does not include personal travel.

Please visit the COVID-19 staff resources page for further guidance and to download a claim form. Find out more about travel cancellation guidance and insurance.

Contact LSE’s Health and Safety team if you require additional support.

I've recently returned from travelling out of the country. What do I do?

Please use this link to check your recent travel destinations against current advice. The site will guide you on next steps and their advice should be followed closely: NHS 111 coronavirus advice


Health, self-isolation guidance, and support

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. 

Use the link below to check your symptoms and recent travel destinations against current advice. The site will guide you on next steps and their advice should be followed closely: NHS 111 coronavirus advice 

Do not go to a GP practice in-person until you have received guidance from NHS 111 over the phone. Students can also phone the St Philips Medical Centre in Pethwick-Lawrence House on 020 7611 5131 if you have any concerns.

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.

What should I do if I feel unwell but have not travelled to any of the affected areas or been in contact with anyone who has?

You should follow the normal guidance for treating coughs, colds and flu.

This includes: 

  • staying away from work/school until your symptoms have eased 
  • getting plenty of rest and sleep 
  • keeping warm 
  • taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to lower your temperature and treat aches and pains 
  • drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration. 

If you are pregnant, have a long-term underlying health condition or a weakened immune system then you should contact the NHS non-emergency helpline – 111 for advice. You should also contact this number if your symptoms do not improve after seven days. 

I have a pre-existing condition or suppressed immune system, what should I do?

If you have a pre-existing health condition or are immuno-suppressed and are concerned, call NHS 111 or speak to your GP for expert advice.

You should also let LSE’s Advice team, your Academic Mentor, Departmental Tutor, Department Manager or line manager know and alert them to any medical advice.

Should I wear a facemask?

PHE recommends that the best way to reduce any risk of infection is good hygiene and avoiding direct or close contact (closer than 2 metres) with any potentially infected person. 

We respect everyone’s right to choose whether or not to wear a mask and it may not be immediately obvious why someone has chosen to wear one. 

I think I need to self-isolate, what do I do?

If you think you need to self-isolate or you are already self-isolating, follow LSE's coronavirus process, available at the link below: 

LSE's coronavirus process.

You'll find out about what you need to do and how LSE will support you.

If you have been advised to self-isolate, you must also let us know so we can support you:

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. 


Staff information

Is LSE Nursery still open?

The LSE Nursery is now closed until further notice. 

Read the latest statement from Mamselle Jackson, Nursery Manager.

Looking after your mental wellbeing while working from home

Working from home can be a big adjustment for some people. Make sure you take the time to develop a routine that is going to work best for you. Below are a few tips to help you set up helpful habits and look after your mental wellbeing while you are working remotely. 

Take time to set up a dedicated work area 

Clearing some space in a quiet area to set up a consistent workspace will allow you to focus and help separate your work life from your personal life at home. 

Connect with your colleagues 

Social interaction is an important part of maintaining your wellbeing. Set up online meetings and catch ups with your colleagues or call friends and family on your breaks so you don’t feel isolated. 

Make sure you take your breaks 

It’s important to take the same breaks you normally would if you were in the office. Make sure you take your breaks away from your computer to give yourself a chance to fully switch off. 

We're also shared additional tips on staying connected while studying and working remotely.

 Anxious about coronavirus and its impact? Mind has put together a helpful resource to help maintain your wellbeing during this time. 

I cannot come into work because I am in self-isolation. Will this be recorded as sickness absence?

If you have been advised by NHS 111 or PHE to self-isolate and are well and able to work from home, then you are encouraged to do so.

If you are unwell and unable to work, then you should record yourself as sick during this period. 

You must also let us know so we can support you - contact your line manager and HR at

What support is there for staff whose childcare responsibilities may change when schools close?

The UK government announced that schools will close from Friday 20 March (with exceptions for key groups), which may impact colleagues with childcare responsibilities.

Those with children or other caring responsibilities at home may be unable to commit to a full work week, and your line managers should offer flexibility and support if you need to care for dependents. You should dicuss flexible working with your line manager in the first instance.

Further guidance is available in this HR document.

I need some time off work to look after my child/a dependent. What do I do?

You are entitled to apply for time off work and/or flexible working to care for a child or other person who depends on you (a ‘dependent’) in an unexpected event or emergency. As such, if a dependent is affected by coronavirus, you should discuss this with your manager so that arrangements may be made to support you.

This might apply, for example: if your child or another dependent is sick, or needs to go into isolation or hospital. 

The School offers two days full pay for time off for emergencies and encourages line managers to consider compassionate leave in such circumstances. For further information, please see the School’s Staff Support Leave Policy (PDF 265 KB). 

If I contract Coronavirus, will I receive paid sick pay during my isolation period?

The School’s sick leave and pay entitlements apply if you are prevented from attending work due to having contracted an infectious disease. 

In line with the School’s Sickness Absence Procedure, you should let your line manager know as soon as possible if you are not able to attend work. 

My work/visit visa is due to expire, and I need to return to my home country. What should I do?

You should read the GOV.UK guidance to find out if your visa will be automatically extended or whether you need to contact the Coronavirus Immigration Helpline (0800 678 1767, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls are free of charge) or    

For further information, please visit the GOV.UK guidance

Student information 

What is happening with exams and assessment?

  • Exams and assessments will be moved online for the remainder of the academic year. This includes the In-year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP). 
  • Undergraduate students can also choose to defer their exam(s) and/or assessment(s) to the the In-year Resit and Deferred Assessment Period (IRDAP), with option to defer again to the 2020/21 academic year.
  • For taught postgraduate students, the next appropriate opportunity for you to sit deferred assessments is the relevant assessment period(s) for the course(s) you’ve deferred in the 2020/21 academic year.

Where can I access financial advice and support? 

Fully registered students can apply for financial assistance with our Financial Support team. Visit their page for more information. 

LSE has a financial support fund to assist students, with details including eligibility criteria available on the financial support webpage.

LSE SU also offer a student Hardship Fund. This is a means tested fund, designed to help students who have fallen into short-term, unforeseen hardship to continue with their studies and complete their degree course.

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 

What should I do if I need visa advice?

You can review immigration advice in relation to COVID-19 on the Visa Advice webpage

If you need additional advice or have further queries, you should contact the International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) for guidance. 

If you need financial help

The LSE Students’ Union Advice Service Hardship Funds are available to help if you are undergoing financial pressues due to changing circumstances

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.

 Information for offer holders

Undergraduate offer holders

Please visit our FAQs for undergraduate offer holders for full information on the current situation

Postgraduate offer holders

The latest information for postgraduate offer holders

Advice for doctoral candidates

Where can I find out more information about the potential impact on research?

Visit the Research and Innovation pages for more information on the impact of coronavirus on reserach activity and contacts for specific queries. 

Advice for parents and carers

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

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.