COVID-19 information

Measures in halls of residence to help protect you from coronavirus (COVID-19)

Changes we’re making to ensure your stay in halls is safe and enjoyable and what you can do to help us. 

Page last updated: Thursday 13 January 2022

We have made some changes to the way we operate our halls, to ensure your stay remains safe and enjoyable. Any measures we put in place are based on the latest guidance published by Public Health England and informed by LSE’s academic expertise.

Your hall is the base from which you'll settle into the LSE community, explore London and make friends. We want to make it as welcoming, inclusive and vibrant during the coronavirus pandemic as we know it can be. 

Who this guidance is for

The information on this page is for LSE halls and Sidney Webb House. If you live in urbanest, University of London halls or Lilian Knowles House, please visit:

For Sidney Webb House see additional coronavirus guidance from Unite Students.

Arrival and moving in

Keeping safe during your arrival

Please check the UK government website before you travel for up to date information on isolation and testing requirements upon arrival in the UK. Whether you will need to isolate will depend on whether you have been fully vaccinated yet with a UK approved vaccine. 

We ask that all students show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the last 24 hours upon check in to the hall. Once resident in the hall, we ask that all students get tested every four days. More information about quarantining and testing on arrival to the UK can be found on government advice on quarantine webpage. 

How to book a COVID-19 test

Testing is a vital part of containing the spread of coronavirus, particulary as many people are asymptomatic. On government advice, we are asking all students to get tested every four days.

Testing will remain in place and accessible to students in halls of residence.

New booking slots will be released on an ongoing basis. 

After your first test, any additional tests in the following days and weeks can be booked through LSE's testing at your discretion.

Book your test

Support for students

The reception teams, Warden and Subwarden teams continue to work hard to provide welfare support, build community (alongside our excellent Hall committees) and assist with key services. Please reach out to your Warden or Subwarden if you need any help.

Additionally, the School offers a range of wellbeing support available online or over the phone. Further information about accessing LSE wellbeing support can be found at LSE student wellbeing.

Events in halls

More information about any events happening in your hall of residence can be found by contacting your Hall committee. To see who's on your committee at the moment, visit Contacts in halls of residence

What we ask you to do and changes we've made

Self-isolating in halls

There may be an instance when you need to self-isolate due to travel, having symptoms, having come in close contact with an infected person or someone in your household reported a positive test result.

Depending on where you travel from, you may need to self-isolate (quarantine) after your arrival.

Before you travel, check the most recent UK government rules on entering the UK.

We'll ask you to tell us if you'll have to self-isolate.  
If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, we will inform other members of your household and relevant staff members. This is to ensure their safety, to allow for distancing and to ensure that you can complete your isolation effectively.

More information is in the Self-isolation guide for halls [PDF] and on the LSE coronavirus webpage.

Getting food while you're self-isolating

While you're self-isolating, you should order your food (groceries and/or ordered meals) online and get it delivered to the hall. 

If you’ve told us that you’re self-isolating, we can help get the food from reception to your bedroom door. If you're in a catered hall, we will arrange for the meals provided to be brought to your room. 

You are allowed to use your kitchen and the laundry room, but you must ensure that you are wearing a mask and that you clean surfaces that you touch. Only in exceptional circumstances are you permitted to go food shopping.

View the UK government's guidance on self-isolation when you travel to the UK

For general information about coming to the UK, visit Welcome to LSE -  Tips for international students.

Keeping everyone safe

Living in halls is a shared experience and you will meet and be in contact with other students. To do this as safely as possible and to keep yourself and your household safe, we ask you to:

  • Always follow the guidelines for LSE [PDF] and the UK government.
  • Get tested every four days. 
  • Let your Halls team or LSE Trace know immediately if you experience any symptoms.
  • Only use the kitchen you have been assigned.
  • Wear face coverings in shared areas and communal spaces. 
  • Practice good hygiene in the hall. Wash your hands regularly and clean shared areas such as sinks and bathrooms after use. We have increased the cleaning frequency for shared spaces and hand sanitiser will be widely available.  
  • Stick to the rules for using common rooms and study areas. If common areas are permitted to open, there will be a limit to how many students can use them at the same time and they'll have socially distanced seating.
  • Take an active part in our online communities. They connect you with other students in your hall and give you access to helpful information from the Residential Life team and student hall committee.

Sharing bathrooms and kitchens

You'll form a household with everyone you're sharing a kitchen with. You should only use the bathroom and kitchen you have been assigned to. 

If a member of your household tests positive: 

  • you’ll be assigned times to use the kitchens as appropriate
  • cleaning products will be available to wipe down surfaces after use

We’ll let you know the exact arrangements at the time.


Sharing bedrooms

If you share a bedroom, you and your roommate form part of a household. This means that you do not need to socially distance from each other. 

You still need to be mindful of the needs of your roommate. 

What happens if there's a positive case in your hall

Asking households to self-isolate is one of the ways we manage the risk of the virus spreading to other parts of your hall, and even the wider LSE community.

Here's what you can expect if there's a case in your household:

We'll notify the household and relevant staff members in the hall when we're made aware of a case or a possible case. This is to allow for distancing and to ensure that isolation can be carried out effectively. If you are a household member of a student who has tested positive or is displaying symptomps for COVID-19, we will ask you to confirm:

  • if you have been double vaccinated; and
  • if you received your vaccination at least 14 days prior to the date that the student in your household tested positive; and
  • if you have received an NHS approved vaccine.

If all the above apply to you, you do not need to isolate and we will ask you to book a PCR test via the LSE testing centre as soon as possible.

If you do not meet the above criteria, we will ask you to isolate for 10 days. You will also be asked to book a PCR test as soon as possible, although you will not be able to end your isolation early if your test result is negative. 

  • We'll provide extra support to the household to make sure that everyone has the necessities they need (food, support or extra cleaning supplies). More information is in the Self-isolation guide for halls [PDF].
  • We may need to isolate all households within a hall if there are connected cases in separate households.

Having guests

Guests are permitted, however, any guest must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test within the last four days. Guests will not be permitted in households where there is a positive COVID-19 case, or if they are self-isolating. 

Permission must be sought from the Warden for stays longer than three nights, and from flatmates / roomates if you are a resident in a shared room or shared flat.

Residents are strongly advised not to have guests stay over for the first two weeks of the halls arrival and contract start dates: 19 September to 3 October 2021. This is to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 from non-LSE guests and for the protection of both students and staff.

 Your accommodation contract and what happens if you cannot travel

Refunds if you cannot travel to the UK due to coronavirus

We may be able to release you from your accommodation contract if you cannot to travel to the UK because of coronavirus.

You will need to provide documentation and we will assess each case individually. To be considered for a refund under exceptional circumstances, you must:

  • have booked accommodation directly with LSE (if your contract is with urbanest, Sanctuary Students, or the University of London, please contact them directly for more information)
  • be unable to travel to the UK for reasons outside of your control
  • notify us as soon as you know you can’t travel
  • provide written documentation to support your case (for example a government webpage with guidance, flight cancellation or a visa rejection letter)
  • cancel your room, because we cannot hold your place if you're asking us for a refund

After you've cancelled
If we have rooms available, you may be able to book a new room at a later date, see Mid-year room vacancies

Alternatively, we can help you find private housing

If you cannot supply sufficient evidence or choose not to travel

If cannot supply sufficient evidence or choose not to travel for other reasons, we will not refund your accommodation fees and deposit beyond the standard cancellation policy.

We still ask you to cancel your room so we can offer the space to someone else. 

If we have rooms available, you may be able to book a new room at a later date, see Mid-year room vacancies

Alternatively, we can help you find private housing

Due to COVID-19 the Residential Services office is working remotely at present. We are unable to meet students in person, but we are available by email or telephone to help with your enquiries.


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