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: Friday 11 September 2020
Last change: self-isolation guide for halls added

We need to make 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

Extended arrival period

We’ve extended the arrival period.

You can arrive at your hall from 1 September 2020 until your contract start date of 20 September (13 September at Sidney Webb House).

This helps to make sure check-in doesn’t get too busy. It also gives you time to self-isolate (quarantine) if you need to do this. 

To arrive early, you'll need to make a booking (charged at the student rate). For information on how to book, visit Arriving early at your hall.

Booking arrival time slots

To help with social distancing, we must make sure that the check-in area does not get too crowded. That’s why we ask you to book an arrival time slot.

You’ll be able to do this when you complete your online hall induction, which you can access from your accommodation account.  

You'll be able to select a time between 8am and 8pm daily. If your desired slot is not available, you will need to choose another time. This might mean you need to book to arrive on a different day. 

Access your accommodation account

Welcome events in halls

The main campus welcome will happen on 20 September.

Until then, there will be some events and online activities to help you settle in and meet other students.

Self-isolating in halls

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. You can do this from 17 August in your online induction account. 

More information is in the Self-isolation guide for halls [PDF].

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.


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

Face coverings, hygiene, social distancing and staying informed

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, we ask you to:

  • 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 bathroom or kitchen with. This means that you do not need to socially distance from each other.

Generally, you will use facilities with the other members of your household in a coordinated way: 

  • 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 when you move in.


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. 

Having guests

You will not be able to have guests visit you in the hall until the start of November at the earliest.

We will continue to review the guest policy in line with the coronavirus situation.

Mealtimes in catered halls

Communal meals are a great way to make friends and socialise. To ensure the restaurant does not get too busy, we’ll: 

  • change restaurant layouts
  • schedule different sittings
  • offer takeaway options

You’ll get more guidance about catering as part of your online induction.

Closure of licensed bar

At Bankside House, there will be no licensed bar during the academic year 2020/21. 

Travelling to LSE campus and around London

We encourage you to limit your use of public transport as much as you can.

Our halls are centrally located and in walking distance to shops and services. Most are within a 25-minute walk of LSE, so you can walk or cycle to campus. To help you get started, we: 

  • offer guided walks in small groups to and from campus to help you get to know the route at the start of term
  • arrange for cycle awareness training to help you get to grips with cycling in London

 Your accommodation contract and what happens if you cannot travel

Your presence on LSE campus

LSE’s blended teaching and learning approach for Michaelmas term 2020/21 will be delivered digitally and in person. Halls of residence will open with safety and hygiene measures in place to protect you. This means that:

  • you are expected to be present on campus from the start of term
  • classes, seminars and tutorials will be held in-person
  • lectures will be delivered online

As LSE campus will be open from the beginning of Michaelmas term, our accommodation contracts also start then. For exact contract lengths and dates, see: Types of contracts, halls and rooms


Refunds if you cannot travel to the UK due to coronavirus

We may be able to refund your deposit and 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



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