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 30 April 2021

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 return

If you are returning from abroad, there are steps we need you to take upon your arrival. If you come from within the UK, we ask you to isolate.  You will either need to:

  • complete a ten-day isolation period
  • be tested through the LSE testing programme. You should be tested within a few days of your arrival, and you should isolate until your test result. 

On government advice, we are asking all students to 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

While life in LSE halls of residences may be different this year than usual, one thing that has not changed is our commitment to supporting all our students through their time in halls. 

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 or checking the hall's global events calendar. 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 a current 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.  

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. 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. 

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 when we're made aware of a case or a possible case. We will ask everyone to self-isolate, as defined by the UK government guidelines for 10 days.
  • 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

You will not be able to have guests visit you in the hall.

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

The no-guest policy is being extended through the Lent Term, with a further review due at the end of March 2021.

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 from your hall reception team.

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

The UK Government advice is that students should no longer travel to or from their hall. This means you should remain in the hall and not plan to leave while this travel restriction is in place. 

Students who return to their hall during the period of lockdown restrictions will remain liable for full accommodation fees from 10 January 2021.

Students who have been away due to the lockdown and were unable to return previously can now return from 17 May 2021.

If you have concerns about this guidance, please contact your warden team. 

Contacts in halls of residence

 Your accommodation contract and what happens if you cannot travel

Your presence on LSE campus

For the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year, all compulsory teaching, learning and assessments, including those taking place in Summer Term 2021, will be delivered online.

LSE halls of residence will remain open, as will some parts of campus. Access will be limited to the Library, learning spaces in the Centre Building and testing centres, as long as it is safe to do so and in line with government guidance. All other LSE buildings will be closed. In-person services will also be online at this time.

31 week contract

If you have a 31 week contract, you would have checked out of your hall on 12 December 2020 and you can choose one of the following:

Postpone your contract

  • Please log into your LSE Student Accommodation account and notify us of your intended date of return by entering a ‘Period of Absence’, using the date you left and your intended return date.
  • We will waive your accommodation fees from 10 January 2021 until the date you return, (latest return date is 31 May 2021). 

Terminate your contract

  • You will need to submit an early leaver form before end of day on 10 January 2021.
  • You will need to return your room key to your hall reception before 10 January 2021.
  • You must have cleared all belongings from your room at the time of your departure from the hall.

39, 40 and 50 week contracts

If you have a 39, 40 and 50 week contract, and are not currently resident in your hall, you can choose one of the following: 

Postpone your contract

  • Please log into your LSE Student Accommodation account and notify us of your intended date of return by entering a ‘Period of Absence’, using the date you left and your intended return date.
  • You will need to email the accommodation team to confirm your return date to the hall, including your LSE ID number and full name.
  • Between 10 January 2021 and your return date to the hall (latest return date is 31 May 2021), we will waive your accommodation fees. 

Terminate your contract if you have submitted an early leaver form, returned your key to your hall and have either:

  • entered a "Period of absence" in your LSE Student Accommodation account before 6 January 2021, OR
  • provided proof that you left your hall over the break

If you haven't already completed either of the above options, you can terminate your contract between 17 and 31 May 2021 by:

  • completing a term time early leaver form before 31 May 2021
  • vacating your room and removing all your belongings between 17 and 31 May 2021
  • returning your keys to reception by 31 May 2021

Students or parents are not permitted to re-enter the hall until restrictions are lifted as this is against the current government guidelines that students must not travel to and from the hall.

If you do need to collect your belongings before 17 May 2021, you must arrange for a removals or storage company only to remove items from your room before restrictions are lifted. Please speak to your hall team to organise this.

From 17 May 2021, you, a family member or friend, will be able to return to your hall in person to collect your belongings. Please speak to your hall team to organise this.

If you have not removed all your belongings by 31 May 2021, standard term time accommodation fees will be applied on a weekly basis until your room is cleared. 

We have safety measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our halls.  We therefore expect any visitor to show evidence of a negative COVID test within the last 4 days and to wear a face mask in the hall.  Students must ensure that they pass on this information to any individual who is collecting belongings on their behalf, or accompanying them into the hall to help them collect belongings.  

If you have a contract in a 3rd party hall, LSE are unable to intervene, and you should contact your hall directly.

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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