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How to self-isolate in halls

By UALHalls 06 Jan 2021

During your time in halls, you may be asked to self-isolate for one of the following reasons:

  • Either you or one of your flatmates has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Either you or one of your flatmates has coronavirus symptoms 
  • You have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus and has been told to isolate by the university or NHS Track and Trace app.

During your self-isolation period, you will not be able to leave your flat for any reason until after it has finished. This is to protect you, your flatmates and the wider UAL community, as well as members of the public.

If at any point during your self-isolation period you also develop possible Coronavirus symptoms, please call your halls site mobile straight away to inform the Halls team. Please also complete the Coronavirus symptoms tracker, by following this QR code on the poster in your flat kitchen. 

What you should do throughout your self-isolation 

  • Remain in your flat. Indoor and outdoor communal areas are not available to any students from your flat until the end of your period of collective self-isolation.
  • Minimise contact with your flatmates by avoiding shared spaces as much as possible and return to your room after using a shared space. If someone is in your shared kitchen/bathroom/laundry room, you should return later. 
  • After using a shared space, make sure that you clean any areas that you have touched. 
  • Use your phone and social media to keep in touch with your family and friends. Here are some of our favourite apps
  • Create a WhatsApp Group with your flatmates so you can talk easily. 
  • Only socialise in person with people in your flat. UAL Social Programme is running free virtual activities for students in halls that you can take part in. Sign up now

What you should not do during your self-isolation 

  • Do not leave your flat at any point during your isolation period. 
  • Do not visit other flats or flat-mates' rooms.
  • Do not use any communal areas in your hall including the common rooms, laundry rooms and the smoking area. 
  • Do not visit reception.  

Self-Isolation FAQs 

1 . How can I get food during my isolation?  

  • You will still be able to order deliveries and parcels to your flat as usual. This includes takeaway food orders and grocery shopping. 
  • There are lots of food delivery apps which offer a wide variety of cuisines including JustEat,  Deliveroo, and Uber Eats. For a full list, please take a look at this Halls Life article.
  • You can also order all your groceries and essential toiletry items from a variety of online retailers and supermarkets. To see a full list, take a look at this Halls Life article

2. How will I receive packages?  

  • Throughout your isolation, you can order packages online. We’ll bring all deliveries which arrive at the building for you up to your flat.  

3. Is there any way for me to do laundry while self-isolating?  

  • Unfortunately, if the washing machines in your hall located in a building-wide communal laundry room outside of your flat, the government guidance is that you won’t be able to use them.  
  • If you do need to do laundry urgently throughout your self-isolation period, please let a member of staff. You can do this by calling your halls reception. 

4. How will I safely use the communal kitchen?  

  • Ensure you do not share anyone else's kitchen utensils or food and drink.
  • If you are not wearing disposable gloves, you will need to wipe down any surfaces or handles you touch.
  • In order to safely use the communal kitchen, we encourage all flatmates to create a WhatsApp group to discuss a rota system.
  • Below is an example of the arrangements you could make to allow everyone fair use of the kitchen, you may find that you or your flatmates need less time in the kitchen. 
 Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Student(s) with confirmed case of COVID 8am-9am 1pm-2pm 6pm-7pm
Students with no confirmed case of COVID 9am-10am 2pm-3pm 7-8pm

5. How can I safely use a shared bathroom?   

  • If you share a bathroom with your flatmates clean it each time after you use it. Wipe all surfaces you have touched using a strong household cleaner/disinfectant.  
  • Keep your toiletries in your bedroom.
  • Contact your flatmates and arrange a rota system similarly to the kitchen rota.  

6. What do I do about cleaning?  

  • We encourage you to carry out regular cleaning yourselves. You should have been provided with a pack in your flat kitchen, which has all the products you need for a thorough clean.
  • We will continue to provide extra cleaning products and packs if needed.
  • You will need to double bag your rubbish - this means you need to put one bag inside a second bag and make sure it is tied up securely. Your halls team will then collect it and dispose of it appropriately twice a week.

7. How will I evacuate in the event of a fire? 

  • You should leave the building immediately and proceed directly to your assembly point but take care to avoid mixing with other students.
  • It is advisable to wait until the large crowds of students have left via the stairwell and then proceed to evacuate as normal.
  • You should socially distance at the assembly point away from other residents and staff. 
  • The assembly point to which you will need to evacuate if you hear the alarm sound is situated outside the park opposite the hall. 
  • We will provide you with a Type 2 face covering and this will need to be worn when you evacuate the building. If you do not have time to collect this, staff will have spare Type 2 face coverings available

8. How do I report a maintenance issue?  

  • During your self-isolation period, our maintenance team will only enter your room to carry out essential repairs. You can find out what is categorised as essential maintenance in your Halls Guidebook.  

9. Can I smoke during my self-isolation?  

  • Since you should not leave your flat while self-isolating, we ask that you refrain from smoking. If you need support with this, please contact your Residence Manager who will discuss the safest option for you. 

10. Who can I contact for extra support?  

  • We have team members on-site 24/7, 365 days of the year. Please get in touch by calling your halls reception on the site mobile. 
  • Our Out of Hours team is also available via the IM chat service on the accommodation website.
  • If you need support from our specialist mental health team, please email Mark Crawley, Dean of Students, on
  • You can find details of our other support services for students on the UAL website.

11. What should I do if I have concerns about my wellbeing during self-isolation

  • Staying in your flat for 10 days may be difficult, frustrating or lonely, but there are things you can do to help make it easier including:
    • Stay in contact with friends and family  
    • Take part in the activities provided by the UAL Social Programme.  You can see the details on Halls Life 
    • See  
    • If you'd like, you can opt into a service where one of your halls team will contact you daily/every other day (your choice) to check on how you are doing. Let your Residence Manager know if this service would be helpful by emailing them. 
    • NHS Volunteer Responders are also on hand to have a friendly chat. If you would like a telephone ‘check in and chat’ please call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm) to arrange support
    • If you are in crisis, please contact 999, Samaritans on 116 123 or text 'SHOUT' to 85258. 

12. Will you email me or my flatmates to let us know the last day of the self-isolation period? 

  • Yes, we will email you and your flatmates to advise you when the last day of your self-isolation period will be so that everyone can easily keep a track on the dates.  

13. What do I need to do if I am self-isolating and start to develop symptoms of coronavirus myself?

  • If you begin to develop any symptoms which could be related to coronavirus (COVID-19) you must arrange to have a test as soon as possible. 
  • The most common symptoms are the recent onset of: 
    • new continuous cough and/or
    • high temperature and/or
    • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell
  • For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. If you develop symptoms, you should continue to self-isolate and follow this link NHS testing for coronavirus to arrange a test. 

13. What shall I do if I receive a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19)?

  • Please call your halls site mobile straight away to inform the Halls team. Please also complete the Coronavirus symptoms tracker, by following this link.  
  • You must also immediately let the university know by completing the Report Covid form from your UAL email address. 
  • There is also a lot more health and safety information on the coronavirus important guidance section of the UAL website.  

We appreciate this is a lot of information to take in so would ask that you refer to it throughout any self-isolation period so that you are sure of the do’s and don’ts.  

If you have any questions about anything mentioned above, please reach out to your halls' team. We are happy to help and provide further explanation if needed. Thank you for helping us keep you and others safe.