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What to do if you have Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

By UALHalls 06 Jan 2021

Please don't worry if you begin to feel unwell with coronavirus symptoms, our Halls Teams are on hand to offer you support. 

We have a system in place to help protect your halls mates and the wider community. In this article, you will find out what to do next if you have coronavirus symptoms. 

The most common symptoms are the recent onset of: 

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature and/or
  • a loss, or change in, normal sense of smell or taste 

What to do if you experience any or all of these symptoms:

  1. Please call the site mobile as soon as possible. (Their contact information can be found in your Halls Guidebook
  2. Please complete the Coronavirus Symptom Tracker, please do this by scanning the QR code that can be found on a poster in your kitchen.  Please make sure you wear a mask when entering your kitchen to view the poster and clean any surfaces which you may touch on your way to and from the kitchen.  

What should I do next?

  • You will need to self-isolate in your room and not leave your flat for 10 days. 
  • We will also let your flatmates know that they need to self-isolate too.
  • You must arrange to have a test as soon as possible by following the link NHS testing for coronavirus.
  • You should let your Residence Manager know you have requested a test by email. As you await results your Residence Manager and Halls Team will stay in contact with you, monitoring your symptoms and checking if you need any support. 
  • If your symptoms become unmanageable, please call the non-emergency NHS line 111.  
  • Once you have received your results you will need to inform your Residence Manager.  

What should I do if I receive a positive test result for coronavirus (COVID-19)? 

  • If you receive a positive test for the virus, you must 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.
  • If your symptoms get worse, please contact NHS 111 for advice.
  • If your symptoms become severe or potentially life-threatening, please dial 999 immediately.

What does the UK government require me to do to self-isolate?

  • You should stay in your flat while self-isolating. This means not using building common rooms or study areas and you should also minimise contact with other residents in your flat. 

Can I leave halls and self-isolate at home in or another location?

  • No. According to government guidelines, you are not permitted to travel anywhere for the next 10 days. Therefore, it is extremely important that you stay in your hall of residence and self-isolate in your room. 

Are visitors allowed during the self-isolation period?

  • No visitors are allowed while your flat is self-isolating.   

Can I still go to college?

  • No, as you cannot leave your flat, you will not be able to go into your college buildings until after your self-isolation has finished.
  • You will not be able to attend the in-person elements of your course for this period.  Please make sure you engage with all the online elements of your course until you are able to go into your college.
  • Please let your course leader know you are self-isolating. 

Who can I socialise with? 

  • From now until the end of your period of self-isolation, you can only socialise in person with the people in your flat (cluster). 
  • UAL Social Programme is running free activities for students in halls, so even if you won't be with other students in person, there are lots of opportunities to talk to them virtually. Visit Halls Life to take a look at the full schedule and sign up.

Where can I go in my hall of residence? 

  • Indoor and outdoor communal areas are not available to any students from your flat until the end of your period of collective self-isolation.

Can I smoke while self-isolating?

  • 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. 

What should I do about food and essential items?

  • 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

How will deliveries get to my flat?  

  • We’ll bring all deliveries which arrive at the building for you up to your flat.  

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

  • Unfortunately, if the washing machines are 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 need to do laundry urgently throughout your self-isolation period, please let a member of staff know by calling your halls reception. 

Will I be able to use the 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 that 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 flat mates need less time in the kitchen. 
 Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Student(s) with symptoms 8am-9am 1pm-2pm 6pm-7pm
Student(s) with no symptoms 9am-10am 2pm-3pm 7-8pm

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.

What should I do if the fire alarm sounds while I’m self-isolating?  

  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Who can I contact for extra support?

  • We have team members on site 24/7, 365 days of the year. If you need additional support, please contact your halls team by calling 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.

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 
  • We are offering a service where we can 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.
  • See  
  • 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

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 your last day of your self-isolation period will be so that everyone can easily keep a track on the dates.  

If you still have questions after reading this and checking the information provided via the online links, please contact your halls team who will talk everything through with you in more detail.