We can’t wait for you to join our friendly campus community and we hope you settle in quickly. While COVID-19 is still part of our lives, there are some additional things to be aware of. Living as part of any community brings with it responsibilities. This is particularly important in halls where you are living in close proximity to others and may not know your neighbours yet. Please be conscious of the needs and concerns of the people you live with.
There are some essential requirements that everyone must follow:
• Follow signs
• Wash your hands regularly
• Take responsibility for keeping shared areas such as kitchens and bathrooms hygienic
• If government guidance changes and/or the University issues updated instructions, you must follow these.
Health and safety measures in halls
Aside from our general University-wide health and safety measures, there are some measures in halls to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep residents safe and well. These arrangements will be reviewed on a regular basis, to adhere to the law and supporting government guidance and to protect the health and safety of our whole community.
• Your room and communal areas will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before your arrival.
• We will provide all routine cleaning services to your flat or area so long as it is safe for our staff to do this.
• Anti-viral cleaning products are used routinely and our cleaners are trained to minimise infection spread.
• There is an enhanced regime of cleaning all ‘touch points’ such as door handles, stair handrails and lift controls in communal areas.
• All routine cleaning of accommodation also includes the enhanced cleaning of ‘touch points’ such as light switches, toilet handles and controls on cooking equipment.
• In between cleaning by halls cleaners, we would advise you to ensure your flats are kept clean to minimise any risk of transmission of bacterial/viral infections.
• We continue to encourage face coverings to be worn when moving around indoor spaces and when in close contact with those you do not regularly spend time with.
Our Accommodation team has also published a video with further information about what you can expect in halls this term - watch the video
Safely moving into halls
You should not travel to Reading if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19. You can always schedule a later date to arrive if you need to. Please read our information on testing and symptoms as well as when you need to self-isolate.
If you’re living in the UK, you should take a lateral flow test before you travel to university by ordering a free test online (nhs.uk/coronavirus) or collection from your local pharmacy.
On arrival, you should take two lateral flow tests 3-4 days apart, which we will provide on campus. This is to reduce the risk of transmission following the arrival of students from across the country.
It is essential that you book your arrival slot in advance to ensure that we can manage the number of people moving into halls at any one time. You will receive details about booking your arrival by email.
At each hall there will be various additional arrangements in place for your safety, including:
• Sanitised trolley points (and places to leave used trolleys)
• Hand sanitiser stations
• Our team will also be implementing additional cleaning of all communal areas throughout the arrivals period.
We recommend that face coverings are worn whilst you are moving in.
Please keep the number of people helping you move in to a minimum. We ask that once your supporter(s)has helped you to move in that they vacate your household area. Our friendly staff and student volunteers will be on hand to help you if you have any questions or concerns.
Quarantining in halls
If you are quarantining in halls, other members of your household do not need to self-isolate, unless they need to for other reasons (for example, if they have travelled from an amber list country or they have symptoms or have tested positive).
If you have any questions about your accommodation, please contact the UPP Accommodation Office on email@example.com.
If you let us know in advance that you are quarantining in halls, we will:
• Provide a basic food pack
• Give you details of how to order food and shopping
• Deliver your post and parcels
• Provide additional cleaning materials and clothes washing liquid on request.
This means you can enter quarantine immediately without the need to visit shops (which is prohibited).
Supporting you in halls
If you have any worries whilst living in halls, we have a wide range of support available for you - supporting your health and wellbeing. You can also contact the Student Welfare Team, Hall Wardens or Hall Mentors through your halls Reception, Halls Hotline, or Home at Halls app. The Wardens and Hall Mentors are here to help and support you in halls and are always open to a friendly chat.
Reading Student Union (RUSU) also have a confidential, independent advice service regarding matters of academic, financial, and housing.
The Home at Halls team run events and activities throughout the year, both online and in person. The events are designed to help you settle in, learn essential skills for living in halls and most importantly meet other residents.
When you arrive, you’ll find suggested activities to do as a flat to get to know one another and also some activities to do on your own to help adjust to halls life.
All our events are advertised on the home at halls app where you can sign up for as many events as you can fit in!
What does self-isolation (or ‘quarantine’) mean? What can I do and what can I not do?
See the UK government Guidance on what you can and cannot do and why self-isolating (quarantining) when you arrive in the UK is important.
While you are self-isolating, you will be able to use the kitchen and shared bathrooms (if applicable) in your flat, but please be mindful to keep your distance from others, wipe down surfaces after use, and spend as much time in your room as you can. The other people you live with do not need to self-isolate.
What happens if a member of the household shows COVID-19 symptoms?
There are some specific requirements everyone must follow if a member of the household shows COVID-19 symptoms:
If someone in your household develops symptoms or has a positive test result, everyone in the household must self-isolate unless they are exempt (see ‘when you do not need to self-isolate')
If you have a positive COVID-19 test result you MUST self-isolate in your room – please check the NHS website for the latest advice.
If you need to self-isolate, ensure you use the home at halls app to keep the University and halls management team informed. If you wish, you can put the sticker we will provide on your room door so that other people do not enter and risk infection.
How can I collect my Campus Card and/or BRP card if I am self-isolating (quarantining)?
You must not leave your accommodation during your quarantine period for the purpose of collecting your BRP or Campus Card. The normal requirement to collect your BRP card within 10 days of arrival does not apply in this case, if you need to quarantine for longer than 10 days
Once you have completed your self-isolation, you can collect your BRP card. If collecting from the University, you will need to make a collection appointment. You can arrange this before your self-isolation period ends, but please do not go to an appointment while you are self-isolating.
If you attempt collect your BRP card within the quarantine period, this is a breach of the law and we are required to report this to the Home Office under our Tier 4 Sponsor Licence requirements. You should collect your BRP card within 10 days of completing your quarantine period.