International Students House


International Students House

Coronavirus: precautions to protect our community

ISH will take all necessary steps to protect residents and staff from an outbreak of Covid-19. We appreciate your cooperation with these measures, which are taken to protect the health and safety of all.


If, at any time during your stay at ISH, you or your roommate develop any of the following symptoms, please remain in your room and contact the Duty Manager on 020 7631 8375:

  • a high temperature (or fever)
  • a new and continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

The next step is to order a test online or call 119

The Duty Manager will request information on who you have been in close contact with:

A close contact is a person who has been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus while they are infectious. Most people are considered infectious from 48 hours before symptom onset (or 48 hours before their positive test, if no symptoms) until 10 days after symptom onset (or 10 days after positive test, if no symptoms).

The following would count as being in close contact:

  • being within 2 metres of a confirmed case for 15 minutes or more;
  • being within 1 metre of a confirmed case for 1 minute or more;
  • sharing a household with a confirmed case;
  • having sexual contact with a confirmed case;
  • travelling in a car or other small vehicle with a confirmed case (even on a short journey); or
  • being close to a confirmed case on an aeroplane

Please continue to stay in your room and keep in contact with the Duty Manager when you receive the results of your test. ISH will bring meals to you 3 times a day, and will send you menus in advance so you can select each meal. Alternative menus and snacks are available through the Thirsty Scholar click and deliver service. Click here for the full menu and to order online:

 How to treat symptoms

There is currently no specific treatment, here are some suggestions from the NHS:

  • If you have a cough, it is best to avoid lying on your back, lie on your side or sit upright. To ease a cough, try a teaspoon of honey.
  • If you have a high temperature, get lots of rest, drink plenty of fluids (water is best) take paracetamol if you are able to
  • If you are feeling breathless, try turning down the heat, it can help to keep your room cool. Breathe in slowly through your nose and out through your mouth, relax your shoulders, lean forward slightly.

If symptoms persist and you are not feeling better contact NHS online for advice or by phone 111 and inform the Duty Manager


Self-isolation helps stop the virus spreading to other people. When self-isolating it’s imperative to adhere to the following guidelines:

X do not go to work, places of education or public places

X do not go on public transport or use taxis

X do not go out of your room to get food or medicine – order online or ask someone to bring it to you

X do not have any visitors in your room

X do not go out to exercise – if you need some fresh air, please call the Duty Manager who will escort you to the car park area of ISH.


How long to self-isolate 

If you have symptoms you will need to self-isolate for 10 days and request a test

If the result of the test is NEGATIVE, for a person who has symptoms:

You will no longer need to self-isolate if your symptoms have passed and you feel well

If the result of the test is POSITIVE, for the person with symptoms:

You will need to self-isolate for 10 days from when your symptoms started

For the roommate and close contacts of a person with symptoms

If the person tests positive, roommates and close contacts will be required to self-isolate for 14 days from the day that the symptoms developed. You must stay in isolation regardless of your own test result (if you also have a test). If the test was negative for the person with symptoms, we will review the situation and let you know if isolation can cease.

Track and Trace

We encourage you to down load the NHS track and trace app and switch on Bluetooth.  If you are contacted by track and trace you must isolate for the number of days that they inform you to via text, phone or email.

The Duty Manager will ask who you have been in contact with for the last 48 hours and the areas that you have visited.  Close contact residents of ISH will be requested to isolate for 14 days as a precaution to help stop the potential spread of the virus.

The NHS COVID-19 app is free to download from the App Store and Google Play.

ISH Protocols

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning of all communal facilities and areas of high footfall. These include toilets, showers and communal kitchens and kitchenettes. Our cleaning staff regularly disinfect door handles, staircase handrails and lift control panels.
  • Hand sanitiser dispensers are available throughout the building, from the main entrance as well as in the accommodation areas.
  • Floor markings and signage is used to remind everyone to maintain social distance where possible.
  • Perspex screens are in place at reception and in the food servery, to protect staff and residents and only cashless payments are accepted where possible.

Resident Responsibilities:

On arrival:

When you arrive at ISH for the first time (or after a trip away from ISH), the Duty Manager will take your temperature, ask you to sanitise your hands and complete a short health questionnaire. Depending on the place from where you have travelled (and subject to room availability), you may be asked to self-isolate in a single / ensuite room for 14 days. If you are required to self-isolate and remain confined to your room, meals will be brought to you and you will not be permitted to leave your room until the quarantine period has ended. The quarantine requirement is only applicable to certain countries:

If you intend to be away from ISH for a period of time, please notify the Dean of Student Life ( with details of the dates when you will be away and your location.

Other tips:

  • Register with a London Medical Practice – see this webpage for details of the GP (General Practitioner) services closest to ISH:
  • Adhere to the signage indicating which communal bathrooms are designated for your room
  • Prepare a 14-day supply of dry food items / snacks, toiletries, any medications you may need, and clean clothing, in case you have to self-isolate.

Contact details:

It is important that ISH has an up to date telephone number for you and your emergency contact person. Make sure this is on your record, which you can view on the ISH portal. If you get a new telephone, or change your number, please update your record so that ISH can easily contact you.

Hand Hygiene:

One of the simplest ways to protect yourself from infection is to wash or sanitise your hands thoroughly and regularly. Soap and water is just as effective as sanitiser. Avoid touching your face, eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Social distance:

A social distance of 2 metres from other staff and residents should be practised where possible. This means that only 1 person can travel in a lift at a time. There are also limits on the number of people who can use the common rooms and kitchens – please observe the rules which are signposted on the doors.

Face masks:

A face mask or covering should be worn when you are in the corridors or any communal space at ISH, as well as in all situations where you cannot be 2 metres away from others. They are mandatory in all shops and on public transport, and  many other locations:

Separate buildings:

Where possible, Wills House residents and GPS residents should avoid mixing, by using only the kitchens and common rooms designated for each building. Wills House residents have access to Venue 2 as their common room.

The ISH Laundry in the basement of Wills House is available as follows:

  • For Wills House residents = Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday
  • For GPS residents = Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday

During Lockdown (from 5th November 2020 onwards):

You can read more about what lockdown means here:

Access to ISH will be restricted to staff, contractors and residents only. No members of the public will be allowed entry, except for external clients who have booked space at ISH for educational purposes.

Sign in and out:

Please use the signing in and out sheet for residents, placed at reception, in line with the restrictions on movements. Please note that you must not move back and forward between your permanent home and term time address, or any other address during term time. Meetings with people from outside your household will be reduced to one other person only and outdoors, with exceptions for those who have formed a support bubble.

Who can I be in a support bubble with?

This can be a person (relative, friend or partner) who lives alone that an ISH resident can seek permission to visit and stay with during the lockdown period. They should not be in a support bubble with anyone else and you cannot form a support bubble with more than one person. Email the Dean of Student Life, with details of your support bubble person.

For more details see: