Staff Portal

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice & Guidance

Updated 18 January 2021

Latest UK Government advice

The UK Government has imposed new national restrictions for England starting from 5 January 2021. See here for further details.

Click here for UK Government advice on Social Distancing Measures.


Travel corridors suspended

Travel corridors were suspended 4am, 18 January 2021.

If you arrive in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man you will need to self-isolate for 10 days.

You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England.

More information can be found here.

What’s happening at Richmond

Advice for students starting in January 2021 and current students

Following the announcement by the UK Government on 4 January 2021 to enter into a national lockdown from 5 January until mid-February 2021 due to the current situation with Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the UK, both undergraduate and postgraduate teaching will be delivered online only from 18 January until after our planned reading week, 8-12 March.   

More information about the national lockdown restrictions is available here


Travel advice for new and returning international students

Based on government guidance, we strongly encourage international students who are were planning to arrive in the UK for Spring 2021 semester NOT to travel due to the current health-related risks associated with international travel. 

If any students who are taking university accommodation have already paid housing fees and decided not to move in this semester, your housing fees will be refunded.  If you wish to move in later in the semester, you can pay for just that specific period of residence. Please contact for more information.  

If you do intend to travel please be aware that because of the national lockdown restrictions: 

  • All teaching will be online until March 2021 
  • We are limited in the offer we have for student life on campus, but are dedicated to supporting you with your academic studies and mental health and wellbeing 
  • In residing in the UK, you will be required to adhere to all national lockdown rules and regulations and we encourage you to take part in our asymptomatic testing scheme to protect yourself and the other members of your community. 

Residential students requiring quarantine need to allow for 10 days of isolation. This service is being offered only to residential students who have signed a housing contract to live in University halls of residence for the Spring 2021 term. Housing and meals during the quarantining period are being offered free of charge to all residents.

During the 10-day period, residents receive daily food deliveries, are offered essential services like post/package deliveries, health and wellbeing support and access to all of the University's remote services. Residents, who can go outdoors within the walled campus, are housed in zones where they share a common space as well as toilets and showers. This allows residents the benefits of living with others as within a household (some social interaction to protect mental health and wellness), but mitigates the risk of living amongst a larger population.

During the Fall 2020 isolation period, almost 40 residents were quarantined and no cases of Covid-19 were reported.


Advice for international students who remained on campus/in the UK during winter break

Similarly, we encourage international students who remained on campus/in the UK for the holiday period NOT to travel home due to the current health-related risks associated with international travel. Our Richmond campus will remain open and we will support you through your online studies.

We promise you an excellent quality of teaching, even if we adjust the way we teach. We remain committed to providing the best possible online learning experience for our students, which will include digital resources such as videos, podcasts and interactive content, personal teaching support, plus engagement with fellow students from around the world. Any student who chooses to study online for the rest of the academic year will not be negatively impacted by this decision.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) undoubtedly presents universities across the globe with challenges. Please be assured we are working hard to maintain continuity for you and are fully committed to providing the best possible academic experience in 2020/21. We are closely monitoring the wider Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and will continue to update you.

Thank you for your understanding and patience in these unprecedented circumstances.

Important Information


While we will make every effort to provide all of our students with any updated information, the COVID situation may change quickly, and the advice above is subject to change on the basis of UK Government policy.


For students on campus

  • We have been informed of 7 employees who have tested positive for Coronavirus
  • We have been informed of 10 students who have tested positive for Coronavirus – none of these students have been on campus this semester or last semester

These are cumulative figures for positive tests among employees and students since the COVID-19 pandemic began.


Update on campus services

  • In person services including catering, security and cleaning will remain available this semester
  • Student Affairs provision will be unchanged. In-person Student Affairs support is available at Richmond, but limited until we re-start in-person teaching in March
  • Registry Services will continue to be available on email and phone, and Zoom and in-person appointments with any members of the team can be booked on request
  • Library service hours on campus have been reduced but online support services remain available. Please refer to the Library calendar
  • Finance Department is available to contact via email or via telephone Monday to Friday 10am to 4pm on +44 (0) 20 8332 8209. Details on how to pay can be found here.
  • Other offices and departments will be available both in-person and online

We would like to thank all of our students for their perseverance and persistence during these very challenging times. We are all looking forward to a change in the COVID situation in 2021, and the University will respond and adapt accordingly. The education of our students and their safety remain our top priorities.


Safety measures

We have made a number of changes on campus to keep students safe. These measures include:

  • Mandatory face coverings in transit areas and common areas where 2 metres social distancing is not possible plus face coverings to be worn in all classrooms
  • On-campus accommodation: students are being housed in zones which will operate as a household with some shared facilities and common space. This is a response to Government guidance about limiting contacts while in larger residential areas
  • Hand sanitiser at every entrance, in computer labs, library and offices
  • Unique entrances and exits to each building
  • A marked traffic system to ensure social distance
  • Stepped up cleaning on high touch areas and public toilet facilities
  • All guests must sign in and out at our reception desk and must follow our guest guidance to comply with NHS Track and Trace
  • Students visiting offices must adhere to social distancing requirements and must wear face coverings. Room capacities will be posted at each entrance. These capacities cannot be exceeded
  • Chairs and tables have been spread out in the dining hall, in the library and in common areas to ensure social distancing and capacities are reduced to make it easier to manage crowds. Both the dining hall and the cafes offer take away options at every meal
  • Anyone experiencing any symptoms: fever, cough, loss of smell/taste, etc will be required to isolate for 14 days. If in residence halls, we will place students in isolated housing, for off- campus students, they'll need to stay at home. The students will need to liaise with Student Affairs concerning attendance, missed assignments, etc

See here for more details.



  • For details of how to get tested for Covid-19 in the Richmond area see more information here.
  • For details of how to get tested for Covid-19 in the Kensington area, see more information here.

How to get tested

If you need to get a test to check if you have Coronavirus, understand your test result and find out what to do if you're contacted by NHS Test and Trace, visit the NHS website.