Self-isolation guide

Help and advice on how to self-isolate if you've arrived from another country or been in contact with someone who has Covid-19.

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Battling the spread of Covid-19 requires that all of us play our part by being socially aware and individually responsible to protect the lives of those most at risk. You may be required to self-isolate to help stop the spread of Covid-19.

This guide should be read along with our page of information on who needs to self-isolate.

What self-isolation requires

You must not leave your home if you're self-isolating.

  • Do not go to campus or work
  • Do not go on public transport or use taxis
  • Do not go out to get food and medicine – order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to you
  • Do not have visitors, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care

The website has full instructions on how to long to self-isolate for.

Back to guide contents

Looking after yourself during self-isolation

Campus Support Officer, Evelyn, gives advice on looking after yourself

Living in student accommodation

You should remain within your bedroom or studio.

You should avoid using the shared kitchen whilst others are present. Please thoroughly disinfect and wipe down all touchpoints in the kitchen after use and take your meals back to your room to eat

If your room has a shared bathroom, please ensure you use your own towels and thoroughly clean and disinfect the bathroom after each use.

Students can quarantine in flats with others who are not self-isolating as long as those in quarantine avoid contact with others in the flat during the isolation period. We recommend you set up a rota or Whatsapp group to help you coordinate the use of shared areas.

If you are not self-isolating for travel reasons (ie you are not in quarantine) all students in the flat should avoid contact with each other during the isolation period. We recommend you set up a rota or Whatsapp group to help you coordinate the use of shared areas.

We also recommend that you wear a face mask when using shared areas.

Consider the number of parcels you order to be delivered to your hall and only order the essential items for your period of isolation.

If you are a smoker, you should not smoke in your flat or bedroom. During your period of self-isolation, you may want to consider smoking cessation.

If you hear the fire alarm sound you must evacuate, even if you are self-isolating. You should wear a face covering to evacuate, avoid evacuating with others in confined spaces and stand away from other people whilst the fire alarm is being investigated. If you have disposable gloves, you should wear them to evacuate and dispose of them once you are allowed back inside. Avoid touching your face whilst you are out of your room.

Put your laundry into a plastic bag and seal it. If you do not have a bag, let your on-site team know and they will deliver a bin liner to you. Once your period of isolation is complete, you may launder your clothes as normal 72 hours after your last day of isolation.

Place full bin bags (not the bags of clothing) outside of your flat door so that they can be collected by the on-site cleaners in a safe manner. Extra bin liners will normally be available inside your flat or placed outside your flat door by the cleaning teams.

Ordering food

It is recommended that you order enough food to last 10 days. If you have the means to order more, and the storage space to do so, you may wish to consider ordering more non-perishable foods to last longer than 10 days to ensure that you have enough supplies for any eventuality.

There are plenty of options in London for you to order online fresh groceries and food and, whilst you are self-isolating.

If you are in university accommodation the team at your hall will be happy to facilitate the contactless delivery of your shopping outside your door.

Here are some popular supermarkets and grocery stores to help you getting everything you need and it is up to you to decide based on your lifestyle, diet, preferences and budget:

Some supermarkets, like the Co-op and Marks and Spencer, as well as local independent shops have also teamed up with takeaway delivery companies like Deliveroo, and UberEats to offer same day deliveries.

Supermarket delivery slots tend to get booked up in advance and we recommend you time your orders to be delivered after you have moved in.

If you are living in student accommodation, let your hall reception know if you are expecting a delivery and they will facilitate its arrival to your flat door. Please be aware that due to the amount of deliveries received, there may be a short delay to its arrival.

There are also NHS Volunteer Responders that can help you collect your shopping. You can reach them by calling 0808 196 3646 from 8am to 8pm and arrange one-off support or schedule regular help whilst self-isolating.

If you are experiencing financial hardship, have not received your student loan or feel like you may run out of money during your isolation period, take a look at our financial support information. 


You will still be able to attend online and complete online activities. Many of the Library's resources are available online.

You must contact the tutors of your face-to-face sessions to tell them you are self-isolating and will not be able to attend.

Your tutors will be able to advise on what to do about in-person activities you are unable to attend. They can also help if you feel your self-isolation will have an impact on your assessments.


Being away from your family and having to avoid contact with other people can become taxing on your mental health.

Self-isolation is challenging for many people and feeling lonely or anxious is completely normal. It is important to remind yourself that this will not last forever, but in the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help you cope with the hardships of self-isolation:

  • Be proactive and check in with friends regularly
  • Share your feelings with somebody you trust
  • Do more things you enjoy
  • Pursue a hobby, learn a new skill or join free online courses
  • Help others by volunteering from home
  • Reach out and join an online community

The NHS' Every Mind Matters website has more details on how to do these things.

You can also get support from Goldsmiths' Wellbeing advisers. These are professional practitioners who will be happy to give you the help you may need to overcome personal, emotional, or mental health issues.

If you simply feel like having a chat or sharing anything that may be worrying you, you can get in touch with a Goldsmiths Campus Support Officer. They are available evenings, overnight and all weekend to all students no matter where they are.

See instructions for it you develop symptoms of Covid-19.

Other sources of support

Make sure you read the self-isolation advice on