Covid-19 Plans: London

Syracuse Abroad is continuing to monitor Covid-19 conditions abroad.  We are aware of and excited to see many restrictions being eased in our places of study, and we anticipate making an update to all of our Covid plans by August 6th.  Given that Covid restrictions can change rather dramatically in a short period of time, we believe it prudent to wait until later in the summer to provide a formal update.  Please continue monitoring our website for more information, and you are welcome to contact your International Program Advisor for informal information.

Update as of April 27, 2021: Covid-19 Vaccine Requirement for 2021 Programs

NOTE: Subject to changes/modifications in accordance with local regulations and best practices

Syracuse University London adheres to UK government guidelines, the Health and Safety Executive guidelines and National Health Service recommendations. The latest guidance and recommendations can be accessed via the following websites:

Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

Enhanced cleaning measures will be introduced, including more frequent cleaning of rooms and shared areas that are used by different groups, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces, touchpoints, and washrooms using approved cleaning products.

Working in concert with our cleaning services provider, we will increase the cleaning schedule and ensure a dedicated cleaning operative is always present on-site during opening hours.

Increased availability of hand sanitization facilities will be provided throughout the campus.

Sanitization wipes or equivalent cleaning products will be provided in every regularly used room.

Students, staff, and faculty will be responsible for cleaning their own workspaces before and after use.

General waste and recycling bins in public areas will be emptied twice daily. Additional bins will be provided for the disposal of single use face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Difficult to clean items including soft furnishings and fabrics will be removed or taken out of general use. Students, staff, and faculty are responsible for reducing clutter in their areas to minimize exposed surfaces.

Supply of fresh air will be maintained and increased by opening windows and doors.

Classrooms will be aired out before and after each teaching session. Where required, improvement of outside air circulation to prevent pockets of stagnant air in occupied spaces will be achieved through the use of fans. HEPA air purifiers will be provided in rooms as necessary.

Air conditioning and air purifier filters will be routinely cleaned.

Library book loans and ITS loans that cannot be easily cleaned will be quarantined for 72 hours before reissue.

All campus users must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth whilst on-site and whilst attending any Syracuse London led activity, unless exempt. Students, staff, and faculty are responsible for providing their own face coverings/masks and must adhere to local guidelines regarding their use. A supply of disposable face masks will be available at reception in the event an individual forgets, loses, or damages their own face covering.

Additional PPE will be provided as necessary after individual risk assessments.

Protective screens will be provided in high traffic areas and where adequate social distance cannot be achieved in staff offices.

Social Distancing

Measures will be put in place to reduce social contact and maintain social distancing throughout the campus. Where social distance measures cannot be implemented, or are not viable, appropriate mitigation will be introduced in accordance with specific risk assessments.

Face coverings must be worn as an additional risk-mitigation measure by students, staff, faculty, and all individuals on campus, and on Syracuse London-led activities such as field trips, unless exempt. Staff, whilst inside their designated office and within their work group/bubble, are not required to wear a face covering.

Entrance, exit, and movement around campus will be managed through the use of clear signage and floor markings, and the implementation of one-way systems in corridors and staircases.

Limiting congestion will be achieved through changes to student and staff timetables to stagger arrival and departure times and reduce numbers on campus.

Visitors will not be permitted on campus, unless in exceptional circumstances. In such cases, approval with 24-hours prior notice is required from the Operations office.

Students, staff, and faculty should not bring non-essential personal items on campus. Students will not be permitted to bring luggage on-site, except for Syracuse London led field trips.

Non-business deliveries and mail, such as personal deliveries to students, staff, and faculty will not be permitted. Food deliveries will also not be permitted for all users.

Elevators (lifts) will be taken out of use and managed by reception staff. In the event that lift use is required, only one person may travel in the lift car at any time.

Rooms will be assessed for maximum capacity in line with social distance guidelines and regularly monitored to ensure capacity is not exceeded.

Student class numbers will be capped according to classroom/studio capacity.

Students will have consistent, assigned seating for each of their classes.

Students will be encouraged to leave campus at the end of their class.

Creation of an appropriate mix of online and face-to-face content for each class, reflecting what will maximize learning, as well as supporting staff or students who cannot attend campus.

Paper handouts and shared materials will be limited or restricted, and instead provided digitally. Students are expected to submit assignments online.

Computing and printing facilities will not be available to students. Students including Architecture, Design, and Photo will be expected to use their own personal laptops.

Guest speakers will not be invited on campus and should present using remote tools.

Segmentation, such as the creation of small, sub-networks of students and staff, will be implemented.

In-person meetings will be restricted, unless absolutely necessary. Meetings between staff, students, and faculty will be conducted online or via phone.

Where possible, remote working placements will be provided to internship students.

Field trips will be restricted to domestic visits only and will be limited by any local restrictions in place. Group sizes will be reduced to comply with social distancing guidelines. Covid-19 secure-accommodation providers will be used for any overnight stays.

Student housing will be limited to 4 students per flat and within walking distance of the campus.

Policies Regarding Student Behavior

Signing and adherence to the Syracuse London Stay Safe Pledge is a requirement of program participation.

Response to infractions will follow the same procedures as other Student Life or Academic misconduct and will involve a range of measures including online meetings with Assistant Directors and/or the Director. Regarding Covid-19 safety, disciplinary measures may involve a temporary ban from campus and/or suspension from the program, especially in response to international travel restrictions.


Students will be required to take a Covid-19 test and receive a negative result no more than 72 hours prior to travelling to the UK.

Prior to travelling, students must comply with their residential country’s policies on isolation if they are symptomatic or have been in contact with a symptomatic or positive person.

During travel to the UK, students will be subject to airline policies on “fit to fly,” airport screenings, and any other airline/airport requirements. At the present time, proof of the pre-flight negative test result must be provided to the airline carrier prior to departing for the UK.

On arrival, travelers to the UK will need to quarantine for 10 days (see below for more detail).

Students will not be permitted on the Syracuse London campus until they have participated in a mandatory Covid-19 test with a negative result.

Medical Care

Students that become sick can book a consultation with a private General Practitioner (GP) via the DocTap service. Students will be provided instructions on how to access DocTap at their arrival orientation.

DocTap appointments are at present conducted over the phone or via video chat.

The London Center covers the cost of the initial appointment; costs for appointments thereafter must be covered by the student.

As a back-up and to allow for more choice, students will be directed to Freedom Health clinic if DocTap has no availability. Information on how to access Freedom Health clinic services will be provided at the arrival orientation.

An out-of-hours contact phone will be available allowing students to connect with a member of the London Center team for assistance between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. Monday through Friday and over the weekend from Friday 5:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. Monday.

International SOS is also available and can be contacted to assist with medical needs.

Students requiring emergency care or with a life-threatening illness must contact the UK emergency services by dialing 999.

Accident & Emergency (ER) departments are open 24/7 at designated hospitals in London for urgent and life-threatening illnesses. There is no cost for being treated at an Accident & Emergency department for international students, but there is a cost for in-patient care.

Students without symptoms (asymptomatic) and wishing to take a diagnostic Covid-19 test can book one through DocTap or various other local private clinics. Students will be responsible for paying the cost of the test. Depending on the clinic, several options are available such as walk-in test, home-test kit and home-visit test.


Students are required to complete the Passenger Locator form 48 hours before arriving in the UK, as well as to provide proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure. This proof must be provided to the company you are travelling with. Landing in the UK without such proof could result in a fine issued by UK authorities. London Center staff will provide all correct addresses and information for students to use on the Locator form.

At present, all travelers to the UK must quarantine for at least 10 days. Travelers from any of the countries listed on the current UK government high-risk ‘red list’ (countries in South America, in southern Africa, and also Portugal) must quarantine in government-sanctioned hotels, largely at their own expense. All other travelers will quarantine in their local UK residence. London Center will provide guidance for students about their independent travel from the airport to their flats.

Quarantine or isolation is a personal responsibility, and means that the person cannot leave their home for any reason. Failure to comply with the requirements is an offense that can be punished with a government-issued fine up to £10,000, payable by the student.

Syracuse London will ensure students are safe and well-looked after during the initial 10-day quarantine period.

  • A housing welcome pack will be provided on arrival
  • Center staff will signpost grocery delivery services and any other supplies or assistance students may require during this period
  • Center staff will support students through regular contact and engagement, including orientation activities and the start of classes, if necessary.
  • Please note that if any member of the household develops symptoms during the initial quarantine, the 10-day requirement restarts at zero from the date the symptoms first appear.

During the term, students who experience Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, must self-isolate for at least 10 days from the date when the symptoms started. A Covid-19 test with a private health provider will be arranged for symptomatic students. On receiving test results, the student must share this with Syracuse London and provide proof, if necessary.

Similarly, any student who receives a positive test result at any time must isolate for at least 10 days from the date of the test result. If the student subsequently develops symptoms during the isolation period, they must restart their 10-day isolation from the day they developed symptoms. They must also contact the Syracuse London Center Contact Tracers immediately and they must not come on campus.

Other members of a household where someone either is symptomatic or tests positive, including those who do not have any symptoms, must quarantine for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first student in the household manifests symptoms or tests positive.

The London Center Contact Tracers will alert close contacts that are not members of the student household but are part of the Syracuse London community. Close contacts at this stage do not need to self-isolate unless requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace or a Public Health professional. London Center staff will remain in regular contact with students who are isolating, and will provide whatever assistance is necessary.

On-Site Testing

Periodically throughout the semester, Center-wide Covid-19 surveillance testing will be conducted.

Surveillance testing will be mandatory for students. Staff and faculty will have the option to participate.

Testing days will cycle through the days of the week regularly in order to reach as much of the student population as possible. Surveillance tests may also be conducted before and after field trips.

If a positive result is determined, the students identified will be required to take a confirmation test with a local private provider and follow the self-isolation policies whilst awaiting the results of the second, individual test.

Contact Tracing

Syracuse London will nominate a Contact Tracing Lead and several Contact Tracers, all of whom will have undertaken contact tracing training.

To assist in tracing efforts, students will have assigned seating for each of their classes.

In addition to attendance registers, the campus-card entry system will record date, and entry and exit times of students, staff, and faculty on campus.

To comply with UK guidelines, additional records for staff, faculty, contractors, and visitors entering the campus will be kept for 21 days. External users must provide a means of contact, such as phone number or email.

Records will be kept of students attending field trips, group allocation, and if applicable, seat allocation on transportation and room assignment for overnight stays.

Records will be kept of staff staying away from their home for business purposes, for example overnight field trips.

Contact Tracers must be informed of any student, staff, or faculty displaying Covid-19 symptoms or who has tested positive or has been identified as a close contact. Contact Tracers will then act in accordance with training provided.

In the event of multiple, positive Covid-19 cases, the Contact Tracing Lead must inform the local Public Health England authority and act on their instructions.

Revised Health, Safety, and Other Policies

Syracuse London has revised or is currently in the process of revising its Health, Safety and other policies to incorporate UK government, Public Health England and Health & Safety Executive guidelines relating to Covid-19.