Covid-19 Plans: London

Syracuse Abroad is unable to accommodate Covid-19 Vaccination and/or booster Exemptions. All students studying with our programs must be fully vaccinated, and, if eligible, must also receive a booster dose and provide proof of inoculation prior to a published deadline for each program. In general, international governments have constraints on those unvaccinated such that robust participation in a study abroad program is not possible. The experience would be so compromised as to not meet the high standards of a Syracuse Abroad experience. Students with questions about this should reach out to their International Program Advisor.

Covid-19 plans updated February 2022.

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:

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


Center Cleaning/Sanitation/PPE

We carry out enhanced cleaning measures, 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, the cleaning schedule has been increased and a dedicated cleaning operative is always present on-site during opening hours.

Increased availability of hand sanitization facilities will be provided throughout the campus. Students are advised to clean their hands thoroughly and more frequently.

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. Additionally, we expect and recommend that students wear face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces where they come into contact with people they don’t normally meet. 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 of staff offices.


Social Distancing

Students are required to maintain social distancing and limit social gatherings per policies set out by Syracuse London and local government.

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 and exit to the campus will be managed through the implementation of a one-way system.

Limiting congestion will be achieved through changes to student 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 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.

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.

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.

Whenever possible and appropriate, meetings between staff, students, and faculty will be conducted online or via phone.

Field trips will be restricted to domestic visits only and will be limited by any local restrictions in place.  Covid-19 secure-accommodation providers will be used for any overnight stays.

Students will not be permitted to have visitors in their households.


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.


Pre-Testing

Fully vaccinated travelers are not required to test pre-departure or post-arrival (as of 4am February 11th, 2022). Fully vaccinated arrivals will only need to complete a Passenger Locator Form on arrival.

Unvaccinated travelers will need to take a COVID test 48 hours pre-departure, have a PCR test booked for arrival and also complete the Passenger Locator Form.

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 England, students will be subject to airline policies on “fit to fly,” airport screenings, and any other airline/airport requirements.


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 recommends a phone consultation where possible and will advise if students need to be seen in clinic.

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 alternative health clinics if DocTap has no availability. Information on how to access these services will be provided as needed by Center staff.

An Emergency 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 obtain this, currently, via the NHS either by ordering online or collecting from a pharmacy (chemist).


Quarantine/Isolation

Students are required to complete the Passenger Locator form 48 hours before arriving in the UK, London Center staff will provide all correct addresses and information for students to use on the Locator form.

Students arriving in England from any country not on the red list, that have been fully vaccinated by an approved body must:

  • take a pre-departure coronavirus test
  • must take a coronavirus test on or before day 2 after their arrival
  • do not have to quarantine

“Fully vaccinated” means students must have had their final does of an approved vaccine at least 14 whole days before arrival in England.

Students will need to provide proof of their full vaccination status to their travel operator and border control. Confirmation is also required on the Passenger Locator form.

Students unable to or who prefer not to show proof of their full vaccination status must follow the same rules as not fully vaccinated individuals.

Providing proof of full vaccination status depends on the vaccination programme:

  • UK vaccination programme
    • NHS COVID Pass
    • COVD-19 post-vaccination letter from the NHS, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, or the Department of Health in Northern Ireland
  • Approved European vaccination programme
    • Digital or paper EU Digital COVID Certificate (EU DCC), showing proof of a full course of an EMA or Swissmedic approved vaccine from one of the EU listed countries
  • Approved USA vaccination programme
    • CDC card showing a full course of an FDA approved vaccine in the USA. Proof of residency, such as a USA passport, visa or Green Card are also required

Fully vaccinated students are not required to test pre-departure or post-arrival. If students receive a notification from NHS Test and Trace as being a contact of someone who tested positive, they must quarantine for 10 days (with the option to end isolation after Day 5) even if fully vaccinated.


Quarantine Rules for Not Fully Vaccinated Students

At present, travelers to the UK that have not been fully vaccinated with an authorized vaccine must do the following:

  • Take a COVID test 2 days before travel to England.
  • Book and pay for a post-arrival COVID PCR Test (to be taken between days 0-2 in England).
  • Complete the Passenger Locator Form.

Travelers are required to quarantine in their local UK residence. Travelers from any of the countries listed on the current UK government high-risk ‘red list’ must quarantine in government-sanctioned hotels, largely at their own expense. The London Center will provide guidance for students about their independent travel from the airport to their flats. (Source: gov.uk)

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 support student safety during their quarantine period.

Although self-isolation rules are set to be reviewed in the UK, as rules presently stand, during the term, students who experience Covid-19 symptoms, however mild and regardless of vaccination status, should self-isolate. Syracuse London will assist with confirmatory testing.

Similarly, any student who receives a positive test result at any time, regardless of vaccination status, must isolate. They must also contact the Syracuse London Center Contact Tracers immediately and they must not come on campus.

Currently, other members of a household where someone either is symptomatic or tests positive, including those who do not have any symptoms, are encouraged to undergo testing at a frequency that will be set by the UK government or the London Centre (depending on which provides the most safety to the Syracuse London Community as a whole). This applies even if students have been fully vaccinated.

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

Twice weekly, throughout the semester, Center-wide Covid-19 surveillance testing will be conducted. This will be regularly monitored.

Surveillance testing will be mandatory for students regardless of vaccination status.

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.


Contact Tracing

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

The campus-card entry system will record date, and entry and exit times of students, staff, and faculty on campus.

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

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.