Latest information – UPDATED 30th September 2020



This page has been set up to provide information for current and future staff and residents at LHA with questions or concerns about coronavirus (COVID-19). It will be updated on a regular basis.

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other

  • Wash hands keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space stay at least 2 metres apart – or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions

The health, welfare and safety of residents and staff is the number one priority for LHA London Ltd.

LHA has a strong history of welcoming international residents and staff to the UK, and they are an integral part of our international community.

We understand that residents and staff may be worried about friends and family members, and our thoughts go to all those affected by this outbreak.

UK Restrictions

On Sunday 10th May 2020 the UK government updated the lockdown measures in England changing from a ‘stay home’ message to a ‘stay alert’ message.

Stay alert

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

For the most up to date information on the restrictions and what you need to do to keep yourself and others safe visit the UK Government website.

Please visit the NHS website for full information about coronavirus, including answers to common questions.

Keeping Safe and Well

Information is being updated regularly on the Government website. Please check regularly for changes.

What is the current risk to the UK from coronavirus?

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic in March 2020 and the risk to the UK public is high. The UK Government continues to advise stringent measures to slow the spread of the virus, reduce pressure on the NHS and protect the most vulnerable.

Key Points:

Staying alert and away from others

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • Stay at home as much as possible
  • Work from home if you can
  • Limit contact with other people
  • Keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • Wash your hands regularly
  • Do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

Protecting Older People and Vulnerable Adults

Those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) are advised to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.

This group includes those who are:

  • aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
  • under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
  • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
  • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
  • chronic kidney disease
  • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
  • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
  • diabetes
  • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
  • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
  • being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
  • those who are pregnant

Symptoms Self Isolating

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

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

For most people, COVID-19 will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above, stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – visit NHS website to arrange.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.

You could be fined if you do not stay at home and self-isolate following a positive test result for COVID-19 or if you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace and instructed to self-isolate.

After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section below for more information.

If you live with others, all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information.

If you have symptoms, try and stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you share a household.

Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.

Consider alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.

Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, then use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms again at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household), follow the guidance on self-isolation again. The section below has further information.

What is LHA London doing about coronavirus?

LHA is acting on advice from sources including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, World Health Organisation, the NHS and Public Health England. We have taken proactive steps to contact our residents and staff to ensure that everyone has access to the latest advice. We are monitoring the situation closely, have made plans to act quickly if the situation changes and will provide further updates as necessary. Following the UK governments updated guidance for working safely during the coronavirus we have completed working safely risk assessments for all our properties. Whilst each site will adjust the risk assessment to reflects the specifics of each property the generic base document can be viewed here.

Are hostels open and operating as usual?

We understand that staff, residents and their families are justifiably concerned about the coronavirus. LHA continues to monitor and adapt our operations in line with the advice being provided by the UK Government.

In line with current guidance LHA has made the following adjustments to its operations:

  • Receptions are staffed but security windows remain closed and we ask that wherever possible residents use either phone or email for all but emergency communication with the team. During this period accommodation charge payments will be processed over the phone and we are unable to accept cash payments
  • We ask that residents respect the social distancing measures within our self-catered sites by not having more than two people in our kitchens and wherever possible aim for single use.
  • When residents are moving around our sites we ask they respect the 2 metre distancing rule.
  • It is mandatory to wear face coverings in any of the public areas in our buildings.
  • Our catered sites are operating a take away service only and limiting the number of people in our dining rooms collecting meals/queueing.
  • We will continue to maintain our buildings on an emergency works only basis and would like to ask residents to bear with us on non-emergency repair works.
  • We will be asking residents who do not abide by the UK governments guidance to seek alternative accommodation.

Staff have been briefed to direct residents to this web page for the latest information and we have gathered details from our older and vulnerable residents so we can support them in following the governments advice.

We have robust plans in place to support the need for existing residents in our properties and this extends to residents returning from abroad who need to quarantine for 14 days.

We have closed our gyms in the hostels that have them in line with government advice.

Whilst we are proud of the fact we have so far operated safely during coronavirus we have not being completey protected from the impact and have had to temporarily close three of our properties Holland House (Victoria), New Mansion House (Lancaster Gate) and the Hounslow Central Hotel.

We will continue to monitor the situation closely and we will continue to provide as much advice, care and support as we can to our staff and residents.

Supporting Our Residents, Employees and Volunteers

In these uncertain times, we want to thank all our residents, staff, maintenance teams and volunteers who continue to work to keep people safe and well.

At the same time, we urge everyone to follow the crucial advice being given. This includes abiding by the ‘lockdown’ protocols, observing social distancing, washing hands regularly and looking after the most vulnerable.

If you are one of our younger residents, and believe this doesn’t affect you, please consider the other people around you who may be considered high risk and more vulnerable to catching the virus.

If you are considered higher risk, please talk to our onsite teams who will assist you.

Employment and Financial Hardship

We recognise several of our residents have already lost their jobs and have been financially affected by this crisis. We will continue to review the government’s support measures as more information becomes available.  Anyone struggling to pay their accommodation charges should contact customerservices@lhalondon.com

Advice for residents and staff in the UK

How do I keep updated about the latest information regarding Covid-19 (coronavirus)?

As this is a rapidly evolving situation we are asking you to check this page regularly to keep informed of the latest advice. You may also find the following sites useful:

Do I need to take any precautionary measures?

There are 10 key points identified as measures everyone can take to prevent the spread of the virus, for the full detail follow the link below:

1. Keep your distance from people outside your household

Whilst recognising this will not always be possible, it is important to be aware that the risk of infection increases the closer you are to another person with the virus, and the amount of time you spend in close contact with them.

2. Keep your hands and face as clean as possible

Wash your hands often using soap and water and dry them thoroughly.

Where available, use sanitiser outside your home, especially as you enter a building and after you have had contact with surfaces. Avoid touching your face.

The NHS has a video explaining the best way to wash your hands

The NHS has a video explaining the best way to wash your hands.

3. Avoid being face-to-face with people if they are outside your household

You are at higher risk of being directly exposed to respiratory droplets (released by talking or coughing) when you are within two metres of someone and have face-to-face contact with them. You can lower the risk of infection if you stay side-to-side rather than facing someone.

4. Reduce the number of people you spend time with in a work setting

You can lower the risks of transmission in the workplace by reducing the number of people you come into contact with regularly, where you can.

5. Avoid crowds

You can lower the risks of transmission by reducing the number of people you come into close contact with.

6. If you have to travel (for example, to work or school), think about how and when you travel

To reduce demand on the public transport network, you should walk or cycle wherever possible.

7. Wash your clothes regularly

There is some evidence that the virus can stay on fabrics for a few days, although usually it is shorter. Therefore, if you are working with people outside your household, wash your clothes regularly.

8. Keep indoor places well ventilated

Evidence suggests that the virus is less likely to be passed on in well-ventilated buildings and outdoors.

9. Face coverings

The use of face coverings is mandatory by law in the majority of public indoor settings.

10. When at work, follow the advice given to you by your employer

Employers have a duty to assess and manage risks to your safety in the workplace. The government has issued guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus. This includes guidance on how to make adjustments to your workplace to help you maintain social distancing.

The latest advice is asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 10 days. This means they are advising people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 10 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

Furthermore where someone is part of a household the advice is that the entire household self isolate for a full 14 days to allow everyone the opportunity to display symptoms.

Anyone needing to self isolate should follow the advice here.

How would I know if I’ve got the coronavirus?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

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

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you should self-isolate at home.

How do you catch coronavirus?

COVID-19 is a new virus and, according to the NHS, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person.

The most likely means of transmission are droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

Infections are generally be spread by:

  • Secretions from the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within two metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs.
  • Touching a surface that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).

It is currently unclear whether people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others, but this is not believed to be a big risk.

See above for precautionary measures you can take to help stop the virus from spreading.

IMPACT ON RESIDENTS AND STAFF

I’m a resident, and I’m concerned I may have coronavirus. What do I need to do?

If you have developed either a new continuous cough, high temperature/fever (37.8 degrees centigrade) or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) you should self isolate for 7 days from when your symptoms started.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to take the decision to self isolate.

If you have taken the  decision to self isolate, please contact your hostel reception in the first instance (by email) so they can advise and support the requirements of your self isolation. You’ll find COVID-19 self-isolation guidance here.

If you have symptoms you should make arrangements to have a test by visiting NHS website or calling 119.

If your symptoms worsen to the point you can’t carry out normal daily activity such as use your mobile phone or get out of bed you should call NHS 111 and speak to a nurse.

Please contact the reception team straight away if your symptoms worsen or you are advised you will be moved to hospital.

I am a staff member, and I’m concerned I might have coronavirus. What do I need to do?

If you have developed either a new continuous cough,high temperature/fever (37.8 degrees centigrade) or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia) you should self isolate for seven days from when your symptoms started. If you are part of a household your entire household should self isolate for fourteen days.

You do not need to contact NHS 111 to take the decision to self isolate

If you have taken the  decision to self isolate please contact your line manager/supervisor in the first instance (by email) so they can advise and support the requirements of your self isolation. You’ll find stay at home guidance here.

If you have symptoms you should make arrangements to have a test by visiting NHS website or calling 119.

If your symptoms worsen to the point you can’t carry out normal daily activity such as use your mobile phone or get out of bed you should call NHS 111 and speak to a nurse.

Please contact the reception team straight away if your symptoms worsen or you are advised you will be moved to hospital.

If you are diagnosed with a positive test for coronavirus, email your line manager and Head of Department. We expect the local Public Health England team to contact us separately to tell us what to do about any residents or colleagues you have been in contact with.

What should I do if I believe I am particularly vulnerable?

We understand you may be concerned if you feel you are more vulnerable to the coronavirus than others (for example if you have a specific health condition, or have vulnerable family members). Public Health England defines underlying conditions as people with weakened immune systems and those with long-term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. If you are worried, members of staff and residents should speak to their medical provider in the first instance, LHA will support you as much as possible, based on any specific advice you have received from medical professionals, as well as general public health guidance. Current advice highlights that those individuals who are either elderly or have underlying health conditions (or both) are particularly at risk should they come into contact with COVID-19. Since LHA has a number of residents that fall into this category, we have had initial conversations with these people to assess their needs.

If you are a resident and believe you fall into one of the high-risk groups (and haven’t yet been spoken to by LHA), please contact your onsite team in the first instance.

For detailed guidance please visit this web page.

I’ve lost my job and/or lost income and I don’t know how I’m going to pay my accommodation charges what do I do?

Please don’t panic, as the government support measures become clearer we will work with those residents who find themselves suffering financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak to agree appropriate payment plans. Please check here for what support may already be available to you. Residents wishing to apply for a payment plan should email customerservices@lhalondon.com

Are you accepting new bookings?

We are accepting new bookings and have a clear risk assessment and processes in place to ensure you can arrive and integrate into our hostel community safely.

Do I need to quarantine on arrival?

If you are an existing resident who is now able to return to your accommodation or a new arrival arriving from abroad with effect from Monday 8th June 2020 you will be required to quarantine yourself for 14 days. For the specific border control information please see this link.

As long as you have notified us in advance that you will be arriving from abroad and will need to quarantine we will be able to support you doing that in one of our hostels.

Some ports of origin are exempt from the need to quarantine on arrival for the most up to date information see here. All arrivals need to provide destination information 48 hours prior to arrival to UK border control. Specific guidance can be found here. Individuals who fail to complete the required information may be fined £100 on arrival.