New arrivals


01 September 2020


Things will be a little different this year but it doesn’t mean you can’t still have a fantastic time while you’re studying.
The health and wellbeing of our students is always our number one priority. We’ve made some changes to keep you safe. 

More information 

Hopefully, you’ll find the answers to everything you need to know in the below Frequently Asked Questions. 
But, if we’ve missed anything out, you can also contact your accommodation team directly:
Goldsmiths House  020 803 60060
Helen Graham House  020 803 60033
Ivy Hall  020 803 60066
Lucia Foster Welch  020 803 60019
Usher Hall  020 803 60006
Park House  020 803 60064
Platt and Writtle House  020 803 60065
Welkin  020 803 60062
Wood Green Hall  020 803 60061

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I have guests at my accommodation?

You may bring two guests for a two hour slot during your arrival.
After this time you will be unable to have guests inside your accommodation. This is to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of coronavirus.

You should not meet with people outside of your household in groups of more than six.

Do I need to self-isolate if someone in my household is self-isolating?

If a member of your household is self-isolating because they’ve travelled from outside the UK, you don’t need to self-isolate.
However, you DO need to self-isolate if:

If any of these apply to you, you need to self-isolate for at least ten days, you must phone the front desk at your accommodation immediately.
We’ll need to inform anyone who you share cooking or washing facilities with, and implement measures to ensure you can self-isolate.

As of September 28, it became a legal duty to self-isolate if you have tested positive for coronavirus or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace. Fines start at £1,000 and increase up to £10,000 for repeat offenders. 

How well is Optivo prepared to respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Like most organisations, we have business continuity and major incident plans.    

In response to Covid-19, we established two internal groups (Strategic and Operational) specifically tasked to manage the impact to our business and residents.  

They work collaboratively on our business response to the measures introduced by government as they’re announced.  This translates to local management plans which focusses on maintaining services and keeping our residents safe.

I’m travelling from outside the UK, do I need to self-isolate?

If you’re travelling from outside the UK, you may need to self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive (unless you are travelling from an exempt country). You will need to do this at the same location for the duration of the self-isolation period. See more information regarding travel into the UK on the Government website.
You’ll also need to complete a  Passenger Locator Form 48 hours before you arrive in the UK. You must also present these details at the airport.

I’ve heard international and national students will be separated within the accommodation?

This is not true! One of the best things about our accommodation is you get to meet students from all over the world and learn about new cultures. We won’t be taking this away from you.

Is there anyone who can support me through self-isolation?

Your onsite accommodation team is available 24/7 for emergencies and can help you if you need to arrange things like food or medicine.
We also encourage students to ‘buddy up’ and help others who are isolating. If you’d like to volunteer as a buddy, please speak to your accommodation team.

Should face masks be worn?

You are not required to wear a face mask in your accommodation, unless you are self-isolating due to travel reasons and are using the communal kitchen, bathroom or laundry facilities. You must also wear a face mask during a fire alarm if you are self-isolating.
However, in England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • public transport

  • indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)

  • shops and supermarkets (places which are open to the public and that wholly or mainly offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)

  • indoor shopping centres

  • banks, building societies, and post offices (including credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)

  • funeral directors

  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services

  • cinemas

  • theatres

  • bingo halls

  • concert halls

  • museums, galleries, aquariums, indoor zoos or visitor farms, or other indoor tourist, heritage or cultural sites.

  • nail, beauty, hair salons and barbers - other than where necessary to remove for treatments

  • massage parlours

  • public areas in hotels and hostels

  • place of worship

  • libraries and public reading rooms

  • community centres

  • social clubs

  • tattoo and piercing parlours

  • indoor entertainment venues (amusement arcades, funfairs, adventure activities e.g. laser quest, go-karting, escape rooms, heritage sites etc)

  • storage and distribution facilities

  • veterinary services.

  • auction houses

You are also strongly encouraged to wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing may be difficult and where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
Face coverings are also needed in NHS settings, including hospitals and primary or community care settings, such as GP surgeries. 

What do I need to do if I need to self-isolate in Optivo Students accommodation on arrival in the UK?

If you need to self-isolate at our accommodation when you arrive, we recommend you arrive at your accommodation 14 days BEFORE your contract date starts. You will NOT be charged extra for this. Please arrange this with the team at your accommodation. You’ll find their contact details above. We’ve put together a guide on how to self-isolate while at your accommodation. It includes details about how to get your food shop online, how to get essentials – like bed linen and crockery – delivered straight to your room, and how to use the bathrooms and kitchens during your self-isolation period.
If you’ve chosen to self-isolate with us, come straight to our accommodation from the airport and only use public transport if there is no other option. You must wear a face covering on public transport.

What happens if my study is affected by Covid-19?

You shouldn’t have to worry in times of uncertainty. Whatever happens, we’re here to support you. That’s why we’ve made some changes to our contracts and Terms and Conditions to protect you if your stay with us is affected by Covid-19. Find out more

What safety measures have you put in place?

We’ve carried out Covid-safe Risk Assessments at all of our student accommodations.
We’ll deep cleaned your rooms and seal it for at least 72 hours before you arrive. We’ll also be thoroughly cleaning communal areas on a regular basis.
Please follow signs at your accommodation. They’ll help you stay socially distanced and safe. There will also be hand sanitisers available throughout the building.
In some cases where it is not possible to maintain the required social distance, our staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). This includes face coverings. In most cases, they will not wear it unless they choose to do so.
We will be unable to provide you with PPE, although you can choose to wear your own if you prefer. In England, it is the law to wear face coverings in certain public places. Please see more information below.

Where can I find more official information?

Where can I find up to date health advice?

Official sources such as the Government, PHE and the NHS are updating health advice daily.  The most reliable information and guidance on symptoms and measures you can take to protect yourself and other is available on their websites.

View the latest health advice from the NHS.

You are advised to self-isolate if you have either:

  • A high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back) or 

  • A new, continuous cough

  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell.

They have also stated the following:

  • Don’t go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

  • You don’t need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home

  • Testing for coronavirus isn’t needed if you're staying at home

For urgent advice, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: 

  • You feel you can’t cope with your symptoms at home

  • Your condition gets worse

  • Your symptoms don’t get better after 7 days

  • Only call 111 if you can’t get help on line

Who is my ‘household’?

A household is anywhere with a shared bathroom or kitchen or community living.
This may be your flat. It could also be your entire accommodation if you have a room on a corridor with shared facilities.
If anyone within your household has tested positive for coronavirus, you are required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Please note, if you have a room on a corridor with shared facilities, we may not require the whole accommodation to self-isolate. In this case, we will seek guidance from Public Health England immediately and let you know what you need to do.