COVID - Student information and guidance


PUBLISHED: 29 March 2020

LAST UPDATE: 22 December 2021


This information page is updated with important government, local and university COVID information and announcements. If you have a query that is not answered on this page and need further support, please email


Guidance updates

Latest local updates for Liverpool

Latest government updates

University updates 

January 2021 rent refund queries - list of LSH accredited providers offering support

Archive - local and government updates


COVID information

Getting vaccinated

Social distancing

Got symptoms? Get tested

Tested positive? What to do

Support for students self-isolating

Arriving from overseas and quarantining

Useful documents for students


Accommodation issues

Contacting your landlord, agent or halls manager

COVID flexible tenancies

Searching for properties for 2021/22 during the pandemic

Property viewings advice

Financial support & guidance

Accessing the Hardship Fund 

FAQs - students


Information for accommodation providers

Useful links

Documents for download

FAQs - accommodation providers


COVID useful links




Liverpool City Council coronavirus page


19 JULY - England has move to step 4

Most legal restrictions have now been lifted, although as cases still remain high, everyone needs to act carefully and remain cautious. Extra support is currently being provided to Liverpool City Region for a 5 week period, as it is an area identified as requiring an enhanced response. COVID 19 advice for the local area is detailed here.


15 JUNE - Additional Community Support

The Liverpool City Region has been selected to receive enhanced support, due to a rise in COVID cases (more information can be found here). As part of this, a mobile vaccination bus will be available at the following times and locations:

  • 19 & 20 June, 10am-4pm: Old Terminus/Orient Hotel, Speke
  • 4 July, 10am-4pm: Toxteth Town Hall
  • 10 July, 10am-4pm: ASDA Smithdown Rd

Following todays news that those aged 23 and above can now get vaccinated (with plans by the end of the week to extend this to all those aged 18 and above), the vast majority of University students in Liverpool will now be eligible to get vaccinated


17 MAY - Roadmap Step 3

The government have implemented step 3 of the roadmap out of lockdown. Follow national restrictions


12 APRIL - Roadmap Step 2

The following businesses in England can now open:

  • non-essential retail
  • personal care premises such as hairdressers and nail salons
  • public buildings, including libraries and community centres
  • indoor leisure facilities such as gyms but only for use by people on their own or in household groups
  • most outdoor attractions and settings including outdoor hospitality venues, zoos, theme parks, and drive-in cinemas
  • self-contained accommodation such as campsites and holiday lets, where indoor facilities are not shared with other households

More information about the restrictions in Liverpool can be found here.


Students should also follow any specific guidelines that have been put in place by your landlord, letting agent or private halls provider.

You can view further information published by Liverpool City Council, including a series of FAQs here.


Archived local updates.




Government COVID page & government guidance for landlords and tenants


19 JULY - England has move to step 4

Most legal restrictions have now been lifted, although as cases still remain high, everyone needs to act carefully and remain cautious. The following provisions will remain in place:


  • Testing where symptomatic, and asymptomatic testing in education environments.
  • Isolating after a positive test, or contact from NHS test and trace.
  • Quarantine for arrivals for arrivals from red list countries, and amber list countries if not fully vaccinated.
  • Recommendations to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

For full guidance, including details of restrictions that no longer apply, please click here.


18 JUNE - All adults over 18 in England are invited to book a COVID-19 vaccination

NHS guidance on how students can book their COVID vaccination can be found here (pdf), together with some frequently asked questions.


17 MAY - Easing of lockdown restrictions

The government have implemented step 3 of the government's roadmap out of lockdown (Monday 17 May updated guidance). Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country, including for people who have been vaccinated. In England:


  • You can meet indoors in a group of up to 6 people or a group of any size from 2 households, including overnight stays.
  • You can meet outside in a group of up to 30 people.
  • Work from home if you can and travel safely.
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home.

Pubs, theatres and other venues can open indoors. Hotels, hostels and B&Bs can open for people on holiday. Read the full guidance on what you can do.


13 APRIL - Remaining university students to return to campus no earlier than 17 May

All university students who have not yet returned to campus and in-person teaching will be able to do so from 17 May, at the earliest, the government has confirmed today (Tuesday 13 April press release).


Upon return, all students and staff are encouraged to take three supervised tests (3 to 5 days apart) at an asymptomatic testing site on campus, where this is available. All tests will be free, and all students and staff who test positive from an LFD test will need to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they receive a negative PCR test within two days.


12 APRIL - Change to advice on home moving

The government have updated their guidance on home moving during the pandemic, in accordance with step 2 of the Roadmap out of lockdown from 12 April 2021. If you are searching for a property for the 2021/22 academic year, you should check this guidance for the precautions you should take. 


29 MARCH -  The ‘stay at home’ rule ends in England, restrictions still in place

Step one of the government's roadmap out of lockdown has begun with the 'stay at home' rule ending on 29 March. The following restrictions remain in place:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble.
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside.
  • Work from home if you can and only travel when necessary.
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home.

Outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen, and people will be able to take part in formally organised outdoor sports.


People should minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes. Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed.



Rent Refunds - Many students are questioning whether they need to pay rent or can receive rent refunds if they cannot move back to Liverpool to their student accommodation. We would refer you to the following January 2021 rent refund queries for details of LSH accredited providers who are offering flexible terms and FAQs on rent. If you are living in university owned accommodation, please speak directly to your university accommodation team.


Archived government updates.





Support for students during 2021 winter break

If you are a student staying in Liverpool during this period, click on the thumbnail below to view details of the support available from our stakeholder universities (this brieifing note has also been shared with our LSH accredited providers to pass on to their tenants).



Support for students who are required to self-isolate

If you are required to self isolate on arrival in the country, then there is support that students can access during this period. See below for support that is available from each institution:

University of Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool Hope University - Returning guidance and quarantine guidance




You may have read that the Government has recommended that universities prioritise re-opening face-to-face teaching for those students on practical and creative courses that require access to specialist equipment and facilities. This decision has been made to ensure studies can continue while preventing, as far as possible, the mass movement of students across the country, and subsequent potential transmission of the virus.


You will receive further communications from your university. If you are asked to return, you should aim to do so in time for your first timetabled session, however we would recommend not making travel plans until you have heard from your department.

For the latest updates for each institution, please see below:

University of Liverpool 

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts


8 OCTOBER - Face to face teaching delivery update - Semester 1

The University of Liverpool announced on 8 October 2020 that face to face teaching will now be limited to essential delivery for courses in clinical, laboratory and other practice-based disciplines. Other courses have been moved online for the rest of October, with immediate effect, and following a review on 23 October, these changes remain in place until at least 6 November 2020, where it will be reviewed weekly. This follows decisions by Liverpool Hope University and Liverpool John Moores University to also temporarily move the majority of face to face teaching online.


You can see a joint statement by the universities in Liverpool here.


The announcements have prompted students to contact us about their tenancy agreement, and you can see more information in our FAQs





If you cannot move back to your accommodation in Liverpool due to the national lockdown, you should speak to your accommodation provider to ask about flexibility in the terms of your contract. Some providers may be able to offer flexibility, however, it is at their discretion.


Below is a list of LSH accredited providers who we know are offering changes to their contracts for the start of the January term. This list will be updated regularly. For more information about paying rent see the FAQs on rent.


Accommodation provider Changes to contract terms 2021
UNITE 50% discount on rent (18 January - 8 March) for students unable to return to site. Students can also stay for an extra 4 weeks in the summer. UPDATE 5/3/21 - UNITE have announced that eligible students who have already applied for a discount will have the 50% rent discount period extended by another 3 weeks
Student Roost Up to 6 weeks rent discount for students currently unable to return to site (must apply by January 25). UPDATE 16/3/21 - Student Roost have announced that eligible students can apply to have the rent discount period extended by another 4 weeks (must apply by 23:59 GMT 26 March)
L1 Lettings Considering requests on a case-by-case basis
Norford Developments Considering requests on a case-by-case basis
iQ Student 6 week rent free period from 5 January - 15 February for students currently unable to return to site paying their rent direct to iQ. UPDATE 10/3/21 - iQ have announced that eligible students who have already applied and qualified for a discount will have the rent discount period extended by up to 8 weeks to 12 April
Gather Students 50% discount on rent for 6 weeks (4 January - 15 Februray) for students currently unable to return to site (must apply by 20 January)
Hello Student Have contacted current tenants to assess their individual needs, considering requests on a case-by-case basis. Package of financial support in place to assist students for a period of at least 12 weeks throughout Spring term
The Student Housing Company 50% discount on rent for a 6 week period for students currently unable to return to site (must apply by 31 January). Rent will be discounted from the last rent payment
Calico 4 week rent rebate for students unable to return for remainder of semester, discounted from the last payment made in the 3rd semester
Nido Student 50% rent rebate for 10 week period from 5 January for students unable to return to residence. Students who have remained on site will receive a £250 rebate for the same period to recognise the impact on their living experience. Students also being provided with a 3 week free extension to their stay






Follow the official government guidance and any procedures implemented by your landlord or agent. These measures are there to protect you and those around you who may be vulnerable. It’s vital that you think of the impact that your actions could have on others. The guidance is clear that the public must continue to follow social distancing guidelines to keep coronavirus under control.








If you have a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of taste/smell you should get tested. More information about symptoms can be found on on the NHS Coronavirus page.


Campus COVID-19 test centre 

Students experiencing COVID-19 symptoms can book a test at the university's test centre on campus, which has been set up next to Peach St car park on the University of Liverpool campus. The test centre is open 9am-5pm every day. Full details, including important information and a campus map can be found here.


University of Liverpool and LJMU students and staff will be able to get a test, with results being processed by Liverpool Clinical Laboratories and available by text message within 24 hours. 


Book a test online

Check the government website for testing information.





If a resident of a student property has coronavirus symptoms or has tested positive, they must self-isolate for at least 10 days and all residents in the same student household must self-isolate for 10 days and follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection


* Self-isolate immediately to protect others
* Tell your housemates
* Tell your landlord, agent or halls manager

* Tell your university
* Follow NHS advice as well as official government guidance

Order a test if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and find out what your next steps should be as part of test and trace, or book a test on campus (currently available to University of Liverpool and LJMU staff and students).


Unfortunately, there may be a situation where you are required to self-isolate beyond the end of your tenancy. In these circumstances, you should still follow the latest government guidance and self-isolate in your property for as long as you are advised to. Please also inform your landlord/agent immediately, as this may also impact on the next set of tenants who are due to move in to the property.


In June 2021, LSH prepared guidance that was sent to all currently accredited landlords and agents on dealing with these issues, recommending a number of actions, which can be viewed here




If you are self-isolating or in quarantine, there is a range of support available. Please click here to see information on food supplies and supermarket deliveries.


Follow the government and NHS advice for protecting yourself against COVID. Try to keep a positive outlook and seek ways to keep anxiety to a minimum, such as pursuing hobbies that can be done at home, listening to music and trying relaxation techniques. Don’t forget to take regular breaks from your computer while studying. 


You should also follow COVID guidance from your university:


University of Liverpool 

Liverpool John Moores University

Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts


If you or another student is struggling with mental health you can access support from your university’s student support team:


University of Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores University



Liverpool Hope University

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

The charity Mind can also offer support





When entering the UK from overseas, you may have to self-isolate (quarantine) for up to 10 days depending on where you have travelled from. Some countries are on the travel corridor list and will be exempt from quarantine regulations, you should check before you travel. If the country you are travelling from is not on the list you will need to self-isolate - check this page for guidance.


USEFUL DOCUMENTS FOR STUDENTS (click images to download)



Moving In Guide     Property Viewing Checklist     Moving Out Guide     Coronavirus Safety - Property Poster







LSH have recommends maintaining an open dialogue with your accommodation provider, so that you can raise any problems if they arise, especially in such uncertain and difficult times. If you have any finiancial worries about paying your rent or questions about flexibilty in your contract regarding COVID, you should contact them to discuss.


You should also check what COVID precautions they have in place and you should inform them if you test positive.


COVID flexible tenancies

With so much uncertainty, some landlords have agreed to extend payment schedules, reduce payments and others (primarily in the private halls sector) agreed to waive the final instalment. For tenancies for the 20/21 academic year, some landlords have introduced flexible terms where possible, to support those students who continue to be impacted by the situation.


We would advise you to use our COVID Flexible Tenancies search tool when searching for accommodation as this allows you to view property adverts where a landlord is offering a Coronavirus Amendment Policy


Any decision of this nature is purely at the discretion of the landlord. We are also aware that each landlord will have their own specific financial set of circumstances that will mean some are able to respond whilst others are not. 





Accessing the Hardship Fund

If you are living in private sector accommodation and the pandemic has caused you financial hardship, your university may be able to help you.  In particular we would urge you to check your utility usage and see whether you are likely to exceed your cap and face additional payments. All of the universities in Liverpool have additional funds to support students in hardship.  Contact the relevant advice/support team in your university for more information and an application.


University of Liverpool

Liverpool John Moores University and Services available at LJMU

Liverpool Hope University 

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (students can access the money support service at LJMU) 

Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine 





There's no need to rush and worry about finding accommodation for the 2021/22 academic year, as there is a surplus of LSH registered private student accommodation in Liverpool and properties are available all year round. LSH would advise that you take your time with your property search due to the current pandemic, and be sure before you make any commitments. We would like to reassure you that we will continue to advertise a wide range of accredited accommodation, in all popular student areas. 


More information about searching for properties during the pandemic.

Information about virtual and physical property viewings.




Q: My university has reduced face-to-face teaching. Can I cancel my tenancy? What about my rent payments?

A: LSH has followed guidance as provided by the government. We understand that until there is an announcement from the government to the contrary then all tenancy agreements will remain in place for their duration. You may also wish to check with your landlord/agent to see if they had introduced any flexible terms or cancellation policy prior to signing your tenancy agreement.


Although staff have not been trained to provide legal advice to either students or landlords we do seek to provide a supportive framework for both parties to communicate and resolve potential issues. Liverpool Student Homes have recommended all students open a dialogue with their landlord if they are facing such difficulties. We are aware that for tenancies for the 19/20 academic year, some landlords agreed to extend payment schedules, reduce payments and others (primarily in the private halls sector) agreed to waive the final instalment. For tenancies for the 20/21 academic year, some landlords have introduced flexible terms where possible, to support those students who continue to be impacted by the situation, and this may include payment plans.


Any decision of this nature is purely at the discretion of the landlord. We are also aware that each landlord will have their own specific financial set of circumstances that will mean some are able to respond whilst others are not. We would again, though, also recommend that landlords engage with their student tenants in an open and transparent way. We encourage both parties to talk it through.


Liverpool Student Homes is not aware of any additional funding any student will be able to claim but, we understand, that eligible students should still be receiving their student loans. However, please bear in mind, that the maintenance element contained within a student loan will not, necessarily, be sufficient to cover all rent and living expenses.


If you wish to advertise a spare room in an LSH registered property, you can do so via our student to student message board (we are only able to approve message posts for properties that are registered).


Q:  When should I start to look for accommodation for the 21/22 academic year? 

A:  We would encourage you to wait until you have less restrictions on the ability to view accommodation, it is safe to do so, and you have a clearer picture of what the next few months will look like. There is a lot of uncertainty at the moment but one thing is for sure that when we are able to resume some sort of normality, the registered accommodation advertised through LSH will be there for you. There is a surplus of LSH registered private student accommodation so there is no need to rush.  


If you do wish to look for properties now, we have introduced a new search feature that allows you to find accommodation providers who are offering some flexibility to their tenancies. For more information please see the earlier section on searching for properties for academic year 21/22.


Q:  Can I view accommodation now? 

A:  Although government guidelines currently permit physical property viewings, LSH strongly urges students to only consider viewing a property if it is safe to do so, and you must follow guidelines and safety procedures put in place by the government and also the landlord or letting agent. Where possible, it would be advisable to do virtual viewings. For more details on viewing properties during the pandemic, and to download a property checklist, click here. We would reiterate that there is no need to rush, due to the surplus of LSH registered private student accommodation in Liverpool.


You should be mindful that many landlords and providers want to protect you, themselves and their existing tenants in respect of the government restrictions. You should not go to view a property if you or your house/flatmates are showing symptoms, shielding or have been asked to self-isolate, or any of the current tenants in a property you wish to view are also showing symptoms, shielding or have been asked to self-isolate.


If you attend a property viewing, you must maintain the social distancing measures and wear a face covering. You should ask the landlord or agent to provide you with clear and transparent safe viewing guidelines before a viewing takes place. LSH would strongly advise that the number of prospective tenants attending any viewing should be severely restricted - preferably to a single person - or that one perspective tenant be allowed to enter the property in turn.


Q:  I don’t want to view the accommodation and I am happy to sign the contract

A:  We would refer back to our position before the pandemic where LSH always recommends that you view accommodation before entering into a contract. If you sign a contract for a property you will be liable to fulfil the obligations contained in that document, which include payment of rent. If you are not sure about any aspect you should wait until you are confident you can meet all the terms of the tenancy agreement.


If you are determined to sign a tenancy agreement then speak with the landlord/agent and request a break clause that allows the tenancy to be terminated in the event of travel restrictions or remote learning continuing (remember, you can view a list of all properties where the landlord is offering a Coronavirus Amendment Policy).


Don't forget that we offer a free contract checking service, so if you are about to sign a new contract and you are unclear about any of the terms, we can explain them to you and also point out anything that sounds unfair. To request a contract check, please click here.


You will also still be subject to right to rent checks, although these have been temporarily adjusted to allow tenants to provide scanned documents in place of sending originals.


Q:  Can I stay in my current accommodation for another year?

A:  If you have had a good experience with your LSH registered accommodation provider, then you may wish to give consideration to re-signing for another year. However, we would again urge you not to rush into making any decisions or commitments, even if your landlord or letting agent is putting pressure on you and gives a deadline. Even if you do not re-sign by a deadline that you are given, the property may still be available, or the landlord/agent may have other properties that you can sign for at a later date.


We suggest that if you are considering re-signing, you get in touch with your landlord or letting agent to check that the property is going to be available as many LSH registered landlords and agents will start to re-market properties when the LSH website adverts. You may want to attend our virtual housing fair on Wednesday 3rd March 2021, 10am-3pm, where you can meet a range of accredited private accommodation providers.


If you have decided you do not want to live in the property for the following year, you should also advise your landlord or letting agent once you have decided this, at your earliest opportunity.


Q:  What is the position if the property I’m living in has problems with disrepair? 

A:  The government has provided guidance to both landlords and tenants, which relate to guidance on these types of issues. LSH is following all guidance as given by the government and this will be the source we will follow.


Any visits to a property by a landlord/agent, their representatives or contractors must be made in accordance with the government's guidelines on working in other people's homes and social distancing.






During this uncertain period, we have worked to keep our registered landlords and letting agents up-to-date with important announcements, guidelines and other relevant information. We have regularly updated this page with these (and other) up-to-date developments and guidance, and below you can view a consolidated source of literature for landlords:

Government guidance for landlords and tenants


For copies of our most recent briefing notes sent out to LSH accredited accommodaiton providers, please visit click here.





Q:  As a landlord/agent, can I conduct physical viewings for accommodation? 

A:  Previous advice from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government recommends that landlords and tenants engage constructively about access to a property, and that it is only proposed for serious and urgent issues. Follow the government’s latest guidance on social distancing measures necessary to help stop the spread of coronavirus. We would also urge landlords and agents to assess any potential risks associated with carrying out physical property viewings, including risks to staffs conducting viewings, sitting tenants and any tenants wishing to view.


Before arranging any viewings, landlords and agents must contact any current occupants and ask whether anyone in the property is showing symptoms, is shielding or are self-isolating before going ahead with any viewing. Viewings should not be conducted in properties where tenants are symptomatic or self-isolating, or where it has been determined that they are clinically extremely vulnerable and are shielding. Likewise, we would strongly advise no viewings take place if any prospective tenants wishing to view are also showing symptoms, shielding or have been asked to self-isolate.


You must not conduct any open house viewings, or drive any prospective tenants to viewings. Any visits to a property by you, your representatives or contractors must be made in accordance with the government's guidelines on working in other people's homes and social distancing. The government guidelines on property viewings also strongly recommend that you encourage any existing tenants to vacate the property whilst viewings are taking place, in order for them to minimise contact with those not in their household.


Q:  What are my legal obligations as a landlord to provide regular gas and electrical safety inspections and energy performance assessments?

A:  Landlords should make every effort to abide by existing gas safety regulations and electrical safety regulations which came into force on 1 July 2020. There are provisions in both regulations to account for situations in which a landlord cannot do this (see page 19 of the government guidance for landlords and tenants), and they must demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law.


If you are not able to gain access to the property due to restrictions in place, student tenants isolating in a property or are not able to engage a contractor to carry out the necessary work, we recommend you document your attempts to do so and all correspondence with your tenants. If you are struggling to engage a contractor, you may wish to consider using the services of contractors recommended by LSH registered landlords.


Both regulations are clear on the issue of compliance. If a landlord can show they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with their duty under the regulations, they are not in breach of the duty. With regards to the electrical safety regulations a landlord would not be in breach of the duty to comply with a remedial notice.


A landlord could show reasonable steps by keeping copies of all communications they have had with their tenants and with electricians as they tried to arrange the work, including any replies they have had. Landlords may also want to provide other evidence they have that the installation, appliance or flue is in a good condition while they attempt to arrange works.


You can read the latest guidance for landlords and Gas Safe engineers and inspectors from the Health and Safety Executive here:


For specific guidance relevant to energy performance assessments, please visit





Government information

NHS guidance

Public Health England

Office for Students



This is a difficult and challenging time for us all and everyone is experiencing the impact of the coronavirus. The information we have provided on this page is the best we can issue and is based on a changing and evolving environment, and therefore is subject to change.  Adopting a fair and sensible approach to support each other and finding a mutually acceptable position will be the way forward.