Staying Safe in Shared Housing

Preventing the spread of coronavirus can be more difficult when living in close proximity to other people. Take these extra steps to keep yourself and others safe.

1. Regularly clean your shared flat or house

  • Use hot water and disinfectant to clean all surfaces – particularly in shared areas like kitchens, living rooms and bathrooms
  • Take extra care to clean areas that you touch regularly like door handles, cupboards, kettles, toasters, bottle openers and washing machines
  • If you can, use paper towels to dry your hands and air-dry your dishes but if that’s not possible, regularly wash shared hand towels and tea-towels where germs can linger

2. Have a plan in place in case you or your housemates develop coronavirus symptoms

If you develop symptoms, it’s very important that you and your housemates stay at home to help prevent the spread of the virus. This means not leaving your flat or house at all.

  • Set up a group chat with your housemates so that if one of you develops symptoms, you can let each other know straight away
  • Buddy up with a person who doesn’t live with you so that they can help with picking up essentials if you need to self-isolate.

If you develop symptoms:

  • Self-isolate for 10 days and organise a test at nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119
  • Let your housemates and anyone you’ve been in close contact with in the past 48 hours know so they can look out for symptoms
  • Stay in your room with your door closed as much as you can.

If you're living with someone who develops symptoms:

  • Self-isolate for 14 days
  • Take extra care to keep your house or flat clean
  • Wash your hands more regularly – particularly after sneezing, coughing or blowing your nose
  • Keep an eye on the person who has symptoms to make sure they’re ok – while maintaining distance from them. For example, consider leaving meals outside their bedroom door so they don’t need to use the kitchen.

3. Be kind and look after each other

  • Following public health advice will reduce your risk of catching coronavirus but it won’t eliminate the risk completely. If someone you know or live with develops symptoms make sure to check if they’re ok and see if you can help with anything
  • Remember that some students, staff members and other people you see out and about – including those with disabilities that aren’t visible - are exempt from wearing face coverings.

Support and advice

If you need support or advice on anything coronavirus-related, speak to you university's Welfare Office.

We know that this is a challenging time for a variety of reasons. Whether you’re struggling to cope with the death of a loved one, you’re worried about staff or students not following public health advice, you’re concerned about someone’s physical or mental health, or you need support to self-isolate, please speak to the welfare office.

For more information: