A bedroom in a halls of residence University of Portsmouth

Living in university halls

How to move in and live in halls of residence safely

All our halls of residence are open as normal, with all the necessary safety measures in place to keep you safe.

Among the safety measures are sanitiser stations, all our reception areas are going contactless, and welfare support from our Residence Life Team – so if you've got any concerns about your safety, you'll have someone to talk to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Rent reductions in University-owned halls

We have offered an 80% rent reduction to any students unable to use their University-owned halls which will be backdated to 4 January 2021 and continue until the Government advice changes and we are able to resume face-to-face teaching more widely. University-owned halls include:

  • Bateson Hall
  • Harry Law Hall
  • Rees Hall

Other accommodation providers

Unfortunately, the University has no control over contracts between students and private accommodation providers, including other halls of residence and single rooms in private houses. 

However, we are working with the Students’ Union to lobby private accommodation providers to provide similar support to students, and we’re aware many halls of residence have offered a 50% rent reduction. Please contact your landlord about rent reductions.

Moving in

To allow for social distancing when you move in, you'll be invited to book a moving-in slot , so that the entrances to halls don’t get overcrowded. (But don’t worry – this slot is flexible if you get delayed.) If you need to change your slot after you book it, contact the Student Housing Team by email at student.housing@port.ac.uk.

Safety measures when moving in

Contactless reception

When you arrive at your halls, you’ll be greeted by our contactless reception team. The reception will have a sanitiser station at the entrance and you’ll be asked to respect social distancing, along with our staff members helping to settle you in. Once you’re registered at reception, you’ll get your keys/access cards and anything else you need.

Entering halls

For your safety, you should wear a face covering when you’re moving in. 

When you arrive, you will find sanitiser stations at the entrance to all our halls and you should bring your own face covering to wear on arrival and around the building.

Please follow government travel advice if you're travelling to the city with friends and family. When you arrive, we ask that only one family member or friend enters your halls with you at any one time.


As always, your room will be deep-cleaned before you arrive.

Cleaners will sanitise communal areas and all fixtures and fittings, such as door handles. You’ll also find University staff members on-hand, who can direct you to your room and help promote social distancing.

Travelling with symptoms

Please don’t travel to Portsmouth or move into your halls if you – or anyone you’re travelling with – has symptoms of COVID-19. If you or someone you live with has symptoms you need to follow the NHS’s stay at home and self-isolation advice in line with government guidance.

Arriving from overseas

According to current government guidelines on entering the UK, you may need to stay in your halls and self-quarantine for the first 14 days you're in the UK. 

All our halls have the support of our Residence Life Team who can provide you with support. All rooms have free WiFi to keep you connected online.

Female student working in halls

Ongoing safety measures in halls

Our safety measures won’t end on the day you move in. As a resident in our halls, we’ll provide you with:

  • Regular deep-cleaning of your communal areas such as kitchens, shared bathrooms, hallways
  • Cleaning materials and cleaning guidance, so you can wipe down communal fixtures between deep-cleans
  • Sanitiser stations in key spots around buildings
  • Contactless post-collection
  • Limits on the number of people who can use lifts
  • Reduced use of shared common rooms and lounge areas in line with government guidance, until it's safe to do so

Your ‘household’

If you move into self-catered halls, everyone you share a kitchen with becomes your ‘household’. If you’re in catered halls and you don’t have a separate flat, students in your neighbouring rooms become your ‘household’.

To reduce infection in your shared ‘household’, regularly wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water or hand sanitiser. Also cover any coughs or sneezes with a tissue or your elbow, and wash your hands immediately after.

Meeting students outside your ‘household’

Always follow Government guidelines if you plan to meet people from outside your household. This includes other students in spaces you share with your household, such as your shared kitchen or bathrooms.

Portsmouth has many beaches, piers and parks which are perfect places to meet up with people from other households. You could also use our unlimited access to Google Meet to set up quizzes, movie nights and study groups with students outside your household.

COVID-19 symptoms in your ‘household’

If you or someone else in your household develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, you need to follow Government guidelines for households.

If you need to self isolate, you'll get support from our Residence Life Team who can provide you with support. All our rooms have free WiFi included to keep you connected online.

Getting takeaways

Get your takeaway food before 10pm, or get them delivered to your halls, house or flat after a night out. 

This will help you avoid large queues at takeaway venues after the 10pm pub closing time. The police and the City Council now have extra night-time patrols who will disperse large gatherings of more than 6 people, to help keep the city safe and coronavirus infections low. 

If you’re in halls ask the delivery driver to come to the building entrance for you to collect your takeaway. Many Portsmouth restaurants offer home deliveries through their own service or apps like Deliveroo, Just Eat or Uber Eats.  

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