With a lockdown currently in place in England until Wednesday 2nd December, we must do all we can to keep ourselves, our families and our wider communities safe as we move into the holiday season.

During this period, we need everyone to play their part to give us the best chance of enjoying our Christmas and New Year and, eventually, returning back to normality. The more seriously we treat our current situation, the sooner we can do the things we’re all so keen to do – like socialising, gigs, sports and increased face-to-face learning at ICMP.

So, our advice to you is simple – protect yourself and the lives of others by continuing to follow the UK Government’s guidance carefully. Travel only when necessary, book a test at your local test centre as soon as you experience any COVID-like symptoms and self-isolate.

Please make sure you read and digest all the advice on this page. 

Suggested Student Travel Window
Thur 3rd – Weds 9th December

The UK Government is committed to ensuring students who’ve been living away from home are able to return home for the winter break if they choose to do so, while at the same time continuing to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission. With a lockdown in place until Wednesday 2nd December, the plan is to open a travel window, allowing you to travel home between Thursday 3rd and Wednesday 9th December. The exception to this is if you’ve tested positive to coronavirus – in which case you must stay where you are for a period of ten days – if you’re displaying COVID-like symptoms , or if you’ve been instructed to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

If you’re self-isolating because you’ve been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19 but you’ve tested negative, you can still return home preferably using private transport wherever possible, but you must self-isolate at home for a period of 14 days.  If you have no other option than to use public transport, you should strictly observe social distancing measures, wear a face covering and wash your hands thoroughly and regularly during your journey.

Update 21st December: students please see our recent email confirming the government's ongoing commitment to allow you to return home during the festive period.

Get tested

Peace of mind can never be underestimated. If you're experiencing symptoms or feeling unwell, it's crucial that you get tested before travelling for the holidays. This way, you can guarantee you’re not bringing the unwelcome guest of COVID home with you this Christmas. The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are: 

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

At the request of Brent Borough Council, we’re asking you to use your nearest local testing centre to avoid unnecessary travel across London on public transport.  

Testing is free and safe, and participation is entirely voluntary. The service is managed by highly skilled NHS Test and Trace professionals. If you do happen to test positive for COVID-19 and need to self-isolate, support is available from ICMP. Please also let us know as soon as possible using this short form.

ICMP students local to Brent can access testing at sites throughout the borough. Book your test by calling 020 8937 4440 (the line is open from 9am to 5pm, seven days a week) or using this form.

Why we’re not supplying mass testing onsite at ICMP

ICMP students are spread all across London. Our partner London borough Public Health Executives believe having students travel from their current locations to ICMP and back again using public transport, potentially on multiple occasions, poses an inappropriate risk to students and our ICMP community during this current lockdown.

Mass testing is designed for campus-based universities where students in halls of residence can walk to a test centre and immediately return to their place of residence.

For further details, visit Brent Borough Council’s COVID-19 page.

To book a test, call 119 or use the NHS app.

Learning: Supporting your studies 

Earlier this month we announced that, to accommodate the UK Government’s travel window and minimise disruption to your studies, we’d be moving all ICMP teaching online from Monday 7th December through to the end of term.

Our Academic Team is working hard to prepare for this. All scheduled onsite teaching will be delivered online from this date and will continue to meet the high-quality standards we set for ourselves at ICMP. We ask that you engage in these online lessons with the same commitment as you would face-to-face ones.

If you’re based locally or decide to remain in London, you’re welcome to use our facilities up until Wednesday 23rd December, when we close for a short period over the Christmas break. All learning resources, rehearsal rooms and studios remain bookable as normal and we look forward to continuing to see some of you on site.

Semester B

We’re committed to returning to face-to-face teaching as soon as possible and, in the meantime, we’re working to the current UK Government higher education guidelines. From the beginning of Semester B, we’ll revert to our blended learning model, unless UK Government guidance changes in the meantime. Your Semester B timetables are now available and can be found within your Outlook Calenders.

Stay safe 

As this coronavirus pandemic continues, we must all be mindful not to become complacent.

There are three simple actions we can all do to keep on protecting ourselves and others:

hands.pngClean your hands – keep washing or sanitising your hands regularly.


mask.pngCover your face – wear a face covering in public and in enclosed spaces.


distance.pngMake space – maintain social distancing by staying at least 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions.




Any questions?

We’ve recently updated our coronavirus FAQs, so if you have any questions, make sure you read these first. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Remember… if we all follow the guidelines, think about each other and take care of our wider community, we’ll soon be able to return to doing our favourite things with our favourite people.

Take care, stay safe and have a happy, healthy and COVID-free Christmas and New Year.

The ICMP Team