Information for researchers visiting CLF for experiments during the Covid-19 period
07 Oct 2020



​​This page gives key information for researchers physically coming for experiments in the CLF.




STFC is currently at alert level 2, which means that many Covid-related controls have been lifted.  However, mask-wearing in communal spaces is currently mandatory, and good practice (regular hand washing / sanitising, social distancing) should still be followed.​​

responsibilities of visiting researchers and their employer / host institution

We would request that you take a lateral flow test before coming to RAL. This is standard practice for staff at RAL, who are asked to do two tests each week.

Whether you are visiting CLF from the UK or overseas, your employer remains responsible for your health and safety while you are undertaking work at CLF, notwithstanding the duty of care CLF owes to you to provide a safe working environment. You should ensure that your employer has pre-prepared plans to support you should you become ill while working at CLF, whether COVID-19 related or not, and that you have your employer's permission to travel to RAL.

However, if you develop Covid-19 symptoms during your work at CLF, CLF will arrange provisions for self-isolation in STFC accommodation, ask you to take a Covid-19 test and, if necessary, your continued self-isolation in STFC accommodation if you are tested positive for Covid-19.  For overseas visitors, it is up to the employer to ensure that you are adequately covered by insurance in the event that medical treatment is necessary in the UK (whether Covid-19-related or not) or your repatriation. 

STFC will not provide quarantine facilities if it is a requirement for researchers from overseas to isolate for a period once they enter the UK.  Researchers must check immediately prior to travel the quarantine status of the bridge between their home country and the UK, and if they choose to travel to the UK under these conditions, they must arrange their own accommodation for quarantine and cannot visit CLF until the quarantine period is over.

All visitors should cancel their travel plans if showing symptoms of Covid-19 before travel. In the event of a visitor becoming ill whilst in CLF, and / or testing positive for Covid-19, then we will allow the visitor to remain in their booked accommodation (at Ridgeway House or the Cosener's House).  We will cover all living expenses incurred as a result of the CLF visitor having to self-isolate in a STFC accommodation.

Please see the section below for more detailed instructions on what to do if you feel ill whilst at RAL.

Health and Safety is our key priority

We have a responsibility to ensure the safety of our staff and visitors at STFC facilities during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you are visiting CLF for an experiment, you should check with your local contact regarding current requirements. STFC advises visitors to:

  • Wear face coverings in communal areas
  • Follow good Hygiene practice and continue to use to use the hand sanitiser stations  which will remain in place on our sites
  • Continue to remain respectful of each other personal space.
  •  If you choose to travel off the RAL site during your visit, e.g. shops or a pub, you should observe all precautions that are required, along with regular hand-washing and use of hand sanitiser.

Booking visits to RAL

The CLF User Office remains in operation and can be contacted through the normal email addresses.  Visits no longer require the specific authorisation by the CLF management team nor an invitation letter.

The PI for each experiment will be responsible for the visit, liaising with your local contact and User Office.  

It is very important that you do not come to RAL without having arranged your visit through the User Office and completed the online training – you will not be allowed on site if you have not done this.

Restaurants, and Ridgeway and Cosener's House

The restaurant at RAL is open. Only card / contactless payments are being taken – no cash. The coffee lounge and café in building R1 is generally open, but check with your local contact as staff shortages due to Covid can lead to its closure.  Vending machines in the experimental halls are being checked and stocked regularly.

Ridgeway House is open for guests, with Covid-19 measures in place – please see and scroll down for the 'Covid User Guide'.  A boxed breakfast or R22 restaurant breakfast voucher is being left for each occupied room each day, and a cooked evening meal can be ordered at Ridgeway or taken at the R22 restaurant as normal.

The Cosener's House is also open, and further details can be found here:

If you become unwell whilst at an STFC site

If you become unwell during your stay, and particularly if you show symptoms of Covid-19, you should follow the procedure below:

  1. You should inform your home institution, your local STFC local contact (by phone) and your accommodation provider.
  2. You should self-isolate straight away. 
  1. If you have already checked in to the accommodation facility and are unable to travel home, return to your accommodation to self-isolate.  You should inform the accommodation reception team.  Please contact the reception team from your room telephone for any requirements.
  2. If you have not checked in to the accommodation facility and are unable to travel home, you should contact the accommodation facility to arrange accommodation for you to self-isolate in.  Talk with your local contact if you are not sure how to do this.
  1. You should make arrangements via NHS 111 to arrange a Covid-19 test through the UK NHS. Users can request a home test kit to be delivered to the accommodation if they can't use private transport (hire car) to travel to a test in a local NHS test centre.
  2. If you are confirmed to have coronavirus (COVID-19), you should return home if you can do so by car. You should use private transport (hire cars) but only drive yourself if you can do so safely. Public transport should not be used.
  3. If you cannot reasonably return home you can remain at STFC accommodation.
  4. The CLF local contact will identify and inform the other team members that may also need to self-isolate.
  5. The CLF local contact will have regular contact with you to check if you need further assistance.
  6. If symptoms worsen then your circumstances should be discussed with an appropriate health care professional.


Whilst you are isolating, rooms will not be cleaned during your stay.  Meals will be served to your room and will be left outside the room door, and disposables will be used for cutlery, etc.   Fresh linen and towels will be provided as required and will be left outside the bedroom door. Linen bags and additional waste bags will be provided for used linen and rubbish, and all should be retained in the room until a negative Covid-19 test or checkout when it will be left for 72 hours before cleaning or disposal.

If you develop Covid-19symptoms within 2-days of visiting CLF

  1. You should inform your home institution and your local CLF local contact
  2. You should self-isolate straight away. 
  3. Identify personnel who have been in close-contact with you within the past 48 hours. Close contact is working at or less than 2m for an extended period (> 15 minutes) or at 1m or less for however short duration.
  4. You should make arrangements via NHS 111 to arrange a Covid-19 test through the UK NHS.
  5. You should inform us the result of your Covid-19 test
Contact: Towrie, Helen (STFC,RAL,CLF)