COVID-19: guidance for hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping

Information on coronavirus (COVID-19) for commissioners and providers of hostel services for people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping.

This publication was withdrawn on

The information in this guidance has been superseded by guidance on testing in homelessness, domestic abuse refuge and respite room settings.



This guidance is being updated in line with changes to testing that came into effect on 1 April 2022. The updated guidance will be published shortly.

The guidance covers:

  • hostels with individual self-contained rooms with en-suite facilities that have shared kitchens
  • hostels without individual self-contained rooms and that have communal facilities

This guidance does not cover night shelters.

Updates to this page

Published 16 March 2020
Last updated 4 April 2022 + show all updates
  1. Added note to advise that the guidance will be updated shortly in relation to changes to testing that came into effect on 1 April 2022.

  2. Updated to reflect the removal of the self-isolation regulations.

  3. Updated in line with removal of legal requirement to wear face coverings.

  4. Added call out box regarding upcoming changes to face coverings legislation.

  5. Removed requirement for people testing positive on an LFD test to have a confirmatory PCR test.

  6. Updated in line with new legal requirement to wear face coverings in public areas of hostels, and updated information on regular testing of residents and staff with LFD tests.

  7. Updated guidance for people identified as a suspected or confirmed case of the Omicron variant of COVID-19. Includes updated advice on PCR testing.

  8. Updated to reflect the end of the shielding programme.

  9. Updated in line with changes to self-isolation policy for contacts from 16 August.

  10. Added information on vaccinations and updated information on testing, PPE and for cases and contacts – in line with changes in Step 4 of the Roadmap.

  11. Updated information for staff who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

  12. Updated guidance in line with national lockdown and updated guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

  13. Updated self-isolation period to 10 days.

  14. Updated guidance with information on local restrictions from 2 December.

  15. Updated in line with face coverings regulations.

  16. Revised language in relation to self-isolation.

  17. Updated to reflect the extension of self-isolation from 7 to 10 days.

  18. Full guidance for those working with people who are experiencing rough sleeping and living in hostel environments added.

  19. Guidance replaced by holding statement.

  20. Added poster.

  21. First published.

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