Self-isolation: guidance for students

Whether you are an international student needing to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK or a student self-isolating because you believe you have coronavirus symptoms, we will support you during your period of self-isolation. 

You can view all of our policies and guidance relating to Covid-19 at our Somerville Covid-19 Hub.

Last updated: 09/09/2020

Quarantine arrangements for international arrivals

Arrivals for international students who DO need to self-isolate on arrival will be on Saturday 12th September.

Please refer to the UK government information on travel to check whether the country you are travelling from or through is exempt from quarantine requirements. We appreciate that the arrival date is three weeks early (rather than two weeks), but time is needed for Housekeeping to clean and turn around the en suite rooms used for quarantine ready for their term-time resident, and this needs to happen in the week before Freshers’ week.

It is likely that your quarantine accommodation will be different to the room you will live in during term time.

Your accommodation during your quarantine period in college will be charged at normal room rent rates as described in the college contract. Three meals a day will be delivered to your door, charged at average meal prices in college.

It is vitally important that the costs for the room and meals for your quarantine period do not prevent you from fulfilling the quarantine requirements. If you have financial concerns about the extra costs then you must contact who will give help and advice.

A programme of virtual events is planned for students in quarantine, and welfare and support services will be available.

If you are going into quarantine from your arrival overseas, you should aim to bring any toiletries, medicines and hygiene products with you that you may need during your quarantine period. 

If you realise you’ve forgotten something essential, please contact either your JCR or MCR rep in the or the Welfare Office and Junior Deans

Quarantining Students FAQs

Q.Will you be providing any essentials?
A. You should bring any toiletries, medicines and hygiene products with you that you may need during your quarantine period.

Q. What if I realise I haven’t got an essential item that I need?
A. Please speak to the JCR or MCR rep in the first instance, or contact the Welfare Office and Junior Deans.

Q. What provisions will be provided in my room?
A. You will be provided with a kettle and mug, and we will also provide you with tea, coffee and milk for your stay. If your supplies need replacing, we will do this in a socially distanced manner to ensure your safety and that of our staff. If you need anything else, please speak to the MCR / JCR / Junior Deans who will discuss what can be delivered safely to you.

Q. What arrangements are in place for meals?
A. We will provide three meals a day for you while you are quarantined. When you arrive, we’ll explain how this will work for you.

Q. Will I have Wi-Fi access in my room?
A. Your room will have our normal IT provision. If, for any reason, there are issues with Wi-Fi, the JCR / MCR / Junior Deans will contact you to make sure you don’t need anything.

Q. What should I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?
A. The most common symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. If you experience these, arrange for a test, either through the University’s Early Alert Service, or through the NHS website or NHS 111. You should also let us know on so that we can continue to make sure you are alright. If you test positive for Covid-19, you must comply with all current requirements.

Q. Will we still have access to the College nurse?
A. Yes. Our Nurse will be operating a phone triage service in the first instance, so you may not attend her office in person unless she has specifically invited you. You can contact her on 01865 270865 or email

Q. Do I need to provide towels and bedlinen?
A. When you arrive, you will have towels and bedlinen in your allocated room.  Between 5 and 7 days after that, our Housekeeping team will leave fresh towels and linen outside your door; we ask that you then change your bedding yourself, as the Housekeeping team won’t be able to enter your room while you are quarantining.  We’ll also let you know what you should do with the used items.

Q. Can I get packages delivered to the Lodge?
A. Yes, within reason. But please consider the needs of the Lodge team by not ordering too many packages at once or packages that are excessively large or heavy. If the Lodge receives too many deliveries or too many outsize/heavy parcels, we may have to review this policy in order to ensure staff can continue to work safely.

Q. Can I have takeaway food delivered?
A. Unfortunately, it isn’t possible to have takeaway food delivered via the Lodge to Somerville this term. If you are a student quarantining, we will provide meals for you while you are in self-isolation and tell you how these will be delivered to your accommodation.

Q. Can I get books from the College library while I’m quarantining?
A. If you’d like reading material from the college library during your period of quarantine, please see these instructions:  on how to use our ordering service.  You won’t be able to collect your item(s) so someone will deliver them to your doorstep.  The service operates during weekdays only and it may take 24-48 hours for your book to arrive.  Please ensure you wash your hands or sanitise before and after touching the book.

General Notes 

If you are in private accommodation, the support may be different, but you can still contact us, and welfare support may be available. 

While you are isolating, your tutorcourse convenor or supervisor will be able to facilitate the continuation of your teaching or research remotely, where practicableif you feel fit enough to do so.