Covid-19: Guidance for Academic Staff

Last updated: 14/04/21

  1. Do I need to get a test? Guidance from the University
  2. Book a Covid-19 test through the University
  3. Using the Library
  4. Wellbeing for Staff
  5. ICT Help And Advice
  6. Download the NHS Covid-19 App: Apple or Android


  • When will students be returning for Trinity 2021?

    We hope that students who have not been permitted to return earlier will be able to come back to College from the 21st of April in order to do lateral flow testing in time for the start of term on 26th April.

  • How will Covid testing be conducted in Trinity 2021?

    If you have symptoms that could be those of COVID-19, you must book a PCR test via the following link:

    If you are a student or staff-member of Somerville College, you should also participate in regular symptom-free testing via the university’s LFD testing service. Please note that, while testing is voluntary, we strongly encourage everyone who is working or studying on site to get tested twice a week, every week throughout Trinity term, including those staff and students who have been vaccinated or have had COVID-19 more than 90 days ago. You can book a test via the following link:

    You can select your testing centre within the booking form; the closest testing centre to Somerville is St Luke’s Chapel on the ROQ site.

  • Will international students be able to return to College for Trinity 2021?

    Residency requirements will not be in place for international students next term, but we hope that, if it is safe for them to do so, they will return to Somerville.

  • Are residency requirements in place for students in Trinity 2021?

    Residency requirements will not be in place during Trinity Term, but we hope that where possible students will return - although international students may wish to stay at home, particularly if you are in a ‘red list’ country. We will not be able to assist with the costs of quarantine in hotels, however, if you are coming from a non ‘red list’ country you will be able to quarantine in College.

  • How will teaching take place during Trinity 2021?

    Your lectures will take place online. The date varies from course to course for when in-person teaching can resume. We are yet to hear for some courses, while others returned to labs at the end of last Hilary. You can find a consolidated list of all the currently available dates at An announcement is expected from the Government after Easter about when all courses may resume in-person teaching. Science departments are planning to run laboratory sessions with social distancing measures in place and they will contact you about those. Tutorials will take place face-to-face indoors with social distancing measures in place and face coverings used. If a member of your family is vulnerable, or you have another reason that you would wish not to teach face-to-face, tutorials can take place online and you should speak to Steve Rayner if this has not already been arranged.

  • Will the library be open during the Easter Vacation and in Trinity Term?

    The Library is open for booked spaces only between 1000 and 1230, and 1330 and 1600. It will be closed from Friday 2nd April until the afternoon session on Tuesday 6th April due to the Easter bank holiday weekend. There will be no evening study sessions until 0th week of Trinity Term, but there will be 5 evening sessions a week from that point on, as well as additional shared study spaces during the day.

  • Can staff take Lateral Flow Device tests?

    Somerville staff who come into college are able to take LFD tests, which can be collected from the Lodge. During Trinity Term, staff and students will have access to lateral flow testing through a University-wide testing service with bookable slots.

  • Will social distancing and mask usage still be necessary?

    Yes, due to the fact that LFD tests do not pick up every positive case, social distancing and mask usage will still be necessary for the time being.

  • I’m returning to Somerville from overseas. What testing should I undertake for Trinity 2021?

    As you will know, you will need to take a COVID-19 PCR test before you travel and provide proof of a negative result upon entry to the UK. You will also need to book two tests to take during your self-isolation period; it may be possible to reduce your isolation time by making use of the ‘test to release’ scheme. If you have in-person teaching scheduled for Trinity term but are not able to return, you should discuss with your department what alternative arrangements can be put in place for you.

  • How will dining work in Trinity 2021?

    In trinity, the dining room on the quad will be open for lunch and dinner, and for the latter it will be possible to eat in households. We also plan to hold some dinners, receptions and drinks for subject tutors and their students outside during the term.

  • Are there any exceptions where face coverings are not required?

    There are limited specific exceptions laid out in university policy where face coverings can be removed. These include when alone in single occupancy offices, or when seated at a desk in a shared office (provided in all cases 2m social distancing is consistently maintained). This is because where face-to-face interaction, such as speaking with others, and movement around the space are minimised, then the risk of transmission is reduced. In addition, in these settings you are less likely to be in contact with people that you do not normally meet.

  • What should I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?

    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 at home, you must not come into work. Tell your line manager as soon as possible, and arrange for a test, either through the University’s Early Alert Service, or through the NHS website or NHS 111.

    If you have symptoms at work, tell your line manager and go home immediately. If you normally use public transport, speak to your manager about alternative ways of getting home.  Arrange a test through the University’s Early Alert Service, or through the NHS website or NHS 111.

    While you’re waiting for test results, you must self-isolate at home. If you test positive for Covid-19, you must comply with all current requirements.

  • I’ve been in a tutorial/teaching space with a student who has subsequently tested positive. Should I self-isolate?

    Unless you are identified as a contact through Track & Trace, PHE England or the NHS Covid-app, and are told specifically that you need to self-isolate, then you do not need to do so at this point. However, you should be extremely careful to minimise your interactions over the next couple of days or until you are contacted by PHE/Test and Trace. This means that you should stay in your accommodation/room as much as possible; keep away from other household members if you can; maintain social distancing; and don’t have any visitors. You should wash your hands more frequently and make sure you are regularly cleaning surfaces in rooms that you all use – like kitchens and bathrooms. This is so that the risk of transmission is kept as low as possible. Also, if you start to develop any coronavirus symptoms, let your college know; stay in your accommodation or room; and book a test.

  • Can I invite a guest to dine at College or stay in a guest room?

    Unfortunately, we are not allowing guests to visit Somerville during the pandemic. This is both to comply with government guidance and ensure we are not increasing the risk of infection. Social distancing requirements have also considerably restricted the number of diners we can accommodate at any one time in the hall. In order to make sure we can seat everyone who may wish to dine, priority has to be given to members of College.

    Exceptions have only been made for a very small number of academic staff who live on site in single person households to have a single visitor, and anyone to whom that applies has been contacted.

    We will continue to review the guest policy throughout Michaelmas Term as we assess the progress of the Covid-19 pandemic and our own arrangements.