We realise that this is a difficult and uncertain time, and you may have questions about how the current Covid-19 pandemic will affect your studies and college life. Please find a FAQ below that we hope will address some of your questions. This will be regularly updated, so please check back for additional information.
The University has a dedicated student advice page here for the latest information on exams and assessments, health and advice, teaching and learning, fees and funding.
We want to keep all members of our College community safe and well. We ask that all College members:
- Keep indoor spaces well ventilated
- Wash your hands
- Be considerate of other people’s space/need for social distance
- Wear a face covering indoors if requested
- Get a test if you have symptoms
- ·Do twice weekly lateral flow tests
- Follow instructions if you're contacted by Test and Trace or members of the College’s Covid Response Team
There is hand sanitiser placed in many locations around the College sites - please do use it.
Please note that you must follow all Covid-related procedures even if you have been vaccinated.
Face-coverings will not be mandatory in the context of College teaching, but the following policy will be in effect: anyone in a group (be they tutor or student) may request that members of the group wear face-coverings for in-person teaching. Students should approach their tutor directly to discuss this. It is important to remember that some people may be exempt from wearing face-coverings and there is no requirement to provide evidence that you have a legitimate reason not to wear one or that you may require others to briefly remove theirs so that you can understand them (e.g. to lip read).
Outside of teaching settings, students and staff are encouraged to wear face coverings in the following situations:
- In shared indoor spaces such as corridors, the Lodge, etc.
- When collecting meals in the Servery, and as you seat yourself in Hall (i.e. the same rules that are in place in many restaurants and pubs)
- When seated in the Lower Library, and when moving around all parts of the Library; you do not need to wear a face covering when seated in the Upper Library
Individual offices may also request that anyone visiting those offices wear a face covering.
We strongly encourage all members of the Lincoln community to get vaccinated. That way we will all have the best chance of staying healthy, of protecting each other, and of keeping our college life as close to 'normal' as possible this academic year.
Everyone in the UK aged 16+ is eligible for the Covid-19 vaccination. You can find more information and book an appointment on the NHS website here. There will also be pop up vaccination clinics in Oxford in late September and early October. Further detail will follow about this in the near future, and will be available on the University website.
Please remember you are only fully vaccinated two weeks after your second dose, so if you can get vaccinated with a UK-approved vaccine before coming to Oxford, please do so. Please also be sure to bring proof of the vaccines you have received with you when you travel to Oxford.
It is also important to remember that a vaccination does not release you from virus-related guidelines and precautions. It is still possible to carry and infect others with Covid-19 even after you are vaccinated. For the safety of your community, you should still follow good hygiene practices, be respectful of others’ space, isolate if you test positive, quarantine if you are arriving in the UK from certain locations (see updated guidance here), participate in regular lateral flow testing, and respect directives from College staff.
Overseas students will also be eligible for the vaccine when they arrive in the UK. You just need to register with a GP as soon as possible after you arrive, and then you can book an appointment online. You can also attend a 'walk-in' vaccination clinic without needing to be registered with a GP.
The UK Government has indicated that from the end of September, it plans to make full vaccination a condition of entry to nightclubs and other venues where large crowds gather. If you have been fully vaccinated in England, you can find details on the government website of how to get the NHS Covid Pass and what you can use it for.
There are currently two types of tests which detect Covid, Lateral Flow Devices/Tests (LFDs/LFTs) and Polymerase Chain Reaction tests (PCRs). In general, LFDs are less sensitive but provide quick results, whereas PCRs are more sensitive but require a qualified lab to process the testing swabs. Please see below for explanations of when and what test you should take at a given time. All test results from either a LFD or PCR should be uploaded via the EAS website so we have a clear understanding of our community's infection rate. This includes self-administered tests, private tests, and NHS tests.
When to take a PCR test
If you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, you should book a PCR test via the University’s Early Alert Service (EAS) or via the NHS. These are 'symptomatic' tests. While waiting for your testing appointment and for your results to be returned, you must self-isolate, along with any members of your household who have not been double vaccinated with an MHRA-approved vaccine in the UK vaccination programme. You should also book a PCR test if you are named as a close contact of a positive case - whether or not you need to self-isolate. Should your results come back positive, you will need continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when you first felt symptoms (or from the date you had contact with the positive case) and follow instructions from the EAS and/or NHS.
If you have a received a positive result from a LFD Test, you must self-isolate, tell the EAS of your LFD test result (upload it here) and book a PCR test. Continue to self-isolate until you have the PCR results. If the PCR comes back positive, continue to self-isolate for 10 days from when you tested positive on your LFD, or you began to experience symptoms (whichever comes later).
For information on testing for travel, please see the Government website here.
When to take a LFD test
You are encouraged to take two LFD tests each week, as a matter of routine, when you have no Covid-19 symptoms (i.e. you are asymptomatic). Testing Kits are available to collect from the Domestic Bursary weekdays between 10:00-16:00. All you need to do is show your Bod card or have your Single Sign-On username, and you’ll be able to collect a box, free of charge. To make things quicker, we recommend that you check your details are registered with the Early Alert Service before you collect your test kit. Each kit contains seven testing sets. You can also collect test kits from a number of locations within the University. For a full list, please see here.
If you test positive in any LFD test, you must self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory PCR test. If you receive a PCR test result, positive or negative, you must report your result by using the Report a Test Button on the University’s testing webpage and upload the test result to the NHS app.
Please be sure to log the results from all PCRs and LFDs on the EAS website and do not hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
If you experience Covid-like symptoms you must book a test immediately. .
These are the steps you need to take.
- Book a test, either via the University’s Early Alert System (EAS) or the NHS. You can book a test through the EAS here.
- Follow any instructions that are issued to you when you book your test. You will need to self-isolate pending the outcome of your test. You should also make list of people you were in close contact with in the 2 days prior to the onset of symptoms..
- Immediately forward the email notification of your test booking to email@example.com. This information will be passed to other members of College staff, including the Welfare team.
- If you have a test through the NHS, upload your result to the EAS website.
- You will receive emails and text messages from the College. Please be sure to check your email and your phone regularly.
- Follow any instructions that are issued to you by the College.
If your PCR test result is positive, we will ask you to help with tracing close contacts from within the Lincoln community, e.g. those you live with in College accommodation or others you’ve been in close contact with.
If someone you live with in College accommodation (e.g. in accommodation in which you share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom) or another College member with whom you have been in close contact tests positive, you will need to self-isolate if you have not been double vaccinated (and had your second vaccine more than 14 days ago). Everyone who tests positive will be asked by the Covid response team for a list of close contacts from within the College. Those close contacts will then be contacted asked to prove their vaccination status. Those who have been double vaccinated (and can show proof of their vaccination status) will not have to self-isolate; those who have not been double vaccinated will have to self-isolate for 10 days.
You may be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service and told that you've been in contact with a person who has Covid-19.
If this happens you must do the following:
- Follow any instructions that are issued to you by the NHS (you may or may not need to self-isolate - this will depend on your vaccination status).
- Book a PCR test.
- Immediately email firstname.lastname@example.org and explain what has happened. This information will be passed to other members of College staff, including the Welfare team.
- You will receive emails and text messages from the College - please be sure to check your email and your phone regularly.
- Follow any instructions that are issued to you by the College.
If you are displaying symptoms of and test positive for Covid-19, it is important that you notify those with whom you have had recent — that is over the two calendar days preceding the development of symptoms — close contact. This is crucial for stopping further infection and protecting your community.
Whether a contact is considered ‘close’ depends on the type of interaction, the distance between the two individuals, and the duration: the nearer you are to someone who is infectious and the longer you spend in close proximity to them, the higher your level of risk. Recent close contact is determined if an interaction within two calendar days of you developing symptoms meets at least one of the following criteria:
- A face-to-face interaction where individuals are ≤ 1m for any duration of time involving a conversation, skin-to-skin contact, being coughed on, and/or exchanging bodily fluids
- An interaction where individuals are ≤ 1m apart for 1 min or longer without face-to-face contact
- An interaction or series of interactions throughout a calendar day where individuals are ≤ 2m apart for 15mins or longer cumulatively
- Any shared time travelling in a small vehicle where it is impossible to socially distance.
Please note that face coverings, while reducing risk of transmission, do not have an impact on whether an interaction is ‘close’.
Interactions where individuals are > 2m apart and/or are shorter than 1 minute (such as passing someone in a corridor and not having a conversation) are not considered close contacts.
If you are informed that someone with whom you have been in recent close contact has tested positive, you should book a PCR test. You will also need to self-isolate if you have not been double vaccinated with an MHRA-approved vaccination in the UK vaccination programme (and received your second jab more than 14 days ago). Please contact email@example.com to notify College of your situation.
If you need support contacting anyone that shared recent close contact with you, please contact Lincoln’s Covid Response team on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You and others living in the same College accommodation may be asked to self-isolate if you test positive, or if you are a close contact of a positive case and you have not been double vaccinated with an MHRA-approved vaccination in the UK vaccination programme. It is important that you do this if asked. If you have to self-isolate for any reason, you must stay in your household space and not leave it unless there is an emergency, such as a fire alarm. When beginning self-isolation, please contact email@example.com and explain what has happened.
Public Health England has published guidance on self-isolating in shared accommodation. It is important that you follow these guidelines as well as any other instructions issued to you by the NHS, the University Testing Service, the College, or the University.
Please also see here for the University's welfare advice for those self-isolating.
Additional information about self-isolating in College can be found below:
If you are first or second year undergraduate living in College accommodation that doesn’t have kitchen facilities (i.e. main site, Lincoln House, Staircase 15, the Mitre, and 116/117 High Street) you can still sign up for most Hall meals (lunches, dinners, and Sunday brunch) and request that they be delivered to your room. You will need to sign up for brunch, lunch or 1st evening hall, and in the ‘Additional Booking Information’ field please note that you are self-isolating, would like your meal delivered to your room, and give your room number.
All other students should arrange for grocery deliveries or meal deliveries such as Deliveroo to their accommodation, and ask friends or housemates to meet the deliveries at the Lodge or main entrance to the accommodation block.
We also recommend that everyone keeps a selection of snacks and convenience foods on hand (e.g. cereals, fruit, instant noodles, energy bars) in case they need to self-isolate at short notice.
Housekeeping services may be cancelled for bedrooms, ensuite bathrooms, and shared spaces such as kitchens and bathrooms until it is safe for staff to enter. Please keep your kitchen and bathrooms clean at all times. Please bag up your rubbish and recycling and leave it outside the household door (this may be a flat door, or staircase) before 8am on a weekday morning. If by 12pm this has not been collected, please bring the bag back inside the household and try again the next weekday.
If you have an outstanding job ticket for your bedroom or ensuite it will be postponed until your period of self-isolation ends. If there is an urgent maintenance issue (e.g. flood, gas leak etc.) then staff will enter the household with PPE and ask that you vacate the area whilst they are in attendance. Please phone the Lodge if there is an urgent maintenance issue that must be addressed immediately.
There could be any number of scenarios which might lead to you think you should be self-isolating. In this case, please contact Michele McCartney, the Domestic Operations Manager, to discuss.
Staff and students are free to use any of the Government-approved providers to arrange Covid-19 testing when travelling abroad and returning to England. However, in response to feedback on various providers, the University has undertaken some due diligence checks and is able to suggest the following options. It should be noted that this is a new and growing market, and all providers may experience capacity issues, leading to challenges with achieving advertised response times and service levels. Pricing is also subject to frequent change.
In many cases a postal service may be most convenient, and Biograd Diagnostics are a suggested provider. For current pricing and to book – follow the instructions on the BioGrad Diagnostics website, or contact them by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone on 03455 651725.
For in-person testing in Oxford, the suggested provider is ExpressTest, who have a test centre in the Westgate Shopping Centre. For current pricing and to book – follow the instructions on the ExpressTest website, or contact them by phone on 0203 384 0000.
Tests should be arranged and paid for personally.