St Cross College COVID-19 Guidance

Current Policies, as of 5 October 2021

Updated COVID-19 guidance for Michaelmas Term 2021

We recommend that you regularly check the government guidance, University emails and the University website for the most up-to-date details. 

Stay well this winter. Your actions matter.

Coronavirus remains a serious health risk. As we head into the winter months and spend more time indoors, all St Cross members are asked to play their part in minimising the risk and spread of COVID-19

  • Wear a face covering (unless exempt) in crowded and enclosed spaces where you come into contact with people you do not normally meet.* 
  • Let fresh air in indoors: keeping windows and doors open increases ventilation and significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19. Please keep them open, particularly in areas which are poorly ventilated.*
  • Get your booster jab as soon as you’re eligible, and get a free flu jab if you can. 
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required. 

 *In College and University buildings, it will be clearly indicated where face coverings and/or additional ventilation is required.

It is important that everyone is considerate and follows health guidance. Even if you don’t feel at risk yourself, please respect others who feel more vulnerable.

Adhering to the guidance will also stop the spread of flu and other respiratory infections. This is particularly important this year because fewer people will have built up natural immunity during the pandemic; and because research shows that those who get flu and COVID-19 at the same time are more likely to become seriously ill.


    'Be responsible. Be considerate. Be safe: Get vaccinated as soon as possible, wear face coverings where indicated unless exempt, test regularly and if you have symptoms, stay at home if you are unwell, keep washing your hands, and be considerate of space.



    Staff will wear masks if they need to enter accommodation areas. Residents are not expected to wear masks unless they are self-isolating and need to access a common area (e.g. kitchen) in which case they are strongly encouraged to do so.
    Guests are not currently permitted into accommodation areas, with the exception of people helping students on the day of their arrival or departure. This policy will be kept under review.

    Residents who are required to self-isolate and fail to do so may be reported to the Dean. 





    Please familiarise yourself with our self-isolation guide here.

    As of 4 October the rules for travel to England from abroad have simplified: see here.

    You may find this guide from Oxford SU helpful, and there is welfare information for those self-isolating available here.

    Face Coverings

    Face coverings



    Face coverings are no longer required around College and their use is now personal choice. Face coverings are still required in the Library, unless you are exempt, and we encourage you to wear masks in the Lecture Theatre. Staff will wear masks if they need to enter accommodation areas. Residents are not expected to wear masks unless they are self-isolating and need to access a common area (e.g. kitchen) in which case they are strongly encouraged to do so.

    Using the Library

    Using the Library

    The library is open 24/7. We ask that you respect sensible distancing, clean your work surfaces and wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. 

    At present we have a click and collect service in place. If you wish to borrow a book from our library, just sign in to SOLO, find the book you need and select request. We will then retrieve the book for you and leave it in your pigeonhole, once you have finished with it you can leave it in the returns cupboard in the college foyer or library. Alternatively, you can email the library with any such requests, and we will facilitate this for you.






    michaelmas icons testing

    Students and staff are strongly encouraged to take LFD tests twice a week. These can be collected from College - you need your University card to collect. 

    You will need to report all the LFD tests you take yourself (however you obtain the LFD) to both the University’s Early Alert Service and the NHS – as soon as possible after you get the result.

    If you receive a PCR test result (positive, negative or void), through a route other than the University Early Alert service (EAS) (eg. via the national NHS service) you must report your result  'if positive'  to the Estates Manager and the Lodge immediately and also to EAS.

    Find out more information about the testing kits here

    Please help keep our community COVID-safe by testing twice a week, every week.

    You will need to book a PCR test if you:

    • have symptoms; or
    • have received a positive Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test result; or
    • have been advised you are a close contact of, or a member of the same household as, someone who has a PCR-confirmed case of COVID-19; or
    • have been instructed to book a test by public health authorities.

    The University has a dedicated, free COVID-19 testing service in place to help students who show symptoms to get easy access to a PCR test. The testing site is just north of the St Cross College main site, in the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. You are permitted to leave your accommodation during self-isolation to attend a testing centre.
    Further details:

    Café and Bar

    Café and Bar

    Fresh Coffee in the Café

    Café and Bar

    The café is open Monday – Friday, from 08:30 to 14:00.

    A marquee is in place in the Back Quad. You are welcome to sit under and make use of it. Please note that after 22:00 BST it is not to be used, as this may cause noise nuisance to residents.

    The bar is open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 19:00 to 23:00.

    Respiratory infection

    In case you have a respiratory infection which isn’t COVID-19, you should still take steps to reduce transmission. Read the University guidance here.


    Flu vaccine

    The vaccine is given free on the NHS to people in a number of groups, including those with serious long-term health conditions and frontline health workers. Staff and students in these groups are encouraged to get a vaccine. You can find out if you are eligible for a free vaccine, and learn how to get one on the NHS website here.

    What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

    If you have COVID-19 symptoms

    If you experience COVID-19 symptoms you must immediately self-isolate and assume you have the virus, pending the result of a confirmatory PCR test, which you should book as soon as possible. You must take a PCR test (not an LFD test) if you have symptoms. You should wherever possible book the PCR test through the Early Alert Service, the results of which are usually available well within 24 hours (shorter than the usual wait through NHS testing services). Your household members should also self-isolate while you await the results of your test, unless they are exempt (see details of contacts who are not required to self-isolate on the government website). Whilst it is not mandatory to self-isolate if you are a close contact/household member of someone testing positive if you are fully vaccinated in the UK, it is still strongly recommended you do so.  

    The University is, through the NHS, providing Lateral Flow Devices for twice weekly routine testing to identify infectious cases before any symptoms develop. If you develop symptoms between LFD tests, you must stop performing them, self-isolate, and have a PCR test instead. You must follow the guidelines and only stop self-isolating if you receive a negative PCR test (but note that if you’ve been told you must self-isolate because you are a close contact or because a member of your household is positive, you must continue to self-isolate regardless) – a negative LFD test result will not release you from self-isolation. For more information go to the University's testing page for those with coronavirus symptoms.