Last updated 06 November 2020

How to prepare for a possible period of isolation

College is keen to help you prepare for a possible period of self-isolation. You may be wondering how best to prepare for 14 days at home. Please take a look at the guide below for some tips on what you should think about.

It also includes information on how to evacuate safely while in self-isolation, in the event of a fire alarm.

College support for students in isolation 

Please call Reception on 01223 336250 with any updates on your isolation: if you go into isolation, if you receive a test result (positive or negative); or if you develop symptoms. 

Please download and read the isolation guide for full details of how College can support you while you are in isolation. This support is available to you if you are unwell, test positive for Covid-19, or are isolating due to a housemate or close contact being unwell/testing positive. 

Isolation guide – College accommodation

Isolation guide – private accommodation

Please prepare in advance for a possible period of isolation. E.g. keep supplies of food and medication, identify some supporters who would be able to help you by fetching groceries, etc. College and the CR are working hard to support students in isolation, but we have limited capacity. So, the more that individual students are able to be self-sufficient and arrange support among their peers, the more we will be able to provide support for those who most need it. 

Information about Covid-19 symptoms 

Please keep yourself up to date with advice from Public Health England. 

Check the symptoms of Covid-19 on the NHS website 

If you are not sure whether you have Covid-19 symptoms, use the NHS 111 coronavirus symptom checking service. 

What to do if you develop Covid-19 symptoms 

If you experience COVID-19 symptoms you must follow these steps: 

  1. Self-isolate. Do not leave your room and household. 
  2. Call Reception 01223 336250. They will run through some questions with you to check if you have what you need. 
  3. Your household will need to isolate too. College will tell them this, but it makes sense for you to tell them as well. 
  4. Take a test either through the University Testing Process or an NHS-approved test.  
  5. Complete the University’s COVID-19 monitoring form. 
  6. Read the support and guidance materials sent to you by the COVID-19 helpdesk. 
  7. If you will miss face-to-face teaching, let your department and supervisor know that you are self-isolating. 

What to do if your housemate develops Covid-19 symptoms 

If a member of your household or someone living with you in family accommodation becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms, the whole group must go into household isolation for 14 days. If you live in College accommodation, you will be notified of this by College. If you live in private accommodation, your housemates should inform you of this directly. (And you must inform them if you develop symptoms and they need to isolate.) 

Mental health and pastoral support 

The College Counsellor offers consultations via Skype/Zoom or telephone, and all current students can continue to access these, even if you are currently studying remotely due to coronavirus. For full details please visit 

You can contact your tutor via email. Check who your tutor is here: 

The Dean is happy to talk to any student who wishes to discuss any matter with him: 

Am I able to leave Cambridge before the end of term due to lockdown? 

The Government guidance gives Universities a very clear instruction about students needing to stay in their term-time address until the end of the lockdown period. Consequently, all students are required to remain in residence for the remainder of the term. This will help prevent any further spread of COVID-19. Students will only be given permission to pursue their studies remotely on health grounds. Any student who wishes to apply for permission to pursue their studies remotely on health grounds should arrange an appointment to discuss this with their tutor. 

Visitor policy for students living in College accommodation 

All residents may invite a guest to visit them outside in the College grounds. All gatherings are restricted to 1 household, or 2 individuals from different households. Guests are not permitted to use indoor facilities; BBQs/fires are not permitted. 

No visitors are allowed inside shared households – this includes overnight guests. 

Residents living in self-contained single-adult households are permitted to form a support bubble, following national guidance. Members of the support bubble are allowed to visit inside the household, including an overnight stay. Overnight stays are limited to 1 person per term. The overnight guest MUST be pre-registered before arrival: email  If they have not been pre-registered, this will be seen as a disciplinary matter. NB support bubbles are still permitted in single-adult households during lockdown. 

College visitor policy 

College guidance on visitors will be subject to change, following any changes from government in relation to COVID-19 phasing. 

Where possible outside or Zoom gatherings are encouraged; if not, a meeting as short as possible in a socially distanced environment should be arranged. 

The current guidance means that it is possible to host the following visitors: 

  • Non-residential members of College (e.g. students living in private accommodation who wish to use the Dining Hall, study spaces etc) 
  • Students of other Colleges visiting for academic purposes (e.g. supervisions) 
  • Formal Visitors invited by college, staying in guest bedrooms (2 week minimum stay) 
  • Those assisting residents with moving in or out of accommodation – maximum 2 helpers per person. 
  • Registered College visitors 

It is not permitted to host visitors within shared households. 

Visitors must observe the following when present on site: 

  • PPE appropriate to location or task. 
  • No access to any area other than those needed to fulfil the purpose of the visit. 
  • Current government and local College guidelines to be followed at all times. 

Study & teaching spaces 

There are study & teaching spaces around College as follows. 

  • Library – Luzio Study Space – max 10 people for private study during opening hours (M-F, 9am-10pm). Face covering compulsory when leaving seat. Encouraged to wear a face covering when seated, but not compulsory. St Edmund’s members only. No booking needed. 
  •  Norfolk Library Study space – max 5 people for private study, 2m distance. Face covering compulsory when leaving seat. Encouraged to wear a face covering when seated, but not compulsory. St Edmund’s members only. No booking needed. 
  • Teaching room 1 – max 2 people for private study.  Face coverings compulsory, when leaving seat. Must be pre-booked through Reception. St Edmund’s members only.  
  • Teaching room 2 – max 6 people for informal study (St Edmund’s members only) or teaching (can include external students).  Must be pre-booked through Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • Library – Terry McLaughlin Room– max 3 people for informal study (St Edmund’s members only) or teaching (can include external students).  Must be pre-booked through Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • Library – Michael Murphy Room – max 3 people for informal study (St Edmund’s members only) or teaching (can include external students).  Must be pre-booked through Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 

If you wish to borrow books from the Library, a reminder that you can do this by submitting an online request to the CR Librarian. 

Shared spaces and facilities 

In all shared spaces and facilities, you must remain 2m from anyone else. Please wash your hands before and after using a shared space. If you arrive at one and it is already full to capacity, you must not enter. 

If there are reports of households mixing within a space/zone, College will be required to close the space. 

  • CR: The space is spilt into 3 defined zones: 
  • 1 = Pool Table Zone (1 household or 1 individual) 
  • 2 = TV Zone (1 household or 1 individual) 
  • 3 = Bar Zone (1 household or 1 individual) 

Face covering to be worn; may be removed when eating or drinking while seated. 

  • MPH Common Room – Open Area: 1 individual OR 1 household total.  Face covering to be worn; may be removed when eating or drinking while seated. 
  • MPH Common Room – Booth: 1 individual OR 1 household total.  Face covering to be worn; may be removed when eating or drinking while seated. 
  • Small CR: 1 household or 1 individual. Face coverings compulsory. 
  • Bar: closed from 5th Nov 2020 following national guidance 
  • Gym: closed, following University decisions and national guidance 
  • Erg Space: closed from 5th Nov 2020 following national guidance 
  • Garden Room: Bookable in advance for educational events. Max 20; 2m distance and other mitigations applied as required. Face coverings compulsory when moving around the space. 
  • Music Practice Room: 1 household or 1 individual. St Edmund’s members only 
  • Library: max 10 people for private study & computing during opening hours (M-F, 9am-10pm). Face covering compulsory when leaving seat. Encouraged to wear a face covering when seated, but not compulsory. St Edmund’s members only. No booking needed.
    Book stacks are temporarily closed. Many books are available electronically. For those that are not, requests may be made to borrow from the Library’s collection via the Student Librarian ( Books should be returned in the Books Returns box on the upper level of the Library. The College Librarian is working remotely and may be contacted with any queries via email (  
  • Pianos: Pre-booking required through Conference Office ( Face coverings compulsory. St Edmund’s members, who are registered music users. 
  • Edspresso – Take away only. Max 4 people, 1m+ distance. Face coverings compulsory 
  • Dining Hall – Max capacity 14 (14 queueing. Take away only. 1m+ distance. Face coverings compulsory. 
  • Huddleston Room – Max. 6, maintain 2m distance, bookings for tutor meetings only. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • Okinaga Room. Max 6 people, 2m distance. Pre-book via Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • MPH Meeting Room – Max 3 for supervisions, 2m distance. Must be pre-booked through Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • MPH Laundry Room – Max 1 person, restricted space, knock before entering. Open 24/7. Ironing board & iron stored at MPH Lodge and available for signing out. 
  • Laundry Room – Max 3 people, Open 24/7. Face coverings compulsory. 
  • Bene’t House Meeting Room – Max 6 people, 2m distance, for College meetings only (can include CR Executive). Must be pre-booked through Reception. Face coverings compulsory, when leaving allocated seats. 
  • Chapel – Open for private prayers only. 
  • Post room – Max 1 person, restricted space, knock before entering 

Cleaning during lockdown 

Cleaning services will continue as normal during the November lockdown. If a student does not wish to have housekeeping enter their room during this time please contact 

Catering during lockdown 

The catering facilities will continue as normal during the November lockdown. Details and opening times can be found here:  Full details about our St Edmund’s College catering app can be found here: 

If you are in financial difficulty as a result of coronavirus 

If you are suffering from financial hardship as a result of Covid-19, please contact your tutor. They will help you to complete a College Hardship Application. 

If you are worried that someone is violating the guidelines 

If you witness someone violating College social distancing guidelines, please follow this three-step process: 

  1. Speak to them directly if you feel safe doing so, and ask them to observe social distancing. Ensure that you speak in a polite and constructive way at all times. If you are challenged, you should in turn be polite and constructive. The social distancing rules are there to help keep all of us safe. 
  2. If you do not feel safe speaking to the other person directly, or if you have spoken to them and they continue to violate the guidelines, please report the situation to Reception on 01223 336250. You will need to let Reception know where the problem is, and what is occurring. The Reception staff will come and investigate the situation, and if social distancing guidelines are being violated, they will require people to move apart and potentially return to their rooms. 
  3. In the very unlikely event that a student refuses to cooperate and continues to put lives at risk by violating social distancing guidelines, Reception staff will take the students’ names and will report the incident to the Senior Tutor immediately as a disciplinary issue 

If the student is from another College, please also follow the above procedure. Reception or Tutorial staff will contact the relevant College if escalation is necessary. 

Disciplinary procedures during Covid-19 restrictions 

All members of College need to continue to comply with the College regulations as expressed in the Statutes and Ordinances and Blue Book. During the COVID-19 restrictions and until further notice, disciplinary meetings will take place through online for a rather than in person. 

Check what type of household you are in 

See the College webpage on householdsfor information about different types of households, and what you need to do depending on which type you live in. 

Information on quarantining in College accommodation 

Please refer to the quarantine page on the College website for information on preparing for quarantine, and support available during your time in quarantine. 

How to support someone who is quarantining 

You may visit someone in quarantine to drop off food or supplies but you MUST NOT enter their household. You should check on their wellbeing via either a window or by knocking on their door, and to let them know if you’re dropping something off. Leave the items outside the door and they should then allow 5 minutes before opening the door to allow you to leave.