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Hilary term 2021

This page provides information about how College life in Hilary term 2021 and the Easter Vacation 2021 will be affected by arrangements to keep students and staff in the context of covid-19. 

Page last updated 23 March 2021

If you think you might have covid-19, please read the guidance here.  The same page also includes information about the number of cases within the College community and the number of households and individuals self-isolating. 

Further information about various aspects of College life can be found below. The three sections of this page include information that is relevant for: 
-    All students (whether in Oxford or elsewhere);
-    Students resident in Oxford (including those in College accommodation); and 
-    Students resident in College accommodation only.

The key rules which students need to observe in relation to covid restrictions can be found here

Returning to Oxford

Research students are permitted to return to Oxford. 

Postgraduate taught students and undergraduate students - please see the email sent by the College Registrar on 1 March 2021 which contains detailed information about when/whether you should currently be planning to return to Oxford. 

You must not return to Oxford if you have symptoms of covid-19 or are self-isolating. If you think you might have symptoms, you should get a test locally where you are. You must not travel until you are sure you are not positive. 

If you are returning to Oxford from abroad you will need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK and fulfil all other government requirements about testing. You must notify accommodation@spc.ox.ac.uk in advance of your return that you need to quarantine. You should review the information about self-isolation in College here. You may be able to reduce the time you need to self-isolate for via the Government’s Test to Release scheme; this will involve you arranging and paying for an additional private test. You cannot use the LFD tests available from College for this purpose, a specific and different test is required.

Teaching and Learning 

You can find information about the University’s overall approach to teaching and learning in the context of Covid-19 here

The Skills for Remote Study site on Canvas provides advice and information to help you make the most of online lectures and tutorials, prepare for and undertake remote assessments, and study more productively. You can also read some quick tips about remote study on the Oxford Students website

Library provision: access to resources

The College Library (like other Oxford libraries) is at present doing its best to support college members while services continue to be restricted by measures taken in response to the Covid-19 epidemic.

Where an electronic version of a particular text is available to the University, this is the quickest and most efficient method of proceeding. In other cases, we are operating postal loans and scanning services (but remember that copyright restrictions mean that only one chapter / 10% of any items in copyright can be copied for purposes of private study).

More information about the Library and a list of remote resources is available on the main Library webpage.  See also the email sent to all students from the College Librarian on 8 January 2021.


The College’s Welfare team is available to support students. Support is currently available online.

The University’s Student Welfare and Support Services (SWSS) provides a range of specialist welfare services to all students at the University. This includes counselling (one-to-one and group sessions), support for disabled students, support for students who have experienced sexual violence, and mediation. Provision is currently available to all students online (by video, chat or email) and by telephone.

Information about support available during the vacation can be found here.

Rent for College accommodation 

In recognition of the Government expectation that most students should not return for the start of term, you will not have been charged rent by the College if you did not return during Hilary term. For those returning to college accommodation in the coming weeks, rent will be chargeable from the date that you return until the end-date of your lease. 

Access to the College site

A national lockdown is in place and the Government instruction is that people should not be outside their home except where necessary. Students who are not resident in College accommodation are therefore not expected to be visiting College, except for the following essential purposes:

  • to collect post from the Porters’ Lodge;
  • to borrow books from the College Library (10.30am-11.30am daily); and 
  • to study in the College Library (11.30am-7am daily).

Due to the national lockdown, College is not a place for those not in residence to meet or socialise; non-resident students are therefore not expected to use the JCR or MCR. 

Additional information for those living in College accommodation (including those resident in Paradise Street, the Lau Building and St Thomas Street) is located further down this page. 

All College buildings, including the Porters’ Lodge, are subject to the University face coverings policy. All members of College are expected to wear a face covering in all indoor shared space, even when 2m or more from others, unless exempt from doing under the wording of the policy, and to hand-sanitise on entry to the site and frequently thereafter.

Library provision: access to resources

The College Library is open to all students who are based in Oxford between 10.30am and 11.30am for browsing/borrowing books only. 

More information about the Library is available on the main Library webpage.

College Library: study space

The Library is available from 11.30am – 7am each day for private study for all students who are based in Oxford. 

There are 24 seats, which do not need to be booked in advance. 

Other important notes:
•    You should wear a face covering and hand-sanitise on arrival.
•    The chairs should not be moved, and you need to wipe down hard surfaces when you arrive and when you leave.
•    Your belongings should not be left in the Library.
•    If someone needs to access the books on shelves near where you are sitting, you’ll need to vacate your seat briefly and make space for them to get the books they need.

More information about the Library is available on the main Library webpage.

LFD testing 

All students now in Oxford (or returning to Oxford in the coming days) are strongly advised to take part in the LFD testing programme. You should take the first test as soon as possible, followed by the second test at the recommended interval. 

You can collect a testing kit from the Porters’ Lodge. Further information can be found here.

Access to the College site

Students may not bring or invite any visitors onto the College site (including the Annexes) until further notice. 

All College buildings, including the Porters’ Lodge, are subject to the University face coverings policy. All members of College are expected to wear a face covering in all indoor shared space, even when 2m or more from others, unless exempt from doing under the wording of the policy, and to hand-sanitise on entry to the site and frequently thereafter. On occasions, all members of College may have their temperature checked as they pass through the Lodge. 

Cleaning of high-touch areas (door handles, bannisters, key communal areas) will take place frequently.

Living arrangements 

Each student living in College accommodation will continue to be allocated to a ‘Household’. A Household is a group of people living in close proximity and sharing bathroom and/or kitchen facilities. 

A Household is a way to control the risk of infection if someone contracts covid-19. It means that you will only share close proximity with a limited number of people, and that measures can be put in place to alert you if someone in your Household tests positive for covid-19. You do not have to socially distance from people in your Household, but you are expected to maintain a social distance of 2m from all individuals not in your Household

Given the relatively small number of students expected to be living in College for the foreseeable future, some merging of Households has taken place to avoid students being unduly isolated; you will know if this applies to your Household. However students resident in the annexes who wish to nominate themselves to be a ‘household of 1’ (and agree thereby not to use communal facilities including the annexe kitchens) can do so by notifying accommodation@spc.ox.ac.uk.

Where Households have shared bathrooms or kitchens, these will be clearly labelled indicating to which Household they are allocated. You must not use facilities allocated to any Household except your own. You must clean shared facilities yourself – using the cleaning materials provided – every time you use them. 

Eating arrangements: kitchens

Students who are members of a Household with an allocated kitchen should use only that kitchen. 

The MCR and JCR Kitchens are available for use only by students resident on the main site who don’t have an allocated kitchen for their Household (and by any students in the Annexes in one-person households with no access to Annexe kitchens). They will be open from 11am – 10pm each day. Each kitchen can accommodate a maximum of 3 users at a time, but only if those users are from the same Household. Given that a number of students from different Households will be using these facilities during each day, they will be cleaned daily by the Scouts and each user must also hand sanitise before entry and thoroughly wipe down all areas used with the cleaning materials provided. 

In all kitchens, including the JCR and MCR Kitchens, the Scouts do not wash up crockery or cooking implements; this remains your responsibility. You must wash up items used to prepare each meal immediately after use and not leave dirty items in the kitchen. Scouts may remove dirty items from kitchens if left unattended. 

Eating arrangements: Dining Hall

The Dining Hall was open for two meals a week for a trial period during Hilary term 2021. During the Easter Vacation the Dining Hall is shut.

Other facilities

The ground floor space in the Hubert Perrodo Building is open to all students resident in College accommodation (including the Annexes) from 11am - 10pm each day.

All students resident in College accommodation (including the Annexes) may use the Latner and Warriner Rooms for quiet (individual) study between 9am - 10pm on weekdays and 10am - 10pm on weekends; those wishing to use these rooms must report to the Porters' Lodge before using them.

The JCR and MCR will both be open for use only by students who are resident on the main site from 11am – 10pm each day. This is to ensure that students who have no other common room space or kitchen facilities have access to some protected communal space. The University face covering policy applies in both rooms, and students must ensure appropriate social distancing is observed at all times. 

The opening time of 11am for most of these spaces has been set in order to allow sufficient time for daily cleaning routines.

The Gym and Music Room are available to those with permission in place to use those facilities. 

Cleaning arrangements  

Scouts will not be entering student bedrooms to clean them. Scouts will continue to collect and remove rubbish, so students are asked to place their bin outside their door when they want their rubbish removed. Scouts will continue to clean shared facilities and touch points daily. Students are strongly encouraged to use the cleaning materials which have been left in the corridors and shared facilities specifically for their use.