A flowering tree

Hilary term 2021

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

Page last updated 20 January 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

Taught students should not return to Oxford until at least mid-February unless you are studying clinical medicine, are on the PGCE programme or are studying on a very small number of additional courses (your Department will have let you know if you fall into this category). Research students are permitted to return to Oxford. Students already in Oxford should stay here. For further information, please see the email sent by the College Registrar to all taught students on 6 January 2021. 

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 a country that is not on the Government’s travel corridor list, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK. 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 a private test. You should follow the directions on the Government website which includes a list of eligible private providers. 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

College classes and tutorials will be provided online until at least mid-February. The only exception relates to clinical medical teaching. 

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.

Rent for College accommodation 

In recognition of the Government expectation that most students should not return for the start of term, you will not be charged rent by the College if you do not return for the start of term. If you are on a 27-week contract (including Y1 students), you will not be charged rent from the start of week 0 until the date that you return. If you are on a 38-week contract (including those in the annexes), rent will not be charged from Monday 4 January until the date that you are in residence. If you return, you will be charged rent as normal.

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 and third test at the recommended intervals. 

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

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 to collect post from the Porters’ Lodge or to borrow books from the College Library. 

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 between 11.30am and 12.30pm for browsing/borrowing books only. 

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

Access to the College site

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

Non-resident members of College are not expected to be using the College site except to collect post from the Lodge or to borrow books from the College Library. Students resident in the Annexes are expected to leave the main College site by 10.30pm. 

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.

College Library: study space

The Library is available from 12.30pm – 10.30pm each day for private study for those resident in college accommodation. The Library will not remain open overnight.

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.

Living arrangements 

Each student living in College accommodation will continue to be allocated to a ‘Household’. A Household will be 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 will take place to avoid students being unduly isolated. 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 

The Dining Hall will not be open until further notice. 

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

The MCR and JCR Kitchens are available for use only by students on the main site who don’t have an allocated kitchen for their Household. They will be open from 11am – 10pm each day. Given that a number of students from different Households will be sharing these facilities, 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. 

Other facilities

The JCR and MCR will both be open for use by students who are resident in College during Hilary term from 11am – 10pm each day. The University face covering policy applies in both rooms, and students must ensure appropriate social distancing is observed at all times. 

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.

Porters’ Lodge

The Porters’ Lodge will be closed overnight between 11pm and 7am. When the Lodge is closed and only in an emergency contact: Oxford Security Services 01865 751605 or 07835 269179

When the Lodge is closed, only students resident on the main College site can access the site using their University card to open the front door. Other students cannot access the site while the Lodge is closed. 

The Fire Alarms are linked to a remote monitoring station overnight. In the event of the Fire Alarm going off while the Lodge is closed, the monitoring station will have alerted the emergency services and key holders to the activation and they will be on the way. As always, if the Fire Alarm goes off, students should leave the building straight away and go to the relevant muster point (Linton Quad if you live on the main site) and remain there to await further instructions.