COVID-19 Information for Students

  • COVID-19 infographic with the text: Be responsible. Be considerate. Be safe.

A warm welcome (back) to Oriel to all our students! Following a very challenging 18 months, we are all looking forward to the promise of a new academic year.

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our priority has been ensuring the safety and health of all members of the College community, as well as the wider Oxford community of which we are part. The information below outlines how you can help keep our community safe and well, and provides links to further resources that you may find helpful when living in College this year.

The latest student-related guidance from the University can be found on the New and Returning Students area of their Coronavirus response website.

Updated: October 2021

General Guidance for Living in College

The University has issued guidance for students living in Oxford this year, and encourages students to:

  • Consider getting vaccinated as soon as possible if you have not already done so. You can find NHS vaccine information here and Oxford University information here. At the beginning of term there will also be some pop-up vaccination centres open in Oxford. 
  • Wear face coverings. We recommend that all students and staff wear a face covering in enclosed and crowded spaces where they may come into contact with people they don’t usually meet. If you are asked in a meeting or tutorial to wear a mask, please abide by the wishes of person asking if possible.
  • Test regularly. Students and staff are encouraged to get tests twice a week, every week while studying, living or working on site to help keep the whole community safe. You can pick up a testing kit at the Lodge or order it online through the NHS – either way, they are free. If you have any questions about LFD tests, you can find lots of information here.
  • Self-isolate if you are unwell. If you have symptoms or get a positive LFD result, you should self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test. The University’s Early Alert Service continues to operate PCR testing for those who have symptoms or a positive LFD result or are advised to take a test by Test and Trace. If you receive a positive test via the Early Alert Service, the Oriel COVID-response team will be in touch to offer support.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap or sanitiser.
  • Be considerate of other people’s space. We ask that all students and staff be aware of space in enclosed and crowded spaces where they may come into contact with people they don’t usually meet.
  • Ventilate. Wherever possible, open windows and doors to ensure adequate ventilation.

Are You Showing Symptoms?

Do you think you might have symptoms of COVID-19? Symptoms are:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you think you might have symptoms, and may need to be tested for COVID-19, please refer to this flow chart (WebLearn link), which describes the steps you should take:

COVID-19 Symptomatic Testing

The University’s in-house COVID-19 testing service is open to all staff and students of the University and colleges, providing rapid access to free testing for those who think they have coronavirus symptoms (minor or major). It operates independently of the NHS testing system. Please note: SSO is required and users must be on the University network, Oxford University eduroam or VPN. IT Services offers guidance on setting up an Oxford VPN. If you take a COVID test via one of the NHS testing centres, please make sure you inform the College if you receive a positive result.

A reminder of COVID-19 symptoms to look out for can be found here.

COVID-19 Asymptomatic Testing

The University is asking all students to get tested twice a week, every week while you are in Oxford. You can pick up a testing kit at the Lodge or order it online through the NHS – either way, they are free. If you have any questions about LFD tests, you can find lots of information here.

Welfare Information

For College welfare provisions, please refer to the Health and Welfare pages. The University has additional resources in place to support students with their physical and mental health. This includes a series of welfare blogs and podcasts, as well as additional online counselling provision and support for those with disabilities. Please refer to the University Welfare and Wellbeing pages.

We understand that this is a stressful and difficult time for students, and our Welfare Team are here to support you with any welfare needs. Please do not hesitate to reach out to them if you need some extra support, or even just a listening ear.

College Nurse

Up-to-date information about Nurse's Hours and how to book an appointment can be found here (SSO).

Facilities in College

The majority of facilities are now open as usual, with the exception of the Gym and Squash Court at Rectory Road. These remain closed at the moment due to issues with ventilation, although consultation is ongoing to explore how these can be opened safely. We ask that when students make use of College facilities, and especially when gathering in groups, that you consider opening windows to improve ventilation.

Using the Library Safely

Study slots for the Ground Floor reading room desk spaces in the Library must be pre-booked (slots will be released a week in advance). This service is available Monday-Friday, from 9am until midnight. Find out more and book your slot on the 'Using the Library Safely' page.

Hall and Meals

The Hall is now back in use following the completion of the recent renovation work. Please see the 'Food' page for more information about meals and how to book.

IT Support and Equipment

Due to COVID-19 countermeasures, it is likely that there will be an increased use of communications technology and digital submission systems, as one method to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. The information on the IT Support and Equipment page is intended to advise students on the equipment and software available, and how you could make use of it. Please check the information on this page before submitting a query to the IT Support team.

COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Policies

Oriel College COVID-19 Risk Assessment - Updated 30th September 2021

Oriel College COVID-19 Secure Workplace Poster - June 2020

The College is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe place to work, study and live at all times, and particularly so during the COVID-19 pandemic. The College has undertaken a comprehensive Risk Assessment which identifies who within our community is at risk and what control measures are being introduced in order to mitigate the risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. The Risk Assessment also identifies who is responsible for implementing and maintaining the control measures. Everyone within our community and those that visit the College all have a part to play in ensuring their own safety and that of others; Students, Academic Staff, Administrative & Support Staff, Contractors and Visitors.

Please read the Risk Assessment via the link above to better understand your responsibilities as they relate to the control measures that we are implementing and which will need to be maintained in order to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Domestic Bursar on:

Something Missing?

If there is information that you think is missing from this page, or links that you think should be added, please contact the Website and Communications Officer: