COVID-19 Information for Students

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, there have been some significant changes to life in College, and the facilities available to College members. Our priority is ensuring the safety and health of all members of the College community, and we have gathered together a number of resources and guides to help ensure that the College can continue to run as 'normally' as possible at this time.

Updated: April 2021

The UK Government updated its guidance for higher education institutions on Tuesday 13th April. This includes confirmation that for students on non-practical courses, in-person teaching should not resume until 17th May at the earliest (alongside Step 3 of the Government’s Roadmap for easing national restrictions). If you do not have in-person teaching scheduled, you may be able to return to Oxford if you meet the criteria listed on the University website. Advice for international students is also available on the University's coronavirus pages.

Any student with exceptional reasons for returning to College must apply to the Senior Dean for explicit written permission to do so. Please do not arrive in College without being in touch with the Senior Dean and the Domestic Office.

We encourage all students to read the information provided in the links below, and to check this page for updates at least once per week during termtime, as it will be updated regularly with the latest policies and processes.

The latest student-related guidance from the University can be found on the Student and Offer Holders area of their Coronavirus response website.

We are grateful for your patience and understanding as we navigate this challenging time.

Living in College Safely

In order to ensure the safety of all members of College, there are a number of special processes and policies in place for students on College premises. All students should read the COVID-19 Guide for Students (SSO required).

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:

  • before you travel back to Oxford
  • ahead of the start of term when you arrive
  • twice a week, every week while you are in Oxford

More information can be found on the University website.

The University has set up a number of asymptomatic testing sites and those living, working and studying on site are strongly encouraged to  get tested for COVID-19 twice a week, every week during Trinity term. Information on how to access asymptomatic testing can be found on the University website.

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

The College Nurse's surgeries will be operating a bit differently this year while COVID-19 restrictions remain in place. Please DO NOT drop in to see the Nurse without an appointment, or if you are showing symptoms of COVID-19. Up-to-date information about Nurse's Hours and how to book an appointment can be found here (SSO).

Facilities in College

The latest updates on what is open and what restrictions are in place around College can be found on the 'COVID-19 College Facilities' page. Please check this page regularly to see what restrictions are in place. The College is reviewing these restrictions frequently and is making every effort to make as many facilities available as possible whilst still maintaining the safety of College members.

Using the Library Safely

The Library remains partially open for those on-site, but browsing sessions have been temporarily halted. You can still pre-book study slots between 9.30am-10pm (Monday-Friday), and book return slots during staffed hours (9am-5pm, Monday-Friday). Before visiting the Library, you must book a slot via the website. Please follow the instructions 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. For the latest information about the food offering now available in College, please refer to the 'Temporary Food Provision' page.

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.

Visitors in College

We regret that visitors are not currently allowed in College. Please refer to the COVID-19 Visitors' Policy on WebLearn (SSO required) for full details and definitions of 'visitors'.

COVID-19 Risk Assessment and Policies

Oriel College COVID-19 Risk Assessment - Updated 4th May 2021

Oriel College COVID-19 Secure Workplace Poster - June 2020

Face Covering Policy - September 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: