St Cross College COVID-19 Changes
Current Policies, as of 26 February 2021
A national lockdown was introduced across England from Tuesday 5 January.
It is crucial that we all adhere to the latest government guidelines, stay at home, and keep one another safe at this time.
University and College buildings will remain open for on-site working and research, but most teaching will take place online for the time being.
Update and arrangements for Trinity Term 2021
On Friday 26 February the University updated students on arrangements for Trinity term. Details of this are available at: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/students/
For any student who is already in Oxford, there is no change to your situation. You should remain in Oxford, and under Government guidance, you may not leave and travel elsewhere, unless you have an exemption from the national restrictions on leaving home.
The latest guidance from the Government focuses on students on courses that the Government describes as ‘practical or practice-based’. Students on these courses will be able to return to Oxford to resume in-person teaching. A very small number of these ‘practical or practice-based’ courses will begin in-person teaching on 8 March, with others resuming in-person teaching in the weeks ahead.
If your course has been granted permission to begin in-person teaching, you will be contacted by your department and the St Cross Academic Administrator with further details and arrangements. Otherwise, this means that there is no start date yet for in-person teaching, and we do not expect a further update from the Government and then the University until at least 5 April.
If you are on a course which has been given permission to return for in-person teaching, you will need to consider any travel implications, as we know many of you may not be in England. All international arrivals into England must currently quarantine for 10 days, and take PCR COVID-19 tests. Arrivals from ‘red list’ countries must currently quarantine in hotels provided by the Government, and this currently costs £1750. For more details about arriving into England, please see: https://www.gov.uk/uk-border-control. Residency restrictions for Trinity Term have been lifted, and if your course has been granted permission to return, but you are concerned about travelling back to Oxford, please contact Sharon Durno (firstname.lastname@example.org)
For anyone who is now permitted to return to Oxford for in-person teaching who is already in the UK, you are expected to take Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) for COVID-19 when you arrive back in Oxford. To request information about how to collect and use LFT, please contact Justine Goodenough (email@example.com)
If you have been given permission to return to Oxford and you have a room in College accommodation, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org BEFORE you begin to make your return journey. This is really important so that we know who is currently in College accommodation. We do have rooms available in College, so if you require accommodation in Oxford and have been given permission to return, please contact email@example.com
Finally, there are a small number of other permitted reasons under which students may be granted permission to return to Oxford. If you feel there is a specific need for you to return to Oxford, and you are not on one of the courses that has been permitted to return, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your particular circumstances.
As of 18 January all travel corridors have been suspended. If you arrive in England from anywhere outside UK/England/CI/IoM you will need to self-isolate for 10 days. You must have proof of a negative coronavirus test to travel to England. Further details are available on the Government website.
If you are permitted to travel back to Oxford, you must follow national and international travel guidance. If you are returning to the UK after travel abroad, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure, see the UK Government website.
If you travelled away from Oxford during the vacation and are permitted to return at this time from elsewhere in the UK, you are strongly advised to take three Lateral Flow Tests which you should collect from the College Lodge. If you have any questions about the tests, please contact Justine Goodenough (email@example.com). The first test should be taken as soon as possible, after you arrive back in Oxford. Please refer to the updated University guidance about Lateral Flow Testing for full detailed information about the tests, a PDF guide is available here.
Following the vacation, the University's Early Alert Service (EAS) is once again open to all students and staff. Updated information can be found on the University website here. Students showing symptoms should now book a test through this service rather than via the NHS as during the vacation period. Please note, this is separate to the Lateral Flow Testing for returning students and is only for those experiencing coronavirus symptoms. Prompt and effective self-isolation is a vital step in limiting the transmission of coronavirus and it is essential that students continue to self-isolate when required.
As a result of developing government guidance, the College has been considering the position of student rents for the Hilary Term 2021. In normal circumstances, students would remain liable for paying for their College accommodation, whether they were actually living in it or not, according to the period stated in their tenancy agreement. Currently most students are not permitted to travel to Oxford for the start of term, except for those on a small number of courses for which in-person teaching is essential. Many students are therefore not expected back to College until much later in the term. For students who have been restricted in their ability to return to Oxford due to these restrictions, we may be able to offer rent rebates for those who were not permitted to travel. The exact details are complex as it remains unclear as to when return travel to Oxford will be permitted, and each of you have different circumstances. If you expect to request a rent rebate, please complete this form. This will help us gather information and make informed decision to support you as quickly as possible. Any student with financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic, whether they live in College accommodation or not, can apply for support to the College at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In light of the current COVID-19 restrictions, the decision has been taken to suspend all residency requirements in relation to academic matters, for Hilary term. A blanket dispensation is now in place for all students for the whole term, and you do not need to make any applications if you are unable to return. Once the University is permitted by Government guidance to restart in-person teaching we will look forward to welcoming you back. Further details about this can be found on the University website.
For students in College accommodation notices are placed in each kitchen indicating which Covid Bubble can use which kitchen. Please ensure you only enter and use the kitchen associated with your room number. The names of your fellow residents who form your Household/Covid Bubble have been provided to you. There is a space on these posters for you to add your mobile number (if you wish) and set up a WhatsApp group to keep in touch.
Cleaning products will be delivered to your rooms and left outside your door so please take them in when you see them. Inside the red buckets are various cleaning products and a safety sheet which you must read. If you run out of any cleaning products please email Kenny Cox (email@example.com) who will arrange for replacements.
The St Cross Library will remain open, but you must book a space. To do so, please use the online Library Booking form. Please note, we would like to remind students that face coverings must be worn at all times in the library and while in all public areas inside College buildings, unless you are exempt under government guidelines.
Face coverings must be worn (except by those who are exempt) while in all public areas inside College buildings. Specifically, you should wear a face covering in all College indoor walkways, the Lodge, the Common Room, study areas, shared public bathrooms, staff offices, the Dining Hall (except when eating and drinking), the Library (at all times), and in student accommodation buildings (except in areas part of your own household).
If you are resident in student accommodation you do not need to wear a face covering in your own household bubble unless you are self-isolating. If you are self-isolating, you must wear a face covering at all times when not in your own room.
You do not need to wear a face covering in outdoor areas of the College, although many people may choose to do so, and staff do not need to wear a face covering when seated and working in their own offices.
Please also remember that external guests are currently not permitted inside College buildings.
Additional information from the University can be found here.
College remains open to student members, though guests are not permitted on site, and Fellows and Members of Common Room will be asked not to come in at this time.
The Lodge will remain open and staffed as usual and students may continue to collect their post. The quads are available for fresh air and exercise and students are encouraged to take advantage of University Parks, Port Meadow and Oxford's many other green spaces for their daily exercise.
The Common Room is currently closed and will remain so for the time being.
Students are still able to book rooms for study in College. Please email Justine (firstname.lastname@example.org) to do this or if you have any questions. Rooms are limited to one person per day and are cleaned between use. Please note, students must provide 24 hours' notice when booking rooms.
Outdoor Areas, Gardens, and Smoking
Outdoor areas in College grounds, including the Quads on the main site, and outdoor spaces at the Annexe and Stonemason House, are public areas, and not private gardens or grounds. This means that these public areas need to be used in line with local and national regulations for public spaces. Public areas should not be used by anyone who is self-isolating.
Face coverings are not mandatory in outdoor public spaces but some people may feel more comfortable if face coverings are worn in these areas.
As all of our outdoor spaces are relatively small, we ask that groups do not congregate and gather in outdoor spaces.
For residents living in houses owned by St Cross College (Wellington Square and Bradmore Road) all residents of these properties may use the associated private gardens, but no guests or visitors are allowed into these properties, including the gardens.
Smoking is not allowed anywhere on College property, including in outdoor spaces.
In certain circumstances, such as if you have recently travelled from overseas, if someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, or you are waiting for the results of a test, you may be required to self-isolate.
Please read the self-isolation guide (SSO required).
If you are self-isolating/quarantining in College accommodation, please ensure you follow the procedures below:
• Put the notice on the outside of your bedroom door informing other that you are quarantining.
• Wear you face mask at all times whilst you are in any communal areas (including all kitchens while cooking)
• You must not use the kitchen while others are using it (during your period of Quarantine)
• If you have asked for a repair or maintenance request you must leave the room while this is taking place and wait in the kitchen, if there is someone else in the kitchen then, maintenance will be re arranged until a time that you can wait in the kitchen. You must inform the maintenance operative when they arrive that you are quarantining and go to the kitchen. (please note that only emergency repairs will be carried out to your room while you are quarantining)
• Once your period of Quarantine has finished please remove the notice from outside your door.
Takeaway lunches will continue to be available from College from Monday-Friday when the kitchen is open, subject to demand. You will be able to collect a takeaway lunch which you will need to book through the meal booking system. Bookings must be made by 14:00 the day before you wish to collect your lunch (14:00 Friday for a lunch on Monday). You must return to your home/room to eat, in accordance with Government guidance. The College cannot allow students to eat or drink in any public areas.
Unfortunately, dinners will not be able to go ahead at this time.
The College remains closed to non-St Cross members, which means that at this time we are unable to welcome guests to lunches, College events, and for social gatherings, including meeting informally in the Common Room. Accommodation areas are strictly limited to residents only. As students move into accommodation, they are permitted to have help from family members and friends, but we ask that all visitors wear face coverings and leave the premises as soon as moving in is completed. They cannot use communal areas and shared spaces. No guests are allowed to stay in College accommodation at this time, and College residents should only use shared facilities associated with their household.
The only exceptions for guests and visitors to College is when they are attending a pre-arranged professional College event or meeting. For example, a University department will be using some of our seminar rooms during the term, and there will be occasional private events in College for College members and their registered guests. We cannot open lunches and our own dinners to guests at this time, as places are limited and we wish to ensure that as many College members as possible can enjoy these events.
Students, Fellows or Members of Common Room who are looking to arrange events or meetings of any size in College should contact email@example.com to discuss their needs. This ensures that space can be allocated appropriately, contact tracing can be maintained, and that College complies with health and safety regulations and social distancing requirements. Contractors will also be on-site from time-to-time to ensure essential maintenance is completed. All contractors will comply with social distancing regulations.
Contractors will also be on-site from time-to-time to ensure essential maintenance is completed. All contractors will comply with social distancing regulations. Contractors can be recognised by the blue hi vis jackets they wear and coloured lanyards. If contractors are required to enter student bedrooms (advance notice will be given) they will be wearing yellow lanyards. Contractors not requiring bedroom access will be wearing a green lanyard.
Sometimes, if College staff or contractors are working onsite, they may not be able to adhere to the one-way systems in place around College. In these cases, staff or contractors will be wearing green armbands.
The café will be closed for the lockdown period.
There will be no Bar service in College for the time being.
All students have been asked to follow the COVID-19 Student Responsibility Charter and we ask that all our College members follow this Code of Conduct. If you have any concerns whilst in College about any aspect of our operations, please speak to the Duty Porter. We look forward to seeing you soon.
The College coffee machines are currently not in operation, and we ask that members refrain from playing the pianos for the time being.