COVID-19 Guidance for Students

We hope this page helps students with any queries or concerns you might have related to the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please also see the Homerton College COVID-19 Induction Talk 2021. Students should contact the Senior Tutor if your specific question is not addressed below.

Find out more about National Government guidelines and the Stay Safe Cambridge Uni scheme regarding COVID-19. 

Students are encouraged to share feedback on how we can improve support in college during this challenging time. To help keep the College community safe, students are also able to anonymously report any COVID related issues using the Student Feedback Form.

Homerton restrictions and support

Cambridge currently has the highest infection rate in the UK and as such it is vital that we continue to protect ourselves and our community as best we can to limit the spread of the virus. To this end, Homerton requires the continued wearing of masks in all communal areas, and that you test twice-weekly on Mondays and Thursdays with Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs).

We ask that students please order their own supply of LFTs from the NHS through the following link whilst they are still available. Please ensure you order these as necessary for twice-weekly screening using LFTs and have a reserve supply of LFTs in the event you are required to isolate. Please note that you can now only order kits every 72 hours, not daily as before.

You will still need evidence of a negative LFT result for entry to all formal dinners and communal events.

Although domestic legal restrictions changed on Thursday 24th of February, Homerton College will maintain the following isolation rules:

  • Anyone who receives a positive result from any test must self-isolate and report to the Hom-Isolation-Team email address. These rules apply to all, regardless of your vaccination status.  You can stop self-isolating after 5 full days instead of 10 days, providing you have 2 negative LFT results on days 5 and 6. Again, please report these test results to the isolation team.
  • If you are asymptomatic, you are not required to take a PCR test following a positive LFT (lateral flow test).  Anyone who has symptoms will still need to take a PCR test and is required to self-isolate immediately and stay in-situ until the test result is received. Please confirm all test results to the Hom-Isolation-Team email address.
  • If you develop any cold or flu symptoms, the college expects you to self-isolate straight away and contact the Hom-Isolation-Team email address. You will be asked to get a PCR test as soon as possible. It is vital that you do this to eliminate COVID-19 as an option, and do not simply assume your symptoms are that of a cold/flu. PCR tests are available through the University Testing Pods.

We hope that Cambridge will be in a better situation soon regarding infection rates, so we may begin to lift restrictions in Homerton. Rest assured, these rules will be kept under constant review as the situation in Cambridge changes.

What can you do?

Get vaccinated

High levels of vaccination amongst students were critical in limiting the impact of the ‘Delta variant’ at the University last term.  It is increasingly clear that, whilst two doses of vaccine offer only limited protection against infection with the Omicron variant, this is markedly enhanced by a booster dose. If you have not done so already, we therefore strongly recommend that you register to receive your booster as soon as possible.

If you have not yet received a vaccination, we would strongly encourage you to do so. You can book your COVID-19 vaccination appointments on the NHS website. Walk-in clinics are also available for vaccinations without a booking. Information on walk-in clinics in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is available online.

If you are not yet registered with a local GP, please do so as soon as you can. Information on this can be found on the NHS website. This will ensure that if you need medical assistance, you are able to see a GP in Cambridge and won’t need to go to A&E to seek assistance for something that a GP could treat. Remember that Sandy Chambers, the College Health Advisor, is able to offer health advice and information too. To book an appointment with Sandy, follow this link.

If you develop any cold or flu symptoms, the college asks that you self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) as soon as possible. Lateral Flow Tests are often too inaccurate. It is vital that you do this to eliminate COVID-19 as an option, and do not simply assume your symptoms are that of a cold/flu. Please notify the porters and the Homerton Isolation Team immediately upon feeling ill or entering isolation.

Protect each other

It is important to understand that no vaccine is 100% effective and we need to continue to take the following simple measures to reduce the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19: 

  • COVID-19 is most commonly spread through close contact with an infected person. If an infected person is close, they can spread the virus via respiratory droplets which are produced when they breathe, cough, sneeze, talk or sing. Limiting close contact and wearing face coverings can reduce this risk.
  • Socialise outside if you can, and make sure rooms are well ventilated, for example by opening windows.
  • It is less common to catch COVID-19 via contact with a contaminated surface but it is possible to be infected if you touch a surface contaminated with the virus and then touch your nose, eyes or mouth. Hand washing with soap and water/ using hand sanitiser remains important.

Get tested

Positive tests and isolation

In case of a positive test, whether NHS, Test & Trace and PCR or LFT, you must email Homerton Isolation Team for record purposes and advice/clarification as needed.

If your test is positive, Homerton requires that you self-isolate for at least 5 full days, providing you have 2 negative LFT results on days 5 and 6. Otherwise, the full isolation period is 10 days. Homerton, once notified of your test result, will contact you to provide support.

Should a member of your household test positive (find your household and test pool) or if a close-contact is thought to have, or confirmed to have, COVID-19, the college requests, regardless of your vaccination status, that you follow the following steps in an effort to keep the wider college community safe:

  1. Return to your room immediately to self-isolate.
  2. Arrange a PCR test either via the University (we strongly recommend this) or the NHS (if the University pods are not available, e.g. at the weekend). You are allowed to leave your room to take a PCR test.
  3. Let the Homerton Isolation Team know as soon as possible when you receive your test results. Should your test result be negative, you do not need to self-
  4. Read the information provided in the downloads list on this page. This will provide further information on how to order meals, receive deliveries, exit your room in emergencies, and on access to outdoor space and (for those in Household isolation only) kitchen use.
  5. Keep in touch with the Homerton Isolation Team with any queries; with the Student Health Advisor with any medical concerns; and with the Porters if you require immediate assistance (they are available 24/7).
  6. Contact your Tutor if you think the period of isolation may affect your plans. You will be contacted by the College about any changed exam arrangements.

Quarantine information

Students needing to Quarantine in College can find updated information within the downloads on this page. 

Testing and self-isolation support for students

Further information regarding isolation can be found within the downloads on the right hand side of this page. 

Mental health support and advice

Find Information about maintaining good mental health during Self-Isolation within the downloads on the right hand side of this page. 

Useful contacts

Coping with Covid: Daily Prompts

Coping with Covid: Daily Prompts

Rooms, Households and Testing Pools

Rooms, Households and Testing Pools

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