Hilary Term Testing

If you are coming back to live in Oxford after the winter vacation, you are strongly advised to get tested for COVID-19. Green Templeton will provide you with three Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests when you return to Oxford. These can be collected from the Lodge from Monday 4 January 2021. You should take the first test as soon as possible after you arrive back in Oxford, one three days later, and one more on your tenth day in Oxford.

Who should take the tests?

All students are strongly advised to take the tests. This includes postgraduate research students. You should take them even if you have recently received a negative COVID-19 test result.

You should not take the tests if:

  • You have returned from a country that is not on the travel corridor list. You should instead self-isolate for ten days. Lateral flow devices cannot be used as part of the Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme.
  • You have symptoms of COVID-19. You should instead book a PCR test via the Early Alert Service and follow the advice you are given when you receive your result.
  • You have had a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days. If this case, you are likely to have developed some immunity, which means the LFDs are not necessary.

Why you should take the tests?

Lateral Flow Device tests are an important tool in helping to stop the spread of COVID-19.

They help detect if you have COVID-19 before you develop symptoms. This

  • Reduces the risk that you will infect others.
  • Ensures that those who need to self-isolate do so sooner.
  • Reduces the number of people who will need to self-isolate.

Large numbers of students taking the tests will ultimately reduce the spread of COVID-19 across the community, help protect vulnerable people and minimise disruption in Hilary Term. While LFDs do not detect every case of COVID-19, if you follow the training carefully and take three tests at the start of term, this will significantly increase the chances that cases are detected – and in particular, cases that are likely to be transmitted to others.

About the tests

All students will take the tests themselves, and online training will be available in support. Full details will be issued with the test on collection. You do not need to book a slot as the tests will be taken in your own place of residence and not at 13 Norham Gardens. Your result will be visible within 30 minutes.

You will be asked to record all results online with the Early Alert Service and will be provided with instructions for doing so. This part of the testing process is vital both for monitoring prevalence and for activating welfare support for individuals who will need to self-isolate upon receiving a positive result or being a close-contact of someone who tests positive.

Testing before travelling back to Oxford

If you live in a Tier 3 area in the UK with a community testing programme in place that provides LFD tests, you are encouraged to take one of these tests in your local area before you travel back to Oxford – even if you do not have symptoms. If you test positive you must self-isolate where you are and not travel back until you have completed your self-isolation. If your test is negative, you can return to Oxford. You should still take the three LFDs when you arrive. This is because LFDs only detect infections at a certain point in time.

Testing later in Hilary term

The University is developing plans for how to manage testing later in the term and information will follow. Lessons from the testing on return will help to inform the plans as they develop.

Students returning from abroad and ‘Test to Release’

Students returning to Oxford from territories not part of the UK government’s ‘travel corridor’, will be required to quarantine (self-isolate) for 10 days upon arrival.

The government has now published more information about its ‘test to release’ scheme, which enables anyone travelling from a territory not part of the ‘travel corridor’ to end their quarantine early if they receive a negative result from a test provided by a specific list of government-approved suppliers.

UK Government information about ‘test to release’ scheme

Please note that neither the University’s Early Alert Service nor the Hilary Term lateral flow testing scheme administered by colleges can facilitate early release from quarantine.

To check if the country of your departure is on the Government Travel Corridor list please visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors