Return to Oxford in Hilary Term

*Updated 23 February 2021*

This page has been updated to provide the latest guidance for students returning to Oxford from abroad. The new guidance can be found on this page under the ‘International students’ heading.

Advice for students returning to Oxford

National lockdown rules currently apply in England and the UK Government has published guidance about which students are allowed to return to universities in the New Year.

Taught postgraduate students

In line with Government guidance, only very specific groups of taught students are permitted to return to Oxford in Hilary Term. All other taught students are advised not to travel back to university.

Students taking part in initial teacher training or clinical medicine courses have already been advised that they should return to Oxford.

Students on a small number of additional courses (for example, some of those with professional accreditations) will be invited to come back to Oxford earlier than other students. Your department will contact you in the near future to confirm if this is the case.

If you are not contacted by your department, you should only return to Oxford at this stage if you meet at least one of these criteria:

  • You are an international student and have remained in the UK or have already arrived back
  • You stayed in university or college accommodation over the Christmas vacation
  • You require additional support, including if you are having mental health difficulties
  • You do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities at home

If you are not in Oxford and believe you meet these criteria, you must discuss your plans with the college before returning.

In line with wider government guidance to limit travel, students should access online learning from home wherever possible. Colleges have been encouraged to bear this in mind when evaluating applications for exemptions. Further guidance from the Government may affect these decisions.

If you are permitted to travel back to Oxford, you must follow national and international travel guidance.

This guidance applies to both full and part-time students.

If you are a taught student and your department does not contact you to invite you to come back, or you do not meet these criteria, you must not return to Oxford until indicated otherwise.

Postgraduate research students

Postgraduate research students are exempt from the guidance, which means that you can continue your research (and return to Oxford if you left during the vacation) as you planned at the end of Michaelmas term. In line with University employees, you may access University facilities if necessary for your research, provided they are open, but should work remotely if you are able to do so.

International students

You should speak to the college to agree the timing of your return to Oxford so that you can complete your self-isolation if required. The college will help you to self-isolate if you live in college accommodation.

As of 23 February, the government rules for returning to the UK require you to:

  1. Complete a Passenger Locator Form.
  2. Have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours of your flight date. More information.
  3. Book and pay for tests on days two and eight of your self-isolation back in the UK (must book before you travel).
  4. Quarantine when you arrive in England. More information. It may be possible in some circumstances to pay for an additional COVID-19 test on day five of your quarantine which, if negative, will allow you out of self-isolation early. This is called the Test to Release scheme. Even if you pay for this additional test, you still have to take the COVID-19 test on day eight, as mentioned above.

IMPORTANT: If you are returning to the UK from one of the red list travel ban countries, then you can only enter the UK if you are British, Irish or have residency rights (this would include all Green Templeton students) and you then must quarantine in a hotel for ten days on arrival.

When you arrive at Green Templeton

On arrival at Green Templeton from abroad, please go to the Lodge and collect your keys. If you live at Rewley Abbey Court we may be able to make the keys available on-site. Please ask in advance. Wear a face covering at all times in any shared areas until your self-isolation finishes.

Please go straight to your building and your room within it. Deposit your belongings as quickly and safely as possible. Do not go to any other part of the college. Within your building, do not go anywhere except your room and, if applicable, to the shared bathroom facilities in the unit to which your room belongs.

If you are in a shared house, please only use the shared kitchen when it is empty and you are not in contact with any other household members. The House Supervisor for your building will set up a rota if necessary. Please ensure you clean any handles, buttons and knobs you touch before and after every use. Cleaning materials will be available in all communal areas.

You may wish to bring food and other essential supplies with you. You can order some essential food and meals from college and most shops can deliver.

You must not leave your room or allocated area at any time during the prescribed period of self-isolation unless agreed with the college in advance. This includes not going outside unless there is an emergency such as a fire.

If you need assistance at any time, please contact the Lodge by phone on +44 (0)1865 274470 or email

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or are self-isolating at home

You should not return to Oxford if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating.

If you have symptoms, you should get tested at home, and you must complete any required self-isolation before returning, in line with requirements in your local area.

If you live in an area with a community testing programme in place, you may also be asked to take a lateral flow test in your local area before you travel back to Oxford even if you do not have symptoms.

Fit to Fly information

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