St Antony’s College and Covid-19

St Antony’s College and Covid-19

For the latest coronavirus advice please visit the University of Oxford COVID-19 update page. Further guidance specific to the College is below.


This page was last updated on: 20/Jan/2022


St Antony’s College during COVID-19 *updates from 20 Jan 2022*

What to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms 

What to do if someone in your household develops COVID-19 symptoms

Travel to the UK and Quarantining

Walk-in COVID-19 Vaccinations 

College Accommodation

College Facilities: What’s Open?

Lateral Flow Tests: FAQs



St Antony’s College during COVID-19

Latest UK Government Guidance (updated 20 January 2022)

We urge all students to continue to protect themselves and others by following the latest Government guidance. The government has announced that England will be removing COVID restrictions over the coming weeks although much still remain as guidance as opposed to UK law. See what changed

  • Get vaccinated and get your booster dose
  • Wear a face covering in most indoor public places and on public transport
  • Work from home, if you can
  • Let fresh air in if you meet indoors. Meeting outdoors is safer
  • Get tested and self-isolate if required

COVID-19 remains a risk

It is still possible to catch and spread COVID-19, even if you are fully vaccinated. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to take a PCR test as soon as possible, even if you’ve had one or more doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Both St Antony’s College and the wider University will continue to monitor and review the latest UK laws and guidance relating to COVID-19 and how this affects the services we provide. We will always try and communicate this as soon as we can (via this page, emails, and newsletters), however, to ensure you are up to date with the latest University response please consult the University of Oxford COVID-19 update page.


Changes to University testing guidance  (PCR & LFT testing)

The University’s testing guidance has been updated in line with the Government’s advice. The changes reflect a growing reliance on lateral flow devices (LFD) to identify infections more quickly, allowing for earlier isolation and release.

 From tomorrow (Tuesday 11 January):

  • Those who have a positive LFD result (whether symptomatic or not) no longer need to book a confirmatory PCR test. The LFD should be treated as confirmation of infection and they should self-isolate in line with Government guidance and ensure they report the LFD result to both the University and the NHS. 
  • Those who have symptoms should self-isolate and perform an LFD test. If positive, they should follow the guidance above. If negative, they should perform another LFD test 24 hours later. If that is negative, they should book a PCR test, preferably at the University’s Early Alert Service.

This guidance applies whether you are vaccinated or not.

In addition, fully-vaccinated contacts of positive cases no longer need to book a precautionary PCR test. Contacts who are unvaccinated are advised to take a PCR test 3-5 days after the date of last contact.

All close contacts and household members of positive cases should take daily LFD tests for seven days. They should also self-isolate unless they are exempt (for example, if they are fully-vaccinated).


Lateral Flow Tests available for students: 

While the Omicron variant causes less severe symptoms in most people, it is more contagious and can still pose a serious health risk for certain segments in society. Alongside other measures, such as face coverings, testing is a very effective way of reducing the spread of the virus. As such, the College and the University expect all those working or studying on-site to test twice weekly. You can continue to pick up LFD test kits from the Lodge. It is vital that you continue to log your results (positive, negative and void) with both the University and the NHS, and you may require proof of regular testing for events, etc.  

  • If you are a student looking for information about Lateral Flow Testing, please go to and refer to the College's Lateral Flow Tests FAQs below.
  • You do not need to book a test via the Early Alert Service (EAS). However, when taking Lateral Flow Tests you should immediately record the result of each test as soon as it is visible. This should be done via the result reporting section of the EAS form.
  • All students can collect a Lateral Flow Test from the Porters Lodge – regardless of whether you have just arrived or have been in College for a longer period of time. See further information about Lateral Flow Tests below.

Situational advice for LFT testing

If you have symptoms that may be COVID

Do a LFT test and  report all results to EAS and the NHS system

If positive you should regard this as a definite diagnosis.

  • You should Isolate for a 10 day period. Day 0 is the first day you notice symptoms or date of test if asymptomatic. You can do an LFT on day 5 and on day 6, with these tests 24 hrs apart. If both of these are negative, then you can leave isolation after second test provided you do not have a fever.
  • There is no need to do a PCR,  it is not necessary for a diagnosis of Covid.

If negative, isolate and repeat LFT after 24 hrs.

  • If second LFT is positive you should Isolate for a 10 day period. Day 0 is the first day you notice symptoms. You can do an LFT on day 5 and on day 6, with these tests 24 hrs apart. If both of these are negative, then you can leave isolation after second test provided you do not have a fever
  • If second LFT is negative  - continue to isolate and do PCR with EAS
  • If PCR is positive – isolate for a 10 day period. Day 0 is the first day you notice symptoms or the date of test your first if asymptomatic
  • If PCR is negative - can leave isolation forthwith.


If you have a positive LFT as part of routine testing

  • You should regard this as a definite diagnosis and isolate for a 10 day period. Day 0 is the first day you notice symptoms or the date of your test if asymptomatic. You can do an LFT on day 5 and on day 6, with these tests 24 hrs apart. If both of these are negative, then you can leave isolation after second test provided you do not have a fever.
  • Report the result of this test to EAS and NHS system.
  • There is no need to do a PCR, it is not necessary for a diagnosis of Covid.


If you are a close contact of anyone with a positive LFT or PCR

  • Do a LFT test
  • Consider if you are indeed a close contact (definition attached)
  • Consider how the “when and when not to isolate” guidance applies to you.

Keep following the University Guidance: Be responsible. Be considerate. Be safe.

The University’s detailed guidance on the Face coverings guidance page of the University coronavirus website has been updated. Face coverings are now mandated in University teaching and assessment settings, as well as in libraries and departmental study spaces (noting that, to support education delivery, members of staff conducting the teaching are not required to wear face coverings), unless you are exempt. The new guidance includes a range of FAQs outlining where face coverings should be worn, as well as other useful information. As it has done throughout the pandemic, the College is following the University’s face covering policy and guidance.We ask that everyone respect and follow the rules to ensure everyone’s safety. Please be aware that government guidelines may change as the situation evolves and hence that we may need to adapt our practices over time. The health and safety of all our students and staff will continue to be a top priority while trying to continue with business as (almost) usual.

If you are using the NHS COVID-19 Mobile App you can check-in using the St Antony’s College QR codes found around the College grounds.


What to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If you have any of these symptoms…

  1. You should continue to self-isolate at home and book a test as soon as possible.
  2. If you are staying with others and you develop symptoms, check whether the people you live with need to self-isolate.
  3. Please contact to report any symptoms or other COVID-related issues as soon as possible.
  4. Stay in your room and minimise contact within your household until you have the test results. Do not have any contact with anyone from outside your household.

Current self-isolation period: please check the updated self-isolation length guidance published by the Government. 


What to do if someone in your household develops COVID-19 Symptoms

According to the Government website, you will need to self-isolate, unless any of the following apply to you: 

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine
  • you're under 18 years and 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Even if you do not have symptoms, you're strongly advised to:

Travel to the UK and Quarantining

Following UK Government guidance, if you are coming to the UK from an another country. 

What you must do depends on whether you qualify as fully vaccinated under the rules for travel to England.

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England. Red list rules apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.


Walk-in COVID-19 Vaccinations 

Walk-in vaccinations at the University Club
A pop-up walk-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic operated by the NHS will open on Monday 20 September at the University Club on Mansfield Road. Although primarily aimed at students (and particularly international students) who have been unable to get fully vaccinated before arriving in Oxford, it is also open to staff and the general public for first or second doses of the Pfizer vaccine (second doses must be at least 8 weeks after a first Pfizer dose). The clinic will be open until at least 3 October from 10am to 8pm on weekdays and 10am to 5pm on Saturday and Sunday (although closing time may be earlier than advertised if all the available doses have been used for the day). Further details can be found on the vaccination centres webpage.


College Accommodation


The Housekeeping team have left boxes of cleaning products in your kitchen and the Scouts will stock these up as needed. The box contains: sponges, microfibre cloths, bathroom cleaner, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, furniture polish and Ant Viral cleaner spray. Each box is placed in the kitchen and 6 Students need to share. Toilet paper and bin bags for bedrooms and kitchens can be found in each corridor in the cleaning cupboards which are unlocked. Every kitchen has washing up liquid, hand soap, and paper towels for you to use. In shared communal areas (bath/shower rooms & toilets) hand soap will be supplied. If you should run out of any items please email:  

As long as there are no cases of Covid-19 within your household, the Scouts will continue to clean all common areas. They will not clean your bedroom. This is to protect the health and safety of our staff. Please also note that your kitchen will be closed for one hour in the morning to allow for it to be cleaned.

All bins will be emptied by the Scouts. If you wish to have your own bin emptied, please leave your bin bags outside your door – the Scouts will dispose of these for you while you remain in self-isolation.


Please report any maintenance issues using the maintenance request form found on the St Antony’s Website.

Deliveries, post and parcels

If you are self-isolating, please wait until your self-isolation period is over before collecting any items from the Lodge. If your delivery is urgent and cannot wait, please contact the St Antony’s Lodge

Washing Machines

Students can use the washing machines and are asked to do so sensibly, only using it one student at a time.

Leaving your room

Students who are self-isolating due to travel and have no symptoms may leave their room for essential matters. This includes using the washing machines and receiving essential deliveries. If you feel you need to leave your room for any other reason including to access the college grounds, you must avoid speaking to other students and staff outside your household, wear a face covering, and socially distance.


College Facilities: What’s Open?


Dining Hall is open as usall

Hall will be open to students living in College only.

  • The Weekly College Hall Menu will be updated every Thursday for the following week. Please note there is no hot food on Sundays, and on Saturdays only brunch is available.
  • External food deliveries are permitted to those living in college but it is the students’ responsibility to coordinate collection and/or delivery of the food. The college will not accept or deliver any takeaways. DO NOT ORDER AN EXTERNAL TAKEAWAY IF YOU HAVE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.
  • Offsite food deliveries and takeaway services recommendations can be found on the much used Daily Info. Another website with food recommendations is Bitten Oxford which currently has a list of local businesses offering delivery/takeaway services


Other College Facilities and Offices

  • The Registry Office is closed to all students. Staff are being encouraged to work from home. 
  • The GCR Late Bar located on the ground floor of the Hilda Box building is currently closed.
  • GCR Updates can be found by joining the GCR Facebook Page. Our current students have a wealth of knowledge and many of them went through lockdown in College earlier this year.
  • University Libraries opening times can be found on the Bodleian Libraries website. In line with government guidance, you must wear a face covering in library reading rooms, unless you are exempt.
  • St Antony’s College Library has a limited number of study spaces now made available for members of the College who should book in advance and continues to provide click & collect and scan & deliver services while restrictions are in place. See St Antony’s College Library webpage for further information. For enquiries please contact:
  • The Gulbenkian Reading Room is open and available to book
  • The Computer Room is avilible


Lateral Flow Tests: FAQs

What are Lateral Flow Tests (LFT)?

Lateral Flow Testing is not to be confused with the University’s in-house COVID-19 testing service (Early Alert Service):

The Univeristy Early Alert Sevice for COVID-19: now open to all staff and students of the University and colleges, providing rapid access to free testing for those with coronavirus symptoms. These tests are the same tests used by the NHS free testing service and are also sometime referred to as a laboratory-based PCR tests. You should only book one of these tests if you have symptoms. Colds, flu, and coronavirus can have similar symptoms; this BBC article may be useful in understanding the difference

The Lateral Flow Tests (LFT): is a test that produces results in a much shorter time than a PCR test. Individuals swab their nose and throat to collect a sample, and then insert it into a tube of liquid for a short time. LFTs have already been validated and undergone clinical testing. If LFTs are able to detect enough people with the virus before they get symptoms, they could help prevent the spread of COVID-19. These Lateral Flow Tests (LFTs) are being offered by St Antony's College as part of a University-wide programme. Read more about the University's Lateral Flow Testing trial.

Should I take a test?

All students are asked to support the University’s COVID-19 health campaign by encouraging JCR / MCR members to test twice a week while they’re in Oxford, and remember to report all their LFD results to both the University’s Early Alert Service and the NHS. Omicron is more contagious than previous variants and still poses a serious health risk for certain members of our College. It is also really important for us all to test regularly now to help ensure we make the most of Hilary term by minimising disruption to University life, and academic studies. For further information, please visit the University page on Hilary Term testing.

How do I book and collect my test kit?

Previously, you would need to book a slot to collect your kit. However, you can now collect a LFT kits at any time from St Antony's College Porters' Lodge. 

I've collected my LFT kit, now what?

You should enrol in the Canvas COVID-19 Lateral Flow Training Course. This will guide you through the process of how to take the test. There are a total of three Lateral Flow Tests: two need to be taken, three days apart. The third is provided in case of a void result. When you take your test and have your result, you must upload your results

What is included in the LFT kit?

Your test kit should contain: 3 test cartridges, 3 swabs, a small bottle of buffer solution and a test tube with nozzle.

How do I dispose of my test safely?

Use the sealed plastic bag the kit came in to put your used tests in, and then dispose in a bin with a liner.

My test is positive; what do I do?

If your test comes back positive, you must do the following:

  1. You should regard this as a definite diagnosis and isolate for a 10 day period. Day 0 is the first day you notice symptoms or the date of your test if asymptomatic. You can do an LFT on day 5 and on day 6, with these tests 24 hrs apart. If both of these are negative, then you can leave isolation after second test provided you do not have a fever.
  2. Report the result of this test to EAS and NHS system.
  3. There is no need to do a PCR, it is not necessary for a diagnosis of Covid.

When do I take each test?

Your LFT will include three tests to be taken at different stages. The first test day is day 0, take the second test on day 3 and the third (if applicable) on day 10.

Do I need to self-isolate between tests?

No, as long as the test results are negative. If you are positive, see the FAQ above. 

How to use the LFT kit?

If you would like refresher guidance or you haven’t taken a test before and need to follow the guidance from the beginning you should consult the Canvas COVID Lateral Flow Training course. If you have further queries, please contact:

I've received my result, how do I register it?

You must register your test result using the Early Alert Service form. Further guidance can be found via the online LFT Canvas course, once enrolled. .

Do I have to take a test?

The tests are voluntary. If you decide not to take a test, please return the test kit to the Lodge.


LFTs: Travel Quarantine and International Students

Test and Release

The Lateral Flow Test (LFT) does not qualify as a test that can release you from quarantine. You will need to book and pay for a private PCR test. For further information, please visit the UK government website page about Test to Release for International Travel.

Can I get out of travel quarantine early if I take the LFT?

No. If you are an international student, you can take the LFT but it won’t let you out of any travel quarantine periods early.

I need to take a PCR test to get out of travel quarantine on day 5. Should I  take a LFT as well?

The benefit of taking a LFT on day 0 and day 3 would be if you test positive on the LFT, you know there is no point booking and paying for a PCR test on day 5 of your quarantine. If you test negative you know booking and paying for a PCR test to release you from quarantine early would be worthwhile.

If you have further questions or you need to inform us of your test results, your college contact is: 



Due to the impact of COVID-19, the University has taken the decision to postpone any degree ceremonies that were due to take place in 2020 and up to August 2021. With the ongoing uncertainty over when large scale gatherings will be permitted to resume, planning for future ceremonies is paused, until such time that a clear decision can be made.

Graduating in absentia

If you wish to receive your degree certificate and cannot wait to attend a ceremony in person, you will need to book to graduate in absentia. Please be warned that this means that you will be unable to attend a ceremony in person in the future. All students with single sign on accounts now have the ability to book to have their degrees conferred in absentia via Student Self-Service. If you have difficulties, or you cannot access your account, please contact the Senior Registry Administrator to make a booking on your behalf.

Booking to attend a future ceremony

If you would prefer to wait to graduate in person at a future ceremony, there is no action required from you at this time as the Degree Conferrals Office will contact you in due course once the Government allows large scale gatherings to resume. You cannot currently book to attend a ceremony in person. Please be aware that the timeline of future ceremonies is not yet confirmed, and will depend on a range of factors, including the ongoing situation with the pandemic.

If you completed your course after June 2020, you should have continued access to your SSO account for 23 months after the expiry date of your University card. This is so that in the future you can book your graduation ceremony in SITS/eVision. Please ensure that you keep your contact details up to date (i.e. your email address and correspondence address) so that you can receive an invitation to book a place on a ceremony in due course. If you no longer have access to your Self Service account to update your information, please email the new details to the Senior Registry Administrator who is keeping a record to pass on to the Degree Conferrals Office at the appropriate time.

Evidence of your degree

If you have passed your examinations and are waiting to have your degree conferred at a degree ceremony, you can request a digital degree confirmation letter free of charge. The letter will confirm that you have successfully completed your course at the University of Oxford, the dates of attendance and the classification you received.  The University’s e-documents Service enables you to share the dDCL with others such as future employers online.  You can find out more from the  Digital Degree Conferral Letters user guide and can order a dDCL from the University’s online shop (you do not need to enter any payment details). Research students: please see the University’s Degree certificates and letters information for clarification on submitting your thesis before requesting a dDCL.

For further information please see the University’s information on Graduation & leaving Oxford or contact the Senior Registry Administrator.