A student working alone in a library.
A student working alone in a library.

Current students (2020/21 academic year)

This page provides the latest information for current students about the remainder of the 2020/21 academic year and the long vacation.

A new page is now available with information about the 2021/22 academic year for offer holders and returning students.

If you are thinking of applying for study at Oxford, please go to the applicants section of this site. 

Latest updates

**ADDED 13 JULY** University arrangements after 19 July

The UK Government has now confirmed that it plans to move to Step 4 of its Roadmap for lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Monday 19 July. However, with rates of COVID-19 in Oxford 70% above the national average, all staff and students working and studying on site should continue to follow all existing University health guidance. Staff should carry on following Return to On-site Working principles.  This position will be kept under constant review in coming weeks and will adapt as the local and national situation evolves.  

**ADDED 10 July** COVID update for students remaining in Oxford

COVID-19 case numbers in Oxford remain very high, and those in Oxford are being asked to take additional action.  

Updated travel advice
The UK Government is advising people in Oxford to be cautious about non-essential travel in and out of the city to help stop the spread of the virus.

Please note that returning home from university would be considered ‘essential’. As such, if you are planning to return home, you should continue to do so.  However, you should take an LFD test before you leave, to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus (refer to additional information below).

If you are staying in Oxford during the Long Vacation, you should avoid non-essential travel in and out of the city where possible – until the Government advice changes.

The advice on non-essential travel does not prevent staff from travelling to work where they have good reason to do so – in line with the University’s existing Return to On-site Working guidance. 

Get tested
If you’re 18-29 and in Oxford, you’re being asked to get a PCR test, even if you don’t have symptoms. The NHS opened three new mobile units in Oxford last weekend, and they will now remain open. Go to the Oxfordshire County Council website for more information.

If you have symptoms, or are a close contact, you should continue to use the Early Alert Service – although if you cannot get an appointment, you can use the new NHS pods. If you use the NHS service, you should still report your results via the Early Alert Service.

Get vaccinated
You should get vaccinated as soon as possible – either in Oxford or at home.

If you are in Oxford, there are a number of walk-in vaccine clinics available to you, although please note that the University's temporary vaccination centres have now closed. You can also book a vaccination appointment online via the NHS system.

For more information, go to the Oxfordshire County Council website.

**UPDATED 29 June 2021** Health advice and support - leaving Oxford

We appreciate that you want to enjoy your last few weeks in Oxford after a difficult year. However, in light of the increase in cases at the University, if you are a UK student on a taught course and have no further commitments in Oxford, you should consider returning home. You are encouraged to take an LFD test before you leave to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus. If you test positive, you must immediately self-isolate and take a confirmatory PCR test through the Early Alert Service. You will be supported in self-isolating where necessary.

If you face financial difficulty because you are required to self-isolate in Oxford beyond the end of term, you should speak to your college’s hardship officer, who will be best placed to advise you on the support available. 

Please contact your college or department if you experience COVID symptoms or test positive within 48 hours of arriving home. If you take a PCR test within 48 hours of returning home, you should also record your result on the Early Alert Service website

**UPDATED 29 June 2021** Vaccine information for students

All adults in the UK are now able to book a COVID-19 vaccination, and we strongly encourage all students to take up the opportunity to get vaccinated.

If you’re a UK student, you will be able to get your first and second doses in different locations if needed (for example, if you have your first dose in Oxford, you can have your second jab when you return home). If you’re an international student and have your first vaccine dose in the UK, you may choose to stay here to receive your second dose (so long as your visa allows it). It may be possible to have the second dose in your home country, but you should check local health advice before travelling. If you are outside the UK, you should refer to local health advice in the country in which you are located regarding vaccine eligibility and roll-out plans. Go the vaccine information section below for more information.

Teaching, learning and assessments

Teaching and learning

In-person teaching is now permitted for all courses. However, most large group teaching and lectures remain online. Where feasible, departments and colleges are offering in-person teaching

For those studying remotely, the Skills for Remote Study site on Canvas provides advice and information to help you make the most of online lectures and tutorials, prepare for and undertake remote assessments, and study more productively.  You can also read some quick tips on remote study on the Oxford Students website. 

Unless notified by your department or faculty, your course syllabus will be unaffected.  

We have put in additional measures to make sure you can take part in practical teaching and research, for example in laboratories. Your times may be staggered, and capacities will be reduced, but we are committed to ensuring you get suitable levels of access, in line with government guidance.

For those students who are in Oxford, the Bodleian is also providing access to library study spaces, alongside online resources. Please check regularly for updates on reading room availability and opening hours, and use Space Finder to book your space (and please do use your space if you book it).

Exams and assessments

A full suite of Trinity term exams are now taking place. Most students sitting examinations are using our online assessment platform, Inspera, full details of which are available on the Trinity term exams page. 

A small number of in-person examinations are going ahead in COVID-safe environments.  These are listed on the Oxford Students website.

With so many examinations taking place online, it is essential that everyone is considerate and respectful of students taking their exams in their rooms and other locations, by keeping noise to a minimum.

Assessment support package

We are committed to supporting all students during the pandemic, given the disruption faced by all. Departments have the situation under constant review, and will be adapting teaching and learning as appropriate to ensure you are fully prepared and supported for exams and assessments.

Exam support is available in the form of departmental  guidance, college briefings and support, recorded exam preparation briefings, exam-specific wellbeing resources and the usual exam adjustments in place.  

The University has put an 'assessment support package' in place, comprising a set of mitigation measures designed to ensure all students receive fair grades, in light of this year’s exceptional circumstances. These new measures fall into two broad areas: 

Measures for whole cohorts

  • Exam boards have been given detailed guidance on how to assess impacts from the pandemic which apply to the whole cohort sitting a particular paper. They will then be able to make adjustments through the Mitigating Circumstances to Examiners (MCE) process to any papers particularly affected.
  • Exam boards will be required to review paper level marks against those of previous year to ensure that the pandemic has not had a detrimental impact. Where appropriate paper level marks will be able to be adjusted by scaling to bring average marks more in line with expected outcomes and previous years’ results.
  • Exam boards will be empowered to review overall outcomes against those of previous years and will be able to use more discretion to progress or classify students in reference to previous years’ results.

Measures for individual students

  • Exam boards will be able to invite students to submit a statement (and in some cases this will also include a comment from the supervisor) along with submitted work to describe the impact of lack of access to in-person resources or activities has had on their submission. This statement will then be considered by the markers in the marking process. Your department will be in contact to let you know for what submissions this applies to and guidance on the process.
  • We have made enhancements to the MCE process including a new student impact statement proforma and system changes to allow you to submit MCEs directly. You will not have to provide independent evidence in relation to your circumstances, but can still do so where it is available. Exam boards will also be provided with more detailed guidance on how to assess the student statements. 
  • We have also extended the period that students with chronic fluctuating conditions can self-certify (as recorded in their SSP) for extensions and late submissions from 7 to 14 days to reflect difficulties in accessing GPs for non-urgent medical matters. All students are still able to self-certify for up to 7 day for acute illness and 14 days for illness and circumstances related to COVID-19.

Disruption logs

We encourage you to keep a log of any disruption you face as a result of COVID-19, so that this can be considered as part of the MCE process.

You can include a note of any disruption which is linked to the pandemic. Examples of what you might include are:

  • Your own illness
  • Illness of family members
  • Increased caring responsibilities (whether due to illness or due to e.g. the impact of COVID-19 on your or your family members’ employment, or the impact of school/nursery closures)
  • Impact on your mental health
  • Impact of COVID-19 if you are a student with disabilities/long-term health conditions, e.g. you are at higher risk of COVID-19, or you are having difficulties with accessing support which would normally be available
  • Financial impacts
  • Inability to pursue your planned studies at present due to lack of access to facilities such as laboratories or libraries; inability to travel to undertake fieldwork; or inability to meet with research subjects, where alternatives are not available and the impact on your studies cannot be mitigated (you should discuss with your tutor whether alternatives are available)
  • Difficulties with your environment for remote study, e.g. poor-quality internet connection, lack of IT facilities, lack of study space
  • Impact on the availability of your tutor(s) which is affecting your progress (e.g. due to tutor illness or caring responsibilities)

This list is not exhaustive, so please also record in your log any other disruption you have experienced due to COVID-19.


Health and safety

Stay COVID-safe. Keep protecting yourself and the community

Although the UK Government moved to Step 4 of its Roadmap for lifting COVID-19 restrictions on Monday 19 July, there are still very high rates of COVID-19 in Oxford and the University’s health guidance has not changed. This means the University’s current policies on social distancing and face coverings will continue beyond 19 July. This position will be kept under constant review in coming weeks and will adapt as the local and national situation evolves.

It is important that all students still in Oxford keep up to date with and continue to follow all Government and University health guidance at all times. In particular you should:

  • Keep your distance – assume 2 metres unless told otherwise
  • Wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering (unless you’re exempt)
  • Get tested - both regularly, and if you have symptoms
  • Contacted by Test and Trace? Stay at home.

You must continue to follow these measures even if you have already had COVID-19 or have been vaccinated.

You will still need to maintain social distancing in University buildings. In most cases this will be two metres. Where this is not possible, 1 metre may be permitted, with additional measures in place to keep you safe - in line with Government guidance.  Your college or department will let you know if less than 2 metres is permitted. Make sure you know the social distancing requirements for any of your in-person teaching or activities.

You should get tested twice a week every week while you are in Oxford, and you can collect ‘LFD Collect’ testing kits from your college.

Vaccine information

From Friday 18 June, all adults in the UK are able to book a COVID-19 vaccination, and we strongly encourage all students to get vaccinated.

You must continue to follow all University and Government advice even after receiving your vaccination.

Students in the UK

If you are in Oxford, it is likely that you will receive your vaccine at your GP surgery, although some groups may be asked to make use of a vaccination centre such as the one at the Kassam Stadium.

If you are not in Oxford when you receive your invitation, you will have three options available to you:

  1. Travel to Oxford for your vaccine
    Please note that within Government restrictions, you are permitted to travel to your GP for a medical appointment
  2. Attend a mass vaccination centre near to where you live
    You will be able to book your place online
  3. Temporarily register at your local GP surgery
    You may be able to attend a local vaccine clinic (while still retaining your primary registration in Oxford). You should discuss this with your local surgery in the first instance.

Please note, you do not need to have your second vaccine dose at the same location as your first. This means that you could have your first dose in Oxford and your second dose at home, or vice-versa.

International students 

There is currently no requirement to have had a vaccine before arriving in the UK.

The UK Government has confirmed that if they are in UK, international students will be eligible for the vaccine in line with the NHS roll-out programme, and that they will not be charged. UKCISA have provided a useful summary for International students.

You will need an NHS number to access a vaccine. To get an NHS number, you will need to be registered with a GP in the UK, such as your college doctor. Your college would have helped you to do this when you first started your course.

If you have your first vaccine dose in the UK, you may choose to stay in the UK to receive your second dose (so long as your visa allows it). However, it may be possible to have the second dose in your home country (please check local health advice before travelling).

If you are outside the UK, you should refer to local health advice in the country in which you are located regarding vaccine eligibility and roll-out plans.

**UPDATED 30 June 2021** What to do if you develop COVID-19 symptoms

If you are in Oxford and develop COVID-19 symptoms, please follow the guidance below.

If you are at home, please refer to NHS and local guidance

1. Return to your accommodation

If you develop symptoms that could be coronavirus, return to your accommodation right away as COVID-19 is most infectious just after the onset of symptoms.

2. Book a test

You should book a test as soon as possible through the Testing for COVID 19: Early Alert Service.

The service is:

  • A dedicated testing service for all University students and staff
  • Managed in collaboration with the UK’s national health service, the NHS
  •  Free to access
  • The central testing site is in central Oxford, with an online booking service available
  • Results will in most cases be available within 36 hours

Go to the  Testing for COVID 19: Early Alert Service webpage to book. 

Important: if you receive a test result, positive or negative, through another route (e.g. via the national NHS service), you must report your result by using the Report a Test button on the University's COVID testing page. 

When to book a test

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19 
  • You have received a positive result from an LFD test 
  • You have been advised that you are a close contact of, or are a member of the same household as, someone who has a PCR-confirmed case of COVID-19 


  • You are advised to do so by public health authorities as part of the formal response to an outbreak.

Rapid identification and isolation of positive cases is essential to slow the spread of the virus. 

3. Notify your college and department’s designated COVID-19 contacts

So that welfare support and alternative teaching and assessment arrangements can be put in place if needed.

**UPDATED 30 June 2021** When you need to self-isolate

Prompt and effective self-isolation is a vital step in limiting COVID-19 transmission. It is very important that everyone self-isolates when asked to do so by NHS Test and Trace, the EAS Results Liaison Team or their (college, department, faculty) COVID contact.

We know that self-isolation can be difficult, but there is support to help you. 

You need to self-isolate in the following instances:  

  • If any member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19 (mandating a confirmatory PCR): all members of the household must self-isolate in line with NHS and government guidance (go to the NHS website to find out how long to self-isolate for). If the PCR test is negative then the household member with the symptoms and their household can stop self-isolating.
  • If you test positive in any Lateral Flow Device tests (including those in community testing or received from the government via another route): you and your household must self-isolate immediately and you must book a confirmatory PCR test as soon as possible, preferably through the Early Alert Service.
  • While you wait for your PCR test and results: you and the rest of your household must self-isolate until you have the results of your test. (Unless you have been informed you are a close contact – where you but not your household need to self-isolate whilst waiting for your PCR result.)
  • If the result is positive: you and your household must continue to self-isolate (go to the NHS website to find out how long to self-isolate for). Your household will now need to book a PCR test.
  • If you are a close contact you (but not your household) must immediately self-isolate: you must book a PCR test (preferably through the Early Alert Service) as soon as you are told that you are a contact by NHS Test and Trace, the EAS Results Liaison Team or your college/department/faculty COVID contact. If you test positive, or develop symptoms, you and your household must self-isolate. A negative PCR test will not release you from self-isolation - but will mean that your household members do not need to start self-isolating.

This flowchart provides more information about the process for testing and self-isolation (SSO required).

What to do if you test positive in any Lateral Flow Device tests

If you test positive in any LFD tests (including those in community testing or received from the government via another route), you must self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory PCR test, preferably through the Early Alert Service. You will receive further advice from the NHS and the University Results Liaison Team (RLT). You (and your household) should immediately self-isolate and assume you have the virus, pending the result of the confirmatory PCR test.

If you receive a PCR test result (positive, negative or void), through a route other than the University Early Alert service (eg via the national NHS service), you must report your result to the EAS.

If you receive your positive result notification at University you should only use public transport to return home if you have no other option. You should strictly follow the safer travel guidance for passengers; please refer to the safer travel national guidance.

Because the tests do not pick up every case, you may still be infectious even if you receive a negative result, so it is essential that you continue to follow all COVID precautions.

**UPDATED 30 June 2021** Notifying contacts

Containing the spread of the virus depends on responsible behaviour, and quickly notifying those who have been recent close contacts.

NHS Test and Trace

Formal contact tracing is carried out by NHS Test and Trace – whether you access testing through the University’s service or the NHS.

If your PCR test is positive, you will be asked to provide a list of recent close contacts for tracing purposes.

NHS Test and Trace may then notify those contacts either by phone, or via the COVID-19 app that they need to self-isolate and book a PCR test. The name of the individual with COVID-19 will not be shared.

Other actions you can take

In addition to NHS Test and Trace, there are additional steps you can take:

  • Inform those who you think might have been recent close contacts (see definition below).
  • Speak to your college (they will be notified along with your department if you get a positive case and may be able to support you in notifying others)

We all have a responsibility for stopping the spread of COVID-19.  Acting quickly will help reduce the spread of infection. 

Telling your contacts directly will mean they get the information as fast as possible, but it will not be anonymous, as it would be via Test and Trace. You can ask your college or department to notify contacts anonymously on your behalf if you prefer.

What do I do if I’m told I may be a close contact?

If NHS Test and Trace contacts you, you must follow their instructions carefully.

If you are notified by an individual, you should consider whether you have been exposed to the virus and need to self-isolate.

Your college will be able to help you with this decision, and will provide support if you need to self-isolate.

How do you define 'close contact'?

You are likely to be considered a ‘close contact’ of someone who has tested positive (and therefore at risk of infection) if:

  • You have had face-to-face contact (e.g. a close conversation or a hug), or;
  • You have been within 1 metre, without face-to-face contact, for 1 minute or more; or
  • You have been less than 2 metres away from them for more than 15 minutes over the course of a single day (the 15 mins test applies to cumulative exposure, not just to individual events), particularly in an enclosed space. 


The contact occurred any time from the two days before they experienced COVID-19 symptoms onwards.

Please refer to this document for more information about identifying close contacts (SSO required) 

Why contact tracing is important

Among young people, as many as 80% of those with COVID-19 may be asymptomatic and will have no idea they have the virus - but they can still infect others.

Through contact tracing, people who have been exposed to the virus are alerted and can avoid unwittingly infecting vulnerable individuals.

Keeping your contact details updated

So that you can be contacted as quickly as possible, it is important that your mobile phone number is included in the Student Record. Please log in to Student Self Service and check your mobile number in the ‘my contacts information’ section is up-to-date. 

You should also be registered with a local doctors' surgery, and ensure your address and contact details are up-to-date on their systems.

Enjoy Oxford responsibly

We understand that you will want to enjoy the city if you are in Oxford.

We encourage you to enjoy Oxford responsibly – particularly making use of outside spaces. 

This will help protect more vulnerable members of the community – including those who support
you in the University and colleges. 

You will be expected to continue following all aspects of the Student Responsibility Agreement when you are in Oxford.

The Government has introduced a new £800 fine for those who attend house parties in student accommodation at this time.

COVID-19 Student Responsibility Agreement

This academic year, all students were asked to sign the COVID-19 Student Responsibility Agreement to affirm your commitment to protecting the health of everyone within the University, colleges and wider Oxford community.

The agreement outlines the new habits and adjustments that are needed in light of the pandemic, all of which are to enable academic and social activity to take place as safely as possible.

You must follow it whenever you are in Oxford.

These measures are essential for controlling the spread of COVID-19. Failing to adhere to them is likely to put the lives of vulnerable people at risk.

This includes fellow students with health conditions, teaching and support staff who you come into contact with, and the wider local community of which we are a part.


Student life

Extracurricular activities

Love Oxford has been developed as a joint initiative from the University and Oxford SU to help students to make the most of Trinity term. The Love Oxford events hub is now live on Oxford SU's website. To promote an event you’re involved in, just complete this form. A new marquee is now available in University Parks to book via Estates Services for departments to host events for students until 9 July.

Oxford’s wide range of clubs and societies continue to operate in line with Government guidance, and have good experience now of providing online events and resources even when in-person activities are not possible.

With so many examinations taking place online, it is essential that everyone is considerate and respectful of students taking their exams in their rooms and other locations, by keeping noise to a minimum.


Iffley Road Sports Centre has now re-opened for both indoor and outdoor activities. All activities must still be pre-booked, which can be done online or via the Oxford University Sport app or via the organising sports club for club activities.

Organised outdoor activities have also returned to University Parks and Marston Road Sports Ground, with University Parks also open for students to use the designated public play areas.  Any sports clubs taking part in club activity will require Sports Federation approval, in line with relevant sports governing body guidelines.

For non-organised sport, you must comply with the Government guidelines.

Active Anywhere will remain available free of charge over the summer to provide support online fitness and relaxation activities.

College sport

Please refer to your college for more information about the use of outside college grounds. It may be possible to use indoor college facilities.  College team captains should contact the Senior Member for sport within their college to agree the return plan for their sport as guidance develops.

For non-organised sport, you must comply with current social gathering requirements when outdoors and indoors.

Music and drama

Music and drama activities are an important creative and social outlet for students and support wellbeing, and we have put detailed guidance in place to help students continue to take part in in-person performing arts activities as and when restrictions allow. A new Online Rehearsal Service is now available to support musicians rehearsing in different locations. Choirs in the context of worship are permitted. Please refer to the FAQs page for more information. 

Student services

University support services – such as welfare, careers, fees and funding and visa & immigration - continue to operate in Trinity term predominately remotely.

Careers fairs are taking place online, and students are continuing to benefit from the Careers Service’s wide range of support, including careers advice, skills programmes, internships and mentoring. Visit the  Careers Service website for more information.

The Language Centre’s modern foreign language and Academic English courses finish at the ends of weeks 9 and 10. Find out more on the  Language Centre website.


Colleges and accommodation


In colleges and University graduate accommodation, we are grouping students into ‘households', consisting of a group of people, typically between six and eight (but could be as small as one or as large as twelve), living in close proximity, for example on the same staircase, and/or with shared kitchen or bathroom facilities. You do not have to socially distance from people in your household. However, you will all need to self-isolate if one of you tests positive for COVID-19, and in some other circumstances.  

For more information about households, refer to the FAQs on this page – or download this PDF of further information. 

Speak to your College for more information, or if you are living in University graduate accommodation, visit the Graduate Accommodation Office website.

Students looking for private accommodation should refer to the Oxford SU Living Out Guide.

Rent arrangements

College accommodation  

Students’ accommodation arrangements vary significantly. Contracts for college accommodation are a matter for individual Colleges. Colleges will generally charge for any accommodation booked or used, except for any periods where students are not permitted to make use of it by UK law, the University, or their College. All students who are affected financially by the pandemic, whether they live in college accommodation or not, can apply for college welfare or hardship support, based on local college policies.

University graduate accommodation

If you live in University graduate accommodation, rent will be suspended or refunded if you are unable to be in residence in Oxford due to COVID-19. More detailed information will be shared with residents. Please contact the Graduate Accommodation Office if you have any queries.

Supporting students who are self-isolating

We will support you if you are required to self-isolate; either if you are an international student needing to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK, or during term time for other reasons. 

If you need to self-isolate in either college or University graduate accommodation, you should expect to be as self-sufficient as you can, but if you can't help yourself because you are too ill or you don't have access to a kitchen, your college will help you with food and medical support.

You and the students living with you in your household will be able to access the University’s testing service

If you are in private accommodation and need to self-isolate, staff in your College will stay in touch with you and can help support you and any other college students in your household if necessary. We advise you to keep 10 days’ worth of food in the house in case you have to self- isolate, including easy to prepare items.

Oxford SU has produced a series of tips and tricks for students in self-isolation and further help and support is available from this guide and a series of blogs and podcasts that the University Counselling Service has produced, to help with coping with life during the pandemic.

While you are self-isolating, your tutor, course convenor or supervisor will be able to facilitate the continuation of your teaching or research remotely, where practicable, and if you feel fit enough to do so.


Welfare and wellbeing

College, University and external support

We are maintaining Oxford’s exceptional system of welfare and personal support for students this year. This includes:

  • College support
    Colleges act as a first port of call for student welfare concerns. Many are providing additional support in light of the ongoing pandemic, in particular for those who are self-isolation. Contact your college welfare lead for more information.
  • External support

    University and college support is being supplemented with online resources. This includes:
    - Togetherall: a free service for all Oxford students giving you access to a global welfare community 24/7. To join, register under "I'm from a university or college" with your Oxford e-mail address.
    - Student Space: includes information and tools to help you through the challenges of the pandemic and has dedicated support services for students, by phone or text.
    - The NHS's Every Mind Matters: provides free advice for looking after your mental health.

Self-isolation support

We understand that self-isolation in your Oxford accommodation can be difficult. However, your college will provide welfare support while you do this. Your tutor, course convenor or supervisor will also continue your teaching or research remotely, where practical, and if you feel fit enough to do so.

The following dedicated resources are also available:

For students with mental health conditions

If you have an existing mental health condition, then we know this may be a particularly challenging time.
The following support is available to you:

Financial support (added 19 March)

The University has set up two financial support schemes for students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is provided in addition to the usual financial assistance programmes which are available to students. 

Please follow these links for more information: 

  • The  COVID-19 Assistance Fund (CAF) can provide grants of up to £5,000 to continuing students whose finances have been negatively affected by the pandemic since they began their studies at Oxford. Students must be facing exceptional and unexpected financial need which has led to a shortfall in their finances that they are unable to meet through other sources.
  • The  COVID-19 Scholarship Extensions Fund (CSEF) has been established to support postgraduate research students who hold university scholarships and who wish to apply for additional time to complete their programme because of COVID-19.



**Updated 23 July 2021** Travelling to the UK from other countries

You should consult the UK Government website for the latest information on travel to England from other countries. This includes the details of the tests you will need and the quarantine rules. These will depend on which countries you have been in or travelled through in the 10 days before you arrive.

The University and colleges will not routinely meet quarantine costs for students returning from red list countries (currently £1,750). You will not be eligible to seek support from hardship funds upfront to enable you to return. However, in some instances where the costs of testing or quarantine are a contributory factor in student hardship, it may be possible for some support to be provided from the University’s COVID-19 Hardship Fund.

Where a student has undertaken travel overseas, approved by the University as part of their programme of study, then the approval process for such travel should identify the potential costs that arise for return to Oxford and how these will be covered. For postgraduate research students, it is expected that the supervisor will use research project funds to cover the costs of any travel overseas.

The UK Government is now carrying out public health self-isolation compliance checks on individuals who have a legal duty to self-isolate (quarantine) for 10 days on arrival in the UK following international travel. If you are required to quarantine, you may receive a visit from someone employed on behalf of the NHS Test and Trace service. 

Guidance on what to expect from a compliance check, including the protocols that will be followed by NHS Test and Trace staff is available on the UK Government website. Anyone with concerns about the validity of someone claiming to be from NHS Test and Trace, should reference the government website for further guidance. They should also inform the University's Incident Coordination Group. 

When pre-booking the ‘day 2’ and ‘day 8’ tests for quarantine you should use the list of  Government-approved providers, as well as conducting your own research on providers where possible. Anyone experiencing a delay in receiving the day 8 test results should contact the Oxford University Early Alert Service Results Liaison Team for assistance. You will need your day 8 test result before you can legally leave quarantine.  

Please note that residence rights referred to in this guidance means student or work visa holders, those with indefinite leave, or other categories as explained on the right to reside page, but excluding visitor visas.

You may be able to reduce your self-isolation times through the Government's 'Test to Release' scheme.

Support will be available for international students needing to self-isolate in college or University accommodation. 

All students travelling from outside the UK or Ireland will also have to complete the public health passenger locator form before entering the UK.

**UPDATED 30 July 2021** Travelling from the UK to other countries

Personal travel to other countries

Please go to the UK Government website for the latest guidance on travel to other countries. This includes information on what you need to do before you travel and if returning to England. To prevent new COVID variants from entering the UK, you should not travel to red list countries.

You can find further advice about travelling abroad, including the latest information on coronavirus, safety and security, entry requirements and travel warnings for different countries on the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website.

International travel for educational purposes 

A risk assessment must be completed and approved for all international travel for educational purposes.

Where you plan to travel to a country or region to which the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel (either because of COVID-19 concerns, or any other reasons), your risk assessment will need to be reviewed by the University Safety Office. Such travel must be academically essential, and approved by your Head of Department / Faculty Board Chair.

International travel to all other destinations must be academically justified and your Head of Department/ Faculty Board Chair may delegate approval (e.g. to a supervisor or course director). There is no need for Safety Office review.

You should speak to your tutor or supervisor before planning any travel.


The NHS COVID Pass can be used to demonstrate your coronavirus (COVID-19) status when travelling abroad and domestically at events and venues in England. Please refer to the UK government website for full details of how to get the NHS COVID Pass and what you can use it for.

If you have any questions which are not answered on this page, please refer to the FAQs for current students.

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