FAQs

Please be assured we are regularly reviewing our Coronavirus health and safety measures at Trinity Hall in line with government guidelines. Please visit our Coronavirus Guidance page for all the latest information. Together we can help each other to stay safe.

Please visit our Catering page for details about our catering facilities, opening times and meal bookings system.

Keep up-to-date with the latest Coronavirus guidance on the government website.

Lent Term FAQs

How does the Lockdown impact my Student Loan and finances, and do I need to let the Student Loans Company know if I am living ‘at home’ and not in College this term? +-

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The Student Loans Company has recently updated its guidance on student loans. Its latest guidance says that: “It’s important that you update your online account with where you’ll be living each term so that we know where to contact you if we need to. Where you live each term can also change the amount of Maintenance Loan you get paid.”

Please check the student loan pages regularly for interest rates information and repayment thresholds.

Financial guidance for undergraduates and postgraduates is available on the College intranet financial information pages.

 

What is the latest Government guidance for universities? +-

Announced on 4 January, the majority of students must remain where they are, wherever possible, with all learning undertaken remotely, until the middle of February (with very limited exceptions relating to specific courses, professional requirements or medical reasons).

Read the Government guidance for universities

What Library facilities are available? +-

The Jerwood Library is operating a Request and Collect facility from 12 January. It is otherwise closed to visitors and there will be no opportunity to use the library as a study space this term.

What printing facilities are available in College during Lent Term? +-

Central Site: The Jerwood Library is closed – no printing available.

Wychfield: The computer room at the top of A staircase is closed – no printing available. You can print to the Wychfield Porters’ Lodge printer via DS-Print.
You may print to this printer at any time but please be mindful of others in the area and wear a face covering at all times. Please also come alone and if someone else is using the printer then ensure you are socially distanced (more than 2m) from them until they have finished.

Thompson’s Lane (BBC and WYNG): There is one HP Laserjet printer students from BBC and WYNG can use that is in the plodge reception area of WYNG, again by using DS-Print. You may print to this printer at any time but please be mindful of others in the area and wear a face covering at all times. Please also come alone and if someone else is using the printer then ensure you are socially distanced from them until they have finished.
Residents from BBC will be granted access by the on-duty Porter to pick up print jobs.

What Housekeeping services are available? +-

Please see the Housekeeping webpage for up-to-date information on Housekeeping processes.

What testing is available if I am a student living in Cambridge during Lent Term? +-

Find out about asymptomatic testing on the Trinity Hall website and University website.

Where should I wear a face covering in College? +-

Many of the same rules apply across our sites as last term but there are some additions you should be aware of:

  • If you are moving between rooms in your shared household please wear a face covering if any member of staff is present (see below).
  • If a member of staff enters your communal rooms (for cleaning or maintenance) please put on a face covering and vacate the room for the length of their visit. If you are in the middle of preparing food or some other activity that cannot be delayed, please arrange another time for the staff member to visit.
  • Always wear a face covering when you are moving around College sites, even if you are outside.
If a student is self-isolating in College accommodation what guidelines should they follow when using shared kitchen/bathroom? +-

During isolation you are responsible for cleaning your own room and cleaning down associated facilities immediately after use (shower rooms/toilets/kitchen). A supply of appropriate cleaning materials, gloves and cloths will be provided to those students who are self-isolating. Please also ensure that you use only your own plate and cutlery.

How can students arrange to do their laundry if self-isolating during the vacation or after travelling? +-

Isolating students will receive three red laundry bags inside their self-isolation pack. Once filled, bags can be left outside the isolating household and taken to the laundry by a friend/ supporter. The clothes can then be washed while still in the special bag. The bag will open whilst washing and the bag can then be disposed of after the wash. The clean clothes can then be put through the dryer as normal and returned to the student. If more laundry bags are required over the vacation period then these can be obtained from the Porters’ Lodge by a friend/supporter.

What do I do if I am a returning international student? +-

For information go to the Quarantine and international travel page.

Are international students eligible for the Coronavirus vaccine? +-

International students who live in the UK and are registered with a GP will be able to access the Covid-19 vaccination in the UK, just as they are currently able to access healthcare. This means that older international students or those with underlying medical conditions will fall into priority categories, in the same way as the domestic population (information from UUK).

Reminder: All students are required to register with a local GP (doctor) when they arrive in Cambridge.

Household isolation

Our household is in self-isolation. What do we need to do and what support is there? +-

If you and all other members of your household enter household isolation you should read this NHS guidance and read the separate College advice which gives important information on the support available including food, laundry and rubbish collection: Guidance on Household Isolation because of COVID symptoms’.

What is a household? +-

If you live in College accommodation that includes a shared bathroom/shower and/or toilet, and/or kitchen area, then this constitutes a ‘household’ under PHE guidance. The household is equivalent to your normal home: complete social distancing is not practical within a household, but social distancing between households is absolutely necessary. Close and consistent adoption of this risk-assessment practice has helped protect students who remained in Cambridge in the months since lockdown in March, and your help is required in maintain this practice to minimise the risk to yourself and others. Please note that you must ONLY use the designated shared bathroom/shower and/or toilet facilities, and kitchen area for your household. If you are unclear about how any aspect of the household system operates in practice, please discuss this with your Tutor or a member of the Tutorial Office staff.

If one person becomes symptomatic for COVID in your household, then the entire household must isolate (see separate guidance on household isolation because of COVID symptoms) LINK. On account of this requirement, it is essential to respect the signs that define the physical limit of each household and its bathroom/kitchen facilities.

Take joint responsibility for keeping your room and shared facilities clean. By taking care of cleaning your own room, and by cleaning shared facilities each time you use them, you reduce the frequency of visits from housekeeping staff, thereby keeping everyone safer.

  • Clean contact surfaces in shared facilities (bathroom, toilet, kitchen) before and after each use.
  • Ensure that your own room is kept clean.
  • Don’t leave personal items in shared spaces (e.g. toothbrushes, hairbrushes, cooking equipment, crockery and cutlery)

Communal entrances to accommodation: Be aware of high contact surfaces, including door handles and push plates, handrails and stair bannisters in communal entrances. Wash your hands before leaving your household and immediately on returning. Follow the signs placed in, and around, your accommodation areas and note any signposted local requirement to wear a face covering in communal areas that may be poorly ventilated or not permit the maintenance of two metre social distancing.

What should I do if someone in my household is asymptomatic, but in self-isolation after being contacted by NHS Test and Trace? +-

The person in self-isolation is asked to limit contact between themselves and other household members as far as possible. They should avoid sharing spaces, use face coverings, eat in their own room, clean all contact surfaces (kitchen, bathroom, toilet) before and after use. What goes into their room should stay in their room and they should arrange rubbish removal via housekeeping.

Further guidance for students isolating as non-symptomatic contacts, identified by NHS test and trace is available here.

Health and wellbeing

What do I do if I think I have symptoms? +-

Typical symptoms of Coronavirus infection are:

  • high temperature – this means a feeling of feverishness, or a measured temperature above 37.8° C
  • new cough – this means a new intermittent or persistent cough, or worsening of your usual cough (if you have one)
  • a loss or change in your sense of taste or smell, particularly in the absence of nasal congestion
  • a sore throat
  • nasal discharge or congestion
  • Muscle aches
  • new hoarseness
  • new shortness of breath
  • a new wheeze
  • a positive Lateral Flow test

See the ‘What to do if you have symptoms?‘ straight away to report your symptoms and get a test.

What do I do if I feel I have an increased susceptibility, or vulnerability, to infectious diseases? +-

Everyone in Trinity Hall is determined that that the College and its community will be as welcoming and supportive a place to live and study as ever in the coming academic year.  

To help us help each other we must be aware of anyone with an increased susceptibility, or vulnerability, to infectious diseases (ISID) such as Coronavirus and also those with disabilities that are impacted by Coronavirus-related social distancing measures. This information allows us to work with students to put in place the right advice and, where necessary, specific arrangements. If you have not already responded please read the advice and respond as necessary.  

Please let us know if you have increased susceptibility to infectious disease. 

The UK government’s public agency, Public Health England (PHE) has published guidance to help you understand if you have underlying illnesses that could put you at a higher risk, or even a very high risk, of serious COVID-19 related illness. Check these two links to see if you fall into one of these groups, and if so, follow the advice below. 

Very high risk group: 

A very small number of people with significant underlying health conditions including, for example but not limited to organ transplant recipients and those with specific cancers, belong in the very high risk category for serious COVID illness. People in this group need special consideration because of government advice to ‘shield’ or strictly isolate themselves at times of high levels of virus circulation (note that presently, with lower levels of virus circulation in England, shielding is not currently required). If you are within this group, we need to hear from you as soon as possible, so please:  

  • Inform the College immediately via tutorial@trinhall.cam.ac.uk and use this email address for follow-up enquiries. 
  • Arrange straight away for a letter from your physician or specialist medical consultant detailing your condition and outlining your preventive health needs in the context of plans to enter a residential student environment. Send this letter to your College’s Senior Tutor as a matter of urgency. 
  • You will be contacted by the College’s Senior Tutor or representative to discuss the need for any further information, and to develop a plan for study and living arrangements – working with the relevant University Departments where necessary. 

Please refer to the University’s ISID webpage for further information on the range of support available depending on need.

Higher risk group: 

People with a wider range of underlying health conditions including chronic respiratory diseases, diabetes and neurological diseases, could belong in the  higher risk group for more serious COVID-related illness. Although not required to ‘shield’ at any stage, members of this group should: 

  • Inform the College immediately via tutorial@trinhall.cam.ac.uk and use this email address for follow-up enquiries. 
  • Arrange a consultation with your physician or specialist medical consultant for personal advice based on your plans to enter residential student environment.  
  • Provide further information on your condition through the College’s health information gathering system when asked to do so.  
  • Prepare for you arrival in Cambridge by reading and understanding the advice on social distancing and household hygiene provided on the Cambridge ISID webpages and other student information that will be provided in the coming weeks. On arrival, and on an ongoing basis after that, work with your College Tutor and College Nurse to address any remaining concerns.
What does Test and Trace mean for Trinity Hall? +-

It is important to note that if you are isolating because you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace or because you are required to under public health measure at the border, you must complete your 14 days isolation even if you receive a negative test.

If you do not have symptoms, no-one else with whom you live in your household needs to isolate as a household, but you should segregate from them as much as possible (see separate College ‘Guidance for NHS Test & Trace contact’).

If you develop symptoms, then all other members of your household must also self-isolate, while you obtain a test with either the University or the NHS (see Section 3 above).

A positive result means your household must isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms within the household.

If you are isolating but have not been contacted by NHS Test and Trace:

If you and your household are isolating because you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, you and your household are able to end self-isolation early if you receive a negative test (unless you have been contacted separately by NHS Test and Trace as a contact of someone who has tested positive).

However, if you are isolating because you live with someone who has symptoms, you must continue your 14 days isolation even if you receive a negative test. You may only end isolation if the person with symptoms in your household receives a negative test.

If someone you meet, outside your household tells you that they have Coronavirus symptoms, you are not required to isolate unless you, or someone in your household develops symptoms, or you are contacted by NHS Test and Trace.

In order to keep everyone safe whilst visiting the College, Trinity Hall have introduced a Track and Trace system for non-members to the College. The data collected will be held for a period of 21 days after which time it will be shredded.

The following details will be asked of you and it is necessary, so we have a record and the ability to contact you, should we discover that you may have been exposed to a person with the Coronavirus or indeed that you have exposed the person you have visited to the Coronavirus. This way you will be able to self-isolate should there have been any exposure at the earliest notification.

Data required

  • Date of visit
  • Your name
  • Your mobile number
  • College member you are meeting and the location of the meeting

Your data will be held securely in the Porters’ Lodge and all staff will be briefed on the retention and importance of the data being kept secure.

What do we mean by a 'contact'? +-

This information is taken from PHE’s Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed Coronavirus (COVID19) infection who do not live with the person.

A ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from two days before the person was symptomatic up to 10 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others). For example, a contact can be:

  • people who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • sexual partners
  • a person who has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, including:
    • being coughed on
    • having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
    • contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • a person who has been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for COVID-19

Where an interaction between two people has taken place through a Perspex (or equivalent) screen, this would not be considered sufficient contact, provided that there has been no other contact such as any of those indicated above.

Medical advice is clear: contacts of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home because they are at risk of developing symptoms themselves in the next 14 days and could spread the virus to others before the symptoms begin.

If you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, then you will be notified by the NHS Test and Trace service via text message, email or phone. If you are notified, please follow the guidance in this document closely.

If you have not been notified that you are a contact, this means you do not need to self-isolate and should follow the general guidance, for example, social distancing, hand-washing, and covering coughs and sneezes.

I’ve heard the University will put in place a weekly testing system for all students? +-

From the start of Michaelmas Term, all undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Cambridge living in college accommodation will be offered a weekly test for infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, even if they show no symptoms.

Around half of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 develop symptoms, such as a high temperature, cough, or a loss or change in their sense of smell or taste. Others show no symptoms, and are unaware that they are infected at all (they are asymptomatic). Among university students, the rate of asymptomatic infection may be even higher.

We know that people with SARS-CoV-2 infection but no symptoms can still spread the virus to others. The aim of the screening programme is therefore to identify students with asymptomatic infection, so they can avoid infecting more students or members of the Cambridge community.

The test will be self-administered, using a swab to take a sample from the nose and throat. Because we have a limited number of tests available, samples from several students will be tested together in pools. Pooling tests will allow us to make the best use of our testing capacity.

In general, samples will be pooled by household. In college accommodation, a household is a unit where students share communal facilities, such as a bathroom or kitchen. Some smaller households will be asked to join neighbouring households in a single testing pool, while some larger households will be split into smaller testing pools.

Samples will be tested at the national testing centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. If a pooled screening test is positive, the household will be informed within 24 hours, and students in the household will be offered individual tests to confirm the positive result.

Households with positive pooled screening tests will be asked to follow university isolation recommendations until the results of individual tests are known. Individual students with confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection and their household and contacts will then be supported in following national guidance on isolation.

Participation in the programme will be voluntary, but we encourage everyone to take part. We anticipate that the majority of students will do so, to help keep themselves, their friends and colleagues, and the wider community safe.

Further details and answers to FAQs on the screening programme will be made available on the Stay Safe Cambridge Uni website as they become available.

What are the confirmed cases among staff and students? +-

The University publishes weekly statistics of confirmed cases here:

www.cam.ac.uk/coronavirus/stay-safe-cambridge-uni/data-from-covid-19-testing-service

Moving around College sites and staircase bubbles

What if I have a disablilty that is impacted by Coronavirus-related social distancing? +-

Everyone in Trinity Hall is determined that that the College and its community will be as welcoming and supportive a place to live and study as ever in the coming academic year.  

To help us help each other we must be aware of anyone with an increased susceptibility, or vulnerability, to infectious diseases (ISID) such as Coronavirus and also those with disabilities that are impacted by Coronavirus-related social distancing measures. This information allows us to work with students to put in place the right advice and, where necessary, specific arrangements. If you have not already responded please read the advice and respond as necessary. 

Let us know if you have disabilities that are impacted by COVID-related social distancing measures: 

Please let us know if you have any disabilities that are impacted by COVID-related preventive health arrangements (these might include long term health conditions or mobility impairments, or certain mental health conditions). Students in this category will be asked to: 

  • Confirm straight away to the College tutorial@trinhall.cam.ac.uk that you have already registered your disability with the University’s Disabilities Resource Centre (DRC). Use this same email address for subsequent enquiries to the College on this matter. 
  • You will be contacted by the College’s Senior Tutor or College Disabilities Officer to check, in conjunction with DRC, that you have an appropriate arrangement for study and accommodation that meets your specific needs.  
  • Please refer to the University’s ISID webpage for further information on the range of support available depending on need.

Information will be processed by the College in accordance with our privacy notice for students, which may include sharing information with relevant University bodies. We recognise that some of the data which we are requesting is sensitive personal data and we will handle this in accordance with the strict requirements of the Data Protection Act 2018. 

I'm a postgraduate student. Can I access College sites? +-

Yes. Postgraduate students can access Central Site, the Wychfield sportsfield and gardens, and can use the Aula Bar and Cafeteria.

Are the staircase common rooms open at WYNG Gardens and Wychfield? +-

At the moment, all staircase common rooms are closed in the interests of health and safety. We will continue to monitor all our Coronavirus safety measures at College and update students on a regular basis.

What will you do to support the cohesion of our staircase bubbles? +-

We understand that this is a difficult time for everyone but we expect all of our students to take responsibility for contributing to health and safety at College and adhering to the staircase bubbles.

Should you have any concerns about your staircase bubble or any other Coronavirus related difficulties please visit our pastoral and wellbeing support page for further details.

Teaching and learning

Why has the University decided that lectures will be delivered online in 2020/21? +-

You will have seen the news stories that Cambridge lectures will be online for 2020–21, in light of the current pandemic. Large lectures represent only one dimension of the Cambridge teaching experience. No students are taught by lecturing alone: in particular this announcement does not cover the supervision teaching that is so central to a Cambridge education. We are working on plans to ensure small-group teaching can be delivered safely in person. Some students (PhD and many Masters) do not attend lectures at all, and this announcement will not affect their experience.

Undergraduate lecturing has been shifted online since the Coronavirus outbreak, and very successfully. Online lectures have certain advantages: they can be viewed and reviewed; they can be paused; they can be designed in new, imaginative ways using different kinds of media. At Trinity Hall, and in the University as a whole, we are working tirelessly to ensure that the student experience as a whole will remain as rich, constructive and intellectually challenging as possible. This does not mean, however, that lectures will remain online once the pandemic is over.

What will happen about exams and assessments? +-

The University has released detailed guidance for exams and assessment, teaching and learning, admissions and finance for 2020-2021. If you have specific concerns relating to your studies, please contact your Director of Studies, Tutor, Senior Tutor or course director.

Guests, visiting and travel

What is the policy on College guests and visitors? +-

The College remains closed to non-academic visitors and non-resident members until further notice. All visitors for academic purposes (eg attending or delivering a supervision) must be register their details with the Porters’ Lodge to enable the College to ‘test and trace’ should the need arise. Students attending supervisions and in-person meetings should confirm the name of the Fellow, supervisor or other College contact.

Find out more about guests and visitors

Library and computer facilities

What if I am in self-isolation and need a library book? +-

You can make arrangements with the Jerwood Library for a friend to collect your books. They can then leave the books at the edge of your household for you to retrieve. Do not return your books until three days (72 hours) after your self-isolation has ended.

 If you are self-isolating and need assistance in arranging a loan from the library please contact the team who will be happy to assist youlibrary@trinhall.cam.ac.uk 

For information on the University Library service see: www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library.

Can I make block bookings for the Jerwood Library? +-

In the interests of fairness to all students it is not possible to make block bookings for the Jerwood Library. There is limited seating available to allow for social distancing and so we have introduced a booking system.  Bookings become available a week in advance and are issued on a first-come first-served basis.

The Jerwood Library opening hours are: Mon-Fri: 9.30am-8.00pm and Sat-Sun: 9.30am-5.30pm.

Is there any other library study space that I can book? +-

You may be able to book space at your departmental and faculty libraries, please contact them direct to find out more. The Libraries Directory includes the contact details for all the Cambridge University libraries and Spacefinder includes links to booking systems where available.

Is the Computer Room at Wychfield open and, if so, do I need to book? +-

Yes, the Wychfield Computer Room is open from 10am to 9pm. Students can book a maximum of two two hour sessions per day. Book online from Tuesday 6 October.

College response

What does the College expect from us? +-

Whether you are the Master, a Fellow, a student or a member of staff, this advice and these guidelines, apply to everyone and the College will enforce them where necessary. Only by following the measures put in place will we all be able to work our way through this unprecedented pandemic. We can’t control what anyone does outside of College but we can put measures in place here to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Remember, what you do outside of College also has implications to those living in College who may be more vulnerable to Coronavirus, or to staff and Fellows who return to their families at the end of each day. Please also make yourself familiar with the University’s Stay Safe Cambridge Campaign.

We need to be able to support each other. If you have any concerns, please raise them as soon as possible with a member of staff / your Tutor / the Porters or the College Nurse.

In summary, respect each other, be tolerant of each other and keep yourself and others around you safe. If you are struggling with any of this, or if you see someone else that is, offer them support or call for support for yourself. We are all in this together.

How is the College coordinating the response to Coronavirus? +-

Overall strategy for our response to the pandemic is determined by a Senior Officers Group consisting of the Acting Vice-Master, Bursar, Senior Tutor and Junior Bursar. Implementation of that strategy is led by a Coronavirus planning group, chaired by the Junior Bursar, which features a representative from all College departments and meets weekly. The planning group’s primary task is to discuss and plan the College’s operational response to maintain the health and safety of students, staff, Fellows and visitors.

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