Guidance for students in household isolation

If your household is isolating because you or another household member has symptoms of COVID (persistent new cough and/or fever of 37.8C or higher and/or change in sense of smell/taste) OR has a positive COVID test result, please ensure you have have followed the steps on the ‘What to do if you have symptoms’ page and read the guidance below.

Don’t hesitate to contact the Porters’ Lodge for help at any time, but not in person. They are available 24 hours per day on 01223 332500 (Central Site), 01223 339029 (Wychfield) and


Stay in your room in your normal accommodation

Follow the published PHE advice on household isolation. You must not go out to for any reason even for food, exercise or to buy essentials, other than emergency. Your household must isolate as a group for 10 days after the day on which a member of the group first had symptoms. If the symptomatic person(s) subsequently receives a negative test result then you may be advised that the household isolation can end sooner. Inform the College Nurse if you are at increased susceptibility to infectious diseases.

Segregate between household members as much as possible

Try to limit contact between household members, especially those who are symptomatic, as far as possible. Avoid sharing spaces, use face coverings, eat in your own room, clean all contact surfaces (kitchen, bathroom, toilet) before and after use.

What goes into your room, stays in your room

Don’t allow any items to leave your room during the isolation period other than rubbish and laundry. See below for details on rubbish collection and laundry.

Food, housekeeping and maintenance

We want to reassure all students that we will be supporting them with the provision of food and housekeeping supplies as they go into isolation. Identify a household representative who can liaise daily with the Porters by phone, email or via your closed household entrance.


Everyone who remained in Cambridge during the lockdown last spring was asked to nominate two self-isolation supporters from outside their household. This remains a sensible practice, although it is preferable for households to confer internally about external support in order to minimise the number of different supporters involved. Where possible, however, you should contact external supporters to discuss arrangements for the supply of food and other necessaries, and also consider making arrangements for online supermarket deliveries. Take a look at our information on local food deliveries from supermarkets, specialist food shops and local restaurants.

Housekeeping – rubbish, laundry and cleaning

Rubbish, by arrangement with Housekeeping should be left in a sealed bag immediately outside the entrance to your household when a bin bag is full. It will be double bagged and stored by Housekeeping for 72 hours before disposal.

Isolating students can request a special laundry bag which, once filled, 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.

During isolation you are responsible for cleaning your own room and associated facilities (shower rooms/toilets). A supply of appropriate cleaning materials, gloves and cloths will be provided.


Maintenance issues should be logged as normal but also notified to Housekeeping, and special arrangements may be needed.

Health and wellbeing

If you feel unwell you can contact the College Nurse. If there is any worsening of your or a household member’s symptoms, of whatever nature, and any need for medical assistance should be reported to NHS111 (999 in emergency), and the College Nurse (via the Porters Lodge if out of hours).

If you are at increased susceptibility to COVID-related illness please contact the College Nurse for additional advice.

Although in-person visitors are not permitted during household isolation, do keep in touch with family and friends by other means. The College Tutors are available, sometimes with cover from Duty Tutors, as are JCR and MCR welfare officers and the College Nurse. Please see the ‘Pastoral and wellbeing support’ pages for support and suggestions, and the intranet welfare pages for further details and contacts. Keep up with the University COVID-19 pages on wellbeing. Do let someone know if you feel down or anxious. The Porters’ Lodge is open 24 hours.

Academic work

Your Director of Studies or Postgraduate Tutor or Postgraduate Supervisor will make swift contact to discuss how you can keep up with your academic work. Ask the Tutorial Office, library and IT help desk for support as appropriate.

Personal Emergency Evacuation Plan (PEEP)

The Porters will advise you on what to do in the event of an emergency that requires evacuation (eg fire alarm). During an emergency evacuation you should wear a face covering, aim to remain at least five metres distant from all non-isolating people and, take reasonable steps to avoid direct hand contact with shared door handles outside of the isolation area.

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