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Protect yourself and others

As members of Colleges, the University, and the local community, we have a responsibility to limit the spread of the virus. The most important thing you can do is to get vaccinated: vaccination protects you against severe disease and protects others by reducing transmission. See our information for students on vaccination.

No vaccine is 100% effective and we need to continue to take simple measures to reduce the risk of catching or passing on COVID-19: 

  • COVID-19 is most commonly spread through close contact with an infected person. If an infected person is close, they can spread the virus via respiratory droplets which are produced when they breathe, cough, sneeze, talk or sing. Limiting close contact and wearing face coverings can reduce this risk.
  • It can also be spread through airborne transmission where ventilation is not adequate. Socialise outside if you can, and make sure rooms are well ventilated, for example by opening windows.
  • It is less common to catch COVID-19 via contact with a contaminated surface but it is possible to be infected if you touch a surface contaminated with the virus and then touch your nose, eyes or mouth. Hand washing with soap and water/ using hand sanitiser remains important.

Remember:

  • Distance - if you are further away from someone there is less risk of catching the virus.
  • Duration - the longer you are close to an infectious person, the higher the risk.
  • Fresh air - the risk is lower if you are outdoors, or in a well ventilated area.
  • Direction - the risk is lower if you are not face-on with the infectious person.

The Collegiate University’s COVID Community Statement - emphasises our individual and collective responsibility in minimising risks, and maximising support, for students, staff and visitors.

Remember: if you test positive, are symptomatic, or are asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace, you must not go to work, to any in-person teaching, or attend public spaces where you might infect others. You must self-isolate, report your symptoms and get a test.

Enjoy Cambridge responsibly

We want you to enjoy yourself in Cambridge and to socialise safely.

The UK government lifted most legal restrictions in July 2021, however some measures are still in place, including border quarantine for people arriving from red list countries and people who are not fully vaccinated arriving from amber list countries, and self-isolation if you test positive or are asked to self-isolate by Test and Trace. For more information on these measures see the government's webpage Coronavirus: how to stay safe and help prevent the spread, and for information for students on international travel see our Travel to the UK information.

There are no longer legal restrictions on meeting others socially, but the government is recommending a cautious approach to your interactions with others, including:

  • wearing a face covering in crowded areas such as on public transport
  • minimising the number, proximity and duration of social contacts
  • being outside or ensuring there is adequate ventilation.

There are lots of things you can do to take time out and socialise safely. Some ideas:

  • Enjoy picnics, barbeques, walks and punting with friends
  • Use your college garden, and invite friends
  • Many colleges have created outdoor spaces using marquees and gazebos, for study and socialising
  • Choose cafes and pubs with outdoor seating
  • If you invite friends to your room, try to keep it ventilated by, for example, opening a window
  • The Botanic Garden is free for students on production of a valid student card (pre-booking is optional)
  • The Jesus Green Lido is open for swimming (May to September)
  • Visit the University's museums and galleries (pre-booking may be required)
  • Explore the city and local villages by bike
  • If you use public transport, try to avoid rush hour and remember to wear a face covering
  • See sports and exercise information below
  • If you have other suggestions, let us know at internalcomms@admin.cam.ac.uk

Sports and exercise

Cambridge has a vibrant sports scene supported by world-class facilities. See information on student sport, and for the University of Cambridge Sports Centre's response to the pandemic and reopening, see information on permanent changes for a safer and cleaner environment for all sports centre users.

Clubs and Societies

Websites for each club or society can be found through the University of Cambridge Registered Clubs and Societies page.

Households in the University of Cambridge context

If you live in College accommodation that includes a shared bathroom/shower and/or toilet and/or kitchen area, then all the occupants that share these facilities constitute a ‘household’. If you live ‘out’ in private accommodation, and you share a bathroom/shower and/or toilet and/or kitchen, you form a household. 

Households within the Cambridge community need to work together to protect themselves from infection. Some household members may be clinically vulnerable.

Some suggestions:

Take responsibility for keeping shared facilities clean

Be understanding of others: Other household members might have different priorities to you. Households need to be ready to listen to each other and may need to compromise.

Communal entrances to accommodation: Be aware of high-contact surfaces and wash your hands when necessary.

Students studying remotely

Students will be expected to be in Cambridge for their studies for the academic year 2021-22. Those who cannot come to Cambridge should read the University's policy on temporary permission to study remotely. Any application made will be judged on a case-by-case basis and in close discussion between the student and their college. 

College, departmental and Faculty support remains available to students studying remotely. Information on accessing library services, including remote and zero-contact facilities, is available on the library webpages. The Disability Resource Centre, University Counselling Service and Careers Service are all available online and for remote appointments. This section, on help and support gives more information on support available from the University and your college.

Pastoral and wellbeing matters

COVID-19 has brought personal hardship in many different ways. The University and Colleges are committed to offering as much help as possible and are working closely together to do this.

If you require support or help your immediate source is your College. Your Tutor or Senior Tutor would normally be your point of first contact, but College NursesPortersDeans or Chaplains and the Tutorial Office staff in general also typically form part of Colleges’ support teams.

Welfare Officers and other executive members of your JCR or MCR are also able to offer support.

See the Help and support page for information on the University’s support services, including the University Counselling Service and Disability Resource Centre, which are maintaining an online service. Do make use of them if you need to, with your Tutor’s help if needed. Online support and information can be accessed through the University’s wellbeing website. Check your College website for information on College-based support. For information on financial hardship see our Financial Hardship Support page.

Please let your Tutor or someone else in the support team at your College know if you are feeling lonely, anxious, or isolated, particularly if you are living in non-shared accommodation.