You are here


All individuals arriving in England from anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man are required to self-isolate for 10 days. College will keep a register of those students required to quarantine, once you have informed us. You must take quarantine very seriously: It is crucial in order to keep yourself and the Cambridge Community safe. In addition, you can be fined £1000 if you are required to self-isolate and do not.

For students with college accommodation who had their university card access de-activated during Lent Term, when returning to college - subject to government guidance - please to go to the Main Reception on arrival (wearing a face mask & sanitising your hands) to let us know you have returned and to get a temporary access card. Students will be able to return the temporary access card at the end of the quarantine period and have their university card updated with the correct access.

Before you travel

You must get a negative test result before travelling to the UK from abroad. Further infomation about this can be found on the government webpages.

All travellers entering the UK from abroad must also complete an online Public Health Passenger Locator form with your journey and contact details, 48 hours before arrival in the UK.

You should familiarise yourself with UK regulations for face coverings before your journey to the UK.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection you should not travel.

What to pack if you will need to quarantine

  • Any medication you need for the period of quarantine. College is unable to provide medical supplies of any kind.
  • A bank card that will work in the UK
  • An adequate supply of face coverings
  • Ensure that your mobile phone allows you to access UK data until you get onto wifi
  • Enough snacks to last until you are able to order food
  • Bed linen, basic crockery, UK plug adaptor (if living in College accommodation, you can buy these on arrival at Reception)

If you develop coronavirus symptoms while in transit to England, tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train, or bus. They will let staff in the airport, port or station know, so they can tell you what to do when you arrive.  If you have coronavirus symptoms you will not be allowed to travel by public transport and will need to demonstrate that you have suitable accommodation for self-isolation.

After you arrive

After going to your room (whether in College or in private accommodation), you must remain in your household for the full quarantine period and must not leave except in an emergency. More information about households during coronavirus

Please read the UK government guidance on quarantine: this contains full information about what you are and are not permitted to do during your period of quarantine.

Testing Day 2 and Day 8 during quarantine

It is now a requirement to take a COVID test on or before Day 2 of your quarantine period, and on or after Day 8 of your quarantine period. You can find the full details about this here. These tests will need to be booked privately from a governemnt recommened supplier.

Test to Release programme

From 15 December, there will be the option to take a COVID-19 test from a private testing provider (at students’ own cost) after 5 days of self-isolation, with a negative result releasing you from the need to isolate. Due to regulatory barriers the University’s asymptomatic screening programme cannot be used for this purpose. Further guidance is available here:

If you choose to take this option of a private test to release you from isolation after 5 days,please send a copy of your negative test result to

Buying food while you are in quarantine

You should not go shopping during your period of quarantine. Many shops and catering outlets offer online delivery. You can also ask someone to go shopping for you.

Online supermarket delivery

Here are the major UK supermarkets which offer online delivery:

Online meal delivery

There are many delivery apps for meals, covering all budgets and types of food. Two common ones in Cambridge are: |

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms while in quarantine

Please call College Reception on 01223 336250. If you do not have a UK phone yet, please email  The College staff will talk with you and run through a couple of standard questions, so we can make sure you have the support you need.  You will need to self-isolate for 10 days starting from the date you develop symptoms. 

When your period of quarantine ends

Please call Reception and notify them that you have finished your quarantine: 01223 336250. They will check this against the quarantine register and will log that your quarantine is now ended.


Support for students in quarantine

Download the isolation guide: quarantine in College | quarantine in private accommodation

Tutors will check in with students by email; you may contact your tutor by email at any time to ask questions or request a meeting.

Do also visit the University COVID-19 pages on wellbeing.

Additional information for students living in College accommodation

A “Quarantine” sign will be posted on your bedroom door. You will have been given a kitchen and bathroom sign on arrival, which you must attach to the door when you use any shared facilities. 

In the event of an emergency evacuation (e.g. fire alarm), you should aim to remain at least 2 metres distant from all other people. Wear a face mask and avoid direct hand contact with anything outside your room as far as possible.

Staff will not enter your bedroom, kitchen or bathroom unless there is an emergency. If they are required to enter, they will wear PPE.

'Packs' available for purchase on arrival

On arrival at the College Reception you can buy a bedding pack, a quarantine basic crockery pack, and UK plug adaptors. You can pay using cash or card.

The quarantine basic crockery pack is £15, and includes the following items:

  • Knife
  • Folk
  • Spoon
  • Tea spoon
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Small plate
  • Mug
  • Glass
  • Sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Tea towel


You will be able to access the College wifi during your period of quarantine.


You can order meals from the College Dining Hall to be delivered directly to your room. A small delivery charge applies. It is not a 24/7 service, so to find out full details and to order room delivery, download the Dining Hall app.

Online food deliveries from external companies will not come directly to your household but rather to the main entrance of College or MPH. Please ask a friend or person from your corridor to collect your delivery and bring it to your room. If you have tried to find someone to bring your delivery and no-one is available, you must fetch your delivery from the driver and return directly to your room.

If you have to collect a food delivery while in quarantine, you must follow this procedure:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly for 20 seconds before leaving your household
  • Put on a mask
  • Do not enter any College building on the way – use outside routes
  • Return to your room as soon as you have collected your delivery
  • Do not stop to talk to anyone
  • Take the stairs rather than using a lift, if you are able to do so safely

If you need to use a shared kitchen while in quarantine

  1. Wait until the kitchen is empty – do not use it while another person is in there.
  2. Wash your hands for 20 seconds before entering the kitchen.
  3. Wear a face covering while you are in the kitchen.
  4. Wipe down all surfaces after use.
  5. Take your food back to your bedroom to eat.

Housekeeping while you are in quarantine

Laundry: It will not be possible to visit the college laundry during your time in quarantine.  All items must remain in your room until your quarantine has ended.

Housekeeping and waste: you will be responsible for cleaning your own bedroom, bathroom and toilet during the 10 days. General rubbish should be double bagged and remain in your room until the period of quarantine is over. After this point you can take it to the bins. After your quarantine ends, your room will be cleaned according to the schedule for your building.


Students who are quarantining on the St Edmund’s College site are allowed to exercise for an hour a day on the marked out area on the back playing field (behind the Richard Laws Building), while maintaining social distancing. If you would like to use this space, please contact to book a daily time slot.