Coronavirus information

Coronavirus updates

St John's College is closely monitoring the ongoing coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. As the situation continues to change rapidly, our top priority remains the health, safety, and wellbeing of our entire community, in and outside of Cambridge.

Step 4 of the Government roadmap out of national lockdown started on Monday 19 July

Read the latest Government guidance

Covid-19 vaccinations available to ALL students

Covid-19 vaccinations are now being offered to everyone aged 16 or over at local sites run by GPs or community pharmacies, at larger vaccination centres and in some hospitals - this includes international students. 

Information about booking a Covid vaccination and the testing programme

Student Services - New times for Zoom drop-in sessions and office opening hours

Student Services is open to drop-in visitors. The office, based in F Staircase, Chapel Court (first office on the left as you enter the building, is open every weekday from 10am-12pm and again from 2pm-4pm with Covid-19 safety measures in place. From Monday 27 September, they will revert to their normal opening hours of 8.30am-6pm.

Drop-in Zoom sessions are held on Mondays from 9am-10am for anyone who finds Zoom more convenient or is unable to visit the office. Students Services staff continue to be available to support students via email and telephone during normal office hours (8.30am-6pm weekdays).

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 868 7333 9368
Passcode: 138895

Reminder that we need to know where you are

Students who plan to leave, or return to, Cambridge must notify Student Services in advance – whether you live in onsite College accommodation, off-site College accommodation or private accommodation, we still need to know if you are in Cambridge. This information is used for track and trace purposes, as well as to inform the University weekly of the numbers in Cambridge which helps them to consider services such as the asymptomatic testing programme.

Student departure from College/Cambridge at the end of the Easter Term – remember to return your room key and scan the QR Code 

Before you leave College, please remember to hand in your room key at the Forecourt Porter’s Lodge and scan the QR Code below. If you/a family member has been allocated parking during your departure, please do move your vehicle promptly to ensure the space is freed up for other people.

All students leaving College/Cambridge (including those living in private accommodation) are required to scan the QR code below; log in with your Raven credentials and select "Departed”.

Also, please remember to hand in your room key at the Forecourt Porters’ Lodge.

QR code for leaving College


If you are returning to Cambridge from abroad, you are required to comply with the latest Government quarantine arrangements.

Student Services office

The Student Services office is open to drop-in visitors. The office, based in F Staircase, Chapel Court, is open every week day from 10am-12pm and again from 2pm-4pm with Covid-19 safety measures in place.

Drop-in Zoom sessions will continue to be held on Wednesdays from 4.30pm-5.30pm for anyone who is not in Cambridge. Students Services staff continue to be available to support students via email and telephone during normal office hours.

Zoom link
Meeting ID: 889 9581 6565
Passcode: 370897

Covid-19 helpdesk

The College’s Covid-19 helpdesk deals with all policy and guidance questions relating to the College’s response to Covid-19. It is staffed between 8am and 5pm seven days a week. Do get in touch if you have any questions.


For information please see Graduation and Congregations

Covid-19 Student Guidelines

The Covid-19 Student Guidelines should be referred to regularly by undergraduates and postgraduates for the latest rules and guidance for life at St John’s College during the pandemic.

They are intended to be used in parallel with The Student Handbook which is an important and comprehensive source of information for our student community. The rules in the Student Handbook may sometimes depart from the Covid-19 Student Guidelines in various ways throughout the year, sometimes for short periods of time and sometimes at short notice.

Anyone who is in any doubt about the rules and principles that govern College life during the 2020/21 academic year should contact their Tutor, Student Services, the College Nurse or the Porters.

Self-isolation and quarantine

You must self isolate for 10 days if you develop a new continuous cough and/or a fever (greater than 37.8C). and you must complete our online form. We will then provide specific advice for your individual circumstance. Please also consult the Government advice.

If you have symptoms you should immediately: 

  • Do not visit the Health & Wellbeing Centre in person, contact the College Nurse via the reporting form below.

Complete all of the applicable sections of the relevant reporting form below with as much information as possible. 

Please note, information may be shared if it is felt appropriate but it will be handled sensitively and proportionately. We are collecting this data to track the coronavirus risk to College members and we will keep the data for 12 months or until it is no longer needed.

Quarantine & self-isolation

In common with other Colleges, St John’s is closely following the guidelines relating to Covid-19 set out by the University of Cambridge.

View the St John’s College arrangements for quarantine in College accommodation

View the latest University-wide advice, including the new Stay Safe Cambridge Uni campaign section. 

Please comply with the latest Government quarantine arrangements.

Full information

The College is committed to ensuring all quarantining/self-isolating students are provided for, and will look to ensure all students have an individual isolation supporter to collect food/groceries on their behalf.

*The College will offer meals and access to basic groceries from a ‘shop’ style set up in College which will be available via click and collect. This will also provide basic toiletries/washing powder etc. Students would be charged as per normal for these facilities via Upay.

**Please note the click and collect service has finished for the summer vacation and will restart in September for isolating students.

Key information for students supporting those in self isolation/quarantine

Student guide on ordering food and provisions whilst in self-isolation

Symptom/contact reporting form

The College Covid-19 Symptom/Contact Reporting Forms below are for students, Fellows, academic affiliates and staff to notify the College Nurse, the Senior Tutor, and the duty Porters that you have: 

  • symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough); or
  • been in contact with someone who has coronavirus symptoms or is suspected to have coronavirus


Covid-19 Symptom/Contact Reporting Form - Students and Residential Fellows

Covid-19 Symptom/Contact Reporting Form - Non-Residential Fellows and Academic Affiliates

Covid-19 Symptom/Contact Reporting Form - Staff

Test and Trace

St John’s College continues to work with the University to manage Covid-19 infection rates, which may involve some contact tracing.

NHS advice for those sharing a household with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19 is simple: self-isolate and follow the guidance. If you are a contact of someone who has contracted Covid-19, you only need to self-isolate if you have been informed by NHS Test & Trace to do so.  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. However, because the College community is one in which infection can travel swiftly we have implemented our own contact tracing within the College which complements the NHS system but will allow St John’s to act very quickly if a case is identified.

Please note that, from 16 August 2021, the following individuals will no longer be legally required to self-isolate if they are identified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case:

· Those aged 18 or under

· Those who have been: (a) double vaccinated; and (b) had their second COVID-19 vaccination at least two weeks prior to coming into close contact with the positive case

These individuals are advised to take a PCR test to detect any asymptomatic presence of the virus and to identify any variants of concern. They will become legally required to self-isolate if they themselves test positive for COVID-19.

If you do not meet the exemption criteria then you must self-isolate as outlined above.

If you go on to develop symptoms of COVID-19 or you receive a positive PCR test result, you should follow the advice set out in the previous section.


Asymptomatic Covid-19 Screening Programme

The Asymptomatic Covid-19 Screening Programme is not operating during the summer vacation. 

Lateral flow testing kits

If you will be resident in Cambridge over the summer vacation, we instead recommend that you sign up for lateral flow testing. You will then receive an email with further information about how to obtain kits, register each test and report results.

Free lateral flow testing kits are available from pharmacists in Cambridge and they can also be ordered online and sent to your address within one to two days. 

Compared with PCR tests, the lateral flow tests are much less sensitive. It is therefore important to take these tests TWICE every week. In practice, we recommend taking the tests on MONDAY and THURSDAY mornings. In the event of a positive result, you will be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.

Use this link to order rapid lateral flow tests online

'Pre-departure', 'return to Cambridge' and enhanced contact tracing tests

In addition to confirmatory tests, 'Return to Cambridge' tests'Pre-departure' tests, and tests for enhanced contact tracing are available from the Porters' Lodges, Monday to Thursday inclusive throughout the summer vacation.

Confirmatory tests

In the event of a positive lateral flow test result, you and your household should isolate immediately. Inform the Porters who will be able to distribute a confirmatory PCR test. These confirmatory tests are available Monday to Thursday inclusive throughout the summer vacation. If you obtain a positive test result between Friday and Sunday, when confirmatory PCR tests are not available from the College, you should obtain a confirmatory PCR test from the NHS.

Returning the test kit

Once you have completed the test, it is your responsibility to drop your double-bagged sample in the drop-box in the Forecourt car park by 1.30pm on the same day. You must wear a face covering when dropping off your sample. Please note, these drop-boxes are NOT the same as the collection points for pooled screening tests. It may be more convenient for those living in private accommodation to use one of the other drop-boxes sited around Cambridge. Please note, there aren’t any collections over the weekend.

You should receive your test result the following day. The College will also be informed of your test result, and provide all the support that you need. If you do not receive your result, please check with the College Covid Helpdesk in the first instance:

Finally, the University continues to offer testing at the University or Addenbrooke’s Hospital pods for any student or staff member with symptoms of possible Covid-19 over the summer vacation.

Anyone who has any questions specific to the testing process at St John’s should email: Further information can also be found in A comprehensive Q&A guide to the University's testing programme.


University guidance

The University of Cambridge and Colleges are cooperating closely with Public Health England’s Health Protection Team in Cambridge. The collegiate University has well developed protocols to prepare for and, if necessary, deal with communicable diseases. St John’s, like all Colleges, has made the necessary preparations to protect our community.

Read the latest guidance and statements from the University of Cambridge

Read the latest Government guidance 

Government guidance for self isolation when arriving in the UK

Read the University's webpage for all students about teaching and learning, admissions, finance and travel

Face coverings

Face coverings policy

Face coverings do not need to be worn in outdoor spaces.

From Monday 19 July, face coverings should continue to be worn in enclosed spaces where more than one person is present unless everyone present is comfortable to remove them and mitigating factors are in place. As a courtesy, face coverings should be worn by all, unless exempt, if requested.

Face coverings must still be worn whilst moving around in the Buttery/bar and other dining spaces. Catering staff may choose to continue to wear face masks in these spaces. 

The policy is due to be reviewed in September.

College policy on face coverings is kept under regular review by the College’s Covid Silver group in line with the public health advice, our experience within College, and approaches across the University.

Face coverings policy FAQs

Visitor policy

From Monday 19 July, the visitor policy permits St John’s alumni and their guests to enter the College, along with other members of the University and those visiting for specific education or research purposes.

You may also have access to the College main site if:

  • you are a Member of the College community as defined in the full visitor policy
  • you are a partner or family member of a Member of the College community
  • you are a guest visiting residential Fellows or students in their rooms 
  • you have a work/education related purpose for attending the site.

Use of the Buttery, College Bar and other indoor communal College facilities are restricted to staff, students and Fellows only.

All members of the College and visitors should wear face coverings in enclosed spaces where more than one person is present unless everyone present is comfortable to remove them and mitigating factors are in place. As a courtesy, face coverings should be worn by all if requested.

The site is still closed to the general public, the Great Gate and Queen's Road gate remain closed, and the increased cleaning regime will continue. The situation will be monitored closely throughout the summer and another review of the Covid-19 policies will be carried out in September.

Please note, Kitchen Bridge will be closed from 2 August as part of the Community Hub work.

Read the updated visitor policy

Food and drink


The Buttery is now open in the temporary structure in First Court and lunch is served from 12pm to 1.30pm and from 6pm to 7pm for dinner during the summer vacation. Face coverings must be worn until seated for dining. 'Click and collect' has finished and will recommence in September for those self-isolating.

Diners can now sit down in the temporary structure with their meals served with crockery and cutlery. Please adhere to one-metre social distancing.

Compostable takeaway containers are still available. 

The Patio outside the original Buttery is currently unavailable due to the Community Hub building works.

College Bar

The Bar is also open in the temporary structure. The opening hours are 5pm to 9pm Monday to Friday, and 5pm to 9.30pm on Saturdays and Sundays. From 19 July you can order at the bar. Please wear a face mask until you are seated and adhere to one-metre social distancing.

Fellows' dining

From Monday 19 July the following changes to arrangements for lunching and dining apply:

• Plating of meals will continue for the time being.

• Drinks are available in the Green Room before dinner, and those dining are asked to assemble there (as pre-Covid). Service of coffee/tea after lunch and dinner continues in the Combination Room.

• A limited number of daily newspapers and a couple of weeklies (The Economist and The Spectator) are also available in the Green Room.

Please continue to wear a face covering in the Combination Room until seated, and also in the Green Room where more than one person is present (unless all present are comfortable to remove them and mitigating factors are in place). The College expects to review this element of the safety regime for 1 September and beyond.

Lunch is currently available from 12.30pm to 1.30pm every day except Sunday, and dinner every evening at 7.30pm (7.45pm on Sundays). The booking deadline for dinner will continue as 2pm the day before for dining from Monday to Thursday, and Thursday 2pm for Friday to Sunday.

Health and wellbeing

Health & Wellbeing Centre

The Health Centre Team are pleased to be providing ongoing support to students who are both in Cambridge or away-via email, telephone or video consultations. 

Remote appointments are bookable via Moodle.

Ruth Dean, College Nurse, can be contacted via

Karen Miles, Health & Wellbeing Nurse can be contacted via

Health& can be used to reach either Nurse. 

Please note that a response will be given in order of priority so please state the nature of your enquiry and mark your email has high priority if you require an urgent response. 

Mental health crisis support services

Counselling support

Please speak to the Health & Wellbeing Team if you would like to find out more about your options for counselling support over the vacation. You can also self-refer directly to the University Counselling Service which remains open throughout the year. 

Pastoral support


During University vacation there are currently no Chapel services, services resume on Tuesday 5 October. 

We request that a face mask be worn, unless you are medically exempt.

The Chapel is also open daily for private prayer from 9.30am-5pm.

The Rev'd Andrew Hammond, can be contacted at and on 07917 535940. Canon Mark Oakley, the Dean of Chapel, can be contacted on Visit the Chapel & Choirs page for the latest information.

Multi-Faith Prayer Room 

The Multi-Faith Prayer Room - D8 Cripps is available for use. This room can be booked for single use at any time of the day or night on the online booking system. Please collect a key for access from the Cripps Porters Lodge. Cleaning products will be left in the room for you to use, as necessary.

Out-of-hours mental health support

Mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on mental health and wellbeing remains a priority for the University and Collegiate Cambridge. Students at St John's are encouraged to contact the Health and Wellbeing Centre to access support available. If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse outside of standard working hours, or if you're worried about someone you know, out-of-hours help is available. 


Online teaching & learning

The following resources have been gathered to help academics navigate the challenges of the 2020/21 academic year, and to assist those who are working with digital collaborative tools such as Zoom and Teams.

Online teaching and learning resources