COVID-19: Michaelmas Term 2020

Get ready for life at Trinity 2020

Whether you are a Fresher or a returning student, welcome to Trinity 2020!

The public health situation has transformed many things globally, nationally and in Cambridge, including at Trinity.

How we live, study and work at the College has and will continue to change, in line with government guidance. Rest assured the College takes your wellbeing seriously.

All of the College-specific information around protecting yourself and other members of the community at Trinity can be found here, in words and video.

Thank you to those students who volunteered their time, energy and inspiration to help create these films.


Your Household

You will be living in a ‘household’. A household is a group of students that share facilities such as kitchens and can socialize freely without distancing.

Cleaning your individual rooms is down to you (including your en-suite bathroom if you have one) as well as changing your bed linen, which will be delivered to your door weekly.

The bedmakers will clean shared facilities including bathrooms, toilets and kitchens. This will take place at the same time each week and there will be a notice in your gyp room telling you when this will happen. It will take about an hour and at this time all household members must leave these communal areas. To protect staff, cleaning cannot take place if household members are present.

Please try to bring only essential items to College. If COVID-19 flares up you might have to leave College quickly and less stuff will make it easier for you to depart. Of course this will only be in exceptional circumstances.

Please bring enough store-cupboard staples for three days in case you need to self-isolate or if one of your household mates becomes ill. Don’t worry, College will also provide food for isolating households.

Sorry, no visitors will be allowed in College and that includes your friends from other Colleges.


Hand washing

Coronavirus can be spread through contact with a contaminated surface. If you touch a surface contaminated with the virus and then touch your nose, eyes or mouth, you could be infected. This means it is important to clean your hands frequently, especially:

  • whenever you enter a building, including the workplace and your home or College
  • after you blow your nose, cough or sneeze
  • before you eat or handle food
  • after you have had contact with surfaces

You should wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water – you will have heard the advice to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to yourself, twice, while handwashing but of course, you can sing whatever you like for 20 seconds!

Ensure that your hands are dried thoroughly. It is also important to avoid touching your face as much as possible, especially with unclean hands.

If you don’t have access to a sink and soak, clean your hands with sanitiser – where will be dispensers (automatic!) at strategic points around College.

Face coverings

Face coverings are mandatory* everywhere apart from when you are in your room, in your household or you are eating.

So please carry a face covering with you.

Remember that wearing a face covering protects others and it is not a substitute for social distancing.

Wearing a face covering might seem straightforward…but there is a right and wrong way see ‘How to wear a face mask safely

*Unless you have a medical exemption.

Social distancing

Apart from members of your household, you must socially distance with everyone else including friends, staff and Fellows. Try to keep two metres apart if possible and, at a minimum, one metre.

Household members don’t need to social distance (inside or outside) but you must social distance when socialising with other households.

Please follow instructions you see around College and follow the signposted routes. Be aware of areas where distancing will be difficult such as narrow spaces or where you might not be able to see who is coming the other way.

If an area you wish to visit or access is busy, for example, the Porters’ Lodge, please wait until there is sufficient space and/or you are called forward.

You might see some staff wearing protective equipment such as masks, visors and gloves. This is not a cause for alarm; it is for their and your protection due to the nature of their work.


Social gatherings and events

The ‘rule of six’ applies to all social gatherings and events. This means that you cannot be in groups of more than six or meet more than six people, unless your household has more than six members (the size of households varies within and between Colleges at Cambridge).

When meeting those outside your household (such as friends or family) you can meet in groups of up to six people from multiple households if you follow social distancing rules. Remember that for events and gatherings in College, you must wear a face covering.

Remember that if you socialise as a household in College or in Cambridge, and your household is larger than six people, others may not know you live together and you could be challenged.



In the Servery, please wear a face covering, follow the one-way system and maintain social distance. Queuing begins in Nevile’s Court where hand sanitiser will be available.

Hot food is behind perspex screens and staff will serve it to you, and cold food available for self-service in sealed containers. Sealed cutlery bags are available in Hall.

Hall’s layout has changed to allow for distancing. When eating, please keep distant from all other diners except your household members. There will be additional eating spaces under the Wren cloister and in new marquees. You may also take food back to your room.



From the start of term all students living in College accommodation will be offered a weekly test for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19, even if they do not have any symptoms.

The test will be self-administered, using a swab to take a sample from the nose and throat. Because there is a limited number of tests available, samples from several students will be tested together in pools. In general, samples will be pooled by household.

Samples will be tested at the national testing centre on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. If a pooled 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 be supported in following national guidance on isolation.

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


What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

If you have any of these symptoms, don’t delay, get a test – call Addenbrooke’s Hospital Occupational Health on 01223 216 767 (8.30am to 4.30pm Monday to Thursday), stating that you wish to be tested as part of the University of Cambridge’s testing programme.

If you develop symptoms out of hours, please request a test using the NHS website.

If you have COVID symptoms do not visit your GP, the College Nurse or hospital. Stay in your room and let your household mates know you have COVID-19 symptoms as well as the College by emailing This applies whether you live in College or private accommodation and whether you are a student, member of Staff or a Fellow.

What to do if you have to self-isolate (students)

You should self-isolate for 10 days from the day you feel unwell and keep self-isolating if you feel unwell after 10 days, particularly if you have a high temperature.

Everyone else in your household should self-isolate for 14 days – even if they feel well.

College will assist with food deliveries.

If a COVID-19 test comes back negative you and everyone in your household can stop isolating unless anyone develops symptoms.

If your symptoms get worse you can use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service (or call NHS 111 if you don’t have internet access)

Of course if at any time you feel seriously unwell call 999 or the Porters Lodge which will be able to help.


Health Centre

The Health Centre is in B Nevile’s Court. Please do not just turn up but contact the College Nurse in advance by email or phone. She will be normally be available during full term time only on Monday 9.15am-12.15pm, Wednesday 1-5pm and Friday 9.15-12.15. All students must register with a GP in Cambridge. There are three GP surgeries within close proximity of the College and details can be found on the Fresher’s website or by contacting the nurse.




The Library will be open 9am to 8pm every day from Monday 5 October.

Please wear a face covering* at all times whether moving through the building or sitting working (*unless you have a medical exemption.)

There will be a one-way system in operation through the building, turning right into the Catalogue Room as you enter the Library, leading through the Lower Library and up the stairs at the far end to the Reading Room. Please follow the floor signs.

The exit route will be through the corridor at the end of the Reading Room and down the wooden staircase.

Online inductions will be running for all new students to introduce them to library services.

Normal borrowing services will remain using the self-issue machines in the Catalogue Room. Readers will be able to collect books themselves from the shelves, or those not wishing to use the Library can order books via a click and collect service. Please email

The Library toilets will be open – they can be used one person at a time. Please use the cleaning materials provided to wipe down contact surfaces before and after use.

If you are self-isolating, the Library will endeavour to deliver books to you and leave them outside your room. Please email

Bottled water can be brought in but no food or other drinks please.

The Wren Library will be closed to tourists; members of college will still be able to visit (individually or in small groups) to enjoy the space and exhibition.

The Reading Room will be open for study at a significantly reduced capacity to allow for social distancing. Please note that booking may be required if demand is high.

We will do our absolute best to deal with the changing situation and make sure that resources are available.  If you have concerns, comments or suggestions, please email Steven Archer, Sub-Librarian.



There will be clear signage and a friendly welcome in the Chapel to a range of events and services.

Among the precautions are hand sanitiser, circulation routes, and some seats kept empty to aid distancing.

You must wear a face covering at all times. Though there will be no congregational singing, the Choir will be in full voice.

Due to limits on the numbers of people in Chapel, booking may be required for some services.


Teaching and Support Services

All lectures will take place online. Supervisions may be face-to-face or online.

The Tutorial Office is the live wire running through College, offering both academic and pastoral support.

For your studies, you have your Director of Studies, Supervisor(s) and graduate students have their research supervisor. Trinity also has an Academic Skills Supervisor.

In terms of pastoral support, students have regular meetings with Tutors, and you can seek support and advice from professionals including:

‘Juliet Bristow, Mental Health & Wellbeing Advisor will be available for Zoom appointments in the first instance. Juliet can also refer you to the College counsellor or CBT Therapist. You can always also contact the University Counselling Service.

Eleanor Girt-Izod, The Disability Advisor from the University’s Disability Resource Centre

Students can contact the Fellow for Women; Dr Anna-Maria Hartmann, Fellow for LGBT+ and Dr Glen Rangwala, Fellow for Ethnic Diversity.

Trinity’s Chaplains are available to every member of College of any and no faith for a chat if anything is on your mind: John Summers and Olga Fabrikant-Burke.

Trinity College Students’ Union and BA Society have welfare officers who offer a great range of support, events and activities, whether in person or virtually.

For more information please visit the Student Services Hub.


Fire safety

Fire drills and call point testing will continue to take place. You will receive an email informing you on the day and time the call point testing will take place. If the alarm sounds for longer than 30 seconds, you should evacuate the building and proceed to your assembly point.

In the event of a fire alarm, even if you are self-isolating, you should leave the building.



Watch this film for an introduction to the new look gym.

You will need to book your one-hour gym session online in advance. When you enter the gym, please follow this new one-way system.  Space around the running machine / erg / cycle will earmarked by tape and this space is yours for the duration of your gym session. After you have finished, please wipe down the equipment – cleaning materials are provided and an extra 15 minutes is scheduled to give you time to do this.

When the gym is in use, the badminton courts are out of use – and vice versa

The only activities allowed at Old Field are tennis and Strength & Conditioning classes with Harry – distanced of course.

Book your gym session, badminton Court or tennis court from your list of applications in MyTrin.

The Boathouse and Rowing

You must turn up erg-ready! Changing rooms are not available, but the toilets are.

The rowing machines have been spaced out and cleaning materials are provided – please clean your erg before and after your session. These must be booked online in advance. The Boathouse will be open for ergs from 7.30am and 8.45pm.

Please wear a face covering when you are not exercising.

Rowing in fours is allowed – watch this space and see your team captain for any update to the rowing rules.


Useful links

The University’s #StaySafeCambridgeUni Information

UK Government coronovirus information