Returning to Wolfson

Wolfson is now carefully and in stages lifting the coronavirus restrictions.

The health of our College residents and staff is our top priority. The College has remained open throughout the pandemic, supporting 200 or so residents onsite as well as providing support to those living offsite. We are here to help all members and you can find our contact details on our People's Pages.

Please remember: In order to lift the restrictions, we need you to follow the rules. We will have no hesitation in reimposing restrictions if rules are not being followed. The College has a disciplinary system in place to sanction individuals in breach of College regulations. 

Click here to read more about the services we offer.

The College has decided that there will be no face-to-face teaching by Fellows in College rooms with more than six students, except in the Auditorium where special arrangements for larger numbers can be made.

If you live onsite, we encourage you to work from your own rooms more often wherever this is possible. We now discourage households from visiting each other - though households remain free to socialise, within the rules, in public spaces indoors and outdoors in College.

Guide to Returning to Wolfson

Those of you coming from overseas and who are required to self-isolate on arrival in the UK (see above and consult should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before the start of term on 1st October, so that you can complete the prescribed period of self-isolation before term begins.

At least 14 days before your arrival, you must contact the Accommodation Officer either by email at or by telephone at +44 (0)1865 274071. This is because you will need to agree on a date and time of arrival well in advance to ensure that your accommodation is ready for you when you arrive.

Priority will be given to those required to self-isolate on arrival and, in order to respect the rules on social distancing, it will be necessary to limit the number of people arriving at the College at any one time. You should therefore be prepared to be flexible when arranging the day and time of arrival and, especially if you choose to arrive at a weekend, be prepared to wait at the prescribed social distance and, if necessary, outside the College, before you can get into your room, flat or house.

During your journey and once you arrive, you should be prepared to wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently and regularly apply hand-sanitiser, and disinfect surfaces such as seats, tables and bathrooms, that may have been touched by others. We therefore recommend that you should pack, so as to be easily accessible: a few reusable face coverings; a few days’ supply of paper handkerchiefs and a plastic bag in which to discard them, antibacterial soap, antibacterial spray, and alcohol-based (60%) hand-sanitiser; and also, perhaps, reusable gloves, a personal thermometer and medicine such as paracetamol (acetaminophen) to reduce fever. Such supplies may be difficult to obtain easily and quickly on arrival in the UK. See below “Arriving at Wolfson” for information on food and other support at Wolfson.

You are likely to need a phone during your journey to Wolfson, so we recommend that you purchase a UK SIM card before you depart or at the airport, seaport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone. 

Different countries have adopted different methods of dealing with COVID 19. Before you arrive in the UK, you must ensure that you are aware of, and are ready to abide by, the current laws imposed by the UK government. Before departure, it is essential that you establish whether or not you will have to “self-isolate” on arrival — in other words, to stay in your accommodation for the first 14 days after your arrival in the UK.

If you have been allocated accommodation in Wolfson (and have received a licence agreement, signed and returned it to us and paid your rent in advance) you will be able to travel to Wolfson and self-isolate in your accommodation (if required).

If you have not been allocated accommodation at Wolfson and have not received a licence agreement, you should not travel to Wolfson but should instead travel directly to the accommodation you will have arranged to rent privately, or to any interim accommodation (B&B, hotel, etc) you have arranged. If you have not yet arranged for private accommodation, the Wolfson Accommodation Office can provide you with a list of accommodation agents, or you may be able to arrange accommodation via the central University Graduate Accommodation Office here. If you are required by UK law to self-isolate, then you must do so in your private or interim accommodation.

For further information on accommodation, please email the Accommodation Office at or telephone +44 (0)1865 274071 (9:00–17:00 British Summer Time).

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 when you are travelling to the UK, you should tell one of the crew on your plane, boat, train or bus. They will tell staff in the airport, port or station, so that they can instruct you what you should do next when you arrive. In that case, you may need to self-isolate elsewhere before you come to Wolfson. Please also immediately email the email account, or call the Lodge on +44 (0)1865 274100 so that Wolfson is aware of your illness and can assist.

When travelling to Wolfson during the pandemic, in order to avoid contact with other travellers, the best options are:

  • Drive yourself (preferably by hire car so that you will not be charged for parking at the College).
  • Be dropped off by a member of your home household or home “support bubble”
  • Use a taxi or private hire company.
  • If you have no option but to take public transport, please follow the UK Government’s guidelines here, which currently require you to wear a face covering and observe social distancing (you should regularly monitor the UK Government’s advice as it may change before your arrival). 

Residents who are not required to self-isolate: 

  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time and go straight to the Lodge.
  • The Lodge (or reception) is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A porter is on duty out of hours for emergencies.
  • On entering the College, please wash or sanitise your hands immediately. There are bathrooms next to the Lodge, and a hand-sanitising station in the Lodge.
  • If there is a queue, you may need to wait outside to maintain social distance.
  • If you have a car, the receptionist will tell you where you must park.
  • Please go straight to your room, and unload your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Please do not go to other parts of the College until you have done so.
  • Instructions on how to use the wifi are in your room. If you need further support, please contact the IT team here

Residents who must self-isolate on arrival in the UK: 

  • Residents who are required by law to self-isolate on arrival in the UK should arrange to arrive at least 14 days before their first scheduled appointment. The date of a student’s first scheduled appointment varies according to the subject studied and, in this exceptional year, not all arrangements for the induction of new students have yet been finalised and timetabled. At this time, we recommend that new students who are required to self-isolate on arrival should arrive at least 14 days before the start of term (1 st October), and on a date agreed with the Accommodation Office.
  • Ensure that you arrive at the agreed day and time; if your transport is delayed, please advise the Lodge as soon as possible by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • You will need a working mobile phone in order to gain access to your room, so you should purchase a UK SIM card either before you depart or at the airport or station where you arrive in the UK. Your room in Wolfson will not be equipped with a telephone.
  • If possible, activate your “Oxford Single Sign-On Account (SSO)” before arriving in Wolfson. You will need it to order food during self-isolation, to access your University email account, to use the libraries remotely and for many other purposes. Go to “Email at Oxford today. 1. Getting started”.
  • Instructions on how to use the College wifi will be in your room. If you need further IT support during self-isolation, please contact the IT team here.
  • On arrival at Wolfson, do not enter the College buildings.
  • From outside the College, telephone the Lodge Receptionist on +44 (0)1865 274 100. (The Lodge, or reception, is open for business daily from 7am–11pm. A night porter is on duty outside these hours for emergencies.)
  • If you have arrived by car, the receptionist will tell you where to park.
  • The receptionist will direct you to your room by phone. Your building will be open and your key will be in your room.
  • Please go straight to your building and your room within it, and deposit your belongings as quickly and as safely as possible. Do not go to any other part of the College. Within your building, do not go anywhere except your room and, if applicable, to the shared bathroom facilities in the unit to which your room belongs.
  • If you need assistance at any time, please contact the Lodge by phone on +44 (0)1865 274 100 or by email at
  • If your room is not an en-suite room — that is, it does not have a private bathroom within the room — the bathroom facilities are shared with the other occupants of your set or unit. Their location is in most cases self-evident; in the few cases where this is not so, you will receive instructions with your keys that will let you know which bathroom to use and how to access it. When using the communal bathroom facilities, you must take the greatest care to touch as few surfaces as possible, and to clean scrupulously with antibacterial spray or disinfectant all the surfaces that you have touched, including door handles, light switches, taps (faucets) and basins, seats, etc. Remove all personal items when you leave, place sanitary products in the bin provided, and remove all other waste (such as empty containers, tissues and wipes) to dispose of in the waste bin in your own room.
  • Do not use the communal kitchen in your unit while you are in self-isolation.
  • We will deliver food to your room during the prescribed period of self-isolation period: a hot meal every lunchtime from Monday to Saturday, and supplies and snacks to see you through breakfast and dinner, and meals on Sunday. Once you have activated your “Oxford SSO” (see above), you can order your delivery online, by following the procedures here. Until you are able to activate your SSO, you may order meals and food packs from Please make sure that you order at least 24 hours in advance.
  • If you plan to arrive in the evening or at night, or over the weekend, you may wish to bring food and other essential supplies with you. You can also use the link above to request a food pack to be placed in your room to await your arrival.
  • You must not leave your room or allocated area at any time during the prescribed period of self-isolation, unless agreed with the College in advance.
  • More detailed information will be provided when you arrive.

Returning to or applying for Accommodation in the Long Vacation
If you wish to return to you room, flat or house at the College or book accommodation, you will be allowed to do so in the Long Vacation. You should submit your request for accommodation through the Accommodation Officer as usual at

  • To limit numbers in College and aid social distancing, staff should continue to work from home whenever possible.
  • Managers should ensure that only people who cannot work remotely attend College. If you are working from home and haven't done so already, please complete the risk assessment and read the display screen equipment workstation checklist.

Learn more about working during COVID-19 here. 

We have put a plan in place that insures that people are protected, to the highest possible level, while meetings and events are being held. This plan is based on Government guidance and completed H&S Risk Assessments, and we will continue to update it as guidance changes. Click here to read our guide on secure events.

College Health Rules

All College members must understand and adhere to the health and safety policies we have put in place, and which are described here:

All staff must complete the COVID-19 online course before returning to College. The course raises awareness of safety at work during the coronavirus pandemic and is applicable in any workplace. Once you complete the assessment, please forward your PDF certificate to the HR Team.

Complete the online course here.

By taking these basic steps, you can protect both your health and that of your colleagues:

  • Keep 2 meters between yourself and others
  • Use some form of face-covering when using public transport
  • Practise good hand-washing: 20 seconds with soap and warm water or hand sanitizer
  • Cough into your elbow or tissue (catch it, bin it and kill it)
  • Frequently clean high-touch surfaces and workplace items that you come into contact with (doorknobs, desks, keyboards, etc.) Disinfectant products are supplied by the Housekeeping team 
  • Avoid group meetings unless necessary, please use video chat facilities when scheduling meetings  
  • Monitor your and family members health, paying attention to the symptoms of COVID-19
  • Stay home if you or a member of your household are ill. 

You should watch for symptoms that may be related to COVID-19. People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe. The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal. Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Get the latest NHS information and advice about coronavirus.

Anyone who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can get a free test to check if they have the virus. All staff and students with symptoms or who are instructed as a close contact should get in touch with the University's Early Advice Service, alerting the College as they do so on

  • If you are experiencing symptoms or travelling from a country that requires you to self-isolate, please notify Wolfson COVID resource team or manager (if applicable). 
  • Residents can have food delivered to their room during the self-isolation period. Hot meals are available every lunchtime from Monday to Saturday, and supplies for you to make your own breakfast and dinner, and meals on Sunday. Food should be ordered through the Wolfson Online Gateway (SSO required, please email: if you have any questions). 

This government guidance suggests that PPE is unnecessary in most office-based work environments provided that social distancing can be maintained.

  • PPE is available in the College if required, and will be made available for all staff where risk assessments suggest it might be helpful.
  • Staff can request PPE at any time through their Head of Department.
  • The PPE currently available includes face masks, gloves, goggles and aprons.
  • If you have been provided with re-usable PPE, this should be thoroughly cleaned after use and not shared.
  • If you have been provided with Single-use PPE, this should be disposed of after use.

This government guidance suggests that PPE is unnecessary in most office-based work environments provided that social distancing can be maintained.

Buildings entrance and exits

  • The College is open to residents and non-residents, though most categories of Fellow and existing students living offsite are recommended to stay away unless essential. Please check the latest guidance, since this is subject to change.


Safe use of sports facilities

Reducing Movement

  • Movement around the College should be minimized where possible.
  • As you move around College, you should consider the best time to do so to avoid others and the safest route to help with social distancing.
  • Routes that use the outdoors and avoid touching doors and surfaces is preferable to indoor routes.
  • To aid social distancing, arrival and departure times should be staggered. 

One-Way Systems

  • Many of the corridors and routes around College are too narrow for social distancing to be maintained (one-way systems are therefore put in place to ensure that people do not pass each other).
  • One-way systems will be marked out clearly and must be observed at all times.

Working in an open office environment

If you work in an open environment:

  • Maintain a distance of at least 2 meters plus from co-workers.
  • Have at least one workspace separating you from another co-worker.
  • Adhere to the guidance of good hygiene

Head of Departments must assess open work environments and meeting rooms and enforce measures to physically separate and increase the distance between people.

Working within occupied accommodation areas:

  • The Home Bursary will provide you with appropriate PPE for use whilst you are within residential buildings carrying out your work.
  • This would generally include a mask or face covering and suitable gloves if needed.
  • Social distance at all times and pay specific attention to tighter spaces in accommodation areas where residents may be present.
  • You should only work in areas of accommodation if residents are not in the same room; if they are, you should politely explain that your work can only be completed once they have left the room.

You should adhere to the guidance of good hygiene while in any accommodation area:

  • Frequently wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • When soap and running water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand rub with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Always wash hands that are visibly soiled.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Practice good respiratory etiquette, including covering coughs and sneezes.

Working outside of College buildings:

  • Although generally regarded as a ‘safer’ working environment in respect to COVID-19, you should adhere to the guidance of good hygiene and social distancing at all times.
  • The College accepts that lengthy periods of working remotely from home, being on a furlough break or the whole current situation may have been and still be difficult for you to come to terms with.
  • It is important for you to talk with your line manager, HR, or the other support services available at the College should you feel the need to.
  • If you have concerns about your mental health or the mental health of someone you are close to, click here for a list of resources you might find helpful to contact.

Questions or Concerns?

  • If you have any questions or concerns relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, including self-isolating, or if you are experiencing symptoms, please email the Wolfson COVID resource team at
  • You may report a concern about compliance with COVID-19 health and safety policies or guidance directly to the Lodge or the Home Bursars Office