Graduate Centre COVID-19 Rules

1.    Households

1.1.    During the COVID-19 pandemic, all residents will be grouped into households living in clusters of rooms that share a kitchen, showers, and toilets. A complete list of all households is published on the Balliol coronavirus webpage and MCR website.

1.2.    Within your household space, you can mix freely without any social distancing.

1.3.    No person from outside your household may enter your household space, except College personnel such as maintenance and housekeeping. This includes kitchens, bathrooms, and individual bedrooms. 

1.4.    Outside your household space, in the Graduate Centre and elsewhere in College, you must maintain full social distancing of at least 2 metres from everyone else. This includes your own household members, except where you are explicitly notified otherwise. 

1.5.    You must wear face coverings indoors in line with guidance for the University.  

1.6.    If anyone living in your household tests positive for COVID-19, has symptoms of the disease, or has been in contact with anyone who tests positive or has symptoms, the whole household must self-isolate within its household space for the government-approved period. This is currently 10 days for all other household members. The Domestic Bursar and the Praefectus will be able to advise you on your specific situation.

2.    COVID-19

2.1.    If you have symptoms of possible COVID-19, you must inform the Holywell Manor Lodge immediately. You must also tell the Lodge if you are told by NHS Test and Trace or the College that you have been in close contact with someone who has the virus. 

2.2.    This information will be passed to other members of College staff, including the College Nurse. Guidance and information will be provided.

2.3.    You must then immediately tell the members of your household and all of you must begin self-isolation.

2.4.    In addition, you should arrange to have a test straight away – and inform the Praefectus of the test results as soon as you get them.

2.5.    The University has set up an in-house testing system that any member of Oxford University can use. If it is unable to serve Oxford University people at any point please use the NHS testing service, but this takes several days so book it straight away.

3.    Self-isolation

3.1.    If you have to self-isolate, you must stay in your household space and not leave it unless there is a fire alarm or an emergency.

3.2.    Care should be taken by the person(s) who have tested positive or are symptomatic to reduce the risk of infecting other household members. Ways of doing this include staying in your room as much as possible and very thoroughly disinfecting any common areas you use such as toilets. If you do use your kitchen, no-one else should enter while you are there and you must thoroughly disinfect before and after.

3.3.    You can have groceries delivered to the Holywell Manor Lodge, provided you arrange for someone outside your household to bring them to the entrance of your household space.

3.4.    The College Library can arrange to deliver and collect books. You can contact them on

4. Guest policy and common rooms  

4.1.     No guests are currently permitted to enter the Graduate Centre. Please be understanding if you are asked to present to the Lodge your University Card for identification. 

4.2.    The common rooms will have a maximum occupancy number shown at entrances; please adhere to the limit. The seating areas are deliberately spaced apart, in accordance with UK rules that currently limit the size of gatherings, so please do not move the furniture around. 

4.3.     The maximum occupancy will be as follows: MCR (8), Painted room (2), Cockpit (8), A Block common room (10), TV-room (6), Megaron Bar (3). 

4.4.     Face coverings should be worn indoors unless you have a medical exemption. Hand sanitiser will be provided in each common room. Please use it when entering and leaving the room. Please keep windows open when weather permits to increase ventilation. 

5. Use of the Holywell Manor Garden

5.1.    Members of the MCR may continue to enjoy the responsible use of the public gardens at Holywell Manor. Specific rules in place for the HM Garden are determined by the Praefectus, in line with College, University and national guidelines. Any arrangements are subject to immediate review/change by the Praefectus.

5.2.    In the HM Garden, individuals from different households can meet together in the garden so long as they adhere to the ‘rule of 6’, that is, up to 6 people who continue to practise social distancing when meeting others from outside your household. 

5.3.    Organised events that involve the mixing of households – such as welfare tea, society gatherings, and so on – can now take place again in HM Garden according to the rule of 6, subject to prior approval by the College. For further details, see the information in the Praefectus’s Letter on Arrangements for Trinity 2021 [WebLearn Students - SSO required]. 

5.4.    Please ensure that you continue to use the garden responsibly and with consideration for students and neighbours. 

6.    Quarantine on entry to the UK

6.1.    If you are arriving from abroad, UK government rules currently require you to self-isolate for quarantine purposes for a period of 10 days. You may do this in your room in the Graduate Centre. It is your responsibility to know the rules for your country of origin and transit locations. For further details, see the Praefectus’s Letter on Support for International Students Returning to Oxford (Trinity 2021) [WebLearn Students - SSO required].

6.2.    Other members of your household do not need to self-isolate while you are in quarantine. But you must take all possible measures to reduce any risk of infecting other members of your household.

6.3.    You must ensure you have a good supply of any necessary medicines before going into quarantine.

6.4.    If you or any other member of your household become symptomatic or tests positive, the rules for household self-isolation will apply.

7.    Cleaning and laundry

7.1.    Housekeeping will not be cleaning student rooms. Your household kitchen will be provided with disinfectant for your use. Regular scouting will continue in communal areas. If you need extra supplies, please email Pauline Talbot, the Head Housekeeper, at

75.2.    Please use laundry rooms one person at a time and wash your hands before and after touching laundry machines and surfaces. 

The Praefectus

Friday of 0th week TT2021, Rev 4.0

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