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COVID19-FAQ

The health and safety of our students and staff is our number one priority. We are committed to supporting our students' wellbeing and have put together the following statements and FAQs. 

Please note: all information in these statements was correct at the time of publication - we will update this based on advice from Public Health England and University guidance found here: http://www.ox.ac.uk/news-and-events/coronavirus-advice

Additional questions related to COVID19 may be made by emailing covid19@linacre.ox.ac.uk. You will only receive a reply from the covid19 email address between Mon-Fri 09:00 to 14:00. If your message is very urgent, you should call the Duty Phone. 

Given that the situation is evolving rapidly, staff and students are asked to continue to visit and regularly check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:

For travel advice:

What is the current Government advice regarding staying in Oxford and how does this effect my return?
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The Government has advised that any students remaining at University are permitted to return to their family home. Linacre will not close accommodation unless we are forced to do so by the government and we have no indication that this will occur. We appreciate that, for many of you, Oxford is your home and this situation is difficult for you. We want to support you as far as we are able to.

If you have already left College accommodation but have kept your room in College, and you would like to return, please email the Accommodation Manager: accommodation@linacre.ox.ac.uk. You must not make any decision to return to College accommodation without arranging this with the College.

What is the current guidance concerning social-distancing and COVID19?
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The College’s policy on social distancing combines advice from the University’s Chief Medical Officer and the Government. In this context “public space” is defined as space to which more than five people, who are not part of a family group, have free access. Government regulation of public space therefore applies to all College facilities and accommodation.

We do not have the capacity or any wish to police current rules and guidance on social distancing. As part of the Linacre community, we rely on you to apply them with good sense to your local accommodation contexts and act responsibly towards your neighbours.

College is not permitting any external guests (those not already living in College accommodation) into your rooms and shared spaces, including all residential areas of College and College houses. You may invite external guests into gardens, in line with the guidance below.

Social distancing guidance:

  • You should not gather in groups of more than two whilst using shared indoor facilities. A distance of 2 metres should be maintained wherever possible when using all shared facilities, including those outside, such as gardens.
  • You should not gather outdoors in a group of more than six people from different households; gatherings larger than six should only take place if everyone is from just two households.
  • Any gathering of more than 30 people is illegal.
  • You may now stay away with one other household, but you should continue to limit your contacts as much as possible.

At all times, you should continue to adhere to these social distancing guidelines when you are outside your home, particularly ensuring you are two metres away from anyone outside your household whenever it is possible to do so.

For further information, please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do/coronavirus-outbreak-faqs-what-you-can-and-cant-do (link is external)

Government legislation has now been replaced by Government guidance. This is College’s current interpretation of the Government’s guidance. As this is updated, we will review and update our position.

Face mask/face covering requirements from 24 July 2020
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In line with Public Health England and UK Government advice, from 24th July 2020, you will be required to wear a face mask/face covering in certain shared, public College spaces, as well as those areas specified by the UK Government (currently all public transport, and also from 24th July, all shops). Within College, these spaces currently include the Dining Hall and the reception area. These spaces will be clearly marked with face mask/face covering signs. If you enter these areas without a face mask/face covering you will be asked to leave and only return once you are wearing a face mask/face covering. You will be able to purchase face masks from the College Reception and Dining Hall during opening hours.

Please also remember that external guests are not permitted inside College buildings, and that the Accommodation Manager must be informed if you wish to return to your College accommodation from elsewhere, or to arrange the collection of your belongings.

Accommodation: What will happen to my rent if I'm not in residence? Will my belongings be stored? What happens if I want to return?
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What will happen to student rents? Will they be waived if I am not in residence?

We do not yet know how many students will be in residence in Trinity term. This depends on government policy. However, if you have a licence or tenancy agreement for University or College accommodation next term but are not in residence, you will NOT be charged rent provided that you let us know that you wish to cancel your license agreement.

If you rent a Linacre College room and you wish to cancel your license agreement you must inform the Accommodation Manager (accommodation@linacre.ox.ac.uk) by Friday 24th April.

If you rent a University room and you wish to cancel your license agreement you must inform the Graduate Accommodation Office (graduate.accommodation@admin.ox.ac.uk)

If you are staying in Oxford, or if government policy changes and you return to University or College accommodation, you will be charged rent in the usual way.

If you are in private rented accommodation, the University and Colleges have no control over the arrangements, and students are likely to still be liable for the rest of the year to their landlords. Oxford SU provides signposting for advice on its website or by email at advice@oxfordsu.ox.ac.uk. Any students in financial distress should apply for support through the usual channels.

What about my belongings? Will you store them for me?

We understand that many students were not able to take all their possessions when they left Oxford. For the time-being, we will leave your belongings in your room. However, if you cancel your license agreement, at some point the College may need your room for other purposes (such as support for key workers) and we will need to move your things. It may be possible for the College to pack and store your belongings. There will be a charge for storage from 31st July 2020. We can only store items until 13th Septmber 2020, after which time they must be removed. There is limited storage space available, but the University and Colleges will do what they can to help. If you wish for your belongings to be packed and sent back to you, it is your responsibility to organise a packing / shipping company. You will need to coordinate this in advance with the Accommodation Manager. Where licence agreements have been cancelled, rooms must be completely vacated by 31st July 2020.

Please be aware that our insurance may not cover your belongings and that packing, storage and shipping would be at your own risk, though this position is under review by our insurers.

For further assistance, if you live in College, please contact the College Accommodation Manager for advice, and if you live in University accommodation, contact the Graduate Accommodation Office. 

How will the cancellation of licence agreements work at Linacre?

We will define Trinity Term as starting on Sunday of 0th week. All room rents remain payable up to that point as previously advised. If this creates conditions of genuine additional hardship, please apply for funding via the Covid19 hardship process by completing this form.

If you have previously notified the accommodation office that you have left accommodation, would like to cancel your agreement, and have returned your key, you need take no action and the necessary adjustments will be made to your rent payments. If you have not previously told College that you have left College residence you must do this and ask for your agreement to be terminated by sending an email to the Accommodation Manager by 24th April.

If your room is empty, and you have returned your key, we will perform our end of residence room check as soon as we are able to, though in reality this will be after the current “lockdown”, and then process your deposit in the normal way.

If your room has your things in it still, please get in touch with the Accommodation Manager by email to discuss options for collection/storing/shipping/disposal of items. If you are based in the UK you can now arrange to return to collect your belongings. You cannot arrive unannounced and must agree a time and date in advance with the Accommodation Manager.

If you have cancelled your licence agreement and not returned your key, you must post this back to College immediately before we can credit your rent as an empty room.

Please contact the Accommodation Manager to inform her that the key is being posted and ensure that you do not have any identification of which room or building the key is for on the key or in the envelope. Please write your name on a slip inside the envelope so we can identify it from our records.

Returning to Oxford

After vacating your room, you may not return to it/Oxford without making contact with College in advance and we cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide the same, or any, room. If you have already left College accommodation and have kept your room in College, and you would like to return, please email the Accommodation Manager: accommodation@linacre.ox.ac.uk. You must not make any decision to return to College accommodation without arranging this with the College.

We appreciate that many of you may be facing unexpected extra costs – especially for accommodation. Governing Body has made a substantial grant to the Linacre House Trust to meet an increase in hardship cases resulting from the COVID19 situation. If you are in financial distress or anticipate that you may be facing a significant shortfall in the future please get in touch with the Senior Tutor and complete this form.

What should I do about my visa?
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For current advice and information please see the Travel and Visa page via: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/students?wssl=1

What is the current guidance concerning self-isolation and COVID19?
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Please inform College by emailing covid19@linacre.ox.ac.uk if you become unwell or receive a positive test result.  Please note that you will only receive a reply from the covid19 email address between Mon-Fri 09:00 to 14:00. If your message is very urgent, you should call the Duty Phone.

The following information is taken from the UK Government’s Public Health England website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, OR you have received a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 7 days from when your symptoms started. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.

Consider alerting the people that you have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of coronavirus COVID-19.

Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts

After 7 days, or longer, if you still have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste, you must continue to self-isolate until you feel better.

You do not need to self-isolate if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell/taste after 7 days, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section for more information.

If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), then you must stay at home for at least 7 days. All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill. See the explanatory diagram.

Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection that people in your household could pass on to others in the community.

If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 7 days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information, and see the explanatory diagram.

If you have symptoms, you should stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you continue to share a household.

Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.

If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus (COVID-19) service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

If you develop new coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household) then you must follow the same guidance on self-isolation again. The section below (After ending self-isolation and/or household-isolation) has further information.

How do I self-isolate and what if I am sharing a space?
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If you are, or if anyone in your house is self-isolating, you should organise yourselves to avoid contact in the shared facilities as much as you can and clean any shared surfaces you use each time you use them and dispose of the paper towels you use in a bag that you can then close. You should use separate sets of cutlery / mugs / glasses, too. There is much more detailed guidance available here about self-isolation and shared spaces: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection  

Where can I find support for my mental health?
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Detailed information about College welfare resources can be found in the links on the right of this page.
 
The Student Welfare and Support Services including Counselling and Disabilities have moved to working remotely and online using Microsoft Teams to communicate. They offer reduced provision in the vacation and have lost some staff to illness, self-isolation, caring responsibilities, etc. which means that waiting times will be longer, but students should continue to refer themselves.
 

The University has subscribed to the Big White Wall, a free to use service giving access to a global welfare community, moderated by mental health professionals. It provides a safe space for students to help self-manage their mental health and wellbeing - whether they are struggling to sleep, feeling low, stressed or unable to cope.  To join, students should go to www.bigwhitewall.com and register under “I’m from a university or college” with their Oxford e-mail address.  This service is available to all students with an active University e-mail address and can be accessed from anywhere via a web browser. 

The following websites provide a range of online resources and advice for managing your mental health during this challenging time:

Activities and Distractions:

Additional Mental Health welfare resources compiled by the Common Room can be found here

Will my forthcoming Degree Ceremony be cancelled?
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The University has taken the difficult decision to cancel degree ceremonies taking place between May and August 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. Students who registered to attend the cancelled ceremonies in person will have a choice whether to have their degree conferred in absentia, or to attend a degree ceremony at a later date. Given the logistical challenges involved, rescheduled degree ceremonies will have to be modified from their current form - but the University will aim to keep the existing format and venues as much as possible. No decisions have yet been taken about ceremonies from September 2020 onwards. The University will release further information as soon as possible about future ceremonies.

My teaching, research and / or fieldwork has been disrupted. What can I do?
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There is now detailed information on the University website for all students about measures in place to address disruption to studies: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/students?wssl=1. If you have any questions about this information and guidance and would like to discuss your options, please email the Senior Tutor.

The ongoing situation is impacting me financially, where can I seek support?
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Please contact the Senior Tutor via email and she will direct you to relevant sources of support. 

Hardship application form