Tuesday 21st January

Updates only today…. all about testing..

Rules for those arriving from overseas

Following additional advice, we are modifying the self-isolation rules and testing for those returning to the UK from overseas. The modified advice (notably 2a option of my previous posting) is as follows:

The rules from 18th January are:

  • If you are travelling from overseas to England you must have a negative COVID test before travelling, in line with Government requirements.

  • You must self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival. No test is required for you to leave self-isolation if you have done the 10 days. This also applies to those who arrived prior to 18th January and who were originally asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

  • You can shorten the 10-day period after arrival by obtaining for yourself a private PCR test from a Government approved supplier, and testing negative. The earliest you can take this test is on day 5 after arrival. If you test positive you must self-isolate for 10 days from the day you took the test.

Asymptomatic Testing at the RVC

  • We are nearing the end of the second of two phases of asymptomatic (AST) testing for students and some staff. Phase one was designed to reduce risk around students ‘returning home’ for the winter break and phase two, which will be completed over the next couple of weeks, is to manage the risk of those returning to face-to-face activities on campus. In addition, we have distributed PCR tests to some targeted groups.

  • We are grateful to the staff and students who have enabled the delivery of this activity, particularly those working in our own testing centre at Hawkshead.

  • We are now moving to introduce phase three which will provide for more regular testing of on-campus students and some staff. From week commencing. 25th January, tests will be made available to c 250 ‘front line’ staff in the first instance. Student tests will be made available from approximately 1 February. Students returning to campus before that time, or during the first week of February will be included in the current AST provision through our site at Hawkshead and the University of London.

  • The UoL test site will continue into March. The RVC Hawkshead testing centre will close in February when we move to ‘self’ testing.

  • Tests will be distributed from designated collection sites. We will be issuing a supply of tests in each batch to each individual which will cover a significant period of time. More details to follow on:

  • Collection dates and places
  • Instructions and information about the tests
  • Links to reporting mechanisms for students
  • These regular tests are an important new tool in our personal and institutional risk management which should help reduce the risk of transmission of infection amongst our community. However, it is vital that we all understand that this is just one tool. None of us can become complacent and change our behaviour just because we have had a negative test. We must assume it remains possible for us to come into contact with the virus at any time and pass it on to others unless we continue to follow the Covid Resilience Charter. Hands, face and space are as relevant as ever.


Lockdown quiz this Saturday. Details later in the week.

As ever,


If you would like to read earlier messages see Previous messages from the Principal.

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