Response to Covid-19

This webpage includes useful links and information for Newnham College members regarding the University and College’s response to Covid-19.

Key information for all College members is sent out from the Covid Communications email address. Covid Bulletins are now being sent out as needed, rather than weekly. Please look out for these mails and read them carefully.

They are also archived in the ‘Covid Emails’ section of the College Health Information SharePoint site. New College members are given membership of the SharePoint site at the start of term.

Key information

Information for specific groups

Our outbreak planning

Key information


Life in College

LFD tests and PCR tests:

  • Staff and students are not expected to undertake routine asymptomatic testing using LFD tests. Please stay aware of current Covid symptoms (see below), and be prepared to test and / or isolate if you have them.

Stay prepared to self-isolate:

  • It is still important to be prepared to self-isolate, if you develop Covid or Covid symptoms. This means making sure that you have your regular medications, sanitary products, food and snacks, and things to do.

External Guests/Visitors:

  • There are currently no restrictions on guests in College, except that we do ask that your guests follow the Newnham health and Covid guidance. Please remember to notify the Porters’ Lodge of any overnight guests, for safety in the event of a fire. As always, no guest should stay overnight for more than 3 nights in any one week.
  • The Buttery and Iris Café are open as normal, for both members of the College and those outside the College.

Please see the current Covid Code of Conduct and check the Health Information SharePoint site for guidance.

Health and wellbeing

General NHS 111 services are available 24 hours a day. Dialling this number will help you access the out of hours GP if this is advised by 111.

If you require emergency medical assistance please call 999. If you are in College then please inform the Porters of the situation so that they are able to direct the emergency services as needed.

Phone 111, option 2 – First Response Service (24/7 access to mental health advice support and treatment).

Covid-19 symptoms

Covid-19 symptoms currently include the following

  • continuous cough
  • high temperature, fever or chills
  • loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
  • shortness of breath
  • unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
  • muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
  • not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
  • headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
  • sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
  • diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick

If you’re a student in residence and have possible symptoms of Covid-19 then please self-isolate in your room and ‘phone or email the Porters’ Lodge: 01223 335700

If you’re a staff member and have possible symptoms of Covid-19, please stay at home and notify your line manager.

The general guidance is as follows:

  • If you are symptomatic, stay at home and avoid contact with other people until you no longer feel unwell or have a high temperature (if you had one in the first place).
  • If you have taken a test and tested positive, try to remain at home and avoid contact with others for 5 days after the day you took your test, which is when you tend to be most infectious.
  • Either way, please make a particular effort to stay away from those who is at higher risk of getting seriously ill.

More guidance on what to do if you feel ill with possible symptoms of Covid can be found on Sharepoint:

Information on Covid vaccination for all students: Vaccination | University of Cambridge

Some really useful information and contacts here:
Student Wellbeing | (
Mental health emergencies | Student Wellbeing (
Mental health support | Student Wellbeing (

Newnham Health Information SharePoint site for all members of College

Our Health Information SharePoint site brings together College guidance on COVID-19 for all members of the College.

This includes information on what to do if you feel ill, looking after your mental wellbeing, and copies of all COVID email communications.

University Covid-19 webpages

Please refer to the University webpages for up to date information for all students of the University of Cambridge.

We’d also strongly encourage you to look at the #StaySafeCambridgeUni website, and to follow the guidance shared there.

College Code of Conduct

For everyone’s safety and wellbeing, and to meet our legal obligations, Newnham College required our students, staff and Fellows to all sign up to a code of conduct. We have done all we can to make this appropriate, fair and effective in this exceptional pandemic context. It has been produced after consultation with representatives from all parts of the College. It is a living document, and continues to develop in response to the changing situation and University and Government guidance.

All students receive a copy of the College Code of Conduct (student version) with their room license.

A current copy of the Code of Conduct, including any updates, will be available in the documents section of the Health Information SharePoint site.

Risk assessment

Following Government guidelines, we have carried out a Covid-19 risk assessment for those working at the College: Working safely in times of increased risk of respiratory diseases

Every member of staff, including all the Fellows and Senior Members (SMs), who work in the College have received a copy of this risk assessment.

Information for specific groups

Information for international students

For questions around travel, visas and immigration matters, please start with the University webpages for up to date information.

The #StaySafeCambridgeUni website has specific guidance for people travelling to Cambridge from overseas.

All students should check their email accounts regularly for information shared by the College, Department or Faculty, and the University.

Information for supervisors

To book a supervision room, please use the RMS booking system.

If you plan to book a supervision room, please read and follow the Teaching And Supervision Rooms Risk Assessment.

Useful material and guidelines for technology-enabled learning has been created by Cambridge Centre for Teaching and Learning, including specific guidance for blended and hybrid learning.

Information for Fellows and Senior Members

SCR lunches are taking place at High Table in College Hall. Please sign in and follow the guidance that you’ll see displayed. Coffee is available in the SCR and the Iris Café is open.

The Library is open for use.

Before coming into College, please familiarise yourself with the latest version of the College Working Safely during Coronavirus Risk Assessment as there are regular updates.

To book a supervision room, please use the RMS booking system. See the guidance above, in the ‘supervisors’ section, for the latest Risk Assessment on using supervision rooms.

Please report any maintenance issue in the normal way via the RMS online system.

Information for Newnham College staff

Line managers have been sharing the latest College guidelines and risk assessments with staff (please see the latest risk assessment above).

The different types of work that people carry out and their personal circumstances mean that there is no one-size-fits-all approach. It’s best to discuss your working practices with your line manager.

If you have queries or concerns, please speak to your Head of Department, Bev Gafney, Head of HR, or Wendy Evans, Domestic Bursar.

Planning for an outbreak in Cambridge

The University, in collaboration with local public health teams, has developed a Cambridge Outbreak Response Plan in order to manage potential outbreaks of COVID-19 and keep everyone in the community as safe as possible. This also covers likely restrictions on teaching in accordance with the Department for Education’s tiers of restriction for teaching. It includes a programme of asymptomatic and symptomatic testing.

The University has five response phases (green, yellow, amber, red and red+). You can check the current response phase and other University information here.

Details of how different Covid-19 response levels will affect teaching are here.

Newnham College has our own Action Plan in case of an outbreak of Covid in Cambridge or the College.

Our College Action Plan is updated regularly as Government guidance changes and advice from Public Health England and from the University is issued. The Action Plan is contributed to by, and is available to, all key staff.


Accommodation in the event of the University going into ‘Red+’

The University and the colleges will, as ever, be guided by the advice of PHE and the country’s legislation.

Within these limits, all colleges are committed to providing accommodation to all students, on a case-by-case basis, who do not have any other home to go to, for example care-leavers, estranged students, and UK or international students who cannot travel to their own home town/country due to local travel restrictions. (These examples are not exclusive; all Colleges would do their best to help every student who have very good reasons for remaining in college.)

At Newnham, we are able to go beyond this and are planning on the basis that we would manage the University going into ‘Red+’ with all those students who wish to stay remaining in college, as long as this is possible under PHE advice and we can manage it safely. Students who remain in college in this event will have to comply with whatever Government lockdown rules are brought into effect.