Arrangements for the 2021 summer vacation

Information for students and Downing members

From 19 July 2021 we move to ‘Step 4’ in the Government's 4-Step COVID-19 recovery plan. Step 4 involves further changes to what we can and cannot do and arrangements in College will alter accordingly. 

COVID-safe behaviours

  • Observe social distancing at all times, and be considerate of those (for example clinically vulnerable groups) who may wish to take a more cautious approach as restrictions are lifted.
  • Wear a face covering at all times when moving through College buildings and in those places where social distancing is not possible. 
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly.
  • In College spaces, rooms, facilities, and buildings you should observe social distancing rules and conduct yourself in accordance with the Collegiate University rules on COVID-safe behaviour. Currently, this advice remains that strict social distancing (2m minimum) should be maintained between members of different households wherever possible.
  • Households must check that all members are comfortable with behaviour in shared spaces prior to closer mixing with guests. No student should be made to feel that they are exposed to a level of risk that is uncomfortable for them.

Access to College

  • College grounds will be open to all College members, resident and non-resident, and their guests. This includes academic guests and social guests. All guests must be accompanied by a Downing member at all times.
  • Guests should not expect to be admitted to College without a member present. If you wish to bring a guest into College, please ensure that you meet them at the College gates.
  • If you are meeting in your Household space, you should agree, in advance, with other members of your Household which guests will come and when they will visit. No student should be put in the position of arriving home to find a guest in their Household whom they were not expecting.
  • Overnight guests will be permitted but should be agreed in advance with other members of the Household Group and the guest and host must follow normal College guest rules, including signing in the guest.

Facilities available in College

  • Non-resident College members will have access to available College facilities e.g., Library, Catering, study spaces and Tennis Courts.
  • Guests are permitted to use catering venues, Gym and Music Practice rooms.
  • Function rooms will be available for booking and COVID-safe use for societies and performances. Please contact the Internal Events Co-ordinator ( to check availability.
  • The Theatre is available for bookings by College societies. Please contact the Internal Events Co-ordinator to check availability.
  • Unless specified as ‘drop-in’, indoor facilities will be bookable via Booker. Updated time slots will be available for booking from Monday morning.
  • The MCR is available as a drop-in social space for MCR members following COVID-safe behaviours.
  • The tennis and netball courts are available.
  • The JCR Party Room remains closed.
  • The Sports Ground is available for organised sports. Clubs and Teams should contact the Groundsman as usual to arrange bookings.
  • Facilities can be booked via the Facilities Booker. 

Porters' Lodge

  • The Porters’ Lodge is staffed 24/7. 
  • The Porters on duty are your first point of contact for information, advice and/or during an emergency.  Please call the Porters’ Lodge on 01223 334800.


Please check your emails for regular updates from the Catering team.

Nurse Clinic hours

Please check your emails for regular updates from the College Nurses.


  • Open for pre-booked study spaces 24/7.  Spaces can be booked through the College’s Facilities Booker.
  • Library access is only permitted for the duration of your booking and study spaces are for single occupancy only.  Entering the library building without a booking is prohibited; this will be monitored.
  • Please note that you are required to wear a face mask at all times in the library building.  Whilst seated at your study space you must keep the adjacent window open.  (Please be aware that the library will be colder than usual due to this necessary ventilation.)
  • The Request & Collect service is available to all students and is still the best way to borrow Downing library books. Books are collected from the library window (to the right of the front door) Monday to Friday, 10.30am-4.30pm. 
  • For any library related queries please contact library staff by email: 


Open to Downing members and their guests. Book via the Facilities Booker

Music Practice Rooms

Open to Downing members and their guests. Book via the Facilities Booker.


You must inform the Accommodation Office that you are in residence, so the Housekeeping team know to service your accommodation area. 

For students in residence, housekeeping will provide the following services:

  • Refill soap and hand sanitiser stations
  • Clean kitchens and communal bathrooms, unless the household is in isolation.
  • Remove refuse in kitchen areas where we have been notified that students are in residence.
  • Remove refuse from and leave additional toilet roll(s) for all student rooms where we have been notified that students are in residence.


If you need to log a fault with your accommodation or other student facilities, please submit a maintenance request via the Distro Online Maintenance System (OMS) as usual.

Students’ return to College

If you are returning from another country, would like to book a test, or have any other Covid-related questions, please contact