Arrangements for Easter Term 2021

A new College Roadmap (dated 29 March 2021) with detailed information on the facilities available during Easter Term can be found here.

Information for students

On Monday 29 March 2021, we will move to the second part of the stage called ‘Step 1’ in the Government's 4-Step COVID-19 recovery plan (what we refer to in the college Roadmap as Step 1b).

We look forward to seeing more of our non-residential community on the Domus.

COVID-safe behaviours

  • It is acceptable for the members of two households to meet outdoors.
  • It is acceptable for up to 6 members of different households to meet outdoors (the ‘Rule of Six’).
  • Only outdoor meetings are permitted. Social gatherings indoors are only possible between members of the same household.
  • Strict social distancing (2m minimum) must be maintained between members of different households at all times.

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.
  • Overnight guests are not permitted.
  • Access will be via University Card and the main vehicle gates onto Regent St will remain shut. The cycle-path side pedestrian gate will be unlocked but left closed to deter members of the public.

Facilities available in College

  • Non-resident College members will have access to available College facilities i.e., Library, Catering, study spaces and tennis courts.
  • To maximise availability for College members, guests are not permitted to use the Library, study spaces, or the tennis courts.
  • The tennis and netball courts are open for two households or 'rule of six'. Guests are permitted when accompanied by a Downing member.
  • The outdoor seating around the Taverna area will become available for use subject to COVID-safe behaviours being observed.
  • The Sports Ground will become available for organised sports. Clubs and Teams should contact the Groundsman as usual to arrange bookings.

Study Spaces

  • The Wilkins Room will be open from 8am until 10pm for use as a study space.
  • The Library and Wilkins Room are the only two areas currently available for study. Strict ‘Library conditions’ apply [no food, no drink other than water, quiet individual study only]. COVID-safe behaviours must be observed at all times.
  • Both areas will be bookable via Booker. The new time slots will be available for booking from Monday morning.

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.


The Dining Hall will be open for order-ahead takeaway service via the Upay app. 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 every day, 8am – 10pm.  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: 


The gym is closed.

Music Practice Rooms

The Music Practice rooms are closed.


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

Please note: due to the national restrictions, the College is operating with a reduced number of Housekeeping staff on site which may affect some services.

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

For those students thinking about planning their return to College:

  • Please plan your return to Cambridge so that you can participate in pooled screening on a Monday as soon as possible after your return.
  • If this is not possible, there will be a limited number of additional individual ‘Return to Cambridge’ tests available up to and including the week beginning 19 April (Monday to Thursday inclusive). However we cannot be sure of the availability of these tests so it is important that as many students as possible take advantage of the pooled screening to get tested.
  • If you are returning from another country, would like to book a test, or have any other Covid-related questions, please contact

Asymptomatic testing programme

The asymptomatic testing programme will continue to run throughout the Easter vacation period and into the Easter Term. The latest testing arrangements for the Easter vacation can be found here.