Arrangements for Easter Term 2021

A new College Roadmap (dated 13 May 2021) with detailed information on the facilities available for the remainder of the Easter Term can be found here.

Information for students

On Monday 17 May 2021 we move to ‘Step 3’ in the Government's 4-Step COVID-19 recovery plan. Step 3 involves further changes to what we can and cannot do and arrangements in College will alter accordingly. Please refer to the College Roadmap for further details.

COVID-safe behaviours

  • It is acceptable for the members of two households or up to 6 members of different households (the Rule of Six) to meet indoors.
  • It is acceptable for up to 30 members of different households to meet outdoors.
  • 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.
  • In your personal College rooms and Household spaces, you can elect to adopt the Government guidance for meeting Friends and family if you wish. 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

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When meeting people from outside your household, unless only two households are meeting, the maximum number of people in the Household space at any one time, including guests, cannot exceed 6.
  • As soon as a people from more than two households are in the Household space, the total number of people gathered can be no more than 6.
  • 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.
  • To maximise availability for College members, Guests are not permitted to use the Library, study spaces, catering venues, Gym or Music Practice rooms.
  • The Wilkins Room will be open from 8am until 10pm for use as a study space.
  • These are the only two areas currently available for focussed 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.
  • 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 will become available from the end of May 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 will become available as a drop-in social space for MCR members following COVID-safe behaviours.
  • The Hall will be available as a drop-in study space. Opening times to be confirmed. Consumption of food and drink will be permitted in the Hall. Hall will also be available for lunch and dinner at the usual times, albeit with social distancing in place for non-household groups.
  • The tennis and netball courts are available.
  • The JCR Party Room remains closed.
  • The Butterfield Bar will re-open for a limited capacity, seated service from Friday 28th May, subject to COVID-19 infection levels in College remaining stable.
  • Formal dining will recommence from Friday 28th May, subject to COVID-19 infection levels in College remaining stable.
  • The Sports Ground is available for organised sports. Clubs and Teams should contact the Groundsman as usual to arrange bookings.

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.
  • The Servery is open for lunch and dinner service, with a pre-Covid menu for hot food to takeaway with no pre-order required. Please bring your own clean container for food, as charges will be made for disposable containers.
  • The Buttery Bar (B Staircase) is open for takeaway service via the Upay Order Ahead app, for drinks, sandwiches and snacks.
  • Breakfast is available via the Upay Order Ahead app, with collection from the servery.
  • The Butterfield Café is open for a limited capacity, seated café service.

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: 

**From Monday 24th May, the Library will return to 24/7 opening, subject to COVID-19 infection levels in College remaining stable.


Open to Downing members. Book via the Facilities Booker

Music Practice Rooms

Open to Downing members. 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. 

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 are a limited number of additional individual ‘Return to Cambridge’ tests available. 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 Term.