This page provides information for staff about Covid-19 testing, reporting and self-isolation arrangements at Oxford Brookes.
Test and trace, reporting and self-isolation
Self-isolate, get tested and report it
You can book a test online or by phoning NHS 119.
Please use the Coronavirus reporting form if you have received a positive PCR or LFD test for Covid-19, or if you have Covid-19 symptoms but awaiting a test, or if you are self-isolating (i.e. due to being a close contact of someone who is a confirmed Covid-19 case and you are not double-vaccinated and are over 18 years 6 months old), or quarantining as result of travelling into the UK. Also, contact your manager. You will be contacted by a member of the Covid Response Team to provide support and guidance.
Please help protect each other. Members of your household will need to self-isolate as well if they are over 18 years 6 months and not double-vaccinated.
You must self-isolate immediately if you:
- have any Covid-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, high temperature or loss or change of taste or smell)
- have tested positive for Covid-19
- share a household with someone that has symptoms or has tested positive and you have not been double-vaccinated and you are over 18 years 6 months old
- are contacted and asked to isolate by either the University Covid Response Team or NHS Test and Trace.
You must let us know that you're self-isolating by contacting your manager and using the Coronavirus reporting form.
HR policies and advice
- Managing absence from work due to ill-health policy
- HR advice to support your wellbeing
- Occupational Health
- Managers’ Guidance during Coronavirus
If you require further help or advice, please contact the HR team.
How do I advise the University that I am self-isolating?
Please use the University’s Coronavirus reporting form and contact your manager as soon as possible.
What does it mean to self-isolate?
You must not leave your home if you are self-isolating (other than to seek emergency medical help).
You can leave self-isolation in order to get a test (if you have symptoms) but you must make safe arrangements to get to the test centre without endangering others, e.g. wear a mask and do not stop anywhere else on your way there and back.
For more information go to NHS - when to self isolate and what to do.
How long do I self-isolate for?
If you test positive for coronavirus, you and any members of your household who are over 18 years 6 months old and have not been double-vaccinated must self-isolate for 10 days. That means staying at home and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible, including those you live with. You should not leave your home for any reason (other than in an emergency or to seek medical help).
If anyone in your household displays Covid-19 symptoms during the 10-day period they should get tested for Covid-19. If their test is positive they’ll need to self-isolate for 10 days from when their symptoms started, but if their test result is negative they should continue to self-isolate for the original 10-day period if they are over 18 years 6 months old and have not been double vaccinated. The 10 days does not restart if a different person you live with gets symptoms while you're self-isolating.
If you have been informed by NHS Test and Trace and/or the University that you are a contact of a person who has had a positive test result for Covid-19, you must follow their instructions of what to do. If it has been more than two weeks since your second Covid-19 vaccination or you are under 18 years 6 months old, you will not have to self-isolate if you are a close contact. If you are double vaccinated and are therefore not self-isolating, you should still book a PCRat PCR test at the earliest opportunity and you should limit contact with those at high-risk of Covid-19 as much as possible.
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you do not get any symptoms.
For more information on self-isolation, please visit Gov.uk Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection and Gov.uk Guidance for contacts of people with confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection who do not live with the person.
Do I have to work if I am self-isolating?
If you have been or are able to work from home, then continue to do so if you feel you are able to do so.
If your job is essential to campus and you are unable to work from home, please speak to your manager in the first instance. This will be recorded as Special Covid-19 Leave and you will be paid as normal until the self isolation period is over.
If you develop symptoms or test positive for Covid-19, please contact your manager and use the Coronavirus reporting form.
Please use the Update Covid Case Record form to update your Coronavirus reporting form and alert the University of any change to your situation; e.g. testing positive whilst self-isolating, testing negative after isolating with symptoms.
I have previously tested positive for Covid-19. Should I retest if I have to self-isolate or I get Covid-19 symptoms again?
As per Gov.uk guidance Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (Covid-19) infection. If you have tested positive by PCR for Covid-19, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease. However, it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will develop immunity, or how long it will last. It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for sometime after Covid-19 infection.
Anyone who has previously received a positive Covid-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of Covid-19.
If, however, you do have an LFD antigen test (lateral flow test) within 90 days of a previous positive Covid-19 PCR test, for example the lateral flow testing at the University, and the result of this test is positive, you and anyone in your household who is not double-vaccinated and is over 18 years 6 months old should self-isolate and follow the steps to self-isolate again.
Someone in my household tested positive and I have isolated for 10 days. Do I have to return two negative lateral flow tests before returning to work on campus?
You can return to work on campus if your isolation period has ended, but the advisory is to then take two lateral flow tests if you do not have any Covid-19 symptoms. For further information and details on how to obtain a lateral flow test, please go to Covid tests for students with no symptoms webpage.
What testing is available on campus for staff?
Staff and students are encouraged to take three rapid Covid-19 tests, three to four days apart on arrival at University, and then to go for twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests. Details of how to obtain a lateral flow test are on the Covid tests for students with no symptoms webpage.
Does the University provide PCR testing for Covid-19?
No, the University does not provide PCR testing for Covid-19.
However, if you have Covid-19 symptoms, follow the self-isolate, get tested and report guidance above.
What support is available to me in self-isolation?
What is Special Covid-19 Leave and does this cover a self-isolation period?
If you have to fill in the Coronavirus reporting form, then Special Covid-19 Leave will be recorded on your HR record. This means you have been recorded as on leave due to Covid-19 symptoms, a positive test or had to go into self-isolation. If you feel well enough and can work from home, then continue to do so if you are able to.
I have to travel abroad for personal reasons. As countries are changing between amber and red lists, I may have to self-isolate in the country I am travelling to and may have to self-isolate on my return to the UK. How is this supported by the University as this could be for a lengthy period?
Check the country from which you travel to the UK and whether it is on the red, amber or green list.
For travelling back to the UK:
- Check what you need to do before you return to the UK
- Check what self-isolation or quarantine rules you’ll need to follow when you return.
Please discuss the circumstances with your manager as soon as possible. Depending on the reasons for your travel and the nature of your job role (and whether you can work remotely or not), you may need to use periods of annual or unpaid leave alongside other leave such as bereavement leave, where appropriate.
What happens if I caught Covid-19 some time ago, but I am continuing to experience long-term symptoms (known as long Covid)?
Those who continue to experience symptoms as a result of acquiring Covid-19 will be fully supported. The University will not expect anyone to return to work who is not well enough.
Individuals experiencing ‘long Covid’ will have any long-term absence recorded using the usual Managing absence from work due to ill-health policy.
Anyone who is able to return to work but who needs reasonable adjustments including flexible working arrangements, as a result of continuing Covid-19 symptoms, should discuss their requirements with their manager.
Has anything changed to the procedures for reporting sickness if it is not related to Covid-19?
No. If the sickness is not related to Covid-19 then the usual Managing absence from work due to ill-health policy should be followed and sickness absence recorded in the usual way.
I am displaying Covid symptoms and believe I should self-isolate. Will my pay be affected?
Current government advice is to self-isolate if you have a new continuous cough, a fever or a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste and smell.
You should notify your line manager as soon as possible,complete the Coronavirus reporting form and book a test. You may work from home if you feel able to do so. In any event, you will be paid your normal pay and your absence will be recorded as Special Covid-19 Leave. This means that any entitlement under the Managing absence from work due to ill health policy won’t be affected by this absence.
For clarity, the first seven days of any absence are self-certified so there is no need to get a doctor’s certificate.
What should you do if your Covid-related illness continues beyond the 10 days self-isolation period? Do I need a medical certificate?
If you continue to feel unwell, and symptoms persist or worsen, the current advice is to contact your GP or NHS 111 online and follow their advice. Do not attend a GP surgery or hospital.
You should notify your manager that your symptoms persist or have worsened and that you are still unfit for work. Our current understanding is that NHS 111 will be able to issue a medical certificate after seven days, alternatively please contact your GP.
Your manager will notify HR of your continued absence as per the normal absence reporting procedure within the Faculty/Directorate and this will be treated as ‘regular sick leave’ as per the usual absence policy and you will be paid in line with the policy.
If the sickness absence is for some other illness, you should follow the usual procedure set out in the Managing absence from work due to ill health policy and, if necessary, contact your GP in the usual way and follow their advice.
I only started with the University recently but need to self- isolate or have become ill with Covid-19. What sick pay will I receive?
If the reason for your absence is Covid-19 related, you will receive normal pay for the period you self-isolate or are advised not to work. This will be treated as Special Covid-19 Leave and will not affect any entitlement under the Managing absence from work due to ill health policy.
I am fit but a member of my family has Covid-19 symptoms. What should I do?
The current government position is that if a person is displaying symptoms, they should self-isolate for 10 days and if symptoms worsen, contact NHS 111.
If a member of your household is displaying Covid-19 symptoms (raised temperature / fever and a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell), you should follow the latest advice and the person with symptoms should self-isolate for 10 days with the remainder of the the whole household isolating for 10 days if they have not been double-vaccinated and are over 18 years 6 months old. Check the NHS website for information on when to self-isolate and what to do. At the end of that period, you will be expected to return to the working arrangements that have been agreed with your manager which could, for example, be working remotely.
You should notify your manager and complete the Coronavirus reporting form. If you are well and are able to work from home, this will be the preferred solution. If you are not able to work from home, you will be paid and this will be recorded as Special Covid-19 Leave.
If my household has to self isolate, what should I do?
The advice on self-isolation has changed - check the NHS website for information on when to self-isolate and what to do. If you, or members of your household, need to self-isolate, contact your manager and discuss if you are able to work from home. If you are unable to work from home then this will be classed as Special Covid-19 Leave and you will be paid as normal until the self isolation period is over.
I have an underlying health condition and am worried about catching coronavirus. What should I do?
Advice from the Government and NHS for people at higher/moderate risk from coronavirus, including older people, people with health conditions and pregnant women is that they should follow the same guidelines as everyone else, but there are some steps they can take to keep themselves safe. Refer to People at Higher Risk from Coronavirus (NHS).
Professional services staff, unless otherwise advised, are requested to work from home until the Phase 3 return, which will likely be from 1 November. Members of staff who have been asked to return to campus will need to complete an Individual Health Checklist form. See Hybrid working for more information.