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
If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and book a test. Do not come to campus if you have symptoms.
You can book a test online at GOV.UK or by phoning NHS 119.
Please use the Covid-19 Reporting form if you have received a positive 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). 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. Your household will need to self-isolate as well.
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
- Someone in your support bubble has symptoms and you’ve been in close contact with them since their symptoms or during the 48 hours before they started
- are contacted and asked to isolate by either the University Covid Response Team or NHS Test and Trace
- have travelled to the UK from another country with a high coronavirus risk.
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.
- If you live with a person who has symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or has had a positive test result, please follow this guidance.
- If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, please follow this guidance.
- How to self-isolate when you travel to England
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 all members of your household 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 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. 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 stay at home and complete 10 days full days isolation. If you do not have any symptoms, other people in your household do not need to self-isolate with you, but you should stay away from them as much as possible, particularly those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you do not get any symptoms.
If you do not have symptoms you do NOT need to get tested.
If for any reason you have a negative test result during your 10 day isolation period, you must continue to self-isolate. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could still pass the infection on to others. Stay at home for the full 10 days to avoid putting others at risk.
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 Covid Reporting form.
Please use the Covid Update form to update your Covid 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 your household 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 to book a lateral flow test, please go to Covid tests for students with no symptoms (note - staff can also book tests following the same system).
What testing is available on campus for staff?
Staff and students returning to campus from 17 May are encouraged to book three tests, three to four days apart on arrival at University, and then to go for twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests at one of our three testing centres (Headington, Harcourt Hill or Swindon).
If you require staff assistance with your test you will need to book this in advance. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange assistance for your test if you cannot physically carry out the test yourself.
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 is a support bubble?
A support bubble is where someone who lives alone (or just with their children) can meet people from one other household.
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. I may have to self-isolate in the country I am travelling to and will 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 banned on travel to the UK - Gov.uk Coronavirus (Covid-19): travel bans to the UK.
For travelling back to the UK, follow the Gov.UK Coronavirus (Covid-19): how to self-isolate when you travel to England.
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 and complete the Coronavirus reporting form. 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 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. 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 Covid 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 do I do?
Government advice is if any member of the same household is displaying symptoms then you must all self isolate for 10 days. 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 do 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 should take special precautions. Refer to People at Higher Risk from Coronavirus (NHS).
Professional services staff, unless otherwise advised, are requested to work from home until further notice. Members of staff who have been asked to return to campus will complete an Occupational Health risk assessment form. See Return to Campus for more information.