Test and trace, reporting and self-isolation

This page provides information for students about Covid-19 testing, reporting and self-isolation arrangements at Oxford Brookes. 

If you develop Covid-19 symptoms

Self-isolate, get tested and report it


If you develop Covid-19 symptoms, please self-isolate immediately and book a PCR test. Do not come to campus if you have symptoms. 

Get tested

You can book a PCR test online or by phoning NHS 119. Please use your university address when booking.

Report it

Please use the Brookes Covid-19 Reporting form if you have received a positive PCR 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).

Please help protect each other. Let the people you live with know if you have Covid-19 symptoms, and if you receive a positive test, because they will need to self-isolate as well.


Self-isolation - if you test positive

If you test positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate for 10 days. You may be able to leave self-isolation early if you return negative lateral flow tests taken on two consecutive days taken from day 6 onwards (see below). Self-isolation means staying at your university accommodation and avoiding contact with other people as much as possible, including those you live with. You should not leave your place of residence for any reason (other than to seek medical help, or in another emergency such as a fire alarm).

If you share a student house then your housemates should self-isolate for 10 days starting from the day you first displayed Covid symptoms if they are not exempt (see When you do not need to self-isolate). All housemates should go for a PCR test as soon as possible (unless they have tested Covid positive themselves in the last 90 days).

If anyone in your household displays Covid symptoms during the 10-day period  (whether they have been required to self-isolate or not) 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 (unless they are exempt from self-isolation). The 10 days does not restart if a different person you live with gets symptoms while you're self-isolating.

You can stop self-isolating after 10 days if you do not get any symptoms.

If you do not have symptoms you can book a test online if:

  • you’ve been in contact with someone who’s tested positive
  • you’ve been asked to get a test by a local council or someone from NHS Test and Trace
  • a GP or other health professional has asked you to get a test
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project
  • you’ve been asked to get a test to confirm a positive result
  • you’ve received an unclear result and were told to get a second test
  • you need to get a test for someone you live with who has symptoms
  • you’re in the National Tactical Response Group

When you can finish self-isolation early after a positive Covid test 

From 22 December, you can leave your 10-day self-isolation period due to a positive Covid test early if you have two negative lateral flow tests on consecutive days taken from day 6 of isolation. This means that if you have a negative lateral flow test on days 6 and 7, or 7 and 8 etc, of your self-isolation period and you do not have a high temperature you can leave self-isolation. You should exercise caution around vulnerable or elderly people, poorly ventilated or crowded places and work from home. Please note that if you do not receive two negative lateral flow Covid-19 tests on consecutive days after day 7 of your period of self-isolation, then you cannot leave self-isolation and you must still isolate for the required time period. Full details are on the Government webpage.

A failure to self-isolate where required will be considered a significant breach of the ‘Keeping each other safe principles’ and therefore a breach of the student conduct regulations. You are required to self-isolate by law if you test positive or are contacted by a test and trace service.

If you have told us that you are self-isolating after a positive Covid test someone will get in touch with you to check if you need any support. If you are self-isolating and waiting for a test result, you will receive information on support arrangements by return email after you have completed the University Coronavirus Reporting Form. Please see the self-isolation FAQs below for more information.

Self-isolation - if you are not vaccinated or do not qualify as fully vaccinated

  • Unvaccinated adults must continue to self-isolate for 10 days if they are a contact of someone with Covid-19
  • If you do not qualify as fully vaccinated you will also need to isolate for 10 days if you are a close contact of a positive Covid-19 case. 

When you do not need to self-isolate

The government guidelines in England state, that if someone you live with has symptoms of Covid-19, or has tested positive for Covid-19, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a Covid-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

From Tuesday 14 December, people who are fully vaccinated and identified as a contact of someone with Covid-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take an NHS rapid lateral flow test every day for 7 days to help slow the spread of Covid-19. Fully vaccinated people will not need to self-isolate unless they have a positive lateral flow test and subsequent positive PCR test.

In addition you should:

  • get a PCR test
  • follow hygiene measures such as face coverings and hand washing
  • limit close contact with those who are at higher risk from Covid-19.

You must still self-isolate if you have symptoms of Covid-19 and you should book a PCR test. If your test is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days.

Government guidance on self-isolation

International students

If you do not meet the criteria for fully vaccinated then you are not exempt from self-isolation after contact with a positive Covid case. You will need to self-isolate for 10 days if you come into contact with a positive Covid case.

Find out more about who is exempt from self-isolation on the Government website.

To book a Covid vaccination, we recommend that you register with a GP surgery and seek advice from them about vaccinations. Find out how to register with a GP surgery on the NHS website.

More information on Covid-19 vaccination for international students is available in this document from NHS England.

Oxford City Council guidance on self-isolation and homes of multiple occupation

Oxford City Council has written to all residents in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs or shared houses) with advice on how to stop the spread of coronavirus. The Council website also has details of the local support available for those who are self-isolating.

Self-isolation - the law

You are required by law to self-isolate if you test positive or are contacted by NHS Test and Trace. If you leave self-isolation you can be fined £1,000; up to £10,000 for repeat offenders.

Support for students in self-isolation

Support from the University is available for students with a positive Covid-19 test result (rapid test or NHS test), or those isolating as a close contact.

We know that you may have concerns about what a period of self-isolation, following a positive test result or being identified as a close contact, means for you and your household. We want to reassure you that you are not alone and that we have a number of support options available to you. Below we explain how you can access help and advice from a dedicated team (the Covid Response Team) at Oxford Brookes.

Talk to a Covid Response Team member

A team member will be able to signpost you to the support you’re able to access while you’re in self-isolation and talk you through what you’ll need to do next. This will include how to access mental health support if you feel you need it, how to get your food shopping or any medicines you might need from a pharmacy. The Covid Response Team will contact you automatically after you complete a Coronavirus reporting form, but if you wish to speak to someone on the team in addition to this, please email covid-19@brookes.ac.uk.

Your own ‘point of contact’

The Covid Response Team will put you in touch with a dedicated ‘point of contact’. This person is a volunteer and an Oxford Brookes member of staff who will phone you as required to make sure that you’re doing ok and ask if there’s anything that you need help with during your isolation period.

Help with money

If you’re worried about how you might cope financially with self-isolation, perhaps because you can’t go to work during this time, or you’re currently experiencing financial hardship and are worried about affording food etc, please contact the Financial Aid team who are able to help you make an emergency hardship application. 

If you’re in University accommodation

You should report your status via the Coronavirus reporting form first. This allows the Accommodation team to ensure only emergency visits are carried out to your household during your isolation, to reduce the risk of transmission. Once you have completed the reporting form, you will be contacted by the Covid Response Team and assigned a point of contact who will support you. If you require urgent support or sanitiser and cloths, contact the accommodation on-site team via the contact details that are displayed in your kitchen. You can also find team contact details on this webpage (webpage requires Brookes login). 

After isolating - return to campus

If you were self-isolating as a close contact (because you were not double-vaccinated):

If you were self-isolating after a positive PCR test:

  • If you have tested positive with Covid-19, you will have developed some immunity to the virus. This means that you do not need to have another rapid (lateral flow test) or PCR test within 90 days of a positive test, unless you develop new symptoms.
  • However, you may choose to take a rapid Covid-19 test after the isolation period. If it is positive, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days or longer if you are displaying symptoms. This should only be done after you complete the required self-isolation period.
  • You are still required to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact of a positive case, even if this is within the 90-day window, unless you are double-vaccinated or under 18 years and 6 months of age.

More details about the testing process are available on the Covid testing webpage.

NHS Test & Trace

If you, or anyone you’ve had close contact with, tests positive for coronavirus then you’ll be contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate - this is a legal requirement. If you are contacted, you will be asked to provide them with information they’ll need to help stop the spread of the virus. 

Please download the NHS Test and Trace app. The app allows people to report symptoms, order a coronavirus test, check in to venues by scanning a QR code and it helps the NHS trace individuals who may have coronavirus. View more information about the app.

Using the app will enable us to continue to keep each other safe as we learn to live with the virus.

You are encouraged to scan the NHS QR codes in areas where they are displayed on campus (such as cafes and social spaces). If you are unable to use the NHS app to scan in, there will be an alternative way of recording your details without the need to use a mobile phone. There will be signage making it clear where and how you will can record your details.

Registering attendance on campus for Test & Trace purposes (our QR code system)

The University is removing the requirement for students and staff to check-in with a QR code in teaching spaces. In line with the approach taken in schools, and the removal of the requirement for individuals who have been fully vaccinated in the UK to self-isolate, we will be delivering an ‘inform and self-monitor/self-isolate/report’ approach.

This means that when the University’s Covid Response Team receives notification of a positive Covid case, it will contact the module leader and the students in the class to inform them.

The Covid Response Team will then contact the students and any staff also in attendance to provide the appropriate guidance.

Students who are exempt from self-isolation will be advised:

  • to monitor themselves for Covid symptoms,
  • continue using lateral flow tests twice-weekly,
  • self-isolate, book a PCR test and report their result to the University if they develop symptoms or have a positive LFD test.

You are exempt from self-isolation if you do not have Covid symptoms and:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a Covid-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a Covid-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

If you are not exempt from self-isolation you will be told:

  • to self-isolate for 10 days
  • to get a PCR test if you develop Covid symptoms.

QR posters and stickers will remain in place for the foreseeable future. The University may reintroduce the requirement for students and staff to check-in with the Brookes QR codes again, if cases of Covid-19 rise within the Brookes community.

In the areas where you see NHS test and trace codes displayed, we strongly recommend that you continue to register your attendance with the NHS app and to keep the location tracking switched on. This will enable us to continue to keep each other safe as we learn to live with the virus. 

Self-isolation FAQs

Test & Trace FAQs