Trinity Term Testing

Testing for COVID-19 continues to be incredibly important for stopping the spread of the virus and helping to protect the College community, your household, and domestic staff on whom we all depend.

Regular testing will be provided during Trinity Term for all students and staff by Oxford University.  Full details on this can be found here and we encourage you to make full use of the service.  The information below relates to testing on return to College - we are aware the students will return at different dates throughout term.

The Government, the University and the College strongly recommend all non-international students participate in return-to-College Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing to help keep our community safe.

If you are returning to College and haven’t yet already informed us that you will take part in testing, you must complete this form as soon as possible

A test kit will be provided for you either in your room on your return (for returning students in College accommodation); in your pidge (for those who have been in residence all vacation); or for collection from the Lodge (for those living in private accommodation).

Important note for returning students: Should you choose not to take part in testing we will ask you to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival back in College to protect the Pembroke Community. You must still complete the above form in order to let us know so we can arrange the relevant support for your isolation period. Should you also choose not to self-isolate you may be asked to leave College.  

If you choose not to take the tests you must return them to the College by placing them in the drop box outside the Lodge.  

Please be aware that you should not take the tests if:

•   You have symptoms of COVID-19: You should instead book a PCR test via the Early Alert Service, inform the Lodge that you have booked a test and follow the advice you are given.

•   You are an international student: These LFD tests cannot be used as part of the government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme and do not need to be taken in addition to the Day 2 and Day 8 tests that you are already taking.  

Information below will guide you through the most frequently asked questions. For those of you who have taken part in previous testing programmes, there are some slight differences to the process of taking these tests so please take the time to familiarise yourself with the process.

It is vitally important that you continue to follow the health measures and the behaviours outlined in the Student Responsibility Agreement when you return.

We are here to support you so as always, please reach out and speak to us if you cannot find the answer you need or if you have any concerns.

Booking A Test

Do I need to book a test?

If you intend to take part in testing you need to let the College know via this form if you haven’t already.

Once you have completed the form, our Testing Coordinator can register your test kit to you via the EAS system.

Returning students: your test kit will be placed in your room prior to your return.
Those who have stayed up over the vacation: your test kit will be in your pidge. 
Those who live out: you may collect your test kit from the Lodge.

Once your test kit is registered to you on the system, you will receive automatic prompts from the EAS by email and/or text with a quick link for recording your test results. It is crucial that you immediately record the results of each test as soon as they are visible. For more details on recording results, see below in 'After Taking the Tests'. 


Taking the Tests

When should I take the tests and what do they mean?

You have been provided with two Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests.

For those returning to Oxford: you will be expected to take the first test on the day you arrive back and the second test three days later.

For those who have been in residence over the vacation: you will be expected to take the first test on Wednesday of 0th Week (21 April) and the second test on Saturday of 0th week (24 April). 

You should take both tests before your in-person teaching is due to start; if you are returning to Oxford, please take this into account in your travel plans. You should also limit your social contact and interaction with others until you receive the results of the two tests.

Full online training is available to support you taking the tests. You can contact one of the team for support if you struggle using Even if you have already completed the training previously, we encourage you to review the materials again to refresh your knowledge.

It is vital that you continue to follow the behaviours outlined in the University’s health advice and Student Responsibility Agreement

If you test positive – please see below in 'After Taking the Tests'.

How long do Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests take to do?

The tests are very quick to complete, and will provide a result within 20-30 minutes. Full online training can be found here.

How do the tests work, and do they cause any discomfort?

The tests detect viral proteins made by replicating virus. It involves using a plastic kit to swab your nose and throat. This can be slightly uncomfortable but this shouldn’t deter you from getting tested.

I have a disability which means I am unable to take the tests in the way they have been offered to me. What should I do?

Please speak to us.

You can contact one of the team by email using or if you feel more comfortable, you can also speak to the Academic Office.

I have recently received a negative test result. Do I still need to take these tests?

Yes, you should still take all tests provided to you on your return as you may have unknowingly picked up the virus after your negative result.

I am in precautionary self-isolation, can I still take the tests?

Yes. If you are already self-isolating, or go into self-isolation because a household member or recent close contact has tested positive in a PCR test (via the Early Alert Service or through the NHS), you can still take your Lateral Flow Device (LFD) Tests for your own peace of mind.

How can I be sure that the tests are accurate?

These tests have been extensively validated both here in Oxford and in Public Health England laboratories. Those who test positive will have their results confirmed through the University Testing Service.

Does taking part in the return to College testing programme and testing negative mean I don’t need to take any precautions?

Negative tests mean that the chance of you being infectious is very low, but not zero. Remember you could also catch the virus just before your second test or in the days afterwards. You must continue to respect social distancing, use your face covering and wash hands regularly. 

I have returned to Oxford, but now have developed symptoms of COVID-19 (new continuous cough, high temperature or loss/change of sense of taste/smell).  What should I do?

You should immediately self-isolate, book a test through the University’s Early Alert Service and notify the College via the lodge. 

Who do I contact if I have any questions relating to the testing?

Please contact

After Taking the Tests

One of my test results is inconclusive, what do I do?

If your test is inconclusive you will need to take another test. Do NOT record the initial inconclusive / void result. Instead do the test again and then record that result.

You can collect replacement test kits from the Lodge. 

Recording your results:

Your result will be visible within 30 minutes. It is crucial that you immediately record the results of each test as soon as they are visible, whether it is positive or negative.

If you have received a personal quick link by email and/or SMS from the EAS, you will be able to quickly record your result via this link without having to log in to your SSO.
Alternatively, you can register and record your result via this link:
Recorded LFD test results will help feed into research that the University is conducting into testing and COVID.

What happens if I test positive on any of the tests?

If your result in any of the tests is positive, you must inform us straight away via the Pembroke Isolation Coordinator, book a confirmatory PCR test through the University Early Alert Service and you must self-isolate in your room until you know the result.

What happens to my household if I, or another household member tests positive on any of tests?

If a member of your household or a close contact tests positive in an LFD test, they will need to take a confirmatory PCR test. You should self-isolate as soon as you become aware that your close contact has received a positive LFD result.

You should continue to self-isolate until that person has received the result of their PCR test (but continue to take your LFD tests as planned).

If your close contact’s PCR test result is negative, you can stop self-isolating at that point.  If It is positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days.

If you live in College accommodation we will assist you with this process and with information and support via our Isolation Coordinator.

Can I use the results of the tests as proof that I am negative for the virus as part of the Governments ‘Test to Release’ scheme?

No, the tests we are providing you with on your return cannot be used as part of the governments ‘Test to Release’ scheme.

If you have returned from a country that is not on the travel corridor list. You should self-isolate for ten days but you can take these tests to give yourself piece of mind whilst you isolate.

You will need to contact and make arrangements with a private provider directly to be able to take part in the ‘Test to Release’ scheme. Information on providers can be found on the government website.

Where do I dispose of the used testing kits?

You may dispose of the test kits in your own waste bin.

International Students

How do I access the Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme?

The University cannot provide tests to allow you to leave self-isolation early after international travel under the Government’s ‘Test to Release’ scheme. You will need to contact and make arrangements with a private provider directly. You should follow the directions on the Government website which also includes a list of eligible private providers. Please note that we understand that demand for these services is high, and you may want to contact a provider ahead of time and book early if you wish to take advantage of this scheme.