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Update for students on COVID-guidance at College and around the UK, 17th May 2021

How restrictions are relaxing; the importance of weekly testing; and making the next few weeks at Hughes Hall as enjoyable as possible

Please see the national guidelines and the Vice-Chancellor’s update for further information, and note the following changes from Monday, 17th May:

  • All students can return to College and in-person teaching can resume 
  • Students are permitted visitors in and around College (sign in with the Porters)
  • You are also allowed visitors into your household spaces and to College-owned houses: keep records of visitors, stick to the limits, and agree with housemates how to make it work for you all
  • The Marquee bar will open for evening service including alcohol (Thu, Fri, Sat, 6pm – 11pm)
  • The MCR Clubroom is open for socialising, games and pool (max. 6 people/2 households)
  • For clarification and concerns, please email covid.admin@hughes.cam.ac.uk

We are pleased that many of you continue to take part in the asymptomatic testing. We are privileged to access a world-leading testing programme that double checks to avoid false positive results, while each of us has an important role to play in balancing personal freedoms with collective responsibilities to shepherd in the global recovery.

Many students travelled hundreds of miles to be here a long time ago and haven’t had the chance to be sociable with anyone except their housemates. Following a dip over Easter, testing rates are picking up across the University. Let’s all do what we can to show them how convivial Hughes can be. (If you want to understand why the Government has been so cautious in opening up and why it is so keen on testing, these links to the papers (Consensus Statement and Further modelling of easing restrictions) recently published by the SAGE advisory group are rather sobering.)

If you have stopped testing it is simple to sign up again by clicking on covid.admin@hughes.cam.ac.uk. If anything is preventing you from testing, please tell us so we can help. 

As we come to the end of mental health week, we are pleased to see the varied resources being provided by the University and College. Prioritising health and wellbeing during Easter Term is always important, and even more so this year. We’d like to highlight the University’s STEP mental health study, led by one of our Fellows, Professor Tamsin Ford, which aims to understand how your wellbeing has been impacted during the pandemic in order to help the University design better policies.   

This Monday marks the next stage of the UK’s recovery “roadmap”. Some indoor and all remaining outdoor events can recommence, subject to the guidelines and capacity limitations, and we can return to in-person teaching. We will be as innovative as we can to help you make the most of your remaining time at Hughes Hall this academic year including the traditional rituals of College life…and some less traditional ones too. Along with your MCR Committee, we are determined to ‘put on a good show’ of formal, fun, social, musical, sporting, cultural and dining opportunities. Further details to follow next week!

The new national guidelines ‘emphasise personal responsibility rather than government rules’ and include specific guidance on meeting friends and family. In essence, the government is agreeing to a commonsense approach to enjoying the new freedoms, informed by an understanding of how the disease is spread and how risks can be minimised. We would like to echo this. The law dictates that we may take part in gatherings of up to 30 outdoors; and have 6 individuals or 2 households indoors. Common sense dictates that if each student brings 29 people on site, or lots of people home, relationships between us all will quickly unravel! Please exercise restraint, be courteous to your housemates, and enjoy the company of friends and family again.