Covid-19 Guidance

Last updated: 27th January 2022

The College still requires people to observe the social distancing rules, as well as ensuring regular sanitising of hands. Face coverings are no longer mandatory, however, in order to maintain as safe as an environment as possible, we would encourage the continued wearing of masks both in class and in communal areas. 

The College is keeping the situation under review and will update its requirements accordingly.


Latest Advice

You must not come to College if you are displaying any of the below symptoms, even if they are mild, you must stay at home and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) via GOV.UK as soon as possible.

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  • You have been advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate if:
    • You are required to isolate having recently visited countries outside the Common Travel Area
    • You have had a positive test

Please note that students who are 16-18 and are displaying potential symptoms and/or have tested positive, will not be sent home immediately but instead will be sent to First Aid and the duty manager contacted.

Isolation Rules

From Monday 17 January, people with COVID-19 in England can end their self-isolation after 5 full days, as long as they test negative on day 5 and day 6 (with tests taken 24hrs apart) and do not have a temperature. If for example you test positive on day 5 but then go on to test negative on day 6 and 7, you can leave self-isolation on day 7. Individuals who are still positive on their rapid lateral flow tests must stay in isolation until they have had 2 consecutive negative tests taken on separate days.

Covid Isolation Rules

The latest Government advice is that you are not required to self-isolate if you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19 if any of the following apply:

  • You are fully vaccinated
  • You are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • You have taken part or are taking part in an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You are not able to receive the vaccine for medical reasons

Instead, close contacts are required to take regular lateral flow tests every day for 7 days.

However, any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for up to 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age.


Students and staff are encouraged to take regular lateral flow tests at home. If you have a positive lateral flow test you should self-isolate and there is no requirement to carry out a PCR test.  As a reminder, people who are self-isolating can now cease isolation seven days after their positive test if they have two negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on days six and seven.

Below are the current opening times for the COVID Testing Centres at St Albans and Welwyn Garden City Campus'

St Albans

Location: ME0001, Monday - Friday

8am - 3pm - Home test kit collection and testing

4pm - 7pm - Home test kit collection only.


Welwyn Garden City

Location: The Gym, Monday - Friday

8am - 3pm - Home test kit collection and testing

4pm - 7pm - Home test kit collection only.

Covid-19 Testing

Find out more information about the lateral flow testing that is available to consenting students in this short video.

Information on Working From Home

Find out how to access your work from home and what do do in the event that you have to isolate or are off college due to Covid-19.

Covid-19 Risk Assessment

You can find the latest Oaklands College Covid-19 risk assessment here.

Latest Advice

The latest advice and guidance issued by Public Health England can be found here:

Staff & Student Safety During Coronavirus

Your health, safety and wellbeing during these challenging times are our top priority and we are doing all that we can to ensure that you can continue to access your education in a safe way. Oaklands College have taken a number of steps to ensure that we can provide a safe learning environment for students and staff. We are following all guidance issued to us by Public Health England and the Department for Education and will continue to follow all advice issued to us- including all recommendations relating to good hand hygiene, wearing face coverings and following social distancing guidelines.

The College is continuing to carry out additional cleaning and doors and windows should remain open to support greater ventilation.  In addition, hand sanitisers and wipes are in place in all rooms (please contact the service desk if any have run out).  We would ask that people maintain social distancing in corridors, walkways etc and a reminder that the wearing of masks is not compulsory in the classroom but is of course acceptable if people wish to wear one.

Face coverings however must be worn in communal spaces and corridors including exam rooms. Invigilators will have a supply of masks in the room in case any students arrive at the exam room without a mask.

Responsibilities to The Local Community

We want to reassure our local community that their safety and wellbeing at this time is a responsibility that the College takes very seriously. We have a range of measures in place to reduce the risks associated with COVID-19, informed by the latest Government advice and working in collaboration with Hertfordshire County Council, Department of Education and Public Health England

We will continue to keep staff updated as and when Government guidance or local conditions change.

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