Royal Holloway to offer asymptomatic Covid-19 testing

Royal Holloway will offer all students and staff asymptomatic Covid testing to enable travel home for the holidays.

Beginning tomorrow, Monday 30th November, Royal Holloway will be offering students and staff access to asymptomatic Covid-19 testing in order to allow those who wish to, to travel home safely for the winter holidays.

Tests are voluntary, but highly recommended- it’s a great opportunity to feel at ease travelling home to see family members, and allows us as students to play our part in keeping everyone safe.

Tests will take place in the Picture Gallery and can be booked here, as well as hall-departure slots for those who live on campus. On the website you will be able to find more information about when you should book your tests depending on your living situation. 

The testing process consists of two lateral flow tests taken three days apart. Lateral flow tests consist of a swab being placed in the nose or throat and give rapid results as they can be processed on-site. Upon two negative test results, students should travel within 24 hours. 

If testing positive, a further PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test will be required, which can be taken as a home test supplied by RHUL, with results in 24-72 hours.

In order to allow students to travel within the designated ‘student travel window’, 3rd-9th December, all face-to-face teaching will be moved online from Wednesday 9th until the end of term on the 11th.

Students not wishing to leave their term-time address are also able to be tested through the same procedure but with test dates running until the 11th. Campus will remain open throughout the holidays for students staying in the local area, with the library, and wellbeing and welfare services remaining accessible.

Return to campus in January is encouraged, and RHUL hopes to continue to be able to offer asymptomatic testing in the new year. 

The semi-permanent Local Testing Site (in the car park by the tennis courts) will also remain open, and is likely to remain operational until spring 2021- tests can be booked here.

“The health, safety and well-being of students, staff and our wider community is a priority at Royal Holloway. We are keen to do everything we can to reduce the spread of Covid-19 and it is important that we all play our part in trying to stop the spread of the virus. Asymptomatic testing will give students a measure of confidence to travel safely over the holidays, provided they do so within 24 hours of having a second negative test. While many students will be returning to family homes, other students will remain on campus, either completing a period of self-isolation, after which they will be able to travel too, or because campus is their home. We will continue to provide support, and we look forward to welcoming our students back to campus in the new year.”

Dr David Ashton, Deputy Principal