COVID test

Asymptomatic COVID testing for non-resident students

For Lent term, the University is expanding its asymptomatic testing programme to include many students who are not resident at College.

COVID test

Updated 29 April 2021

Eligibility for asymptomatic testing for non-resident students

During Easter term, students living in private accommodation will be eligible to participate in the programme if they live in a household or support bubble (two linked households) with at least one other student at the University (from their own or a different College).

Examples include:

  • 2 students from College X living together in a house.
  • 2 students from College X living together in a house with 2 students from College Y.
  • 2 students from College Y living together in a flat with their 2 children (only the students may participate).
  • 1 student from College X living alone in a flat and 1 student from College Y living alone in a nearby flat where the households are linked in a support bubble.
  • 1 student from College X living alone in a flat and 2 students from College Y living together in a nearby flat with 2 other adults (not University students) where the households are linked in a support bubble (only the students may participate).

For more information, visit the University's Stay Safe Cambridge Uni page on testing arrangements

Weekly Timetable

Monday (Swab day)  

Instructions for pooled sample collection (swabbing)

Your pool lead (or nominated deputy) should deliver the double bagged sample tube to one of the drop boxes.


If you have provided a mobile number, you will receive your pooled screening test result by text message at around 09.00am.

If your pooled screening test result is positive, you will be provided with a self-administered individual confirmatory test. You will receive an email from the College outlining where the test can be collected, how you should take the test, and the location of the drop-off point. All individual tests must be taken to their drop-off point by 13.30.

Wednesday (only following a positive pooled screening test)


Results of individual confirmatory tests and further guidance on whether you need to self-isolate and for how long will be sent by text message, or communicated by the College. If by 15.00 you have not received your results please contact the Porters’ Lodge or email the programme.

In a small number of scenarios, a second round of individual tests will be required. If this is the case, all necessary information will be provided by text message, email or telephone.


The testing kit (containing all of the swabs packed into a single C5/A5 brown paper envelope) is placed into a member of a testing pool’s pigeon hole.

If the person who the test is addressed to is not available, anyone in the pool can collect the test on their behalf.

Ask the person named on the testing kit where to collect the test, or ask the Porters.

Before you test, you will receive an email reminder, reminding you who is in your testing pool, and who should (or should not) take part in the pooled sample collection (swabbing) that week.

Decide who will be the pool lead, and who will be the deputy.

Arrange a mutually convenient time with the others in your pool to do a sample collection (swabbing) on Monday morning.

Inform the programme if you can’t participate for any reason (e.g. if you will be self-isolating on your swab day, have tested positive for COVID-19 in the previous 8 weeks, or will not be in residence on your swab day).


What if?

I don’t receive an email telling me whether or not to test?

The emails are sent out by the Asymptomatic Screening Programme. Please contact the programme directly at or contact the Wolfson Covid Student Support Assistant at

I can’t find my testing kit, and it isn’t in the pigeon hole?

If you can't find the testing kit, please contact the Covid Student Support Assistant