In-person congregations will not meet until June at the earliestLucas Maddalena

Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope has announced in an email this morning (04/03) that no in-person congregations will take place at the University until at least June.

With the University’s COVID Gold Team ruling out gatherings in April and May, the statement outlined that congregations in June and beyond “are still under consideration”, and that they would take place “in modified form.”

It further added that large group gatherings, including May Balls, are “unlikely to be possible.”

With regard to Easter Term, the email said that planning for Easter term is taking place despite “continuing uncertainty,” and Toope emphasised that plans for Easter term “will depend entirely on what is allowed by the Government.”

A review of current restrictions is due at the beginning of April, Prime Minister Boris Johnson confirmed in his roadmap for the lifting of restrictions at the end of last month.

Students on practical courses are permitted to return from March 8th, although the ‘stay at home’ guidance remains in place for all other students.

The latest published guidance for University students states that: “returning students should be tested twice upon their return to University, or they should self-isolate for ten days instead.”

The email did not touch on the issues regarding travel that are anticipated for international students, after the Independent reported yesterday that international travel would not restart until at least May 17th.


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In an email sent last week (26/02), Toope noted that “We acknowledge that due to the short notice for return and the need to quarantine for 10 days, it will be difficult for international students to return to Cambridge. All students who face such difficulties in returning should contact their College to discuss remote study for Easter Term.”

Toope emphasised that “we cannot assume that all University students will be allowed to return”, which was echoed in Pro-Vice-Chancellor Graham Virgo’s comments to Varsity earlier this week.

At the end of the email, Toope added that “it is essential that we do not let down our guard at this critical moment.”