We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

St John's College

Updates for residents

Easter vacation period (22 March - 25 April)

NOTE: There are operational changes in place during the vacation period.

  • There will be reduced staffing during the Easter closure (Thursday 1 April to Tuesday 6 April inclusive).
  • Dinner is offered on a pre-booked basis at £3 per meal.
  • Households remain the same as in term-time.
  • Residents must check in and out at Reception, handing back keys if leaving Durham.
  • The Senior Tutor's Office is closed 29 March - 6 April.

Please find further information about these changes by clicking on this document.

General principles of operation during national lockdown from 5 January 2021

  • College will remain open during the lockdown period, with catering, to support students in residence.
  • Staff will work from home where possible, in line with government instructions. This includes all office, student support and tutorial staff.
  • Cranmer Hall teaching will go online from Monday 11 January.
  • Reception will be open 8:00 – 20:00 (9:00 start on weekends).
  • Reception, catering, cleaning and maintenance staff will still work on site, but there may be changes to their work patterns.
  • A College Officer will be on site each day Monday to Friday, and Resident Tutors and College Officers will be on duty out of hours for emergencies.
  • We will continue to provide student support for all students online and by telephone.

College buildings and spaces

  • LRC & Library – open 9:00-17:00 for residents and livers out for the following prebooked services:
    • click and collect
    • browse and borrow
    • personal study services (all bookable)

Please note that face coverings are mandatory at all times and the ground floor teaching spaces will be closed.

  • Chapel – open for streamed worship only, i.e. no congregation.
  • Marquee – closed.
  • Old Library – open as social space/LFT testing.
  • Etchell’s House – closed.
  • Household exercise space – open, bookable by Reception.
  • Music practice room (Old Parsonage) – open to residents only, bookable by Reception.
  • Social spaces – each allocated to a specific household, open 10:30-21:30

Bailey Room social study space – open and bookable via SJCR

Emergency contacts

Please ensure that you have the College’s Emergency information stored on your phone.

  • Reception telephone: 01913343500
  • Reception mobile (WhatsApp): 07984054044
  • College emergency number: 08000988084
  • Resident Tutor mobile (WhatsApp): 07903197829

From 11 January 2021, Reception staff are on duty 8.00am - 8.00pm weekdays (9.00am weekends) except during full College closure. From 8.00pm, a Resident Tutor is on duty to handle emergencies.

The College operates a duty rota so that a College Officer on call 24/7 should an emergency situation arise within the College, or for a College member. The College Officer can be contacted through Reception or the Resident Tutor on duty, or by ringing the College emergency number above. They will make the decision as to when to contact the College Officer on duty.

The University’s Incident Control Centre is operating 24/7 to respond to any incidents, on 0191 334 0000. Calls to this number are answered by a trained ICC Operator.

Check-in process

  • We must always have an accurate record of occupancy, i.e. who is in College when – this is essential for fire safety, security, Covid management and operational planning.

  • Please keep Reception informed of your plans well in advance, to aid operational planning by emailng

  • When you return to College, you must check in formally via Reception once you are here in person: either telephone 01913343500 to alert staff of your return, or physically collect your keys from Reception.

  • If you leave College, you must check out formally by emailing or phoning Reception as above and should leave your keys with Reception wherever possible.

  • If you expect to arrive to College outside of Reception opening hours (after 20:00), you must email in advance to request permission for this and for appropriate arrangements to be made, and you must check in on the next day.

  • Sanctions will be applicable if students fail to follow these procedures, and College will not be able to reduce residence charges for those who have not checked in/out.

Return of international students

  • If you are arriving from destinations that are not on the UK Government’s travel corridor list, your will be required to follow normal quarantine processes. College staff will deliver meals and allocate designated bathrooms.
  • The quarantine period may be reduced by participating in the UK Government’s Test to Release for International Travel scheme. Students who are participating in this scheme should notify College by emailing

Reception and College entrances

Reception is a staff only area at present and students should not enter in person. Reception queries are handled by telephone, email, online or by prior appointment. Contact Reception via email to

There are many signs in and around college to ensure we all adhere to social distancing guidelines and reduce the risk of exposure. It is essential that you only use entrances that apply to you and circulate outdoors rather than through corridors. Likewise, use only the facilities (bathrooms, kitchens) allocated to your household. This information is clearly displayed via signs on each door. If you have any queries regarding signage, or would like to report an issue, please email

Face coverings

Face coverings are required:

  • when moving around inside any College building;
  • when engaging in face-to-face discussions;
  • in areas where you may mix with people outside your household.
  • in all shared study spaces

Face coverings are optional:

  • whilst eating or drinking;
  • when outdoors.


  • Housekeeping staff will not be cleaning student bedrooms during term-time, but will continue to clean bathrooms, toilets, corridors and utilities daily
  • Students are responsible for cleaning their own study bedrooms. The Housekeeping Team have provided each student with a spray bottle of Selgiene Ultra (it is a purple liquid cleaner/sanitiser) and a supply of disposable J-cloths. The product is suitable for all general cleaning and sanitising purposes. There is a QR code on the back of the spray bottle which, when scanned, explains what the liquid is, what it can be used for and how to use it. When the bottle of cleaner/sanitiser is empty, we request that the student leaves the empty spray bottle outside their room so that the cleaner can bring it to the Housekeeping stores for refilling.
  • When students require their waste bins to be emptied, they should leave the bin outside their room for the cleaners to attend to. The cleaner will remove the bin liner, sanitise the bin, replace the bin liner with a clean liner and then put the bin back outside the student bedroom.
  • We have provided a vacuum cleaner in each block for student use only and have asked that the vacuum cleaner is returned to the location it was originally placed so that it is available for all students in that block.
  • We will ensure that there are mops and buckets available on each block, so that those with en-suite facilities can access them to clean their en-suite floors.
  • The cleaners will leave a pack of toilet rolls outside rooms with en-suite facilities, on a weekly basis.
  • If students have queries regarding cleaning their rooms, they should contact

College Regulations and coronavirus

The College Regulations apply to all members of St John’s. They include key College policies and regulations, important operational information, as well as procedures for discipline, complaints and much more. These have been updated for 2020-21 with operational changes relating to Covid-19 highlighted in red. Please ensure that you read through and, of course, comply with them: College Regulations 2020-21


  • We will continue to provide catering for students in residence during term time. Initially we will serve breakfast and two hot meals per day from Haughton dining room. New dining times are:
    • Breakfast: 08:00-09:30
    • Lunch: 11:30-13:00
      • Sitting 1 – 11:30-12:10
      • Sitting 2 – 12:20-13:00
    • Dinner: 17:00-18:30
      • Sitting 1 – 17:00-17:40
      • Sitting 2 – 17:50-18:30
  • See Epiphany Households 2021 for sitting allocations by household.
  • There will be seating for up to three households in Haughton dining room.
  • Leech Hall will be open as an overflow dining space for take-away meals (similar to the Marquee last term). There will seating for up to three households, plus individual tables, and a one-way system as indicated by the signage. Access is via the gardens.
  • As in the last term, you can also pick up a take-away meal to eat in Leech Hall, in your room, or in the outside seating area (weather dependent of course).
  • Bowes dining room and the Marquee will be closed.
  • Students must have checked in formally with reception to attend dining and show their check-in sticker on to catering staff on request. It is important that you respect the dining times to allow catering staff to finish their work on time.


If you are a student living in College accommodation and you develop coronavirus symptoms you must immediately begin self-isolation and follow a number of steps. These steps are clearly outlined in this document: Self-isolation information and procedures – guidance for students (updated 07.01.2021). If one member of a household displays symptoms, or has had a positive test result, the whole household must self-isolate.

Lateral Flow testing

  • We request that all students in residence participate in the University’s Lateral Flow Testing programme which plays a crucial part in reducing the infection rate.

  • Students returning to Durham are asked to take an LFT on the day they arrive back in the city (day 1). This is followed by further testing on day 4 and day 7.

  • Students who choose not to access testing are required to self-isolate for 7 days following their arrival on campus

  • If you choose not to test, you will be required to isolate for 7 days. Students who choose not to test should email Reception on informing them of this decision. They will be required to wipe down shared bathroom facilities and collect food from the dining room to eaten in rooms.

  • In the event of a positive case, you will need to isolate immediately. This may be in your room or in a central room if available. You will be allocated a designated bathroom and meals will be delivered.

  • In the event of a positive test on days 4 or 7, In the event of a positive test result the whole household will be required to isolate pending the outcome of a PCR test.

  • Testing will be offered through central facilities. The LFT Testing programme in College will be communicated by email.

Read this article to find out how much was donated to a local foodbank thanks to everyone who collected excess food from isolation food packs!

St John's College, Durham is a recognised College of Durham University and incorporates Cranmer Hall. Charity No. 1141701 Limited Company No. 113496 (England and Wales) VAT No. 334 6364 57.