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Department of Physics

The Cavendish Laboratory

Updated 26 July 2022 by Saba Alai

This page is about respiratory diseases that can be transferred easily when working at Physics premises or elsewhere on behalf of the Department, such as coronavirus.

              The number of people who are ill with Covid-19 or have tested positive in the UK, continues to remain high

The reported number of symptomatic cases in Cambridge this week is around 10,500 – this is roughly 1 in 12 people (source: Zoe Covid Study by King's College London, 26 July 2022). The number is an underestimate as many people are not testing themselves, are infective carriers with no symptoms, or don't report positive tests.

Although the effects of the current variants of the virus are not severe for most people, there are still a large number of individuals at high risk of serious illness and even death if they become infected. Please follow the NHS advice (summarised below) if you have symptoms of coronavirus, have tested positive, or live with someone who is ill or covid-positive - protect yourself and others.


Quick access: 

Do you have symptoms of an infectious illness? **UPDATES**

Getting Access to Cavendish Laboratory Buildings

Procedures - links Risk Assessments - links Other guidance and resources - links


Do you have symptoms of an infectious respiratory illness?

The most common symptoms of coronavirus infection (both delta and omicron variants) include:

runny nose, headache, sneezing, sore/scratchy throat, persistent cough.

Half of those infected also have fever and loss or change in their ability to smell/taste.
                                                 Symptoms of Covid-19 can be similar to those of hayfever or a moderate cold for most people.



Image - update


7 July 2022

Please follow NHS advice (


You are not required to self-isolate and you do not need to do daily rapid lateral flow tests, but you could be carrying the virus and it can take between 3 and 10 days for your infection to develop. During this time you could pass on the virus on to others without knowing you have it.

If you have tested positive for Covid-19, or are feeling unwell but are negative for Covid-19, avoid infecting others:

•    Keep away from people at higher risk, for at least 10 days
•    Keep away from others (not at higher risk), for at least 5 days
•    Work from home if possible and you feel well enough to do so
•    Let people know you had a positive test or are ill, especially if you have appointments in person
•    Wear a face covering that fits snugly against your face and has more than 1 layer if you have to be near others
•    Wash your hands often with soap or water, or use hand sanitiser

If you live with someone who has COVID-19 or have stayed overnight in their household, please read this page:

Other requirements at the University:

  • Report sickness as usual (staff must report to as well as to their manager/supervisor)
  • At-risk individuals - the University requires continued risk assessment. See "Risk Assessment" links below.
  • Masks/face covers are not required, unless you are in an enclosed, poorly ventilated or crowded room, or working closely with someone for longer periods (guide: more than 15 mins)
  • Respect/Courtesy - If anyone wishes to wear a face cover anywhere, please support them. When visiting other people's rooms, ask if they wish you to keep a face covering on
  • Maintain distance as much as possible and wash hands regularly for 20 seconds to reduce the risk of catching the virus or passing it on

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Getting Access to Cavendish Laboratory Buildings

Access to Cavendish Laboratory is organised by emailing Facilities manages access - details are on this page.

If you are new to the Department, contact your local admin team first.

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Concerns about being at work

Staff: If you are worried about being at work, in the first instance, please talk with your line manager. You can also talk to:

Students: Please talk to your Director of Studies.

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Quick Links to Information


Risk Assessments

Other guidance and resources

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