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Update from College Secretary, Director of College Health Service & Director of HR to staff and students

29 January 2021

29 January 2021 

Dear students and colleagues,

We hope you are well and looking forward to the start of Semester 2 on Monday which also coincides with the first day of Spring. We are writing to you following the Government’s decision earlier this week to tighten the restrictions necessary to combat the pandemic. The steps outlined below are necessary to keep everyone safe in the coming weeks and we would like you to take a few minutes to read them carefully as you prepare for the new term.


The health authorities are especially anxious about anybody who has returned from a visit to Brazil over the past month. Anybody in this category should contact the health authorities or the College Health Service here in Trinity to arrange a free PCR test. Details about the testing available from the College Health Service can be found here; If you are in this category you should not return to College without having that test and completing the isolation period.

Visa-free travel for citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and South Africa has now been banned until March 5, except for in exceptional circumstances.

Any citizens wishing to travel from these countries must apply for a visa online. Applications will then be considered by the relevant Irish embassy on a case-by-case basis.

Other new measures introduced this week include a mandatory quarantine for people who arrive in Ireland without a negative COVID-19 test taken in the past 72 hours. This means it is essential that any returning students or staff get a test before they travel. Quarantine will now be a requirement by law rather than a recommendation.

Not everybody will be aware of these rules. If you know somebody working or studying in Trinity who might be affected by these changes, please spread the word and direct them towards the information on the Government website The situation is fluid and the rules are changing almost daily.

It is worth repeating, as advised by the Government, that nobody should be travelling abroad this Semester for short-term reasons such as holidays or family visits etc. We understand that travel for learning purposes such as Erasmus or to study in Trinity is still permitted but the Government has yet to clarify every aspect of the new rules. Anybody heading toward an airport should expect to be stopped and questioned by the police regarding the purpose of their trip.

Staff members planning to go overseas are required to inform their Head/Manager in advance of travelling abroad. In line with Public Sector rules, staff must discharge annual leave or unpaid leave for the 14-day quarantine period on return from non-essential travel abroad. Working from home during this period is not an option. Students should also avoid travel overseas and follow the rules regarding quarantine if they are returning from overseas travel.

Access to College

Access to College buildings remains limited at this time and access to the campus is via Lincoln Place and Nassau Street gates only until 5 March 2021. In the interest of keeping us all safe, and in keeping with the public guidelines, only the following are currently permitted access:

  • Residents 
  • Essential researchers (as submitted by Head of School/Unit) 
  • Students with pre-booked time slot in the Libraries/Study Spaces 
  • Students with a timetabled in person teaching event
  • Essential staff (as submitted by Head of School/Unit) 
  • Pre-approved visitor.

Just a reminder, due to the pandemic and restrictions to accessing the university campuses, no school or unit can bring in contractors without express permission from Estates and Facilities and the completion of the COVID Questionnaire to protect the college community. Requirements and information can be found at link E&F Access Checklist.

Healthy Trinity

If you would like support to change your behaviour be it eating, smoking or exercising, College Health and Trinity Sport are running a number of free behaviour change activities.  Details below.  It’s not too late to sign up.  


Behaviour change workshop for staff: Tuesdays, 1pm

Behaviour change workshops for students: Mondays, 1pm

Online exercise classes for students and staff: Thursdays, 1pm

Stop smoking course for students and staff: Wednesdays.

Library Opening Times

The Library’s current opening hours and services introduced last week will remain in place until March 5. For full details on the new arrangements, see the Library’s Plan your visit guide. In summary:

The following reading rooms are open (pre-booking required):

1.       Berkeley and Lecky Libraries (1-5pm, Monday to Friday)

2.       Ussher Library, ground floor ATIC space (1-5pm, Monday to Friday)

3.       Kinsella Hall in Ussher Library, floors 1-3 [study space only] (8am-10pm, Monday to Sunday)

4.       1937 Postgraduate Reading Room [study space only] (8am-10pm, Monday to Sunday)


The following reading rooms are closed

1.       The Ussher Library, basement and floors 4 & 5

2.       The Hamilton Library

3.       The John Stearne Medical Library 

4.       The Research Collections joint reading room

There are no counter services, but staff are facilitating Click & Collect requests from the ground floor of the Berkeley Library and the concourse just outside the Hamilton Library each day from 1-3pm, Monday to Friday. Pre-booking is essential to collect items.

The Scan on Demand and Postal Delivery services are continuing, as is the online Chat with us service. The Subject Librarian team is available for virtual consultations and electronic resources continue to be accessible remotely.


These arrangements will be subject to continuous review depending on the pandemic status, Government announcements and medical advice.  

Stay safe. Stay well. Bígí slán agus sábháilte.

Kind regards,

John Coman, Secretary to the College
Seán Ó Comáin, Rúnaí an Choláiste

Dr David McGrath, Director, College Health Service
An Dr Daithi Mac Craith, Stiúrthóir, Seirbhís Sláinte an Choláiste

Antoinette Quinn · Director of Human Resources

Antoinette Quinn, Stiúrthóir na nAcmhainní Daonna