Return to on-site working – travel updates

Updated 7 October 2021

Update Summary

1. Government guidance 

Find out how international travel rules changed on 4 October.

2. Public transport 

Find out how can you travel to work safely and get updates on bus offers and rail timetable changes.

3.  Staff travel and parking 

Find out your travel options for returning to onsite working, including details about the new pilot parking scheme and how we are supporting departments with the changes via a series of workshops.

Government guidance

While many legal restrictions have been lifted, coronavirus remains a serious health risk. You need to manage the risks and protect yourself and others.

  • Guidance on what you need to do to travel safely on public transport can be found on the government’s website.  
  • A new simplified system for international travel to England came into force on 4 October:
  1. The traffic light system has ended and there is now a single ‘red list’ of countries.
  2. Eligible fully vaccinated passengers and eligible under-18s returning from over 50 countries and territories which are not on the red list, no longer need to complete a pre-departure test (PDT), a day 8 test or enter a 10-day self-isolation period.
  3. Later in October eligible fully vaccinated passengers, with an approved vaccine from a country not on the red list, will be able to replace their day 2 test with a cheaper lateral flow test. This will reduce the cost of tests on arrival into England. The government wants to introduce this by the end of October, aiming to have it in place for when people return from half-term breaks. 

Full details about the changes to international travel can be found on the government’s website.

Public transport

  • With many people returning to work on site, public transport operators are increasing their capacity. You can get the most up to date information about timetables on their websites GWR website, Chiltern Railways website, Cross Country trains, Oxford Bus Company, Stagecoach.
  • Oxford Bus Company and Stagecoach have both updated their COVID bus pass extension policy. Since March 2020 staff who have been unable to attend work in person have been able to freeze their bus passes until they need it again. From 11 October 2021, any frozen passes will be reactivated and automatically considered 'active'.
  • Many operators are offering flexible seasons tickets and until 31 October, University staff can get up to 30% off the cost of local bus travel on routes operated by Oxfordshire bus companies through the 'Double-Up' discounts scheme. Find out more on the University’s travel website.
  • You can check how busy your bus or train is by looking at the operators’ apps and websites. Visit Oxford Bus Company website and the Trainline website for more information.


Operators are continuing to help people travel with confidence by ensuring they have COVID-19 measures in place. These includes enhanced cleaning and encouraging passengers to wear face coverings.


Staff travel and parking

Returning to onsite working and need travel advice?  

Find out about your travel options on the University’s travel webpages. They are a number of schemes which support walking, cycling, use of the Park and Ride and Park and stride facilities and use of public transport. If there is no alternative to driving, you can apply for the right to hunt for a parking space via our permit parking scheme.

Cyclists need a high-quality bike lock and working bike lights to stay safe and seen

This is not just a vital safety measure; bike lights are also a legal requirement. If you need new lights or a secure U-lock, discounted cycle equipment is available via the University online store.

Applying for a University parking permit

If you need to apply for a parking permit during October 2021 you can apply free of charge for a temporary permission to park permit (TPTP). Find out which car parks are available and how to apply on our travel webpages. This scheme ends on 31 October. Please note, if you continue to park using a TPTP permit after 31 October, you may receive an enforcement fine.

From 1 November 2021, a new range of parking options are available which are all charged for.

More details about this pilot scheme can be found on our travel web pages.

If you have a question about parking permits, please visit the University travel web pages or contact your departmental parking administrator or email

Local announcements

Visit our Travel News page for local updates.




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