The Government has announced that students will be able to travel home during what they have called a “student travel window”, between the 3rd to the 9th December.
Universities will be required to move all teaching online from the 9th of December so that students can continue learning from home.
Michelle Donelan, University minister, told the BBC:
“The announcement is about giving students and their parents the certainty that if they chose to go home, they can do so”.
Donelan went on the comment “We have been working with scientists including the chief medical officer and Deputy chief medical officer who have advised us that at the end of this four-week window students will pose a much reduced risk to their loved ones and their community that they travel to”.
It's been a tough year for students. As @michelledonelan explains, we are delivering on our commitment to get them back to their loved ones as safely as possible for Christmas 📺 @BBCBreakfast pic.twitter.com/GiPV2gqXA1
— Department for Education (@educationgovuk) November 11, 2020
This announcement comes just two days after Boris Johnson said in his address to the nation:
“We don’t want young people going back and infecting elderly members of their families” and informed that more gidence would soon come.
Government guidance explains that lateral flow devices will be used to obtain rapid test results and that testing should be completed before Wednesday, 9 December.
What happens if I test negative?
Students whose test returns back negative should travel home as soon as possible. While students with a negative result who have had contact with someone who has tested positive can also return home but are required to self-isolate once there.
Students however are advised against using public transport to avoid the further spread of the virus.
What happens if I test positive?
By law, all students who test positive must self-isolate for a period of 10 days before returning home.
Universities across the UK have now begun to inform students on further action they plan to take concerning this announcement.
Today the UK Government confirmed that it intends for students to be able to travel home for Christmas in early December. We welcome this announcement and will keep you updated.
More info: https://t.co/DvJGWjBP8D
| Image Copyright © Oxford University Images pic.twitter.com/UUwJ2fkteH
— Oxford Students (@OxUniStudents) November 11, 2020
We’re reviewing @GOVUK’s latest guidance to universities for students returning home for Christmas, and will update on how we plan to support students and staff with this as soon as possible.https://t.co/7TulV0wWKH pic.twitter.com/RDT8VNbcQA
— University of Leeds (@UniversityLeeds) November 11, 2020
The University of Westminster had already announced their plans for on campus Coronavirus testing
Planning to travel away from your term-time address in December?
You may be eligible for free COVID-19 testing, available 30 November – 7 December (including the weekend).
— University of Westminster (@UniWestminster) November 27, 2020
Words: Leah Trimmer | Subbing: Salimotu Shobowale