Plans have been unveiled by the UK government for university students to return home for Christmas.
It is hoped students across England will be allowed to return as part of an ‘evacuation-style’ plan, with a travel window set to be opened between 3 and 9 December. This is to minimise the risk of them spreading Covid-19.
Many students will also be offered swift COVID test results before departure.
The University of East Anglia today announced plans regarding the end of term. In a statement to students by Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson, UEA announced they “will be ceasing all face-to-face teaching on campus in a phased way between 3rd December and 9th December” to ensure “students who want to are able to spend the end of term break at home with their families”.
In regards to testing, the Vice-Chancellor claimed “we do not yet know whether UEA will be a priority area because our numbers of COVID cases are very low” but reassured “testing will continue to be available from our own campus testing initiative outside Careers Central in the Street”.
The message to students further read: “The current national lockdown restrictions mean that students should not leave to go home until after the 2nd December. Students… should do so within the Government’s ‘student travel window’ from 3rd December to 9th December”.
Universities Minister Michelle Donelan has claimed the government has chosen the week following the end of the four-week lockdown in England as “students will pose a much reduced risk to their loved ones and their community”. It is hoped the timing means anyone who develops symptoms on 9 December will still “have enough time to isolate and then return home for Christmas”. However, at this point in time students will not be required to have a negative test result before travelling home.
It is strongly advised students only return home during this travel window.