The UK government has announced plans to implement a ‘student travel’ window to allow university students to return home in time for Christmas.
In new guidance published today (November 11), students in England have been told they will be able to return home to their families as soon as the national lockdown ends next month on December 3.
A 6-day ‘student travel window’ will then begin, allowing students to head home between 3rd-9th December, when transmission of Covid-19 is reduced the government claims. Universities will work with other nearby educational institutions to set staggered departure dates to ease pressure on public transport.
The guidance says face-to-face learning should move online by December 9.
The government has also promised to “work closely with universities to establish mass testing” on campuses before students return home. Priority will be given to universities in areas with high transmission of the virus.
The Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said: “We know this Christmas will feel different, and following this incredibly difficult year we are delivering on our commitment to get students back to their loved ones as safely as possible for the holidays.
“We have worked really hard to find a way to do this for students, while limiting the risk of transmission. Now it is vital they follow these measures to protect their families and communities, and for universities to make sure students have all the wellbeing support they need, especially those who stay on campus over the break.”