11/11/2020

'Travel Window' Issued To Allow Students To Get Home For Christmas

NI students at universities in England will be allowed to travel home once the current regional lockdown ends on 02 December.

The UK government has issued guidance on an official "student travel window"

In order to travel home safely, students in England will be required to follow the current national restrictions in place until 2 December, completing this four-week period in their term-time accommodation. 

From 03 December to 09 December, which will be known as the 'student travel window', students will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by universities, who will work with other institutions in the region to manage pressure on transport infrastructure.

The student travel window will mean students can travel having just completed the four-week period of national restrictions, reducing the risk of transmission to family and friends at home.

Universities should move learning online by 9 December so students can continue their education while also having the option to return home to study from there.  
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Universities will also be required to establish mass testing for as many students as possible before they travel home for Christmas. This will provide further reassurance that where students test negative, they can return home safely and minimise the risk of passing coronavirus on to their loved ones.  If a student tests positive before their departure they will need to remain in self-isolation for the required period of ten days. 

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."


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