Students will have staggered return to university over five-weeks



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Students will face staggered returns to universities after Christmas in a bid to prevent a spike in cases, it has been revealed.

Hands-on courses, such as medicine and performing arts, will return as normal in January.

However courses which can be taught online, such as English and history, will stay online until at least January 25.

Some students will not return to campus until at least February 7, according to the BBC.  

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan.



a man drinking from a wine glass: University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government's evacuation-style plan


© Provided by Daily Mail
University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan

Students will be offered two lateral-flow Covid tests when they arrive back.

The move has been welcomed by some university chiefs, including leader of the University Alliance group, Vanessa Wilson, who said the move provided ‘clarity’ over next term, the BBC reports.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan also said the plan would ‘enable a safer return for all students’.

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. 

They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. A travel window is now open to students to allow them to return home. It is hoped the plan will reduce the risk of transmission.

Universities in England have been told to switch from in-person teaching to online classes by early December and then set staggered departure dates between December 3 and 9 to allow families to be reunited.

Jo Grady, the University and College Union general secretary, earlier this month highlighted the tight timescale for a mass movement of people, adding: ‘Allowing just a week for around one million students to travel across the country leaves little room for error.’



a man standing in front of a crowd: Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays


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Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

The Government said Covid-19 tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home but the establishment of testing capacity will be a ‘massive undertaking’, an executive dean at Durham University said earlier this month.

Students will have enough time to complete the self-isolation period and return home for Christmas if they test positive for the virus before the travel window.

Students who are told to self-isolate because one of their housemates has tested positive will be able to complete the isolation period away from university if they test negative for coronavirus.

Durham University earlier this month launched a pilot project for rapid Covid-19 testing – including identifying those who might

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Students will have staggered return to university over five-week period

Students will have staggered return to university over five-week period after Christmas to avoid Covid surge – with thousands paying rent on halls despite not being on campus until February 7

  • Hands-on courses like medicine and performing arts to return in early January
  • But courses such as English and history to remain online until at least January 25
  • Some students will not return to face-to-face lessons until at least February 7 

Students will face staggered returns to universities after Christmas in a bid to prevent a spike in cases, it has been revealed.

Hands-on courses, such as medicine and performing arts, will return as normal in January.

However courses which can be taught online, such as English and history, will stay online until at least January 25.

Some students will not return to campus until at least February 7, according to the BBC.  

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan.

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government's evacuation-style plan

University students will be offered Covid tests following the end of lockdown in England yesterday, before having a six-day window to travel home for Christmas under the government’s evacuation-style plan

Students will be offered two lateral-flow Covid tests when they arrive back.

The move has been welcomed by some university chiefs, including leader of the University Alliance group, Vanessa Wilson, who said the move provided ‘clarity’ over next term, the BBC reports.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan also said the plan would ‘enable a safer return for all students’.

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. 

They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. A travel window is now open to students to allow them to return home. It is hoped the plan will reduce the risk of transmission.

Universities in England have been told to switch from in-person teaching to online classes by early December and then set staggered departure dates between December 3 and 9 to allow families to be reunited.

Jo Grady, the University and College Union general secretary, earlier this month highlighted the tight timescale for a mass movement of people, adding: ‘Allowing just a week for around one million students to travel across the country leaves little room for error.’

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

Students are currently undergoing tests to allow them to return home this Christmas. They will take the swabs between November 30 and December 6. Pictured: People carry out asymptomatic testing using lateral flow antigen at a test centre at Edinburgh University ahead of students being allowed to travel home for the Christmas holidays

The Government said Covid-19 tests will be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home but the establishment of testing capacity will be a ‘massive undertaking’, an executive dean at Durham University said earlier this month.

Students will have enough

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Staggered return planned for university students in England after Christmas

Students in England will be asked to stay at home after Christmas and continue their studies online at the start of the new year as part of a staggered return to university to minimise the risk of Covid transmission.



a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA

The government wants students to stagger their journeys back to campus over a five-week period beginning on 4 January 2021, with everyone expected to be back at university by 7 February, and coronavirus tests available to all returning students.

New guidance says medical students and those on practical courses requiring face-to-face teaching will be prioritised for an early return. Other courses should be made available online from the beginning of term until students are able to return safely.



a person sitting at a table using a laptop computer: Many students have expressed frustration with their experience at university this term, with the bulk of studies online.


© Photograph: Joe Giddens/PA
Many students have expressed frustration with their experience at university this term, with the bulk of studies online.

Announcing the plans, the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, said: “The health and wellbeing of students, staff and local communities is always our primary concern and this plan will enable a safer return for all students.

Related: UK universities fine students £170,000 for Covid rule breaches

“But we must do this in a way which minimises the risk of transmission. I know students have had to make sacrifices this year and have faced a number of challenges, but this staggered return will help to protect students, staff and communities.”

Universities have also been advised to prioritise students who may need to return to campus earlier because they do not have access to accommodation or study space, or because of mental health reasons, and the government announced a one-off fund of up to £20m to help those in exceptional need.

The announcement comes as a six-day travel window allowing students to leave university and travel home for Christmas gets under way on Thursday, with mass testing going on in 126 universities to help prevent the spread of Covid.

Many students have expressed frustration with their experience at university this term, with the bulk of studies online, social activities curtailed because of Covid restrictions, long periods of self-isolation and harsh penalties for breaches.

Related: Which Covid tier am I in? UK postcode tiers checker

The University and College Union, which represents university staff, welcomed the move to online learning at the start of the new year. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This is a step forward, but plans for next term still pose a risk to staff and student safety. Universities must work with the government to support students who decide the reality of life on campus during this pandemic isn’t for them, including releasing them from accommodation contracts.”

The guidance says students should travel back to university by private transport where possible and avoid car sharing.

Students will be advised to have two lateral flow tests three days apart on their return to campus, with results turned within around an hour. If they are positive, they will be asked to self-isolate in their university

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Staggered return planned for university students after Christmas | Education

Students in England will be asked to stay at home after Christmas and continue their studies online at the start of the new year as part of a staggered return to university to minimise the risk of Covid transmission.

The government wants students to stagger their journeys back to campus over a five-week period beginning on 4 January 2021, with everyone expected to be back at university by 7 February, and coronavirus tests available to all returning students.

New guidance says medical students and those on practical courses requiring face-to-face teaching will be prioritised for an early return. Other courses should be made available online from the beginning of term until students are able to return safely.

Announcing the plans, the universities minister, Michelle Donelan, said: “The health and wellbeing of students, staff and local communities is always our primary concern and this plan will enable a safer return for all students.

“But we must do this in a way which minimises the risk of transmission. I know students have had to make sacrifices this year and have faced a number of challenges, but this staggered return will help to protect students, staff and communities.”

Universities have also been advised to prioritise students who may need to return to campus earlier because they do not have access to accommodation or study space, or because of mental health reasons, and the government announced a one-off fund of up to £20m to help those in exceptional need.

The announcement comes as a six-day travel window allowing students to leave university and travel home for Christmas gets under way on Thursday, with mass testing going on in 126 universities to help prevent the spread of Covid.

Many students have expressed frustration with their experience at university this term, with the bulk of studies online, social activities curtailed because of Covid restrictions, long periods of self-isolation and harsh penalties for breaches.

The University and College Union, which represents university staff, welcomed the move to online learning at the start of the new year. UCU general secretary Jo Grady said: “This is a step forward, but plans for next term still pose a risk to staff and student safety. Universities must work with the government to support students who decide the reality of life on campus during this pandemic isn’t for them, including releasing them from accommodation contracts.”

The guidance says students should travel back to university by private transport where possible and avoid car sharing.

Students will be advised to have two lateral flow tests three days apart on their return to campus, with results turned within around an hour. If they are positive, they will be asked to self-isolate in their university accommodation. Those who spent Christmas in a tier 3 zone where community testing is on offer are asked to take a test before travelling back to university.


Universities UK, which speaks for 140 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, called for further clarity from government on how they will

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