Students will be able to go home for Christmas

Newcastle University will provide on-campus testing to ensure studnets can go home safely for Christmas between 3rd and 9th December.

Kate Lovell
12th November 2020
Newcastle University has set out their initial plans for students returning home for Christmas following the government guidelines published yesterday morning.

These guidelines will allow students to travel to be with their families, after the national restrictions end, between Thursday 3rd and Wednesday 9th December.

Students are advised to travel after taking COVID-19 tests, even if they are asymptomatic, allowing time for them to isolate for 10 days if they test positive and still get home in time for Christmas day.

Students on clinical placements are considered key workers and are therefore asked to remain on their placements until the end of term.

International students wishing to return to their home country over the festive period will be allowed to do so, as long as they follow government guidance on international travel.

Students on clinical placements are considered key workers and are asked to continue until the end of term

In light of this guidance, Newcastle University has announced COVID-19 testing on campus for students between 30 November and 8 December.

Dr Colin Campbell, Executive Director of Academic Affairs said: “We have committed to working with the Government to provide a testing facility which will support students planning to travel to return home safely for Christmas. We are sure our students will also support these steps if it means helping protect their families and loved ones.”

Meanwhile, @UniofNewcastleposted on Twitter: “We strongly advise those students who wish to return home to do so in the 3rd-9th Dec travel window & not before. Our teams are looking into ways to support you to return home safely and we’ll continue to keep you updated via email”

It is still unclear when students at Newcastle University will specifically be advised to travel as the dates, though still within the travel-window, will differ between universities.

A Newcastle University spokesperson said: “We intend to regularly update our students and we expect to be able to provide more information next week.” She also said it was too early to comment on whether the university itself would provide transport for students, as suggested by some.

For those students who choose to stay in the city for the winter break, Newcastle University has said they will provide a package of support as they do every year. Services will remain open on campus after the 9th December, including the library and study spaces.

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Jenny Harries said on the government website: “The mass movement of students across the country at the end of term presents a really significant challenge within the COVID-19 response"

"It is crucial that students follow the guidance in order to protect their families and the communities they return to.”

Featured Image: @StudentsNCL via Twitter

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