Students will be advised to travel home for the Christmas break from 3rd until 9th December.
As the festive period draws closer, there have been concerns about a higher risk of exposure to COVID-19. This is due to an expected increase of commutes on public transport, as students return home for Christmas.
It has been announced that students will be given a window of travel to return home in order to avoid this risk, as well as to relieve pressure on public transport services. This period of travel comes after the second lockdown placed across the country, which commenced on 5th November and is due to end on 2nd December.
As students will be leaving campus earlier than expected, universities are expected to suspend in-person teaching, and transition to purely teaching online.
Discussing the announcement, Universities Minister Michelle Donelan stated: ‘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.’
In an email sent out to students from the University of Southampton today, it says: ‘With the winter break not far away, we want to make sure that those of you who are intending to travel home, can get home as safely as possible.’
The university is treating this as a ‘top priority’ and are aiming to provide more details soon, whilst students are currently being advised to ‘continue with your studies as normal.’