UK: Remaining university students to return to campus from Step 3 of the roadmap, no earlier than 17 May
All university students who have not yet returned to campus and in-person teaching will be able to do so from 17 May, at the earliest, the Government has confirmed today (Tuesday 13 April).
The timing aligns with Step 3 of the Government’s roadmap, where restrictions on social contact and indoor mixing will be further eased, and aims to limit potential public health risks associated with student populations moving across the country.
Progression to Step 3 of the roadmap will be dependent on a review of the latest data and the impact of Step 2 on the four key tests.
Creative and practical students started returning from the 8 March, with an estimated 49 per cent of students already eligible to return to in-person teaching, subject to decisions by their institutions, and remaining students have received online provision throughout the term.
Upon return, all students and staff are encouraged to take three supervised tests (3 to 5 days apart) at an asymptomatic testing site on campus, where this is available.
After this, students will also have access to home testing kits throughout the summer term through both the Government’s offer of free rapid LFD tests twice weekly to everyone in England, and ‘University Collect’ services, under which universities will distribute tests from communal locations on campus, such as libraries. This is in addition to the onsite testing already offered.
All tests will be free, and all students and staff who test positive from an LFD test will need to self-isolate for 10 days, unless they receive a negative PCR test within two days.
The Government has made available an additional £15 million in hardship funding to support those students most in need, such as those struggling to pay accommodation costs due to the pandemic. International and postgraduate students will be eligible for this funding along with domestic undergraduates.