• Dragon Media

Covid: University students in Wales should travel home for Christmas by 9 Dec

By Harry Pettigrew

Students across Wales will be asked to self-isolate and get tested for coronavirus before traveling home this Christmas to help reduce increasing infections.

University students in Wales who plan to travel home for the holidays will be asked to:

  • minimise their social contacts in the run-up to the end of the term;

  • get an asymptomatic test, ideally within 24 hours of their intended travel time.

  • New asymptomatic testing facilities will be available at participating universities in Wales within the next few weeks;

  • plan to travel no later than 9th December, allowing time to rearrange their travel plans in case they need to self-isolate;

  • familiarise themselves with their university’s plans for concluding in-person teaching and arrangements to ensure people can exit campuses safely.

The asymptomatic lateral flow test, which can produce results in 30 minutes allows students who could test positive to self-isolate for 14 days so they can move to wherever they need to be in time for Christmas.

This guidance only applies to students studying in Wales and doesn’t apply to Welsh students studying in other parts of the UK.

England has already announced guidance advising on how students studying in English universities should return home over the holiday period. Northern Ireland and Scotland have not released any guidance at this time.

Education Minister Kirsty Williams said: “What we are talking about today is for students who are resident here in Wales. You will be aware of announcements made by colleagues in other administrations.

"What I would say to a Welsh Student who is studying at the moment in Scotland or in England is abide by rules that those nations have put in place.

"Here we are talking about advice to students studying here whether they are returning to a home address in Wales or they will be looking to return to their home address in other parts of the United Kingdom”.

Welsh Government hasn’t yet released guidance on what students need to do when they return in January.

Kirsty Williams said: "Those talks continue, but we're very much looking, not only to sending students home safely before Christmas but welcoming them back to university, after the holidays,".

Northern Ireland and Scotland will announce guidance in the coming week.

- Harry Pettigrew (@HarryPettigrew)