Government announces student travel exemption for Easter vacation

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Students who have been living in university accommodation throughout Epiphany Term will be permitted to return to their home addresses ‘where it is necessary,’ for the duration of the Easter holidays, the government has announced.

Those who take advantage of the exemption, which was announced by the Government in a blog post on Friday, will be encouraged to take a lateral flow test (LFT) before leaving and returning to campus.

However, the Government strongly advises students to remain in their current location for the holiday period, explaining “it is vital that we follow national guidance, and keep travel to an absolute minimum, in order to reduce the risk of transmission around the country.”

“As such, we advise students not to return home for the Easter Break and to stay at their term time accommodation, where possible.”

GOV.UK

The post adds that exemptions will be in place for “those who must return for mental health and wellbeing reasons,” acknowledging that some students will have been in term time accommodation for many months now, and there may be certain situations where it is necessary for students to return home for the easter break.”

This follows the government announcement outlining its “cautious” roadmap out of the national lockdown restrictions, under which all primary and secondary school students, alongside University students on practical courses, may return to in-person teaching from today (08/03).

The roadmap advises a “staggered return” to campuses of students who are currently studying remotely.  Vice Chancellor, Stuart Corbridge affirms in an email to students on 26/02, that whilst Easter Term starts on 26 April, students will be asked not to return to Durham ahead of that date or before the Government gives consent, unless it is essential to support educational needs.

The latest guidance for Durham University students states that upon returning to campus, students should receive three LFT tests before being encouraged to get tested on a weekly basis for the remainder of the term. 

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