Salford students will be travelling home in a last-ditch ‘travel corridor’ established by the Government so that they can get home for Christmas.
The government has announced plans for students between the 3rd and 9th of December, to enable students across the country to travel home in time for Christmas.
All teaching will be moved online by the 9th December, opposing initial plans set out by universities to provide a ‘blended teaching’ approach until the end of the term.
Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, said the government chose the week after the four-week national lockdown in England ends on 2 December because “students will pose a much-reduced risk to their loved ones and their community”.
There will be rapid testing available that should produce a positive or negative result within an hour.
This will allow any students who begin to show symptoms to isolate and still travel home in time for Christmas. Students do not need to obtain a negative test in order to travel home.
However, for international students at Salford University, Alex Bruce, the narrative is slightly different: “I have to take into account that Spain’s regulations are a lot different to the UK. For example, I have to pay £100 to get a private test to prove that I am negative from the 23rd of November.
“This, combined with the expensive costs of flights around Christmas time, means I may not be able to afford it.”
Georgia Morris is also a student at Salford University: “I am nervous about travelling home as I have vulnerable family members in my household.
“Going from a big city to a small town is a worry as I don’t want to bring back anything with me.
“I don’t want to give anything to my step-dad, as I don’t want him to not be able to go into work and negatively impact both his physical and mental health.”
In a video address to pupils, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the student experience at Salford University, explained: “We have got a little bit of work to do to understand the impact this will have for each course and each module.
“It will vary by programme because each programme is different.
“We want to make sure that we work in a bespoke manner to make sure that you get the best learning experience.”
A plan is yet to be released as to how students will return to university in January.