Uni of Herts students will go home for Christmas with in-person lessons ending after the second lockdown

Universities minister Michelle Donelan on students going back for Christmas. Picture: DoE/UoH

Universities minister Michelle Donelan on students going back for Christmas. Picture: DoE/UoH - Credit: Archant

University of Hertfordshire students will be able to travel home to spend Christmas with their families once the national restrictions end on December 2, following a Government announcement today.

Hatfield-based students will need to stay in their accommodation until December 2, when the four-week lockdown is due to end, and then move back home between December 3 and 9.

During this student travel window, young people will be allowed to travel home on staggered departure dates set by universities, who will work with other institutions in the region to manage pressure on transport infrastructure.

Universities should then move learning online by December 9 so students can continue their education while also having the option to return home to study from there.

Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said: “We know this Christmas will feel different, and after this incredibly difficult year we are absolutely committed to getting students back to their loved ones in time for the Christmas break.

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“But I know residents in Hertfordshire might wonder how students leaving campus, or those coming back to the area, might affect them. I want to reassure everyone that we have worked really hard to find a way to do this for this group, while limiting the risk of transmission.

“With the national lockdown measures, staggered leave times, safer travel guidance and any additional assurances from testing, we are confident transmission can be controlled, and we can enable these students to have the Christmas break they deserve.”

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If a student tests positive before their departure they will need to remain in self-isolation for the required period of ten days. Moving all learning online by December 9 gives enough time for students to complete the isolation period and return home for Christmas.  

Tests will also be offered to as many students as possible before they travel home for Christmas, with universities in areas of high prevalence prioritised.   

A spokesperson for the University of Hertfordshire said: “We know that many of our students are looking forward to returning home this Christmas. We will continue supporting and working together with them, our staff and the community to ensure they can travel home safely, help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and spend this Christmas with their families.

“The University of Hertfordshire is in discussion, along with other universities, with the government to enable us to have access to the large-scale asymptomatic testing programme. We are awaiting further details and more information will be available soon.”

Over 140 Uni of Herts students and staff have tested postive for COVID-19, with over 30 live cases.

For the latest from the University of Hertfordshire go to herts.ac.uk/coronavirus.

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