Scientists say all students should have mandatory coronavirus tests

Probably the most action they’ll get in Freshers’ Week tbh

A group of scientists has said all students should get mandatory coronavirus tests when they return to uni.

Regular testing would reduce the risk of coronavirus on campus and reduce the chance of “disastrous” campus closures, says a report by the Independent SAGE, a group of scientists presenting themselves as the alternative to the official SAGE.

Online teaching should also be the “default option”, the report added, and in-person Freshers’ Week socialising should be restricted.

Two US unis have already been forced to stop on-campus teaching after coronavirus outbreaks, raising concerns of similar closures when students flood back into halls in September.

Bristol has already banned one-night-stands in halls, and students across the country will be confined to “bubbles” – a measure endorsed by the Independent SAGE report.

The report also added that the A-level result fiasco, and subsequent clamour for uni places, has led to higher risk for existing students, who will face increasingly crowded facilities.

Co-author of the report, Professor Liz Stokoe, said: ‘‘It’s hugely important that universities are re-opened but students will be travelling from all over the country and the world, that will create risks of infection transmission, and so it is essential to put detailed procedures in place so as to guarantee a safe return. This is essential for the welfare of students, of staff and the wider community.

“It would be disastrous if universities were forced to close as we’ve seen happen in the US so we are urging them to play safe and work with students to mitigate the risks.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

‘I had my heart set on Liverpool’: The A-level U-turn came too late for these students

Unis told not to take too many posh students this year after A-level fiasco

These stats show which unis make far more offers than they have places for

Featured image: SWNS