Students can spend Christmas at home, confirms Gavin Williamson

It’s official

Students will be able to spend Christmas at home, education secretary Gavin Williamson has confirmed.

However, he also said some students may have to self-isolate before going back, in order to make that happen.

“We are going to work with universities to make sure that all students are supported to return home safely and spend Christmas with their loved ones, if they choose to do so,” Williamson told the House of Commons.

“Where there are specific circumstances that warrant it, there may be a requirement for some students to self-isolate at the end of term.”

He also hinted that face-to-face teaching may have to end early to facilitate a return home.

“I do not believe that we should look to inflict stricter measures on students, or expect higher standards of students’ behaviour, than we would from any other section of society,” Williamson said.

Students under lockdown in Manchester Met halls have described feeling “like hamsters in a cage,” while Exeter has asked students not to socialise with anyone outside their household for two weeks.

Speculation had been circling about whether students will be able to return home for Christmas. Matt Hancock refused last week to rule out keeping students at uni over the festive period, and it was reported today that ministers were considering asking students to isolate for two weeks before going back.

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