Unis will start mass testing students in a bid to get you home for Christmas

The government is asking unis to sign up to the plan

Universities will start mass testing students in a bid to get them home for Christmas, according to a new government plan.

Asymptomatic testing schemes are being offered to universities, reports the Telegraph, meaning students without symptoms would be screened and prevented from taking the virus home for the festive period.

Until now, talk had been of forcing students to self-isolate for two weeks before Christmas, with a student-specific circuit breaker lockdown. Vice Chancellors are believed to have rejected that proposal.

Every unis has been written to and told to opt in by the end of the week. The proposed scheme would run from November 30th until December 6th.

However, The Tab revealed last week that universities are already spending millions to test students for Covid. Cambridge offers weekly asymptomatic testing to all its students, at a cost of £1.3 million. Nottingham Trent is spending in the region of £2 million to set up its own scheme.

In a letter to uni VCs seen by the Telegraph, universities minister Michelle Donelan said the testing would allow students to make “informed decisions regarding their return home for Christmas, minimising the risk of spreading the virus to vulnerable people at their destination.”

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Revealed: This is how much your uni is spending to test students for Covid

Ranked: This is how many students at your uni have been punished for Covid partying

Five students suspended from uni after ‘horrifying’ firework incident on campus