Bristol Uni announce they want to offer mass testing to students before Christmas

They said they will continue to support students staying on campus over the Christmas period

Bristol Uni has announced this morning that it wishes be part of the government scheme that offers mass testing to students before they return home for Christmas.

This follows new government guidance, which recommends students treat this lockdown as a “quarantine period” so they can safely move home between 3rd and 9th December.

Bristol Uni is supporting the government guidance, but also said: “We will support those of you who will be remaining on campus and in Bristol throughout the Christmas and New Year period.”

The uni is “assessing the guidance” to plan how this will affect in person teaching, research and assessments, but it is likely that teaching will be delivered online for the rest of the term.

Covid cases at Bristol uni reached 1000 just 13 days after reporting positive cases, but has recently seen a decline in their student 7-day rolling average of daily positive tests. There are currently 120 active Covid cases on campus, according to the university.

Bristol UCU members have been campaigning to cease in person teaching since October, with members voting “overwhelmingly” yesterday to declare a formal dispute with the university.

A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “We welcome the Government’s announcement regarding guidance for the Christmas period and the clarity it gives our community. As highlighted in the announcement, because the current four-week national lockdown is being considered as a sufficient form of quarantine period, the Government’s position is that provided they are not self-isolating students who wish to do so will be able to move from their university address to another address such as a family home between 3-9 December.

“We will be assessing the guidance and will share further details as to what this means for our students – including those on programmes with research, practical or professional accreditation requirements – as soon as possible.

“As always, we will support those students who remain on campus throughout the Christmas period.

“We also welcome the opportunity to undertake widespread testing for our student community on campus as part of the proposed mass testing approach. We are awaiting more information about whether this opportunity will be offered to us and if it is, we will do all we can to ensure this is deliverable once it has been confirmed with government how this might best be achieved.”

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