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Welsh Government announces plans for students to return home for Christmas by 9th December

It comes after England announced their plans for students

Welsh Government officials have confirmed that students will be asked to go home by the 9th December at the latest. This will be following rapid 24-hour tests which will be offered to all students.

With teaching set to finish by the 8th December, students will have a chance to test themselves ideally “at least 24-hours” before they travel home. If students test positive, they will need to self-isolate before being allowed home – but consequently will be able to travel after December 9th.

Before students travel home, the Welsh Government have asked that they “minimise their social contacts before the end of term”, “get a test ideally within 24 hours before they travel”, “plan to travel no later than December 9th”, and “familiarise themselves with university plans for ending in-person teaching and arrangements to ensure they can leave campus safely”.

For the participating universities, there will be new asymptomatic testing facilities. Ministers hope for “all universities to participate”.

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “We welcome the Welsh Government’s announcement on the Christmas break, and we will work hard with our key partners including Cardiff Council and Public Health Wales to ensure that our students can make informed choices about returning home safely.”

They further said that: “these principles provide a structure to support students to travel home while recognising that some of our teaching provision, such as clinical placements and other programmes of study that require on campus teaching, will not move online by the 9th December.”

As students are made aware of the plans, a Cardiff University spokesperson also said: “For those students who choose to remain on campus, we have worked hard to ensure it is COVID-secure and accommodation, library and other services will be available.

“We have a large community of international students, who may have only recently arrived in Cardiff. It is important to stress that many of our home students will not be travelling home, and others will make the choice to remain in their term-time accommodation.”

They concluded by saying: “Once we have had an opportunity to work through the detail we will be updating our students as soon as we can.”

Due to the number of students returning to Welsh universities since September, cases have surged and numerous people have tested positive for COVID. These tests now mean students will be able to go home for Christmas, with no chance of passing the virus to others.

The announcement by the Welsh Government follows an announcement made by the English Government. In England, students are given between December 3rd and December 9th to travel home – following the end of lockdown on December 2nd.


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